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Abstract Detail


García-Cancel, Juan Giberto [1], Swinnerton, Kirsty [2], Albarracín, Ricardo [3], Feliciano, Armando [3], Figuerola-Hernández, Cielo [4], Silander, Susan [5].

Partial Update on the Desecheo Island Flora.

The introduction of non-native organisms has caused changes in island ecosystems world-wide. Two of the main drivers of island extinctions and ecosystem changes are goats and black rats. These organisms have been documented to alter considerably the flora of island ecosystems by limiting propagule production and dispersal as well as constant herbivory. Even so, island floras can still be diverse as long as human contact is limited and removal of non-native organisms is carried out. This can start regeneration of the damaged ecosystem and begin the process of ecosystem restoration. The flora of Desecheo Island (Puerto Rico) was last enumerated by Dr. Gary Breckon in the 1990’s, which included all records before his work included to his publication in 2000. At that time, the island was occupied by a reduced goat population and a large rat population. The goal of our research was to update the flora of the island from the last 16 or more years. Plants were opportunistically observed and some collected along trails, ridges, coastal areas, and in the most accessible valleys where other restoration efforts were taking place. Each collected plant was identified in the field, photographed, described, and its GPS coordinates were recorded. A total of 69 species were observed in the field, 17 of which were collected and vouchered in the UPR-Mayaguez Herbarium. Populations of some native plants, such as Harrisia portoricensis Britton (Cactaceae) seemed to be abundant while others, such as the Mammillaria nivosa Link. (Cactaceae) were found in marginal areas with a highly restricted population. New populations of previously unknown non-natives Spathodea campanulata P. Beauv. (Bignoniaceae), Cenchrus ciliaris L. (Poaceae), and Leucaena leucocephala (Lam.) de Wit (Fabaceae) in Desecheo are of conservation concern. Control or quick removal of these invasive species would help the restoration process of the island.

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1 - Texas Tech University, Natural Resources Management, Goddard Building, Texas Tech University, Box 42125, Lubbock, TX, 70409, USA
2 - The Island Endemics Foundation, P.O. Box 320097, San Francisco, CA, 94132, USA
3 - Envirosurvey, Inc., PR, USA
4 - University of Puerto Rico at Rio Piedras, Biology Department, P.O. Box 23360, San Juan, PR, 00931-3360, USA
5 - US Fish and Wildlife Services, US Fish and Wildlife Services at Cabo Rojo National Wildlife Refuge , Road 301, Km. 5.1, Bo. Corozo, Boqueron, PR, 00622, USA

Desecheo Island
Plant species composition
Puerto Rico
Island Flora.

Presentation Type: Poster
Session: P, Ecology
Location: Exhibit Hall/Omni Hotel
Date: Monday, June 26th, 2017
Time: 5:30 PM This poster will be presented at 6:15 pm. The Poster Session runs from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm. Posters with odd poster numbers are presented at 5:30 pm, and posters with even poster numbers are presented at 6:15 pm.
Number: PEC002
Abstract ID:62
Candidate for Awards:None

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