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Montjuïc Mountain (Barcelona, Spain): A "natural" laboratory for plant invasions?
|Authors:||Farelo, Paula; Gómez-Bellver, Carlos; Montserrat, Josep M. ; Pyke, Samuel; López-Pujol, Jordi ; Ibáñez Cortina, Neus|
|Citation:||XIX International Botanical Congress (2017)|
|Abstract:||Invasive alien species are currently considered the second most important direct driver of global biodiversity loss. Urbanization is a major factor promoting biological invasions worldwide, because (i) cities contain heterogeneous, highly disturbed habitats that provide ecological niches for alien species (where native species cannot be able to adapt to the new conditions), and (ii) cities often act as gateways to alien invasions through airports, harbors, highways, and train stations, whereas gardens, urban parks and other tracts of suitable habitat (streetscapes, vacant lots, front and backyards, courtyards, balconies, terraces, rooftops, fences, hedges, walls, and so on) can become propagule sources for spreading to natural areas. We have chosen one of the main European cities, Barcelona, as a case study to illustrate how such a city can become a major pathway for the introduction and establishment of plant invasions. Specifically, we have selected Montjuïc, an urban mountain (the top is at 183 m) of ca. 3.6 km2 (the core area) that is located in the sea front, just behind the commercial port (albeit there is an expressway and a railway between the mountain and the docks). Whereas the northern and western outskirts are occupied by residential areas, most of the mountain is occupied by public gardens and urban parks (including the Barcelona Botanical Garden), cultural (museums, art galleries, and music and theater halls) and sport facilities (the mountain was home of a large part of the 1992 Olympic venues). There are also many historical assets, such as a military fortress (dating from 18th century), Roman and Iberian quarries, and even remains from the Paleolithic period, which illustrate the deep transformation of the mountain. Together with the fact that the mountain is visited yearly by nearly 20 million people, all these factors make Montjuïc a candidate to be a ¿natural¿ laboratory for plant invasions. We present herein the first results of a project aimed to obtain a comprehensive catalogue of the mountain¿s alien flora. The study area was divided into Operational Geographic Units (OGUs), which were UTM (Universal Transverse Mercator) squares of 0.25 km2, and extensive fieldwork was carried out (combined with database/literature search) to identify all alien plant species thriving in the mountain, both as casual and naturalized (that is, fully established). Areas with evident management, such as botanic gardens, have been avoided for obvious reasons. Vouchers for some species have been deposited in the BC Herbarium, with special focus on floristic novelties and the potentially most harmful species. At the completion of the catalogue, the following information will be available for all the identified alien species: (i) distribution within Montjuïc Mountain (by OGUs); (ii) habit (annual, biennial or perennial); (iii) life form (herb, shrub, or tree); (iv) habitat type in Montjuïc; (v) native range; and (vi) whether they are listed as alien in any of the reference catalogues at regional or state levels.|
|Description:||Trabajo presentado en el XIX International Botanical Congress (IBC 2017), celebrado en Shenzhen (China) del 23 al 29 de julio de 2017|
|Appears in Collections:||(IBB) Comunicaciones congresos|