Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Polygala balansae, a new bush to Europe, at risk of extinction in Spain

Date:
May 4, 2010
Source:
FECYT - Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology
Summary:
Researchers have studied the natural history and conservation status in Spain of the only known population of Polygala balansae in Europe, a thorny bush that can grow up to 1.5 m high, which was previously thought to be exclusive to Morocco. The team of scientists is calling for it to be protected and included on the list of threatened species.

The bush Polygala balansae, of Moroccan origin, is at risk of extinction in Spain.
Credit: Juan Lorite

Researchers at the University of Granada (UGR) have studied the natural history and conservation status in Spain of the only known population of Polygala balansae in Europe, a thorny bush that can grow up to 1.5 metres high, which was previously thought to be exclusive to Morocco. The team of scientists is calling for it to be protected and included on the list of threatened species.

Related Articles


In 2006, a research team from the University of Granada (UGR) embarked upon a detailed study of the bush Polygala balansae in Spain. The scientists studied its distribution area, the number of individual plants and some features of its reproductive biology. The bush was declared to be a new species in Europe in the same year.

"Field sampling led to us finding only one population, despite searching a much larger area," says Juan Lorite, lead author and a researcher at the Department of Botany of the UGR.

The study, which was published last month in the journal Annales Botanici Fennici, counted 246 reproductive individuals. "These data, along with its small area of occupation and potential threats to its population, have led to the species being evaluated as in critical danger of extinction at regional level by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (UICN)," explains Lorite.

The only population in Spain occupies "just" 1,920 m2 near Almuñécar (Granada), at an altitude of 120-160 metres above sea level. This population occupies "a small area of Mediterranean scrubland, in an environment populated by subtropical crops (avocados and custard apples)," the researcher adds.

Some of the threats facing the bush include habitat fragmentation, changing soil use, human settlement encroachment and the expansion of subtropical crops, housing developments, natural or deliberately set fires, as well as biological problems resulting from the low number of reproductive individuals in the population.

The researcher says, "the species itself is not protected and nor is the area it occupies, meaning it should be included in future red lists of threatened species, and protective regulations introduced to cover the whole area where it is found."

The researchers are also calling for urgent measures to protect areas where the bush could potentially grow, and where no protective guarantees are in place, such as Murcia, Almería, Granada and Malaga.

The voyage of the African bush

Prior to this study, the distribution area of Polygala balansae was thought to be limited exclusively to Morocco. The bush can be found in the High Atlas, the Western Anti-Atlas and in some parts of the Mid Atlas. It is very widely distributed in Morocco, where populations have a high number of individuals "and so it is not under threat there," Lorite concludes.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by FECYT - Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Lorite, Juan; Penas, Julio; Benito, Blas; Cañadas, Eva; Valle, Francisco. Conservation status of the first known population of Polygala balansae in Europe. Annales Botanici Fennici, 2010; 47 (1): 45-50

Cite This Page:

FECYT - Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology. "Polygala balansae, a new bush to Europe, at risk of extinction in Spain." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 May 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100504095113.htm>.
FECYT - Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology. (2010, May 4). Polygala balansae, a new bush to Europe, at risk of extinction in Spain. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 27, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100504095113.htm
FECYT - Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology. "Polygala balansae, a new bush to Europe, at risk of extinction in Spain." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100504095113.htm (accessed January 27, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How To: Mixed Green Salad Topped With Camembert Cheese

How To: Mixed Green Salad Topped With Camembert Cheese

Rumble (Jan. 26, 2015) — Learn how to make a mixed green salad topped with a pan-seared camembert cheese in only a minute! Music: Courtesy of Audio Network. Video provided by Rumble
Powered by NewsLook.com
Water Fleas Prepare for Space Voyage

Water Fleas Prepare for Space Voyage

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Jan. 26, 2015) — Scientists are preparing a group of water fleas for a unique voyage into space. The aquatic crustaceans, known as Daphnia, can be used as a miniature model for biomedical research, and their reproductive and swimming behaviour will be tested for signs of stress while on board the International Space Station. Jim Drury went to meet the team. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Husky Puppy Plays With Ferret

Husky Puppy Plays With Ferret

Rumble (Jan. 26, 2015) — It looks like this 2-month-old Husky puppy and the family ferret are going to be the best of friends. Look at how much fun they&apos;re having together! Credit to &apos;Vira&apos;. Video provided by Rumble
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Model Flying, Walking Drone After Vampire Bats

Scientists Model Flying, Walking Drone After Vampire Bats

Buzz60 (Jan. 26, 2015) — Swiss scientists build a new drone that can both fly and walk, modeling it after the movements of common vampire bats. Jen Markham (@jenmarkham) has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins