Grup de Recerca de Geobotànica i Cartografia de la Vegetació
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PROJECT: Consolidació del Banc de llavors del Parc Nacional d'Aigüestortes i Estany de Sant Maurici, 2008

Parc Nacional d'Aigüestortes i Estany de Sant Maurici
Ninot Sugrañes, Josep M. (IP).

Seed bank of the National Park Aigüestortes i Estany de Sant Maurici

This project is aimed to the preservation of a substantial part of the Park’s plant diversity in a germplasp bank, where viable seeds are kept for a long time. Also, we proceed to a morphologic-functional analysis of the seeds in order to obtain a standardized knowledge of them, according to general protocols.

For this seed bank, we selected priority taxa within the Park flora: endemics, mountain plants with disjunct area, rarities, etc. During the vegetative periods we select the adequate plant populations, and yield seed at the ripening time. Each sample (one population) includes more than 3,000 seeds, which is the amount established as genetically representative. The field sampling is done by Moisès Guardiola and Albert Petit, in collaboration with our Research Group.

After sorting and rejecting plant fragments, the samples are kept in hermetic bottles at – 18 ºC, in the Jardí Botànic of Barcelona.

A small subsample of each sample is used for the morphologic study mentioned, and is included in the Herbarium of the Universitat de Barcelona (BCN). The data recorded (seed size, mass, type) and a digital image ( are included in a data bank of seeds and fruits, coordinated by Roser Guàrdia.

This project has been also useful in obtaining new knowledge of the local flora. Thus, we have found 12 new species in the Park, and unknown locations of a number of rarities.

The most intensive activity of this project developed in the period 2004-2006, thought new collections are added each year. At the end of 2011, the content of the seed bank may be summarized as follows:

Number of taxa (first collections) Second (o 3rd.) collections Total number of samples
2004-2006 262 128 390
2007 20 22 42
2008 14 21 35
2009 37 15 52
2010 15 8 23
2011 28 18 46
TOTALS 376 212 588

The seed bank in the virtual herbarium of the Documentation Centre of Plant Biodiversity, University of Barcelona

Presentation on the project within the course Protocols of long-term monitoring of mountain flora (Espot, 2012)

Research field:
Floristics and Taxonomy

Project results:

Guardiola, M.; Petit, A.; Aymerich, P.; Pérez-Haase, A.; Mercadé, A.; Batriu, E.; Blanco-Moreno, J.M.; Illa, E.; Grau, O.; Carrillo, E.; Ninot, J.M. 2011
Coneixem bé la flora pirinenca? Els Pirineus catalans occidentals segueixen sorprenent.
In: Actes del IX Col·loqui Internacional de Botànica Pirenaico-cantàbrica a Ordino, Andorra: 181-190. Monografies del CENMA (Centre d'Estudis de la Neu i de la Muntanya). Andorra.
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Guardiola, M.; Petit, A.; Ninot, J.M. 2009
Aportacions a la flora dels Pirineus centrals.
Butlletí de la Institució Catalana d’Història Natural 75:31-40.
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Guardiola, M; Petit, A.; Ninot, J.M. 2008
El banc de llavors del Parc Nacional d'Aigüestortes i Estany de Sant Maurici.
In: VII Jornades sobre Recerca al Parc Nacional d'Aigüestortes i Estany de Sant Maurici: 145-160.
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Grup de Recerca de Geobotànica i Cartografia de la Vegetació
Universitat de Barcelona. Facultat de Biologia
Avinguda Diagonal, 643. 08028 Barcelona
Tel.:934 021 476 - Fax: 934 112 842