Global Naturalized Alien Flora

GloNAF (Global Naturalized Alien Flora) is a living database project about alien plant species and became a synonym for many related projects dealing with all kinds of scientific and policy relevant questions and studies about alien species (also other taxa) and related data.


A short history of GloNAF

The idea for the Global Naturalized Alien Flora (GloNAF) started to develop in November 2011, after some of us realized that researchers still had to use jaggy and incomplete data on global aliens species richness. Initially, it aimed at bringing together data on the number of naturalized alien vascular plant species in different parts of the world. Soon the aim was upgraded to bringing together inventories with the identities of the naturalized alien vascular plant species. During three years (without any funding), the core GloNAF members , searched the internet for naturalized plant inventories, contacted taxonomists and invasion biologists for such inventories, digitized these species lists, and standardized the taxonomic names. In 2015, GloNAF version 1.1 was born. In 2015, the project also got funded for a 3-year period by the German Science Foundation DFG and the Austrian Science Foundation FWF. This will allow us to update and expand GloNAF, and most importantly to further analyse the data.

The results of the first big-picture study
published in Nature (van Kleunen et al. 2015) & see online appendix for published list of naturalized species per region

Please note that the full version of GloNAF data are not yet freely available but the consortium is very much open to project proposals and data requests. Please send us (or one of the core members) an email with your ideas and specific data request.


In total, 13,168 plant species, corresponding to 3.9% of the extant global vascular flora, or approximately the size of the native European flora, have become naturalized somewhere
on the globe as a result of human activity.

North America has the largest number of naturalized alien species, but when one considers the areas of the continents, the degree of naturalization is of similar magnitudes in Europe and Australasia. The Pacific Islands, however, have given their small area, the highest numbers of naturalized species per unit area.



Observed flows of naturalized alien plant species among the TDWG continents. The continents are ordered according to decreasing importance as sources. Only the 50% most important flows are shown. Ant., Antarctica (n 5 293 native species); C, only known from cultivation or novel hybrids (n 5 97 species). Each tick along the outer circle corresponds to 1,000 species. Left (white) parts of inner bars along the circle represent flows of imported species; right (coloured) parts represent exported species.