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Gayana. Botánica

Print version ISSN 0016-5301On-line version ISSN 0717-6643


HAUCK, Laura; MOREIRA-MUNOZ, Andrés  and  NEZADAL, Werner. The exotic ruderal flora of La Campana National Park, Valparaíso Region, central Chile. Gayana Bot. [online]. 2016, vol.73, n.2, pp.206-219. ISSN 0016-5301.

Central Chile belongs to one of the world's Mediterranean ecosystems, which are especially prone to biological invasions. Although not all exotic plants can be considered as invaders, they contain an invasion potential that can drastically modify native ecosystems and the relationships between species. This is especially relevant in protected areas that have the explicit mission of biodiversity conservation of native and endemic species through time. The presence of ruderal exotic plants in La Campana National Park, central Chile, was evaluated by means of the transect method applied to both sides of each pathway. The best-represented families in the exotic flora of the park are Poaceae, Asteraceae and Fabaceae. In terms of life form, 71% are therophytes. The vast majority (92.7%) are of Euroasian-North African origin. Considering the presence of exotic plants within specific vegetation units, the Puyal con suculentas is the most affected type. In contrast, introduced species were sparse in both the deciduous forest and the alpine scrub. Two factors seem to have an important influence on the potential of the invasion: the amount of available light and the altitude of the vegetation unit. To evaluate the rate of expansion and possible effects on native species and the whole ecosystem of La Campana National Park, a monitoring plan should be designed, especially towards species that are more widespread in the park and appear systematically in the sampling within different vegetation types.

Keywords : Exotic plants; biogeography of invasions; Mediterranean ecosystems; threats to biodiversity.

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