|Date||2 Sep 2019|
Among the Bothriocline plants, Bothriocline auriculata is the only endemic species in Uganda. Although Bothriocline auriculata could thrive under a wide range of ecosystems, it is only sited along the slopes of Mount Elgon. This is the only remaining known species habitat, and it is being destroyed by residents in search for arable farmland, and deforestation for fuel-wood and timber. Despite its ecological importance as a soil cover plant protecting the soils against erosion, nutrient recycling and medicinal purposes, Bothriocline auriculate population is declining at an unprecedented rates from its native ecosystem and is now on a blink of extinction, and hence classified as ‘critically endangered’ by the IUCN: International Union for Conservation of Nature. Therefore, this project seeks to create enabling conditions for long-term conservation and effective management of Bothriocline auriculata. The project also seeks to increase the number of species plants under both ex-situ and in-situ conservation. The project will further build the capacity of local stakeholders, mainly farmers in species agronomic management activities through training. The project will further provide species-specific data, seedlings and practical training manuals to support long-term conservation activities. To achieve the aforesaid objectives, the following work packages are proposed:
Work package 1: Preparation of Bothriocline auriculata seedlings. Bothriocline auriculata species seedlings will be prepared and propagated using tissue culture method.
Work package 2: Field experiments to identify suitable environmental conditions required to support optimum growth of Bothriocline auriculata.
Work package 3: Data collection and analyses (including soil samples). Soil samples collected from the species pots in the different treatment screen house will be transported to Makerere University Soil Science Laboratory and analyzed for physic-chemical parameters and nutrient composition. Using GenStat software, Spearman’s correlation analysis will be used to assess the correlation relationship between species growth performance (dependent variable) and environment treatment variables including the soil biophysical parameters, as the independent variables. The independent variables will be classified into four major categories namely; not suitable, reasonably suitable, suitable and optimum depending on the correlational relationship with the species growth performance as no correlation (0-0.3); weak correlation (0.3-0.5); moderate correlation (0.5-0.8); and strong correlation (0.8-1); respectively.
Work package 4: Training and supporting local stakeholders to conserve the Bothriocline auriculata species. About 150 stakeholders will be selected from farmer groups and conservationists to participate in the species training and capacity building activities. The training will focus on the species long-term conservation through sustainable use including product-based harvest and utilization.
Read about Mohammed's previous project https://www.rufford.org/projects/ssemwanga_mohammed or for more information contact: