Project Emc2 – ‘Exploring White crowberry Coastal Habitats’

A. Abreu
Published: 24 November 2021
Last edited: 24 November 2021
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Summary

Emc2 project – Exploring White crowberry Coastal Habitats is a collaborative environmental education project about the white crowberry plant (Corema album (L.) D. Don), an Iberian endemic coastal plant. For mainland Portugal, although C. album has not yet been evaluated for conservation purposes, in recent decades there has been a regression of this species in some Iberian Peninsula western coast areas. The Emc2 project is funded by Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT MARE UIDB/04292/2020) and promotes half-day outdoor visits to students aged 7-11 years old, at 4 coastal dune habitats. Since 2016, student questionnaires are revealing this plant to be unknown for most engaged students, with percentage values ranging from 75% to 95%. Among the 4 dune habitats visited, for the one with a declining white crowberry plant population, a conservation activity began in 2017 through the rooting of collected stem cuttings, which after rooting, are reintroduced at dune habitat with the participation of students.

Classifications

Region
West and South Europe
Scale of implementation
Local
Ecosystem
Beach
Coastal forest
Marine and coastal ecosystems
Theme
Erosion prevention
Habitat fragmentation and degradation
Local actors
Outreach & communications
Science and research
Species Conservation and One Health Interventions
Risk communication, community engagement and behaviour change
Challenges
Loss of Biodiversity
Erosion
Ecosystem loss
Lack of public and decision maker’s awareness
Sustainable development goals
SDG 4 – Quality education
SDG 15 – Life on land
Aichi targets
Target 1: Awareness of biodiversity increased
Target 2: Biodiversity values integrated
Target 5: Habitat loss halved or reduced
Target 12: Reducing risk of extinction
Target 19: Sharing information and knowledge

Location

Moledo, Viana do Castelo, Portugal

Impacts

The Emc2 project, started in 2016/17, has contributed over the past 5 years, not only to raise students and social awareness about white crowberry plant, but also to promote conservation of the declining ‘Foz do Minho’ white crowberry population. In ecological terms, conservation of this declining white crowberry population started in 2017 and occurs through the reintroduction of white crowberry plants propagated by stem cuttings, with the support of researchers from INIAV, I.P.; collaboration of COREMA Association and the Union of Parishes of Moledo-Cristelo. Reintroduced plants, 30 in 2018/19 and 14 in 2021, are well adapted (with female plants already bearing some fruits) and are a positive action to halt this plant population extirpation with participation of students. The project will continue, in the coming years, in the coastal areas to be visited, with the assessment of adequate measures for conservation of declining white crowberry populations, namely by adding to propagation from stem cuttings, the propagation by seed germination, through an already tested protocol.

 

Contributed by

M Alexandra Abreu Lima MARE - Centro de Ciências do Mar e do Ambiente