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Projecting the success of plant restoration with population viability analysis

By: , and 
Edited by: C.A. Brigham and M.W. Schwartz

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Abstract

Conserving viable populations of plant species requires that they have high probabilities of long-term persistence within natural habitats, such as a chance of extinction in 100 years of less than 5% (Menges 1991, 1998; Brown 1994; Pavlik 1994; Chap. 1, this Vol.). For endangered and threatened species that have been severely reduces in range and whose habitats have been fragmented, important species conservation strategies may include augmenting existing populations or restoring new viable populations (Bowles and Whelan 1994; Chap. 2, this Vol.). Restoration objectives may include increasing population numbers to reduce extinction probability, deterministic manipulations to develop a staged cohort structure, or more complex restoration of a desired genetic structure to allow outcrossing or increase effective population size (DeMauro 1993, 1994; Bowles et al. 1993, 1998; Pavlik 1994; Knapp and Dyer 1998; Chap. 2, this Vol.). These efforts may require translocation of propagules from existing (in situ) populations, or from ex situ botanic gardens or seed storage facilities (Falk et al. 1996; Guerrant and Pavlik 1998; Chap. 2, this Vol.).


Population viability analysis (PVA) can provide a critical foundation for plant restoration, as it models demographic projections used to evaluate the probability of population persistence and links plant life history with restoration strategies. It is unknown how well artificially created populations will meet demographic modeling requirements (e.g., due to artificial cohort transitions) and few, if any, PVAs have been applied to restorations. To guide application of PVA to restored populations and to illustrate potential difficulties, we examine effects of planting different life stages, model initial population sizes needed to achieve population viability, and compare demographic characteristics between natural and restored populations. We develop and compare plant population restoration viability analysis (PRVA) case studies of two plant species listed in the USA for which federal recovery planning calls for population restoration: Cirsium pitcheri, a short-lived semelparous herb, and Asclepias meadii, a long-lived iteroparous herb.

Additional publication details

Publication type Book chapter
Publication Subtype Book Chapter
Title Projecting the success of plant restoration with population viability analysis
Volume 165
Year Published 2003
Language English
Publisher Springer-Verlag
Publisher location New York, NY
Description p. 313-314
Larger Work Type Book
Larger Work Subtype Other Government Series
Larger Work Title Population Viability in Plants.