Multi-year temporal studies are invaluable tools for monitoring changes in biodiversity through time. However, their applications in coastal ecosystems are still scarce. We investigated temporal trends in coastal dunes analyzing a set of 858 randomly-sampled georeferenced relevés performed between 2002 and 2015 along Central Italy’s sandy coastlines. Specifically, we explored changes in species richness and cover of targeted sandy habitats, we investigated trends in the cover of selected psammophilous native species and we assessed patterns of invasion by means of regression techniques. We observed a significant decrease in species richness and cover of the dune grasslands habitat. The species-level analysis confirmed a negative trend for two characteristic species of dune grasslands, Cutandia maritima and Medicago littoralis, while revealing a similar decline for Crucianella maritima and for Ammophila arenaria subsp. australis, key species of mobile dunes. The most striking trends emerged analyzing patterns in the cover of an invasive alien species, Carpobrotus sp., which showed a concerning increase in shifting dunes. In conclusion, our analyses reveal concerning changes involving dune grasslands, and at the same time hint at “early warnings” of degradation processes traceable in shifting dunes.

Sperandii, M.G., Prisco, I., Acosta, A.T.R. (2018). Hard times for Italian coastal dunes: insights from a diachronic analysis based on random plots. BIODIVERSITY AND CONSERVATION, 27(3), 633-646 [10.1007/s10531-017-1454-1].

Hard times for Italian coastal dunes: insights from a diachronic analysis based on random plots

SPERANDII, MARTA GAIA
;
Prisco, Irene;Acosta, Alicia Teresa Rosario
2018-01-01

Abstract

Multi-year temporal studies are invaluable tools for monitoring changes in biodiversity through time. However, their applications in coastal ecosystems are still scarce. We investigated temporal trends in coastal dunes analyzing a set of 858 randomly-sampled georeferenced relevés performed between 2002 and 2015 along Central Italy’s sandy coastlines. Specifically, we explored changes in species richness and cover of targeted sandy habitats, we investigated trends in the cover of selected psammophilous native species and we assessed patterns of invasion by means of regression techniques. We observed a significant decrease in species richness and cover of the dune grasslands habitat. The species-level analysis confirmed a negative trend for two characteristic species of dune grasslands, Cutandia maritima and Medicago littoralis, while revealing a similar decline for Crucianella maritima and for Ammophila arenaria subsp. australis, key species of mobile dunes. The most striking trends emerged analyzing patterns in the cover of an invasive alien species, Carpobrotus sp., which showed a concerning increase in shifting dunes. In conclusion, our analyses reveal concerning changes involving dune grasslands, and at the same time hint at “early warnings” of degradation processes traceable in shifting dunes.
2018
Sperandii, M.G., Prisco, I., Acosta, A.T.R. (2018). Hard times for Italian coastal dunes: insights from a diachronic analysis based on random plots. BIODIVERSITY AND CONSERVATION, 27(3), 633-646 [10.1007/s10531-017-1454-1].
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11590/330342
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