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Projects / Conservation Actions

The project entitled “An Ecosystem Approach to Plant Conservation on Ascension Island” commenced in 2011 and ran until December 2013, with a number of aspects of the project incorporated into routine AIGCD work. Funded by the Overseas Territories Environment Programme (OTEP), the project was set up to study the ecology of, and restore, Ascension’s original plant communities to how they would have been prior to human introduction in experimental plots. The capacity of native and endemic plant species to co-exist beside non-native fauna and flora was assessed using an ecological approach. The initial focus was upon the dry lava plains, which the endemic Ascension spurge would naturally populate. The project was carried out at four sites across the island with each containing four plots. Two plots at each site were planted with original plant communities of Ascension spurge, the salad plant purslane Portulaca oleracea, a native grass Aristida adscensionis, and a native sedge Cyperus appendiculatus. A third plot was dispersed with seeds from each of these plants and the fourth was left as a control.

Aristida and purslane in restoration site.

© Ascension Island Government Conservation Department
(Projects / Conservation Actions, 16 of 31 - Slide ref. 645)