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Revista chilena de historia natural

Print version ISSN 0716-078X


CUEVAS, JAIME G.; MARTICORENA, ALICIA  and  CAVIERES, LOHENGRIN A.. New additions to the introduced flora of the Juan Fernández Islands: origin, distribution, life history traits, and potential of invasion. Rev. chil. hist. nat. [online]. 2004, vol.77, n.3, pp.523-538. ISSN 0716-078X.

Oceanic islands, such as Juan Fernández in Chile, are the home for particular biotas that have evolved in isolation over a long period. The anthropogenic introduction of allochtonous plants is one of many problems for the conservation of endemic elements. In this paper, we present the new additions to the introduced flora of the Juan Fernández Islands, adding some comments about their life form, origin, morphological characteristics, ecology, distribution, abundance, and their potential of invasion. We cited 27 new species, 12 new genera, and three new families for the Juan Fernández flora (Amaryllidaceae, Commelinaceae and Violaceae). Most genera belonged to Asteraceae (seven species). Fifty-nine percent of taxa were perennial herbs, followed by annual or biennial herbs. Wind was the main vector of propagule dispersal (42 %), followed by vegetative dispersal (23 %). Fifty-two percent of the species were weeds and 44 % were plants with dual behaviour: garden-weed plant. Eurasia was the most frequent area of plant origin (70 %). Ninety-four percent of the taxa with known geographic range are in the V Region of mainland Chile, which is the main region of export of plants and materials to the archipelago, suggesting that this may have been the immediate origin of these introductions. Sixty-three percent of the species were only found in the San Juan Bautista urban area, while the remaining taxa were also (22 %) or exclusively (15 %) found in other places of the main island (Robinson Crusoe). Sixteen species (59 %) are considered as noxious weeds in Juan Fernández or elsewhere, and they should be a focus of attention and, eventually, control. Summing our findings to previous lists of introduced taxa, we obtained 260 non-native taxa in Juan Fernández. This number is greater than the native taxa (211), which demonstrate how the human intentional and non-intentional action can dramatically change the floristic composition of an oceanic archipelago. We strongly recommend the installation of a sanitary control in Robinson Crusoe Island or in Valparaíso, in association with quarantine procedures with the food vegetables, and biological products in general

Keywords : biological invasions; garden plants; oceanic islands; plant introductions; weeds.

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