Management actions are required to improve the viability of the rare grassland herb Carlina biebersteinii

Ramula, S., Puhakainen, S., Suhonen, J. and Vallius, E. (2008) Management actions are required to improve the viability of the rare grassland herb Carlina biebersteinii. Nordic Journal of Botany, 26 1-2: 83-90. doi:10.1111/j.1756-1051.2008.00159.x


Author Ramula, S.
Puhakainen, S.
Suhonen, J.
Vallius, E.
Title Management actions are required to improve the viability of the rare grassland herb Carlina biebersteinii
Formatted title
Management actions are required to improve the viability of the rare grassland herb Carlina biebersteinii
Journal name Nordic Journal of Botany   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0107-055X
Publication date 2008-04-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/j.1756-1051.2008.00159.x
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 26
Issue 1-2
Start page 83
End page 90
Total pages 8
Place of publication Denmark
Publisher Council for Nordic Publication in Botany
Language eng
Subject C1
960510 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Sparseland, Permanent Grassland and Arid Zone Environments
050202 Conservation and Biodiversity
Abstract Small population size of many rare or endangered plant species makes a quantitative assessment of population status challenging because of the lack of detailed demographic data on different life-history stages. However, an urgent assessment is often required to start possible management actions. We performed a count-based population viability analysis (PVA) using discontinuous time series to quantitatively assess the viability of a rare, monocarpic, grassland herb Carlina biebersteinii Bernh. ex Hornem. (synonyms: C. vulgaris L. ssp. longifolia, C. vulgaris L. ssp. stricta) and examined demographic and environmental factors contributing to its viability. Based on 12 abundance counts of eight C. biebersteinii populations in Finland, we found that seven out of the eight population sizes declined during the observation period, and that annual population growth rates were slightly synchronised among the populations. Synchrony in annual population growth rates declined with increasing geographic distances among the populations, while fluctuations in the number of flowering plants were unrelated to geographic distances among the populations. According to stochastic simulations, the risk of losing all flowering individuals during the next 20 years will be high for unmanaged populations. To prevent the populations from gradually declining, our results suggest that summer grazing or removal of woody vegetation is required to increase habitat openness and consequently, to improve fecundity and seedling recruitment.
Formatted abstract
Small population size of many rare or endangered plant species makes a quantitative assessment of population status challenging because of the lack of detailed demographic data on different life-history stages. However, an urgent assessment is often required to start possible management actions. We performed a count-based population viability analysis (PVA) using discontinuous time series to quantitatively assess the viability of a rare, monocarpic, grassland herb Carlina biebersteinii Bernh. ex Hornem. (synonyms: C. vulgaris L. ssp. longifolia, C. vulgaris L. ssp. stricta) and examined demographic and environmental factors contributing to its viability. Based on 12 abundance counts of eight C. biebersteinii populations in Finland, we found that seven out of the eight population sizes declined during the observation period, and that annual population growth rates were slightly synchronised among the populations. Synchrony in annual population growth rates declined with increasing geographic distances among the populations, while fluctuations in the number of flowering plants were unrelated to geographic distances among the populations. According to stochastic simulations, the risk of losing all flowering individuals during the next 20 years will be high for unmanaged populations. To prevent the populations from gradually declining, our results suggest that summer grazing or removal of woody vegetation is required to increase habitat openness and consequently, to improve fecundity and seedling recruitment.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: 2009 Higher Education Research Data Collection
Spatial Ecology Lab Publications
School of Biological Sciences Publications
 
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Created: Wed, 15 Apr 2009, 00:23:08 EST by Gail Walter on behalf of School of Biological Sciences