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A model based on population-ecological parameters of H. mantegazzianum simulating the invasive potential of this perennial herb of alien origin on a local scale

Population-biological simulation models (Matrix models and Spatially Explicit Individual-Based models) were developed and parameterised along field data from partners P6 and P7. They served as a tool for identifying decisive mechanisms for invasive spread of Heracleum mantegazzianum on a local scale: the ability to stay in a vegetative state in order to bridge years with unfavourable conditions for reproduction and long-distance dispersal for bridging areas which are not suitable for maintenance of local populations. Due to the high variability of individual behaviour modelling must go beyond standard matrix modelling in order to reproduce the invasive potential of the species in a sufficient manner. The ability of our models reached as far as being able to reproduce and evaluate data for a time series of regional spread obtained by aerial photographs.

The model was also used to evaluate different options for and check for their ability to reduce population size in a sustainable manner. Irrespective of any details the simulation results showed that any measures for controlling H. mantegazzianum populations must last for approximately. 5 years or longer and must be applied with a high intensity. Otherwise populations will increase and invade again. Results will be disseminated by scientific publications.

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UFZ Centre for Environmental Research
P.O.B. 500 135
04301 Leipzig
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