• forage;
  • forestry;
  • horticulture;
  • invasive plant species;
  • risk assessment


Knowledge of historical factors associated with biological invasions in a region can help identify source regions, vectors and pathways more likely to originate potential invaders as well as prioritize resource allocation for selective prevention and early detection strategies. In Brazil, little is known about the introduction history of many invasive plant species, and analyses of historical factors associated with invasions are lacking. To fill this gap, I used a dataset of 117 invasive alien plants across 13 habitats in Brazil to identify potential patterns of continent of origin, reason for introduction, and to test the hypotheses that (i) more Eurasian species are invasive in Brazil than species native from other continents, that (ii) more horticultural species are invasive in Brazil than species introduced for other reasons, and that (iii) continent of origin and reason for introduction are associated. I found that significantly more invasive plant species in Brazil are native to Africa and Asia, were introduced for horticulture and forage, and are part of the families Poaceae, Fabaceae, and Pinaceae. I also found a significant association between continent of origin and reason for introduction, with more invasive species than average being African forage grasses and Asian agroforestry or ornamental plants. In conclusion, the results suggest that the current invasive alien flora of Brazil results from the combination of patterns of recent human migration waves and deliberate species introductions for technological and commercial reasons. These results can help prioritize invasive species and vectors in prevention, early detection, and control strategies.