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Fitosociologia numero 48 (2) S1

pag. 111-117: Using Biodiversity Action Plans to Manage High Conservation Value Areas in Portuguese Natura 2000 Network Areas

M. C. Silva, S. Antunes, F. Gouveia, & *N.G. de Oliveira

AmBioDiv - Valor Natural, Rua Filipe da Mata, 10, 1F, 1600-071 Lisboa, Portugal; mctavares@ambiodiv.com; sirantunes@ambiodiv.com; afgouveia@ambiodiv.com; ngoliveira@ambiodiv.com

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abstract

A Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) is a management tool that a) evaluates and monitors wildlife and habitats with regional/local interest, with conservation status (IUCN Red Lists) and included in EU ‘Habitats’ Directives, b) evaluates species with importance in crop protection and soil conservation; c) targets bioindicator groups to assess and monitor the performance of conservationist practices and c) targets both crop areas and surroundings, including woodlands, wetlands set-aside areas, inter alia, for proper habitat management. The BAP focus strongly on the concept of High Conservation Value Areas (HCVA). HCVA are landscape level units with important natural values, i.e., habitats, fauna, flora, and frequently occur in man managed landscapes. The first BAP began in March 2006 and by now AmBioDiv manages 15 BAP, with high incidence on Natura 2000 Network areas. The BAP main goal is to establish a Biodiversity baseline which will allow the definition of management guidelines towards Biodiversity no net loss or net positive gain. The plant community assessment method was based on phytosociological data (Braun-Blanquet, 1979). The most relevant habitats were: Oak Montado forests, mixed woodlands, riparian stream banks, scrublands, meadows, aquatic communities. Some of the highlights regarding HCVA and plant communities that correspond to Biodiversity Hotspots are: Malcata HCVA - Quercus pyrenaica oaklands with a rich understory including endemisms such as Broteroi Peony (Paeonia broteroi) and Plantain Leopardbane (Doronicum plantagineum), with Strawberry-tree (Arbutus unedo) and Butcher’s broom (Ruscus aculeatus) also present (Arbuto unedonis-Quercetum pyrenaicae); Valongo, Alvao/Marao HCVA’s - Portuguese endemism Murbeckiella sousae was found on the understory of Common Alder (Alnus glutinosa) woodlands, (Osmundo-Alnion); Nisa and Sao Mamede HCVA - most significant orchid meadows of Serapias cordigera and Serapias lingua, (Festuco-Brometea), and scrubland (Phillyreo angustifoliae-Arbutetum unedonis); Tejo Internacional HCVA - Holm oaklands (Pyro bourgaeanae-Quercetum rotundifoliae), rocky hillside communities (Selaginello denticulatae-Anogrammetum leptphyllae) and Cape Myrtle scrublands (Pyro bourgaeanae-Flueggeetum tinctoriae); Monchique HCVA - Common Rhododendron (Osmundo-Campanuletum primulifoliae) and the Oleander (Rubio ulmifolii-Nerietum oleandri) were present only for some small areas.

keywords

Biodiversity Action Plan, High Conservation Value Areas, Mediterranean Hotspots, Plant Ecology