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Federal Agency for Nature Conservation
Although tens of thousands of alien species have reached Germany over the centuries, only relatively few of these species - mostly from regions with similar climatic conditions - have been able to spread permanently into nature.
The archaeobiota occurring in Germany (introduced permanently before 1492) include around 300 established species, of which the vascular plants form by far the largest group. Most of the archaeobiota come from the Near East or Central Asia and particularly include the cultural followers from the time of the Neolithic Revolution (8000 BC to 2000 BC).
The number of established neobiota (introduced after 1492) is currently around 900 species, which makes up one percent of a total population of around 74,000 established species in Germany. Plants (neophytes) also form the largest group among the neobiota, with around 470 established species. It is followed by the invertebrates and vertebrates (neozoa) with a total of around 320 species and the fungi (neomycetes) with almost 100 species.
Until around 1850, the number of neobiota species increased steadily, but only very slowly. For around 170 years, however, there has been a strong increase in the number of new establishments, which is primarily related to the significant increase in global trade and traffic. At the same time, the number of alien species that could only be found sporadically so far increased dramatically. Thus, among the neobiota, around 1,600 plant, around 40 fungus and over 450 animal species are currently considered to be inconsistent. Overall, a high number of unreported cases is to be expected, especially among invertebrates and lower plants and fungi, as these have so far only been insufficiently recorded.
Currently, the occurrence of Neobiota species in Germany is mainly limited by cold winters. This climatic barrier will weaken significantly in the course of climate change, which means that an increased spread of these species is to be expected.
Around ten percent of the established neobiota in Germany endanger biological diversity and are therefore referred to as "invasive". In addition, there are also a large number of invasive species among the inconsistently occurring neobiota, whose complete elimination still appears to be possible.
Interspecific competition for natural resources dominate as the main causes of danger, followed by negative ecosystem effects, predation and disease transmission. The hybridization between alien and native species with the formation of fertile hybrids plays an apparently somewhat lesser role. Up until now, science has rarely considered this cause of danger, so that hybridization may endanger biological diversity in Germany even more than was previously known.
Number of alien species
Invasiveness assessments of neobiota species
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