Rare vascular plant species at risk: recovery by seeding?



Abstract. Rare vascular plant species are endangered worldwide. Population losses are most commonly caused by human-related factors. Conservation management seeks to halt this adverse trend and if possible, to enhance long-lasting self-sustainable populations. In general, rare species are poorly recruited from seed banks, or disperse themselves very poorly. It may be a management option to translocate such plants by seeds and/or transplants. This paper asks which problems may be faced. It is argued that translocation is only acceptable if it is based on knowledge of species biology and ecology and the size and structure of its geographic range through time. Such knowledge of rare species is often lacking. The finite management goal can only be achieved if conservationists closely cooperate with both ecologists and geneticists.