Plant Diversity ›› 2019, Vol. 41 ›› Issue (02): 105-108.DOI: 10.1016/j.pld.2019.01.005

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Translocation of Otostegia bucharica, a highly threatened narrowly distributed relict shrub

Komiljon Tojibaeva, Natalia Beshkoa, Sergei Volisb   

  1. a Institute of Botany of Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Uzbekistan, 32 Durmon Yuli St., 100125, Tashkent, Uzbekistan;
    b Key Laboratory for Plant Diversity and Biogeography of East Asia, Kunming Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming, 650204, China
  • Received:2018-11-20 Revised:2019-01-15 Online:2019-04-25 Published:2019-05-18
  • Contact: Komiljon Tojibaev
  • Supported by:
    The study has been performed within the framework of the state research project F3MV-2016e0914113123.

Abstract: 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.

Key words: Endangered plant species, SDM, Translocation, In situ, Plant conservation