Strengthening the population of the threatened mangrove Pelliciera benthamii through ex-situ and in-situ conservation strategies
ID: 613 / 218
Proposed Symposium Title: Strengthening the population of the threatened mangrove Pelliciera benthamii through ex-situ and in-situ conservation strategies
Maria Paula Contreras1, Camila Rueda2
Affiliations: 1Horticulture and Science Department, Cartagena Botanical Garden, Colombia 2Universidad de los Andes, Bogotá DC, Colombia
Although not evaluated by the IUCN, Pelliciera benthamii (Triana & Planch.) Cornejo, is likely the most threatened of the mangrove species present in the Colombian Caribbean region due to its limited distribution and severe threats to its ecosystem caused by expansion in construction and unsustainable economic activities. Conservation activities are needed at a broad front, including research, education, in-situ and ex-situ conservation and ecosystem protection. Piñuelo, P. benthamii, a segregated species from Pelliciera rhizophorae Triana & Planch, is a mangrove species restricted to small populations in the Panamanian Pacific and the Colombian Caribbean. P. rhizophorae was listed as vulnerable by the IUCN due to isolated populations, reduced range, and decline in habitat quality. We are re-assessing P. benthamii, and its conservation status will most likely change from vulnerable to endangered. The Cartagena Botanical Garden’s science and horticulture teams have worked together to strengthen the population of P. benthamii in the Colombian Caribbean region. We identified three localities for seed collection near Cartagena, where we made phenological annotations and the recognition of potential planting areas. To accomplish mangrove conservation, we established propagation protocols and nursery line guides and submitted a new Red List assessment for P. benthamii. Additionally, we have propagated other mangrove species, as it may be beneficial that restoration initiatives focus on ecosystem restoration rather than planting individual species. In addition to in-situ initiatives, we will strengthen ex-situ through the establishment of a new living collection of mangrove species in the Cartagena Botanical Garden, and installation of educational displays to educate visitors about this important ecosystem. We aim to increase the information regarding propagation strategies and conservation actions to provide input for future restoration and protection initiatives.