16 Jan Conservation of threatened Nothofagus in Chile
Conserving and restoring the threatened Nothofagus species in Chile
Partner: Universidad de Concepción
This project aims at building in-country capacity for Nothofagus conservation and implement integrated conservation activities (ex situ and in situ) for each of the threatened Chilean Nothofagus species (N. alessandrii, N.glauca and N. macrocarpa).
Nothofagus trees are keystone species that play an integral role in the ecology of Southern Hemisphere forests. Chile is a centre of diversity for Nothofagus, where 10 species are native. Chilean forests have suffered destruction and major fragmentation over centuries from anthropogenic activities including over-exploitation, tree plantations, pests and diseases, fires, and climate change. These actions are changing the dynamics of Nothofagus forest ecology, hampering regeneration and jeopardising the future of these species. Three are now on the brink of extinction. To address this problem, this project will utilize specialist knowledge of Chilean Nothofagus to build conservation in-country capacity and implement integrated conservation activities for each of the threatened Chilean Nothofagus species (N. alessandrii, N. glauca and N. macrocarpa). By securing these taxa in ex situ conservation collections, developing propagation protocols, supplying seedlings and delivering workshops to build capacity among partner organisations and local communities to implement ecological restoration actions, the project will contribute to the long-term survival of these species. Species conservation plans will be produced to guide national conservation policy and actions in support of Chile’s commitments to global environmental agreements, including its National Biodiversity Strategy (2017-2030).