Non-native plant species in the Atlantico Department Coastal Dune Systems, Caribbean of Colombia: a new management challenge.
Although coastal dunes exhibit typical vegetation which involves species adapted to extreme environmental conditions, the mobilization and colonization by non-native species represents a challenge in its conservation and management. In this work, eight dune systems located along the Atlantico Department, Caribbean coast of Colombia were surveyed, finding within them the presence of two plant species recognized as invasive: Calotropis procera and Cryptostegia madagascariensis. The impacts of these two invasive plant species can be significant at all ecological levels in the dune systems. The above demands the implementation of urgent management actions. Eradication seems the optimal control alternative, however preventing invasive plant species from infesting new areas is more cost-effective and efficient than trying to restore the system after it is infested. Data presented in this paper is the first step in the future development of an early detection program in the study area.