Constructed wetlands (CW) are considered a successful tool to treat wastewater in many countries: their success is mainly assessed observing the rate of pollution reduction, but CW can also contribute to the conservation of ecosystem services. Among the many ecosystem services provided, the biodiversity of CW has received less attention. The EcoSistema Filtro (ESF) of the Molentargius-Saline Regional Natural Park is a constructed wetland situated in Sardinia (Italy), built to filter treated wastewater, increase habitat diversity, and enhance local biodiversity. A floristic survey has been carried out yearly 1 year after the construction of the artificial ecosystem in 2004, observing the modification of the vascular flora composition in time. The flora of the ESF accounted for 54 % of the whole Regional Park’s flora; alien species amount to 12 %; taxa of conservation concern are 6 %. Comparing the data in the years, except for the biennium 2006/2007, we observed a continuous increase of species richness, together with an increase of endemics, species of conservation concern, and alien species too. Once the endemics appeared, they remained part of the flora, showing a good persistence in the artificial wetland. Included in a natural park, but trapped in a sprawling and fast growing urban context, this artificial ecosystem provides multiple uses, by preserving and enhancing biodiversity. This is particularly relevant considering that biodiversity can act as a driver of sustainable development in urban areas where most of the world’s population lives and comes into direct contact with nature.

Can Artificial Ecosystems Enhance Local Biodiversity? The Case of a Constructed Wetland in a Mediterranean Urban Context

MALAVASI, VERONICA;MARIGNANI, MICHELA
2016

Abstract

Constructed wetlands (CW) are considered a successful tool to treat wastewater in many countries: their success is mainly assessed observing the rate of pollution reduction, but CW can also contribute to the conservation of ecosystem services. Among the many ecosystem services provided, the biodiversity of CW has received less attention. The EcoSistema Filtro (ESF) of the Molentargius-Saline Regional Natural Park is a constructed wetland situated in Sardinia (Italy), built to filter treated wastewater, increase habitat diversity, and enhance local biodiversity. A floristic survey has been carried out yearly 1 year after the construction of the artificial ecosystem in 2004, observing the modification of the vascular flora composition in time. The flora of the ESF accounted for 54 % of the whole Regional Park’s flora; alien species amount to 12 %; taxa of conservation concern are 6 %. Comparing the data in the years, except for the biennium 2006/2007, we observed a continuous increase of species richness, together with an increase of endemics, species of conservation concern, and alien species too. Once the endemics appeared, they remained part of the flora, showing a good persistence in the artificial wetland. Included in a natural park, but trapped in a sprawling and fast growing urban context, this artificial ecosystem provides multiple uses, by preserving and enhancing biodiversity. This is particularly relevant considering that biodiversity can act as a driver of sustainable development in urban areas where most of the world’s population lives and comes into direct contact with nature.
Molentargius-Saline Regional Natural Park; Multi-temporal; Sardinia; Vascular plants; Ecology; Global and Planetary Change; Pollution
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11584/185465
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