Evaluation and monitoring of the shrub cultivated field’s success for the restoration of the Ziziphus lotus (L.) Lam. field in Las Amoladeras (Parque Natural de Cabo de Gata-Níjar).
Juan José Castillo Baquera.
Ziziphus lotus (L.) Lam. field is an ecosystem dependent on groundwater of great ecological interest that faces the aging of its populations. In the area of Las Amoladeras, in the Natural Park of Cabo de Gata-Níjar, the largest part of the individuals of the population of Ziziphus lotus (L.) Lam. (Rhamnaceae) that manages this ecosystem are already old and a very low recruitment rate is observed in them. Given this situation, the Life ADAPTAMED project has proposed as one of its aims the strengthening of this population. This measures shall strengthen the resilience of the ecosystem against global change and the consequent impact on the groundwater on which it depends. To do so, a plantation was carried out that was designed based on the existing knowledge for the restoration of arid ecosystems, the minimization of costs, and the administrative limitations inherent to the management action. The species selected were Ziziphus lotus (L.) Lam., Capparis spinosa L. (Capparaceae) and Retama sphaerocarpa (L.) Boiss. (Fabaceae). The plantation was done under a smallholding design that allowed the follow-up of other aspects that the project required, and two treatments (with and without a nurse plant). For the evaluation of restoration success, field visits were made over a year, the seedlings were geolocated by marking them using a submetric GPS, and the survival of the seedling was evaluated in each case. The results indicate that survival was considerable in Retama sphaerocarpa L., almost non-existent in Capparis spinosa L. and very low in Ziziphus lotus L.. Most of the Ziziphus planted sprouted, indicating that the summer drought is critical for the establishment of the species while it is young and in a pre-phreatophyte state.
Keywords: Restoration, semi-arid, seedling, jujube, Ziziphus Lotus (L.) Lam, survival, phreatophyte.