Anatoliy A. Khapugin, PhD, Senior Researcher of the Joint Directorate of the Mordovia State Nature Reserve and National Park “Smolny"; Junior Researcher of the Biological Museum of the Mordovia State University; e-mail:

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Khapugin A.A. 2017. Hieracium sylvularum (Asteraceae) in the Mordovia State Nature Reserve: invasive plant or historical heritage of the flora? Nature Conservation Research 2(4): 40–52.

Section Research articles

Protected Areas are considered as one of the most appropriate tool for biodiversity conservation. However, invasion of alien species is one of the main and widely known problems of these territories. Therefore, the timely detection and prevention of the invasive species dispersal is one of the main tasks of researchers in Protected Areas. The European species Hieracium sylvularum was found in the Mordovia State Nature Reserve in 2012. In the following years, new locations have been discovered there. That is why the main traits of the ecology and biology, invasiveness level of the alien species were studied. An investigation of the five known H. sylvularum locations has been carried out in the Mordovia Reserve. Attention has been paid to the age-structure of the populations, the accompanying floras' composition and morphometrical parameters of the generative individuals. The environmental conditions of habitats were revealed and compared using phytoindication methods. The mass and germination of seeds, harvested on different locations, were studied. The results indicate that H. sylvularum is not an invasive species. This alien plant is able to reproduce primarily vegetatively. Probably, the population area can extend gradually on each location. Seed dispersal is difficult due to low germinability of seeds, despite of their significant number per plant. Based on obtained results, dry and semi-dry light lichen-moss-Pinus-forests have a higher invasibility by H. sylvularum. Therefore, perhaps, its new locations may be found especially in these habitats. Annual monitoring of the currently known locations of this alien plant is necessary in the Mordovia State Nature Reserve.


age structure, alien plant, Asteraceae, Hieracium sylvularum, Mordovia State Nature Reserve, morphometrics, phytoindication, population, Protected Area, seed germination

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Received: 04.03.2017

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