Perennial dry grassland communities, vital for plant biodiversity conservation in the Mediterranean, often harbor rare and endangered species. However, these habitats face threats, including the invasion of alien species. Cenchrus setaceus, a highly invasive grass, is spreading in the Mediterranean region. Historical records and observations document its establishment and invasiveness across various Italian regions. This study investigates the impact of C. setaceus on native grasslands dominated by Hyparrhenia hirta. We assessed the impact of C. setaceus invasion on plant biodiversity in Sicily and southern Italy, and we identified and characterized plant species’ composition using Ellenberg indicator values. The intention to analyze species richness, diversity, and ecological indicators is also emphasized. Starting from the use of the phytosociological method, multivariate analysis and Ellenberg indicator values to assess the impact of C. setaceus on grasslands composition were considered. There are several similarities and differences in diversity, floristic composition, and ecological traits between the two grassland types. A deep comparison with central European studies and evaluation of the impact of C. setaceus on species richness and community dynamics in Mediterranean habitats were concluded. Although C. setaceus is invading native grasslands, it does not drastically reduce species richness. The ecological implications of the invasion are explored, urging ongoing monitoring and collaborative efforts for effective conservation. The importance of interdisciplinary cooperation is highlighted to address the threat of invasive species and sustain the biodiversity of Mediterranean grasslands.

Musarella C.M., Sciandrello S., Domina G. (2024). Competition between alien and native species in xerothermic steno-Mediterranean grasslands: Cenchrus setaceus and Hyparrhenia hirta in Sicily and southern Italy. VEGETOS [10.1007/s42535-024-00871-x].

Competition between alien and native species in xerothermic steno-Mediterranean grasslands: Cenchrus setaceus and Hyparrhenia hirta in Sicily and southern Italy

Domina G.
Ultimo
2024-04-23

Abstract

Perennial dry grassland communities, vital for plant biodiversity conservation in the Mediterranean, often harbor rare and endangered species. However, these habitats face threats, including the invasion of alien species. Cenchrus setaceus, a highly invasive grass, is spreading in the Mediterranean region. Historical records and observations document its establishment and invasiveness across various Italian regions. This study investigates the impact of C. setaceus on native grasslands dominated by Hyparrhenia hirta. We assessed the impact of C. setaceus invasion on plant biodiversity in Sicily and southern Italy, and we identified and characterized plant species’ composition using Ellenberg indicator values. The intention to analyze species richness, diversity, and ecological indicators is also emphasized. Starting from the use of the phytosociological method, multivariate analysis and Ellenberg indicator values to assess the impact of C. setaceus on grasslands composition were considered. There are several similarities and differences in diversity, floristic composition, and ecological traits between the two grassland types. A deep comparison with central European studies and evaluation of the impact of C. setaceus on species richness and community dynamics in Mediterranean habitats were concluded. Although C. setaceus is invading native grasslands, it does not drastically reduce species richness. The ecological implications of the invasion are explored, urging ongoing monitoring and collaborative efforts for effective conservation. The importance of interdisciplinary cooperation is highlighted to address the threat of invasive species and sustain the biodiversity of Mediterranean grasslands.
23-apr-2024
Settore BIO/03 - Botanica Ambientale E Applicata
Musarella C.M., Sciandrello S., Domina G. (2024). Competition between alien and native species in xerothermic steno-Mediterranean grasslands: Cenchrus setaceus and Hyparrhenia hirta in Sicily and southern Italy. VEGETOS [10.1007/s42535-024-00871-x].
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10447/636689
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