Alien Organisms and trade in Endangered Species (CITES)
Vascular plants outside their natural home range – assessment of consequences for biodiversity
The Norwegian Scientific Committee for Food and Environment (VKM) shall assess the consequences for biodiversity in Norway stemming from the planting of vascular plants in non-native areas.
The Norwegian Environment Agency has commissioned the assessment.
A large quantity of vascular plants are planted and sown outside their natural range in Norway, both by the government and by individuals. Examples include their use on roadsides and on green roofs on mountain cabins. Depending on the reproductive strategy of these species, they vary in their potential to affect the environment where they are introduced.
Terms of reference
The Norwegian Environment Agency has requested an overview of factors to consider when planting and sowing vascular plants outside their natural range, to ensure this can be done in the safest manner possible.
VKM will, among other things, develop a set of criteria to identify the types of vascular plants best suited for planting in different areas.
VKM will also pinpoint potential consequences planting and sowing can have for local indigenous plants, including changes in the plants’ genetic adaptation to the area. In particular, bags of seeds containing multiple species can pose a majorprove to be challenginge for authorities evaluating and managing hazards. management and hazard evaluation
The criteria developed will be used to identify species of vascular plants posing the least risk to biodiversity. It can also be used to assess whether species-specific risk assessments are needed, with regards to planting or sowing.
The project group consists of:
- Anders Nielsen – Deputy chair of The VKM Panel on Alien Organisms and Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), leader of the project.
- Inger Elisabeth Måren – Member of The VKM Panel on Alien Organisms and Trade in Endangered Species (CITES)
- Line Rosef – External expert from The Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU).
- Martin Malmstrøm – Secretariat, Project manager.
The VKM Panel on Alien Organisms and Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) is responsible for the assessment, scheduled for publication in February 2021.