Field trip with the volunteers of the LIFE medCLIFFS project in Llançà

Last Saturday 4th of November, a field visit with volunteers was carried out to the N39 and N40 transects in Llançà. The main objective was to solve methodological doubts to monitor invasive species in the transects chosen by the volunteers. We also took the opportunity to identify some of the plants that we were able to observe along the route.

The itinerary began in the northwest of Llançà, on Argilera beach, at the beginning of the N39 transect. Just past Grifeu beach, on a slope by the sea, we found a species that very occasionally appears escaped from gardens, Aloe perfoliata, which had two rosettes of leaves with dried flower buds.

Aloe perfoliata in section N39, a species that we found very occasionally escaped from gardens (photo C. Gómez-Bellver, at iNaturalist).

The walk reached almost the end of the N40 section, before returning to the starting point. During this walk we came across other subspontaneous ornamental species, such as Portulacaria afra (didiederaceae), Crassula tetragona (crassulaceae) and iris ×germanica (iridaceae), or the non-native species of ruderal environments, Mirabilis jalapa (nictaginaceae). This field trip was also useful to observe and comment on several invasive species monitored: Arundo donax (grasses), Agave americana (agavaceae), Carpobrotus spp. and Mesembryanthemum cordifolium (two mesembryanthemaceae), Kalanchoe ×houghtonii (crassulaceae), Oxalis peso-caprae (oxalidalaceae), Senecio angulatus (compositae), Pittosporum tobira (pitosporaceae) and Opuntia ficus-indica (cacti), the latter generally affected by the cochineal bug.

Agave americana in the middle of a carpet of Oxalis peso-caprae in the transect area (photo by iNaturalist user fulgreen, on 15/1/2023 in the north of Grifeu beach).

This field visit had been proposed by a volunteer who will be monitoring three transects in the southeast of Llançà and who was very proactive and asked many questions. This allowed us to review some important concepts of the task of monitoring the species of interest of the project. It must be said that there are still some transects of the northern sector of the Costa Brava to be “sponsored” by a volunteer… join us! You have all the information at Flora

Once the activity was over, as usual, we had lunch, where it was reminded that the next field visit will take place on Saturday 25th November. But in this case, it will be a little different from the usual visits. As we did in September at Mas Caials, we will give an overview of the HIC 1240 habitat. This is made up of a series of singular areas that contain an ecosystem with a strong marine influence where several protected native species grow. However, it is currently under threat, especially due to human impact and invasive species. In this sense, it is important to highlight some endemic species that are under some degree of danger, such as several species of Limonium spp. and especially the small umbellifer Seseli farreny, which is considered to be in danger of extinction. This is the habitat we want to improve during the LIFE medCLIFFS project.

Although the day was grey, and even a little drizzle fell, we were finally greeted by sunshine as a perfect end to a pleasant and profitable visit for all parties. See you soon!

Group picture.




Text: Carlos Gómez-Bellver.