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Bacchetta G.,University of Cagliari | Carta A.,University of Pisa | Piazza C.,Conservatoire botanique national de Corse | Peruzzi L.,University of Pisa
Phytotaxa | Year: 2014

The taxonomy of Silene nocturna subsp. boullui (putatively endemic to W Corsica) and S. valsecchiae (putatively endemic to E Sardinia) is investigated, by means of morphometric and karyological analyses. Both taxa resulted diploid with 2n = 24 chromosomes. On the basis of morphological results, we confirm the species rank for S. valsecchiae, and consider S. nocturna subsp. boullui as the priority name, at subspecies rank, for S. nocturna subsp. capraria(= S. reflexa). © 2014 Magnolia Press.

Hippocrepis conradiae Gamisans & Hugot (Fabaceae) is a new endemic species described from the Corsican Mountains (massif of Mount Cintu) which can be distinguished easily from some closely related species, in particular from Hippocrepis comosa L. A comparative table and some photographs are provided to demonstrate the morphological differences. This rare plant species, discovered in 2009, is most likely to be the host-plant of the Corsican form of the Blue butterfly Polyommatus coridon Poda, 1761, subsp. nufrellensis Schurian, 1977 (Lycaenidae), which is endemic to Corsica and whose known distribution results exclusively from the observation of individuals appearing on suitable nectariferous flowers at humid sites. The investigation of Hippocrepis conradiae was inspired by the rediscovery of subsp. nufrellensis in 2001, which had not been observed since its discovery west of Mount La Mufrella in 1975. The breeding areas remained completely unknown prior to the discovery of this plant, which is found only at some distance from the butterflies' nectaring areas. The co-evolution of these two rare Corsican endemics, where one is living in a close relationship with the other and both occupying an extremely limited geographical range is an extraordinary phenomenon, and consequently merits all our efforts to be protected. © CONSERVATOIRE ET JARDIN BOTANIQUES DE GENÈVE 2011.

Migliore J.,Aix - Marseille University | Baumel A.,Aix - Marseille University | Juin M.,Aix - Marseille University | Diadema K.,Conservatoire Botanique National Mediterraneen de Porquerolles | And 3 more authors.
Population Ecology | Year: 2011

The island of Corsica is a Mediterranean hotspot of plant biodiversity characterized by a high rate of plant endemism, but also by a lack of studies combining genetic diversity and conservation. In Corsica, the dioecious and Corso-Sardinian endemic Mercurialis corsica Cosson (Euphorbiaceae) occurs across a wide ecological gradient, but the number of populations have decreased considerably over the last century. The main aim of this study was to examine the patterns of genetic diversity occurring in the Corsican populations of M. corsica, depending on their location and demographic structure. The rDNA sequences did not show the existence of any polymorphism, whereas the cpDNA sequences revealed the divergence of the western Corsican populations. By contrast, when the AFLP markers were examined, although significant levels of differentiation were detected between populations, no distinct geographical patterns were observed except for the pronounced isolation of the Cap Corse genotypes. No significant correlations were found to exist between population size and the genetic diversity indexes used. The results of this study suggest that M. corsica has undergone a complex gene flow history involving past population admixtures, followed by fragmentation processes resulting in population differentiation but no geographical patterns of isolation. These results support the existence of three evolutive conservation units which have to be monitored in priority to determine whether the current pattern of demographic structure is still declining or has stabilized. © 2011 The Society of Population Ecology and Springer.

Godefroid S.,National Botanic Garden of Belgium | Godefroid S.,Vrije Universiteit Brussel | Godefroid S.,Roosevelt University | Piazza C.,Conservatoire botanique national de Corse | And 18 more authors.
Biological Conservation | Year: 2011

Reintroduction of native species has become increasingly important in conservation worldwide for recovery of rare species and restoration purposes. However, few studies have reported the outcome of reintroduction efforts in plant species. Using data from the literature combined with a questionnaire survey, this paper analyses 249 plant species reintroductions worldwide by assessing the methods used and the results obtained from these reintroduction experiments. The objectives were: (1) to examine how successful plant species reintroductions have been so far in establishing or significantly augmenting viable, self-sustaining populations in nature; (2) to determine the conditions under which we might expect plant species reintroductions to be most successful; (3) to make the results of this survey available for future plant reintroduction trials. Results indicate that survival, flowering and fruiting rates of reintroduced plants are generally quite low (on average 52%, 19% and 16%, respectively). Furthermore, our results show a success rate decline in individual experiments with time. Survival rates reported in the literature are also much higher (78% on average) than those mentioned by survey participants (33% on average). We identified various parameters that positively influence plant reintroduction outcomes, e.g., working in protected sites, using seedlings, increasing the number of reintroduced individuals, mixing material from diverse populations, using transplants from stable source populations, site preparation or management effort and knowledge of the genetic variation of the target species. This study also revealed shortcomings of common experimental designs that greatly limit the interpretation of plant reintroduction studies: (1) insufficient monitoring following reintroduction (usually ceasing after 4 years); (2) inadequate documentation, which is especially acute for reintroductions that are regarded as failures; (3) lack of understanding of the underlying reasons for decline in existing plant populations; (4) overly optimistic evaluation of success based on short-term results; and (5) poorly defined success criteria for reintroduction projects. We therefore conclude that the value of plant reintroductions as a conservation tool could be improved by: (1) an increased focus on species biology; (2) using a higher number of transplants (preferring seedlings rather than seeds); (3) taking better account of seed production and recruitment when assessing the success of reintroductions; (4) a consistent long-term monitoring after reintroduction. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.

Murru V.,University of Cagliari | Santo A.,University of Cagliari | Piazza C.,Conservatoire botanique national de Corse | Hugot L.,Conservatoire botanique national de Corse | Bacchetta G.,University of Cagliari
Botany | Year: 2015

The Silene mollissima (L.) Pers. aggregate is part of section Siphonomorpha Otth. and currently comprises 11 narrow endemic species of the Western Mediterranean Basin. Three of these taxa (S. velutina Pourr. ex Loisel, S. ichnusae Brullo, De Marco and De Marco f., and S. badaroi Breistr.) have a distribution range centred in the northern Tyrrhenian area and occurring in coastal habitats. Inter- and intra-specific variability in the responses to light, constant (5–25 °C) and alternating temperatures (25/10 °C), salt (NaCl, 0–600 mmol/L), and levels of nitrate (KNO3, 20 mmol/L) under salt stress, as well as recovery of seed germination were evaluated for these species to more effectively support their in-situ and ex-situ conservation. Our results highlighted that the seeds of these three taxa were nondormant, and that light significantly improved their rate of germination, which was higher (>80%) at low temperatures (5–15 °C) and under the alternating temperature regime (25/10 °C), but decreased significantly at the highest temperature tested (25 °C). Seeds from Silene velutina and S. ichnusae germinated in up to 300 mmol/L NaCl, and S. badaroi germinated in up to 100 mmol/L. For all of the species except S. badaroi, salt did not affect seed viability, and recovery germination did not decrease with increasing salinity and temperature. Interpopulation variability, both in salt tolerance and recovery germination, was detected for S. velutina. The addition of KNO3 did not affect germination or recovery germination under salt conditions. The lack of effect from KNO3 suggests that nutrient availability is not a requirement for seed germination in these species. Our results show that all species experience an optimum period of germination during autumn–winter, which is when water availability is highest and soil salinity levels are minimal because of the Mediterranean rainfalls, but seeds from S. velutina and S. ichnusae will germinate up until spring. © 2015, National Research Council of Canada. All Rights Reserved.

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