Since coastal dunes are one of the most vulnerable landscapes in Europe, their maintenance requires specific conservation and monitoring programs. In this paper, the coastal dune systems of two natural parks located in central Italy were analysed aiming at: (1) assessing diversity patterns of all vascular species, endemic and alien taxa in plant communities along the coast-to-inland gradient; (2) comparing these patterns between coastal sections characterised by different dynamical processes (accreting, stable and erosive coasts); (3) testing the differences induced by the methodological approach used to characterise these patterns. Twenty-one transects were randomly positioned perpendicular to the shoreline on the whole coastal area (30 km in length) and the full spectrum of plant communities was sampled. Patterns of plant diversity was assessed using spatially explicit methods, namely Spatial Constrained Rarefaction (SCR), able to avoid the confounding effect of spatial autocorrelation. Results showed that species richness varied significantly between plant communities along the coast-to-inland gradient with the highest values at level of mobile dunes and transition dunes. Species richness was significantly higher in stable coastal dunes than those found in accreting and in erosive dunes. In fact, sand dynamics (accumulation as well as erosion) creates periodic vegetation disturbances affecting composition variability and succession. SCR methodology avoided overestimation in species richness when compared to classical rarefaction curves. Our findings pinpointed that coastal plant communities create a highly spatially structured mosaic in which mobile dunes represent the highest compositional heterogeneity. Local managers are encouraged to consider these results for planning adequate conservation strategies.

Quantifying plant species diversity in coastal dunes: a piece of help from spatially constrained rarefaction

BACARO, Giovanni
2016

Abstract

Since coastal dunes are one of the most vulnerable landscapes in Europe, their maintenance requires specific conservation and monitoring programs. In this paper, the coastal dune systems of two natural parks located in central Italy were analysed aiming at: (1) assessing diversity patterns of all vascular species, endemic and alien taxa in plant communities along the coast-to-inland gradient; (2) comparing these patterns between coastal sections characterised by different dynamical processes (accreting, stable and erosive coasts); (3) testing the differences induced by the methodological approach used to characterise these patterns. Twenty-one transects were randomly positioned perpendicular to the shoreline on the whole coastal area (30 km in length) and the full spectrum of plant communities was sampled. Patterns of plant diversity was assessed using spatially explicit methods, namely Spatial Constrained Rarefaction (SCR), able to avoid the confounding effect of spatial autocorrelation. Results showed that species richness varied significantly between plant communities along the coast-to-inland gradient with the highest values at level of mobile dunes and transition dunes. Species richness was significantly higher in stable coastal dunes than those found in accreting and in erosive dunes. In fact, sand dynamics (accumulation as well as erosion) creates periodic vegetation disturbances affecting composition variability and succession. SCR methodology avoided overestimation in species richness when compared to classical rarefaction curves. Our findings pinpointed that coastal plant communities create a highly spatially structured mosaic in which mobile dunes represent the highest compositional heterogeneity. Local managers are encouraged to consider these results for planning adequate conservation strategies.
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
s12224-016-9249-9.pdf

non disponibili

Tipologia: Documento in Versione Editoriale
Licenza: Digital Rights Management non definito
Dimensione 662.41 kB
Formato Adobe PDF
662.41 kB Adobe PDF   Visualizza/Apri   Richiedi una copia

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11368/2848168
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 9
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 7
social impact