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Acquiring baseline information for successful plant translocations when there is no time to lose: the case of the neglected Critically Endangered Narcissus cavanillesii (Amaryllidaceae)

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The success of plant translocations rely heavily on obtaining suitable baseline information on the species to correctly identify the critical factors that condition population viability of the species, as well as to know how to successfully conduct the translocation. This baseline information is normally not available at the time translocations are conceived and often the timeframe to obtain this information is very short. In 2000, it was urgent to translocate a newly discovered population of a little known autumnal plant (Narcissus cavanillesii A. Barra & G. López) in Portugal threatened by the construction of the Alqueva dam. Thirteen years after the translocation and annual monitoring, it was found that the translocated population has recovered the number of mature individuals available before the translocation. The aim of this study was to critically review the baseline information gathered for the translocation of N. cavanillesii and to assess the relevance of the different components. The systematically planned acquisition of baseline information made in a short period of time was in great part responsible for the successful translocation.

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We thank EDIA biologists, J. Almeida, A. Freitas, and C. Azinheira. We also thank the team from the Department of Geosciences, Universidade de Évora (Portugal) led by R. Varela and PM. Madureira allowed the rescue of N. cavanillesii in the best possible conditions. The acquisition of field data would not have been possible without the collaboration of E. Salvado, S. Albano, A. Rosselló-Graell, and MJ Albert. The authors thank L. De Hond for her linguistic assistance, D. Coutinho for permission to work on his property, and two anonymous reviewers for useful comments on a previous version. The translocation was performed within the framework of a conservation program for N. cavanillesii promoted by EDIA, S. A. and co-financed by EDIA, S. A. and European Regional Development Funds (ERDF).

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Correspondence to David Draper Munt.

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Communicated by Dr. Thomas Abeli and Prof. Kingsley Dixon.

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Draper Munt, D., Marques, I. & Iriondo, J.M. Acquiring baseline information for successful plant translocations when there is no time to lose: the case of the neglected Critically Endangered Narcissus cavanillesii (Amaryllidaceae). Plant Ecol 217, 193–206 (2016).

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