Book review

Research output: Contribution to journalBook reviewProfessional


This book is a checklist of over 450 plant species world-wide, that have been identified as invasive. The author includes all species that are invasive in natural and semi-natural ecosystems and, according to McNeely (2001), are agents of change and threaten native biological diversity. The documentation on each species consists of one page, which contains notes on geographic distribution and status of invasiveness in that region (native, introduced but not invasive, invasive or unclear status). Descriptions on growth habit, seed and flower morphology, ecology and control and a large set of references are also included. That in itself sums it up. The book is a very extensive and certainly impressively documented checklist of a large number of ¿environmental weeds¿ on our globe. To some extent, this information is of course nowadays also accessible via internet, but the author has certainly gone beyond an average google effort, by producing a large well documented database. Particularly, the notes on geographical distribution as well as on growth form are useful. As a reference work it is thus valuable and highly recommended for University and College Libraries. However, the book also has some flaws. Limiting the descriptions of species to one page only, also limits the total presented information per species. For additional background information one must refer to the cited references, not all of which may be easily to obtain. Moreover, the species are cited in alphabetic order and readers interested in taxonomic relationships among invasive plant species may take some time to extract the information manually. Most of all it seems a pity, that the book does not come with a searchable CD-ROM, something that should be remedied in a next edition. Having noted this, of great value is the use of the clear definition of invasiveness confining it to the true invaders with a high competitive ability. Thus, the information is not only useful for those involved in scientific research but also particularly for colleagues working in invasive plant pest control agencies. The price may however be prohibitive for most private individuals and students. This could be remedied by a cheaper paperback edition. All in all, the book remains a welcome addition on the subject
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)472-472
Number of pages1
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2006


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