Associated flora and conservation prospects for a Beilschmiedia berteroana (Gay) Kosterm. (Lauraceae) population in an agroecosystem of Central Chile

  • César A. Sepúlveda Departamento de Fiscalización y Evaluación Ambiental, Corporación Nacional Forestal, Talca, Chile
  • Patricio Peñailillo Instituto de Ciencias Biológicas, Universidad de Talca, Talca, Chile
  • David H. Boshier Department of Plant Sciences, University of Oxford, South Parks Road, Oxford, UK
Keywords: endangered species, circa situm conservation, agroecosystem

Abstract

Beilschmiedia berteroana (Lauraceae) is an endangered tree, sparsely distributed and endemic from the Metropolitan Region (33°49’S and 70°35’W) to the Biobío Region (36°46’S and 77°22’W) of central Chile. Historically, the area of its occurrence has been subject to prolonged and intense agricultural activity and harbours 23% of the country’s threatened plant species. This situation suggests the need to revise and adjust conservation strategies and approaches for this type of landscape. The objective of the study is to contribute to the knowledge and conservation of a population of B. berteroana found within an agroecosystem in the central valley of Chile, a) describing a population of B. berteroana and any associated vascular flora, and b) revising the possibilities of conservation in an agroecosystem. A census was applied to B. berteroana and a Rapid Botanical Survey (RBS) to the associated flora. The census detected 37 individuals of B. berteroana with a total of 647 coppice shoots, with 13.5% of individual found in isolated form and 86.5% in small groups. The RBS found 27 species of vascular plants, predominantly shrubs (37.0%), followed by trees (33.3%), perennial herbs (18.5%) and lianas (11.1%). The ecological types of species where mesophilic (55.6%), followed by sclerophyllous (25.9%) and hygrophyllous (18.5%) types. The highest Importance Values are associated with the native species Colliguaja dombeyana (24.22) and Salix humboldtiana (17.61), followed by the introduced Rubus ulmifolius (16.59). By origin, 51.9% of the species are native, endemic are 29.6% and 18.5% are introduced plants. In addition, the finding of Tarasa reichei, a little known endemic shrub of Chile central, is reported. The new locality (Longaví) extends the southern boundary of T. reichei by 77 km, moving it to the central valley. We review conservation possibilities for B. berteroana and T. reichei and propose that conservation of circa situm as a complementary method.

Published
2019-06-30
Section
ORIGINAL ARTICLES