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
Upcycling of PET Bottles: New Ideas for Resource Cycles in Germany
25.06.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Betriebsfestigkeit und Systemzuverlässigkeit LBF
Dry landscapes can increase disease transmission
20.06.2018 | Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V.
For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.
To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...
For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.
Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...
Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.
A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...
Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.
"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....
Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.
Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...
13.07.2018 | Event News
12.07.2018 | Event News
03.07.2018 | Event News
16.07.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
16.07.2018 | Life Sciences
16.07.2018 | Earth Sciences