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Open AccessArticle

Regeneration Ecology of the Rare Plant Species Verbascum dingleri: Implications for Species Conservation

1
Laboratory of Silviculture, Department of Forestry and Natural Environment, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, P.O. Box 262, University Campus, GR54124 Thessaloniki, Greece
2
Naturalis Biodiversity Centre, 2332 AA Leiden, The Netherlands
3
EXERGIA S.A. Voukourestiou 15, GR-106 72 Athens, Greece
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2019, 11(12), 3305; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11123305
Received: 8 March 2019 / Revised: 27 May 2019 / Accepted: 4 June 2019 / Published: 15 June 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Biodiversity, Conservation and Sustainability)
Verbascum dingleri Mattf and Stef. is a Greek endemic plant species belonging to the family of Scrophulariaceae that only occurs in northeastern Greece, east of the city of Kavala. Knowledge of species distribution, habitat requirements, reproduction, ecology, and population characteristics is limited in the literature. In this study, habitat characteristics, population counts, fruit and seed diversity, and germination were studied for the first time. The results indicate that the species geographical distribution is very restricted, lying in the Mediterranean floristic zone at a low altitude (100–200 m asl) and on very shallow soils. The habitat of this species is characterized by the Csa climate type, with a mean annual precipitation of 602 mm and a mean annual temperature of 14.6 °C. The species occurs in the area lying between the geographical coordinates 40°58′16.59″ N, 24°27′54.93 E, and 41°05′7.2″ N, 24° 47′17.2″ E. The species thrives in degraded shrub communities, dominated by the shrub species Paliurus spina-cristi Mill., Olea europea L. ssp. europaea, and Quercus coccifera L. Only a very small number of individuals were found (less than 200) at a density considered too small for long-term persistence of the species. The fruits of the species contained a high number (mean value 58.2) of minute seeds. The seeds exhibited high germination (up to 80.0% in laboratory and up to 30% in ambient conditions). We conclude that in situ and ex situ species conservation and habitat restoration are feasible through the introduction of seedlings produced from seeds collected from local populations. View Full-Text
Keywords: endangered plant; ex situ conservation; plant reintroduction; seed germination; seedling propagation endangered plant; ex situ conservation; plant reintroduction; seed germination; seedling propagation
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Ganatsas, P.; Tsakaldimi, M.; Damianidis, C.; Stefanaki, A.; Kalapothareas, T.; Karydopoulos, T.; Papapavlou, K. Regeneration Ecology of the Rare Plant Species Verbascum dingleri: Implications for Species Conservation. Sustainability 2019, 11, 3305.

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