Invasive Species and Their Impact on Tropical Forests of Central India: A Review

  • Javid Ahmad Dar
  • K Subashree
  • Somaiah Sundarapandian
  • Purabi Saikia
  • Amit Kumar
  • P. K. Khare
  • S. Dayanandan
  • Mohammed Latif KhanEmail author


Tropical forests are the richest biodiversity hotspots and are under immense natural and anthropogenic pressures that lead to biodiversity loss. One such cause is alien plant invasion that alters the native forest stand structure and composition and disrupts the vital ecosystem functions. Central India, which mainly spans across the three states, viz. Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and some parts of Maharashtra, is well-known for its sprawling tropical deciduous forests, which are also no less immune to the present-day pressures, including the plant invasion. Alien invasive plants arrive via several pathways and possess unique traits that help them to surpass the barriers in the new habitats, where many influential factors might operate upon them. Once established, they may profoundly impact the invaded ecosystem. Most of the studies from Central India have been focused on floristics, forest structure, impact of disturbances, etc., and relatively few studies have addressed plant invasion. Overall, there are 179 invasive taxa in Central India, mostly from the Asteraceae (17.3%) and Fabaceae (14.5%) families. Majority of them are from Tropical America (52%), and most are herbs (69%). An outline of the most common top ten Central Indian invaders has been presented. Climate change might influence invasive plants, and constant monitoring and modelling is required to understand invasive species dynamics for effective management. Invasive alien species are to be tended with extreme caution and smart and novel approaches of putting them to use might help in better management for controlling them. This review will also provide a conceptual basis for improving our general understanding on invasive species and their impact on tropical forest ecosystems.


Alien species Plant invasion Introduction pathway Native habitats Climate change Management 



We thank the anonymous reviewers for their constructive comments on a previous version of this review. The first author is thankful to Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB), Department of Science and Technology, New Delhi, for funding under National Post-Doctoral Fellowship Scheme (Ref. No.: PDF/2015/000447).


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Javid Ahmad Dar
    • 1
    • 2
  • K Subashree
    • 2
  • Somaiah Sundarapandian
    • 2
  • Purabi Saikia
    • 3
  • Amit Kumar
    • 3
  • P. K. Khare
    • 1
  • S. Dayanandan
    • 4
  • Mohammed Latif Khan
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Biodiversity Conservation Lab, Department of BotanyDr. Harisingh Gour Vishwavidyalaya (A Central University)SagarIndia
  2. 2.Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences, School of Life SciencesPondicherry UniversityPuducherryIndia
  3. 3.School of Natural Resource Management, Central University of JharkhandRanchiIndia
  4. 4.Department of Biology, Centre for Structural and Functional GenomicsConcordia UniversityMontrealCanada

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