Open access peer-reviewed chapter

Invasive Alien Flora in and around an Urban Area of India

By Samarendra Narayan Mallick, Nirius Xenan Ekka, Sanjeet Kumar and Sudam C. Sahu

Submitted: April 23rd 2019Reviewed: July 19th 2019Published: August 26th 2019

DOI: 10.5772/intechopen.88725

Downloaded: 460


Invasive alien species are non-native exotic organisms which can disperse and destroy the biodiversity and change the ecosystem. The present study deals with the comprehensive list of invasive alien plants (IAPs) of Rourkela Steel City, Sundargarh, Odisha, with background information on family, habit, and nativity. A total of 165 invasive alien species under 132 genera and 59 families have been recorded. From the nativity study, among 25 geographic regions, the majority of invasive plants reported from American continent (62%) with 103 species. While in life form analysis, the herbs (114 species) are dominant, followed by trees (23 species), shrubs (22 species), climber (5 species), and undershrub (1 species). Ageratum conyzoides, Blumea lacera, Cassia alata, Lantana camara, Cassia tora, Parthenium hysterophorus, Xanthium sp., Datura sp., Cardamine scutata, Argemone mexicana, Grangea maderaspatana, Hyptis suaveolens, and Gnaphalium polycaulon are some noxious species found during the study. Parthenium hysterophorus is the highly noxious plant which is grown everywhere after Ageratum conyzoides and Lantana camara. Most of the invasive species are locally used for medicinal purposes as well as for food, fuel, and fodder purposes. A better planning and reporting of the spread of new plants in the area are needed for early identification and control of the invasive alien plant species in different seasons. Since the flora of Sundargarh districts has not been beneficially explored, this study will help in the compilation of flora of Sundargarh district and Rourkela in particular. Further studies will reveal the allelopathic effects on different agricultural crops as well as the different ethnobotanical values.


  • invasive alien plants
  • biodiversity
  • utility
  • urban area
  • India

1. Introduction

Human beings depend on plants for his daily needs for which several numbers of plants are used to fulfill their purposes. Sometimes to fulfill human needs, plants are introduced intentionally by humans or accidentally from one region to another new region which is nonnative. These introduced plant species are called alien species or exotic species. The alien species invade the new region after well adapted to the environment. The plants which are introduced by human intentionally or accidentally by migration from its natural habitat to another new habit and their localities are known as alien, introduced, and exotic, originated from foreign or nonnative species [25, 33]. They have the potential to grow in any environmental conditions and are easily invasive to the new environment. Preston and Williams [22] stated that “Invasive alien plant species (IAPs)” are grown in such a way that they become as more dangerous to sustainable development. As a result, we are facing the great challenge of biodiversity loss all over the globe. These group of plant species act as the main cause for threat to the native biological diversity. They show various effects on the environment and economy of nonnative ecosystems. The exotic or alien plant species not only show negative impacts, but also they have much economic benefits. Now invasion alien species are cultivated to provide food, medicine, fuel, or fodder to local communities [9, 29]. The international trade of the products is helpful for introduction of these invasive alien species. Globally the introduction of IAPs leads to the huge loss of biodiversity and agriculture crops and health problems like respiratory illness [19].

Invasion of plants creates serious problems to the ecosystems by changing the structure, composition, and function of natural ecosystem [15, 17]. The rapid reproduction and growth rate, high dispersal ability, physiological adaptations to new conditions, and ability to survive on various ecosystems are the common characteristics of invasive plants. The IAPs have the ability to associate with human beings very easily. When the invasive plants colonized to grow in new areas, it can change the soil structure and composition of that area. It is reported that the agricultural lands are more threatened by IAPs because they are introduced by the crop seeds, garden plants, and wind breakers [24].

The first and most important step for effective and proper management of IAPs is to collect the baseline data about their invasion status, growth form, and life cycle. Accurately distinguishing between native and alien species is required not only when developing conservation and vegetation management plans but also for improving our understanding of the different components of biodiversity [21]. Rourkela, one of the major steel industrial centers of India and regarded as the industrial capital of Odisha, is situated in the north-eastern part of the state. Rourkela is located in Sundargarh district about 245 km from the shoreline of Bay of Bengal. It is located at 20° 12′ North latitude and 84° 53′ longitude, at the elevation about 219 m above the mean sea level. Due to better communication, abundance of natural mineral resources such as iron ore, limestone, dolomite, water, and other infrastructures in and around Rourkela is the main reason for the starting of industrialization since 1956. Studies on flora of Sundargarh district have not been fully explored. A few reports on flora of Sundargarh district [1, 2, 11, 13, 14] have been published. The study of literatures reveals that survey pertaining to major invasive plant species has not been reported earlier. It is high time to undertake complete survey of the flora of Sundargarh district with special emphasis on IAPs which may not be available in the future due to rapid industrialization. Many species may become endangered in the process of development, and they should be recorded and identified along with their usefulness before their extinction during rapid industrialization. Keeping in view, an attempt has been made in the present study to provide the baseline information on the invasive plant species in and around of Rourkela City of Sundargarh district. It will be helpful in preparation of district flora of Sundargarh.


2. Materials and method

During January 2012 to April 2019, intensive floristic surveys were undertaken in different areas of Rourkela Steel City (Figure 1) in such a way that each location could be studied in every season of the year. A comprehensive list of invasive alien plant species (IAPs) and the interaction with local inhabitants were made to collect the information regarding the various uses of IAPs of the area. Periodic collection of IAPs was made from each locality followed by identification using the available floras [6, 30]. The nativity, history, diversity, sources, and mode of introduction of these alien invasive plants were noted from the available literatures. The native ranges of the species were recorded from published literatures [3, 4, 5, 10, 12, 15, 16, 18, 19, 20, 24, 25, 26, 27, 31, 32, 36, 37, 38]. Plants were categorized according to their life forms as herb, undershrub, shrub, climber, and tree as well as their habit-wise as annual, biennial, and perennial. The studied habitats were wasteland, cultivated field, riverbank, pond bank, home garden, forest, roadside, etc. The economic importance of the IAPs was collected from the local inhabitants and surveyed literatures.

Figure 1.

Location map of Rourkela Steel City of Sundargarh district, Odisha, India.

3. Results and discussion

A total of 165 taxa of invasive alien plant species belonging to 132 genera and 59 families have been recorded from the Rourkela Steel City of Odisha (Table 1). The number of dicotyledonous IAPs found is 149 under 118 genera and 50 families, while 15 species of monocotyledons are found under 14 genera and 8 families. From the study, it was found that 114 species (69%) were herbs followed by trees with 23 species (14%), shrub 22 species (13%), climbers 5 species (3%), and undershrubs 1 species (1%) (Figure 2). The life form pattern distribution showed that herbaceous species (114 spp.) were dominant than other life forms (Table 2). The herbs can easily grow in any condition of environment and dominate to others. The habit distribution analysis showed that 56% (92 spp.) were annuals and 44% (73 spp.) were perennials. Table 3 showed the total number of IAPs recorded from the Rourkela Steel City and distributed under different families. From the taxonomic distribution of alien flora, Asteraceae (24 spp.) showed dominant impact among the invasive alien species in this region followed by Caesalpiniaceae (11 spp.), Convolvulaceae (9 spp.), Euphorbiaceae (8 spp.), Amaranthaceae (8 spp.), Poaceae (6 spp.), and Solanaceae (8 spp.), and Fabaceae, Malvaceae, and Verbenaceae represented only 5 spp. each (Table 4). These 10 dominant families contributed 89 species (54%) of the total invasive plant species studied (Figure 3). The genera Cassiaand Ipomoeashowed the highest number (six spp. each) followed by Cleome, Euphorbia, Alternanthera, Ludwigia, etc.

Sl no.Plant speciesFamilyLife formHabitNativityUse
1Abelmoschus esculentusMoench.MalvaceaeShrubPTrop. AfricaV, Ft
2Acacia auriculiformisA. Cunn. ex Benth.MimosaceaeTreePAustraliaM, Ave, Sf
3Acanthospermum hispidumDC.AsteraceaeHerbABrazilM
4Aerva lanata(L.) Juss. ex. Schult.AmaranthaceaeHerbPMadagascarM
5Aeschynomene indicaL.FabaceaeHerbANorth AmericaFu
6Ageratum conyzoidesL.AsteraceaeHerbATrop. AmericaNox
7Allium cepaL.LiliaceaeHerbAMediterraneanM, V
8Aloe barbadensisMill.LiliaceaeHerbPMediterraneanM
9Alternanthera philoxeroides(Mart.) Griseb.AmaranthaceaeHerbPTrop. AmericaV, M
10Alternanthera pungensKunthAmaranthaceaeHerbPTrop. AmericaV
11Alternanthera sessilis(Linn) DC.AmaranthaceaeHerbPTrop. AmericaV, M
12Amaranthus spinosusL.AmaranthaceaeHerbATrop. AmericaV
13Antigonon leptopusHook. & Arn.PolygonaceaeClimberPTrop. S. AmericaO
14Argemone mexicanaL.PapaveraceaeHerbAS. America (seventeenth cent.)M, Nox
15Bauhinia purpureaL.CaesalpiniaceaeTreePWest IndiesV
16Bidens pilosaL.AsteraceaeHerbATrop. AmericaM, Fo
17Blainvillea acmella(L.) PhilipsonAsteraceaeHerbATrop. America (eighteenth)M
18Blumea lacera(Burm.f.) DC.AsteraceaeHerbATrop. AmericaNox, M
19Borassus flabelliferL.ArecaceaeTreePTrop. AfricaFt, Fu
20Bougainvillea spectabilisWilld.NyctaginaceaeShrubPBrazilO
21Caesalpinia pulcherrima(L.) Sw.CaesalpiniaceaeShrubPTrop. AmericaO
22Calotropis giganteaR. Br.AsclepiadaceaeShrubPTrop. AfricaM
23Calotropis procera(Ait.) R. Br.AsclepiadaceaeShrubPTrop. AfricaM
24Cannabis sativaL.CannabinaceaeUndershrubPCentral AsiaM, Sm, Nar
25Capsicum annuumL.SolanaceaeShrubATrop. AmericaF
26Cardamine scutataL.BrassicaceaeHerbATrop. AmericaNK, Nox
27Cardiospermum halicacabumL.SapindaceaeHerbATrop. AmericaM
28Carica papayaL.CaricaceaeTreePMexicoV
29Cassia alataL.CaesalpiniaceaeShrubPWest IndiesNK, Nox
30Cassia fistulaL.CaesalpiniaceaeTreePPantropicO, M, Sf
31Cassia obtusifoliaL.CaesalpiniaceaeHerbPTrop. AmericaM
32Cassia occidentalisL.CaesalpiniaceaeHerbPS. AmericaM
33Cassia siameaLamkCaesalpiniaceaeTreePSouth East Trop. AsiaFu, Ave
34Cassia toraL.CaesalpiniaceaeHerbAS. America (1824)V, M, Nox
35Casuarina equisetifoliaForster & Forster f.CasuarinaceaeTreePAustraliaFu, Sf
36Catharanthus pusillus(Murr.) G. Don.ApocynaceaeHerbATrop. AmericaNK
37Catharanthus roseus(Linn) G.DonApocynaceaeShrubPWest IndiesM
38Celosia argenteaL.AmaranthaceaeHerbATrop. AfricaV, M
39Chenopodium albumL.ChenopodiaceaeHerbAEuropeV
40Chloris barbataSw.PoaceaeHerbPTrop. AmericaFo, Fu
41Chromolaena odorataL.AsteraceaeHerbATrop. AmericaM
42Chrozophora rottleri(Geisel.) Juss.EuphorbiaceaeHerbATrop. AfricaNK
43Cleome gynandraL.CapparaceaeHerbATrop. AmericaM
44Cleome monophyllaL.CapparaceaeHerbATrop. AfricaV, M
45Cleome rutidospermaDCCapparaceaeHerbATrop. AmericaNK
46Cleome viscosaL.CapparaceaeHerbATrop. AmericaV, M
47Convolvulus nervosusBurm.f.ConvolvulaceaeHerbAEuropeM
48Corchorus aestuansL.TiliaceaeHerbATrop. AmericaFu
49Crotalaria pallidaAitFabaceaeHerbATrop. AmericaFi, Fu
50Crotalaria retusaL.FabaceaeHerbATrop. AmericaFi, Fu
51Croton bonplandianumBaill.EuphorbiaceaeHerbPS. AmericaM
52Cucumis meloL.CucurbitaceaeClimberAIran and N. WestV
53Cuscuta reflexaRoxb.CuscutaceaeHerbAMediterraneanM
54Cynodon dactylon(L.) Pers.PoaceaeHerbPTrop. AmericaM
55Cyperus difformisL.CyperaceaeHerbPTrop. AmericaM
56Cyperus iriaL.CyperaceaeHerbPTrop. AmericaM
57Datura innoxiaMill.SolanaceaeShrubPTrop. AmericaM, Nox
58Datura metelL.SolanaceaeShrubPTrop. AmericaM, Nox
59Delonix regia(Boj.) Raf.CaesalpiniaceaeTreePMadagascarO, Ave, Sf
60Duranta repensL.VerbenaceaeShrubPAmericaO
61Echinochloa colona(L.) LinkPoaceaeHerbATrop. S. AmericaFo
62Echinochloa crus-galliBeauv.PoaceaeHerbATrop. S. AmericaFo
63Eclipta prostrataL.AsteraceaeHerbATrop. America (Bf1824)M
64Eichhornia crassipes(Mart.) Solm.PontederiaceaeHerbPTrop. AmericaSt
65Emilia sonchifolia(L.) DC.AsteraceaeHerbATrop. AmericaV, M
66Eucalyptus citriodoraHook.MyrtaceaeTreePAustraliaM, Fu, Sf
67Euphorbia heterophyllaauct. Non L.EuphorbiaceaeHerbATrop. AmericaO
68Euphorbia hirtaL.EuphorbiaceaeHerbATrop. AmericaM
69Euphorbia pulcherrimaWilld. ex. KlotzEuphorbiaceaeShrubPMexicoO
70Euphorbia thymifoliaL.EuphorbiaceaeHerbPTrop. AmericaNK
71Evolvulus nummulariusL.ConvolvulaceaeHerbPTrop. AmericaM
72Gnaphalium polycaulonPers.AsteraceaeHerbATrop. AmericaNK, Nox
73Gomphrena celosioidesMart.AmaranthaceaeHerbAS. AmericaFo
74Gomphrena globosaL.AmaranthaceaeHerbAAmericaO
75Grangea maderaspatanaL.AsteraceaeHerbATrop. S. AmericaNK, Nox
76Grevillea robustaCunn. ex R.Br.ProteaceaeTreePAustraliaFu, Sf
77Helianthus annuusL.AsteraceaeHerbAAmericaO, Oil
78Heliotropium indicumL.BoraginaceaeHerbAS. AmericaM
79Hibiscus rosa-sinensisL.MalvaceaeShrubPChinaM, O
80Hyptis suaveolens(L.) Poit.LamiaceaeHerbATrop. AmericaM, Nox
81Impatiens balsaminaL.BalsaminaceaeHerbATrop. AmericaO
82Indigofera linnaeiAliFabaceaeHerbATrop. AfricaM
83Ipomoea batatas(L.) Lam.ConvolvulaceaeClimberPTrop. AmericaFt
84Ipomoea carneaJacq.ConvolvulaceaeShrubPTrop. AmericaFu
85Ipomoea hederifoliaL.ConvolvulaceaeHerbATrop. AmericaM
86Ipomoea obscura(L.)Ker-GawConvolvulaceaeHerbPTrop. AfricaNK
87Ipomoea pes-tigridisL.ConvolvulaceaeHerbATrop. East AfricaM
88Ipomoea quamoclitL.ConvolvulaceaeHerbPTrop. AmericaM
89Jatropha gossypifoliaL.EuphorbiaceaeShrubPBrazilM
90Justicia gendarussaBurm.f.AcanthaceaeShrubPChinaM
91Kalanchoe pinnata(Lam.) Pers.CrassulaceaeHerbPTrop. AfricaO, M
92Kigelia pinnataDCBignoniaceaeTreePAfricaO, Ave, Sf
93Lagerstroemia indicaL.LytharaceaeShrubPChinaO
94Lantana camaraL.VerbenaceaeShrubPTrop. AmericaM, Nox
95Leonotis nepetifolia(L.) R.Br.LamiaceaeHerbATrop. AfricaM
96Leucaena leucocephala(Lam.) de Wit.MimosaceaeTreePTrop. AmericaFu, Sf
97Ludwigia adscendens(L.) HaraOnagraceaeHerbATrop. AmericaSb
98Ludwigia octovalvis(Jacq.) RavenOnagraceaeHerbATrop. AmericaM, Sb
99Ludwigia perennisL.OnagraceaeHerbATrop. AmericaM, Sb
100Malvastrum coromandelianum(L.) GarckeMalvaceaeHerbATrop. AmericaM, Fi
101Martynia annuaL.MartyniaceaeHerbATrop. AmericaM
102Mecardonia procumbens(Mill.) SmallVerbenaceaeShrubAT. N. AmericaNK
103Melochia corchorifoliaL.SterculiaceaeHerbATrop. AmericaNK
104Merremia vitifolia(Burm.f.) Hall.f.ConvolvulaceaeHerbATrop. AmericaNK
105Mikania micranthaL.AsteraceaeHerbATrop. AmericaNox
106Mimosa pudicaL.MimosaceaeHerbPBrazilM
107Mirabilis jalapaL.NyctaginaceaeHerbPPeruO, M
108Morus australisPoir.MoraceaeTreePChinaFt
109Nicotiana tabacumL.SolanaceaeHerbAS. AmericaNar, Sm
110Ocimum canumSimsLamiaceaeHerbATrop. AmericaM
111Opuntia stricta(Haw.) Haw.CactaceaeShrubPTrop. AmericaNK
112Oxalis corniculataL.OxalidaceaeHerbAEuropeM
113Parthenium hysterophorusL.AsteraceaeHerbATrop. AmericaNox
114Passiflora foetidaL.PassifloraceaeClimberPTrop. S. AmericaO, M
115Pedalium murexL.PedaliaceaeHerbATrop. AmericaM
116Peltophorum pterocarpum(DC.) Backer ex K.HeyneCaesalpiniaceaeTreePMalayaAve, Sf
117Peperomia pellucida(L.) KunthPiperaceaeHerbATrop. S. AmericaM
118Peristrophe bicalyculata(Retz.) Nees.AcanthaceaeHerbATrop. AmericaNK
119Phoenix sylvestris(L.) Roxb.ArecaceaeTreePTrop. AmericaFt, Fu
120Phyla nodiflora(L.) GreeneVerbenaceaeHerbATrop. AmericaM
121Physalis angulataL.SolanaceaeHerbATrop. AmericaM, Ft
122Physalis minimaL.SolanaceaeHerbATrop. AmericaM, Ft
123Pistia stratiotesL.AraceaeHerbPTrop. AmericaM, St
124Pithecellobium dulce(Roxb.) Benth.MimosaceaeTreePMexicoFt
125Plumeria rubraL.ApocynaceaeTreePS. AmericaO
126Portulaca oleraceaL.PortulacaceaeHerbATrop. S. AmericaM, V
127Portulaca quadrifidaL.PortulacaceaeHerbATrop. AmericaM, V
128Quisqualis indicaL.CombretaceaeClimberPMalayaO
129Rhoeo discolorHance.CommelinaceaeHerbPCentral AmericaO
130Richardia scabraL.RubiaceaeHerbAS. AmericaNK
131Ricinus communisL.EuphorbiaceaeShrubPAfricaM
132Ruellia tuberosaL.AcanthaceaeHerbATrop. AmericaNK
133Saccharum spontaneumL.PoaceaeHerbAT. West AsiaTh, Fu, Fo
134Scoparia dulcisL.ScrophulariaceaeHerbATrop. AmericaM
135Sida acutaBurm.f.MalvaceaeHerbATrop. AmericaM
136Solanum nigrumL.SolanaceaeHerbATrop. AmericaM
137Solanum torvumSw.SolanaceaeShrubPWest IndiesM
138Sonchus asper(L.) HillAsteraceaeHerbAMediterraneanM
139Spathodea campanulataBeauv.BignoniaceaeTreePTrop. AfricaAve, Sf
140Spermacoce articularisL.RubiaceaeHerbATrop. AmericaNK
141Sphaeranthus indicusL.AsteraceaeHerbATrop. AfricaM
142Spilanthes acmella(L.) L.AsteraceaeHerbANorth AmericaM
143Spinacia oleraceaL.ChenopodiaceaeHerbAEuropeV
144Stachytarpheta jamaicensis(L.) Vahl.VerbenaceaeHerbATrop. AmericaM
145Stylosanthes hamataL.FabaceaeHerbATrop. AfricaFo
146Synedrella nodiflora(L.) Gaertn.AsteraceaeHerbAWest IndiesM
147Tagetes erectaL.AsteraceaeHerbAMexicoO, M
148Tagetes patulaL.AsteraceaeHerbAMexicoO, M
149Tamarindus indicaL.CaesalpiniaceaeTreePTrop. AmericaFt
150Tecoma stans(L.) Juss. ex KunthBignoniaceaeTreePAmericaO
151Thevetia peruviana(Pers.) MerrillApocynaceaeTreePTrop. AmericaM
152Thuja orientalisL.CupressaceaeTreePChinaO
153Tribulus terrestrisL.ZygophyllaceaeHerbATrop. AmericaM
154Tridax procumbensL.AsteraceaeHerbPMexicoM
155Triumfetta pentandraA.Rich.TiliaceaeHerbATrop. AmericaM
156Turnera ulmifoliaL.TurneraceaeHerbPTrop. AmericaO
157Typha angustataBory & Chaub.TyphaceaeHerbPTrop. AmericaTh, Fu, Fo
158Urena lobataL.MalvaceaeHerbATrop. AfricaFib, Fu
159Vernonia cinereaL.AsteraceaeHerbAS. AmericaM
160Waltheria indicaL.SterculiaceaeHerbATrop. AmericaM
161Xanthium indicumL.AsteraceaeHerbATrop. AmericaM, Nox
162Xanthium strumariumL.AsteraceaeHerbATrop. AmericaM, Fu, Nox
163Zinnia elegansJacq.AsteraceaeHerbAMexicoO
164Zea maysL.PoaceaeHerbAAmericaF, Fu, Fo
165Ziziphus mauritianaLam.RhamnaceaeTreePChinaFt

Table 1.

List of invasive alien plant species (IAPs) recorded from Rourkela Steel City, Sundargarh, Odisha.

Note: F, food; FT, fruit; O, ornamental; not known; M, medicinal; Fu, fuel; Fib, fiber; V, vegetable; Sp, species; Nox, noxious; Sm, smoking; Co, compost; Sa, sacred plant; Sb, soil binder; Ch, chemical compounds; Ave, avenue; T, thatching; A, annual; P, perennial.

Figure 2.

Habit-wise distribution of invasive alien plant species in Rourkela.

Sl. no.HabitNo. of species

Table 2.

Habit of invasive alien plant species in Rourkela Steel City of Odisha.

Sl. no.NativityNo. of species
2Central America1
3North America2
4South America10
5Tropical America77
6Tropical South America7
7Tropical North America1
9Tropical Africa15
10Tropical East Africa1
13West Indies5
19Iran North West1
22South East Tropical Asia1
23Tropical West Asia1
24Central Asia1

Table 3.

Different geographic nativities of the invasive alien plants.

Sl. no.FamilyNo. of species

Table 4.

Total number of IAPs’ distributed family-wise species in Rourkela Steel City.

Figure 3.

Family-wise distribution of invasive alien plants in Rourkela Steel City of Odisha.

The contribution of different geographical regions or the nativity of invasive alien species is shown in Table 3. A total of 25 native geographical regions of IAPs were recorded. The major geographical regions or nativities of IAPs were Tropical America 77 species, Tropical South America 7 spp., Central America 1 spp., South America 10 spp., Tropical Africa 15 spp., Mexico 7 spp., and Europe 4 spp. IAPs are having negative impacts on the ecosystem and biodiversity of that region. Besides they are also found to be useful to local inhabitants. From the survey of literatures and interaction with local people about the IAPs, several plant species were used for different purposes like medicine, vegetables, fuels, fodders, etc. The study revealed that 87 spp. are used as medicine, while 18 spp. are used as fuel, 9 spp. used for fodders, and 30 spp. used for ornamental and avenue purposes. A total of 28 spp. were used as edible in the form of fruit, vegetables, oil, etc. Several species like Argemone mexicana, Euphorbia hirta, Mimosa pudica, Ocimum canum, Calotropisspp., Croton bonplandianus, Catharanthus roseus, etc. were mostly common medicinal plants used by local people, kabiraj and baidyas, while plants like Cassia siamea, Leucaena leucophloea, Kigelia pinnata, etc. were used for avenue plantation and social forestry. Cannabis sativaand Nicotiana tabacumwere not only used for medicines, but also they are used for smoking as narcotic products. Alien species have been classified into naturalized and noxious species by various workers [8, 28, 39]. Many reports say different alien species become noxious after naturalized. Ageratum conyzoides, Blumea lacera, Cassia alata, Lantana camara, Cassia tora, Parthenium hysterophorus, Xanthiumsp., Daturasp., Cardamine scutata, Argemone Mexicana, Grangea maderaspatana, Hyptis suaveolens, and Gnaphalium polycaulonwere some noxious species found during the study. Parthenium hysterophoruswas one of the highly noxious and abundantly grown plant species next to Ageratum conyzoidesand Lantana camera.

From the taxonomical study, Asteraceae was the most dominant invasive family which dominated all other species due to its adaptive nature of seeds in different areas. The plant species have high reproductive potential to produce minute seeds so fast which disperse in new area through wind, air, and water. From the literature study, it was found that Asteraceae was more invasive in other areas of India [5, 7, 8, 23, 31, 32, 34, 35, 37] and also all over the world. Mallick et al. also found Asteraceae as the most dominating group of weeds among all other plant family groups. Mikania micrantha, a climber of Asteraceae, can climb trees and walls easily which inhibit the growth of the trees as well as cover the whole area so rapidly. Parthenium hysterophoruswas another noxious plant of this family which could cause black fever disease. It grows very rapidly as its seeds disperse and grow so fast in new area which become invasive later. Annuals showed dominance over perennials among the invasive species as annuals complete life cycle and produce seeds to disperse in a short period in a year. Habit-wise distribution showed that herbaceous plants become more invasive than shrubs, climbers, and trees. Herbs have more tolerance to harsh condition and have great viability to grow in any condition which helps to become more invasive than others. Kumar et al. [11] found herbs as the more dominant plant group found in Rourkela flora.

4. Conclusion

The invasive species are nonnative and exotic which are introduced intentionally for different purposes and sometimes accidentally introduced to a new area. The invasive species are more adapted to new areas by rapidly growing and reproducing more biomass than the native plant biodiversity. As a result, they can change the native ecosystem and become threats to the native ecosystem. IAPs also change the quality of soil, nutrient capacity, as well as the biodiversity present inside the soil. After invasion some invasive plants become narrow and noxious which affects the ecosystem with extinction of species and also affects the human health. Public involvement can be used and needed for early detection and reporting of infestations of the spread of new weeds as invasive species in the area. People should aware about the invasive species and its allelopathic effects on the environment and human health. Invasive species are now becoming more serious causing sustainable use of biodiversity and their impacts on invaded environment. Invasive alien plant species diversity in Rourkela of Sundargarh, Odisha, is a threat for the present flora due to their aggressive growth, colonizing ability, and adaptability. After invasion, their population growth increases rapidly in the new ecosystem; as a result they encroach crop fields, wastelands, and barren lands. The increased rate of invasion by alien species directly affects the agricultural economy and the biodiversity. Hence, eradication of IAPs should be done urgently. So awareness among local people is one of the methods to control IAPs. Besides this, the utilization of hidden medicinal potential can make IAPs beneficial to the people of the region. Moreover, the effect of IAPs in the economy, biodiversity, and human health is yet to be assessed. This study is based on diversity of invasive plant species found in different areas of Rourkela. Since the flora of Sundargarh district has not been beneficially and fully explored, this study will help in the compilation of flora of Sundargarh district and Rourkela in particular. Further studies reveal the allelopathic effects of IAPs on different plants, agricultural crops, and their ethnobotanical values.


Authors acknowledge the people of Rourkela for their kind cooperation and for sharing valuable information during the study.

© 2019 The Author(s). Licensee IntechOpen. This chapter is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

How to cite and reference

Link to this chapter Copy to clipboard

Cite this chapter Copy to clipboard

Samarendra Narayan Mallick, Nirius Xenan Ekka, Sanjeet Kumar and Sudam C. Sahu (August 26th 2019). Invasive Alien Flora in and around an Urban Area of India, Diversity and Ecology of Invasive Plants, Sudam Charan Sahu and Sanjeet Kumar, IntechOpen, DOI: 10.5772/intechopen.88725. Available from:

chapter statistics

460total chapter downloads

More statistics for editors and authors

Login to your personal dashboard for more detailed statistics on your publications.

Access personal reporting

Related Content

This Book

Next chapter

Invasive Species in the Amazon

By Wanessa Almeida da Costa, Cinthya Elen Pereira de Lima, Sérgio Henrique Brabo de Sousa, Mozaniel Santana de Oliveira, Fernanda Wariss Figueiredo Bezerra, Jorddy Neves da Cruz, Sebastião Gomes Silva, Renato Macedo Cordeiro, Cintya Cordovil Rodrigues, Antônio Robson Batista de Carvalho, Priscila do Nascimento Bezerra, Pedro Alam de Araújo Sarges, Daniel Santiago Pereira, Antônio Pedro Silva de Souza Filho and Raul Nunes de Carvalho Junior

Related Book

First chapter

The Species Problem, Why Again?

By Igor Ya. Pavlinov

We are IntechOpen, the world's leading publisher of Open Access books. Built by scientists, for scientists. Our readership spans scientists, professors, researchers, librarians, and students, as well as business professionals. We share our knowledge and peer-reveiwed research papers with libraries, scientific and engineering societies, and also work with corporate R&D departments and government entities.

More About Us