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Open AccessArticle

A Common Approach to the Conservation of Threatened Island Vascular Plants: First Results in the Mediterranean Basin

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Centro Conservazione Biodiversità (CCB), Dipartimento di Scienze della Vita e dell’Ambiente (DISVA), Università degli Studi di Cagliari, 09123 Cagliari, Italy
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Hortus Botanicus Karalitanus (HBK), Università degli Studi di Cagliari, 09123 Cagliari, Italy
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Department of forests, Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment, 1516 Nicosia, Cyprus
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CIHEAM Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Chania (MAICh), 73100 Chania, Crete, Greece
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Department of Biological, Geological and Environmental Sciences, University of Catania, 95025 Catania, Italy
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Agricultural Research Institute, Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment, 1516 Nicosia, Cyprus
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Office de l’Environnement de la Corse (OEC)—Conservatoire Botanique National de Corse, 20250 Corte, Corsica, France
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Jardí Botànic de Sóller Foundation (JBS), 07100 Sóller, Balearic Islands, Spain
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Mediterranean Plant Specialist Group (IUCN/SSC), 2000 Neuchâtel, Switzerland
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Diversity 2020, 12(4), 157; https://doi.org/10.3390/d12040157
Received: 24 March 2020 / Revised: 9 April 2020 / Accepted: 16 April 2020 / Published: 18 April 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue In Situ and Ex Situ Biodiversity Conservation)
The Mediterranean islands represent a center of vascular plant diversity featuring a high rate of endemic richness. Such richness is highly threatened, however, with many plants facing the risk of extinction and in need of urgent protection measures. The CARE-MEDIFLORA project promoted the use of ex situ collections to experiment with in situ active actions for threatened plants. Based on common criteria, a priority list of target plant species was elaborated, and germplasm conservation, curation and storage in seed banks was carried out. Accessions were duplicated in the seed banks of the partners or other institutions. Germination experiments were carried out on a selected group of threatened species. A total of 740 accessions from 429 vascular plants were stored in seed banks, and 410 seed germination experiments for 283 plants species were completed; a total of 63 in situ conservation actions were implemented, adopting different methodological protocols. For each conservation program, a specific monitoring protocol was implemented in collaboration with local and regional authorities. This project represents the first attempt to develop common strategies and an opportunity to join methods and methodologies focused on the conservation of threatened plants in unique natural laboratories such as the Mediterranean islands. View Full-Text
Keywords: CARE-MEDIFLORA project; ex situ conservation; in situ conservation; insular vascular flora; threatened plant populations; Mediterranean islands CARE-MEDIFLORA project; ex situ conservation; in situ conservation; insular vascular flora; threatened plant populations; Mediterranean islands
MDPI and ACS Style

Fenu, G.; Bacchetta, G.; Christodoulou, C.S.; Cogoni, D.; Fournaraki, C.; Gian Pietro, G.G.; Gotsiou, P.; Kyratzis, A.; Piazza, C.; Vicens, M.; de Montmollin, B. A Common Approach to the Conservation of Threatened Island Vascular Plants: First Results in the Mediterranean Basin. Diversity 2020, 12, 157.

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