Integrating invasive species policies across ornamental horticulture supply-chains to prevent plant invasions

Philip E. Hulme, Giuseppe Brundu, Marta Carboni, Katharina Dehnen-Schmutz, Regan Early, Stefan Dullinger, Franz Essl, Pablo González-Moreno, Quentin J. Groom, Christoph Kueffer, Ingolf Kühn, Noëlie Maurel, Ana Novoa, Jan Pergl, Petr Pyšek, Hanno Seebens, Rob Tanner, Julia M. Touza, Mark van Kleunen, Laura N H Verbrugge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


1. Ornamental horticulture is the primary pathway for invasive alien plant introductions. We critically appraise published evidence on the effectiveness of four policy instruments that tackle invasions along the horticulture supply-chain: pre-border import restrictions, post-border bans, industry codes of conduct, and consumer education.
2. Effective pre-border interventions rely on rigorous risk assessment and high industry compliance. Post-border sales bans become progressively less effective when alien species become widespread in a region.
3. A lack of independent performance evaluation and of public disclosure, limits the uptake and effectiveness of voluntary codes of conduct and discourages shifts in consumer preference away from invasive alien species.
4. Policy implications. Closing the plant invasion pathway associated with ornamental horticulture requires government-industry agreements to fund effective pre- and post-border weed-risk assessments that can be subsequently supported by widely adopted, as well as verifiable, industry codes of conduct. This will ensure producers and consumers make informed choices in the face of better targeted public education addressing plant invasions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)92-98
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Applied Ecology
Issue number1
Early online date13 Jun 2017
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Research was supported by COST Action TD1209 ?Alien Challenge?. The authors are grateful to John David and Franziska Humair for valuable discussions on this topic. P.P. and J.P. were supported by project no. 14-36079G Centre of Excellence PLADIAS (Czech Science Foundation) and RVO 67985939 (The Czech Academy of Sciences). F.E., S.D., M.C. and M.v.K. were supported by the ERA-Net BiodivERsA through the Austrian Science Fund, German Research Foundation and French National Research Agency. A.N. was supported by the Working for Water (WfW) Programme and the DST-NRF Centre of Excellence for Invasion Biology. H.S. acknowledges support by the DFG (grant SE 1891/2-1).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 The Authors. Journal of Applied Ecology © 2017 British Ecological Society


  • biological invasions
  • biosecurity
  • exotic
  • gardening
  • invasive species
  • legislation
  • non-native
  • nurseries
  • trade
  • weed

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