Plantago moorei 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Magnoliopsida Plantaginales Plantaginaceae

Scientific Name: Plantago moorei Rahn
Common Name(s):
English Moore's Plantain

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B1ab(i,ii,iii,v)+2ab(i,ii,iii,v) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2012
Date Assessed: 2012-04-10
Assessor(s): Upson, R., Clubbe, C.P. & McAdam, J.H.
Reviewer(s): Hilton-Taylor, C. & Bilz, M.
Contributor(s): Broughton, D.A., Cowan, R.S & Stevens, L.

Moore's Plantain (Plantago moorei) has a severely restricted range with an extent of occurrence (EOO) of about 59 km² and an area of occupancy (AOO) of well under 28 km² (possibly as small as 13 km² which is very close to the threshold for Critically Endangered). It is only known to occur at four locations. At present the major threats to these are an invasive plant species, livestock trampling, climate change, accidental fires (caused by people or lightning strikes) and storms which could rapidly accelerate the current rate of coastal erosion.Given the current absence of control measures, there is projected to be a continuing decline in the EOO, AOO and number of individuals of this species in the long term owing to the continued spread of the invasive species Pilosella officinarum. Three locations (holding over 95% of the population) are at risk from the invasive plant - one location in the medium term (at Port Stephens, West Falkland) and two in the long term. There is also a projected continuing decline in the quality of the habitat within which this species is found owing to severe coastal erosion and probable continued disturbance from livestock (trampling). Given the information presented above, Moore's Plantain is assessed as Endangered.

Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Plantago moorei is known to occur within three 10 km UTM grid squares in the extreme southwest of the Falkland Islands archipelago. The majority of the population (>95%) is found on the west coast of a single farm in the southwest of the archipelago. An additional, small (16-20 cushions) subpopulation occurs within a 5x5 m area on the west coast of Weddell Island.
Countries occurrence:
Falkland Islands (Malvinas)
Additional data:
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2:13-28Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Yes
Estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:59
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO):Yes
Number of Locations:4
Lower elevation limit (metres):10
Upper elevation limit (metres):150
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:The majority of the population (>95%) of P. moorei is found on the west coast of a single farm in the southwest of West Falkland. An additional, small (16-20 cushions) subpopulation occurs within a 5x5 m area on the west coast of Weddell Island. The total population can be inferred to be around 1,000 individual, mature cushions.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:1000Continuing decline of mature individuals:Yes
Extreme fluctuations:NoPopulation severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:P. moorei is associated with exposed, strongly salt-spray influenced N/ NW/ W/ SW-facing slopes. Most subpopulations of P. moorei occur within coastal dwarf shrub heath but also coastal cushion heath. Several subpopulations also occur within coastal (saline) grassland dominated by Festuca magellanica. P. moorei is found across an altitudinal range of 0-146 m.

One of the key morphological traits of P. moorei that distinguishes it from the co-occurring Plantago barbata is that its leaves are densely covered by white and coarse hairs. Leaf hairs can perform a variety of functions and their precise benefit to P. moorei has not yet been investigated.
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Yes

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: There is no known use.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): At present the major threats to P. moorei are the invasive non-native alien species Pilosella officinarum, on-going coastal erosion and livestock trampling damage, climate change and the potential risk of accidental fires (caused by people or lightning strikes).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions:

Ex situ Conservation:

A Species Action Plan has been produced for P. moorei (Upson and Broughton 2012).

A 2009 seed collection is held at Kew's Millennium Seed Bank. Leaf material has been collected from five subpopulations and is held at Royal Botanic Gardens Kew for future genetic research and DNA banking.

Plants have been propagated from seed at Royal Botanic Gardens Kew.

Molecular work carried out at Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, using material collected by Falklands Conservation, has shown that the outlying subpopulation of P. moorei on Weddell Island is genetically distinct from those subpopulations at the other two IUCN locations (R.S. Cowan pers. comm.). This emphasizes the importance of conserving P. moorei across its range in order that the maximum within-species diversity is safeguarded.

In situ Conservation:

Two Important Plant Areas have been identified which cover all known subpopulations of this species (Upson 2012).

A species identification guide is available for free download from Falkland Conservation's website.

Appropriate sites along coastlines of three further islands in the SW of the Falkland Islands have been surveyed for P. moorei (2008 and 2010), however, no further subpopulations were located.

Conservation Needed:

  • Control of outlying subpopulations of the invasive alien Pilosella officinarum began in 2011, but continued control of these and the extensive source subpopulations is urgently needed

  • Further seed collections are needed

  • Continued awareness-raising about this and other threatened Falkland species

  • Requires legal protection at the national level.

Research Needed:

  • DNA analysis is requiredto study the phylogenetic relationships of this species, particularly with regard to its closest Falkland relative, Plantago barbata and related species found in Patagonia

  • Continued searches for new subpopulations

  • Long term demographic monitoring of subpopulations to gather information on vegetative growth, reproduction, recruitment and mortality at a range of sites.

Citation: Upson, R., Clubbe, C.P. & McAdam, J.H. 2012. Plantago moorei. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2012: e.T44040A15245513. . Downloaded on 20 September 2018.
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