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Are island plant communities more invaded than their mainland counterparts?

AuthorsVilà, Montserrat ; Pino, Joan; Montero-Castaño, Ana ; Font, Xavier
Keywordsalien plants
Balearic Islands
community similarity
Mediterranean communities
para-ocea- nic islands
species richness
Issue Date2010
PublisherInternational Association for Vegetation Science
CitationJournal of Vegetation Science 21: 438–446, (2010)
AbstractQuestions: Are island vegetation communities more invaded than their mainland counterparts? Is this pattern consistent among community types? Location: The coastal provinces of Catalonia and the para-oceanic Balearic Islands, both in NE Spain. These islands were connected to the continent more than 5.35 million years ago and are now located o200 km from the coast. Methods: We compiled a database of almost 3000 phytosociological releves from the Balearic Islands and Catalonia and compared the level of invasion by alien plants in island versus mainland commu- nities. Twenty distinct plant community types were compared between island and mainland coun- terparts. Results: The percentage of plots with alien species, number, percentage and cover percentage of alien species per plot was greater in Catalonia than in the Balearic Islands in most communities. Overall, across communities, more alien species were found in the mainland (53) compared to the islands (only nine). Despite these differences, patterns of the level of invasion in communities were highly consistent between the islands and mainland. The most in- vaded communities were ruderal and riparian. Main conclusion: Our results indicate that para- oceanic island communities such as the Balearic Islands are less invaded than their mainland counterparts. This difference reflects a smaller re- gional alien species pool in the Balearic Islands than in the adjacent mainland, probably due to differ- ences in landscape heterogeneity and propagule pressure
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/: 10.1111/j.1654-1103.2009.01166.x
DOI: 10.1111/j.1654-1103.2009.01166.x
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