SPEZIALE Karina Lilian
Patterns of alien plant invasions in northwestern Patagonia, Argentina
SPEZIALE, K. L. Y EZCURRA, C.
JOURNAL OF ARID ENVIRONMENTS
ACADEMIC PRESS LTD-ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD
Año: 2011 p. 1 - 1
Invasive plant species are a growing concern in many regions of the world, yet little information is available on the effects of habitat type and distance to urban settlements on the ability of alien plants to become established. We studied plant communities from the arid steppes to the Andean forest within two national parks and surroundings, in northwestern Patagonia, Argentina. Alien and native vascular plant species were sampled using 90 x 100 m2 plots and analyzed in relation to both climatic and environmental variables and distance to urban centres. We also compared life-forms of alien and native species. Precipitation and distance to an urban centre were important determinants of alien species community richness and composition, and shrubland sites had significantly more alien species than forest or steppe sites. Alien flora (15% of the species) was composed of a higher proportion of annuals and biennials than native flora. Our results suggest that precipitation, distance to source population, and anthropogenic disturbance influence the invasion process in this region, together with the availability of open niches. This work stresses the importance of monitoring invasive species in natural reserves, and of considering habitat types as well as idiosyncratic characteristics of the non-natives for developing management strategies.