5789 plant species were classified as alien. 2843 originating outside of Europe, according to the researchers and their publication in the journal Preslia. By contrast, in 1980 only 1568 alien species were registered.
Of these, 580 had come from outside Europe. According to the researchers, around six new species arrive in Europe each year on average. This inventory of information about alien species is designed to help developing Europe-wide management strategies and tools of risk assessment to protect biodiversity. New species that bring about long-term changes to ecosystems by e.g. competing with native species, are regarded as one of the greatest threats to biodiversity.The highest numbers of alien plant species were reported from Belgium, the UK and the Czech Republic. The UK, Germany and Belgium have the greatest numbers of naturalized aliens, new species that have been able to establish stable populations. Among the most widespread of the new plant species are Canadian fleabane (Conyza canadensis), Jerusalem artichoke (Helianthus tuberosus) and black locust or false acacia (Robinia pseudoacacia), which all originated in North America. More than three-quarters of all new plant species have been brought to Europe unintentionally.
As part of the EU project DAISIE (Delivering Alien Invasive Species Inventories for Europe), all known alien species in the countries of Europe were documented for the first time. Information on the ecology and spread of alien plants and animals was collected and made available via an online database to anyone with an interest in the subject (http://www.europe-aliens.org/). Research institutes and organisations from 15 nations were involved in the project.
The largest ever conference of ecologists from all over Europe is taking place in Leipzig from 15 to 19 September 2008. Over 1000 participants from more than 30 countries have registered for EURECO-GFOE 2008. The conference is a joint meeting of the European Ecological Federation (EEF) and the Gesellschaft für Ökologie (GfÖ) and is being organised at the Congress Center Leipzig by the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) and the Universities of Halle-Wittenberg and Leipzig. The EEF is the umbrella organisation of the national ecological associations in Europe. Over 8000 ecologists belong to its member associations. The GfÖ is the ecological society of Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
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For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.
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Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.
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Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.
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Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.
Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...
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