Prunus serotina Ehrh.

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Report the species

Report Prunus serotina to the National Museum of Natural History.

Brief description

Prunus serotina Ehrh. 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.

Black cherry forms dense, highly competitive thickets, e.g. through root sprouting. In forest ecosystems, it locally affects the development of ground and shrub layers. It may temporarily inhibit vegetation succession, especially in large forest openings. It is able to reduce plant species richness or modify the composition of plant communities (e.g. in heavily invaded stands on moist soils). Invasion of forest ecosystems by P. serotina can change humus conditions and reduce soil water availability due to increased interception and transpiration. It can also prevent forest rejuvenation and increase plantation costs. Impact on biodiversity is especially marked when black cherry colonises open habitats containing rare species like heathlands, dry grasslands or dune ecosystems. The whole plant contains cyanic acid and is toxic for livestock. It is poorly consumed by deer, which may favour invasion rate in habitats where deer are overabundant (Branquart et al. 2012).

Status and distribution in Luxembourg

Distribution map of Prunus serotina Ehrh. in Luxembourg. Data source: Recorder-Lux, iNaturalist & GBIF, 2019-12-05.

In Luxembourg, Prunus serotina Ehrh. was documented for the first time by Léopold Reichling on 31st August 1960 at Grondmillen in the municipality of Esch-sur-Sûre (MNHNL 2000-).

Currently, 31 records of the black cherry are accessible through the MNHNL-mdata portal (MNHNL, iNaturalist & GBIF 2019).

The black cherry is grown for ornamental purposes in parks and along roads. Often subspontaneous or naturalised: woods, moors, hedges, wastelands (Lambinon & Verloove 2012: 366).

Risk assessment

ISEIA protocol: B1 (2+2+3+3) = Watch List (Ries et al. 2013: 18).

Bibliography

  • Branquart, E., S. Vanderhoeven, M. Vanhellemont, W. Van Landuyt, F. Van Rossum, K. Verheyen & F. Verloove, 2012. Harmonia database: Prunus serotina Ehrh.. Harmonia version 1.2, Belgian Forum on Invasive Species. URL: http://ias.biodiversity.be [accessed on 2019-10-15]
  • Lambinon J. & F. Verloove, 2012. Nouvelle flore de la Belgique, du grand-duché de Luxembourg, du Nord de la France et des régions voisines. Sixième édition. Avec la collaboration de L. Delvosalle, B. Toussaint, D. Geerinck, I. Hoste, F. Van Rossum, B. Cornier, R. Schumacker, A. Vanderpoorten et H. Vannerom. Jardin botanique national de Belgique, Meise. CXXXIX + 1195 pp. ISBN : 9789072619884.
  • MNHNL, 2000-. Prunus serotina Ehrh. in Recorder-Lux, database on the natural heritage of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. Musée national d’histoire naturelle, Luxembourg. URL: https://mdata.mnhn.lu [Accessed 2019-10-15]
  • MNHNL, iNaturalist & GBIF, 2019. Prunus serotina Ehrh. in MNHNL-mdata, online portal combining species observation from Recorder-Lux, iNaturalist and GBIF. National Museum of Natural History, Luxembourg. URL: https://mdata.mnhn.lu [Accessed 2019-10-15]
  • 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.

 Page content last updated on 2019-11-20. Last proofread by Caroline Grounds on 2019-11-20.