Biodiversity conservation of Serra da Gardunha Asphodelus bento-rainhae subsp. bento-rainhae communities

The species Asphodelus bento-rainhae P. Silva. commonly known as abrótea, abrótega, gamão or bengala-de-são-josé, has two subspecies: the Portuguese A. bento-rainhae P. Silva subsp. bento-rainhae, circumscribed and endemic to the Western Centre of the Iberian Peninsula ( Serra da Gardunha ); and the Spanish A. bento-rainhae P. Silva subsp. salmanticus Z.Díaz & Valdés, endemic to the provinces of Ávila, Salamanca and Cáceres (DÍAZ LIFANTE & Valdés, 1996).

The Portuguese species’ presence and its abundance variation occurs from east to west and from higher to lower altitudes. It is estimated that each year the distribution area of this species is reduced by 5% (DELGADO, 2010).

As so, this project has been developed within the scope of the CULTIVAR Integrated Program investigation lines (IC&DT CULTIVAR). It is intended to collect information on the conservation status of the communities of A. bento-rainhae subsp. bento-rainhae considering that is an endemic species of mainland Portugal with reduced distribution area (approximately 7 Km2). Besides, its population is fragmented, has a low number of individuals, and it is occurring only in the northern part of the Gardunha mountain (hence, an exclusive Lusitanian endemism of the central Iberian mountainous system), between 490 and 850 m of altitude (DELGADO, 2010).

It is also aimed to understand the population abundance level after climate change and wildfires that have struck these areas, to contribute to its conservation studies and its importance for the communities in which it is integrated. Having preference for habitats that are protected, included in the list of natural and semi-natural habitats, listed in Annex B-I of DL No. 49/2005, within the scope of the Sites of Community Interest list (SCI: PTCON0028) (ICN, 2006). Priority habitats include Galician-Portuguese oak woods with black oaks, or Pyrenean oak (Quercus pyrenaica Willd.) and common oaks (Quercus robur L.) (9230), as well as in well-preserved chestnut tree woods (Castanea sativa Mill.) (9260) exploited under a coppice regime, and in areas occupied by cherry orchards (Prunus avium L.) with and without intervention, mainly on embankments and roadsides where there is no application of herbicides and frequent mobilization of the ground. There was also adaptation of the species to areas of pine forest and areas of cherry orchards when less exposed to human action.

The main goals of this project are the following:

  1. Survey to record the species’ presence and georeferencing the current area of its ​​occurrence.
  2. Reproductive biology. Pollinators – insects. Pollination dynamics in a cherry orchard community.
  3. Ecological modelling.
  4. Analysis of habitats/landscape and ecosystem services.
  5. Ex situ conservation by micropropagation, seed and in nurseries.
  6. In situ conservation within its habitats.
  7. Enhancement of the species (aspects of local ethnobotany and literature).
  8. Studies of population genetics based on markers availability


DELGADO, Fernanda Maria Grácio 2010. Conservação e valorização de Asphodelus bento-rainhae P.Silva e Lavandula luisieri (Rozeira) Rivas-Martínez da Beira Interior. Lisboa: Universidade Técnica. Instituto Superior de Agronomia. 132 p., 9 f. Tese de Doutoramento. 

DÍAZ LIFANTE & Valdés, B. 1996. Revision del Género Asphodelus L. Boissiera. 52: 1- 131. Ville de Genève.

ICN, 2006. Plano Sectorial da Rede Natura 2000. Sítios da Lista Nacional. Instituto da Conservação da Natureza, Direcção de Serviços da Conservação da Natureza, Lisboa.

RIBEIRO, Sílvia; DELGADO, Fernanda e ESPIRITO-SANTO, Maria Dalila. Comunidades de Asphodelus bento-rainhae P. Silva: diversidade, ecologia e dinâmica serial. Silva Lus. [online]. 2012, vol.20, n.1-2 [citado 2020-07-07], pp.138-143. Available at: ISSN 0870-6352

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