During the week of 17-21 July, the XI Congress of Plant Conservation Biology was held in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria under the slogan “Science and conscience: keys to conserve our plant biodiversity”.
Organised by the Spanish Society for Plant Conservation Biology (SEBiCoP), it is a space for meeting and debate between specialists in the topics related to the conservation of flora and vegetation. Among the thematic areas of the congress, one of them was dedicated to invasive species.
In fact, the contributions on biological invasions occupied an entire day of the congress, demonstrating the importance of this topic and the recent boom in the studies being carried out.
LIFE medCLIFFS contributions
The team from the Botanical Institute of Barcelona, both from the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) and the Museum of Natural Sciences of Barcelona (MCNB) presented a total of 4 communications, one oral and three posters, related to the LIFE medCLIFFS project:
LIFE medCLIFFS: un proyecto europeo para la gestión integral de las especies vegetales invasoras en el litoral del NE de Cataluña (España). NNeus Nualart presented the project and its main objectives, highlighting the results achieved after the first 18 months of work. You can listen to the presentation and the question posed about the methodology of the invasion risk analysis in the following vídeo (in Spanish only).
La Costa Brava como foco de invasiones vegetales: novedades corológicas fruto de los primeros pasos del proyecto LIFE medCLIFFS. Carlos Gómez-Bellver presented in the express poster session those allochthonous plants that were found for the first time in the Costa Brava thanks to the preparatory work of the network of volunteers, carried out during the first year of the project. A summary can be found in the following vídeo (in Spanish only)
La red de voluntarios y observadores del proyecto LIFE medCLIFFS, una herramienta eficiente para la detección de plantas invasoras en la Costa Brava. In this poster the two citizen science networks promoted by the LIFE project were presented and data on participation and the most outstanding results were given.
LIFE medCLIFFS: A glance at the status of IAPS prevention and monitoring actions. This poster showed on the one hand a first version of the consensus list, i.e. those plants whose commercialisation and use should be avoided due to their high risk of invasion, and on the other hand the results obtained during the surveys carried out among the people of the Costa Brava to evaluate the perception of invasive plants and their impact.
Towards an updated legal framework for invasive plants
As a side events, monographic workshops were held on the first day, one of which was dedicated to invasive species. This workshop, organised by Jordi López-Pujol and Neus Nualart from IBB, Marcos Salas-Pascual from the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and Jairo Patiño from the Institute of Natural Products and Agrobiology of CSIC, was entitled Allochthonous and invasive plants: Creation of new tools and resources for their management, and aimed to create a space for discussion and debate on the basis of a new list of allochthonous and invasive plants that is being carried out in order to update the Spanish Catalogue of Invasive Alien Species published as a Royal Decree in 2013, but which can now be considered obsolete.
Updating the legal framework for invasive plants will allow regulating their use and reducing their spread, objectives clearly in line with those of the LIFE medCLIFFS project.
Text and pictures: Neus Nualart.