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Shopbop Designer Fashion Brands. The work was done using modern rodenticides, which were placed over the entire island. Complete eradication was achieved in two months and immediate increases were seen in seabird breeding populations. Due to the shaping forces the island fauna has on the plant life, we here provide a brief overview of the animals found on Isla Rasa. There is a plethora of literature of the subject, with especially important references in the different chapters of Case and Cody and Case et al. However, the most important ornithological aspect is that about 95 percent of the world population of two seabird species nest on the island in spring, from April through June: Heermann's Gull Larus heermanni , with some , individuals, and Elegant Tern Thalasseus elegans with a nesting population of some , individuals, as well as the most important nesting population of Royal Terns Thalasseus maximus of North America with up to 17, individuals.
Bird surveys conducted before the guano extraction operations report Craveri's Murrelet Synthliboramphus craveri nesting on the island Bent, ; while Black-vented Shearwater Puffinus opisthomelas burrows could be seen in the early s, after the cessation of guano mining Bancroft, These two species had not been reported nesting on the island until recent evidence found by Velarde indicated these species are nesting there again Velarde et al.
One spiny chuckwalla, Sauromalus hispidus, was discovered in at the south end of the island Velarde et al. Several scats of the chuckwalla consisted of ca. No native land mammals or pinnipeds have been reported on the island. The nearby rock outcrops Roca Rasa and Roca Partida, however, have breeding colonies of California sea lions Zalophus californianus.
Bats are not known to occur on Rasa, although Isla Cardonosa Partida Norte , only 7 km northwest from Rasa, has a significant population of fishing bats, Myotis [Pizonyx] vivesi Maya, It is the goal of this paper to highlight, through analysis of the floristic diversity and ecology of Isla Rasa, the unique stories of restoration conservation, ecological dynamics, and migration and extinction made possible with long-term data sets.
A floristic list for Isla Rasa was compiled from collections beginning with those of Edward Palmer in Vasey and Rose, to the present, and previous species lists for the island Johnston, ; Gentry, ; Moran, ; Moran and Rebman, A rich history of botanical collections for over a century and at nearly year intervals provides a comprehensive long-term record of the island flora. We also made use of pertinent information regarding Isla Rasa specimens from databases at SD, the online Southwest Environmental Information Network SEINet , and elsewhere, and information for select species of interest housed at other herbaria.
Additional insights were gained by consulting the original field notes of botanists who visited the island, especially those of James Rodney Hastings courtesy of Raymond Turner , Reid Moran housed at SD; Moran , and Ira L. Wiggins housed at the CAS. The two new species records were discovered by E. Velarde, in addition to her records of the island flora through photos and field notes.
A new island biogeography of the sea of Cortés
Insight into the dynamics of the islands flora were aided by Velarde's observations made during her annual field seasons on the island, since during the seabird breeding period and the use of matched photos taken in March by Rodney Hastings and rephotographed in April by Thor Morales. Velarde's collections were made under a Mexican federal collecting permit and specimens are deposited at SD. The vascular flora is composed of 14 species in 13 genera and nine families. The Cactaceae are the most diverse family with five species in four genera.
There are eight succulent species three halophytic succulents and five xerophytic succulents, one of which is a columnar arborescent form, Pachycereuspringlei; Wilder et al.
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The 14 species are known to occur near the shore on nearby larger land masses. There are three main biogeographic distributional patterns: 1 Gulf of California region, eight species; 2 Mega-Mexico pattern 1 Rzedowski, , Arthrocnemum subterminalis and Distichlis littoralis; and 3 New World and Cosmopolitan, four species Table 1.
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- Controls of plant diversity and composition on a desert archipelago.
- Controls of plant diversity and composition on a desert archipelago.
- A New Island Biogeography of the Sea of Cortés.
The three major habitats on the island support three plant communities Felger and Lowe, ; Felger and Wilder, These are Figure 3 :. The three lagoons on the island support a salt scrub community adapted to saline conditions and is composed of a salt grass Distichlis littoralis , the three halophytic succulents Arthrocnemum subterminalis, Batis maritima, and Sesuvium portulacastrum , and the recent arrival of a mangrove Rhizophora mangle.
In the Midriff Region many of the smaller "bird islands" e. On Rasa the classic guano-adapted species common on "bird islands" in the Gulf are Atriplex barclayana, Lycium brevipes, and the recently recorded Viscainoa geniculata.
A New Island Biogeography of the Sea of Corti'As
Cressa truxillensis is the principal guano-flat species in one of the valleys, which gives the Tapete Verde locality its name. Brackish water was found at the bottom of this valley when soil cores were taken, which may be an explanation for the density of Cressa Felger et al. III Rocky areas of flats and hills support a highly limited desertscrub community. The subtle relief of this area supports all cactus species on the island and the saltbush, Atriplex barclayana.
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Cylindropuntia fiulgida var. Cylindropuntia alcahes occurs in a dense stand on the hill facing the easternmost lagoon. This latter cholla species and the other cactus species generally occur on Rasa as scattered single or relatively few individuals. Previous checklists for the island flora Johnston, ; Gentry, ; Moran, ; Moran and Rebman, , collectively list 16 species for the island including four species we treat as doubtful and excluded. We report 14 species, including two new records, Rhizophora and Viscainoa.
An important aspect of our knowledge of the island's flora is the legacy of historical botanical collections Table 1. This solid baseline permits us to conclusively state these two new records are indeed recent immigrants, in light of their not having been documented over the last century. The following species list adheres to the following format: accepted scientific family name following APG III nomenclature Angiosperm Phylogeny Group , selected synonyms in brackets , vernacular names when known, first in Spanish italics then English, and the family in parentheses, and finally followed by the citation of a representative herbarium voucher anchoring the species to the island.
We have seen all specimens cited. Species are listed in alphabetical order first by family and then by genus and species. Sesuvium portulacastrum L.
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Sea purslane Aizoaceae. Arthrocnemum subterminalis Parish Standley [Salicornia subterminalis Parish]. Pickleweed, glasswort Amaranthaceae. Atriplex barclayana Bentham Dietrich. Chamizo, saladillo, oreja de burro; costal saltbush Amaranthaceae. Batis maritima Linnaeus. Dedito; saltwort Bataceae. Cylindropuntia alcahes F.
Weber F. Knuth var. Weber var. Choya; Baja California cholla Cactaceae. Cylindropuntia fulgida Engelmann F. Kunth var. Choya; chain-fruit cholla Cactaceae.
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