Zigmantas Gudžinskas, Laurynas Taura

Rediscovery of endangered species Laphangium luteoalbum (Asteraceae) in Lithuania

Abstract Laphangium luteoalbum (Asteraceae) is a widely distributed species native to Eurasia; however, it is rare or endangered in some regions of Europe and included into the lists of protected species. In Lithuania, Laphangium luteoalbum was recorded in the southern part of the country, mainly along the banks of the Nemunas River in the 20th century. In contrast, it was found only in the 19th century in the western part of the country. During the research in Curonian Spit National Park (Neringa, western Lithuania), a relatively large species population was found in the transition zone between the dune grassland and wet dune slack habitats. The total population in 2020 consisted of about 500 individuals distributed over an area of about 310 m2. We assume that the seeds of this wind-dispersed plant may have been transferred from other regions of Europe by the wind. However, it cannot be excluded that the plants found are descendants of populations previously recorded in the country. The species is most threatened by the loss of wet, open sandy habitats due to eutrophication of water bodies and subsequent changes in bank vegetation. Laphangium luteoalbum was classified as data deficient (DD) in the last assessment according to the IUCN criteria. Still, a reassessment based on the current data indicates that the species should be considered critically endangered (CR) in Lithuania.

Doi https://doi.org/10.35513/Botlit.2022.1.7

Keywords annual plant, conservation, Gnaphalieae, habitats, IUCN, threats; wind-dispersal

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