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Pollination ecology in China from 1977 to 2017
Zongxin Ren, Yanhui Zhao, Huan Liang, Zhibin Tao, Hui Tang, Haiping Zhang, Hong Wang
Plant Diversity    2018, 40 (04): 172-180.   doi: 10.1016/j.pld.2018.07.007
Abstract181)      PDF (3389KB)(148)       Save

China is one of most biodiverse countries in the world, containing at least 10% of all angiosperm species. Therefore, we should anticipate a diverse, pollinator fauna. China also has a long history of applied ethnobiology, including a sustainable agriculture based on apiculture and plant-pollinator interactions. However, the science of pollination ecology is a far younger sub-discipline in China, compared to in the West. Chinese studies in pollination ecology began in the 1970s. For this review, we compiled a complete reference database (>600 publications) of pollination studies in China. Using this database, we identified and analyzed gaps and limitations in research on the pollination systems of native and naturalized species. Specifically, we asked the following questions:1) What do we know about the pollination systems of native, Chinese species? 2) How does Chinese pollination ecology compare with the development of pollination research abroad and which aspects of research should be pursued by Chinese anthecologists in the near future? 3) What research on pollination in China will advance our understanding and contribute to our ongoing analyses of endemism and conservation? Subsequently, we segregated and identified prospective lines of future research that are unique to China and can only be done in China. This requires discussing priorities within a systematic approach.

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A few words on our commemoration of 80 years at KIB
Hang Sun, Yongping Yang, Zhekun Zhou
Plant Diversity    2018, 40 (04): 139-140.   doi: 10.1016/j.pld.2018.08.001
Abstract171)      PDF (1981KB)(200)       Save
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Studies on diversity of higher fungi in Yunnan, southwestern China: A review
Bang Feng, Zhuliang Yang
Plant Diversity    2018, 40 (04): 165-171.   doi: 10.1016/j.pld.2018.07.001
Abstract148)      PDF (796KB)(150)       Save

Yunnan is exceedingly rich in higher fungi (Ascomycota and Basidiomycota). Given that the number of fungi (including lichens) occurring in a given area is, as Hawksworth suggested, roughly six times that of local vascular plants, a total of approximately 104,000 fungal species would be expected in Yunnan. However, to date only about 6000 fungal species, including roughly 3000 species of higher fungi, have been reported from the province. Although studies on Yunnan's fungi started in the late nineteenth century, significant progress has been made only in the last forty-five years. Over the first twenty-five years of this period, studies on fungal diversity in this area have largely been about taxonomy based on morphological characters and partially on geographical distribution. Over the past twenty years, the combination of both morphological and molecular phylogenetic approaches has become the preferred method to help understand the diversity and evolution of higher fungi. This review focuses on our current knowledge of how geological, geographical, and ecological factors may have contributed to the diversity patterns of higher fungi in Yunnan. Based on this knowledge, three aspects for future studies are suggested.

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The role of botanical gardens in scientific research, conservation, and citizen science
Gao Chen, Weibang Sun
Plant Diversity    2018, 40 (04): 181-188.   doi: 10.1016/j.pld.2018.07.006
Abstract145)      PDF (7787KB)(213)       Save

Plant diversity is currently being lost at an unprecedented rate, resulting in an associated decrease in ecosystem services. About a third of the world's vascular plant species face the threat of extinction due to a variety of devastating activities, including, over-harvesting and over exploitation, destructive agricultural and forestry practices, urbanization, environmental pollution, land-use changes, exotic invasive species, global climate change, and more. We therefore need to increase our efforts to develop integrative conservation approaches for plant species conservation. Botanical gardens devote their resources to the study and conservation of plants, as well as making the world's plant species diversity known to the public. These gardens also play a central role in meeting human needs and providing well-being. In this minireview, a framework for the integrated missions of botanical gardens, including scientific research, in/ex situ conservation, plant resource utilization, and citizen science are cataloged. By reviewing the history of the development of Kunming Botanical Garden, we illustrate successful species conservation approaches (among others, projects involving Camellia, Rhododendron, Magnolia, Begonia, Allium, Nepenthes, medicinal plants, ornamental plants, and Plant Species with Extreme Small Populations), as well as citizen science, and scientific research at Kunming Botanical Garden over the past 80 years. We emphasize that Kunming Botanical Garden focuses largely on the ex situ conservation of plants from Southwest China, especially those endangered, endemic, and economically important plant species native to the Yunnan Plateau and the southern Hengduan Mountains. We also discuss the future challenges and responsibilities of botanical gardens in a changing world, including:the negative effects of outbreeding and/or inbreeding depression; promoting awareness, study, and conservation of plant species diversity; accelerating global access to information about plant diversity; increasing capacity building and training activities. We hope this minireview can promote understanding of the role of botanical gardens.

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Current understanding of maize and rice defense against insect herbivores
Jinfeng Qi, Saif ul Malook, Guojing Shen, Lei Gao, Cuiping Zhang, Jing Li, Jingxiong Zhang, Lei Wang, Jianqiang Wu
Plant Diversity    2018, 40 (04): 189-195.   doi: 10.1016/j.pld.2018.06.006
Abstract139)      PDF (1214KB)(129)       Save

Plants have sophisticated defense systems to fend off insect herbivores. How plants defend against herbivores in dicotyledonous plants, such as Arabidopsis and tobacco, have been relatively well studied, yet little is known about the defense responses in monocotyledons. Here, we review the current understanding of rice (Oryza sativa) and maize (Zea mays) defense against insects. In rice and maize, elicitors derived from insect herbivore oral secretions or oviposition fluids activate phytohormone signaling, and transcriptomic changes mediated mainly by transcription factors lead to accumulation of defense-related secondary metabolites. Direct defenses, such as trypsin protein inhibitors in rice and benzoxazinoids in maize, have anti-digestive or toxic effects on insect herbivores. Herbivory-induced plant volatiles, such as terpenes, are indirect defenses, which attract the natural enemies of herbivores. R gene-mediated defenses against herbivores are also discussed.

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Current progress and future prospects in phylofloristics
Rong Li, Lishen Qian, Hang Sun
Plant Diversity    2018, 40 (04): 141-146.   doi: 10.1016/j.pld.2018.07.003
Abstract133)      PDF (1690KB)(202)       Save

The species composition of regional plant assemblages can in large part be explained by a long history of biogeographical and evolutionary events. Traditional attempts of floristic studies typically focus on the analyses of taxonomic composition, often ignoring the rich context that evolutionary history can provide. In 2014, Swenson and Umaña introduced the term ‘phylofloristics’ to define a phylogenetically enabled analysis of the species composition of regional floras. Integrating phylogenetic information into traditional floristic analysis can provide a promising way to explore the ecological, biogeographic, and evolutionary processes that drive plant assemblies at multiple spatial scales. In this review, we summarize the current progress on the phylogenetic structure, spatial phylogenetic pattern, origin and diversification, phylogenetic regionalization of floristic assemblages, and application of phylogenetic information in biodiversity conservation. These summaries highlight the importance of incorporating phylogenetic information to improve our understanding of floristic assembly from an evolutionary perspective. The review ends with a brief outlook on future challenges for phylofloristic studies, including generating a highly resolved species-level phylogenetic tree, compiling detailed and refined information regarding the geographic distribution of all plant life, extracting trait information from publications and herbarium specimens, and developing technological and methodological approaches for big data analysis.

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Physiological diversity of orchids
Shibao Zhang, Yingjie Yang, Jiawei Li, Jiao Qin, Wei Zhang, Wei Huang, Hong Hu
Plant Diversity    2018, 40 (04): 196-208.   doi: 10.1016/j.pld.2018.06.003
Abstract127)      PDF (9766KB)(178)       Save

The Orchidaceae is a diverse and wide spread family of flowering plants that are of great value in ornamental, medical, conservation, and evolutionary research. The broad diversity in morphology, growth form, life history, and habitat mean that the members of Orchidaceae exhibit various physiological properties. Epiphytic orchids are often characterized by succulent leaves with thick cell walls, cuticles, and sunken stomata, whereas terrestrial orchids possess rhizomes, corms, or tubers. Most orchids have a long juvenile period, slow growth rate, and low photosynthetic capacity. This reduced photosynthetic potential can be largely explained by CO2 diffusional conductance and leaf internal structure. The amount of light required for plant survival depends upon nutritional mode, growth form, and habitat. Most orchids can adapt to their light environments through morphological and physiological adjustments but are sensitive to sudden changes in irradiance. Orchids that originate from warm regions are susceptible to chilling temperatures, whereas alpine members are vulnerable to high temperatures. For epiphytic orchids, rapid water uptake by the velamen radicum, water storage in their pseudobulbs and leaves, slow water loss, and Crassulacean Acid Metabolism contribute to plant-water balance and tolerance to drought stress. The presence of the velamen radicum and mycorrhizal fungi may compensate for the lack of root hairs, helping with quick absorbance of nutrients from the atmosphere. Under cultivation conditions, the form and concentration of nitrogen affect orchid growth and flowering. However, the limitations of nitrogen and phosphorous on epiphytic orchids in the wild, which require these plants to depend on mycorrhizal fungi for nutrients throughout the entire life cycle, are not clearly understood. Because they lack endosperm, seed germination depends upon obtaining nutrients via mycorrhizal fungi. Adult plants of some autotrophic orchids also gain carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, and other elements from their mycorrhizal partners. Future studies should examine the mechanisms that determine slow growth and flower induction, the physiological causes of variations in flowering behavior and floral lifespan, the effects of nutrients and atmospheric-nitrogen deposition, and practical applications of mycorrhizal fungi in orchid cultivation.

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Taxonomy in the Kunming Institute of Botany (KIB): Progress during the past decade (2008-2018) and perspectives on future development
Xiangqin Yu, Chunlei Xiang, Hua Peng
Plant Diversity    2018, 40 (04): 147-157.   doi: 10.1016/j.pld.2018.07.002
Abstract127)      PDF (8017KB)(192)       Save

The development of new taxonomical theories and approaches, particularly molecular phylogenetics, has led to the expansion of traditional morphology-based taxonomy into the concept of "integrative taxonomy." Taxonomic knowledge has assumed greater significance in recent years, particularly because of growing concerns over the looming biodiversity crisis. Since its establishment in 1938, the Kunming Institute of Botany (KIB), which is located in Yunnan province in Southwest China, has focused attention on the taxonomy and conservation of the flora of China. For the forthcoming 80th anniversary of KIB, we review the achievements of researchers at KIB and their associates with respect to the taxonomy of land plants, fungi, and lichen. Major taxonomic advances are summarized for families of Calymperaceae, Cryphaeaceae, Lembophyllaceae, Neckeraceae, Polytrichaceae and Pottiaceae of mosses, Pteridaceae and Polypodiaceae of ferns, Taxaceae and Cycadaceae of gymnosperms, Asteraceae, Begoniaceae, Ericaceae, Euphorbiaceae, Gesneriaceae, Lamiaceae, Orchidaceae, Orobanchaceae, Poaceae, Theaceae and Urticaceae of angiosperms, Agaricaceae, Amanitaceae, Boletaceae, Cantharellaceae, Physalacriaceae Russulaceae, Suillaceae and Tuberaceae of fungi, and Ophioparmaceae and Parmeliaceae of lichens. Regarding the future development of taxonomy at KIB, we recommend that taxonomists continue to explore the biodiversity of China, integrate new theories and technologies with traditional taxonomic approaches, and engage in creative monographic work, with support from institutions, funding agencies, and the public.

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Plant phylogenomics based on genome-partitioning strategies: Progress and prospects
Xiangqin Yu, Dan Yang, Cen Guo, Lianming Gao
Plant Diversity    2018, 40 (04): 158-164.   doi: 10.1016/j.pld.2018.06.005
Abstract123)      PDF (355KB)(132)       Save

The rapid expansion of next-generation sequencing (NGS) has generated a powerful array of approaches to address fundamental questions in biology. Several genome-partitioning strategies to sequence selected subsets of the genome have emerged in the fields of phylogenomics and evolutionary genomics. In this review, we summarize the applications, advantages and limitations of four NGS-based genomepartitioning approaches in plant phylogenomics:genome skimming, transcriptome sequencing (RNA-seq), restriction site associated DNA sequencing (RAD-Seq), and targeted capture (Hyb-seq). Of these four genome-partitioning approaches, targeted capture (especially Hyb-seq) shows the greatest promise for plant phylogenetics over the next few years. This review will aid researchers in their selection of appropriate genome-partitioning approaches to address questions of evolutionary scale, where we anticipate continued development and expansion of whole-genome sequencing strategies in the fields of plant phylogenomics and evolutionary biology research.

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Seasonal comparison of bacterial communities in rhizosphere of alpine cushion plants in the Himalayan Hengduan Mountains
Shuai Chang, Jianguo Chen, Jianqiang Su, Yang Yang, Hang Sun
Plant Diversity    2018, 40 (05): 209-216.   doi: 10.1016/j.pld.2018.09.003
Abstract114)      PDF (8500KB)(52)       Save

Positive associations between alpine cushion plants and other species have been extensively studied. However, almost all studies have focused on the associations between macrofauna. Studies that have investigated positive associations between alpine cushion plants and rhizospheric microbes have been limited to the vegetation growing season. Here, we asked whether the positive effects that alpine cushion plants confer on rhizospheric microbe communities vary with seasons. We assessed seasonal variations in the bacterial diversity and composition in rhizosphere of two alpine cushion plants and surrounding bare ground by employing a high throughput sequencing method targeting the V3 region of bacterial 16S rRNA genes. Soil properties of the rhizosphere and the bare ground were also examined. We found that cushion rhizospheres harbored significantly more C, N, S, ammonia nitrogen, and soil moisture than the bare ground. Soil properties in cushion rhizospheres were not notably different, except for soil pH. Bacterial diversities within the same microhabitats did not vary significantly with seasons. We concluded that alpine cushion plants had positive effects on the rhizospheric bacterial communities, even though the strength of the effect varied in different cushion species. Cushion species and the soil sulfur content were probably the major factors driving the spatial distribution and structure of soil bacterial communities in the alpine communities dominated by cushion plants.

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Generation and classification of transcriptomes in two Croomia species and molecular evolution of CYC/TB1 genes in Stemonaceae
Ruisen Lu, Wuqin Xu, Qixiang Lu, Pan Li, Jocelyn Losh, Faiza Hina, Enxiang Li, Yingxiong Qiu
Plant Diversity    2018, 40 (06): 253-264.   doi: 10.1016/j.pld.2018.11.006
Abstract98)      PDF (3630KB)(112)       Save
The genus Croomia (Stemonaceae) is an excellent model for studying the evolution of the Eastern Asia (EA) eEastern North America (ENA) floristic disjunction and the genetic mechanisms of floral zygomorphy formation. In addition to the presence of both actinomorphic and zygomorphic flowers within the genus, species are disjunctively distributed between EA and ENA. However, due to the limited availability of genomic resources, few studies of Croomia have examined these questions. In this study, we sequenced the floral and leaf transcriptomes of the zygomorphic flowered Croomia heterosepala and the actinomorphic flowered Croomia japonica, and used comparative genomic approaches to investigate the transcriptome evolution of the two closely related species. The sequencing and de novo assembly of transcriptomes from flowers of C. heterosepala (ChFlower), flowers of C. japonica (CjFlower), and leaves of C. japonica (CjLeaf) yielded 57,193, 62,131 and 64,448 unigenes, respectively. In addition, estimation of Ka/Ks ratios for 11,566 potential orthologous groups between ChFlower and CjFlower revealed that only six pairs had Ka/Ks ratios significantly greater than 1 and are likely under positive selection. A total of 429 single copy nuclear genes (SCNGs) and 21,460 expression sequence tags-simple sequence repeats (ESTSSRs) were identified in this study. Specifically, we identified seven CYC/TB1-like genes from Stemonaceae. Phylogenetic and molecular evolution analyses indicated that these CYC/TB1-like genes formed a monophyletic clade (SteTBL1) and were subject to strong purifying selection. The shifts of floral symmetry in Stemonaceae do not appear to be correlated with TBL copy number.
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Transcriptome analysis of the endangered Notopterygium incisum: Cold-tolerance gene discovery and identification of EST-SSR and SNP markers
Yun Jia, Ji-Qing Bai, Mi-Li Liu, Zhen-Fang Jiang, Yan Wu, Min-Feng Fang, Zhong-Hu Li
Plant Diversity    2019, 41 (01): 1-6.   doi: 10.1016/j.pld.2019.01.001
Abstract89)      PDF (3628KB)(88)       Save
Notopterygium incisum C. C. Ting ex H. T. Chang (Apiaceae) is an endangered perennial herb in China. The lack of transcriptomic and genomic resources for N. incisum greatly hinders studies of its population genetics and conservation. In this study, we employed RNA-seq technology to characterize transcriptomes for the flowers, leaves, and stems of this endangered herb. A total of 56 million clean reads were assembled into 120,716 unigenes with an N50 length of 850 bp. Among these unigenes, 70,245 (58.19%) were successfully annotated and 65,965 (54.64%) were identified as coding sequences based on their similarities with sequences in public databases. We identified 21 unigenes that had significant relationships with cold tolerance in N. incisum according to gene ontology (GO) annotation analysis. In addition, 13,149 simple sequence repeats (SSRs) and 85,681 single nucleotide polymorphisms were detected as potential molecular genetic markers. Ninety-six primer pairs of SSRs were randomly selected to validate their amplification efficiency and polymorphism. Nineteen SSR loci exhibited polymorphism in three natural populations of N. incisum. These results provide valuable resources to facilitate future functional genomics and conservation genetics studies of N. incisum.
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The first complete plastid genome of Burmannia disticha L. from the mycoheterotrophic monocot family Burmanniaceae
Liuqing Ma, Pengfei Ma, Dezhu Li
Plant Diversity    2018, 40 (05): 232-237.   doi: 10.1016/j.pld.2018.07.004
Abstract87)      PDF (1924KB)(128)       Save

Burmanniaceae is one major group within the monocot order Dioscoreales that has not had its plastome sequenced. Members of Burmanniaceae are mostly achlorophyllous, although the genus Burmannia also includes autotrophs. Here, we report sequencing and analysis of the first Burmanniaceae plastid genome from Burmannia disticha L.. This plastome is 157,480 bp and was assembled as a circular sequence with the typical quadripartite structure of plant plastid genomes. This plastome has a regular number of potentially functional genes with a total of 111, including 78 protein coding genes, 4 ribosomal RNA (rRNA) genes, and 29 tRNA genes. The ratio of the total length of genic:intergenic DNA is 1.58:1, and the mean length of intergenic regions is 398 bp, the longest being 1918 bp. The overall GC content of the B. disticha plastome is 34.90%, and the IR regions in B. disticha are more GC rich (39.50%) than the LSC (32.30%) and SSC (28.80%) regions. Phylogenetic analysis of protein-coding sequences from plastomes of related species in the order Dioscoreales support a clade comprising Burmanniaceae and Dioscoreaceae. This phylogenetic placement is congruent with previous findings based on nuclear and mitochondrial evidence.

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Morphological plasticity and adaptation level of distylous Primula nivalis in a heterogeneous alpine environment
Aysajan Abdusalam, Qingjun Li
Plant Diversity    2018, 40 (06): 284-291.   doi: 10.1016/j.pld.2018.11.003
Abstract68)      PDF (5942KB)(27)       Save
Plant populations at high elevation face extreme climatic conditions and resource limitations. The existence of distylous species at different elevations can help us investigate their adaptation to high altitudes, the evolution of their morphological characteristics, as well as their responses to limited resources. Here, 17 populations of Primula nivalis at different elevations were evaluated regarding variations in plant morphological characteristics, biomass allocation, and morphological plasticity in a heterogeneous environment. Our results demonstrate that heterogeneous environments can affect plant morphological characteristics and resource allocation in each sexual morph of these plants. Moreover, environmental variations reduced morphological plasticity in the two plant morphs, and the plasticity of long style (LS) plants was greater than that of short style (SS) plants. There were significant negative correlations between morphological characteristics and elevation, rainfall, temperature, and sunshine, and these are the main variables that affect morphological characteristics and resource allocation of both morphs of P. nivalis plants in heterogeneous environments. The morphological characteristics of P. nivalis plants transplanted from high to lower elevations were not significantly different in either population. LS plants had greater morphological plasticity and adaptability in heterogeneous environments than SS plants. Elevational gradients and heterogeneous environments differentiated both morphs of P. nivalis plants with regards to morphology as well as adaptations. LS plants showed a higher level of adaptability than SS plants.
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The complete plastome of Panax stipuleanatus: Comparative and phylogenetic analyses of the genus Panax (Araliaceae)
Changkun Liu, Zhenyan Yang, Lifang Yang, Junbo Yang, Yunheng Ji
Plant Diversity    2018, 40 (06): 265-276.   doi: 10.1016/j.pld.2018.11.001
Abstract68)      PDF (13618KB)(74)       Save
Panax stipuleanatus (Araliaceae) is an endangered and medicinally important plant endemic to China. However, phylogenetic relationships within the genus Panax have remained unclear. In this study, we sequenced the complete plastome of P. stipuleanatus and included previously reported Panax plastomes to better understand the relationships between species and plastome evolution within the genus Panax. The plastome of P. stipuleanatus is 156,069 base pairs (bp) in length, consisting of a pair of inverted repeats (IRs, each 25,887 bp) that divide the plastome into a large single copy region (LSC, 86,126 bp) and a small single copy region (SSC, 8169 bp). The plastome contains 114 unigenes (80 protein-coding genes, 30 tRNA genes, and 4 rRNA genes). Comparative analyses indicated that the plastome gene content and order, as well as the expansion/contraction of the IR regions, are all highly conserved within Panax. No significant positive selection in the plastid protein-coding genes was observed across the eight Panax species, suggesting the Panax plastomes may have undergone a strong purifying selection. Our phylogenomic analyses resulted in a phylogeny with high resolution and supports for Panax. Nine proteincoding genes and 10 non-coding regions presented high sequence divergence, which could be useful for identifying different Panax species.
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Fast and abundant in vitro spontaneous haustorium formation in root hemiparasitic plant Pedicularis kansuensis Maxim. (Orobanchaceae)
Lei Xiang, Yanmei Li, Xiaolin Sui, Airong Li
Plant Diversity    2018, 40 (05): 226-231.   doi: 10.1016/j.pld.2018.07.005
Abstract59)      PDF (2107KB)(76)       Save

Haustorium formation is the characteristic feature of all parasitic plants and a vital process for successful parasitism. Previous investigations on haustorium initiation and development are constricted to induced processes by host-derived signals or synthetic analogs. Spontaneous haustorium formation in the absence of host signals, a process representing an early stage in the evolution of parasitic plants, remains largely unexplored. Lack of fast and frequent formation of spontaneous haustoria greatly hinders full understanding of haustorium formation in root hemiparasites. In this study, seedlings of Pedicularis kansuensis Maxim., a facultative root hemiparasitic species in Orobanchaceae observed to produce many spontaneous haustoria, were grown in autoclaved water agar in the absence of any known haustoriuminducing stimulants. We aimed to test the temporal and developmental pattern of spontaneous haustorium formation. Also, effects of sucrose supply and root contact on spontaneous haustorium formation were tested. Spontaneous haustoria were observed starting from six days after germination, much earlier than previously reported root hemiparasites. A majority of the spontaneous haustoria formed on lateral roots. Percentage of seedlings with spontaneous haustoria was 28.8% when grown on water agar plates, with a mean of four haustoria per seedling two weeks after germination. Haustorium formation by seedlings grown in water agar amended with 2% sucrose was more than twice of those without sucrose amendment. Singly grown seedlings were able to develop spontaneous haustoria at similar levels as those grown with another conspecific seedling. In view of the fast and abundant formation of spontaneous haustoria, P. kansuensis may be developed as an excellent experimental system in future investigations for unraveling endogenous regulation of haustorium initiation and development in root hemiparasitic plants.

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Conservation implications of population genetic structure in a threatened orchid Cypripedium tibeticum
Jian-Ling Guo, Wen-Juan Cao, Zhi-Min Li, Yong-Hong Zhang, Sergei Volis
Plant Diversity    2019, 41 (01): 13-18.   doi: 10.1016/j.pld.2018.12.002
Abstract56)      PDF (10587KB)(32)       Save
Cypripedium tibeticum is a threatened orchid which efficient conservation requires knowledge of its extent and structure of genetic variation. Using two chloroplast DNA fragments (rps16 and trnL-F), we analyzed 157 individuals from 9 populations representing the species range in China. Seven haplotypes were identified. C. tibeticum had high total genetic diversity (HT=0.80) with major contribution to this diversity made by among-population component (GST=0.64, ΦST=0.86). However, despite high population differentiation there was no clear phylogeographic structure. The populations CY and DC made the greatest contribution to the total gene diversity as well as allelic richness. The possible mechanisms and implications of these findings for conservation of the species are discussed.
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Diversity of desert rangelands of Tunisia
Mouldi Gamoun, Azaiez Ouled Belgacem, Mounir Louhaichi
Plant Diversity    2018, 40 (05): 217-225.   doi: 10.1016/j.pld.2018.06.004
Abstract55)      PDF (64502KB)(43)       Save

Plants are important components of any rangeland. However, the importance of desert rangeland plant diversity has often been underestimated. It has been argued that desert rangelands of Tunisia in good ecological condition provide more services than those in poor ecological condition. This is because rangelands in good condition support a more diverse mixture of vegetation with many benefits, such as forage for livestock and medicinal plants.
Nearly one-quarter of Tunisia, covering about 5.5 million hectares, are rangelands, of which 87% are located in the arid and desert areas (45% and 42%, respectively). Here, we provide a brief review of the floristic richness of desert rangelands of Tunisia. Approximately 135 species are specific to desert rangelands. The predominant families are Asteraceae, Poaceae, Brassicaceae, Chenopodiaceae, and Fabaceae. These represent approximately 50% of Tunisian desert flora.

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Generation and characterization of expressed sequence tags (ESTs) from coralloid root cDNA library of Cycas debaoensis
Yunhua Wang, Nan Li, Ting Chen, Yiqing Gong
Plant Diversity    2018, 40 (05): 245-252.   doi: 10.1016/j.pld.2018.09.002
Abstract55)      PDF (1879KB)(26)       Save

A normalized full-length cDNA library was constructed from the coralloid roots of Cycas debaoensis by the DSN (duplex-specific nuclease) normalization method combined with the SMART (Switching Mechanism At 5' end of the RNA Transcript) technique. The titer of the original cDNA library was about 1.5×106 cfu·mL-1 and the average insertion size was about 1 kb with a high recombination rate (97%). The 5011 high-quality expressed sequence tags (ESTs) were obtained from 5393 randomly picked cDNA clones. Clustering and assembly of ESTs resulted in 2984 unique sequences, consisting of 618 contigs and 2366 singlets. EST sequence annotation revealed that 2333 and 1901 unigenes were functionally annotated in the NCBI non-redundant database and Swiss-Prot protein database, respectively. Functional analysis demonstrated that 1495 (50.1%) unigenes were associated with 4082 Gene Ontology (GO) terms. A total of 847 unigenes were grouped into 22 Cluster of Orthologous Groups (COG) functional categories. Based on the EST dataset, 22 ESTs that encoded putative receptor-like protein kinase (RLK) genes were screened. Furthermore, a total of 94 simple sequence repeats (SSRs) were discovered, of which 20 loci were successfully amplified in C. debaoensis. This study is the first EST analysis for the coralloid roots of C. debaoensis and provides a valuable genomic resource for novel gene discovery, gene expression and comparative genomics, conservation and management studies as well as applications in C. debaoensis and related cycad species.

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Mapping and breeding value evaluation of a semi-dominant semidwarf gene in upland rice
Xiaoqian Chen, Peng Xu, Jiawu Zhou, Dayun Tao, Diqiu Yu
Plant Diversity    2018, 40 (05): 238-244.   doi: 10.1016/j.pld.2018.09.001
Abstract54)      PDF (4201KB)(32)       Save

Plant height is an important trait related to yield potential and plant architecture. A suitable plant height plays a crucial role in improvement of rice yield and lodging resistance. In this study, we found that the traditional upland landrace ‘Kaowenghan’ (KWH) showed a special semi-dwarf phenotype. To identify the semi-dwarf gene from KWH, we raised BC2F4 semi-dwarf introgression lines (IL) by hybridization of the japonica rice cultivar ‘Dianjingyou1’ (DJY1) and KWH in a DJY1 background. The plant height of the homozygous semi-dwarf IL (IL-87) was significantly reduced compared with that of DJY1. The phenotype of the F1 progeny of the semi-dwarf IL-87 and DJY1 showed that the semi-dwarf phenotype was semidominant. QTL mapping indicated that the semi-dwarf phenotype was controlled by a major QTL qDH1 and was localized between the markers RM6696 and RM12047 on chromosome 1. We also developed near-isogenic lines (NIL) from the BC3F3 population, and found that the yield of homozygous NIL (NIL-2) was not significantly different compared to DJY1. Breeding value evaluation through investigation of the plant height of the progeny of NIL (NIL-2) and cultivars from different genetic background indicate that the novel semi-dwarf gene shows potential as a genetic resource for rice breeding.

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Translocation of Otostegia bucharica, a highly threatened narrowly distributed relict shrub
Komiljon Tojibaev, Natalia Beshko, Sergei Volis
Plant Diversity    2019, 41 (02): 105-108.   doi: 10.1016/j.pld.2019.01.005
Abstract51)      PDF (5236KB)(25)       Save
Translocation is a recognized means of rescuing imperiled species but the evidence for the long-term success of translocations is limited. We report the successful translocation of reproductive individuals of a critically endangered shrub Otostegia bucharica from a site facing imminent habitat destruction into a nearby natural population of the species. The relocated plants were visited the year after planting and 13 years later to assess short- and long-term plant survival. Significant percentage of plants that survived transplanting shock and very dry spring following transplanting (around 36%), and further decrease of this number in the next 12 years by only 14%, indicated that O. bucharica is amenable to translocation using reproductive plants. Based on results of species distribution modeling, and failed attempts of ex situ cultivation, we propose introduction of this species into areas with suitable climatic and soil conditions. However, because there is currently no nature reserve in Uzbekistan having suitable conditions for the species under the present climate and that expected in the near future, and because all known habitats of O. bucharica are exposed to the very strong anthropogenic pressure, establishment of a new protected area, awareness building and involvement of local community in conservation activities are required to prevent extinction of this extremely rare species.
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Factors limiting the recruitment of Quercus schottkyana, a dominant evergreen oak in SW China
Ke Xia, Roy Turkington, Hong-yu Tan, Lei Fan
Plant Diversity    2018, 40 (06): 277-283.   doi: 10.1016/j.pld.2018.11.004
Abstract45)      PDF (1704KB)(15)       Save
Quercus schottkyana is a dominant species of oak in the Asian evergreen broad-leaved forests in southwestern China but seedlings are uncommon and recruitment is rare. Annual acorn production by Q. schottkyana is variable and the acorns are exposed to a series of mortality risks. Understanding the factors that limit recruitment of the oak requires knowledge of the oak's life cycle from acorn production to germination and seedling establishment. In this study, we first tested the effects of acorn density on establishment of seedlings by placing batches of acorns at different densities throughout the study area. Second, we tested the effects of herbivores on seedling survival by erecting fences around both natural and transplanted seedling populations. Our results show that even though the rate of seedling establishment increases as acorn density increases (for 32-8000 acorns·m-2), survival rates of seedlings in the field were generally low (0-0.6%). We show that seedling recruitment of Q. schottkyana is mainly limited to the acorn stage where 88% of the acorns died from the combined effects of desiccation and predation by weevils (Curculio) and bark beetles (Coccotrypes sp.). Herbivory results in the death of some seedlings and consequently also affects the recruitment of seedlings of Q. schottkyana.
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Prunus sunhangii: A new species of Prunus from central China
Xiaoshuang Zhang, Zhilin Jiang, Ziyoviddin Yusupov, Menghua Zhang, Daigui Zhang, Komiljon Tojibaev, Ying Meng, Tao Deng
Plant Diversity    2019, 41 (01): 19-25.   doi: 10.1016/j.pld.2019.01.003
Abstract40)      PDF (9035KB)(48)       Save
A new species of Rosaceae from Central China, Prunus sunhangii D. G. Zhang & T. Deng, sp. nov., is described and illustrated. The new species is placed in Prunus subgenus Cerasus by flower and fruit characteristics. It is most similar to Prunus cerasoides, but differs by having longitudinally 2-lobed apical petals, an acuminate leaf apex, 17-25 stamens, white petals, dark black drupes, brown hypanthium, and different phenology. The phylogenetic placement of this species was assessed based on morphological and molecular data. Molecular analysis (cpDNA+ITS) corroborated its placement in subgenus Cerasus, specifically Prunus section Serrula.
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Distributional responses to climate change for alpine species of Cyananthus and Primula endemic to the Himalaya-Hengduan Mountains
Xie He, Kevin S. Burgess, Lian-Ming Gao, De-Zhu Li
Plant Diversity    2019, 41 (01): 26-32.   doi: 10.1016/j.pld.2019.01.004
Abstract37)      PDF (17206KB)(62)       Save
Global warming increases the vulnerability of plants, especially alpine herbaceous species, to local extinction. In this study, we collected species distribution information from herbarium specimens for ten selected Cyananthus and Primula alpine species endemic to the Himalaya-Hengduan Mountains (HHM). Combined with climate data from WorldClim, we used Maximum Entropy Modeling (MaxEnt) to project distributional changes from the current time period to 2070. Our predictions indicate that, under a wide range of climate change scenarios, the distributions of all species will shift upward in elevation and northward in latitude; furthermore, under these scenarios, species will expand the size of their range. For the majority of the species in this study, habitats are available to mitigate upward and northward shifts that are projected to be induced by changing climate. If current climate projections, however, increase in magnitude or continue to increase past our projection dates, suitable habitat for future occupation by alpine species will be limited as we predict range contraction or less range expansion for some of the species under more intensified climate scenarios. Our study not only underscores the value of herbarium source information for future climate model projections but also suggests that future studies on the effects of climate change on alpine species should include additional biotic and abiotic factors to provide greater resolution of the local dynamics associated with species persistence under a warming climate.
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Phospholipase D antagonist 1-butanol inhibited the mobilization of triacylglycerol during seed germination in Arabidopsis
Yanxia Jia, Weiqi Li
Plant Diversity    2018, 40 (06): 292-298.   doi: 10.1016/j.pld.2018.11.002
Abstract36)      PDF (9675KB)(8)       Save
Storage oil breakdown plays an important role in the life cycle of many plants by providing the carbon skeletons that support seedling growth immediately following germination. 1-Butanol, a specific inhibitor of phospholipase D (PLD)-dependent production of the signalling molecule phosphatidic acid (PA), inhibited Arabidopsis seed germination. N-Acylethanolamines (NAEs), which have been shown to inhibits PLDα1 activity, have no effect on seed germination. However, mobilization profile of triacylglycerols (TAG) that induced by each compound has not been reported. To gain deeper insights into the mode of mobilization of TAG during NAE 12:0 or 1-butanol treatment, we conducted a detailed comparative analysis of the effect of NAE 12:0, DMSO, 1-butanol and tert-butanol on Arabidopsis seed germination and fatty acid composition, tert-butanol and DMSO served as the corresponding controls treatment respectively. Our data show that 1-butanol, but not the inactive tert-butanol isomer, inhibited Arabidopsis seed germination, which is accompanied by a with retardation of the mobilization of triacylglycerols (TAG). In contrast, NAE 12:0 did not affect mobilization of TAG, nor did it significantly delay seed germination as monitored by radicle and cotyledon emergence. 1-Butanol induced RNA degradation in seeds and seedlings. We speculate that the large-scale degradation of RNA under the induction of 1-butanol may lead to abnormal gene expression in genes necessary for seed germination, including the genes needed for the mobilization of oil bodies, and thus cause a delay of seed germination. To the best of our knowledge, we report for the first time that 1-butanol delays the mobilization of TAG.
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Recovering threatened plant species and their habitats: The need for integrated action
Plant Diversity    2019, 41 (02): 33-35.   doi: 10.1016/j.pld.2019.03.002
Abstract34)      PDF (315KB)(53)       Save
As an introduction to the Special Issue on the restoration of threatened plant species and their habitats, this editorial shows how the various papers in the issue address the range of in situ interventions involved in species population management and restoration of their habitat, together with examples of case studies implementing these actions. It stresses the need for integrating these various interventions. It highlights the importance of protected areas in providing a degree of protection for threatened species but also the need to complement this with actions at the species level to ensure the effective conservation and long term persistence of these species. It emphasizes that ecological restoration is a complement to, not a substitute for conservation, and that the balance of effort and allocation of resources between them is a key issue.
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A patatin-like protein synergistically regulated by jasmonate and ethylene signaling pathways plays a negative role in Nicotiana attenuata resistance to Alternaria alternata
Junbin Cheng, Na Song, Jinsong Wu
Plant Diversity    2019, 41 (01): 7-12.   doi: 10.1016/j.pld.2018.12.001
Abstract29)      PDF (3118KB)(24)       Save
Although patatin was initially identified as a major storage protein in potato tubers, patatin-like proteins (PLPs) have been recently reported to be widely present in many plant species and shown to be involved in plant-pathogen interactions. However, it is not clear whether PLPs are involved in Nicotiana attenuata resistance against the necrotrophic fungal pathogen, Alternaria alternata. In this study we identified a NaPLP gene, whose expression was highly elicited by A. alternata inoculation. Silencing NaPLP enhanced N. attenuata resistance to A. alternata, which was associated with higher induction levels of JA and ethylene biosynthetic genes, NaACS1, NaACO1 and NaLOX3. The induction of NaPLP expression by the fungus was abolished in JA-deficient plants and significantly reduced in ethylene-insensitive plants. In addition, NaPLP transcripts were highly induced by exogenous treatment with either methyl jasmonate (MeJA) or ethephon. Co-treatment with MeJA and ethephon led to a much higher induction level of NaPLP transcripts, and this synergistic induction was largely dependent on endogenous JA and ethylene signaling pathways. Thus, we conclude that the NaPLP gene is elicited by A. alternata via JA and ethylene signaling pathways in a synergistic way; however, unlike other JA- and ethylene-induced defense genes, NaPLP negatively affects plant resistance to the fungus likely by suppressing JA and ethylene biosynthetic gene expression.
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Conserving plants within and beyond protected areas—till problematic and future uncertain
Vernon H. Heywood
Plant Diversity    2019, 41 (02): 36-49.   doi: 10.1016/j.pld.2018.10.001
Abstract25)      PDF (456KB)(8)       Save
Against a background of continuing loss of biodiversity, it is argued that for the successful conservation of threatened plant species we need to ensure the more effective integration of the various conservation actions employed, clarify the wording of the CBD targets and provide clearer operational guidance as to how they are to be implemented and their implementation monitored. The role and effectiveness of protected areas in conserving biodiversity and in particular plant species in situ are discussed as are recent proposals for a massive increase of their extent. The need for much greater effort and investment in the conservation or protection of threatened species outside protected areas where most plant diversity occurs is highlighted. The difficulties involved in implementing effective in situ conservation of plant diversity both at an area- and species/population-based level are discussed. The widespread neglect of species recovery for plants is noted and the desirability of making a clearer distinction between species recovery and reintroduction is emphasized. Key messages from a global overview of species recovery are outlined and recommendations made, including the desirability of each country preparing a national species recovery strategy. The projected impacts of global change on protected areas and on species conservation and recovery, and ways of addressing them are discussed.
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Capturing, protecting and restoring plant diversity in the UK: RBG Kew and the Millennium Seed Bank
Ted Chapman, Stephanie Miles, Clare Trivedi
Plant Diversity    2019, 41 (02): 124-131.   doi: 10.1016/j.pld.2018.06.001
Abstract22)      PDF (522KB)(11)       Save
Ex situ seed banking is a practical and cost-effective means of preserving wild plant diversity and a crucial complement to the in situ conservation and restoration of species and habitats. As pressures on the natural environment have grown, so has the call for seed banks to provide scientifically-robust, practical solutions to seed-related problems in nature conservation, from single-species recovery and reintroduction to the restoration of complex, dynamic communities at the largest scales. In this paper, we discuss how the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and its Millennium Seed Bank have responded to this call in the United Kingdom. We demonstrate that banked seed collections can provide a range of otherwiseunavailable, high quality, known-origin, genetically-diverse biological materials. The data, expertise and specialist facilities that accompany these collections are also valuable, helping overcome constraints to the collection, production and effective use of native seed. Challenges remain - to ensure ex situ collections protect the species and genetic diversity that will enable plants to adapt to a changing environment, and to find new ways for seed banks to mobilise their resources at a landscape scale.
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Conservation-oriented restoration—a two for one method to restore both threatened species and their habitats
Sergei Volis
Plant Diversity    2019, 41 (02): 50-58.   doi: 10.1016/j.pld.2019.01.002
Abstract15)      PDF (1897KB)(7)       Save
There is an urgent need for a new conservation approach as mere designation of protected areas, the primary approach to conserving biodiversity, revealed its low conservation efficiency and inability to cope with numerous challenges faced by nature in the Anthropocene. The paper discusses the new concept, which proposes that ecological restoration becomes an integral part of conservation planning and implementation, and is done using threatened plant species that are introduced not only into locations where they currently grow or grew in the recent past, but also into suitable locations within their potential distribution range. This new concept is called conservation-oriented restoration to distinguish it from the traditional restoration. Although the number of restoration projects focusing on recreation of once existing natural habitats is instantly growing, the majority of ecological restoration projects, in contrast to conservation-oriented restoration, have predominantly utilitarian goals, e.g. improvement or air quality, erosion control or soil replenishment. Conservation-oriented restoration should not be seen as an alternative either to the latter, or to the conservation dealing with particular threatened species (species-targeted conservation). These three conservation approaches, traditional ecological restoration, species-targeted conservation, and conservation-oriented restoration differ not only in broadly defined goals and attributes of their targets, but also in the types of ecosystems they are applicable to, and complement each other in combating global deterioration of the environment and biodiversity loss.
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An early evaluation of translocation actions for endangered plant species on Mediterranean islands
Giuseppe Fenu, Gianluigi Bacchetta, S. Christodoulou Charalambo, Christini Fournaraki, Gian Pietro Giusso del Galdo, Panagiota Gotsiou, Angelos Kyratzis, Carole Piazza, Magdalena Vicens, Maria Silvia Pinna, Bertrand de Montmollin
Plant Diversity    2019, 41 (02): 94-104.   doi: 10.1016/j.pld.2019.03.001
Abstract14)      PDF (388KB)(6)       Save
In situ conservation is widely considered a primary conservation strategy. Plant translocation, specifically, represents an important tool for reducing the extinction risk of threatened species. However, thus far, few documented translocations have been carried out in the Mediterranean islands. The CareMediflora project, carried out on six Mediterranean islands, tackles both short- and long-term needs for the insular endangered plants through in situ and ex situ conservation actions. The project approach is based on using ex situ activities as a tool to improve in situ conservation of threatened plant species. Fifty island plants (representing 45 taxa) were selected for translocations using common criteria. During the translocations, several approaches were used, which differed in site selection method, origin of genetic material, type of propagative material, planting method, and more. Although only preliminary data are available, some general lessons can be learned from the experience of the CareMediflora project. Among the factors restricting the implementation of translocations, limited financial resources appear to be the most important. Specific preliminary management actions, sometimes to be reiterated after translocation, increase the overall cost, but often are necessary for translocation success. Translocation using juvenile/reproductive plants produces better results over the short term, although seeds may provide good results over the long run (to be assessed in the future). Regardless, plant translocation success can only be detected over long periods; therefore, proper evaluation of plant translocations requires a long-term monitoring protocol. Care-Mediflora project represents the first attempt to combine the existing approaches in a common plant conservation strategy specifically focusing on the Mediterranean islands.
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Planting position and shade enhance native seedling performance in forest restoration for an endangered malagasy plant
Cyprien Miandrimanana, J. Leighton Reid, Tahiry Rivoharison, Chris Birkinshaw
Plant Diversity    2019, 41 (02): 118-123.   doi: 10.1016/j.pld.2018.09.005
Abstract14)      PDF (17041KB)(3)       Save
The critically endangered tree Schizolaena tampoketsana is confined to a few diminished and degraded forest fragments on the Malagasy highlands. This habitat is vulnerable to loss due to frequent fires in the surrounding grassland that threaten to spread into the forest. One of these fragments is the focus a conservation project and here the managers aim to conserve S. tampoketsana by restoring its forest habitat to its former extent as evidenced by remnant woody plants. To inform this activity the survival and early-stage growth of seedlings of four locally native tree species were compared under contrasting conditions of proximity to the remaining forest and shade. After 12 months, seedlings of three species (Baronia taratana, Eugenia pluricymosa, Uapaca densifolia) survived better and experienced improved growth in height in grassland close to the existing forest rather than distant from it, and two survived better with shade rather than unshaded. A number of mechanisms could explain these results including reduced exposure to desiccating sunlight and winds and better soil and greater water availability close to the forest. The seedlings of one species (Nuxia capitata) survived well under all conditions. This study suggests that reforestation in these dry highlands is most feasible adjacent to remnant forest fragments and in microhabitats that minimize water loss, though young plants of some tree species may be capable of surviving in harsher conditions.
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Habitat suitability and herbivores determine reintroduction success of an endangered legume
Matthew A. Albrecht, Quinn G. Long
Plant Diversity    2019, 41 (02): 109-117.   doi: 10.1016/j.pld.2018.09.004
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Reintroductions of rare plants require detailed knowledge of habitat requirements, species interactions, and restoration techniques. Thus, incremental experimentation over many years may be required to develop adequate knowledge and techniques for successful reintroduction. To determine drivers of extinction in historical reintroductions of a federally endangered perennial (Astragalus bibullatus), we developed a reintroduction experiment to disentangle the relative importance of habitat quality, herbivores, and restoration technique on reintroduction success. In a factorial design, we manipulated access to vertebrate herbivores across different habitat types (mesic ecotone vs. xeric barren), and used founder populations comprised of more transplants and genetic sources than previous reintroduction attempts. In mesic ecotones where historical reintroductions failed, excluding herbivores, thinning woody encroachment to improve habitat quality, outplanting across a greater array of microhabitats, and increasing founder population size did not improve demographic rates over previous attempts. Compared to mesic ecotones, transplant survival rates and cumulative fruit production were more than two and ten times greater, respectively, in a xeric barren ecotone characterized by open, grassy, and dry microenvironmental conditions. Across all sites, herbivores decreased probabilities of survival and flowering of larger adult plants. Flowering rates were 80% greater inside relative to outside herbivore exclusion cages. Over a four-year period, only a single uncaged plant produced fruit. Our study demonstrates that habitat quality and vertebrate herbivory are key drivers of long-term persistence in rare plant reintroductions. Using incremental experiments that build on previous knowledge gained from long-term monitoring can improve reintroduction outcomes.
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Species diversity in restoration plantings: Important factors for increasing the diversity of threatened tree species in the restoration of the Araucaria forest ecosystem
Taylor E. Shaw
Plant Diversity    2019, 41 (02): 84-93.   doi: 10.1016/j.pld.2018.08.002
Abstract10)      PDF (2453KB)(9)       Save
The Araucaria forest ecosystem in southern Brazil is highly threatened: less than one percent of the original forest remains, and what is left is a fragmented agro-mosaic of mostly early-to-late secondary forest patches among high-yield agriculture and timber monocultures. Forest restoration initiatives in this region aim to restore degraded areas, however the limited number of species used in restoration projects represents a missed opportunity for species-rich plantings. High diversity plantings represent a larger number of functional groups and provide a targeted conservation strategy for the high number of threatened species within this ecosystem. This study interviewed nurseries (Ns) and restoration practitioners (RPs) in Paraná and Santa Catarina states to identify what species are being cultivated and planted, and what factors are driving the species selection process. An average of 20 species were reportedly used in restoration plantings, most of which are common, widespread species. Baseline data confirms that Ns and RPs have disproportionately low occurrences of threatened species in their inventories and plantings, supporting findings from previous research. Questionnaire responses reveal that opportunities for seed acquisition are an extremely important factor in order for nurseries to increase their diversity of cultivated species. Results also suggest that facilitating speciesrich plantings for restoration practitioners would only be feasible if it did not increase the time required to complete planting projects, as it would minimize their ability to keep costs low. This study proposes solutions for increasing the number of species used in restoration practicedsuch as developing a comprehensive species list, fostering knowledge-sharing between actors, creating seed sharing programs, and increasing coordination of planting projects. Long-term strategies involve complimenting traditional ex situ approaches with emerging inter-situ and quasi in situ conservation strategies which simultaneously provide long-term preservation of genetic diversity and increase seed production of target species.
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Recovery of threatened plant species and their habitats in the biodiversity hotspot of the Southwest Australian Floristic Region
Leonie Monks, Sarah Barrett, Brett Beecham, Margaret Byrne, Alanna Chant, David Coates, J. Anne Cochrane, Andrew Crawford, Rebecca Dillon, Colin Yates
Plant Diversity    2019, 41 (02): 59-74.   doi: 10.1016/j.pld.2018.09.006
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The Southwest Australian Floristic Region (SWAFR) is a global biodiversity hotspot with high plant diversity and endemism and a broad range of threatening processes. An outcome of this is a high proportion of rare and threatened plant species. Ongoing discovery and taxonomic description of new species, many of which are rare, increases the challenges for recovery of threatened species and prioritisation of conservation actions. Current conservation of this diverse flora is based on integrated and scientific evidence-based management. Here we present an overview of current approaches to the conservation of threatened flora in the SWAFR with a focus on active management through recovery and restoration that is integrated with targeted research. Key threats include disease, fragmentation, invasive weeds, altered fire regimes, grazing, altered hydro-ecology and climate change. We highlight the integrated approach to management of threats and recovery of species with four case studies of threatened flora recovery projects that illustrate the breadth of interventions ranging from In situ management to conservation reintroductions and restoration of threatened species habitats. Our review and case studies emphasise that despite the scale of the challenge, a scientific understanding of threats and their impacts enables effective conservation actions to arrest decline and enhance recovery of threatened species and habitats.
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Conserving and restoring the Caicos pine forests: The first decade
Michele Dani Sanchez, Bryan Naqqi Manco, Junel Blaise, Marcella Corcoran, Martin Allen Hamilton
Plant Diversity    2019, 41 (02): 75-83.   doi: 10.1016/j.pld.2018.05.002
Abstract7)      PDF (5344KB)(5)       Save
The severe and rapid attack on the Caicos pine Pinus caribaea var. bahamensis (Pinaceae) by the nonnative invasive pine tortoise scale, Toumeyella parvicornis, has resulted in the death of most of the trees in the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) in just over a decade. Local and international conservation efforts have enabled the necessary multi-disciplinary research, data gathering, and monitoring to develop and implement a restoration strategy for this endemic tree from the Bahaman archipelago. The native plant nursery established on North Caicos and horticultural expertise acquired throughout the years were crucial to the successful rescue of Caicos pine saplings from the wild populations and cultivation of new saplings grown from locally sourced seeds. These saplings have been used to establish six Restoration Trial Plots on Pine Cay and a seed orchard on North Caicos in TCI. Core Conservation Areas (CCAs) for the Caicos pine forests have been identified and mapped. To date, forest within the Pine Cay CCA has been supplemented by planting more than 450 pine trees, which have survived at a high (>80%) rate.
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