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      Composition patterns of ornamental flora in the Czech Republic

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      NeoBiota

      Pensoft Publishers

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          Abstract

          Ornamental plants are an important component of urban floras and a significant source of alien plant invasions to the surrounding landscapes. We studied ornamental flora across 174 settlements in the Czech Republic, Central Europe. The aims of the study were to (i) identify clusters of sites that are defined as distinctive groups of ornamental taxa reflecting environmental or socioeconomic factors and (ii) apply the classification approach which is traditionally used for spontaneous vegetation in order to evaluate the potential of different settlement types to act as source sites of invasive species. The inventories were classified in a similar manner that is generally applied to spontaneous vegetation using the COCKTAIL method. Diagnostic taxa were classified in a repeatable manner into 17 species groups, forming five distinctive clusters with ~70% of sites attributed to one cluster. The species pools of the clusters differed in their representation of species with native or alien status and different life forms. The following clusters were distinguished, based on the prevailing type of settlement: (1) old villas neighbourhoods of towns, (2) upland settlements, (3) modern neighbourhoods, (4) old rustic settlements and (5) modern rustic settlements. Similar to spontaneous vegetation, the classification of ornamental flora reflects both basic natural gradients (i.e. altitude) and man-made factors (i.e. the preferences for certain plants and associated management practices). Alien taxa associated with modern neighbourhoods are characterised by a relatively higher invasion potential than those from, for example, old rustic settlements. This is especially true for woody species which can spread in ruderal habitats as a result of urban sprawl. Our results showed that the classification method, commonly used to analyse vegetation data, can also be applied to ornamental flora.

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          Integrating Social Science into the Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) Network: Social Dimensions of Ecological Change and Ecological Dimensions of Social Change

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                NeoBiota
                NB
                Pensoft Publishers
                1314-2488
                1619-0033
                November 12 2019
                November 12 2019
                : 52
                : 87-109
                Article
                10.3897/neobiota.52.39260
                © 2019

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