Authors:
G. BacaroUniversity of Trieste, Via L. Giorgieri 10, 34127 Trieste, Italy

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S. MaccheriniUniversity of Siena, Via P.A. Mattioli 4, 53100 Siena, Italy

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A. ChiarucciAlma Mater Studiorum University of Bologna, Via Irnerio 42, 40126 Bologna, Italy

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A. JentschUniversity of Bayreuth, Universitaetsstrasse 30, D-95440 Bayreuth, Germany

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D. RocchiniResearch and Innovation Centre, Fondazione Edmund Mach, Via E. Mach 1, 38010 S. Michele all’Adige (TN), Italy

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D. TorriCNR-IRPI, Istituto di Ricerca per la Protezione Idrogeologica, Via Madonna Alta 126, 06128 Perugia, Italy

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M. GioriaThe Czech Academy of Sciences, Zámek 1, CZ-252 43 Průhonice, Czech Republic

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E. TordoniUniversity of Trieste, Via L. Giorgieri 10, 34127 Trieste, Italy

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S. MartellosUniversity of Trieste, Via L. Giorgieri 10, 34127 Trieste, Italy

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A. AltobelliUniversity of Trieste, Via L. Giorgieri 10, 34127 Trieste, Italy

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R. OttoUniversidad de La Laguna, La Laguna, 38206 Tenerife, Spain

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C. G. EscuderoUniversidad de La Laguna, La Laguna, 38206 Tenerife, Spain

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S. Fernández-LugoUniversidad de La Laguna, La Laguna, 38206 Tenerife, Spain

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J. M. Fernández-PalaciosUniversidad de La Laguna, La Laguna, 38206 Tenerife, Spain

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J. R. ArévaloUniversidad de La Laguna, La Laguna, 38206 Tenerife, Spain

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Invasion by alien plant species may be rapid and aggressive, causing erosion of local biodiversity. This is particularly true for islands, where natural and anthropogenic corridors promote the rapid spread of invasive plants. Although evidence shows that corridors may facilitate plant invasions, the question of how their importance in the spread of alien species varies along environmental gradients deserves more attention. Here, we addressed this issue by examining diversity patterns (species richness of endemic, native and alien species) along and across roads, along an elevation gradient from sea-level up to 2050 m a.s.l. in Tenerife (Canary Islands, Spain), at multiple spatial scales. Species richness was assessed using a multi-scale sampling design consisting of 59 T-transects of 150 m × 2 m, along three major roads each placed over the whole elevation gradient. Each transect was composed of three sections of five plots each: Section 1 was located on the road edges, Section 2 at intermediate distance, and Section 3 far from the road edge, the latter representing the “native community” less affected by road-specific disturbance. The effect of elevation and distance from roadsides was evaluated for the three groups of species (endemic, native and alien species), using parametric and non-parametric regression analyses as well as additive diversity partitioning. Differences among roads explained the majority of the variation in alien species richness and composition. Patterns in alien species richness were also affected by elevation, with a decline in richness with increasing elevation and no alien species recorded at high elevations. Elevation was the most important factor determining patterns in endemic and native species. These findings confirm that climate filtering reflected in varying patterns along elevational gradients is an important determinant of the richness of alien species (which are not adapted to high elevations), while anthropogenic pressures may explain the richness of alien species at low elevation.

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Community Ecology
Language English
Size A4
Year of
Foundation
2000
Volumes
per Year
1
Issues
per Year
3
Founder Akadémiai Kiadó
Founder's
Address
H-1117 Budapest, Hungary 1516 Budapest, PO Box 245
Publisher Akadémiai Kiadó
Springer Nature Switzerland AG
Publisher's
Address
H-1117 Budapest, Hungary 1516 Budapest, PO Box 245.
CH-6330 Cham, Switzerland Gewerbestrasse 11.
Responsible
Publisher
Chief Executive Officer, Akadémiai Kiadó
ISSN 1585-8553 (Print)
ISSN 1588-2756 (Online)

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