Dracocephalum ruyschiana populations

Martha Karijord recently defended her master thesis on the endangered Northern dragonhead (Dracocephalum ruyschiana). She investigated how the populations relate to different habitats, with implications for conservation of this species.

dragehode i blomst. blålilla blomster, tynne blader, 6 stengler med flere blomster på hver topp

Northern dragonhead flowering.

Foto: Martha Karijord

Norwegian populations of the Northern dragonhead are found on dry, calcareous soils in warm and open ecosystems along the coast and in semi-natural meadows. These habitats are under threat because of modern land-use, in many cases being overgrown by woody plants that outcompete herbs like the Northern dragonhead. Which of the Norwegian populations are doing well, and why?

Karijord mapped habitats in 18 locations using the NiN system, and measured population metrics such as the number of individuals and whether they were fertile.

Her results show, among other findings, that isolated and large locations had denser populations, and that abandonment of meadows leads to a drop in recruitment for the Northern dragonhead.

Bildet kan inneholde: gress, gressfamilie, anlegg, jord, plantesamfunn.
The dry habitats that house the Northern dragonhead were especially dry during the drought-summer of 2018. Photo: Martha Karijord

 

Emneord: Population biology, NiN, Dracocephalum ruyschiana, grasslands, red list, MSc Av Eva Lieungh
Publisert 24. mars 2020 14:46 - Sist endret 24. mars 2020 14:46