Dwarf bulrush species conservation project

Published, on 25 September 2022
Project status: ongoing
Nature conservation project
© Felix Lassacher

Dwarf bulrush species conservation project

A little dwarf all big!

The dwarf bulrush (Typha minima) is a typical pioneer species of large alpine floodplains and prefers to colonise freshly created oxbow lakes with sandy-silty sediments, which are always found somewhat away from the main channel.

Due to river engineering measures in the last 100 years, this species has declined so much in Europe today that it is classified as acutely threatened with extinction in the Red Lists. Today, the remaining small populations in the Alpine region are mostly isolated and some have already fallen below the critical population size. Therefore, relief measures must be taken to ensure the survival of the dwarf bulrush.
Incidentally, one of the largest occurrences of the dwarf bulrush in the Alpine region is located in the Tyrolean Lech Nature Park.

For several years now, the Plant species threatened with extinction a Species Conservation Programme in the Tyrolean Lech Nature Park carried out with the following objectives:

  1. Review of the population situation and threat analysis of the dwarf bulrush in North Tyrol
  2. Strengthening of the last 2 natural subpopulations within the Natura 2000 site Tyrolean Lech through suitable biotope development measures and establishment and maintenance of a population pool in a gravel pond (in-situ culture), from which indigenous plant material (achenes, young plants) can be spread along the Lech and other Tyrolean rivers to accompany renaturation measures.
  3. Biotope maintenance and development of the recent subpopulation
  4. Establishment of a conservation culture in the Botanical Garden Innsbruck to secure the genetic material and for reintroduction
  5. Replanting of young plants and freshly harvested achenes accompanying ongoing renaturation measures within the Tiroler Lech Nature Park with the aim of developing at least 3 additional self-sustaining populations.
  6. Efficiency control of the reintroduction attempts
  7. Documentation and publication of the results
  8. Inclusion of the measures for the dwarf bulrush in environmental education and public relations work.
  9. Development of objectives for the long-term conservation of the species and its habitat in Tyrol

Since 2003, the species protection programme has been scientifically prepared and technically accompanied by Prof. Dr. Norbert Müller from the Erfurt University of Applied Sciences, Department of Landscape Management and Biotope Development.
Since 2012, Prof. Dr. Konrad Pagitz has been running a conservation culture for the "Lechtal" dwarf bulrush in the Botanical Garden of the University of Innsbruck, with the aim of keeping plants for ongoing reintroduction projects.
Since the beginning of the species conservation programme, many Lechtal schoolchildren have been significantly involved in the reintroduction and care of the dwarf bulrush as part of environmental education measures.