Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Elimination of Chilean rhubarb in the Peats of Planalto dos Graminhais is about 40 tonnes

The recovery work of the Peats on the Planalto of Graminhais continues with the elimination so far, of about 40 tonnes of Chilean rhubarb (Gunnera tinctoria) of the management areas of the Forestry Service (SFN) and the Project LIFE Sustainable Laurel.

Since May the teams of SFN and LIFE work hard to manually remove almost all the plants in an area of ​​about 100 ha, a task expected to be completed in coming weeks.

The Chilean rhubarb is one of the main threats to the Peats of Planalto dos Graminhais and now, actions that focus on removing this species are being developed . The Chilean rhubarb is native to Chile, and is a plant that can reach over one meter tall and whose leaves can reach two meters in diameter. This plant has characteristics that make it an invasive species, especially their reproductive potential, as each plant can produce up to 250.000 seeds, which are then dispersed naturally.

The Planalto dos Graminhais is composed of bryophites Sphagnum sp. which have a water retention capacity of 20 times its own weight and therefore is an area of extreme importance for supplying water to the local population of Nordeste and in stabilizing the water regime, as well as being habitat for endemic subspecies of Azores, as are example the Woodcock and the Common snipe. Thus, it becomes essential to preserve this habitat, not only threatened by invasive species, but also by the actions of drainage that occurred over the past decades.

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