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Tuberaria major

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
PLANTAE TRACHEOPHYTA MAGNOLIOPSIDA VIOLALES CISTACEAE

Scientific Name: Tuberaria major
Species Authority: (Willk.) P.Silva & Rozeira

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B1ab(iii) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2011-03-11
Assessor(s): Bilz, M.
Reviewer(s): Caldas, F.B. & Lutz, M.L.
Justification:
Tuberaria major is endemic to the south coast of Portugal and has a restricted range (extent of occurrence is 727 km², area of occupancy is 800 km²). The populations are at a high risk of extinction, with a severely fragmented distribution area. This fragmentation continues due to habitat loss and degradation caused by urbanisation and tourism. Further threats are the disposal of garbage and natural succession. This plant is therefore assessed as Endangered.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: The species is endemic to the south coast of Portugal and is found in the region Algarve between Albufeira and Olhão (Euro+Med 2009). Its extent of occurrence is 727 km² and the area of occupancy is 800 km² (Commission of the European Communities 2009).

Countries:
Native:
Portugal (Portugal (mainland))
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The populations are at a high risk of extinction, with a very limited and fragmented distribution area. The known localities show different levels of degradation. The species was once extended over much of the Algarve coast but its range is now reduced to small clusters.

The most dense and extensive populations with population sizes reaching 10,000 individuals, are located on the coast, in sandy soils of the west border of the Ria Formosa, especially in the area of Pontal, Ludo, Campo de Gambelas. Outside this area, particularly in Barrocal, populations with tens to hundreds of individuals exist (ICN 2006).
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: A perennial plant that flowers from March to May and occurs in sandy soils or acid gravel, especially in the clearings of xerophilous shrubland. A heliophile species that is characteristic of the association Tuberario majoris-Stauracanthetum boivinii. It responds favourably to fire and reaches unusual abundance after fires, even in places where it is scarce. This suggests the existence of a soil seed bank and that seed germination is stimulated by heat shock (ICN 2006).

This plant grows in the following Habitats Directive listed habitats (Commission of the European Communities 2009):
  • 2260 Cisto-Lavenduletalia dune sclerophyllous scrubs
  • 4030 European dry heaths
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): An increasing pressure from urbanisation and tourism leads to habitat degradation and fragmentation and this poses the main threat on this plant. Furthermore, the disposal of garbage and natural succession degrade the habitat quality (ICN 2006).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Tuberaria major is listed as priority species on Annex II of the Habitats Directive and under Appendix I of the Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats (Bern Convention). The species is protected under national law. It is recommended to manage the sites, e.g. control urban expansion, the disposal of litter, or closure of the habitat. Ex situ conservation measures are needed. A LIFE project to protect this species is underway (ICN 2006).

Citation: Bilz, M. 2013. Tuberaria major. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 26 October 2014.
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