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Keywords:

  • Biodiversity;
  • Exotic species;
  • Introduced species;
  • Invasion

Abstract. A geographic and taxonomic overview of the non-indigenous plant species of Europe, based on the ‘Flora Europaea’ is given. The flora of Europe includes 1568 species which have either expanded their ranges within Europe under human influence (naturalized European species) or are of non-European origin (exotic species). The latter group consists of 580 species (37%) which form a diverse group in terms of their taxonomic composition and geographic origin. The exotics are represented by 113 families, of which the Compositae, Rosaceae and Gramineae are most important. The ratio of species to families is low. Most exotic species in Europe originate from the Americas and Asia. Countries of southern Europe have a higher relative number of exotics in their non-native flora than northern ones. The species-range size distribution differs between naturalized European and exotic species; the latter are on average more widespread than the naturalized.