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 latter 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

 Last updated on Monday, October 14, 2019.

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 actors 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.).

 Last updated on Friday, June 28, 2019.

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 at buildings (Wikipedia contributors 2018).

References

 Last updated on Monday, November 26, 2018.

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 and 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

 Last updated on Wednesday, November 7, 2018.

Interregional Parliamentary Council issues recommendation on IAS in the Greater Region

On 1 June 2018, the Interregional Parliamentary Council (ICC) has 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

 Last updated on Monday, August 13, 2018.

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 it’s Science Tuesdays series, the National Museum of Natural History organized 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 attending people. In it’s 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.

 Last updated on Thursday, August 9, 2018.

Aedes albopictus: Public petition for a public health policy submitted to Luxembourg Parliament

A public petition (n°1071) for a public health policy that effectively combats the implantation of tiger mosquitoes, vectors of diseases, in Luxembourg, has been introduced on 10th July 2018 and is open for signature until 19th September 2018 (Bomfim 2018).

Text of the petition (translated from French)

This petition aims to start a debate that will lead to a number of effective actions to combat the implantation of tiger mosquitoes in Luxembourg. This invasive species has no natural predators and can not only unbalance the ecosystem like bring tropical diseases to Luxembourg. Among the possible actions that should be discussed as a result of this petition, we can list:

  • a study of the regions of Luxembourg with the greatest potential for tiger mosquito invasion;
  • campaigns to raise public awareness of measures to combat the tiger mosquito (garden maintenance, elimination of stagnant water deposits);
  • education campaigns in schools and colleges on the invasiveness of tiger mosquitoes and preventive measures;
  • special maintenance and vigilance measures on rest areas where motor homes from southern Europe stop and which potentially contain tiger mosquitoes;
  • monitoring of the presence of tiger mosquitoes in cities, countryside and forests via traps (instrumentation used for example in Italian regions).

Motivation of the general interest of the petition: The tiger mosquito is a vector of diseases such as dengue, Nile fever and chikungunya. If the invasion of mosquitoes is not controlled, the importation of these diseases will become an additional burden for health services, in days off work and school absence, not to mention a great disturbance for the population and a devaluation of the country’s rural areas.

References

Bomfim, JAS, 2018. Pétition publique n°1071 – Pour une politique de santé publique qui combatte effectivement l’implantation des moustiques tigres, vecteurs de maladies, au Luxembourg. URL: https://chd.lu/wps/portal/public/Accueil/TravailALaChambre/Petitions/RoleDesPetitions?action=doPetitionDetail&id=1274 [08/08/2018].

 Last updated on Tuesday, February 19, 2019.

First evidence of Aedes japonicus in Luxembourg

3 female imago of Aedes japonicus (Theobald, 1901) have been captured on 4th July 2018 in Stolzembourg in the valley of the Our (Oesling). Field prospection on 1st and 2nd August showed the East Asian bush mosquito is also present in Bivels, Vianden, Wahlhausen and Gemünd (D). Further investigations will be undertaken in August to assess the geographical distribution of the species in Luxembourg.

Aedes japonicus is a mosquito species originally native to Japan, Korea and southern China, and is important for humans as a potential vector of pathogens such as the West Nile virus and of various types of encephalitis viruses.

The species is already established in the Province of Namur (Belgium), in North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate (Kreis Ahrweiler) and Hesse (Germany), and in Bas-Rhin, Haut-Rhin, Vosges (France).

Advice for the population

Web pages

Flyers

Useful links

 Last updated on Thursday, January 24, 2019.

EU published Delegated Regulation on IAS risk assessments

The European Commission published today in the Official Journal the Delegated Regulation (EU) 2018/968 of 30 April 2018 supplementing Regulation (EU) No 1143/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council with regard to risk assessments in relation to invasive alien species.

All language versions are available here: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=uriserv:OJ.L_.2018.174.01.0005.01.ENG&toc=OJ:L:2018:174:TOC

Comunicated by the IAS team of the Environment Directorate-General of the European Commission.

Note: All documents and information related to the IAS Regulation can be found at http://ec.europa.eu/environment/nature/invasivealien/

 Last updated on Wednesday, July 11, 2018.