Horizon scanning for invasive alien species in protected Atlantic coastal dune habitats

Project Details


Atlantic coastal dunes are one of the most threatened habitats in Europe. They offer habitats for various, often specialised animals and plants and their unique landscape constitutes important services for human well-being such as coastal flood protection and freshwater retention. Anthropogenic pressures such as tourism, natural resource use and urbanisation often conflict with conservation interests. Invasive alien species (IAS) represent an important driver of anthropogenic change in coastal dunes.

Dunes are a largely open, dynamic habitat but dune fixation and nutrient enrichment favour establishment of alien species. For example, invasive shrub species impact on the integrity of dune ecosystems by impacting succession, nutrient cycling and by causing direct biodiversity loss. The IAS problem is exacerbated by habitat fragmentation and climate change.

This project will provide a prioritized list of potentially problematic invasive plant species in dunes through a horizon scan. This list will be used to proactively address exotic species in the dunes through directing surveillance, conducting rapid response actions, informing interest groups, and actions to prevent new introductions.

This exercise is part of the Life project DUNIAS.
Effective start/end date1/11/2131/12/24

Thematic List 2020

  • Protected nature
  • Invasive species

Free keywords

  • invasive
  • IAS
  • dunes