Alien plants represent a significant threat to species diversity and composition in natural habitats. Nevertheless, little is known about the dynamic of the invasion process and how its effects on native species change over time. In this study, we explored vegetation changes that occurred in invaded coastal dune habitats over the last 10–15 years (2005–2020), particularly addressing impacts on alien and diagnostic species. To monitor temporal trends, we used data resulting from a revisitation study. After detecting overall changes in alien species occurrence and cover over time, 127 total plots were grouped into plots experiencing colonization, loss, or persistence of alien species. For these three categories, we compared historical and resurveyed plots to quantify changes in native species composition (using the Jaccard dissimilarity index) and to measure variations in diagnostic species cover. The number of alien species doubled over time (from 6 to 12) and two species, Yucca gloriosa and Agave americana, strongly increased their cover (+5.3% and +11.4%, respectively). Furthermore, plots newly invaded appeared to record the greatest changes in both native and diagnostic species. Our results suggest the need for regular monitoring actions to better understand invasion processes over time and to implement effective management strategies in invaded coastal dune habitats.

Exploring Temporal Trends of Plant Invasion in Mediterranean Coastal Dunes

Marzialetti, Flavio;Carranza, Maria Laura;
2021-01-01

Abstract

Alien plants represent a significant threat to species diversity and composition in natural habitats. Nevertheless, little is known about the dynamic of the invasion process and how its effects on native species change over time. In this study, we explored vegetation changes that occurred in invaded coastal dune habitats over the last 10–15 years (2005–2020), particularly addressing impacts on alien and diagnostic species. To monitor temporal trends, we used data resulting from a revisitation study. After detecting overall changes in alien species occurrence and cover over time, 127 total plots were grouped into plots experiencing colonization, loss, or persistence of alien species. For these three categories, we compared historical and resurveyed plots to quantify changes in native species composition (using the Jaccard dissimilarity index) and to measure variations in diagnostic species cover. The number of alien species doubled over time (from 6 to 12) and two species, Yucca gloriosa and Agave americana, strongly increased their cover (+5.3% and +11.4%, respectively). Furthermore, plots newly invaded appeared to record the greatest changes in both native and diagnostic species. Our results suggest the need for regular monitoring actions to better understand invasion processes over time and to implement effective management strategies in invaded coastal dune habitats.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11695/102679
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