Saturday, 26 June 2010

PMRs and restoration ecology

Dr James Aronson (2nd from left) and Dr Luis Balaguer (4th) visit the sightening area of the PMR 'Teixera d'Agres', with the plant conservation officers Xavier Garcia (1st from the left, CIEF's expertise in Yew conservation) and Dr Joan Pérez-Botella (3rd, Generalitat Valenciana's Biodiversity Service in Alicante province) © E. Laguna, 23.05.2010, Agres, Alicante, Spain.

The Valencian Plant Micro-reserves network has been choosed by Dr. James Aronson (Head of Restoration Ecology group in the Centre for Functional and Evolutionary Ecology, CEFE-CNRS, Montpellier, France) and his close collaborator Dr. Luis Balaguer (Complutense University of Madrid, Spain) as one of the examples of results in active works of restoration ecology, during a tour made during these weeks through Spain. Dr. Aronson is one of the most cellebrated researchers and practicioners on restoration ecology around the world, as well as one of the most relevant members of the SER (Society of Ecological Restoration), being the Series Editor of the SER & Island Press Ecological Restoration Book Series "The Science and Practice of Ecological Restoration". During their visit to the Valencian Community, Drs. Aronson and Balaguer joined plant officers carried out of plant restoration projects in the Service of Biodiversity and the CIEF (Centro para la Investigación y Experimentación Forestal), and discussed on selected topics of the works developed in the PMR network. A joint excursion with managers of PMRs and plant conservation officers was made to the PMR 'Teixera d'Agres' (Agres, Alicante), where Drs. Aronson and Balaguer could see in situ actions to restore the ancient local forests of Yew (Taxus baccata), seriously damaged by forest fires and plantations of exotic invasive species (Robinia pseudoacacia).

CIEF's plant conservation officer Pablo Ferrer discuss with Drs. James Aronson and Luis Balaguer on restoration problems found and goals proposed for the PMR network. © E. Laguna, 23.05.2010.

Interest on PMRs from Australia

Paul Donatiu (left) and the PMR officer Patricia Pérez-Rovira (right) visits the PMR 'Platja d'Almenara', a coastal dune site seriously threatened by the marine erosion during the last years. This PMR holds the unique remain of continental populations of the Ibero-Balearic endemic Silene cambessedessii. © E. Laguna, 31.05.2010

In a recent visit, the coordinator of the Association for National Parks of Queensland (Australia), Mr Paul Donatiu, visited the Valencian Community (Spain) to know in situ the success of the Plant Micro-Reserve (PMR) initiative, which currently reaches 273 protected sites for wild plants. The Valencian PMR team and expertises of the Generalitat Valenciana's CIEF (Centro para la Investigación y Experimentación Forestal), as well as Dr. Josep A. Rosselló (University of Valencia Botanical Garden and Carl Faust Foundation at Blanes, Girona) provided technical advice to Paul Donatiu and discussed about the role of PMRs and other conservation designations to ensure the protection of small refugees for wild plants and relictic vegetation, both for glacial relicts and thinking of the effects of climatic change.

Starting a new PMR network in Bulgaria

The Institute of Botany of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (IB-BAS) starts in 2010 a new LIFE+ project co-finances by the EC to create a pilot network of small protected sites in Bulgaria, using the PMR approach. The project is piloted by the cellebrated Bulgarian botanist Prof. Dr. Dimitar Peev, and proposed the establishment of a network of 56 PMRs to ensure the conservation of a large list of rare, threatened and protected species which do not matches sufficiently the current network of protected sites. This project will ongoes since 2010 till mid 2013, and at least 30 small protected sites (SPS) will be legally established during that period.

Map with the distribution of the 56 proposed SPS for wild plants in Bulgaria, provided by the LIFE+ project drafted by the IB-BAS

As proposed in the LIFE+ project, a first technical meeting with attendance of Bulgarian expertises and students will by made the next week, 28-30th June 2010 in Sofia. The attendance of 3 expertises from the Valencian PMR pioneer project is foreseen, in order to explain the results, success and difficulties found to built up the Valencian PMR network.

Astragalus physocalyx, one of the most important species to be conserved through the Bulgarian PMR project. Picture provided by IB-BAS.

Interested researchers, managers and naturalists can found a fact sheet of the project following the link:

Cyprus LIFE+ project on PMRs ongoes

The leaf of Goldean Oak (Quercus alnifolia), the endemic oak of Cyprus, is the main topic of the project logo. © E. Laguna, 12.04.2010.

This year started the new project on the establishment of a PMR network in Cyprus, approved by the EC in 2009 for the period 2010-2013. The main benefitiary is the Ministry of Agriculture, Environment and Natural Resources of Cyprus, and the scientifical coordination is piloted by Dr. Costas Kadis, from the Frederick University.

The first meeting of the scientific committee of the project was held in Nicosia, 12-14th April 2010, joining expertises from Spain, Greece and Cyprus, as well as the external services of the EC's LIFE+ programme. At the same time, a first meeting of the stearing committee of the project, formed by representatives of all the benefitiary entities, was held the 13th April 2010.

In situ discussion on the conservation practices to be carried out with Arabis kennedyae, in the PMR proposed in the cedar forests (Cedrosetum brevifoliae), Troodos Mts. ©E. Laguna, 12.04.2010

During the meeting, the main schedule and goals of the project were reviewed and discussed, and visits to all the sites to set up the PMRs were made. A set of 5 sites will protect selected natural sites for Centaurea akamantis, Ophrys kotschyi, Astragalus macrocarpus subsp. lefkarensis, forests of Quercus alnifolia, and both populations of Arabis kennedyae and forests of Cedrus brevifolia.

Dr Costas Kadis explains the behaviour and results of firsts census of Centaurea akamantis, in the PMR focused in its protection in the cellebrated Avakas Gorge, near Paphos. ©E. Laguna 14.04.2010

Fruits of Astragalus macrocarpus subsp. lefkarensis, near Asgata. ©E. Laguna, 12.04.2010

Dr. Costas Kadis (Frederick University of Cyprus), Dr. Vicente Deltoro (Plant Microreserves Project, Generalitat Valenciana, Valencia, Spain) and remainder attendants to the meeting visits the PMR proposed for Quercus alnifolia forests at the Troodos Mts. ©E. Laguna, 12.04.2010

A sheet with basic information on the project can be found following the link: NAT/CY/000453&area=1&yr=2008&n_proj_id=3570&cfid=160792&cftoken=8c0a87b8ab139d7-756618B8-CEC3-5655-6EA31FEE73133EC8&mode=print&menu=false