MANAGEMENT OF AN INVASIVE PLANT IN A MEDITERRANEAN PROTECTED AREA: THE EXPERIENCE OF Senecio deltoideus IN ITALY

L. Minuto, G. Casazza, D. Dagnino, M. Guerrina, C. Macrì, M.G. Mariotti

Abstract


Biological invasions are one of the most serious threats to global biodiversity and ecosystem integrity. The problem is growing year by year and a large number of protected areas worldwide are today invaded by at least one exotic species. In this study, we tested the eco-friendly and cost-effective weeding control of Senecio deltoideus in a Regional Protected Area in the North Mediterranean region. During a two years experiment, four techniques compatible with the local laws on protected areas (natural-herbicide, flame-weeding, mulching and mowing) were applied five times a season on sixty plots, compared with fifteen untreated controls. All techniques were effective in reducing Senecio covering: after the first year the maximum covering was limited to 37.93% (flame weeding) with a mean value of 10%; after second year the covering was further reduced (17.02% max; 2% mean). Interestingly, during the second year all plots submitted to a one-year treatment showed an enduring control of S. deltoideus covering (40.73% max; 20% mean). Taking into account feasibility and their impact on the environment, the weeding control recommendable for S. deltoideus is mowing. In a long-time management strategy, the selected treatment could be applied every two years with a drastic reduction in costs for the manager of the protected area.

Keywords


alien species; eco-friendly and cost; effective; management; natural environment

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.13133/2239-3129/16852

Annali di Botanica is published by the Department of Environmental Biology - University La Sapienza of Rome, Italy. The journal is printed by Sapienza Università Editrice – Sapienza Università di Roma.

ISSN 0365-0812 (print)

ISSN 2239-3129 (online)