Searching for new populations of rare plant species in remote locations

Poon, Elizabeth L., and Margules, Chris R. (2004) Searching for new populations of rare plant species in remote locations. In: Thompson, William L., (ed.) Sampling Rare or Elusive Species: concepts, designs, and techniques for estimating population parameters. Island Press, Washington, DC, USA, pp. 189-207.

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[Extract] Limited resources often do not permit biologists to conduct extensive searches for every species listed as rare or threatened or to undertake surveys over large areas to determine species locations (Nicholls 1989; Margules and Austin 1994; Wessels et a1. 1998). Further, it is inefficient to depend upon "accidental discoveries" (Good and Lavarack 1981) to estimate species distributions. A more systematic and structured approach is needed. One such approach, the method detailed in this chapter, is to stratify the region of interest using environmental variables, note strata where populations of rare species are known, and search for new populations in similar environments in the same gene ral location and in the same environments at different geographic locations. In this way limited resources of labor, time, and funds can be used efficiently.

This approach is analogous to the way experienced field botanists would deal with the problem of searching for new populations of rare species. They create mental models of suitable habitat or environments and then look in the places those models suggest. We propose a systematic and explicit formalization of those models to make more available the sort of knowledge involved in constructing them. Using two plant species from Cape York Peninsula in northern Australia as case studies, this chapter details a protocol for searching for new populations of rare plants and explains how to use a systematic sampling approach to determine whether a species is truly rare or whether it is perceived to be rare as a result of inadequate sampling.

Item ID: 14411
Item Type: Book Chapter (Research - B1)
ISBN: 978-1-55963-450-2
Keywords: plant species; populations; stratify; survey
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Date Deposited: 22 Nov 2010 01:22
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0607 Plant Biology > 060799 Plant Biology not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960899 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity of Environments not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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