Medicago turbinata 

Scope: Global
Language: English

Translate page into:

Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Magnoliopsida Fabales Fabaceae

Scientific Name: Medicago turbinata (L.) All.
Regional Assessments:
Medicago spinulosa DC.
Medicago tuberculata (Retz.) Willd.
Taxonomic Notes: Medicago turbinata (L.) All. belongs to the section Spirocarpos, subsection Pachyspireae. It is a primary wild relative of Barrel Clover M. truncatula Gaertn. and a tertiary wild relative of cultivated Alfalfa, M. sativa L. subsp. sativa (USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program 2010). The species contains a variety native to Europe, Medicago turbinata (L.) All. var. aculeata Moris.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2014-07-01
Assessor(s): Rhodes, L.
Reviewer(s): Fielder, H. & Maxted, N.
Contributor(s): Osborne, J.

Medicago turbinata is globally assessed as Least Concern as it is a widespread and common species with no apparent threats and a stable population. It is also regionally assessed as Least Concern in Europe. A gap analysis to ensure that ex situ collections are representative of the range of genetic diversity in wild populations in situ is recommended.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Medicago turbinata is native to much of southern Europe, as well as parts of western Asia and northern Africa (USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program 2014). In Spain it is found in the Balearic Islands and coastal areas and in France it occurs in the northern departments of Eure, Aisne and Marne, the central departments of Vienne and Lot, the southwestern department of Pyrénées-Atlantiques, the southern department of Pyrénées Orientales, the southeastern departments of Bouches-du-Rhône and Var and the two departments of Corsica (Association Tela Botanica 2010, Osborne 2011).

Countries occurrence:
Albania; Algeria; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Bulgaria; Croatia; Cyprus; Egypt; France (Corsica, France (mainland)); Greece (East Aegean Is., Greece (mainland), Kriti); Iraq; Israel; Italy (Italy (mainland), Sardegna, Sicilia); Jordan; Lebanon; Libya; Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of; Malta; Montenegro; Morocco; Palestinian Territory, Occupied; Portugal; Serbia (Kosovo, Serbia); Slovenia; Spain (Baleares, Canary Is. - Present - Origin Uncertain, Spain (mainland)); Syrian Arab Republic; Tunisia; Turkey (Turkey-in-Asia, Turkey-in-Europe)
Additional data:
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2:1412
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Medicago turbinata is common throughout its range, more so in the northern Mediterranean countries (Small 2011). European populations are thought to be stable, although exact subpopulation sizes remain unknown (Osborne 2011).
Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Medicago turbinata is an annual herb that grows on mountains in field and wood margins, open woodland, waste ground, and rocky areas, on sandy and limestone soils (Al-Atawneh et al. 2009). In Spain it is found in grasslands and cultivated fields (Osborne 2011).

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: Medicago turbinata is a primary genetic relative of Barrel Clover M. truncatula and a tertiary genetic relative of Alfalfa M. sativa subsp. sativa (USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program 2010) and so it has the potential for use as a gene donor for crop improvement. It is very occasionally sown as forage but aside from this it is not cultivated on a significant scale (Small 2011).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There do not appear to be any major threats to European populations of this species, and it is found in a number of European habitats that are not threatened (Osborne 2011). Through the rest of its range it is possibly threatened due to habitat erosion, and it grows in regions threatened by climate change (Prosperi et al. 2001).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Medicago turbinata has few accessions available in gene banks. EURISCO reports 61 accessions held in European gene banks, two of which are reported to be of wild or weedy origin, and 48 of which have no reported information regarding their origin (EURISCO Catalogue 2013). The European regional Red List assessment for this species reports 11 accessions of wild or weedy origin, all of these wild accessions originate from within Europe: seven from Cyprus (stored in Junta de Extremadura, Servicio de Investigación y Desarrollo Tecnológico, Finca la Orden, Spain), one from Greece (stored in Greek Genebank, Agricultural Research Center of Macedonia and Thrace, National Agricultural Research Foundation, Greece) and three from Spain (stored in Junta de Extremadura, Servicio de Investigación y Desarrollo Tecnológico, Finca la Orden, Spain) (EURISCO Catalogue 2010, Osborne 2011). The National Plant Germplasm System (NPGS, in the USA) holds 85 accessions of this species, 54 of which are of wild origin and 49 of those are backed up at a second site (USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program 2014). Furthermore, 198 accessions (59,600 seeds) are duplicated and conserved ex situ in the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, originating from three gene banks (SGSV Data Portal 2013). According to Botanical Garden Conservation International (BGCI 2013) this species has living collections in seven botanical gardens worldwide, although the size, state, origin and location of the collections are not detailed in this resource (garden locations are undisclosed to protect rare and valuable plant species).

Citation: Rhodes, L. 2016. Medicago turbinata. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T176613A19401503. . Downloaded on 23 May 2018.
Disclaimer: To make use of this information, please check the <Terms of Use>.
Feedback: If you see any errors or have any questions or suggestions on what is shown on this page, please provide us with feedback so that we can correct or extend the information provided