"Temporary Ponds: a natural habitat to be protected!"

FLORA

> Eryngium corniculatum

Family: Apiaceae


Annual plant with a very characteristic blue-green stem. The leaves have two distinct shapes: in the flooded season they are thick and hollow, and become rigid and thorny when the pond begins to dry.

The flowers are grouped in blue capitulum with a central thorn similar to a horn, which is the reason behind its name.

Along the coastline of Alentejo it is often called "Lagoon-thistle" or "Blue-peaks".

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It colonizes the most central and deepest zones of the Mediterranean Temporary Ponds, where the flooding lasts longer, or other temporarily flooded places. It grows generally in siliceous substrate.

Its distribution is limited to the west of the Mediterranean basin occurring in Portugal, Spain, Sardinia (Italy) and Morocco. In the Mediterranean basin, its extent of occurrence covers over 30,000 km² and it is present in several locations.

In Portugal and Spain,  essentially are concentrated in the east of the peninsula. In Italy it is solely present in Sardinia. In Morocco, the species is present in only two locations in the west of the Rif (Malaliyine and Negro).

The populations are very small, restricted and threatened due to coastal urbanization. The trend of the populations is unknown.

Rhazi, L., Grillas, P., Rhazi, M. & Flanagan, D. 2010. Eryngium corniculatum. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 15 April 2015.

In Portugal, its distribution is fragmented.


It is an indicator species of the seasonality of the flooding period, being a characteristic species of the priority habitat 3170* of the Directive 92/43/CEE.

There are no conservation measures in place but the following actions are recommended:
- Monitor the existing sites and search for new sites
- Legal protection of the species in North Africa (List of protected species in Morocco)
- Implementation of legal protection measures (environmental impact legislation)
- Study the species' biology and follow-up the population dynamics

 

Rhazi, L., Grillas, P., Rhazi, M. & Flanagan, D. 2010. Eryngium corniculatum. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 15 April 2015.


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