Urban Ecosystems
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Floristic diversity and correlates of naturalization of alien flora in urban green spaces of Srinagar city

Publication Date Feb 16, 2021

Abstract

The sustainable management of green spaces in cities is crucial in achieving the challenging goal of urban sustainability. The common practice of cultivation of alien plants in urban green spaces is often associated with risk of naturalisation (i.e. escape into wild), which can have sometime adverse impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem services. To mitigate these risks, understanding patterns and processes of naturalisation of alien flora in urban green spaces becomes crucial. Here we report the floristic diversity of alien flora and correlates of its naturalisation in the green spaces of Srinagar city – one of the largest urban centres in the Himalaya. We documented 342 plant species belonging to 66 families from the green spaces of Srinagar, predominantly represented by 245 alien species (72%). Among the alien species pool, 133 species (54%) are exclusively under cultivation (non-escapes) and 112 species (46%) grow in the wild (cultivation escapes and accidentally introduced species); and of the latter, 51 were naturalised, 39 casual and 22 invasive. The cultivated alien species escaped into the wild belong to 27 families, and most prominently to the Asteraceae. Habitat-wise, plant dumping sites in the green spaces constituted the most dominant habitat of cultivation escapes. A significant relationship was revealed between the proportion of aliens under cultivation and species traits such as growth form, life span and residence time; and plant species with herbaceous growth form, annual life span and relatively longer res...

Concepts
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Green Spaces
Urban Green Spaces
Alien Species Pool
Green Spaces In Cities
Herbaceous Growth Form
Annual Life Span
Urban Spaces
Alien Species
Spaces Of City
Residence Time

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