On the occasion of the Catalan Nature Week (22 May – 5 June of each year) an guided botanical route to Tamariu was organised to get to know the flora of the coastal habitats of the Costa Brava. We set off from the start of the C16 transsect and went down to Cala Pedrosa, so that we could also see the native flora of the Mediterranean pine forests.
During this discovery route, both native and non-native species were recorded in the iNaturalist application, and the opportunity was taken to explain the LIFE medCLIFFS project to the participants and encourage them to become volunteers.
With regard to non-native species, the abundance of Ailanthus altissima and the presence of a large specimen of Senecio pterophorus (see photo), present on the Costa Brava in only a few locations (Tossa –see news-, Tamariu and Santa Cristina d’Aro), should be highlighted. This is a relatively rare species but it is very invasive in other areas of Catalonia, for example in the Besòs basin.
We also saw Delairea odorata, Pittosporum tobira (very abundant in the stream) and Tradescantia fluminensis (see photo), the latter more prone to grow in shady environments or ash groves..
Impact of invasive plants on the native flora
A very significant case of why it is necessary to raise awareness and fight against invasive species was observed first hand on this walk.
As we have already seen in several transsects, Senecio angulatus is more and more frequently observed climbing on specimens of mastic trees (Pistacia lentiscus), a common native plant in the undergrowth of pine and holm oak forests, which it manages to collapse under the weight of the stems and fleshy leaves of the senecio (see image).
Text: Neus Ibáñez and Carlos Gómez-Bellver.