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Apium bermejoi

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
PLANTAE TRACHEOPHYTA MAGNOLIOPSIDA APIALES UMBELLIFERAE

Scientific Name: Apium bermejoi
Species Authority: L.Llorens

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered B1ab(v)c(iv)+2ab(v)c(iv); C2a(i); D ver 3.1
Year Published: 2006
Date Assessed: 2006-01-31
Assessor(s): Mus, M. & Rita Larrucea, J.
Reviewer(s): Strahm, W. & de Montmollin, B. (Mediterranean Island Plants Red List Authority)
Justification:
The species only occurs in a single site and the total number of individuals is very small and fluctuates in number. The most recent census counted 98 individuals, although many were young plants which never reached reproductive age. In other years the total population numbered less than 60 individuals, again not all reaching maturity. Given the threats facing this species, a continued decline in number of individuals is predicted.
History:
1997 Endangered (Walter and Gillett 1998)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is endemic to the Balearic Islands, and occurs in the north-east part of the island of Minorca. Here it is only found in two small areas separated by a rocky zone about 200 m wide.
Countries:
Native:
Spain (Baleares)
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The total population numbers less than 100 individuals in an area of just a few dozen square metres.
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: A. bermejoi is a herb that grows in stream beds that dry out in summer and occasionally during dry winters. It grows on acidic soil which accumulates in small rock depressions, and requires only moderate sun exposure.

This perennial plant reproduces from seeds but can also reproduce vegetatively from stolons, which are horizontal stems creeping just above the ground having the capacity to take root and form new plants. There is evidence that the two subpopulations on either side of the rocky zone are genetically different, but the importance of this for the long-term maintenance of the entire population has yet to be assessed. This species benefits from nitrogen provided in seabird droppings.
Systems: Terrestrial; Freshwater

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The species is threatened both directly and indirectly. Its habitat is extremely unstable with available water and nutrients varying greatly from year to year. A. bermejoi does not support competition from other species very well, including competition from native carpet-forming species as well as introduced alien species such as Carpobrotus edulis. It is directly threatened with trampling by fishermen and hikers, as well as motorbikes on the beach.

Climate change may cause changes in its habitat. For example, several consecutive dry years will weaken this species and favour the development of opportunistic, more competitive species. Any wild collection of A. bermejoi represents a potential threat.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Actions in Place
Legally: This species is listed in Annex I of the Spanish royal decree 439/1990 which grants it protection in its natural site. Internationally, A. bermejoi is included in two legal documents: Appendix I of the Bern Convention and Annexes II and IV of the EU Habitats Directive, where it is listed as a priority species.

In situ: Since 2003, the University of the Balearic Islands has started a rehabilitation programme for A. bermejoi in its natural habitat with financial support from the MAVA foundation. A programme to eradicate all species of the introduced and invasive Carpobrotus has been undertaken since 1996 in natural areas of the Balearic Islands, with mixed success. Since 2002, the eradication programme has focussed on sites with rare species such as A. bermejoi.

Ex situ: Seeds of this species are stored in the Sóller Botanical Garden seedbank, located on Majorca, where the plant is also under cultivation.

Actions Needed
It is essential that the small area where this species grows be protected from trampling and motorbikes. To make conservation actions more effective, studies on population dynamics (recruitment and mortality) and reproductive biology of this species are needed. (Re-)introduction of this species to suitable habitats to increase its number of populations and its survival chances is needed.

Citation: Mus, M. & Rita Larrucea, J. 2006. Apium bermejoi. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 19 December 2014.
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