Biodiversity Science ›› 2003, Vol. 11 ›› Issue (3): 223-230.doi: 10.17520/biods.2003029

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The distribution characteristics and invasive route of Cabomba caroliniana in China

DING Bing-Yang, YU Ming-Jian, JIN Xiao-Feng, YU Jian, JIANG Wei-Mei, DONG KeFeng   

  1. 1 College of Life Sciences,Zhejiang University,Hangzhou 310012
    2 Xiaoshan Middle School of Zhejiang Province,Hangzhou 311200
  • Received:2002-12-25 Revised:2003-04-13 Online:2003-05-20
  • DING Bing-Yang

Cabomba caroliniana is a perennial aquatic plant which was originally distributed in North and South America. During investigation in wild fields, it has been found to be a naturalized species. Many actual surveys have been carried out in eastern, southern and central China, including over 300 investigation plots in more than 80 counties (cities) of 10 provinces (municipalities). The results showed that 67 spots had cabomba. At present, the distribution of cabomba in China is restricted to networks of rivers and small lakes in the Hangjiahu Plain (N. Zhejiang), the Ningshao Plain (N.Zhejiang), the drainage area of Taihu Lake (S. Jiangsu), and Diangshanhu (W. Shanghai), with the range of latitude from 29°33′7″ N to 31°35′2″ N. C. caroliniana often occurs in small rivers and lakes whereever the main water bodies are fit for its habitation. Considering that its seeds lack mature embryos and the fronds are susceptible to dehydration, cabomba was probably introduced as an aquarium ornamental plant into China and then escaped. There are 21 species of aquatic plants, belonging to 18 genera and 8 families, in water bodies inhabited by cabomba, and most of plants co-existing with cabomba are Ceratophyllum demersum(percentage of co-appearance,PC =51.33%),Vallisneria natans( PC =45.05%),Hydrilla verticillata( PC =36.56%) and Potamogeton crispus( PC =35.64%), which implies communities with these plants are easily invaded by cabomba. Cabomba is the dominant species in some investigation spots, while other populations are just beginning to be established, indicating that cabomba is now dispersing further. Considering the similarity of environment and climate of its native place, cabomba could be capable of spreading over a large range in China. If we do not bear the fast painful lessons produced by the Eichhornia crassipes in mind, we will surely repeat the same mistake.

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