Advertisement

Threats to Sandy Shore Habitats in Sri Lanka from Invasive Vegetation

  • Rathnayake Mudiyanselage Wasantha Rathnayake
Chapter
Part of the Coastal Research Library book series (COASTALRL, volume 29)

Abstract

Sandy shore vegetation is under threat due to invasions from non-native or invasive species resulting from human interventions. As previous studies have shown, the natural zoning in Sri Lanka is so disturbed that it is possible to record only a few native species. This study was conducted at three representative study sites in the Western Province of Sri Lanka. We recorded twenty one families, 53 genera and 63 species in the sandy shore vegetation. Of these, approximately 14.28% (or 9 species) were found to be native species with Ipomea pes-capre and Spinifex littoreus as the most abundant native species at the study site. About 9.52% (or 6 species), namely, Chromolaena odorata, Cuscuta campestris, Lantana camara, Mikania micrantha, Opuntia stricta and Sphagneticola trilobata were found to be on the national list of invasive species in Sri Lanka. The study shows that a variation in plant diversity is to be found across the gradient of the shore with native species not as abundant and gradually decreasing landward while non-native weeds are more abundant and increasing landward from the sea. The Shannon Diversity Index shows that the diversity of species increases landward due to invasion. The Simpson diversity indices demonstrate that the vegetation is mainly dominated by non-native or invasive species. Thus, the study shows that the typical zoning nature and species composition found in sandy shore vegetation have been disturbed by the spread of invasive species, the main cause of which is ongoing human intervention. Under the existing policy directions, the available legislation therefore has to be enforced in order to restrict the spread of invasive species on sandy shores in Sri Lanka.

Keywords

Sandy shore vegetation Floristic composition Zoning of vegetation Invasive species 

References

  1. Anon. (Anonymous) (1991) Natural resources of Sri Lanka, conditions and trends. Natural Resources Energy and Science Authority of Sri Lanka, ColomboGoogle Scholar
  2. Babour MG, Rejmanek M, Johnson AF, Pavlik BM (1987) Beach vegetation and plant distribution patterns along the northern Gulf of Mexico. Phytocoenologia 15:201–233CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bambaradeniya CNB (2002) The status and implications of Alien Invasive Species in Sri Lanka. Zoos’ Print J 17(11):930–935CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Calder JA, Taylor RL (1908) Flora of the Queen Charlotte Island. Part I. Systematics of the vascular plantsGoogle Scholar
  5. Dassanayake MD, Fosberg FR (1980–1997) Revised hand book to the Flora of Ceylon. Parts I–VI. Amerinol Publishing Co. Pvt Ltd., New DelhiGoogle Scholar
  6. Defeo O, McLachlan A, Scoeman DS, Schlacher TA, Dugan J, Jones A, Lastra M, Scapini F (2009) Threats to sandy beach ecosystems: a review Estuarine. Coast Shelf Sci 81:1–12CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Doing H (1985) Coastal fore dune zonation and succession in various parts of the world. Vegetatio 61:65–75CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL) (1981) Coast Conservation Act No. 57 of 1981. Government Press, Sri LankaGoogle Scholar
  9. Gray JS (1997) Marine biodiversity: patterns, threats and conservation needs. Biodivers Conserv 6:153–175CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Greig-Smith P (1957) Quantitative plant ecology, 3rd edn. Butterworths, LondonGoogle Scholar
  11. IUCN ISSG (IUCN Species Survival Commission) (2001) The status and implications of alien invasive species in Sri Lanka (PDF download available). Available from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/296229291_The_status_and_implications_of_alien_invasive_species_in_Sri_Lanka. Accessed 15 Dec 2017
  12. Jayaweera DMA (1982) Medicinal plants (Indigenous and Exotic) used in Ceylon. Parts 1–5. National Science Council of Sri Lanka, ColomboGoogle Scholar
  13. Madduma-Bandara CM (1989) Survey of the coastal zone of Sri Lanka. Report published by coast conservation department, ColomboGoogle Scholar
  14. Mcneely JA (2001) The great reshuffling: human dimensions of Alien Invasive Species. IUCN, GlandGoogle Scholar
  15. Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment (2015) Invasive Alien Species in Sri Lanka, training manual for managers and policy makers. Biodiversity Secretariat Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment, BattaramullaGoogle Scholar
  16. Moreno-Casasola P, Espejel I (1986) Classification and ordination of coastal sand dune vegetation along the Gulf and Carribean Sea of Mexico. Vegetatio 66(3):147–182CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Tinley KL (1985) Coastal dunes South Africa. National Scientific Programmes Unit, CSIR, PretoriaGoogle Scholar
  18. Trimen MBH (1974) A hand book to the Flora of Ceylon. Parts 1-V, M/S. Bishen Singh Mahendra Pal Singh, New Connaught Place, Dehradune and M/S. Periodical experts, D-42, Vivek Vihar, Delhi-32, IndiaGoogle Scholar
  19. Wijesundera DSA (1999) Alien invasive plants of Sri Lanka and their history. In: Proceedings first national workshop on Alien Invasive Species of Sri Lanka (ed. B. Marambe). Ministry of forestry and environment and SLAAS-Section DGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rathnayake Mudiyanselage Wasantha Rathnayake
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of Management Studies, Sabaragamuwa University of Sri LankaBelihul OyaSri Lanka

Personalised recommendations