The strategy of maintaining phytodiversity in the Crimea

Yu.V. Plugatar, V.V. Korzhenevskiy
The rate of reduction of phytodiversity is impressive, and attempts to slow them down have not yet been particularly successful. Pessimistic naturalists hold to the idea of a waste of money and the impossibility of standing against the evolutionary elimination of species that have lost their ecological niche. In opposition to them, realists are trying to take specific measures to preserve endangered species. In order to form a full preservation program (preservation strategy) capable of protecting and even restoring endangered species, it is vital to understand the state of their populations in the wild, to identify how these populations respond to different environmental conditions, including climate change, to know the natural history and ecology of these species. The strategic plan includes six successive operations: 1) assessment of the length of the factors' gradients for critically endangered species in “Ecodate” database (in the Crimea 297 species of vascular plants are legally protected). “Ecodata” database contains standardized information on the status of species to the gradients of the following environmental factors: illumination-shading, thermal regime, ombro-regime, cryo-regime, continentality, humidity, changeability of hydration, substrate's acidity, anionic composition, contents of carbonates, nitrogen content, substrate's aggregate-size distribution; 2) description of critically endangered species' communities in the wild (in situ); 3) assessment of the packing density of species on gradients of the environmental factors using the original program “Pover”, allowing to evaluate the capacity of habitats and to determine the position of the point of optimum. The degree of packaging of species on short gradients is noticeably higher than on the long ones. Vector size is the length of the realized gradient (number of gradations) of the studied factors-conditions and factors-resources and it indicates the available resource in an ecotope; 4) selection of biological material for introduction in culture (ex situ); 5) reproduction in culture with subsequent adaptation to natural conditions; 6) repatriation to pre-selected ecotopes with a suitable ecological niche.
Plugatar, Yu.V. and Korzhenevskiy, V.V. (2021). The strategy of maintaining phytodiversity in the Crimea. Acta Hortic. 1324, 213-218
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2021.1324.33
preservation strategy, ecological niche, environmental gradients, cultivation

Acta Horticulturae