The necessity of surveillance: medium-term viability of Carpobrotus edulis propagules after plant fragmentation.
Carpobrotus edulis is a succulent invasive plant with a large record of eradication actions in Mediterranean areas. The capacity of detached fragments to survive and regenerate after fragmentation implies that vegetative propagules can rapidly reinvade habitats under restoration. Mechanical removal is the preferred option for C. edulis management but the high amount of biomass produced, dragging, stacking, storage and transport during management produces a large number of fragments that can as propagules. Here, we test the medium-term capacity of C. edulis fragments for growing and establish after detachment and storage. After 6 months of storage, plant fragments were able to survive, rehydrate, grow and produce new roots, indicating that viability and consequently, the capacity of C. edulis to colonize new habitats or reappear in restored habitats remain intact. This fact has important practical implications since the potential of C. edulis to wait for suitable growing conditions influences the design of habitat monitoring and restoration activities.