Zigmantas Gudžinskas, Lukas Petrulaitis

New alien taxa of the genus Cornus (Cornaceae) recorded in Lithuania and Latvia

Abstract Plants of the genus Cornus are valued for their ornamental qualities, are often grown in gardens, parks, or other public plantings, and form various shelterbelts. This increases the likelihood that these bird-dispersed plants will escape from their sites. This paper provides information on the first record of C. mas in Lithuania in 2021 at two sites. This species is currently considered a casual alien species, but may become locally naturalised in the future. This study confirmed that C. sericea is widespread in Lithuania, and the oldest herbarium specimen of the species was collected in 1997. Cornus sericea, like C. alba, is naturalised and potentially invasive in Lithuania. The alien subspecies of C. sanguinea (C. sanguinea subsp. australis) was found for the first time in Lithuania and Latvia in 2018. Available data show that this subspecies is naturalised in both countries, and its abundance in some areas in Lithuania indicates that it may become an invasive plant. The paper discusses dispersal vectors, occupied habitats, and the potential for spreading three alien Cornus taxa.

Doi https://doi.org/10.35513/Botlit.2021.2.6

Keywords casual species, dispersal, distribution, escaped species, habitats, naturalised species, naturalisation

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