The invasive species of Kamchatka's flora

1 Kamchatka Branch of Pacific institute of Geography FEB RAS, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, Russia
2 Department of Anthropology, University of Alaska, Fairbanks, USA

In the flora of Kamchatka peninsula there are 1200 known species and subspecies of plants. In the “Catalogue of Kamchatka’s Flora” (2004) 183 of them are adventive. For some years past we observed that some of these species settled in the southern part of Kamchatka successfully. In Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky and in the surrounding settlements Impatiens balsamina L., Knautia arvensis (L.) Coult., Pilosella aurantiaca (L.) F. Schultz et Sch. Bip., Pilosella × floribunda (Wimm. et Grab.) Fries, Tussilago farfara L. and Arctium lappa L. form the monodominant communities in waste areas most conspicuously at flowering time. Notably, in 1980’s all these species was not registered in the Kamchatkan flora. In 2010 we recorded Heracleum sosnowskyi Manden in Kamchatka for the first time. This species occurs as an extensive weed on the southern slopes of the maritime area of the town and takes up wide areas in the Valley of the Paratunka river, where the species became naturalized on the warm soils near the reservoirs, chinks and pipelines, which are typical for these districts, where water of the Paratunka geothermal layer is used for house-heating, greenhouse-heating and balneology. The question about the potential naturalization of these widely dispersed species near the hot springs of Kamchatka and their further expansion across the whole peninsula is already reviewed in scientific literature. Heracleum sosnowskyi is the first and unique example, that confirms this supposition. Formerly we repeatedly noted, that carried (by men or by birds) to the hot springs species don’t leave the warm soils near the springs and don’t invade the peninsula (although there are active species like Echinochloa crusgalli (L.) Beauv.). The distribution of the adventive species within the peninsula should be logically connected with expanding road networks and with people’s activities of the plots of land attached to households. Already we know of the rapid expansion of a number of species that are traditionally grown in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky for ornamental purposes (Lupinus polyphyllus Lindl., Symphytum caucasicum Bieb., Solidago ñanadensis L.).

© 2012 Organizing Committee