Using dispersal and germination life traits of native vegetation to promote ecological restoration in southern New Caledonia

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Bruno Fogliani

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New Caledonia is considered to be one of the main “hotspots” of biological conservation. Its exceptional level of endemism is increasingly threatened by the expansion of human activities. One of the most important threats is habitat fragmentation due in part to fires and mine exploration on ultramafic massifs that erodes habitat quality. Natural environments affected must be restored to maintain the ecosystem services they provide. Over the past 40 years, revegetation techniques have aimed to reduce the impacts of erosion. However ecological restoration has only been pioneered in the past 15 years. Present research compliments previous studies and aims to (1) characterize dispersal and germination of plant species found in early successional maquis and forest mosaics on the Goro plateau in southern New Caledonia, (2) evaluate the trajectory of mine revegetation plantations based on the life traits of the species used from surrounding vegetation. A database was constructed and presents data dealing with 41 life-traits of 407 taxa found in the vegetation mosaic. In addition, an assessment restoration progress using the five-star recovery system developed by SER was conducted from surveys and measurements of both planted and colonizing vegetation. Finally, inventories of surrounding natural vegetation provided details of their structure and composition that highlight the ecological succession and permitted establishment of a local indigenous reference ecosystem. Recommendations based on results were provided to managers to assist in implementing ecological continuities projects including a list of candidate species to prioritize in future restoration programs.

Resource Type:
Audio/Video, Conference Presentation, SER2019

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Society for Ecological Restoration