Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Re-introduction of plant in danger of extinction successfully monitored over 10 years for first time ever

19.12.2008
An international team of researchers, including some from the Autonoma University of Barcelona (CREAF-UAB), has carried out the first long-term study into the demographic dynamics of naturally-occurring and artificially-introduced plants of the same species.

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
Further information:
http://www.plataformasinc.es

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Listening in: Acoustic monitoring devices detect illegal hunting and logging
14.12.2017 | Gesellschaft für Ökologie e.V.

nachricht How fires are changing the tundra’s face
12.12.2017 | Gesellschaft für Ökologie e.V.

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.

Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

Im Focus: Successful Mechanical Testing of Nanowires

With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong

Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Plasmonic biosensors enable development of new easy-to-use health tests

14.12.2017 | Health and Medicine

New type of smart windows use liquid to switch from clear to reflective

14.12.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

BigH1 -- The key histone for male fertility

14.12.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>