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Prague's 88 nature reserves threatened by invasive plant species
Date:10/7/2011

Cities are generally regarded as hostile for wildlife and urbanization a dramatic form of destruction of natural habitats. Still, they are far from dead zones. Their biodiversity may even exceed that of surrounding landscapes, owing to heterogeneous environments and frequent localization in naturally rich areas that historically supplied diverse resources for their human inhabitants.

"This is definitely the case of the city of Prague, Czech Republic", says the lead author Prof. Vojtěch Jarok of the study published in the open access journal NeoBiota. "Prague contains spectacular natural features, rarely seen in other metropolitan areas of comparable size, protected in 88 nature reserves. Our analyses build on systematic surveys of vascular plants flora, carried out in these reserves in the late 1980s/ early 1990s. The reserves are important sanctuaries hosting more than half of the plant species occurring in the Czech Republic."

"On the other hand, it is alien species that contribute to this remarkably high species richness", adds the Prof. Petr Pyek. "It has been repeatedly documented that urban environment and life style promote introductions of alien species. The conservation in cities focuses on the diversity of native species, and urban areas are therefore the place where these 'two diversities' come to a sharp conflict, resulting from the discrepancy between human efforts to protect natural biodiversity and, at the same time, by human activities that create ideal environment for invasions by alien species. Nature reserves in large urban agglomerations are therefore seen as a testing ground for exploring the patterns of resistance of natural vegetation against penetration of alien plants."

The study found that archa
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Contact: Vojtech Jarosik
jarosik@cesnet.cz
420-221-951-854
Pensoft Publishers
Source:Eurekalert  

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Prague's 88 nature reserves threatened by invasive plant species
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