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12 species selected for tropical coral island recovery

Xinhua,March 23, 2020 Adjust font size:

Chinese researchers have selected 12 species suitable for tropical coral island recovery, according to a recent research article published in the journal Functional Ecology.

Researchers from the South China Botanical Garden of Chinese Academy of Sciences developed a species screening model to select more species that have comparable restoration abilities to the target species that have high survival rates for vegetation restoration.

Based on a software platform developed by themselves, the researchers conducted their study in a tropical coral island of southern China's Hainan province.

Among the 66 species identified as high potential for restoring the island, the researchers identified and measured 28 traits that are strongly associated with harsh environments including drought, high temperatures, intensive UV radiation, lack of real soil and nutrients and high salinity and alkalinity.

They transplanted seedlings of all 66 species to the island to monitor the seedlings survival and found that 12 species had high survival rates ranging from 86 percent to 91 percent.

The vegetation selection based on the research procedure can be finished within two months.

Selecting suitable species for vegetation restoration was crucial for land managers and scientists. The researchers hope their work can be helpful for vegetation restoration in tropical islands, as well as other ecosystems.