Navigation Links
The Murcian flower has been 'revived' after 100 years
Date:10/13/2011

The species of legume known as 'Tallante's chickpea', which has not been seen for nearly a century, has finally been studied in detail. The species is thought to be in critical danger of extinction given that the only known population in the whole world is in Tallante, Murcia (Spain).

A study reveals its characteristics and the reasons as to why the Astragalus nitidiflorus legume, or Tallante's chickpea, remains critically endangered. Researchers wants to restore this floral plant which is unique to the region of Murcia, Spain and, up until recently, was thought to be extinct.

It reappeared in 2003 when a botany fan was riding their bike in the Cabezos de Pericn mountain area in Murcia and spotted a strange species of flower in a field. It was so strange that it has been nearly 100 years since it was last seen.

Juan Jos Martnez Snchez, author of the study and researcher at the Polytechnic University of Cartagena (UPCT) says that "Astragalus nitidiflorus is a species that was picked for the first time in 1909 in Cartagena and described by the botanist Carlos Pau in 1910." In his description Pau did not document its exact location and this, along with its rareness, meant that it remained easily unseen for almost a century.

Once this elusive species had been 'revived', the Murcia Region Department of Agriculture funded basic studies on its biology and ecology which were carried out by the UPCT. Martnez explains that "these types of tests are vital for approving a recovery plan."

The study published in Flora brings together the most significant aspects of the plants life cycle: the phenology of flowering and fruiting times, the species' reproductive success and related factors, and the recruitment patterns of new specimens of the population.

According to Martnez Snchez, "Here we are looking at a small fragmented metapopulation of small groups of individual plants. It is a perennial plant with a short life cycle of four years at most, with three flowering periods which last for at least two or three months."

The resurrection of Tallante's chickpea

In order to assess the possibility of restocking, researchers must pay special attention to the weak points that cause this species to be at risk. According to their report, the most critical part of the life cycle is the seedling stage and mortality rates at this point are very high. Furthermore, the reproductive success of the plant is low.

Martnez Snchez explains that "the small population size is the main factor that threatens the species because changes in the region's environmental conditions or random demographic variations could cause its disappearance."

However, the researcher outlines that "managing the land where the species grows affects the plant's maintenance and means that it may not expand to outside its potential area. This emphasises the urgency of those studies that are geared towards determining the exact influence that soil management techniques (tilling, grazing, etc.) may have on maintaining the current population."

The Polytechnic University of Cartagena is conducting tests on the reintroduction of individual plants in field with the help of the environmental group ANSE in the hope of drawing up the recovery plans for this species, something that depends on the regional government.

"Knowing every single plant and the role that it plays in the ecosystem shows that any little herb is just as important and relevant as the biggest of trees," claims Martnez Snchez. "As chinks appear in the ecosystem, it suffers and does not function properly. In this sense, the importance lies in preserving biodiversity as a whole, not as a collection of isolated components."


'/>"/>
Contact: Juan Jose Martinez Sanchez
Juan.Martinez@upct.es
34-968-325-442
FECYT - Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Gene controlling flowering boosts energy production from sorghum
2. Flower power puts a hurt on caterpillars
3. Team led by IU biologists confirms sunflower domesticated in US, not Mexico
4. Pearl-flowered legume a surprise new find in the Cape Snowy Mountains, South Africa
5. Marquesas Islands in French Polynesia yield 18 new species of rare ferns and flowering plants
6. Extending the vase life of cut flowers: Pre-treatments and preservatives studied
7. Engineering blue-hued flowers
8. Where have all the flowers gone?
9. University of Tennessee scientist: Flowers rapid growth rate can be traced back 65 million years
10. Growers rally behind purple flowers to support TGen cancer research
11. New genetic study helps to solve Darwins mystery about the ancient evolution of flowering plants
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
The Murcian flower has been 'revived' after 100 years
(Date:5/20/2016)... , May 20, 2016  VoiceIt is excited ... with VoicePass. By working together, VoiceIt ...  Because VoiceIt and VoicePass take slightly different approaches ... increases both security and usability. ... about this new partnership. "This marketing ...
(Date:5/3/2016)... May 3, 2016  Neurotechnology, a provider of ... MegaMatcher Automated Biometric Identification System (ABIS) , a ... projects. MegaMatcher ABIS can process multiple complex biometric ... combination of fingerprint, face or iris biometrics. It ... and MegaMatcher Accelerator , which have ...
(Date:4/26/2016)... 27, 2016 Research and ... Biometrics Market 2016-2020"  report to their offering.  , ... The analysts forecast the global multimodal biometrics ... during the period 2016-2020.  Multimodal biometrics ... such as the healthcare, BFSI, transportation, automotive, and ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... discussions on a range of subjects including policies, debt and ... Poloz. Speaking at a lecture to the Canadian ... to the country,s inflation target, which is set by both ... "In certain areas there needs to be ... why not sit down and address strategy together?" ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... is pleased to announce the launch of their brand, UP4™ Probiotics, into Target ... over 35 years, is proud to add Target to its list of well-respected ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... 23, 2016 , ... Charm Sciences, Inc. is pleased to ... AOAC Research Institute approval 061601. , “This is another AOAC-RI approval of the ... Vice President of Regulatory and Industrial Affairs. “The Peel Plate methods perform comparably ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... STACS DNA Inc., the sample tracking software company, ... Crime Laboratory, has joined STACS DNA as a Field Application Specialist. , “I ... President and COO of STACS DNA. “In further expanding our capacity as a scientific ...
Breaking Biology Technology: