González-Moreno P., Pino J., Carreras D., Basnou C., Fernández-Rebollar I., Vilà M. (2013) Quantifying the landscape influence on plant invasions in Mediterranean coastal habitats. Landscape Ecology. 28: 891-903.LinkDoi: 10.1007/s10980-013-9857-1
Landscape pattern might be an important determinant of non-native plant invasions because it encompasses components influencing the availability of non-native plant propagules and disturbance regimes. We aimed at exploring the relative role of patch and landscape characteristics, compared to those of habitat type and regional human influence on non-native plant species richness. For this purpose, we identified all non-native plant species in 295 patches of four coastal habitat types across three administrative regions in NE Spain differing in the degree of human influence. For each patch, we calculated several variables reflecting habitat patch geometry (size and shape), landscape composition (distribution of land-cover categories) and landscape configuration (arrangement of patches). The last two groups of variables were calculated at five different spatial extents. Landscape composition was by far the most important group of variables associated with non-native species richness. Natural areas close to diverse and urban landscapes had a high number of non-native species while surrounding agricultural areas could buffer this effect. Regional human influence was also strongly associated with non-native species richness while habitat type was the least important factor. Differences in sensitivity of landscape variables across spatial extents proved relevant, with 100 m being the most influential extent for most variables. These results suggest that landscape characteristics should be considered for performing explicit spatial risk analyses of plant invasions. Consequently, the management of invaded habitats should focus not only at the stand scale but also at the highly influential neighbouring landscape. Prior to incorporate landscape characteristics into management decisions, sensitivity analyses should be taken into account to avoid inconsistent variables. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.
Rojas C., Pino J., Basnou C., Vivanco M. (2013) Assessing land-use and -cover changes in relation to geographic factors and urban planning in the metropolitan area of Concepción (Chile). Implications for biodiversity conservation. Applied Geography. 39: 93-103.LinkDoi: 10.1016/j.apgeog.2012.12.007
The conservation of biodiversity in Latin American metropolitan areas is threatened by the intense land-use and -cover change. Assessing the overall biodiversity changes in entire regions faces with the traditional lack of consistent biodiversity data. This work aims at contributing to this assessment through a set of major pressures to biodiversity defined from land-use and -cover changes, and evaluating their extent, distribution and correlations with geographical variables. The study was performed in the framework of the Metropolitan Urban Plan of Concepción (MUPC, Chile). Land-use and -cover maps were obtained through image classification for the years 2000 and 2010, before and after the MUPC approval, and combined in a land-use and -cover change (LUCC) map. A set of pressures to biodiversity (natural and artificial forestation, deforestation, agricultural abandonment and expansion, and urbanization) was obtained from reclassifying the LUCC map. The correlations of these pressures with a set of geographical variables were assessed using canonical ordination methods. Finally, a preliminary forecast analysis of the effects of the MUPC was performed by combining the land-use and -cover map of 2010 with the urban-extension areas of the plan.Results showed that, in only 10 years, 57% of the Concepción Metropolitan Area (CMA) was affected by land-use and -cover changes, and 48% was affected by the pressures to biodiversity. Artificial forestation and deforestation were the dominant pressures, followed by agricultural abandonment and urbanization. The geographical distribution of pressures during the 2000-2010 period also contributed to affect the conservation of biodiversity and the sustainable management of the CMA. Indeed, natural forestation occurred close to urbanization, thus threatening the ecological integrity of native forests, while artificial forestation, deforestation and agricultural abandonment took place in steeply areas thus increasing landslide risk. Despite urbanization was not the most relevant pressure in the short studied period, urban development planned in the MUPC would determine an overall increase of 60% in the built-up area of the CMA, mostly affecting brushwood and forest plantations but also native forest and wetlands. Implications of these results for the strategic environmental assessment (SEA) and the sustainable management of Latin American metropolis are finally discussed. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.
Basnou C, Iguzguiza J, Pino J (2012) The role of past and present landscape on plant invasion in the Mediterranean coast. NEOBIOTA 2012 Halting Biological Invasions in Europe: from Data to Decisions, 7th European Conference on Biological Invasions. Pontevedra. 12-14 Septembre. (comunicació oral).
Andreu J, Pino J, Basnou C, Guardiola M, Ordóñez JL (2012) Les espècies exòtiques de Catalunya. Resum del projecte EXOCAT 2012. http://www20.gencat.cat/docs/DAR/MN_Medi_natural/MN10_Fauna_salvatge_autoctona/Fauna_invasora_medi_natural/EXOCAT_2012_def.pdf
Pino J, Basnou C (2012) Anàlisi en el marc del SITxell dels canvis en el paisatge (1956-2005) i de la seva repercussió en la conservació dels espais naturals protegits de la província de Barcelona. Informe inèdit. Diputació de Barcelona. Area d’Espais Naturals.
Parcerisas L., Marull J., Pino J., Tello E., Coll F., Basnou C. (2012) Land use changes, landscape ecology and their socioeconomic driving forces in the Spanish Mediterranean coast (El Maresme County, 1850-2005). Environmental Science and Policy. 23: 120-132.LinkDoi: 10.1016/j.envsci.2012.08.002
A set of landscape metrics is used to study the long-term environmental transformation of a typical coastal Mediterranean area from 1850 to 2005. Our figures show a dramatic environmental deterioration between 1950 and 2005. The main proximate drivers of this landscape degradation are the effects of urban sprawl on former agricultural areas located in the coastal plains, together with the abandonment and reforestation of hilly slopes intercepted by low-density residential areas, highways, and other linear infrastructures. Then, a statistical redundancy analysis (RDA) is carried out to identify certain ultimate socioeconomic and political drivers of these environmental impacts. The results confirm, from a quantitative perspective, our main hypothesis that some ultimate geographical endowments and socioeconomic or political drivers have determined land cover changes which, in turn, have altered both structural and functional landscape properties. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.
Arianoutsou M., Delipetrou P., Celesti-Grapow L., Basnou C., Bazos I., Kokkoris Y., Blasi C., Vilà M. (2010) Comparing naturalized alien plants and recipient habitats across an east-west gradient in the Mediterranean Basin. Journal of Biogeography. 37: 1811-1823.LinkDoi: 10.1111/j.1365-2699.2010.02324.x
Aim: To investigate alien plant species invasion levels in different habitats and alien species traits by comparing the naturalized flora in different areas of the same biogeographical region. Location: Spain, Italy, Greece and Cyprus. Methods: Comparison of floristic composition, species traits and recipient habitats of naturalized alien neophytes across an east-west gradient comprising four countries in the European Mediterranean basin. Results: A total of 782 naturalized neophytes were recorded; only 30 species were present in all four countries. Although floristic similarity is low, the four alien floras share the same patterns of growth form (mostly herbs), life cycle (mostly perennials) and life form (mostly therophytes, hemicryptophytes and phanerophytes). The majority of the recipient habitats were artificial. Wetlands were the natural habitats, with the highest numbers of naturalized species. Floristic similarity analyses revealed: (1) the highest floristic similarity between Italy and Spain, both of which were more similar to Greece than to Cyprus; (2) two groups of floristic similarity between habitat categories in each country (Greece-Cyprus and Italy-Spain); (3) a higher degree of homogenization in the plant assemblages in different habitats in Greece and Cyprus and a lower degree of homogenization in those in Italy and Spain; and (4) a higher degree of homogenization in artificial and natural fresh-water habitats than in the other natural habitats. Main conclusions: The floristic similarity of naturalized neophytes between the four countries is low, although the overall analysis indicates that the western group (Italy-Spain) is separated from the eastern group (Greece-Cyprus). Similar patterns emerged regarding the life-history traits and recipient habitats. The artificial habitats and the natural wet habitats are those that are invaded most and display the greatest homogenization in all four countries. Coastal habitats display a lower degree of homogenization but a high frequency of aliens. Dry shrubs and rocky habitats display a lower degree of homogenization and a low frequency of aliens. © 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Gassó N., Basnou C., Vilà M. (2010) Predicting plant invaders in the Mediterranean through a weed risk assessment system. Biological Invasions. 12: 463-476.LinkDoi: 10.1007/s10530-009-9451-2
Risk assessment schemes have been developed to identify potential invasive species, prevent their spread and reduce their damaging effects. One of the most promising tools for detecting plant invaders is the weed risk assessment (WRA) scheme developed for Australia. Our study explores whether the Australian WRA can satisfactorily predict the invasion status of alien plants in the Mediterranean Basin by screening 100 invasive and 97 casual species in Spain. Furthermore, we analysed whether the factors taken into account in the WRA are linked to invasion likelihood (i.e., invasion status) or to impacts. The outcome was that 94% of the invasive species were rejected, 50% of the casual species were rejected and 29% of them required further evaluation. The accuracy for casuals is lower than in other studies that have tested non-invasive (i.e., casuals or non-escaped) alien species. We postulate that low accuracy for casual species could result from: (1) an incorrect "a priori" expert classification of the species status, (2) a high weight of the WRA scores given to potential impacts, and (3) casual species being prone to becoming invasive when reaching a minimum residence time threshold. Therefore, the WRA could be working as a precaution early-warning system to identify casual species with potential to become invasive. © 2009 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
Vilà M., Basnou C., Pyšek P., Josefsson M., Genovesi P., Gollasch S., Nentwig W., Olenin S., Roques A., Roy D., Hulme P.E. (2010) How well do we understand the impacts of alien species on ecosystem services? A pan-European, cross-taxa assessment. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. 8: 135-144.LinkDoi: 10.1890/080083
Recent comprehensive data provided through the DAISIE project (www.europe-aliens.org) have facilitated the development of the first pan-European assessment of the impacts of alien plants, vertebrates, and invertebrates in terrestrial, freshwater, and marine environments - on ecosystem services. There are 1094 species with documented ecological impacts and 1347 with economic impacts. The two taxonomic groups with the most species causing impacts are terrestrial invertebrates and terrestrial plants. The North Sea is the maritime region that suffers the most impacts. Across taxa and regions, ecological and economic impacts are highly correlated. Terrestrial invertebrates create greater economic impacts than ecological impacts, while the reverse is true for terrestrial plants. Alien species from all taxonomie groups affect "supporting", "provisioning", "regulating", and "cultural" services and interfere with human well-being. Terrestrial vertebrates are responsible for the greatest range of impacts, and these are widely distributed across Europe. Here, we present a review of the financial costs, as the first step toward calculating an estimate of the economic consequences of alien species in Europe. © The Ecological Society of America.
Vilà M, Basnou C, Pyšek P, Josefsson M, Genovesi P, Gollasch S, Nentwig W, Olenin S, Roques A, Roy D, Hulme P (2009) How well do we understand the impacts of alien species on ecosystem services? A pan-European cross-taxa assessment. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment doi: 10.1890/080083.
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