ANNUAL VEGETATION OF EUROPEAN WETLANDS: DIVERSITY, HABITATS AND ALIEN PLANT INVASIONS (AveWetlands)
- Kód projektu
- Období řešení
- 4/2023 - 3/2025
- Investor / Programový rámec / typ projektu
- Evropská unie
- Fakulta / Pracoviště MU
- Přírodovědecká fakulta
Wetlands are ecosystems of high biodiversity and economic importance.
They are disappearing three times faster than forests, warns a new report by the Ramsar
Convention of Wetlands. These habitats are affected by major trends of global change. Wetland vegetation, as a key component of the wetland ecosystem, is at high risk and reacts first to disturbances, even if they happen in surrounding landscapes.
Annual wetland vegetation is a specific plant community dominated by therophytes
(annual plants) and dwarf geophytes with a short life cycle and the ability of long-term
survival in dormant propagules. It develops in highly dynamic habitats with rapidly changing environmental conditions due to alternating periods of flooding and dryness of the surface. Annual wetlands (AW) offer an extreme environment for plants where high year-to-year variability of abiotic conditions is a strong selective force that resulted in the evolution of convergent life forms in many taxonomic groups. AWs have high floristic diversity and harbour extremely rare species and plant communities. The significant ecological role of AWs is recognized by the Habitat Directive (92/43/EEC) , which included them in the list of Habitats of Community Interest, and in the European Red List of Habitats. AWs are also on the priority list of EU’s Biodiversity Strategy for 2030. Over the past years, AWs faced growing global threats from alien plant invasions which change vegetation through direct plant competition, habitat alterations, and hybridization. Considering the increasing human impact, effective conservation planning and management of European AWs is urgently needed (i) to make a detailed syntaxonomical revision of AW vegetation; (ii) to assess the level of alien plant invasion as a mirroring of the AW affection scope by anthropogenic pressure and global processes.
Modern international vegetation-plot databases, such as European Vegetation Archive
(EVA) and sPlot, open new avenues. Together with advances in vegetation
classification methods, they provide unique opportunities to process vegetation data on a pan-European scale. The EVA database was recently used to develop comprehensive
overviews for several vegetation and habitat types. Such databases also provide
detailed information about alien plant invasion patterns.