Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Successful development of the 2nd International Expert Workshop on PMR

Dr. Costas Kadis (Frederick University of Nicosia), main scientific responsible of the workshop, goes on with its presentation on the Cypriot 'PLANT-NET CY' LIFE+ project © E.Laguna, 05.04.2011

Today, in the framework of the PLANT-NET CY project, Nicosia held the 2nd International Exepert Workshop on Plant Micro-Reserves (PMR), under the cordination of the Cypriot Department of Environment and the Frederick University. The recruitment of participants and scientific coordination of the meeting was made by Dr. Costas Kadis (Frederick University at Nicosia).

The meeting hosted presentations from Cyprus, Spain, Greece, Slovenia, Latvia, Bulgaria and Rumania, and covered case-studies of pilot projects on PMR both developed under the umbrella of the EU's LIFE programme and out of this framework; in addition, embrionary proposals to develop future PMR projects were exposed -case of Rumania, where the selection of IPAs (Important Plant Areas)- allowed a fine selection of sites to be proposed as PMR in the future.

Dr. Costas Thanos (National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece) proposed several interesting initiatives to start the networking tasks for a future platform of PMR expertises, institutions and projects in Europe. © E.Laguna, 05.04.2011
As a main issue of the meeting, the first steps to go set up a network of European PMR experts and institutions has been discussed and agreed. Several electronic forums like webpages, blogs and Facebook's pages could be launched in a few time (so please pay attention during the next weeks and months¡).

PLANTNET-CY: 2nd Meeting of the Scientific Committee

A moment of the SC meeting © E. Laguna, 04.04.2011

The headquarters of the Cypriot Department of Environment in Nicosia held yesterday the second meeting of the Scientific Committee (SC) which monitor and advices the development of the LIFE+ project PLANT-NET CY 'Establishment of a plant micro-reserve network in Cyprus for the conservation of priority species and habitats'. As explained and discussed during the SC meeting the project ongoes correctly, being in time for most of the foreseen actions. The SC included representatives of the different partners of the project, both from Cyprus and Greece -case of National and Kapositrian University of Athens, represented this time by Dr. Costas Thanos-, as well al Drs. Emilio Laguna and Vicente Deltoro (Generalitat Valenciana's Biodiversity Service), coming from Spain.

Drs. Emilio Laguna, Costas Thanos and Costas Kadis review the planning to prepare and edit the future book on the PMR initiative across Europe. © V. Deltoro, 04.04.2011
As a special issue, a final micro-meeting (on micro-reserves¡) joined Dr. Costas Kadis (main Scientifical Coordinator of the project, Frederick University of Cyprus), Dr. Costas Thanos and Dr. Emilio Laguna, as main responsibles of the book on PMR initiative to be edited in the PLANT-NET CY project framework. A first list of contents (index) was drafted and agreed, to be implemented during the next months.

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:
http://ec.europa.eu/environment/life/project/Projects/index.cfm?fuseaction=home.createPage&s_ref=LIFE08 NAT/CY/000453&area=1&yr=2008&n_proj_id=3570&cfid=160792&cftoken=8c0a87b8ab139d7-756618B8-CEC3-5655-6EA31FEE73133EC8&mode=print&menu=false

Sunday, 14 June 2009

Important step for the protection of Calendula maritima

Calendula maritima. Picture extracted from the IUCN website (www.iucn.org) © Anna Giordano for the IUCN's MIPSG-SSC Top 50 of Mediterranean Island Plants. This image is a link to the IUCN booklet. Please consult there the page 92-93.

The Sicilian endemic plant Calendula maritima Guss. is one of the most relevant endangered species of the Mediterranean basin (see information in the Top50 list of Mediterranean Island Plants (http://cmsdata.iucn.org/downloads/mediterranean_top50_en.pdf). Its conservation, including the proposal to give protection to the small sites where the species lives, has been largely defended by the Sicilian botanists, and particularly by Dr. Angelo Troià, former director of the Nature Reserve Saline di Trapani e Paceco, and one of the most enthusiastic defenders of the PMR philosophy. Most populations of C. maritima remain unprotected and even the classical one, found into the nature reserve boundaries, was threatened by the projected enlargement of a close harbour in Marsala.

The Regional Province of Trapani, following the proposal of his councilior Mr. Salvatore Daidone, has recently passed an amendment to the regional provisions, in order to improve the long-term protection of the species, and to convert it into a province symbol for nature conservation. A recent letter received from Mr. Girolamo Turamo, president of the Province of Trapani, confirm us the approval of this proposal. Please receive our congratulations from this blog, and our desire to go on with the conservation of this endangered species.

Wikipedia link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calendula_maritima IUCN redlist fact sheet: http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/61618/0

Dr. Angelo Troìa presenting the results of the project EOLIFE for the conservation of endangered plants of the Eolian Islands (Sicily, Italy), during the international workshop on PMRs organized by Dr. Costas Thanos in The Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Chania (Crete, Greece), 24.11.2005, © Emilio Laguna