Tagged: restoration

Trees alone will not save us

There’s more recognition that ecological restoration can be an essential tool in fighting climate change, and there are many projects aimed at restoring degraded forests to capture carbon. Still, the focus on forests ignores much of the land in the tropics that would not naturally be forested. A team of scientists is arguing that people need to become aware of other habitats and their value.

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Two-dimensional ‘snapshots’ illustrating the dynamic simulated growth of four initial apical meristems within a 300 mm × 300 mm experimental plot

Simulating ephemeral seagrass growth

Ephemeral seagrasses provide important marine habitats, but are under threat due to human activity. Whitehead et al. develop a new functional-structural environmentally dependant model, in order to integrate existing knowledge of ephemeral seagrass growth dynamics and to assess potential management options, such as transplantation. The model is parameterised for a population of Halophila stipulacea (Hydrocharitaceae) in the Persian Gulf, and is able to successfully simulate its dynamic structural growth patterns. The model is freely available and easily adapted for new species and locations, although validation for more species and environments is required This paper is part of the Annals of...

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Florida ghost orchid (Dendrophylax lindenii) plant and flower.

Ghost orchid symbiotic seed germination

Successful orchid germination, embryo development and seedling establishment require the presence of mycorrhizal fungi. However, little is known about the orchid seed germination niche requirements in situ, especially regarding the role and host specificity of mycorrhizal fungi during germination and subsequent seedling development. Hoang et al. describe the array of effects of the co-culture of mycorrhizal fungal strains, isolated from the roots of the endangered leafless Ghost orchid (Dendrophylax lindenii), on in vitro seed germination, seedling anatomy and developmental morphology. The fungal strain Dlin-394 was confirmed as a possible Ghost orchid germination mycobiont, which significantly promoted seed germination and seedling...

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Seed germination of seven desert plants and implications for vegetation restoration

Germination cues reflect the conditions under which a species is likely to succeed in recruitment. In a recent study published in AoB PLANTS, Lai et al. evaluated the seed germination responses of seven desert species to temperature and light and explored the implications for vegetation restoration. Both temperature and photon irradiance influenced the germination of these species. Based on these results and the environmental conditions of their natural habitat, suggestions about plant choices for different habitats including shifting sand dunes, semi-fixed sand dunes and fixed sand dunes are given.

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The Dry Aral Sea

The ‘natural’ solution might not be best when your wildlife isn’t natural

Many ecosystems have been degraded or modified, and these are the sorts of systems you target for restoration. But when a system has been altered so much the original species might not be the best choice to bring it back to health. Therefore, says Thomas Jones, you need to look at alternative species. A paper from BioScience has caught my eye. In Ecologically Appropriate Plant Materials for Restoration Applications Thomas Jones argues that restoration might go better sometimes if you bring in some novel species to a site. What I find interesting is that it tackles the question what does...

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Variable seed dormancy and germination in Hibbertia

Variable seed dormancy and germination in Hibbertia

Several ecologically important plant families in Mediterranean biomes have seeds with morphophysiological dormancy. Hidayati et al. study four species of the intractably dormant Australian genus Hibbertia (Dilleniaceae) and find that although they are congeneric, sympatric and produce seeds of identical morphology, they show a remarkable level of variation in dormancy-break and germination requirements. The results have important implications for current classification systems of seed dormancy and highlight the difficulties, and caution required, in extrapolating dormancy requirements in biodiverse regions such as the south-west Australian biodiversity hotspot.

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Modelling seagrass growth and development

Modelling seagrass growth and development

Transplanting seagrasses can help restore ecologically important and threatened marine ecosystems. Based on the L-system formalism, Renton et al. present a functional–structural plant model of seagrass growth that integrates data collected from short-term trials and experiments for Posidonia australis. They use the model to conduct an evaluation of different transplanting strategies and find that reasonable long-term outcomes can be predicted, based only on short-term data. Marine restoration represents a novel application of functional–structural plant modelling.

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