Narrow-leaved Ragwort (Senecio inaequidens)

Biological control and management of invasive alien plants

MSc student: Kerstin Albrecht (2011; University of Rostock)

Narrow-leaved ragwort is an invasive alien plant introduced to Europe with wool transports from South Africa about hundred years ago. It is currently rapidly spreading across Europe. In a research facility at Silwood Park (UK), we have installed an experiment on the effects of herbivory and competition on S. inaequidens. Although the main results of the establishment phase have been published, some plants have survived from 2002 until today and are still producing inflorescences even though growing in intact British grassland. It will be fascinating to see if and how this plant will survive and reproduce over long-term periods.


Senecio inaequidens


Selected publications:

Scherber C., Crawley M.J., Porembski S. (2003) The effects of herbivory and competition on the invasive alien plant Senecio inaequidens (Asteraceae). Diversity and Distributions 9: 415-426, Blackwell Publishing, Oxford.

Scherber, C., Crawley M.J., Porembski S. (2004) Insect herbivory and plant competition studies on the invasive alien plant Senecio inaequidens (Asteraceae) under laboratory conditions. In: Kuehn, I. & Klotz, S. (eds.) Biological Invasions - Challenges for Science. Neobiota 3: 41-52, Berlin.


The experiments conducted at Silwood Park (UK) in 2002 have also been documented in the Flora of Berkshire, written by Michael J. Crawley, FRS

Book cover "The flora of Berkshire"