Size-class structure and variation in seed and seedling traits in relation to population size of an endangered species Craigia yunnanensis (Tiliaceae).

Zerui Gao, Chang-Qin Zhang, Richard Milne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Craigia yunnanensis W. W. Sm. & W. E. Evans is an endangered canopy tree species distributed in southern China and northern Vietnam. We located and surveyed six remnant populations, all from subtropical areas of Yunnan, China. These six populations contained between 6 and 167 adult trees in 2007, plus larger numbers of seedlings and resprouts from cut trunks. Bulk seed samples were collected from these populations and examined for 10 ␣tness traits (e.g. seed number, seed length, width and 1000-seed weight, germination in the controlled light and darkness conditions and nursery, seedling height, root collar diameter and dry weight). All traits differed signi␣cantly among populations, but only number of seeds per capsule was signi␣cantly correlated with population size. For some populations, germination capacity in light was signi␣cantly higher than that in darkness, indicating that canopy removal might promote regeneration from seed. Examination of population size-class structures in four C. yunnanesis populations determined that small seedlings and resprouts are abundant, although very few of these reach even the sapling stage. Hence, the remaining populations could be expanded and conserved by allowing a proportion of seedlings and resprouts to reach maturity. However, ex situ conservation, informed by data from the present study, is also advisable in case the remaining wild populations are lost.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)214–223
Number of pages10
Journalaustralian journal of botany
Volume58
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 5 May 2010

Keywords

  • conservation biology
  • population genetics
  • craigia yunnanensis

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