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The fast spread of invasive species is leading to a reduction in biodiversity and habitat loss for native species. It is especially important to consider the environmental aspects during greenway planning. Ecological corridors are designed to assure the migration of species between the valuable conservation areas and to reduce the spreading ability of invasive species.

This paper analyses the proportion invasive species on the greenways (ecological corridors) of the Southern Hungarian Great Plain NUTS 2 statistical region, in Hungary. The spreading conditions and dynamics of invasive species were compared inside and outside greenways. The study aims to define the ecological factors that influence the spread of two invasive species: silver berry (Elaeagnus angustifolia) and common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca). Another goal was to prepare the hazard map of invasive species for a study area based on the results. This map can be used to make recommendations for the modification of ecological networks.

Georeferred point based landscape photographs of the EU project LUCAS (Land Use/Cover Area Statistical Survey) were used for our research. LUCAS allows monitoring of environmental changes because of the fieldwork based landscape photographs were taken in every (more than 1000) sample points of the study area. The LUCAS points with a high number of silver berry (Elaeagnus angustifolia) and common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) were easily identified from the photos based on the morphology. The chosen points of the database give good opportunity to examine how large the proportion of invasive species is in the elements of the ecological network (ecological core area, corridor and buffer area) in the Southern Hungarian Great Plain NUTS 2 level statistical region study area. To assess the degrees of hazard the geographical factors influencing the spread of invasive species were examined using digital databases referring to soil, land cover, land cover change and drainage system maps. Based on these analyses the hazard map was prepared considering the above mentioned invasive species. The showed methods and results will be able to add some new useful tools for greenway, and ecological network planning.



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