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The silent invasion of Eichhornia crassipes (Mart.) Solms. in Italy
- Brundu, G., Azzella, M. M., Blasi, C., Camarda, I., Iberite, M., Celesti-Grapow, L.
- Plant biosystems 2013 v.147 no.4 pp. 1120-1127
- Eichhornia crassipes, invasive species, macrophytes, phytoremediation, trade regulations, Italy
- This article provides general information and original data on the period of first introduction in Europe (1823–1825) and in Italy (first half of the 19th century), and on the current distribution and impacts in Italy of the invasive macrophyte Eichhornia crassipes . Two main pathways are responsible for the presence of this species in Italy: (i) introduction as an ornamental and (ii) research and use for phytoremediation. After a time lag of more than 100 years, E. crassipes has recently started invading the Italian freshwaters. A specific action plan for this species is required, including local eradication and awareness campaigns. Furthermore, regulations in the trade sector of invasive aquatic plant species need to be introduced and the possibilities for biological or integrated control evaluated.