Native and non-native aquatic plants of South America: comparing and integrating GBIF records with literature data


Lozano V, Chapman DS & Brundu G (2017) Native and non-native aquatic plants of South America: comparing and integrating GBIF records with literature data. Management of Biological Invasions, 8 (3), pp. 443-454.

The Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) is at the moment one of the largest and most widely used biodiversity databases. Nevertheless, there are still some limitations, e.g. in terms of plant species status (native vs. non-native) and geographic resolution of records. At the same time, it is well known that alien plant invasions in inland freshwaters can alter community structure, ecosystem functions and services with significant negative impacts on biodiversity and human activities. We assessed if the GBIF database has a geospatial homogeneous information for native and non-native aquatic plant species for South America and whether or not literature resources not yet digitalized (floras, checklists and other papers) could provide additional information. We selected a set of 40 native and 40 non-native aquatic species. These 80 species included a sub-set of 40 alien species previously evaluated with the USAqWRA scheme (US Aquatic Weed Risk Assessment). Species with non-reliable identification, duplicates of the same collection, records poorly georeferenced were removed from the dataset. New records were manually compiled through classical literature research. All the georeferenced records (GBIF + literature) were used for the mapping and the comparative analysis. As a result, we can conclude that the two datasets provide quite significantly different information and the combination of the two offers new information that would not exist in a single data source. Nevertheless, a careful quality evaluation of the primary information, both in the case of literature and GBIF should be conducted, before the data is used for further analyses.

alien aquatic plants; biodiversity occurrence data; Global Biodiversity Information Facility; ModestR software; risk assessment

Management of Biological Invasions: Volume 8, Issue 3

FundersEuropean Commission
Publication date30/09/2017
Publication date online14/07/2017
Date accepted by journal28/06/2017
PublisherRegional Euro-Asian Biological Invasions Centre Oy (REABIC)