NAT. CROAT. VOL.

21 No 2 349¿356 ZAGREB December 31, 2012
original scientific paper / izvorni znanstveni rad

NEW LOCALITY AND THREAT STATUS OF DAMASONIUM POLYSPERMUM COSS. (ALISMATACEAE) IN CROATIA
IGOR BOR[I] & VIDA POSAVEC VUKELI]
State Institute for Nature Protection, Trg Ma`urani}a 5, HR-10000 Zagreb, Croatia (e-mail: igor.borsic@dzzp.hr, vida.posavec@dzzp.hr)
Bor{i}, I. & Posavec Vukeli}, V.: New locality and threat status of Damasonium polyspermum Coss. (Alismataceae) in Croatia. Nat. Croat., Vol. 21, No. 2., 349–356, 2012, Zagreb. The species Damasonium polyspermum Coss. (Alismataceae) was first recorded in Croatia in 1994 in Jezera on the island of Murter. The species was discovered in September 2011, and confirmed in June 2012, at the pond Bunari, near Krka National Park. According to the Habitats Directive, this pond belongs to the priority habitat type 3170 *Mediterranean temporary ponds. It is used for watering livestock, which maintains an open habitat necessary for this species. As a very rare and threatened species, D. polyspermum should be included in the Red List of vascular flora of Croatia as an endangered species: EN B1ab(iii,v)+2ab(iii,v). Keywords: rare species, threatened species, IUCN, Red List, Mediterranean temporary ponds, Habitats Directive, NATURA 2000 Bor{i}, I. & Posavec Vukeli}, V.: Novo nalazi{te i status ugro`enosti vrste Damasonium polyspermum Coss. (Alismataceae) u Hrvatskoj. Nat. Croat., Vol. 21, No. 2., 349–356, 2012, Zagreb. Vrsta Damasonium polyspermum Coss. (Alismataceae) je prvi put u Hrvatskoj zabilje`ena 1994. godine u Jezerima na otoku Murteru. U rujnu 2011. vrsta je otkrivena na lokvi Bunari, kod Nacionalnog parka Krka, gdje je i potvr|ena u lipnju 2012. godine. Prema Direktivi o stani{tima, ova lokva pripada prioritetnom stani{nom tipu 3170 *Mediteranske povremene lokve. Lokva se koristi za napajanje stoke koja odr`ava otvoreno stani{te neophodno za ovu vrstu. Kao vrlo rijetka i ugro`ena vrsta, D. polyspermum bi trebao biti uvr{ten na Crveni popis vaskularne flore Hrvatske kao ugro`ena vrsta: EN B1ab(iii,v)+2ab(iii,v). Klju~ne rije~i: rijetka vrsta, ugro`ena vrsta, IUCN, Crveni popis, mediteranske povremene lokve, Direktiva o stani{tima, NATURA 2000

INTRODUCTION
The genus Damasonium is a small genus of the monocot family Alismataceae (water-plantains). It comprises the North American species D. californicum Torr., the Australasian species D. minus Buch and, depending on the taxonomic treatment, one to three European and Mediterranean species. DANDY (1980) accepts only species D. alisma Mill. in Europe. In this species he included D. polyspermum Coss., considering that it was »not worth taxonomic recognition«. According to the newer taxonomic studies, three species of the genus could be recognized in Europe and Mediterranean: Damasonium alisma Mill., D. bourgaei Coss. and D. polyspermum Coss. (VUILLE, 1987; RICH & NICHOLLS-VUILLE, 2001). The most useful characteristics for distinguishing between the species of the genus Damasonium relate to carpels. Their size, shape and number of seeds allow
Croatian Natural History Museum, Demetrova 1, Zagreb, Croatia

darker grey: Krka National park) Fig. D.9) mm wide. D. Bor{i}) . polyspermum has been recorded..350 Bor{i}.. alisma has 1-4(-6) whorls in composed inflorescence (RICH & NICHOLLS-VUILLE. easy discrimination between D.7(-0. 2001). polyspermum has large. Its distribution is predominantly western Mediterranean (France.5-0. which are smaller than in the other two species..2(-1. polyspermum. alisma and D. polyspermum also has 1-2(-4)-whorled inflorescence while D. D. In each carpel there are (4-)5-8 seeds. in Croatia (black circle: Jezera on the island of Murter-first locality. In Croatia only D. They are oblong. bourgaei (RICH & NICHOLLS-VUILLE. on 14th June 2012 (photo by I. 2. open circle: the pond Bunari-new locality. & Posavec Vukeli}. Aquatic form of Damasonium polyspermum Coss. Spain. 0. Distribution map of Damasonium polyspermum Coss. I. narrowly triangular carpels tapering from the base gradually to the apex. V. Morocco and Algeria) with Fig.4) mm long and 0. 2001).9-1. 1.: New locality and threat status of Damasonium polyspermum . Portugal.

occurs during the dry phase (MICHAUD. Croat. heliophilous plant. Russia and Ukraine (RICH & NICHOLLS-VUILLE. polyspermum. the size and robustness of which greatly vary depending on whether it grows subterrestrially or in water of different depths (DANDY. on 8th September 2011 (photo by V. Dry specimen of Damasonium polyspermum Coss. Because information on D. 1980). Vol. while D. which is followed by flowering and seed production during late spring up to the dry period. Italy. Terrestrial form of Damasonium polyspermum Coss. Bor{i}) Fig. It grows in Mediterranean temporary ponds with muddy soils and seasonally fluctuating water levels. polyspermum in Croatia is insufficient. D. 2004). These habitats are shallow water bodies. with few localities in Portugal.Nat. it is listed as data deficient (DD) species in the Red List of vascular flora of Croatia (NIKOLI] & . D.. bourgaei is more widespread around the Mediterranean. flooded during winter and spring for a period long enough to support development of aquatic vegetation. extending eastwards to India. alisma is the most northerly taxon. 21(2). 2001). 4. 2012 351 Fig. 3. occurring mostly in England and France. Sicily and Libya). Posavec Vukeli}) only few localities further to the east (Greece.. a flooded phase is necessary for seed germination and growth of leaves. on 14th June 2012 (photo by I. polyspermum is an annual. on the other hand. For D. Ripening of fruits and dispersal of seed.

polyspermum were abundant and already completely dry. polyspermum. 2005).Braun (RHAZI. 6). 2010). 2011) and listed in the Ordinance on Designating Wild Taxa Protected and Strictly Protected (ANONYMOUS. the species was found in the pond Bunari (locally also known as Mamutovac) northeast of the village of Popovi}i. with larger. 2012). On 14th June 2012.3 software. 1). during floristic research of Mediterranean ponds in and near Krka National Park. 2004). the pond was revisited and at the time flowering and fruiting specimens of D. ROTHMALER. also has fluctuating water level: in April and June it was approximately 15m in diameter (Fig. During this last visit. I. It has hitherto been the only known locality of this species in Croatia. 2) and a terrestrial form (Fig. but no specimens of the species were found. 1995). floating leaves. The nomenclature of the species was determined according to the Flora Croatica database (NIKOLI]. et Schult. On 8th September 2011. D. polyspermum (MICHAUD. polyspermum. 1968–1980. 5) while in September it was completely dry (Fig.. 2008. 2009). while in September only dry remnants of the terrestrial form were present (Fig. and Rorippa sylvestris (L. Bunari Pond. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION The species Damasonium polyspermum was first recorded in Croatia in 1994 in Jezera on the island of Murter. & Posavec Vukeli}. Species were determined using standard determination keys and iconographies (JÁVORKA & CSAPODY. 1994. species-poor vegetation cover dominated by specimens of D.) Besser. Other species growing in this zone are: Eleocharis palustris (L. two forms of the species were observed – an aquatic (Fig.. Polygonum aviculare L.. Open space is.. 2004). polyspermum is very sensitive to any plant cover in the germination stage and does not compete well with tall. . perennial species (MICHAUD.) Roem. like Pilularia minuta Durieex A. Therefore we assume that trampling and soil disturbance caused by cattle helps to control surrounding vegetation and to maintain an open space. Polygonum lapathifolium L. It is especially noticeable in the narrow belt around the water surface which is characterized by sparse. MATERIALS AND METHODS Floristic investigations of ponds in and near Krka National Park were carried out in September 2011 and April and June 2012. A distribution map was prepared using ESRI GIS ArcMap 9. also necessary for some other species characteristic of Mediterranean temporary ponds.352 Bor{i}. like other habitats of D. The Gauss-Krüger coordinates of the pond are 5581030 and 4865730 (Fig. Specimens of D.. 1975. 4). It is used for watering livestock which explains the rather disturbed soil around the pond. V. ANONYMOUS. polyspermum were found. 1991). north Dalmatia (TRINAJSTI] et al.. opposed to the dwarf terrestrial plants. It is strictly protected by the Nature Protection Act (ANONYMOUS.: New locality and threat status of Damasonium polyspermum . DOMAC. 3). 1993. TUTIN et al. just outside the national park border. ANONYMOUS. Trampling. The pond was visited again on 25th April 2012. Positions of the investigated ponds were determined using Garmin GPSMAP 60CSx GPS Receiver. but with well-developed distinctive star-shaped fruits. TOPI]. TUTIN et al. As a very light-demanding therophyte. Aquatic specimens were bigger. except for D.. Threat status of Damasonium polyspermum in Croatia was determined according to the IUCN criteria for assessment of relative risk of extinction (ANONYMOUS. 2004a). 2005.

polyspermum are still present in Jezera and that they would germinate if conditions in the habitat are improved. causes burial of seeds in soil. which are especially accentuated in the Dalmatian hinterland (KLEMPI] BOGADI & PODGORELEC. On the other hand. due to their longevity. thus impeding their germination (MICHAUD. MICHAUD. polyspermum were found. urbanization and agriculture (ZACHARIAS & ZAMPARAS. some of which. seeds of D. the species is numerous and its habitat is in favorable status. pers. 2009).. It is now found at two locations in Croatia: Jezera on the island of Murter and the pond Bunari. This area was surveyed on 15th June 2012 but it had recently been mowed and no specimens of D. . as is the case with some other species. D. pers. Vol. and those still existing are very small and isolated from one another in all range states (DE BÉLAIR et al. As the pond Bunari is one of only two localities of D. such as the western Mediterranean species Elatine brochonii Clavaud which is unable to germinate if covered even by a thin layer of soil (RHAZI. Over its entire distribution area. it should be included in the Croatian proposal for NATURA 2000 network as a site for habitat type 3170 *Mediterranean temporary ponds.).) D. comm. They are recognized as very important for nature conservation and are considered a priority habitat type for conservation of the NATURA 2000 network of the European Union (NATURA code 3170. 2004). Hitherto. hydrological regimes. polyspermum. 1992). there is a high probability that viable seeds of D.. Myosurus minimus L. Habitat loss combined with small area of occupancy poses a major threat for the survival of the species. Several populations in France have already been lost over the past few years. 2012 353 on the other hand. these habitats are under major threat due to human activities. 2004b). which in total make an extent of occurrence (EOO) of the species less than 100 km2 and area of occupancy (AOO) less than 10 km2. 2004). like D. Its range is severely fragmented and natural populations are in decline due to habitat degradation and destruction. Irregular flooding in the zone around the pond is also considered to be the key environmental factor in decreasing competition among plants (RHAZI et al. polyspermum in Croatia. D. 2007). Lythrum portula (L. Other plausible threats for this pond are invasive alien species. polyspermum (listed as Damasonium alisma) is specified as a characteristic plant species of this habitat type (ANONYMOUS. On the other hand. such as change of water level. ANONYMOUS. Because of changes in habitat it is possible that it is extinct in this locality. 2005). 2006). However.Webb) occurring in the locality (PAND@A. It has not been seen for several years in the first locality (PAND@A.A.g. polyspermum is considered to be a rare and threatened species. due to its maintenance (see above). polyspermum was listed as data deficient (DD) in the Red List of vascular flora of Croatia (NIKOLI] & TOPI]. alisma Miller by BIRKINSHAW (1994)) so they can germinate in the following years if they are brought to the surface and the conditions are favorable. D. comm.. 2010).. 21(2). as a direct consequence of processes of depopulation and deruralization. are considered rare and threatened. polyspermum probably remain viable for a long time (longevity was shown for D. the pond Bunari. Mediterranean temporary ponds provide suitable habitats for many different aquatic plant and animal species.Nat. 2009). Abandonment of traditional cattle breeding poses a plausible threat for this location. 2009. together with other rare and threatened species (e. so today it is listed as vulnerable (VU) in the IUCN Red List (DE BÉLAIR et al.). Croat. In the newly reported locality.

polyspermum is included in the Red List of vascular flora of Croatia as an endangered species: EN B1ab(iii.: New locality and threat status of Damasonium polyspermum .v)+2ab(iii. Until additional information about sizes and dynamics of its populations is gathered (especially in the locality Jezera on the island of Murter). Bor{i}) Fig. 6. we propose that D. V. (BOR[I] et al. which will most probably cause upgrading of our threat category (to CR). Bunari Pond – new locality of Damasonium polyspermum Coss. AOO.) Scribn. .v). If the species is considered extinct in the first locality. If it is assumed that D. & Posavec Vukeli}. in June (photo by I. 5.ii. with only one location left and continuing decline in the EOO.v). 2008).. I. which spreads aggressively around some other investigated ponds in this area. Bunari Pond – new locality of Damasonium polyspermum Coss. quality of its habitat.iv. number of locations and number of mature individuals. Posavec Vukeli}) especially the species Paspalum paspalodes (Michx. in September (photo by V. it would be proposed to be listed as critically endangered: CR B1ab(i. it should be assessed as endangered: EN B1ab(iii.v)+2ab(i..354 Bor{i}. polyspermum still exists in the first locality.v)+ 2ab(iii..ii.iv.iii. with two locations and continuing decline of habitat and number of mature individuals. Fig.iii.v).

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