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Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.3390/BIOLOGY10030195

Extinction Risk Assessment of the Greek Endemic Flora

04 Mar 2021-Biology (Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute)-Vol. 10, Iss: 3, pp 195
Abstract: Human-induced biodiversity decline has been on the rise for the past 250 years, due to various causes. What is equally troubling, is that we are unaware which plants are threatened and where they occur. Thus, we are far from reaching Aichi Biodiversity Target 2, i.e., assessing the extinction risk of most species. To that end, based on an extensive occurrence dataset, we performed an extinction risk assessment according to the IUCN Criteria A and B for all the endemic plant taxa occurring in Greece, one of the most biodiverse countries in Europe, in a phylogenetically-informed framework and identified the areas needing conservation prioritization. Several of the Greek endemics are threatened with extinction and fourteen endemics need to be prioritized, as they are evolutionary distinct and globally endangered. Mt. Gramos is identified as the most important conservation hotspot in Greece. However, a significant portion of the identified conservation hotspots is not included in any designated Greek protected area, meaning that the Greek protected areas network might need to be at least partially redesigned. In the Anthropocene era, where climate and land-use change are projected to alter biodiversity patterns and may force many species to extinction, our assessment provides the baseline for future conservation research, ecosystem services maintenance, and might prove crucial for the timely, systematic and effective aversion of plant extinctions in Greece.

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Topics: Biodiversity (58%), Threatened species (58%), Protected area (57%) ... read more

5 results found

Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.3390/D13040152
31 Mar 2021-Diversity
Abstract: The Mediterranean basin constitutes one of the largest global biodiversity hotspots, hosting more than 11,000 endemic plants, and it is recognised as an area with a high proportion of threatened taxa Nevertheless, only a tiny fraction of the threatened Mediterranean endemics have their genetic diversity assessed, and we are unaware if and how climate change might impact their conservation status This is even more pronounced in Eastern Mediterranean countries with a rich endemic flora, such as Greece, which hosts a large portion of the plant taxa assessed at the European level under the IUCN criteria Using inter simple sequence repeats (ISSR) markers and species distribution models, we analysed the genetic diversity and investigated the impacts of climate change on four critically endangered and extremely narrow and rare Greek island endemic plants, namely Aethionema retsina, Allium iatrouinum, Convolvulus argyrothamnos, and Saponaria jagelii All four species are facing intense anthropogenic threats and display moderate genetic diversity (uHe: 0254–0322), while climate change is expected to have a profound impact on their range size during the coming decades A combination of in- and ex-situ measures, such as population reinforcement and seed bank conservation, are urgently needed in order to preserve these highly threatened and rare Greek endemics

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Topics: Threatened species (61%), Critically endangered (59%), Conservation status (58%) ... read more

1 Citations

Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.3390/PLANTS10050992
17 May 2021-
Abstract: Sparsely vegetated habitats of cliffs and screes act as refugia for many regional and local endemic specialized plant taxa most of which have evolved precisely for that type of habitat. The interplay between taxonomic, phylogenetic, and functional plant diversity on rock and scree habitats of extreme environmental conditions, enlightens the relations of plant communities and ecosystems and facilitates management planning for the conservation of biodiversity and ecosystem services. The identification of biodiversity patterns and hotspots (taxonomic, phylogenetic, and functional) contributes to the integration of the ecosystem services (ES) approach for the mapping and assessment of ecosystems and their services (MAES) implementation in Greece and the creation of thematic maps based on the MAES reporting format. The overlap among the protected areas’ network revealed that almost all areas of cliffs and screes of medium, high, and very high taxonomic and phylogenetic plant endemism are included in the Natura 2000 area network. The results of this study provide the baseline information for ES assessments at sparsely vegetated land of cliffs and screes. Our results contribute to the implementation of certain indicators of the national set of MAES indicators in Greece such as (a) floristic diversity and (b) microrefugia of endemic diversity and support of decision-making.

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Topics: Ecosystem services (54%), Biodiversity (54%), Natura 2000 (52%) ... read more

1 Citations

Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1016/J.ECOLIND.2021.108335
Abstract: Climate change is predicted to dramatically affect mountain biodiversity and especially mountain pollination systems due to the mutual dependence between plants and pollinators. In this work, we investigate climate change effects on pollinator distribution and diversity along the altitudinal gradient of Mt. Olympus, a biodiversity hotspot. We used a species distribution modelling framework and predicted species richness hotspots, potential distribution and altitude change for 114 pollinator species, comprising bees, butterflies, and hoverflies along the altitudinal gradient (327–2596 m a.s.l.). We projected potential loss of suitable habitat and upward shift for most pollinator groups, with the exception of bumblebees and hoverflies which were predicted to descend. Pollinator extinctions were not forecasted; instead, we observed a pronounced species-specific response to climate change. Species richness hotspots will be relocated to higher altitudes and to the north-eastern mountain side. Projections for substantial but not detrimental climate change effects on pollinator fauna may be due to species differential resilience to climate change along with the existence of microrefugia on Mt. Olympus. Divergent response to global warming by bumblebees and hoverflies is probably due to species distribution modelling limitations, resulting in exclusion of the rarest species. We conclude that the predicted climate change impact stresses for the need of urgent conservation measures, including the expansion of the protection status over the whole mountain.

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Topics: Species richness (57%), Climate change (55%), Environmental niche modelling (54%) ... read more

Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.3390/PLANTS10030580
19 Mar 2021-
Abstract: From an ornamental viewpoint, tulips are famous clonally propagated crops. This research focuses on 15 wild-growing Greek tulip species including 11 range-restricted species, i.e., six Greek endemics and five Balkan or Aegean endemics and subendemics, among which seven are currently threatened with extinction (two Critically Endangered, three Endangered and two Vulnerable). An overview of the global electronic trade over the internet is presented herein for these valuable phytogenetic resources in an attempt to define the extent of their commercialization (25 nurseries in three countries, mainly bulb trade at various prices) with concomitant conservation implications. In the frame of the repatriation initiatives launched, their global ex situ conservation is overviewed according to the PlantSearch facility of the Botanic Gardens Conservation International (materials from 15 species stored in 41 botanic gardens of 14 countries). The results of this study on the Greek tulips showed that there are both well-established value chains and gaps in the market regarding the "botanical tulips"; revealed the compromised effectiveness of ex situ conservation for the majority of them; raised conservation concerns related to authorized access to these wild phytogenetic resources; and indicated that their future utilization should comply with the provision of national and international legislation. All these are envisaged and discussed within the framework of the newly launched research project TULIPS.GR which aims to be the pilot establishment of a national collection regarding all Greek tulips (currently holding 38 accessions of 13 species, including almost all of the threatened ones). The project's scope is to enable the creation of a sustainable value chain for the Greek tulips with authorized collections, sustainable conservation schemes, production of DNA barcoded propagation material, species-specific propagation and cultivation protocols, mycorrhizal investigations, field studies, applying innovative precise soil/foliar fertigation, and investigation of the postharvest treatment of fresh cut flowers, promoting networking and synergies with producers and associations in Greece and abroad.

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Topics: Threatened species (52%), Endangered species (50%)

Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.3390/D13120624
28 Nov 2021-Diversity
Abstract: Plants are the bedrock of life on Earth but are increasingly threatened with extinction. The most cost-effective way of conserving plant diversity is through Protected Areas (PAs). However, the locality, size, and management of PAs are crucial for effectively maintaining diversity and have been criticized as currently inadequate. Using Armenia as our study site and orchids as our study taxa, we sought to (1) identify spatial patterns of orchid diversity hotspots and corresponding PA network sites; (2) examine if the current PA network is effective at capturing orchid species richness and diversity and (3) explore the relationship between the range of area suitability of species and level of protection. We used data collected from herbarium, field visits and GBIF occurrence records. Using freely available mapping software, we created heatmaps of observations and species richness. We compared PA sites based on the number of species (species richness) and diversity (Shannon–Weiner Index). Species range was developed using the MaxEnt model and a correlation analysis was performed against the proportion of the range within PA. We found that 57% of PA sites have a representation of at least one species of orchid, but some threatened species are not presented within any PA site. The Tavush and Syunik province not only held the highest species richness (>10 species), but the PA network within also held high orchid diversity (2.5 diversity index value for Dilijan National Park). We did not find a significant relationship between the range of area suitability for orchids and protection; however, all our target species had less than 30% of their range under protection. Our study highlights important challenges related to the limitations of available data, and we discuss these implications towards effective conservation outcomes for orchids for the region.

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Topics: Species richness (65%), Threatened species (57%), Biodiversity (55%) ... read more

105 results found

Journal ArticleDOI: 10.1038/35002501
24 Feb 2000-Nature
Abstract: Conservationists are far from able to assist all species under threat, if only for lack of funding. This places a premium on priorities: how can we support the most species at the least cost? One way is to identify 'biodiversity hotspots' where exceptional concentrations of endemic species are undergoing exceptional loss of habitat. As many as 44% of all species of vascular plants and 35% of all species in four vertebrate groups are confined to 25 hotspots comprising only 1.4% of the land surface of the Earth. This opens the way for a 'silver bullet' strategy on the part of conservation planners, focusing on these hotspots in proportion to their share of the world's species at risk.

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Topics: Umbrella species (60%), Biodiversity hotspot (58%), Red List Index (57%) ... read more

22,175 Citations

Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.18637/JSS.V028.I05
Abstract: The caret package, short for classification and regression training, contains numerous tools for developing predictive models using the rich set of models available in R. The package focuses on simplifying model training and tuning across a wide variety of modeling techniques. It also includes methods for pre-processing training data, calculating variable importance, and model visualizations. An example from computational chemistry is used to illustrate the functionality on a real data set and to benchmark the benefits of parallel processing with several types of models.

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Topics: Caret (51%)

3,535 Citations

Journal ArticleDOI: 10.1093/BIOINFORMATICS/BTQ166
01 Jun 2010-Bioinformatics
Abstract: Summary: Picante is a software package that provides a comprehensive set of tools for analyzing the phylogenetic and trait diversity of ecological communities. The package calculates phylogenetic diversity metrics, performs trait comparative analyses, manipulates phenotypic and phylogenetic data, and performs tests for phylogenetic signal in trait distributions, community structure and species interactions. Availability: Picante is a package for the R statistical language and environment written in R and C, released under a GPL v2 open-source license, and freely available on the web (http://picante and from CRAN (

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3,207 Citations

Journal ArticleDOI: 10.1126/SCIENCE.1246752
30 May 2014-Science
Abstract: Background A principal function of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) is to “perform regular and timely assessments of knowledge on biodiversity.” In December 2013, its second plenary session approved a program to begin a global assessment in 2015. The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and five other biodiversity-related conventions have adopted IPBES as their science-policy interface, so these assessments will be important in evaluating progress toward the CBD’s Aichi Targets of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011–2020. As a contribution toward such assessment, we review the biodiversity of eukaryote species and their extinction rates, distributions, and protection. We document what we know, how it likely differs from what we do not, and how these differences affect biodiversity statistics. Interestingly, several targets explicitly mention “known species”—a strong, if implicit, statement of incomplete knowledge. We start by asking how many species are known and how many remain undescribed. We then consider by how much human actions inflate extinction rates. Much depends on where species are, because different biomes contain different numbers of species of different susceptibilities. Biomes also suffer different levels of damage and have unequal levels of protection. How extinction rates will change depends on how and where threats expand and whether greater protection counters them. Different visualizations of species biodiversity. ( A ) The distributions of 9927 bird species. ( B ) The 4964 species with smaller than the median geographical range size. ( C ) The 1308 species assessed as threatened with a high risk of extinction by BirdLife International for the Red List of Threatened Species of the International Union for Conservation of Nature. ( D ) The 1080 threatened species with less than the median range size. (D) provides a strong geographical focus on where local conservation actions can have the greatest global impact. Additional biodiversity maps are available at Advances Recent studies have clarified where the most vulnerable species live, where and how humanity changes the planet, and how this drives extinctions. These data are increasingly accessible, bringing greater transparency to science and governance. Taxonomic catalogs of plants, terrestrial vertebrates, freshwater fish, and some marine taxa are sufficient to assess their status and the limitations of our knowledge. Most species are undescribed, however. The species we know best have large geographical ranges and are often common within them. Most known species have small ranges, however, and such species are typically newer discoveries. The numbers of known species with very small ranges are increasing quickly, even in well-known taxa. They are geographically concentrated and are disproportionately likely to be threatened or already extinct. We expect unknown species to share these characteristics. Current rates of extinction are about 1000 times the background rate of extinction. These are higher than previously estimated and likely still underestimated. Future rates will depend on many factors and are poised to increase. Finally, although there has been rapid progress in developing protected areas, such efforts are not ecologically representative, nor do they optimally protect biodiversity. Outlook Progress on assessing biodiversity will emerge from continued expansion of the many recently created online databases, combining them with new global data sources on changing land and ocean use and with increasingly crowdsourced data on species’ distributions. Examples of practical conservation that follow from using combined data in Colombia and Brazil can be found at and

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Topics: Threatened species (62%), Biodiversity (62%), Extinction (57%) ... read more

1,874 Citations

01 Jan 2008-
Abstract: IUCN’s Protected Areas Management Categories, which classify protected areas according to their management objectives, are today accepted as the benchmark for defining, recording and classifying protected areas.They are recognized by international bodies such as the United Nations as well as many national governments. As a result, they are increasingly being incorporated into government legislation. These guidelines provide as much clarity as possible regarding the meaning and application of the Categories. They describe the definition of the Categories and discuss application in particular biomes and management approaches.

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Topics: Private protected area (67%), World Database on Protected Areas (66%), Protected area (62%) ... read more

1,865 Citations

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