Pilar Castro-Díez, Álvaro Alonso, Asunción Saldaña and Elena Granda
Department of Life Sciences, University of Alcalá, 28805 Alcalá de Henares, Madrid, Spain
Non-native tree (NNT) species have been widely introduced to enhance different types of ecosystem services (e.g. timber production, ornamental values, soil erosion control, etc.; MacDicken 2015). However, NNTs can also produce undesired effects on ecosystems (e.g. loss of biodiversity) andsome of them may affect human well-being (e.g. fire proneness or water depletion; Brundu & Richardson 2016, Vaz et al. 2018). Based on a previous worldwide literature review on the effects of NNTs on “regulating ecosystem services” (RES; Castro-Díez et al. 2019), here we present a first analysis of how four worldwide spread NNT taxa (Acacia spp., Ailanthus altissima, Eucalyptus spp. and Pinus spp.) alter the following RES: climate regulation, fire risk prevention, soil erosion control, soil fertility, soil formation and water regulation. Data availability differed across the studied taxa, the best represented being Pinus spp., with 80 case studies, followed by Acacia spp. with 61, Eucalyptus with 45 and A. altissima with 22. Ecosystem services were also unevenly represented, soil fertility and soil formation being the best represented with 55 and 54 case studies, respectively, while water regulation and fire risk prevention were the least represented with 27 and 14 case studies, respectively. Acacia species increased climate regulation, soil erosion control, soil fertility and water regulation, and seem to decrease fire risk prevention (although the low number of case studies resulted in a non-significant effect). By contrast, Eucalyptus species decreased soil fertility and soil formation, and increased climate regulation, with non-significant effects (or not enough case studies) for other RES. Pinus species tended to decrease fire regulation (marginally significant) but did not affect the rest of the studied RES. Finally, A. altissima increased soil fertility and soil formation, but we did not find enough information for the remaining RES. We conclude that NNT taxa may widely differ in their impacts on different RES, but the available information is too biased to allow comparisons across species and across RES.
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