Occurrence and dynamics of Impatiens parviflora depending on various environmental conditions in the protected areas in Slovakia

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Abstract

Biological invasion as one of the main threats to natural ecosystems has big economic impact on conservation of nature. Studies of the population biology of invasive species may allow more precise focus on specific plant and soil characteristics involved in invasiveness. The aim of the study was to investigate the relationship between selected biological population characteristics of Impatiens parviflora and a few chosen chemical and physical soil features. Sites were selected because of the poor mapping of invasive plants in the protected natural areas and their interactions with specific soil characteristics. Research on I. parviflora was realised during a vegetation season in three forest nature reserves in Prešov district, Slovakia. Some population biological characteristics of I. parviflora as one of the most invasive plant species in Slovakia and Central Europe were surveyed. The correlation between the numbers of plants was analysed, as well as select population biological characteristics of I. parviflora (plant height, width of the largest leaf and the number of flowers/fruits) on some select chemical and physical soil attributes (soil pH, bulk density, porosity and soil moisture) were analysed. The results suggest that biological characteristics of I. parviflora in three different microhabitats – a meadow (a habitat without tree vegetation), a habitat close to the stumps and a habitat under dense tree vegetation seemed to influence the selected soil parameters. Our results showed that I. parviflora prefers acidic and non-compacted soil conditions. Sunlight and soil moisture do not show statistically significant differences on any biological characteristic of the population. The results also suggest that the autecology of I. parviflora in Western and Central Europe is not very well known and deserves further study.

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