By using simultaneous monitoring, the scientists have identified biological and demographic features of the plants that could help to optimise conservation strategies.
The researchers carried out a programme between 1994 and 2004 to intensively monitor the germination, growth and reproduction of natural and introduced plants of the species Centaurea corymbosa, in order to evaluate the success of strategies to introduce the species, and to identify reasons why these fail.
“Very few long-term studies have analysed the success of such strategies, or looked at the critical demographic factors that could help improve them,” Miquel Riba, a researcher at the Centre for Ecological Research and Forestry Applications (CREAF) at the UAB and one of the authors of the study, told SINC.
The comparative analysis of six natural populations and two artificially-introduced ones of the same endemic species, Centaurea corymbosa, allowed the researchers to compare the demographic dynamics of each population type. The study, which has been published recently in the Journal of Applied Ecology, shows the usefulness of comparative demographic studies for establishing the viability of conservation strategies.
According to the researchers, “this monitoring programme has allowed us to observe the fate of almost all the introduced individuals from germination to death over the past ten years, and to analyse their growth rates throughout their entire life cycle”. The investigation has also shown that the plant’s colonisation capacity may reduce its distribution, even at local level.
One of the study’s main conclusions was that it is easier to introduce natural and unique Mediterranean species by means of artificial seed dispersion rather than by restoring degraded habitat. For this reason, the researchers believe a programme to re-introduce many endemic plant species with a limited geographical range due to their poor colonisation capacity could be successful.
Differences between reintroduced and natural plants
Natural and introduced populations displayed differences in the basic demographic parameters studied. Riba says that “individuals from the natural populations had the highest levels of fertility, while the artificially-created populations showed greater ability to survive”.
The high survival rate of the introduced species compensated for their lower fertility, and did not result in any significant difference in the plants’ growth rates. In this sense, the number of seeds produced by each plant was “probably” lower in the introduced populations than the naturally-occurring ones. In addition, the most important plant pollinators were more attracted to the natural ones.
The viability of the population observed by the scientists from the UAB, the National Natural History Museum from Paris, France, and the University of Montpellier, France, provides key knowledge to help ensure the continuance of this species and to increase the number of individuals.
SINC Team | alfa
Preservation of floodplains is flood protection
27.09.2017 | Technische Universität München
Conservationists are sounding the alarm: parrots much more threatened than assumed
15.09.2017 | Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen
University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event
On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...
Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.
Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....
Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).
When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...
Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.
How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...
Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.
It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...
17.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
20.10.2017 | Information Technology
20.10.2017 | Materials Sciences
20.10.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research