This study investigates the distribution and conservation status of plant species in lentic wetlands of Mediterranean islands. Field data on vascular macrophytes were collected from the online national databases of the “Conservation of the island wetlands of the Mediterranean Basin” (MedIsWet). A comprehensive inventory of wetlands was conducted, and information on the main anthropogenic impacts and conservation priorities was compiled. In addition to all vascular hygro- and hydrophytes, we retained information on those species typically adapted to environments with intermittent or temporary wetness. A significant knowledge gap regarding the distribution and conservation of plant species in Mediterranean wetlands was found. A lower endemism rate was observed particularly in coastal wetlands. However, approximately 25% of species, mainly with relatively wide distribution, were identified as endangered or with unknown conservation status. Including all macrophytes adapted to seasonal wetness is crucial when considering wetland conservation efforts. The research emphasised the importance of considering diverse wetland types, including seasonal and permanent, natural and artificial, for effective plant conservation. Artificial wetlands emerged as potential habitats with considerable biodiversity conservation value. This study provides a comprehensive inventory of wetlands and valuable insights into the distribution, ecology, and conservation relevance of aquatic macrophytes in Mediterranean islands. The research enhances our understanding of biogeographic patterns and processes, offers critical information for the management and conservation of Mediterranean island wetlands, and presents a replicable approach that can be applied to other wetland contexts.

Plant distribution and conservation in mediterranean islands’ lentic wetlands: there is more than aquatic species

Fois M.;Cuena-Lombrana A.
;
Marignani M.;Bacchetta G.
2024-01-01

Abstract

This study investigates the distribution and conservation status of plant species in lentic wetlands of Mediterranean islands. Field data on vascular macrophytes were collected from the online national databases of the “Conservation of the island wetlands of the Mediterranean Basin” (MedIsWet). A comprehensive inventory of wetlands was conducted, and information on the main anthropogenic impacts and conservation priorities was compiled. In addition to all vascular hygro- and hydrophytes, we retained information on those species typically adapted to environments with intermittent or temporary wetness. A significant knowledge gap regarding the distribution and conservation of plant species in Mediterranean wetlands was found. A lower endemism rate was observed particularly in coastal wetlands. However, approximately 25% of species, mainly with relatively wide distribution, were identified as endangered or with unknown conservation status. Including all macrophytes adapted to seasonal wetness is crucial when considering wetland conservation efforts. The research emphasised the importance of considering diverse wetland types, including seasonal and permanent, natural and artificial, for effective plant conservation. Artificial wetlands emerged as potential habitats with considerable biodiversity conservation value. This study provides a comprehensive inventory of wetlands and valuable insights into the distribution, ecology, and conservation relevance of aquatic macrophytes in Mediterranean islands. The research enhances our understanding of biogeographic patterns and processes, offers critical information for the management and conservation of Mediterranean island wetlands, and presents a replicable approach that can be applied to other wetland contexts.
2024
Aquatic macrophytes
Indicator species
Island biogeography
Lentic waterbodies
Moisture indicator value
Plant conservation
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11584/394263
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