Evaluating population and community structure against climate and land-use determinants to improve the conservation of the rare Narcissus pseudonarcissus subsp. nobilis

Ana Sofia Vaz*, Duarte Silva, Paulo Alves, Joana Raquel Vicente, Francisco Barreto Caldas, João Pradinho Honrado, Angela Lomba

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Climate and land-use changes are among the most relevant determinants of future persistence of rare plant species in rural landscapes. We analysed the structure of populations of a rare plant, Narcissus pseudonarcissus subsp. nobilis, and of their respective plant communities against several environmental variables (climate-, topography-, land-use-, and soil-related) in order to identify the pressures that may directly or indirectly affect the persistence of the rare species. Overall, local land-use was the primary determinant of traits related to population renewal and community composition. Specifically, traditional farmlands supported higher community diversity and population individuals. Though moderate land-use intensification seemed to benefit plant community diversity, land abandonment could allow the persistence of N. pseudonarcissus subsp. nobilis populations. Also, a relevant influence of regional environment was perceived on species richness as well as on traits related to population condition, highlighting climate change as a potential determinant of the future persistence of the species. This study highlights the importance of considering key population traits as well as of community structure to accomplish conservation goals by accounting with the factors driving changes in the habitats in which rare species occur, from climate change to land-use and landscape management.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere027
JournalAnales del Jardin Botanico de Madrid
Volume73
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Keywords

  • Endangered species
  • Iberian Peninsula
  • Land-use
  • Population traits
  • Rural landscapes

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