Issues in plant conservation

Distribution, status and conservation of a Critically Endangered, extremely narrow endemic: Lamyropsis microcephala (Asteraceae) in Sardinia

Giuseppe Fenua1 c1, Efisio Mattanaa1 and Gianluigi Bacchettaa1

a1 Centro Conservazione Biodiversità, Dipartimento di Scienze Botaniche—Università degli Studi di Cagliari. Viale S. Ignazio da Laconi, 13–09123 Cagliari, Italy


The aims of this work were to verify the distribution and population size of Lamyropsis microcephala (Asteraceae), characterize its habitat, assess its conservation status and initiate conservation measures for this Critically Endangered species. Distribution was determined by field surveys and mapping. To estimate population size and density 81 permanent monitoring plots were randomly established. Ex situ conservation measures were activated by harvesting and appropriate storage of seed. We confirmed the presence of L. microcephala at two previously known sites and found it in two previously unknown localities. The areas in which the species occur vary from 200 to 240,000 m2, at altitudes of 1,450–1,820 m, on slopes of 15–45° with aspects from north to west. The estimated number of ramets per population varied from c. 2,000 to c. 2,000,000, with a mean density of 8.29 ± SD 14.3 to 10.33 ± SD 10.05 ramets m-2. Our findings confirmed the Critically Endangered status of this species, although with different criteria. This study is an example of an integrated approach for the conservation of an extremely narrow endemic plant species and may be useful for other little-known threatened species for which urgent conservation measures are needed.

(Received April 26 2010)

(Reviewed June 14 2010)

(Accepted July 20 2010)

(Online publication May 04 2011)