Through an integrative perspective, LIFE medCLIFFS works in the four key areas that limit the effective management of invasive plants.
LIFE medCLIFFS will develop several tools that will enable to integrate the biodiversity conservation into the market to prevent the introduction of new invasive or potentially invasive plants. This will be done by:
a. Raising awareness on the ornamental and tourism/leisure sectors, as well as the general public.
b. Promoting the updating of the legal framework for the prevention and control of invasive plants.
c. Collaborative development of a consensus list (invasive ornamental species to avoid), a watch list (potentially invasive ornamental species) and a white list (non-invasive ornamental species).
d. Development and promotion of voluntary adherence to a code of conduct and quality label to ensure production, sale and use of ornamental plants that avoids the spread of invasive or potentially invasive plants.
LIFE medCLIFFS will implement two participatory networks to rapidly detect the presence of invasive plants and to monitor the different species detected in priority areas, by:
a. Raising awareness of the local population, tourists and other audiences, and encouraging participation in an online citizen science platform (LIFE medCLIFFS – iNaturalist Local Observers Network), to achieve a minimum of 600 observations/year.
b. Training of 200 volunteers and dynamization of an Expert Volunteer Network to monitor 30 invasive plant species in coastal stretches selected for their high risk of invasion (100 coastal transects, 1 km/transect, twice a year).
LIFE medCLIFFS will improve responsiveness to the evolving distribution of detected invasive plants through:
a. Development of a system for invasion risk assessment and prediction of the spread of invasive plants in Cap de Creus (Carpobrotus spp., Opuntia spp. and Gazania rigens) and Costa Brava (30 potential invasive species), elaborating risk maps that allow prioritizing surveillance and/or control in the areas with the highest risk.
b. Integration of the developed and validated tool for the 1240 habitat at a regional scale (Catalonia).
c. Active search for the potential application of this tool at national and Mediterranean/European level, as well as in other habitats with similar problems.
LIFE medCLIFFS will improve current available protocols or create new ones, depending on the species, for the eradication, control and containment of the most severe invasive plants affecting the 1240 habitat in Cap de Creus, by:
a. Demonstrative application of vertical works and chemical and biological control techniques on ice plant (18 ha Carpobrotus spp.), prickly pear (18 ha Opuntia spp.) and gazania (11 ha Gazania rigens) that compromise the conservation of three endemic species (Limonium geronense, L. tremolsii i Sesseli farrenyi), both in the natural environment and in private gardens.
b. Development and publication of new eradication protocols and a coordinated strategy for actions in private gardens.
c. Transfer of the new protocols to managers of the natural environment, at regional, national and Mediterranean/European level.