Implantation of new recruits from the Trieste and Camogli reproduction laboratories to Cinque Terre and Miramare MPAs. The action will adopt the techniques improved in the Action A1.
All the foreseen activities will be implemented in time without any delays due to permission procedures.
Strunjan will involve an external scientist to develop an optimal arrangement of the transplanting units following as possible natural population distribution.
The following steps are planned:
- Identification: each "transplant support" with the new fixed juveniles will be identified with a tag to permit the monitoring of thalli growth once introduced in the natural environment. Phenological measures (i.e. total length, number of ramifications) of implanted juveniles will be collected before the transfer of the transplant supports to the target sites.
- Transportation: will benefit from experience in Action C1. Travel duration is reduced (ca. 3-4 hours to Liguria MPA and 1 hours for the Adriatic MPA) with lower risks.
- Introduction of the transplant supports with the new Cystoseira specimens in the "A zone" of the MPAs: as the new plants derive from a controlled environment the major risk consists in underestimating the impact of relocation from a totally controlled environment (a nursery) to a natural environment where physical variables (i.e. light and temperature) are less stable and biological ones (i.e. grazing) may affect the new recruits. To reduce the risk they will be acclimatised to natural conditions in the mesocosms before translocation. The protection of the repopulation areas from grazing is addressed in Action C4.
The total expected number of Cystoseira new plants to be introduced in the target MPAs is 2000 for each species/cultivation event. At the end of the 6 cultivation events (3 years) we will transplant for each species 12.000 juveniles.
We expect that survival rate after transportation from laboratories to introduction sites will be 99%.
The expected survival rate in the receiving sites is 50% after 30 days (1000 plants for each species/cultivation event).
After 1 year from the introduction, we expect 40% survival of these individuals (400 adult thalli for each species/cultivation event, thus 2400 adult thalli for each species after all the cultivation events).
The survival percentages are calculated with precaution, considering UNITS and UNIGE experiences, and based on feasibility studies.
In the receiving MPA the number of thalli will continue to increase after the end of the project thanks to the critical density created and the natural reproduction of the transplanted population.
See the "Restoration" table, that reports the percentage of restoration of the Habitat1170 in the two target MPAs after the 6 cultivation events (2events/years for 3 years)
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