Naturalized alien floras still carry the legacy of European colonialism

2022 | journal article. A publication with affiliation to the University of Göttingen.

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​Naturalized alien floras still carry the legacy of European colonialism​
Lenzner, B.; Latombe, G.; Schertler, A.; Seebens, H.; Yang, Q.; Winter, M. & Weigelt, P.  et al.​ (2022) 
Nature Ecology & Evolution,.​ DOI: 

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Lenzner, Bernd; Latombe, Guillaume; Schertler, Anna; Seebens, Hanno; Yang, Qiang; Winter, Marten; Weigelt, Patrick ; van Kleunen, Mark; Pyšek, Petr; Pergl, Jan; Essl, Franz
The redistribution of alien species across the globe accelerated with the start of European colonialism. European powers were responsible for the deliberate and accidental transportation, introduction and establishment of alien species throughout their occupied territories and the metropolitan state. Here, we show that these activities left a lasting imprint on the global distribution of alien plants. Specifically, we investigated how four European empires (British, Spanish, Portuguese and Dutch) structured current alien floras worldwide. We found that compositional similarity is higher than expected among regions that once were occupied by the same empire. Further, we provide strong evidence that floristic similarity between regions occupied by the same empire increases with the time a region was occupied. Network analysis suggests that historically more economically or strategically important regions have more similar alien floras across regions occupied by an empire. Overall, we find that European colonial history is still detectable in alien floras worldwide.
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Nature Ecology & Evolution 
Fakultät für Forstwissenschaften und Waldökologie ; Burckhardt-Institut ; Abteilung Biodiversität, Makroökologie und Biogeographie ; Campus-Institut Data Science 



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