The goal of this monitoring protocol is to detect variations in the vital parameters and demographic structure of certain plant populations sensitive to environmental changes. Also, the possible contractions or expansions of the area occupied by the core populations were evaluated.
Method and effort
The species under study with this methodology are: Arenaria nevadensis, Laserpitium longiradium, Gentiana lutea subsp. Lutea, and Senecio nevadensis. Two study levels were distinguished with two different methodologies: For Senecio nevadensis, a simple presence/absence model was used to compare changes in the distribution of the taxon in space and time. The monitoring was made in a series of plots selected according to the altitudinal range of the taxon. Thus, three types of plots were established: outside the altitudinal range, within the range, and at the altitudinal. On the other hand, Arenaria nevadensis, Laserpitium longiradium, and Gentiana lutea subsp. Lutea require a more in-depth sampling, as the aim was to evaluate population trends. For this, fixed plots were laid out; for the hemicryptophytes Gentiana lutea and Laserpitium longiradium, approximately 750 individuals were included.
In the case of the therophyte Arenaria nevadensis, fixed sampling lines were established throughout each core population. In each sampling, demographic parameters were determined, such as the rates of germination, recruitment, growth, survival, mortality, and fecundity. For this, variables were measured in reference to the structure into age classes and the transition of individuals among them, the percentage and cause of damage, the number of flowers and how many of them produced fruit, the number seed per fruit, the number of seeds that germinated, and the morphometric data.
This monitoring method is undertaken annualy.
Iriondo, J.M., Albert, M.J., Giménez Benavides, L., Domínguez Lozano, F. y Escudero, A. (eds.) 2009. Poblaciones en Peligro: Viabilidad Demográfica de la Flora Vascular Amenazada de España. Dirección General de Medio Natural y Política Forestal (Ministerio de Medio Ambiente, y Medio Rural y Marino). Madrid, 242 pp.
Morris, W.F., Doak, D.F., Groom, M., Kareiva, P., Fieberg, J., Gerber, L., Murphy, P. y Thomson, D. 1999. A Practical Handbook for Population Viability Analysis. The Nature Conservancy. New York. 80 pp.