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Gabinete de Ecologia Vegetal e Aplicada
Featured research (67)
Trichomanes speciosum is a protected fern whose sporophyte generation is abundant on the island of Terceira (Azores archipelago, Portugal) but whose dispersal mechanism has never been directly documented. Based on its distribution, bird‐mediated epizoochory is a likely mechanism for spore dispersal, but there is no evidence to support this hypothesis. Laboratory experiments were performed to test the transportability of T. speciosum spores by the woodpigeon (Columba palumbus azorica), by observing the persistence of artificially added spores to feather samples that had been exposed to treatments of different wind speeds (2, 4, 6, and 8.25 m s−1) to simulate flight. The spores attached readily to the woodpigeon feathers, and 47% of the spores, on average, were lost after applying the maximum wind speed of the experiment. Spore loss was significantly related to wind speed but not to time of exposure. These findings suggest that if a fern spore adheres to the feathers of a woodpigeon, it has a probability of around 53% to remain there during flight and to eventually be dropped away from its origin. This study not only sheds new light on the possibility of T. speciosum spores being dispersed by woodpigeons, but also provides mechanistic evidence for spore retention on bird surfaces more generally. Laboratory experiments were performed to test the transportability of spores of Trichomanes speciosum by the Azorean woodpigeon (Columba palumbus azorica). The persistence of artificially added spores to feather samples that had been exposed to treatments of different wind speeds during different periods to simulate flight was measured. Spore loss was <50% and was more significantly related to wind speed than to time of exposure. These results suggest that if a fern spore adheres to the feathers of a woodpigeon, it has a probability of around 53% to remain there during flight and to eventually be dropped away from its place of origin.
Pereira, Dinis; Dias, Eduardo; Mendes, Cândida (2022). Aplicação de Imagens de Satélite na Deteção e Monitorização de Flora e Habitats-Açores. O fascínio de ver para além da vista humana. Palestra no âmbito da iniciativa Espaço vai à Escola 2022 (outubro e novembro) - Ciência Viva - ESERO Portugal, com a apresentação em várias escolas (ilhas e Portugal continental).
Presentation, invited by EBS Biscoitos, integrated in the Eco-Schools programme. It was an Environmental Education action for 8th grade students of that institution. The main theme was Azorean biodiversity with special focus on endemic species.
The Criação do Filipe peatland complex on Terceira Island (Azores) includes a fragmented network of interconnected peatlands that have persisted over time within an agriculture-dominated landscape. This study identifies a number of human pressures including cattle grazing in and around the mire, a high population density of rabbits, high cover of exotic plant species and the presence of infrastructure (stone walls, electricity poles, etc.). The peatland complex has 44 plant species including four Sphagnum species, ten endemic vascular plants and eight plant communities. The maximum peat depth is seven metres. The peatlands receive inputs of water from streams entering at their northern margins, particularly from two pumice-extravasated cones, in addition to precipitation and intercepted fog. Accumulated water feeds other wetlands downstream. The complex shows increasing cover of aggressive and natural woody species, and water table levels are lower now than they were in 1998. Given its importance as one of the largest peatland complexes within Terceira Island's anthropic landscapes, which is partially protected by the European Habitats Directive and located within a Natura 2000 network area as well as in Terceira Natural Park, the Criação do Filipe area should be the target of an active restoration/conservation plan.