Distributional patterns of endemic, native and alien species along a roadside elevation gradient in Tenerife, Canary Islands

Abstract

Invasion by alien plant species may be rapid and aggressive, causing erosion of local biodiversity. This is particularly true for islands, where natural and anthropogenic corridors promote the rapid spread of invasive plants. Although evidence shows that corridors may facilitate plant invasions, the question of how their importance in the spread of alien species varies along environmental gradients deserves more attention. Here, we addressed this issue by examining diversity patterns (species richness of endemic, native and alien species) along and across roads, along an elevation gradient from sea-level up to 2050 m a.s.l. in Tenerife (Canary Islands, Spain), at multiple spatial scales. Species richness was assessed using a multi-scale sampling design consisting of 59 T-transects of 150 m × 2 m, along three major roads each placed over the whole elevation gradient. Each transect was composed of three sections of five plots each: Section 1 was located on the road edges, Section 2 at intermediate distance, and Section 3 far from the road edge, the latter representing the “native community” less affected by road-specific disturbance. The effect of elevation and distance from roadsides was evaluated for the three groups of species (endemic, native and alien species), using parametric and non-parametric regression analyses as well as additive diversity partitioning. Differences among roads explained the majority of the variation in alien species richness and composition. Patterns in alien species richness were also affected by elevation, with a decline in richness with increasing elevation and no alien species recorded at high elevations. Elevation was the most important factor determining patterns in endemic and native species. These findings confirm that climate filtering reflected in varying patterns along elevational gradients is an important determinant of the richness of alien species (which are not adapted to high elevations), while anthropogenic pressures may explain the richness of alien species at low elevation.

Abbreviations

MIREN:

Mountain Invasion Research Network

PERMANOVA:

Permutational Analysis of Variance

References

  1. Alexander, J.M., Naylor, B., Poll, M., Edwars, P.J. and Dietz, H. 2009. Plant invasions along mountain roads: the altitudinal amplitude of alien Asteraceae forbs in their native and introduced ranges. Ecography 32: 334–344.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Alexander, J.M. and Edwards, P.J. 2010. Limits to the niche and range margins of alien species. Oikos 119: 1377–1386.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Anderson, M.J. 2001. Permutation tests for univariate or multivariate analysis of variance and regression. Can. J. Fish. Aquatic Sci. 58: 626–639.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Anderson, M.J., Gorley, R.N. and Clarke KR. 2008. PERMANOVA+ for PRIMER: guide to software and statistical methods. PRIMER-E, Plymouth, UK.

  5. Arévalo, J.R., Otto, R., Escudero, C., Fernández-Lugo, S., Arteaga, M., Delgado, J. and Fernández-Palacios, J.M. 2010. Do anthropogenic corridors homogenize plant communities at a local scale? A case studied in Tenerife (Canary Islands). Plant Ecol. 209: 23–25.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Arévalo, J.R. and Fernández-Palacios, J.M. 2005. Gradient analysis of exotic Pinus radiata plantations and potential restoration of natural vegetation in Tenerife, Canary Islands (Spain). Acta Oecol. 27: 1–8.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Arteaga, M.A., Delgado, J.D., Otto, R., Fernández-Palacios, J.M. and Arévalo, J.R. 2009. How do alien plants distribute along roads on oceanic islands? A case study in Tenerife, Canary Islands. Biol. Invasions 11: 1071–1086.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Bacaro, G. and Ricotta, C. 2007. A spatially explicit measure of beta-diversity. Community Ecol. 8: 41–46.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Bacaro, G., Rocchini, D., Bonini, I., Marignani, M., Maccherini, S. and Chiarucci, A. 2008. The role of regional and local scale predictors for plant species richness in Mediterranean forests. Plant Biosyst. 142: 630–642.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Bacaro, G., Gioria, M. and Ricotta, C. 2012. Testing for difference in beta diversity from plot-to-plot dissimilarities. Ecol. Res. 27: 285–292.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Bacaro, G., Gioria, M. and Ricotta, C. 2013. Beta diversity reconsidered. Ecol. Res. 28: 537–540.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Barni, E., Bacaro, G., Falzolai, S., Spanna, F. and Siniscalco, C. 2012. Establishing climatic constraints shaping the distribution of alien plant species along the elevation gradient in the Alps. Plant Ecol. 213: 757–767.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  13. Becker, T., Dietz, H., Billeter, R., Buschmann, H. and Edwards, P.J. 2005. Altitudinal distribution of alien plant species in the Swiss Alps. Persp. Plant Ecol. Evol. Syst. 7: 173–183.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. Chiarucci, A., Bacaro, G., Arévalo, J.R., Delgado, J.D. and Fernández-Palacios, J.M. 2010. Additive partitioning as a tool for investigating the flora diversity in oceanic archipelagos. Persp. Plant Ecol. Evol. Syst. 12: 83–91.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  15. Chiarucci, A., Bacaro, G. and Rocchini, D. 2008. Quantifying plant species diversity in a Natura 2000 network: Old ideas and new proposals. Biol. Conserv. 141: 2608–2618.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  16. Chiarucci, A., Bacaro, G., Triantis, A.K. and Fernández-Palacios, J.M. 2011. Biogeographical determinants of pteridiophytes and spermatophytes on oceanic archipelagos. Syst. Biodivers. 9: 191–201.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  17. Clarke, K.R. and Gorley, R.N. 2006. PRIMER V6: user manual/tutorial. PRIMER-E Ltd, Plymouth, UK.

  18. Courchamp, F., Chapuis, J.L. and Pascal, M. 2003. Mammal invaders on islands: impact, control and control impact. Biol. Rev. 78: 347–383.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  19. Crist, T.O. and Veech, J.A. 2006. Additive partitioning of rarefaction curves and species-area relationships: unifying alpha-, beta- and gamma-diversity with sample size and habitat area. Ecol. Lett. 9: 923–932.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  20. Díaz-Díaz, R., Loague, K. and Notario, J.S. 1999. An assessment of agrochemical leaching potentials for Tenerife. J. Contaminant Hydrol. 36: 1–30.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  21. Ebenhard, T. 1988. Introduced birds and mammals and their ecological effects. Swedish Wildlife Res. 13: 1–107.

    Google Scholar 

  22. Evans, K.L., Warren, P.H. and Gaston, K.J. 2005. Species-energy relationships at the macroecological scale: a review of the mechanisms. Biol. Rev. 80: 1–25.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  23. Fernández-Palacios, J.M. 1992. Climatic response of plant species on Tenerife (Canary Island). J. Veg. Sci. 3: 595–602.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  24. Gering, J.C., Crist, T.O. and Veech J.A. 2003. Additive partitioning of species diversity across multiple spatial scales: implications for regional conservation of biodiversity. Conserv. Biol. 17: 488–499.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  25. Gioria, M., Bacaro, G. and Feehan, J. 2010. Identifying the drivers of pond biodiversity: the agony of model selection. Community Ecol. 11: 179–186.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  26. Irl, S.D.H., Steinbauer, M.J., Epperlein, L., Harter, D., Jentsch, A., Pätz, S., Wohlfart, C.H. and Beierkuhnlein, C. 2014. The Hitchhiker’s guide to endemism - biodiversity and endemic species in roadside and natural island vegetation. Biodivers. Conserv. 23: 2273–2287.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  27. Irl, S.D.H., Harter, D.E.V., Steinbauer, M.J., Gallego Puyol, D., Fernández-Palacios, J.M., Jentsch, A. and Beierkuhnlein, C. 2015. Climate vs topography - spatial patterns of plant species diversity and endemism on a high elevation island. J. Ecol. 103: 1621–1633.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  28. Izquierdo, I., Martín, J.L., Zurita, N. and Arechavaleta, M. 2004. Consejería de Medio Ambiente y Ordenación Territorial, Gobierno de Canarias. Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain.

    Google Scholar 

  29. Jakobs, G., Kueffer, C. and Daehler, C.C. 2010. Introduced weed richness across altitudinal gradients in Hawaii: humps, humans and water-energy dynamics. Biol. Invasions 12: 4019–4031.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  30. Jentsch, A. and Beierkuhnlein, C. 2003. Global climate change and local disturbance regimes as interacting drivers for shifting altitudinal vegetation patterns in high mountains. Erdkunde 57: 216–231.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  31. Jost, L. 2007. Partitioning diversity into independent alpha and beta components. Ecology 88: 2427–2439.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  32. Kitayama, K. and Mueller-Dombois, D. 1995. Biological invasion on an oceanic island mountain: Do alien plant species have wider ecological ranges than native species? J. Veg. Sci. 6: 667–674.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  33. Körner, C. 2007. The use of “altitude” in ecological research. Trends Ecol. Evol. 22: 569–574.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  34. Lande, R. 1996. Statistics and partitioning of species diversity, and similarity among multiple communities. Oikos 76: 5–13.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  35. Marini, L., Gaston, K.J., Prosser, F. and Hulme, P.E. 2009. Contrasting response of native and alien plant species richness to environmental energy and human impact along alpine elevation gradients. Global Ecol. Biogeogr. 18: 652–661.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  36. Marini, L., Bertolli, A., Bona, E., Federici, G., Martini, F., Prosser, F. and Bommarco, R. 2013. Beta-diversity patterns elucidate mechanisms of alien plant invasion in mountains. Global Ecol. Biogeogr. 22: 450–460.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  37. McCullagh, P. and Nelder, J.A. 1989. Generalized Linear Models. Second Edition. Chapman and Hall/CRC, Boca Raton.

  38. McDougall, K.L., Morgan, J.W., Walsh, N.G. and Williams, R.J. 2005. Plant invasions in treeless vegetation of the Australian Alps. Persp. Plant Ecol. Evol. Syst. 7: 159–171.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  39. Nogués-Bravo, D., Araújo, M.B., Romdal, T. and Rahbek, C. 2008. Scale effects and human impact on the elevational species richness gradients. Nature 453: 216–220.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  40. Otto, R., Arteaga, M.A., Delgado, J.D., Arévalo, J.R., Blandino, C. and Fernández-Palacios, J.M. 2014. Road edge effect and elevation pattern of native and alien plants on an oceanic island (Tenerife, Canary Island). Folia Geobot. 49: 65–82.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  41. Pauchard, A. and Alaback, P.B. 2004. Influence of elevation, land use, and landscape context on patterns of alien plant invasions along roadsides in protected areas of south-central Chile. Conserv. Biol. 18: 238–248.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  42. Pauchard, A., Kueffer, C., Dietz, H., Daehler, C.C., Alexander, J., Edwards, P.J., Arevalo, J.R., Cavieres, L.A., Guisan, A., Haider, S., Jakobs, G., McDougall, K., Millar, C.I., Naylor, B.J., Parks, C.G., Rew, L.J. and Seipel, T. 2009. Ain’t no mountain high enough: plant invasions reaching new elevations. Frontiers Ecol. Environ. 7: 479–486.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  43. Richardson, D.M. and Pyšek, P. 2012. Naturalization of introduced plants: ecological drivers of biogeographical patterns. New Phytol. 196: 383–396.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  44. Rodríguez, A. and Mora, J.L. 2000. Los suelos. In: G. Morales and R. Pérez (eds), Gran atlas temático de Canarias. Interinsular Canaria. S/C de Tenerife. pp. 107–120.

  45. Schmera, D. and Podani, J. 2013. Components of beta diversity in hierarchical sampling designs: A new approach. Ecol. Indic. 26: 126–136.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  46. Siniscalco, C., Barni, E. and Bacaro, G. 2011. Non-native species distribution along the elevation gradient in the western Italian Alps. Plant Biosyst. 145: 150–158.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  47. Spellerberg, I.F. 1998. Ecological effects of roads and traffc: a literature review. Global Ecol. Biogeogr. Lett. 7: 317–333.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  48. Steinbauer, M. J., Irl, S. D. and Beierkuhnlein, C. 2013. Elevation-driven ecological isolation promotes diversiflcation on Mediterranean islands. Acta Oecol. 47: 52–56.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  49. Trombulak, S.C. and Frissell, C.A. 2000. Review of ecological effects of roads on terrestrial and aquatic communities. Conserv. Biol. 14: 18–30.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  50. Veech, J.A. and Crist, T.O. 2007a. PARTITION: software for hierarchical additive partitioning of species diversity, version 2.0.

  51. Veech, J.A. and Crist, T.O. 2007b. Habitat and climate heterogeneity maintain beta-diversity of birds among landscapes within ecoregions. Global Ecol. Biogeogr. 16: 650–656.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  52. Wagner, H.H., Wildi, O. and Ewald, K.C. 2000. Additive partitioning of plant species diversity in an agricultural mosaic landscape. Landsc. Ecol. 15: 219–227.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  53. Whittaker, R.H. 1972. Evolution and measurement of species diversity. Taxon 21: 213–251.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  54. Whittaker, R.J. and Fernández-Palacios, J.M. 2007. Island Biogeography. Ecology, Evolution and Conservation. Oxford University Press, New York.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to G. Bacaro.

Electronic supplementary material

Appendix I.

List of plant species recorded along the altitudinal gradient. Only those with appear in 5% or more plots are shown. Biogeographical status, origin, life forms and minimum and maximum altitude at which the species were found are shown. Transformer species are marked with an asterisk. Status: e = endemic; i, introduced; n = native; p = probably introduced. Origin: end = Canary Islands endemic; mac = Macaronesian region endemic; at = Atlantic; af = African; med = Mediterranean; cosm = cosmopolitan; am = American; euras = Eurasiatic; med atl = Mediterranean-Atlantic; as = Asiatic; med euras = Mediterranean-Eurasiatic. Life form: MPh = Meso- or Megaphanerophyte; NPh = Nanophanerophyte; Th = Therophyte; H = Hemicryptophyte; G = Geophyte; Ch = Chamaephyte.

Rights and permissions

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Bacaro, G., Maccherini, S., Chiarucci, A. et al. Distributional patterns of endemic, native and alien species along a roadside elevation gradient in Tenerife, Canary Islands. COMMUNITY ECOLOGY 16, 223–234 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1556/168.2015.16.2.10

Download citation

Keywords

  • Disturbance
  • Diversity partitioning
  • Invasive species
  • Island biogeography
  • MIREN
  • Plant species richness