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Brassica villosa

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
PLANTAE TRACHEOPHYTA MAGNOLIOPSIDA CAPPARALES CRUCIFERAE

Scientific Name: Brassica villosa
Species Authority: Biv.
Synonym(s):
Brassica bivoniana Mazzola & Raimondo
Brassica drepanensis (Caruel) Damanti
Brassica oleracea subspecies villosa (Biv.) Gladis & K. Hammer
Brassica sylvestris subspecies villosa (Biv.) Onno
Taxonomic Notes: Brassica villosa Biv. 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.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2010-04-13
Assessor(s): Branca, F. & Donnini, D.
Reviewer(s): Dulloo, M.E., Nieto, A. & Kell, S.P.
Contributor(s): Kell, S.P.
Justification:
Brassica villosa is assessed as Near Threatened because its extent of occurrence (EOO) is probably less than 2,000 km2 and its area of occupancy (AOO) is also small (though currently not quantifiable). Despite the current population trend appearing to be stable, only nine subpopulations were recorded by Snogerup et al. (1990) and there is evidence of potential threats that could make the species decline quickly. Population monitoring and management within the protected areas in which it occurs is recommended as well as re-evaluation with fresh data in the near future.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: B. villosa is endemic to northwest and central Sicily (Snogerup et al. 1990).

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

Population [top]

Population: Snogerup et al. (1990) recorded nine subpopulations—the maximum population size was >1,000 plants (one subpopulation) and the minimum 11–50 plants (two subpopulations). The authors noted a decline in subpopulation size (of up to 50%) at some localities between 1973 and 1984. However, it is thought that the current population trend is stable.

There are several subpopulations which show morphological variances.
Population Trend: Stable

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It grows on limestone (rarely sandstone) cliffs, usually of north aspect or in other shady places, from near sea level to 1,000 m (Snogerup et al. 1990). 
Systems: Terrestrial

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: It is 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): Livestock grazing (mainly goats and sheep) is a major threat to this species. Snogerup et al. (1990) also noted that quarrying, burning of slopes and introgression from cultivated B. oleacea were threatening some subpopulations.

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.

B. villosa was listed in the list of rare, threatened and endemic plants in Europe (1982 edition) (Council of Europe 1983) and the 1997 IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants (Walter and Gillett 1998) as Rare (R) (not Endangered or Vulnerable, but at risk).

EURISCO reports 20 germplasm accessions of B. villosa held in European genebanks, 18 of which are reported to originate from within Europe; 16 are stored in the genebank of the Escuela Técnica Superior de Ingenieros Agrónomos, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Spain and two in the genebank of the Leibniz Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research, Germany (EURISCO Catalogue 2010).

It occurs in several protected areas, including Natura 2000 sites, Rocche di Entella (European Environment Agency 2010). Population and monitoring and management is needed at these sites.

Citation: Branca, F. & Donnini, D. 2013. Brassica villosa. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 21 November 2014.
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