Factsheets of the most important invasive alien plant species of the Natura 2000 habitats of dunes of the N-Adriatic littoral (NE Italy).
Coastal sand dunes are one of the most threatened ecosystems worldwide due to habitat fragmentation and loss, and alien invasion. On the basis of several phytosociological surveys carried out over time along the Venetian coastline, we have compiled a list of the Natura 2000 habitats and a list of the alien plant taxa present therein. Three plant communities were found on mobile dunes, corresponding to three Natura 2000 habitats: 1210 (plant community: Salsolo-Cakiletum), 2110 (Sporobolo-Agropyretum), 2120 (Echinophoro-Ammophiletum). On fixed dunes there are 8 plant communities, corresponding to seven Natura 2000 habitats: 2130* (Tortulo-Scabiosetum), 2160 (Junipero-Hippophaetum), 2230 (Sileno-Vulpietum), 2250* (Viburno-Phillyreetum and Erico-Osyridetum), 2270* (pine woods), 62A0 (Teucrio-Chrysopogonetum) and 9340 (Vincetoxico-Quercetum). There are 31 alien species on these 10 habitats and the most frequent are Amorpha fruticosa, Oenothera stucchii, Ambrosia psilostachya, Xanthium orientale subsp. italicum, Erigeron canadensis, Senecio inaequidens, Cenchrus longispinus, and Spartina versicolor. For each of the most frequent species an explanatory file with information about the place of origin, period and pathways of introduction, present status for Italy and Veneto region, preferred habitats and some notes on the ecology and impacts has been provided.