Parliamentary question of 5th September 2019 regarding the European list of invasive alien species

On 5 September 2019, Mars Di Bartolomeo, Member of the Chamber of Deputies, addressed a parliamentary question to the Minister of the Environment regarding the European list of invasive alien species.

Question 1

Which species on this list have been recorded in Luxembourg?

Response from Carole Dieschbourg, Minister for the Environment, Climate and Sustainable Development:

Plants (5 species):

  1. Tree of heaven (Ailanthus altissima)
  2. Himalayan balsam (Impatiens glandulifera)
  3. Giant Hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum)
  4. Nuttall’s waterweed (Elodea nuttallii)
  5. Parrot’s feather (Myriophylum aquaticum)

Animals (9 species):

  1. Spiny-cheek crayfish (Orconectes limosus)
  2. Signal crayfish (Pacifastacus leniusculus)
  3. Topmouth gudgeon (Pseudorasbora parva)
  4. Egyptian goose (Alopochen aegyptiacus)
  5. Pumpkinseed (Lepomis gibbosus)
  6. Coypu (Myocastor coypus)
  7. Muskrat (Ondatra zibethicus)
  8. Raccoon (Procyon lotor)
  9. Red eared slider (Trachemys scripta).

Question 2

Given that these species pose a threat to biodiversity and ecosystem services, what is his Ministry’s strategy for more effective eradication, management and control methods to combat the adverse effects associated with this phenomenon?

Response from Carole Dieschbourg, Minister for the Environment, Climate and Sustainable Development:

In accordance with European regulations, Luxembourg’s strategy to counter the environmental and social problems caused by invasive alien species has four main components, namely

  1. prevention,
  2. early detection and rapid eradication,
  3. management,
  4. awareness and training.

There are two scenarios:

  1. the establishment of emerging species and any new invasive alien species detected on national territory is prevented;
  2. populations of widely distributed species are controlled, in order to reduce their environmental and social impacts and avoid further spread.

For widespread species, “Invasive Alien Species Action Plans” have been developed, which include the actions to be implemented for each species. All actions thus defined shall be based on the best scientific knowledge and shall take due account of cost-effectiveness, human health, the environment and animal welfare.

A public consultation will be launched shortly for each action plan.

Original documents

parliamentary question n°1160 of 5 September 2019
parliamentary question n°1160 – reply of 7 October 2019

 Page content last updated on 2019-12-19. Last proofread by Caroline Grounds on 2019-12-19.

Field Guide to Invasive Alien Species in European Forests

The Slovenian Forestry Institute has published a Field Guide to Invasive Alien Species in European Forests which was translated to English and made available as PDF file.

This guide was first prepared in Slovenian, within the framework of the project Awareness Raising, Training and Measures on Invasive alien Species in forests (LIFE ARTEMIS), which is funded by the European Commission in the framework of the LIFE financial mechanism, the Ministry of the Environment and Spatial Planning of the Republic of Slovenia, the City of Ljubljana and the Slovenian Research Agency.

Kus Veenvliet, J., P. Veenvliet, M. de Groot & L. Kutnar (eds.). 2019. A Field Guide to Invasive Alien Species in European Forests. Nova vas: Institute Symbioisis, so. e.; Ljubljana: The Silva Slovenica Publishing Centre, Slovenian Forestry Institute. [PDF 32 MB]

 Page content last updated on 2019-12-12. Last proofread by Caroline Grounds on 2019-12-12.

First record of Solanum rostratum in Luxembourg

Solanum rostratum Dunal was first observed in the wild in Luxembourg on 21 August 2019 by Jörg Zoldan and Annette Steinbach-Zoldan on the border of a maize field in the municipality of Kayl (Southern part of Luxembourg), during a field study on behalf of SICONA.

Description

Solanum rostratum Dunal (spiny or prickly nightshade, Mexican thistle) is a species of nightshade that is native to the US and northern and central Mexico. It is an annual, self-compatible herb that forms a tumbleweed and has abundant spines on the stems and leaves. In its native range S. rostratum is pollinated by medium- to large-sized bees including bumblebees. The seeds are released when the berries dry and dehisce (split apart) while still attached to the plant (Wikipedia contributors 2019).

This species represents one of the later scientific interests of famed biologist Charles Darwin, who just over a week prior to his death had ordered seeds from a colleague in America, so as to investigate their heteranthery, a topic he was interested in (Wikipedia contributors 2019).

Solanum rostratum is the ancestral host plant of the Colorado potato beetle, Leptinotarsa decemlineata, but this pest adopted the potato, Solanum tuberosum as a new (and more succulent) host, a fact first reported in eastern Nebraska in 1859. It then expanded its range rapidly eastward on potato crops in the next two decades (Wikipedia contributors 2019).

Solanum rostratum as an invasive alien weed

Solanum rostratum is a taprooted annual plant known to be a noxious weed in parts of the USA and Canada, and is included in the Global Compendium of Weeds as an ‘agricultural weed’, ‘casual alien’, ‘environmental weed’, ‘naturalised’, ‘noxious weed’, and ‘weed’ across tropical and temperate regions of the world. It is a fast-growing, vigorous weed native to Mexico and the United States and now widely introduced including into Asia, Oceania and Europe (Austria, Bulgaria, Denmark, Germany, Hungary, Moldova, Russia, Slovakia, UK, Ukraine). The species invades ecosystems by forming dense colonies, and a single plant can produce hundreds of seeds which are dispersed by both biotic and abiotic vectors, as well as self-propelled by its dehiscent fruit (Datiles & Acevedo-Rodríguez 2014).

Bibliography

 Page content last updated on 2019-11-11. Last proofread by Caroline Grounds on 2019-11-11.

Publication of a guide for the identification and management of invasive alien plant species on construction sites

The Luxembourg Nature and Forestry Administration has published a guide on the identification and management of invasive alien plant species on construction sites. The 88-page guide is written in French and can be useful to other concerned parties such as biological stations, municipalities and other state administrations that are active in other activities such as nature sites, the development and maintenance of green spaces and along roads.

The guide can be ordered or downloaded from the following web page: https://environnement.public.lu/fr/publications/conserv_nature/plantes_exotiques_envahissantes.html

Citation: Pfeiffenschneider M. et al., 2019. Guide d’identification et de gestion d’espèces de plantes exotiques envahissantes sur les chantiers. 88 pp. Administration de la nature et des forêts (éd.).

 Page content last updated on 2019-11-11. Last proofread by Caroline Grounds on 2019-11-11.

Wandering cribellate spider Zoropsis spinimana discovered in Echternach

On November 15th 2018 Jos A. Massard and Gaby Geimer discovered a female of the wandering cribellate spider Zoropsis spinimana on the window of a pastry shop in Echternach (Massard & Geimer 2018). This spider is a new species for Luxembourg and is currently spreading throughout Europe. The detailed up-to-date distribution of the species can be found on the Luxembourgian Wikipedia (Wikipedia-Bearbeiter 2018).

The home of Zoropsis spinimana is the western Mediterranean region up to the southern edge of the Alps and Dalmatia, as well as North Africa, where it occurs in the open in light forests, under stones and bark, or in and around buildings (Wikipedia contributors 2018).

References

 Page content last updated on 2019-11-11. Last proofread by Caroline Grounds on 2019-11-11.

Increasing understanding of alien species through citizen science

In July 2018 a group of countries launched a European CO-operation in Science and Technology (COST) Action to address multidisciplinary research questions in relation to developing and implementing Citizen Science (CS), advancing scientific understanding of Alien Species (AS) dynamics while informing decision-making, specifically implementation of technical requirements of relevant legislation such as the EU Regulation 1143/2014 on IAS. It will also support the EU biodiversity goals of embedding science within society. The Action will explore and document approaches to establishing a European-wide CS AS network.

All details in the following publication:

Roy H, Groom Q, Adriaens T, Agnello G, Antic M, Archambeau A, Bacher S, Bonn A, Brown P, Brundu G, López B, Cleary M, Cogălniceanu D, de Groot M, De Sousa T, Deidun A, Essl F, Fišer Pečnikar Ž, Gazda A, Gervasini E, Glavendekic M, Gigot G, Jelaska S, Jeschke J, Kaminski D, Karachle P, Komives T, Lapin K, Lucy F, Marchante E, Marisavljevic D, Marja R, Martín Torrijos L, Martinou A, Matosevic D, Mifsud C, Motiejūnaitė J, Ojaveer H, Pasalic N, Pekárik L, Per E, Pergl J, Pesic V, Pocock M, Reino L, Ries C, Rozylowicz L, Schade S, Sigurdsson S, Steinitz O, Stern N, Teofilovski A, Thorsson J, Tomov R, Tricarico E, Trichkova T, Tsiamis K, van Valkenburg J, Vella N, Verbrugge L, Vétek G, Villaverde C, Witzell J, Zenetos A, Cardoso A (2018) Increasing understanding of alien species through citizen science (Alien-CSI). Research Ideas and Outcomes 4: e31412. https://doi.org/10.3897/rio.4.e31412

 Page content last updated on 2019-11-11. Last proofread by Caroline Grounds on 2019-11-11.

First record of Amaranthus cruentus in Luxembourg

Field of Amaranthus cruentus between Ell and Lannen, 20th September 2017. Photo by Claire Wolff, SICONA.

Amaranthus cruentus L. was first observed in the wild 1 in Luxembourg, on 28th August 2018, on the border of maize fields and a pasture between Ell and Lannen in the Canton of Redange (Midwestern area of Luxembourg).

An on-site inspection on 29th August 2018 revealed that the population extends over 300m at the edge of the fields and at the roadside between the coordinates LUREF 56775 E | 93241 N and 56758 E | 93542 N. Several specimens were deposited in the herbarium of the National Museum of Natural History.

This population is probably a consequence of the cultivation of this species on an adjacent field in 2017, as the photo on the right illustrates.

Image gallery

Photos by Christian Ries, MNHNL, 29th August 2018.

Useful links

 

 Page content last updated on 2019-11-11. Last proofread by Caroline Grounds on 2019-11-11.

Interregional Parliamentary Council issues recommendation on IAS in the Greater Region

On 1 June 2018, the Interregional Parliamentary Council (ICC) issued a recommendation concerning invasive plants and animal species in the Greater Region, following the meeting of Committee 4 “Environment and Agriculture” on 27 April 2018 in Remerschen, Luxembourg.

Original document

Excerpt of the recommendations (translated)

The Interregional Parliamentary Council

  1. calls for consistency in the implementation of management measures and objectives (eradication, control, containment) and further exchanges on management methods and priority intervention sites for efficient use of resources;
  2. strongly emphasises the need for coordinated prevention and control actions throughout the Greater Region, on a cross-border basis;
  3. invites all partners in the Greater Region to draw up an exhaustive inventory of public and private bodies responsible for implementing research and methods to combat invasive species;
  4. proposes to support existing mechanisms, such as www.neobiota.lu, for the exchange of information on control methods and the sharing of good practices that have proved effective;
  5. calls for citizens to be informed about the presence of invasive plant and animal species in the Greater Region, the related health and economic risks, and the preventive measures to be taken to protect themselves;
  6. hopes that professionals selling seeds, landscape gardeners and farmers will be made aware of this approach in order to encourage the use of local plant species;
  7. recommends systematic reporting, the development of common tools for identifying and monitoring the most widespread species in the Greater Region, the introduction of monitoring and early detection of the most dangerous species (warning network) and the development of exchanges of good practice at cross-border level;
  8. encourages the control of invasive plants by innovative methods that respect the environment, such as eco-grazing techniques;
  9. hopes that the problem of invasive alien species will be included in school biology courses in order to encourage responsibility from an early age;
  10. stresses the principle of proportionality in order to safeguard animal welfare as far as possible, to take account of the cost-effectiveness of the measures put in place and of environmental protection, in particular by avoiding excessive use of pesticides to combat invasive plants;
  11. calls on the competent authorities to guarantee sustainable sources of funding to run cross-border networks. In this context, European funds are a very interesting financial lever, as shown by the INTERREG V project “InvaProtect, Protection durable des végétaux contre les bioagresseurs invasifs dans les orchgers et les vignes” ; a second project being set up, which aims to provide scientific and technical support to administrations and institutions for the assessment and management of the health risk associated with invasive mosquitoes;
  12. hopes that the implementation of INTERREG projects on invasive alien species will be encouraged in the Greater Region;
  13. welcomes other ongoing projects funded by the EU which make it possible to increase citizens’ awareness and involvement in concrete terms, such as the COST action ‘Increasing understanding of alien species through citizen science’, in which France and Luxembourg are participating, particularly as citizen participation and empowerment are the best way of controlling the negative effects of these invasive alien species;
  14. calls for closer cooperation between the Greater Region Summit and the Interregional Parliamentary Council to combat invasive plant and animal species as effectively as possible.

The Interregional Parliamentary Council addresses this resolution:

  • to the Government of the French Republic
  • to the Grand East Region
  • to the Saarland Government
  • to the Government of the Land of Rhineland-Palatinate
  • to the Governments of the German-speaking Community of Belgium, Wallonia and the Wallonia-Brussels Federation
  • to the Government of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg
  • at the Secretariat of the Summit of the Greater Region

 Page content last updated on 2019-11-11. Last proofread by Caroline Grounds on 2019-11-11.

Science by foot: Invasive alien species in the Grund district of Luxembourg City

On Tuesday 7th August 2018 from 18:30 to 20:00, in the frame of its Science Tuesdays series, the National Museum of Natural History organised a scientific walk through the Grund district. Dr Christian Ries, curator of the Department of Ecology, gave explanations about a dozen invasive alien species to the 20 people in attendance. In its edition of 9th August 2018, the Luxembourg Newspaper Journal published a small article about the event.

Anonymous, 2018. Ohne Widerstand – Naturmusée-Führung zum Thema invasive Arten. Rubrik Uechter d’Land. Journal 09/08/2018, p. 19.

 Page content last updated on 2019-11-11. Last proofread by Caroline Grounds on 2019-11-11.