Leopoldia gussonei 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Liliopsida Liliales Hyacinthaceae

Scientific Name: Leopoldia gussonei Parl.
Muscari gussonei (Parl.) Tod.
Taxonomic Source(s): WCSP. 2017. World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. Available at:

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B2ab(i,ii,iii,iv,v) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2011
Date Assessed: 2010-12-03
Assessor(s): Brullo, C., Giusso del Galdo, G., Marcenò, C., Minissale, P. & Sciandrello, S.
Reviewer(s): de Montmollin, B., Abeli, T. & Bilz, M.
Contributor(s): Abeli, T.
L. gussonei is an endemic species from Sicily. It grows in few severely fragmented populations. The biggest population holds less than 1,000 individuals but the overall population size is not known. The population is declining by greenhouse agriculture and nomadic livestock. Other threats are the sandy coast erosion and tourism infrastructure development. It is therefore classed as Endangered.

The species is listed in the Habitat Directive 92/43 CEE and in the Bern Convention, but is not included in regional or national protection laws. Ex situ conservation is ensured by the collection of seeds from all the populations.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:

This plant is a narrow endemic to the Gulf of Gela in Sicily, Italy (Pignatti 1982, Brullo et al. 2010). It occurs at four locations and has an area of occupancy of 40 km².

Countries occurrence:
Italy (Sicilia)
Additional data:
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2:40Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Yes
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO):NoEstimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO):Unknown
Number of Locations:4
Upper elevation limit (metres):20
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:L. gussonei was more widespread in the past in the Province of Ragusa and Caltanissetta, but after a field survey in 2008 and 2009, only seven sites have been recorded: 1. Poggio Arena (Gela); 2. Santa Lucia (Gela); 3. Biviere di Gela; 4. C.da Mignechi (Gela); 5. Passo Marinaro (Vittoria); 6. Cava Randello (Vittoria); 7. Pineta di Vittoria (Cundari et al. 2003, Brullo et al. 2010). The biggest population counts 1,000 individuals.

Seeds have a high rate of germination, but a scarce dispersal ability (Brullo et al. 2010).
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Continuing decline of mature individuals:Yes
Population severely fragmented:Yes
Continuing decline in subpopulations:Yes
All individuals in one subpopulation:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:It grows on sandy beaches and dunes partially protected from the action of the wind and with stabilized substrate (Brullo et al. 2010). L. gussonei characterizes the vegetation of Vulpio-Leopoldietum gussonei (order Malcolmietalia) (Brullo et al. 1974).

This plant is found in the Habitats Directive listed habitat 6220 "Pseudo-steppe with grasses and annuals of the Thero-Brachypodietea" (Commission of the European Communities 2009).
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Yes

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The most important threats are posed by agriculture in greenhouses that affect the species through different ways: the habitat destruction due to greenhouse building and use of pesticides illegally discharged outside the greenhouses. Other threats are the coastline erosion that reach in some place 200 m, nomadic livestock grazing and infrastructure development for tourism (Brullo et al. 2010).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions:

This species is listed under the synonym Muscari gussonei 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).

Seeds from all the known populations have being collecting to ensure appropriate ex situ conservation of the species.

Citation: Brullo, C., Giusso del Galdo, G., Marcenò, C., Minissale, P. & Sciandrello, S. 2011. Leopoldia gussonei. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2011: e.T177862A7471884. . Downloaded on 19 June 2018.
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