Prunus avium 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Magnoliopsida Rosales Rosaceae

Scientific Name: Prunus avium (L.) L.
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Sweet Cherry, Bird Cherry, Gean, Mazzard Cherry, Wild Cherry
French Cerisier des oiseaux, Merisier
Spanish Cerezo
Cerasus avium (L.) Moench
Prunus cerasus (L.) Eaton & Wright ssp. avium (L.) Hook. f.
Prunus cerasus L. var. avium L.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2017
Date Assessed: 2017-03-07
Assessor(s): Rivers, M.C.
Reviewer(s): Kell, S.P.
Contributor(s): Kik, C., Asdal, Å., Eliáš, P., Magos Brehm, J. & Draper Munt, D.

Prunus avium is widely distributed throughout Europe, and also in North Africa and Western Asia. The population is thought to be stable. It currently does not face any major threats and is therefore assessed as Least Concern.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Prunus avium is native throughout Europe, as well as North Africa, Western Asia and the Caucasus (Welk et al. 2016). It has naturalised in many areas of the world (GRIN 2017).
Countries occurrence:
Albania; Algeria; Andorra; Armenia; Austria; Azerbaijan; Belarus; Belgium; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Bulgaria; Croatia; Czech Republic; Denmark; France (Corsica, France (mainland)); Georgia; Germany; Greece (Greece (mainland)); Hungary; Iran, Islamic Republic of; Ireland; Italy (Italy (mainland), Sardegna, Sicilia); Liechtenstein; Luxembourg; Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of; Moldova; Montenegro; Morocco; Netherlands; Norway; Poland; Portugal (Portugal (mainland)); Romania; Russian Federation (European Russia, South European Russia); Serbia (Kosovo, Serbia); Slovakia; Slovenia; Spain (Baleares, Spain (mainland)); Sweden; Switzerland; Turkey (Turkey-in-Asia, Turkey-in-Europe); Ukraine (Krym, Ukraine (main part)); United Kingdom (Great Britain, Northern Ireland)
Additional data:
Upper elevation limit (metres):2000
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:There is no population information for this species but due to its wide native range and presence within cultivation it is assumed that population is stable.
Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This species is a fast growing tree, which can reach up to 30 m (Welk et al. 2016). It grows in humid deciduous woodland, dry forests, forest margins, shrubwoods, alongside gullies and rivers, as well as in humid areas with deep soil, mostly in mountainous areas.

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species, known as sweet cherry, is widely as a fruit or ornamental tree. It is one of the most important European hardwood trees, with a valuable solid and dense wood that is used for veneer, panelling and cabinet-making and is suitable for producing parquet floors and musical instruments (Welk et al. 2016). Wild subpopulations may contain important genetic diversity for improvement of the crop. It is also the progenitor of Duke cherry and tertiary wild relative of sour cherry and therefore a potential gene donor to these crops. It can be used as a source of graft stock for sweet, sour and ornamental sherry and is collected from the wild for firewood, for example in Norway and Germany.

In its wild form, Prunus avium (L.) L. is a primary wild relative of cultivated sweet cherry, P. avium. It is also the progenitor of Duke cherry, P. gondouinii (Poit. & Turpin) Rehder and a tertiary wild relative of sour cherry, P. cerasus L. (GRIN 2017).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Even though this species is sometimes harvested from the wild, this is managed properly and the species can seed easily, so this is not considered to be a significant threat.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species is found within at least 123 ex situ collections (BGCI 2017). The species is also reported tom EURISCO germplasm banks, including accessions from wild origin. Genesys Global Portal on Plant Genetic Resources (2017) reports 35 wild germplasm accessions from across the species range. It should be ensured that these ex situ collections are representative of the species entire native range and hold both European and non-European specimen. It occurs in protected areas. It is recommended that the monitoring and management of this species is incorporated into the existing management plans of these sites. Within Europe the species was assessed as Least Concern (Eliáš et al. 2010).

Citation: Rivers, M.C. 2017. Prunus avium. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T172064A50673544. . Downloaded on 15 October 2018.
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