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The introduced flora of Madagascar

Kull C.A., Tassin J., Moreau S., Rakoto Ramiarantsoa H., Blanc-Pamard C., Carrière S.M.. 2012. Biological Invasions, 14 (4) : p. 875-888.

DOI: 10.1007/s10530-011-0124-6

We provide the first comprehensive inventory of the non-native plants on Madagascar since Perrier de la Bâthie's effort 80 years ago, and evaluate the characteristics and importance of this biota. Using botanical databases (especially the Tropicos Catalogue of the Vascular Plants of Madagascar), published plant lists, field observation, and relevant literature, we inventory 546 introduced species that have naturalized, as well as 611 other introduced species that only exist in cultivation. We also list 211 species with unclear status, eight native species that have had different genetic stock introduced, and three endemics that have naturalized outside their native range. Of the naturalized species, 101 display invasive behaviour. Highly represented families include Fabaceae (224 confirmed introduced species), Myrtaceae (143), Poaceae (71), Cactaceae (52), Asteraceae (50), and Solanaceae. (33). Humans have been bringing plants to Madagascar since they colonized the island, mainly for their utility. A number of plants with native varieties but which also have long histories of human use and transport are ripe for further historical biogeographical research (including Eragrostis, Panicum, Sorghum, Dioscorea, Ziziphus, and Adansonia). The introduced flora is similar in composition to other tropical regions; its numerical size appears to confirm that poorer countries experience relatively fewer plant introductions. Madagascar's introduced species deserve more attention, not just through the rubric of invasion biology, but as plants that build new ecologies and that sustain human communities.

Mots-clés : flore; introduction de plantes; plante ligneuse; arbre forestier; inventaire forestier; zone tropicale; biodiversité; espèce envahissante; madagascar

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