The vegetation types and floristic diversity in the Dominican Republic are analysed, a territory with a tropical climate and ombrotypes that range from dry to humid-hyperhumid, due to the Atlantic winds and the phenomenon known as rain shadows. The presence of high mountains and different substrates have led to a rich flora, and as a result, a high diversity of habitats, among which two large forest types are particularly notable: (1) the dry forest with 81 endemic species, of which 10 are trees, 65 shrubs, 5 climbers and 1 herbaceous species, and an absence of epiphytes and (2) the cloud forest with 19 trees, 20 shrubs, 8 climbers, 4 epiphytes, and 6 herbaceous species. In all cases, these plant communities are regarded as endemic due to their high rate of endemic species. In spite of their importance for conservation, these habitats are highly deteriorated due to deforestation for agriculture, to obtain timber, and even to add to tourism infrastructures.
Part of the book: Vegetation
City and countryside, by their mutual dependency, constitute a unique system, which is the basis for the development of a global landscape. This interaction is far from the country being simply the city’s food supply. The interaction should be reinforced through ecological corridors allowing the biodiversity movement that guarantees the landscape identity. In this regard, life’s standards are strictly related to the landscape quality. Moreover, landscape biophysical features determine the vegetal potential and consequently their uses and techniques adopted by man toward his territorial settlement. Contextually, two Iberian case studies have been selected and analyzed from a multidisciplinarity perspective, aiming to determine how vegetation series may influence the maintenance and sustainability of urban green spaces. Bearing this in mind that a landscape architecture project is dynamic and considering the fourth dimension: time—mainly regarding the vegetation development, creating new volumes and spaces‑considering their natural evolution, a deep knowledge of the plant material is seen as a critical factor for a sustainable landscape planning at several levels.
Part of the book: Landscape Architecture
Our study of mangrove swamps revealed a total of 120 species, of which 13 are characteristics of mangrove swamps, and 38 of flooded areas with low salt. All the others are invasive species which have taken advantage of the degradation of these natural ecosystems. The scenario is not very different in Laguna de Tres Palos in Mexico. The frequent fires in the low-growing semi-deciduous rainforest (dry forest) have caused intense erosion, with the consequence that the site has silted up. As a result, the first vegetation band of Rhizophora mangle is extremely rare. Instead, Laguncularia racemosa and Conocarpus erectus are dominant, along with a band of Phragmito-Magnocaricetea with a high occurrence of Phragmites australis (Cav.) Trin., which acts as an indicator of sediment silting. It is extremely frequent for several reasons: as it is the decrease of the salinity of the water, the scarce depth due to the accumulation of sediments and the contamination by the entrance of residual waters of the nearby populations. When the depth and salinity of the water are suitable, the dominant species are Rhizophora mangle, Laguncularia racemosa, and Avicennia germinans.
Part of the book: Mangrove Ecosystem Ecology and Function
Climate change has been recognized as one of the most serious environmental, social, and economic challenges facing the world today. Contextually, the Intermunicipal Plan for Climate Change Adaptation in Alentejo Central (PIAAC-AC) has already identified the tendencies and future scenarios of climate change in Alentejo Central until the end of the twenty-first century, namely the increase in the number of days with very high temperatures, the number of tropical nights and heat waves, and the general decrease in annual rainfall. In this scenario, the concerns with school communities and users of social services increase. The project “LIFE-myBUILDINGisGREEN”—“application of nature-based solutions for local adaptation of educational and social buildings to Climate Change,” developed in partnership with CIMAC (Portugal), CARTIF Technology Center (Spain), Diputación de Badajoz and CSIC—Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas (Real Jardin Botanico— Spain—Project Leader), and the Porto City Council (Portugal), focuses on the construction sector, in particular on education and social services buildings in cities in Europe. It aims to implement the prototypes (building adaptation) of nature-based solutions (NBS) on walls, roofs, playgrounds, and exterior surfaces on three pilot buildings. The overall objective is to contribute to improve resilience in these buildings using autochthone vegetation.
Part of the book: Urban Green Spaces