Species conservation project Dwarf bulrush

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

Species conservation project Dwarf bulrush

A little dwarf really big!

The dwarf bulrush(Typha minima) is a typical pioneer species of large alpine floodplains and prefers to colonize freshly created oxbow lakes with sandy-silty deposits, 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.
By the way, one of the largest occurrences of the dwarf bulrush in the Alpine region is located in the Tyrolean Lech Nature Park.

For several years, a species protection program has been carried out for this endangered plant species in the Tyrolean Lech Nature Park with the following objectives:

  1. Review of the population situation and endangerment analysis of the dwarf bulrush in North Tyrol.
  2. Strengthening of the 2 last natural subpopulation within the Natura 2000 area Tyrolean Lech by suitable biotope development measures and establishment as well as 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 accompanying 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. Incorporate measures for the dwarf bulrush into environmental education and public outreach.
  9. Development of objectives for the long-term protection of the species and its habitat in Tyrol

The species conservation program has been scientifically prepared and technically accompanied since 2003 by Prof. Dr. Norbert Müller from the University of Applied Sciences Erfurt, Department of Landscape Management and Biotope Development.
Since 2012, a conservation culture for the "Lechtal" dwarf bulrush has been operated by Prof. Dr. Konrad Pagitz at the Botanical Garden of the University of Innsbruck, with the aim of preserving plants for ongoing reintroduction projects.
Since the beginning of the species conservation program, many Lechtal students have been significantly involved in the reintroduction and care of the dwarf bulrush within the framework of environmental education measures.


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