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Abstract Detail

Conservation Biology

Al-Zein, Mohammad S. [1], Itani, Moustapha A. [1], Rteil, Hiba H. [2], Clubbe, Colin P. [3], Talhouk, Salma N. [2].

Ecology and Conservation of the Lebanese Endemic Matthiola crassifolia Boiss. & Gaill. (Brassicaceae).

Matthiola crassifolia is endemic to the Lebanese coast. Despite its potential economic value as an ornamental plant, very little is known about its ecology and conservation status. This study investigates the distribution, variation, insect visitors and reproductive success of M. crassifolia, and assesses its conservation status. A review of the literature and specimens at the Post Herbarium (BEI) revealed three sites where M. crassifolia was previously collected. The presence of the species in these sites was confirmed and the area of occupancy for each site was estimated during site visits in 2002 and 2010. The entire coastal area was also surveyed every five kilometers in 2002; however, no new sites were located. To assess morphological and morphometric variation, twenty plants were haphazardly selected in each of the three populations. Several leaves as well as flowers were examined for each plant. Insect visitors were collected in Beirut on a regular basis at different times of the day, and occasionally from the other two sites. The insects were identified and deposited at the Natural History Museum, American University of Beirut. The reproductive success of M. crassifolia in Beirut was studied. The number of fruits per plant was counted and the fruits were measured. Germination success was also assessed in anticipation of future reintroduction interventions in semi-natural and planted areas. This study will fill the gaps in our understanding of M. crassifolia and enable us to conserve and reintroduce this endangered endemic into the wild.

Broader Impacts:

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1 - Lebanese American University, Department of Natural Sciences, Beirut Campus, Beirut, Lebanon
2 - American University of Beirut, Faculty of Agriculture and Food Sciences, Beirut, Lebanon
3 - Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Herbarium, Kew, UK

Conservation Status
reproductive success
Insect Visitors
Germination Success
Matthiola crassifolia .

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Topics
Session: 47
Location: 551A/Convention Center
Date: Wednesday, August 4th, 2010
Time: 9:00 AM
Number: 47005
Abstract ID:551

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