Changes in plant species composition of coastal dune habitats over a 20-year period

14207Coastal sandy ecosystems are increasingly being threatened by human pressure, causing loss of biodiversity, habitat degradation and landscape modifications. However, there are still very few detailed studies focusing on compositional changes in coastal dune plant communities over time. In a new study published in AoB PLANTS, Del Vecchio et al. used phytosociological relevés to conduct a re-visitation study in order to analyse changes in floristic composition during the last twenty years along the central Adriatic coast. They observed a significant increase in cover of fore-dune and thermophilic species, and concluded that even though human activities are major driving forces of change in coastal dune vegetation, the increase in species’ cover that was observed may also be due to a moderate increment in average yearly temperature over the last two decades.

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