Silene nocteolens 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Magnoliopsida Caryophyllales Caryophyllaceae

Scientific Name: Silene nocteolens Webb & Berthel.
Common Name(s):
Spanish Canutillo del Teide, Hierba conejera

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered B2ab(iii) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2011
Date Assessed: 2011-02-07
Assessor(s): Bañares Baudet, A., Carqué Álamo, E. & Marrero Gómez, M.V.
Reviewer(s): Bilz, M. & Peraza Zurita, M.D.
Silene nocteolens is listed as Critically Endangered because there are two unique populations with less than 1,000 individuals, representing an area of occupancy of 3 km². Those two subpopulations are severely fragmented and there is continuing decline in the quality of the area due to grazing by rabbits and mouflon, although partially controlled now, as well as a potential threat from infrastructure expansion.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Silene nocteolens is endemic to the island of Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain, with only two known locations in the highest areas of the island: Montaña Blanca and Pico ViejoReferences made to several localities in Tenerife must be taken with some reservations, as it may respond to confusion with other species of this genus (S. berthelotiana, S. nutans). Previous reports of sightings on the island of Gran Canaria respond to a different taxon (Silene tamaranae).
The area of occupancy is 3 km².
Countries occurrence:
Spain (Canary Is.)
Additional data:
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2:3
Number of Locations:2
Lower elevation limit (metres):2500
Upper elevation limit (metres):3000
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:The subpopulation of Montaña Blanca appears to be stable and in the last few years a slow expansion of the subpopulation has been observed (Marrero Gómez et al. 2004). However, the presence of introduced herbivores such as rabbits has occasionally been observed in the area. The subpopulation of Pico Viejo is much more sensitive to predator influence that impedes its development. In general the population dynamics seems to be very slow, subject to a low annual recruitment of young individuals.
Total population size was estimated in 816 mature individuals by Marrero Gómez et al. (2004). In 2008, 2,429 specimens were recorded (Gobierno de Canarias 2009); from these, 558 were adult.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:558
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Silene nocteolens is a hermaphroditic species. It can produce over 40 flowers, most of which develop well and fruit. The soft perfume the flowers exhale during the night can be interpreted as an adaptation to pollination by nocturnal insects. The capsules, with an average of 35 seeds, when burst open usually do not scatter beyond ten metres from the parent plant. Several ex situ tests reveal no present problems in their germination.

It develops above 2,500 m. Their populations are located in environments where pyroclasts constitute the dominant substrate, usually spreading in a layer several centimetres in thickness, below which soils are more or less deep. This layer of pyroclasts helps maintain soil moisture in times of drought, until late summer. The dominant vegetation in these environments, as the area is apparently devoid of vegetation responds to Violetum cheiranthifoliae (Spartocytision supranubii).


Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Traditionally the main threat to this species has been posed by rabbits and mouflons, which may have led to extinction in some localities. At present this aspect is partially controlled. The population is located near trails, which could result in future problems for the habitat if developed.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species is listed under Appendix I of the Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats (Bern Convention). It is listed as CR B2ab(iii) in the Spanish Red List 2008 (Moreno 2008). It is listed as "Vulnerable" in the catalogue of protected species of the Canary Islands.

All populations are located within the Parque National Teide (SCI), which developed a recovery programme that, among other activities, includes intensive study and monitoring of its population biology, sending seeds to germplasm banks, fencing of some areas and by strengthening relations with the local populations.

Citation: Bañares Baudet, A., Carqué Álamo, E. & Marrero Gómez, M.V. 2011. Silene nocteolens. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2011: e.T165122A5976394. . Downloaded on 18 June 2018.
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