Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

The impact of Acacia saligna invasion on Italian coastal dune EC habitats.

Abstract

Alien species can represent a threat to several ecosystems because they can alter species relationships and ecosystem function. In Italy, Acacia saligna is a major invader and it forms dense stands in coastal environments. We analyze the impact of A. saligna in Italian Mediterranean dune systems. We randomly sampled coastal dune vegetation and investigated its floristic composition with ordination techniques. We compared species richness in invaded and non-invaded plots with rarefaction curves and analyzed the frequency of focal and ruderal species. A. saligna invaded Mediterranean scrub (habitats 2250* and 2260) and coastal Pinus dune wood (habitat 2270*) and it is particularly prevalent in sunny areas of habitat 2270*. We observed an increase in ruderal species and a decrease in focal species in the invaded plots of habitat 2270*. We suggest that more open and disturbed areas are more prone to A. saligna invasion.