Biological diversity is seriously threatened worldwide and biological invasions by alien invasive species (AIS) are considered one of the main threats. Decision VI/23 of the Convention on Biological Diversity states that research in biological invasions should be promoted and carried. Additionally, article 8 (h) states that "Each Contracting Party shall (...) prevent the introduction of, control or eradicate those alien species which threaten ecosystems, habitats or species". In Portugal, several species of Acacia show invasive behavior and are promoting negative in several ecosystems including coastal ones. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) includes coastal habitats among the highest priority for action, particularly when significant biodiversity values are at risk.
This project aims to continue and further develop the studies started in 2002, INVADER I project (POCTI/BSE/42335/2001 supported by FCT "Evaluation of the recover potential of ecosystems invaded by Acacia and methodologies to control invasion"), on the recovery of a dune ecosystem invaded by Acacia longifolia and including original tasks suggested after our results. For this project, we have selected an invaded coastal area with high conservation value - Natural Reserve of S. Jacinto Dunes (NRSJD) where the invasion by A. longifolia is spread extensively in the area threatening plant diversity and promoting functional changes at the soil level.
This project will contribute to the resolution of invasion problems by A. longifolia, by regarding issues related to specific needs for the management of A. longifolia invasion and to improve scientific knowledge about invasion process and to promote public awareness.