Paleoecological trajectories of non-native vegetation on islands

Anna Walentowitz1, Manuel Steinbauer2, Bernd Lenzner3, Franz Essl3, Nichola Strandberg4, Álvaro Castilla Beltrán5, Simon Connor6, Simon Haberle6, Carl Beierkuhnlein1, Sandra Nogué7
1 Chair of Biogeography, University of Bayreuth
2 Bayreuth Center of Ecology and Environmental Research (BayCEER) & Bayreuth Center of Sport Science (BaySpo)
3 Bioinvasions, Global Change, Macroecology Group, Department of Botany and Biodiversity Research, University of Vienna
4 University of Southampton
5 University of La Laguna
6 ANU College of Asia & the Pacific, Australian National University
7 CREAF Center for Ecological Research and Forestry Applications Barcelona

O 3.2 in Afternoon Session

13.10.2022, 14:15-14:30, H 36

Current changes in island vegetation are caused among others by the introduction and spread of non-native plant species. While current invasion statuses are well-known and insular biodiversity is being monitored, a paleoecological perspective on the timing, trajectories, and magnitude of vegetational change on islands caused by non-native plants is largely missing. By matching long-term low-resolution pollen data with short-term high-resolution plant data, we quantify the changes caused by non-native plants on islands globally during the last 5000 years. In general, non-native plants have been present in many systems but started to increase massively only during the last 1000 years, without any signs of slowing down. Thus, although humans have altered the vegetation on islands for centuries and millennia, the recent increase in non-native plants is unprecedented. We show that palynological data can be used to obtain a historic perspective on the development of non-native vegetation on islands.

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