With focus on Jacobaea mouterdei, endemic to the regions of Akkar and Danniye in the North of Lebanon, this project will mobilize and publish the results of a project (funded by the Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund (project number 180519099)), designed to survey and collect botanical data about the occurrence of this range-restricted plant and to assess its vulnerability. The regions of Akkar and Danniye shelter the most preserved natural habitats of the country, but are also the less studied. There is a significant gap in data availability that should be addressed. Recently, human activities have been seriously threatening natural habitats and there is an urge to act for the conservation of these areas.
The data collection will also target all other plant species occurring in the different sampled habitat types. Therefore, the study will improve the knowledge on the flora of these regions by adding qualitative and quantitative data on the occurrences and ecology of plant species. The project will publish a dataset on vascular plant species of the regions of Akkar and Danniye, which will also be accompanied by the publication of a data paper.
As with all data published to GBIF, the dataset will be free and open and will allow further ecological analyses including population ecology, characterization of habitat types and the understanding of species association in the different plant communities. These results will also serve as scientific arguments to urgently advocate and implement conservation actions to preserve the unique natural patrimony of these regions.
While data was still being collected during the first half of the project, approximately 20% of the expected data was published. At the end of the project the dataset was updated, resulting in over 4,800 observations of vascular plant species being published on GBIF – exceeding the project’s target with almost twice the amount of records than originally estimated.
To recognize the collection of data for this project, photographs and a video from the fieldwork carried out in the Valleys of Hell in 2019 have been published by the project and the data paper written to accompany the dataset, now awaits publication in a scientific peer-reviewed journal.