The pollen counts as bioindicator of meteorological trends and tool for assessing the status of endangered species: The case of Artemisia in Sierra Nevada (Spain)

Maria Concepcion De Linares Fernandez, Paloma Cariñanos, Consuelo Díaz de la Guardia, Jose Antonio Algarra, José Ma Irurita

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study sought to analyse the effects of climate change on Artemisia species growing in Sierra Nevada, a high mountain range in the south-east of the Iberian Peninsula, using pollen counts as a bioindicator. The study also examined the impact of Recovery Programmes implemented for the most endangered of these species. Analysis of historical Artemisia pollen-data series from 1992 to 2011 showed that flowering took place between late July and late September, but the trend towards higher summer temperatures detected over the series as a whole appeared to have delayed the start of flowering and brought forward the end of flowering, thus prompting a shortening of the season. A trend was also observed towards a delayed peak pollen period, together with a significant decline in the Annual Pollen Index, which was significantly influenced by rainfall over the months immediately prior to flowering. Recovery Programmes implemented for three species-Artemisia granatensis, A. alba subsp. nevadensis and A. umbelliformis-involved conservation measures including direct seeding and planting of seedlings. From the outset, these programmes led to a recovery of the Pollen Index, especially when using germinated seedlings, which adapted better than seeds to environmental conditions. In conclusion, pollen records proved to be a useful tool for assessing the status of endangered species. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)799-813
JournalClimatic Change
Volume119
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2013

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