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Survey and statistical analysis of plant reintroductions in Germany

  • Aim - Plant reintroductions and other forms of targeted species translocations will in the future gain growing importance for nature conservation. In fragmented habitats, species reintroductions offer one of the most efficient tools for preserving or restoring plant diversity. In our study, we have compiled available data about plant reintroduction projects in Germany to answer the following questions: (1) What are the characteristics, habitat preferences and ecological strategies of species considered in plant reintroduction trials, and are these representative of the entire class of threatened species in Germany? (2) Is the judgment of the success or failure of plant reintroductions biased by the choice of species used in the experiments? (3) Do reintroduction efforts focus on those species for which Germany has a particularly high responsibility for conservation? Methods - Information about reintroduction projects in Germany were obtained from published and internet sources as well as unpublished reports. In our search we focusedAim - Plant reintroductions and other forms of targeted species translocations will in the future gain growing importance for nature conservation. In fragmented habitats, species reintroductions offer one of the most efficient tools for preserving or restoring plant diversity. In our study, we have compiled available data about plant reintroduction projects in Germany to answer the following questions: (1) What are the characteristics, habitat preferences and ecological strategies of species considered in plant reintroduction trials, and are these representative of the entire class of threatened species in Germany? (2) Is the judgment of the success or failure of plant reintroductions biased by the choice of species used in the experiments? (3) Do reintroduction efforts focus on those species for which Germany has a particularly high responsibility for conservation? Methods - Information about reintroduction projects in Germany were obtained from published and internet sources as well as unpublished reports. In our search we focused on single-species trials in the framework of scientific or conservation projects. For all threatened species included in our database, we compiled information on their systematics, life form, ecological strategies and habitat preferences. A list of all species being threatened nationally or regionally, comprising both reintroduced and not reintroduced species, served as a reference for statistical analysis. Results - The list of vascular plants used in conservation-oriented reintroductions consisted of 196 taxa. Species of families with large and conspicuous, mostly insect-pollinated flowers (for example, Orchidaceae) were over-represented among the reintroduced species compared to those threatened species not included in reintroduction trials. Species considered were also more often than expected found in semi-natural open habitats such as heathlands and grasslands. Notably, many projects focused on calcareous grasslands, characterized by dry, high-pH and infertile soils. In contrast, species of more near-natural vegetation (alpine and rocky formations, forests) were under-represented. About 25% of the species that were reintroduced are not threatened on the national scale. Out of 150 species for which Germany has a particularly high responsibility for conservation, only 14 (9.3%) were reintroduced. For only about 1/3 of all reintroduction attempts, success or failure were documented; whereas the success rate appears to be relatively low in nutrient-poor environments, trials with nutrient-demanding and competitive species were more successful. Conclusions - We conclude that conservation-oriented reintroduction attempts should focus more on species for which the country or a region has a particular high responsibility. Reintroductions, to a larger extent than at present, also need to consider the different chances of success in different habitat types and environments.show moreshow less

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Metadaten
Author:Martin Diekmann, Josef Müller, Thilo Heinken, Cecilia Dupre
ISSN:0722-494X (print)
Parent Title (German):Tuexenia : Mitteilungen der Floristisch-Soziologischen Arbeitsgemeinschaft
Publisher:Floristisch-Soziologische Arbeitsgemeinschaft
Place of publication:Göttingen
Document Type:Article
Language:German
Year of first Publication:2015
Year of Completion:2015
Release Date:2017/03/27
Tag:Ellenberg indicator values; Grime strategy; conservation responsibility; habitat type; life form; red list
Issue:35
Pagenumber:17
First Page:249
Last Page:265
Organizational units:Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Fakultät / Institut für Biochemie und Biologie
Peer Review:Referiert