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Contributions of ecological facilitation for restoring environments with high conservation value in the Argentine Patagonia

González FM, DR Pérez

National University of Comahue, School of Health and Environmental Sciences, Laboratory of Arid and Semiarid Ecosystem Restoration and Rehabilitation, (UNCo, FACIAS, LARREA). 8300 Neuquén, Argentina.
Institutional addresses: LARREA, FACIAS. National University of Comahue. Buenos Aires N° 1400, Neuquén C.P 8300. Argentina.

Address correspondence to: F lorencia M. González, e-mail:

Phyton-International Journal of Experimental Botany 2017, 86(all), 332-339.


The Argentine arid Patagonia, in general, and ‘La Payunia’ ecosystem in particular, are important areas for conservation due to the high number of endemic species. However, this region presents a high level of degradation as a result of human activities. Thus, ecological rehabilitation strategies need to be implemented to recover certain areas. The main objectives of this study were to (1) evaluate the reintroduction of two selected native species in severely degraded areas, and (2) determine if the survival and growth of an endemic shrub species, Senna arnottiana, increase when it is associated with a perennial grass, Pappostipa speciosa. These two species were selected based on the results of a reference ecosystem analysis. In addition, two doses of hydrogel (polyacrylamide) were tested to evaluate its moistening effect. After three years, the survival rate of both plant species was high (mean=79.6%), with no significant differences among hydrogel treatments and association between species. However, growth rates of S. arnottiana plants nursed by P. speciosa were significantly higher (P<0.05) than those of isolated plants. Our results suggest that the study, endemic shrub species is able to survive in isolation after its transplanting, and that P. speciosa is a suitable species for promoting a higher shrub growth during the first critical years of recovery of the degraded, arid and semiarid environments.


Cite This Article

FM, G., Pérez, D. (2017). Contributions of ecological facilitation for restoring environments with high conservation value in the Argentine Patagonia. Phyton-International Journal of Experimental Botany, 86(all), 332–339.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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