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Brassica oleracea

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
PLANTAE TRACHEOPHYTA MAGNOLIOPSIDA CAPPARALES CRUCIFERAE

Scientific Name: Brassica oleracea
Species Authority: L.
Taxonomic Notes: Brassica oleracea L. is a wild relative of a number of crops in the brassica group; including broccoli, B. oleracea L. var. italica Plenck, Brussels sprout, B. oleracea L. var. gemmifera (DC.) Zenker, cabbage, B. oleracea var. capitata L., cauliflower, B. oleracea var. botrytis L., kale, B. oleracea var. viridis L., swede, B. napus L. var. napobrassica (L.) Rchb., turnip, B. rapa L. ssp. rapa, and oilseed rape, B. napus L. var. napus.

Two subspecies are native to Europe: B. oleracea ssp. bourgeaui (Webb) Gladis & K. Hammer and B. oleracea L. ssp. oleracea (Euro+Med PlantBase 2006). B. oleracea ssp. bourgeaui is recognized at specific level as B. bourgeaui (Webb) O. Kuntze in some taxonomic treatments.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Data Deficient ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2010-04-12
Assessor(s): Holubec, V., Uzundzhalieva, K., Vörösváry, G., Donnini, D., Bulińska, Z. & Strajeru, S.
Reviewer(s): Collett, L., Kell, S.P. & Nieto, A.
Contributor(s): Kell, S.P.
Justification:
Global and European regional assessment: Data Deficient (DD)
EU 27 regional assessment: Data Deficient (DD)

Brassica oleracea is assessed as Data Deficient as there is currently insufficient information available to evaluate this species. Information about its precise range and current population size and trend is needed in order to make an informed decision.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: B. oleracea is native to northern, middle and southwestern Europe (USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program 2010) where  it occurs along the coasts of the United Kingdom, Schleswig-Holstein in Germany, the west and north coasts of France and the north coast of Spain.

B. oleracea
ssp. oleracea grows on the coasts of northern Spain, western and northern France, the British Isles and Helgoland; however, many occurrences have been regarded by various authors as introductions (Snogerup et al. 1990). B. oleracea ssp. bourgeaui is endemic to the Canary Islands, where Izquierdo et al. (2004) record it as occurring on Hierro, La Palma, La Gomera and Tenerife. However, Snogerup et al. (1990) noted that the taxon (which they refer to as B. bourgeaui) probably only exists as a single small population on La Palma.

In Germany, this species is only found at one locality, while in France, it occurs in 12 departments in the north, northeast and northwest and 30 departments in the southern half of the country (Association Tela Botanica 2000–2010). It has a patchy distribution throughout England, Wales and parts of Scotland, and has only be recorded in 10 localities in Northern Ireland (Preston et al. 2002). However, according to same authors, it is only native in a few localities in the west and on the south coast (mainly Cornwall and Wales), five localities in the northeast and eight localities in Scotland—the rest of the occurrences are considered to be alien.
Countries:
Native:
France (France (mainland)); Germany; Spain (Canary Is., Spain (mainland)); United Kingdom (Great Britain)
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Snogerup et al. (1990) recorded subpopulation sizes of B. oleracea ssp. oleracea ranging from 1–10 to >1,000 plants. In Germany, the taxon is only known from one locality and this subpopulation is decreasing. B. oleracea ssp. bourgeaui probably only occurs as a single small population on La Palma (Snogerup et al. 1990).
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: B. oleracea ssp. oleracea usually grows on limestone and chalk cliffs (as well as sometimes below cliffs among shrubs), in scree, and sometimes on steep, grassy slopes (Snogerup et al. 1990). The same authors note that In Helgoland, it grows in open, rocky places. It is also known to occur in maritime grassland, inland quarries, waste places and on roadsides (Preston et al. 2002). B. oleracea ssp. bourgeaui grows on cliffs and rocks in shady places of the barrancos (Snogerup et al. 1990).
Systems: Terrestrial

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: A wild relative of and potential gene donor to a number of crops in the brassica group; including broccoli, Brussels sprout, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, swede, turnip and oilseed rape.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): In Germany, intensive sheep grazing has caused a severe decline in the subpopulation of B. oleracea ssp. oleracea. Snogerup et al. (1990) note that some localities are threatened by quarrying and introgression from cultivated forms.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The genus Brassica is listed in Annex I of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture.

In Germany, the locality in which this species occurs is protected under national law. It is listed as Critically Endangered (CR) in the regional Red List for north of country (Ludwig and Schnittler 1996). In France, it is protected in the regions of Basse-Normandie and Poitou-Charentes in the west of the country (Association Tela Botanica 2000–2010).

EURISCO reports 8,007 germplasm accessions of B. oleracea held in European genebanks, 252 of which are reported to be of wild or weedy origin. Of the wild accessions, 163 originate from within Europe (EURISCO Catalogue 2010).

Citation: Holubec, V., Uzundzhalieva, K., Vörösváry, G., Donnini, D., Bulińska, Z. & Strajeru, S. 2013. Brassica oleracea. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 20 December 2014.
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