site.btaPlant Species New to Bulgaria Found on Persin Island

Plant Species New to Bulgaria Found on Persin Island
Plant Species New to Bulgaria Found on Persin Island
Dipsacus gmelinii (Persina Nature Park Directorate Photo)

A wetland species new to the Bulgarian flora has been recorded on the Danubian island of Persin (Belene), the Persina Nature Park said on its website. The biennial Dipsacus gmelinii has a native range from Eastern Europe to Western Asia, so its distribution to Persin Island constitutes the westernmost disjunct occurrence of the species within its global range.

A scientific article on the plant species newly discovered in Bulgaria was recently published in Hacquetia by Georgi Kunev of Sofia University’s Faculty of Biology, Ivan Kostadinov of Sliven (Southeastern Bulgaria), and Daniela Karakasheva of the Persina Nature Park Directorate in Belene. 

Kostadinov and Karakasheva found the plant during a botanical trip to Persin Island in the summer of 2022. They recorded around 20 individuals of Dipsacus gmelinii in two microsites on the island. 

The closest occurrence of D. gmelinii is near Jijila in Northern Dobrudzha, Romania; it has also been observed at the Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve. According to the Bulgarian scientists, the plant was only recently introduced to Persin Island through migratory waterfowl, given that the island is on the migratory pathway of many bird species.

D. gmelinii is classified as vulnerable in Romania. In Bulgaria, its presence in a single locality and its relatively big distance from neighbouring populations of the species puts it at a high extinction risk, the scientists argue. They call for regular monitoring of the Bulgarian population of D. gmelinii, a search for new localities in available suitable habitats, and control of some aggressive competitors at the known localities.

Before D.gmelinii was recorded on Persin Island, three taxa of the Dipsacus genus were known as native to Bulgaria.

Persin (Belene) is the largest Bulgarian island in the Danube River. It falls within the borders of Persina Nature Park. It is a Ramsar site and a Natura 2000 protected site.

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By 01:06 on 23.04.2024 Today`s news

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