Biological invasions together with fragmentation and habitat loss are some of the most important problems affecting biodiversity loss. Biological invasions are responsible of enormous impacts at both global and local scale such as native species extinction or native communities homogenization. Thus, it is a major aim to understand the process driving invasions and the distribution pattern of non-native species. During my PhD I intend to get a deeper understanding of plant invasion patterns based on a macroecological approach exploring which factors determine the level of invasion in terrestrial habitats at different spatio-temporal scales.
As general questions I propose: Which habitats are the most invaded by non-native plants? How landscape characteristics in terms of composition and configuration affect plant invasions? How global change will affect habitat invasion? Although a major aim is to have a macro scale analysis in a wide range of habitats, I will focus mainly on coastal and island habitats due to their special vulnerability. In the same way, I will study the general patterns of non-native species richness compared to native species richness and explore in depth the distribution pattern of a model non-native plant, Oxalis pes-caprae, of South African origin but widely distributed in the Mediterranean region.
The results of this project aim to facilitate the management of biological invasions providing new risk analyses approaches such as including the landscape scale and temporal scenarios in the strategies of eradication and prevention of non-native plant species.
More information: www.glezmoreno.es
PhD supervisor: Montse Vilà
González-Moreno, P., Gassó, N., Pino, J., & Vila, M. (2013). Landscape context modulates plant invasions in Mediterranean forest edges. Biological Invasions, 15(3), 547-557. doi:10.1007/s10530-012-0306-x (pdf)
González-Moreno, P., Pino, J., Carreras, D., Basnou, C., Fernández-Rebollar, I., & Vilà, M. (2013). Quantifying the landscape influence on plant invasions in Mediterranean coastal habitats. Landscape Ecology, 28(5), 891-903. (pdf)