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Publication Type J
Authors Cortinhas, A., T. C. Ferreira, M. M. Abreu and A. D. Caperta
Title Conservation of a Critically Endangered Endemic Halophyte of West Portugal: A Microcosm Assay to Assess the Potential of Soil Technology for Species Reintroduction
Source Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution
Author Keywords estuarine water Limonium daveaui fluvisol tailored soils plant restoration soil technology wastes disturbance regimes tagus estuary salt phytoremediation tolerance management salinity gypsum
Abstract The soil system has been frequently overlooked during plant reintroduction planning and practice since working with soils and plant roots can be difficult, particularly in saline environments. Coastal saline environments are major contributors to regional and global biodiversity and an important source of endemic species. However, various species are in decline or considered threatened, particularly halophytes (salt tolerant) due to negative anthropic impacts. The Lusitanian endemic halophyte Limonium daveaui formerly had a large distribution range along the west coast of Portugal but currently it shows a restricted distribution in the Tagus estuary. Field surveys revealed that this critically endangered species forms few local populations with small size invaded by exotic species. In this study, we investigated the potential utilization of Technosols, an innovative sustainable, ecological engineering method combined with brackish water irrigation for potential L. daveaui reintroduction in native habitats. Seed germination percentages were evaluated in different environmental conditions. Through a microcosm assay, a Technosol was constructed using a saline Fluvisol with a mixture of low value inorganic and organic wastes, which were chemically characterized. Plants were cultivated in the Fluvisol and Technosol and irrigated with brackish water collected in the nearby area. To assess plant growth, morphometric parameters and the plants' physiological status were assessed and the fresh and dry biomass determined. Results showed that seed germination was higher on moist filter paper with distilled water than in Fluvisol or Technosol. Plants grown in Technosol had a greater development, with higher values of photosynthetic indexes and biomass production than in Fluvisol. Our findings provide a basis for future in situ conservation studies and support the idea that eco-friendly soil technology approaches are beneficial to conserve rare halophyte species.
Author Address [Cortinhas, Ana; Ferreira, Teresa Cardoso; Abreu, Maria Manuela; Caperta, Ana D.] Univ Lisbon, Inst Super Agron ISA, Linking Landscape Environm Agr & Food LEAF, Lisbon, Portugal. Caperta, AD (corresponding author), Univ Lisbon, Inst Super Agron ISA, Linking Landscape Environm Agr & Food LEAF, Lisbon, Portugal. anadelaunay@isa.ulisboa.pt
ISSN 2296-701X
ISBN 2296-701X
29-Character Source Abbreviation Front. Ecol. Evol.
Publication Date May
Year Published 2021
Volume 9
Digital Object Identifier (DOI) 10.3389/fevo.2021.604509
Unique Article Identifier WOS:000651218000001

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