Category Archives: Neophyta

Spot the cherry laurel – A citizen science survey with children

The children magazine Panewippchen, edited for the members of the Panda-Club of the Luxembourg National Museum of Natural History, has published an interview with Dr Christian Ries, curator of the Department of Ecology:

  • Schaltz, Michèle, 2017. Fuerschung am ‘Natur Musée’: Ekologie. Panewippchen 4: 6-11. [PDF 2.2 MB]

The last page of the article suggests the young readers to participate to a citizen science survey concerning the recent spread into the wild of the cherry laurel (Prunus laurocerasus L.), a common garden plant in Luxembourg, mostly planted to build hedges. Fruits can be dispersed over long distances by birds.

Interested children are asked to look into the forests in their neighbourhood, the evergreen cherry laurel being very easy to spot in winter time, when trees and shrubs rejected their leaves.

The children are asked to send the following basic information to :

  1. How many cherry laurel individuals have been spotted?
  2. Where were they spotted (using GPS of portable devices)
  3. Observers name, age, address and email address.

Ceratophyllum submersum L., a new species for Luxembourg

MNHNL22119

Herbarium specimen MNHNL22119 at the Luxembourg National Museum of Natural History.

Ceratophyllum submersum L., commonly known as the soft hornwort, is a submerged, free-floating aquatic plant.

A very dense submerged population of the soft hornwort has been discovered in a pond near Sanem on 21st June 2015 by German botanists Jörg Zoldan and Annette Steinbach-Zoldan during a survey for the nature conservation organization SICONA-Ouest. The pond had been artificially created in 2010.

In November 2015 specimens from this population have been deposited in the herbarium of the Luxembourg National Museum of Natural History. 1

Ceratophyllum submersum, Flora Batava Vol. 19, 1893. Wikimedia Commons.

Ceratophyllum submersum, Flora Batava Vol. 19, 1893. Wikimedia Commons.

Notes:

  1. Herbarium number MNHNL22119.

Unnoticed invasion of Highways by halophyte Atriplex micrantha Ledeb.

The annual halophyte Atriplex micrantha Ledeb. (syn.: A. heterosperma Bunge) was first spotted in Hellange on 14 October 2007. By 2015, eight years later, it had colonized the median strip of huge parts of the Luxembourg highway network.

Read more in the post about Atriplex micrantha.

Atriplex_mi_Ries_small

Atriplex micrantha in the median strip of the A1 highway near Potaschberg, together with Senecio inaequidens. Curator Dr Christian Ries taking samples for the Museum herbarium. Photo: Dr Jim Meisch, 08.10.2015.

Atriplex micrantha Ledeb.

English n/a ISEIA-LUX code: C2
Lëtzebuergesch n/a EASIN
Français n/a Wikipedia: Wikipedia - Deutsch - Verschiedensamige_Melde
Deutsch Verschiedensamige Melde Wikispecies: Wikispecies - Atriplex micrantha
Nederlands n/a Back to the list of neophytes

Importance and distribution in Luxembourg

Distribution map of Atriplex micrantha Ledeb. in Luxembourg. Recorder database, MNHNL, 20.01.2018.

The annual halophyte Atriplex micrantha Ledeb. (syn.: A. heterosperma Bunge) was first spotted in Hellange (Municipality of Frisange) on 14 October 2007, in a roundabout at a construction site on highway E29. 1

Since this single observation, the species managed unnoticed to invade the Luxembourg highway network, until a large population was spotted in summer 2015 in Potaschberg on the highway A1 between Trier and Luxembourg (Krippel & Colling 2016: 30). 2

A control in the field in autumn 2015 revealed the invasive plant grows in the median strip of the A1 almost from the German border until Luxembourg city in huge very dense populations 3, which confirms the Belgian point of view that “the species is still insufficiently known and widely neglected”. 4

On October 13th the species has been spotted along the Jersey barrier of highway A6 between the Belgian border and Mamer 5.

Atriplex micrantha Herbier MNHNL 2007

Specimen of the MNHNL Herbarium (Acc Nr. MNHNL 2011/47)

Atriplex micrantha in the median strip of the A1 highway, together with Senecio inaequidens. Photo: Jim Meisch, 08.10.2014.

Atriplex micrantha in the median strip of the A1 highway near Potaschberg, together with Senecio inaequidens. Photo: Jim Meisch, 08.10.2014.

Atriplex micrantha in the median strip of the A1 highway near Potaschberg. Photo: Jim Meisch, 08.10.2014.

Atriplex micrantha in the median strip of the A1 highway near Potaschberg. Photo: Jim Meisch, 08.10.2014.

Atriplex micrantha, which was dominant in the middle part of the median strip, occured together with the following species: Senecio inaequidens (dominant on the borders of the median strip), Mercurialis annua, Plantago intermedia, Prunus spinosa and Rosa rugosa.

Atriplex micrantha is very salt-tolerant and benefits from the extensive use of deicing salt along motorways during winter. It probably arrived in Luxembourg via its large secondary distribution area in Germany, namely the A1 from Trier.

Risk assessment

ISEIA Protocol: C2 (3+1+1+1), no list attribution. First assessed 16 February 2017 by Yves Krippel and Christian Ries.

Bibliography concerning Luxembourg

  • Krippel, Y. & G. Colling, 2016. Notes floristiques. Observations faites au Luxembourg (2014-2015). Bull. Soc. Nat. luxemb. 118 : 27-51.

Bibliography concerning neighbouring regions

  • Georges N (2006) Note sur deux nouvelles espèces de Chenopodiaceae adventices en Lorraine : Bassia scoparia (L.) Voss et Atriplex micrantha Ledeb. WILLEMETIA 48 : 1-4. [PDF]
  • Verloove F. (2006) Atriplex micrantha, een nieuwe neofyt langs belangrijke verkeerswegen in België. Dumortiera 88: 15-20.
  • Weicherding F.-J. (2007) Zur Verbreitung und Soziologie der adventiven Melden Atriplex micrantha Ledeb. (Verschiedensamige Melde), Atriplex sagittata Borkh. (Glanz-Melde) und Atriplex oblongifolia Waldst. et Kit. (Langblättrige Melde) (Chenopodiaceae) im Saarland und in angrenzenden Gebieten. Abh. Delattinia 33: 117-139.

http://euromed.luomus.fi/euromed_map.php?taxon=544848&size=medium

Notes:

  1. Atriplex micrantha was first spotted in Luxembourg on on 14 October 2007 by German Horticulturist Franz-Josef Weicherding, St. Ingbert/Saar. He offered a specimen to the Herbarium of the MNHNL (Acc Nr. MNHNL 2011/47).
  2. Atriplex micrantha was spotted on 15 August 2015 by botanist Yves Krippel, scientific cooperator of the National Museum of Natural History.
  3. Control was done on 8 October 2015 by Dr Christian Ries and Dr Jim Meisch, curators at the National Museum of Natural History (WGS 84 6.41204, 49.68373). This “field trip” on the middle strip of an highway had to be coordinated with the highways unit of the department of civil engineering.
  4. Cf. Atriplex micrantha in the Manual of the Alien Plants of Belgium
  5. The plants were smaller (± 40-50 cm) than on the A1 (± 150 cm). Observation by Dr Christian Ries while driving car in the mentioned direction.

Spiraea × billardii Hérincq

 

English Billard’s bridewort ISEIA-LUX code: B0 – Alert list
Lëtzebuergesch n/a EASIN
Français Spirée de billard Wikipedia: Wikipedia - Français - Spirée de billard
Deutsch Billards Spierstrauch Wikispecies: Wikispecies - Spiraea × billardii
Nederlands Billardspirea Back to the list of neophytes

Importance and distribution in Luxembourg

Spiraea × billardii is a sterile horticultural hybrid between S. alba et S. douglasii. It is a fast-growing rhizomatous species, propagating clonally. As for other Spiraea species, it may easily form dense monospecific thickets smothering the native vegetation (Source: http://ias.biodiversity.be/species/show/142).

The plant mainly grows in ruderal areas and in riparian habitats. The first documented occurrence of the species in Luxembourg dates from 2011. It was found by Xavier Mestdagh on 27th June 2011 in the municipality of Parc Hosingen. Only five observations are indicated in the Recorder database.

Bibliography concerning Luxembourg

  • Ries, C., Y. Krippel, M. Pfeiffenschneider & S. Schneider, 2013. Environmental impact assessment and black, watch and alert list classification after the ISEIA Protocol of non-native vascular plant species in Luxembourg. Bull. Soc. Nat. luxemb. 114: 15-21. [PDF 652 KB]

Solidago gigantea L.

English Tall goldenrod ISEIA-LUX code: A2 – Black list
Lëtzebuergesch n/a EASIN
Français Verge d’or géante Wikipedia: Wikipedia - English - Tall goldenrod Wikipedia - Français - Verge d'or géante Wikipedia - Deutsch - Riesen-Goldrute Wikipedia - Nederlands - Late guldenroede
Deutsch Riesen-Goldrute Wikispecies: Wikispecies - Solidago gigantea
Nederlands Late guldenroede Back to the list of neophytes

Importance and distribution in Luxembourg

Distribution map of Solidago gigantea L. in Luxembourg. Recorder database, MNHNL, 20.01.2018.

S. gigantea, the tall goldenrod, can grow in a wide range of soil conditions but is not shade tolerant. The plant is found in many disturbed and nitrogen-rich sites such as ruderal areas, fallow lands, abandoned fields, river banks, etc. and also colonises humid grasslands. It can build up dense and long lasting populations and easily outcompete native plants, including tree seedlings. Competitive ability is favoured by allelopathic interactions. Once established, the plant may remain dominant for a long period of time and often prevents natural colonisation by woody species (Source: http://ias.biodiversity.be/species/show/17).

The species was first documented in Luxembourg in 1960. It was found by Léopold Reichling in autumn 1960 in Pfaffenthal (Municipality of Luxembourg). There are 32 observations indicated in the Recorder database (18/01/2018).

Bibliography concerning Luxembourg

  • Ries, C., Y. Krippel, M. Pfeiffenschneider & S. Schneider, 2013. Environmental impact assessment and black, watch and alert list classification after the ISEIA Protocol of non-native vascular plant species in Luxembourg. Bull. Soc. Nat. luxemb. 114: 15-21. [PDF 652 KB]

Solidago canadensis L.

English Canada goldenrod ISEIA-LUX code: A2 – Black list
Lëtzebuergesch n/a EASIN
Français Verge d’or du Canada Wikipedia: Wikipedia - English - Canada goldenrod Wikipedia - Français - Verge d'or du Canada Wikipedia - Deutsch - Kanadische Goldrute Wikipedia - Nederlands - Canadese guldenroede
Deutsch Kanadische Goldrute Wikispecies: Wikispecies - Solidago canadensis
Nederlands Canadese guldenroede Back to the list of neophytes

Importance and distribution in Luxembourg

Distribution map of Solidago canadensis L. in Luxembourg. Recorder database, MNHNL, 20.01.2018.

In its native range, the Canada goldenrod, S. canadensis, is found mainly on forest edges and roadsides, in abandoned fields and other unmanaged areas which it colonises rapidly after abandonment. Where it has been introduced, it occupies the same habitats as in its native range but also occurs in dry meadows of high conservation value and on wetland fringes. S. canadensis is a pioneer and light-demanding species that occurs over a wide range of soil fertility and texture conditions. It can eliminate almost all other plant species; competitive ability is favoured by allelopathic interactions. Once established, the plant may remain dominant for a long period of time and often prevents natural colonisation by woody species (Source: http://ias.biodiversity.be/species/show/146).

In Luxembourg, the plant was first documented in the wild in 1958. It was found by Marcel Etringer on 5th September 1958 in Kayl, municipality of Kayl (Herbier specimen). 85 observations are documented in the Recorder database (18/01/2018).

Bibliography concerning Luxembourg

  • Ries, C., Y. Krippel, M. Pfeiffenschneider & S. Schneider, 2013. Environmental impact assessment and black, watch and alert list classification after the ISEIA Protocol of non-native vascular plant species in Luxembourg. Bull. Soc. Nat. luxemb. 114: 15-21. [PDF 652 KB]

Quercus rubra L.

English Northern red oak ISEIA-LUX code: C1 – No list attribution
Lëtzebuergesch Rout Eech EASIN
Français Chêne rouge d’Amérique Wikipedia: Wikipedia - English - Northern red oak Wikipedia - Français - Chêne rouge d'Amérique Wikipedia - Deutsch - Roteiche Wikipedia - Nederlands - Amerikaanse eik
Deutsch Roteiche Wikispecies: Wikispecies - Quercus rubra
Nederlands Amerikaanse eik Back to the list of neophytes

Importance and distribution in Luxembourg

Distribution map of Quercus rubra L. in Luxembourg. Recorder database, MNHNL, 20.01.2018.

Where planted, red oak recruitment rate is very high and young trees can form a dense understorey excluding ground vegetation and other tree species. Red oak is characterised by a species-poor phytophagous and saproxylic community in comparison to native oaks. Litter is hardly degraded and favours soil acidification (Source: http://ias.biodiversity.be/species/show/87).

The first documented occurrence of the species in Luxembourg dates from 1959. It was found by Léopold Reichling on 24th June 1959 in Réngelbaach (Municipality of Steinsel). There are 17 observations indicated in the Recorder database (18/01/2018).

Quercus rubra-plantation in the Gréngewald forest

Bibliography concerning Luxembourg

  • Ries, C., Y. Krippel, M. Pfeiffenschneider & S. Schneider, 2013. Environmental impact assessment and black, watch and alert list classification after the ISEIA Protocol of non-native vascular plant species in Luxembourg. Bull. Soc. Nat. luxemb. 114: 15-21. [PDF 652 KB]
  • Welter A., J.Turk & J. Trossen, 2008. Les arbres introduits au Luxembourg. Inventaire des essences arborescentes non indigènes de pleine terre présentes sur le territoire du Grand-Duché de Luxembourg. Ferrantia 53, Musée national d’histoire naturelle, Luxembourg, ISSN 1682-5519, 111 pp.

Prunus serotina Ehrh.

English Black cherry ISEIA-LUX code: B1 – Watch list
Lëtzebuergesch n/a EASIN
Français Cerisier d’automne Wikipedia: Wikipedia - English - Black cherry Wikipedia - Français - Cerisier d'automne Wikipedia - Deutsch - Spätblühende Traubenkirsche Wikipedia - Nederlands - Amerikaanse_vogelkers
Deutsch Spätblühende Traubenkirsche Wikispecies: Wikispecies - Prunus serotina
Nederlands Amerikaanse vogelkers Back to the list of neophytes

Importance and distribution in Luxembourg

Distribution map of Prunus serotina Ehrh. in Luxembourg. Recorder database, MNHNL, 20.01.2018.

Prunus serotina, or black cherry, prefers dry to moist sandy soils. It is an opportunistic gap-phase tree species efficiently dispersed over long distances by fruit-eating birds and mammals. It thrives in forest clearings and woodlands dominated by light-demanding species such as oak, pine or birch. It can also invade various types of semi-natural open habitats with a wide range of humidity levels like wetlands, bogs, heathlands, dry grasslands and dunes (Source: http://ias.biodiversity.be/species/show/14).

In Luxembourg the species was documented for the first time in 1960. It was found by Léopold Reichling on 31st August 1960 in Grondmillen (Municipality of Esch-sur-Sûre). Only five observations are indicated in the Recorder database.

Bibliography concerning Luxembourg

  • Ries, C., Y. Krippel, M. Pfeiffenschneider & S. Schneider, 2013. Environmental impact assessment and black, watch and alert list classification after the ISEIA Protocol of non-native vascular plant species in Luxembourg. Bull. Soc. Nat. luxemb. 114: 15-21. [PDF 652 KB]
  • Welter A., J.Turk & J. Trossen, 2008. Les arbres introduits au Luxembourg. Inventaire des essences arborescentes non indigènes de pleine terre présentes sur le territoire du Grand-Duché de Luxembourg. Ferrantia 53, Musée national d’histoire naturelle, Luxembourg, ISSN 1682-5519, 111 pp.

Populus × canadensis Moench

English Canadian poplar ISEIA-LUX code: C3 – no list attribution
Lëtzebuergesch n/a EASIN
Français Peuplier noir hybride Wikipedia: Wikipedia - Deutsch - Bastard-Schwarz-Pappel Wikipedia - Nederlands - Canadapopulier
Deutsch Bastard-Schwarz-Pappel Wikispecies: Wikispecies - Populus × canadensis
Nederlands Canadapopulier Back to the list of neophytes

Importance and distribution in Luxembourg

Distribution map of Populus × canadensis Moench in Luxembourg. Recorder database, MNHNL, 20.01.2018.

The Canadian poplar, Populus x canadensis, is a tree species that originates from hybridization events between P. nigra, the European poplar and two American poplars, P. deltoides and P. angulata. It occurs in many varieties and can appear spontaneously wherever the parent species is present, but is also commonly bred and planted all over the world. The Canadian poplar thrives on periodically inundated flood plains, nonetheless it can also be found in ruderal areas. The tree threatens to extinguish its parent species and can contribute to the desiccation of its wetland habitats.

The first documented occurrence of the species in Luxembourg dates from 1983. It was found by Léopold Reichling on 2nd September 1983 in Ehnen (Municipality of Wormeldange). There are 53 observations indicated in the Recorder database. The Canadian poplar is rather common in Luxembourg.

Bibliography concerning Luxembourg

  • Ries, C., Y. Krippel, M. Pfeiffenschneider & S. Schneider, 2013. Environmental impact assessment and black, watch and alert list classification after the ISEIA Protocol of non-native vascular plant species in Luxembourg. Bull. Soc. Nat. luxemb. 114: 15-21. [PDF 652 KB]