Platanus orientalis 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Magnoliopsida Proteales Platanaceae

Scientific Name: Platanus orientalis L.
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Oriental Plane-tree
Taxonomic Source(s): The International Plant Names Index. 2012. IPNI. Available at: (Accessed: 17 June).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Data Deficient ver 3.1
Year Published: 2017
Date Assessed: 2017-01-25
Assessor(s): Barstow, M. & Rivers, M.C.
Reviewer(s): Oldfield, S.
Contributor(s): Bazos, I., Matevski, V., Montagnani, C., Petrova, A., Shuka, L. & Troìa, A.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Rivers, M.C.
Platanus orientalis is a widespread tree occurring in southeastern Europe and across the Middle East and west Asia. The species is currently in decline within Europe due to habitat loss and loss of trees to fungal infection by Ceratocystis platani; in this region the species is considered Vulnerable. The species is also considered threatened within some countries and within Israel and Jordan the species is restricted geographically. The species is classed here as Data Deficient as we do not have sufficient population and threat data for the population across its entire range. This data should be collected to correctly classify the risk to species and ensure effective conservation action is put in place.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Platanus orientalis is native to southeastern Europe and Asia. In Europe it is found in, Italy, Greece and some Balkan states. Outside of Europe, this species is found in the Caucasus, the middle East and India (GRIN 2017, Danin et al. 2017, Abdulla 2017). Some parts of the species native distribution are uncertain due to the wide cultivation of this species for example in India and particularly in Italy where some botanists only consider the species native in Sicily and Calabria.
Countries occurrence:
Afghanistan; Albania; Armenia; Azerbaijan; Bulgaria; Cyprus; Georgia; Greece (East Aegean Is., Greece (mainland), Kriti); Iran, Islamic Republic of; Israel; Italy (Italy (mainland), Sicilia); Jordan; Lebanon; Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of; Pakistan; Palestinian Territory, Occupied; Syrian Arab Republic; Tajikistan; Turkey (Turkey-in-Asia, Turkey-in-Europe)
Croatia; Montenegro
Present - origin uncertain:
Additional data:
Upper elevation limit (metres):1000
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Platanus orientalis is a widespread species and its population is assumed to be large. The species is considered common in the Southern Balkan Peninsula but within a few countries the species can occur in small populations. In Bulgaria, the species is found in just three regions over four river basins separated by mountains and its population is considered to be declining (Grueva and Zhelev 2011). The species is also considered declining in Greece (I. Bazos pers. comm. 2016) and Albania (L. Shuka pers. comm. 2016) due to a fungal disease. While in Italy the population is thought to be stable but the habitat is considered vulnerable. Overall in Europe there is suspected ongoing and future reduction in population of 30% over the next 100 years due to the current observed loss of species to fungal infection. There are also historical declines in the species (Bazos et al. 2016).

In Asia population data for the species is scarce. In Jordan, the species is confined to three regions in the north of the country (RBG Jordan 2017) and it is restricted similarly in Israel (Danin et al. 2017). FAO noted the occurrence of the species in Iraq in 1952, however this occurrence has not been confirmed in recent literature (FAO 1952).
The population trend for this species is decreasing based on decline shown in Europe. The population trend for the species across its entire range is not known.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Continuing decline of mature individuals:Yes
Extreme fluctuations:No
Continuing decline in subpopulations:Yes
Extreme fluctuations in subpopulations:NoAll individuals in one subpopulation:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Platanus orientalis is a tree up to 25 m tall (Abdulla 2017). It is long lived, fast growing and large. The species grows along rivers and in valleys on a variety of soils (EUFROGEN). The species has been reported to be frost sensitive (Grueva and Zhelev 2011). Platanus orientalis is able to grow in mixed forests (FAO 1986). The preferred habitat of the species is widely in decline across the species range and is experiencing reductions in both extent and quality.

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: Platanus orientalis' most common use is as an ornamental plant which has led to its cultivation across temperate regions (EUROFOGEN 2017). The species is also used for its timber to produce furniture, barrels, crates, cabinets, panelling and gun carriages (Abdulla 2017, RBG Kew 2017). Its wood is also used for pulp and paper production and in Iran specifically the tree bark is used in traditional medicine (Abdulla 2017). The species has the potential to be used to improve urban environment as it is tolerant to air pollution and other urban stresses (EUROFOGEN 2017).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Platanus orientalis is threatened by habitat loss across its range. In Bulgaria, the species is at risk due to the development of flood defences along rivers and the clearing and cleaning of river banks (Grueva and Zhelev 2011). In Jordan there is loss due to logging and urban development (RBG Jordan 2017). In Israel, over 81% of the species natural habitat is estimated to have disappeared (National Red List Israel 2003). In Macedonia, the construction of motorways threatens the species. Overall across Europe, the expansion of agriculture and the redirection of water courses is restricting species habitat (Bazos et al. 2016). The species is also at risk of decline due to infection by the fungus Ceratocystis platani which causes mortality of the tree. The disease is prevalent in Albania and Greece and has also been reported in FYR Macedonia and Italy (Bazos et al. 2016). Although there is not recorded evidence of these threats across the species Asian range the species is still likely to be threatened by them here.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The species is recorded in 100 ex situ collections from across the species range (BGCI 2017) and four seed collections are held within The Millennium Seed Bank (RBG Kew 2017). The species has been assessed at the country level as follows:
  • Endangered in Italy (Rossi et al. 2013)
  • Vulnerable in Albania (MEA 2013)
  • Near Threatened in Bulgaria (Petrova and Vladimirov 2009)
  • 'Red Number 7' (Threatened) in Israel (National Red List Israel 2003)
  • Data Deficient in Switzerland (Outside Native Range – Moser et al. 2002)
  • Critically Endangered in Jordan (RBG Jordan 2017)
On a regional scale Platanus orientalis is considered Vulnerable within Europe (Bazos et al. 2016) and Least Concern within Central Asia (Eastwood et al. 2016).

It is recommended that threats within the Middle East and Asia are further investigated and the population surveyed. The fungal threat and habitat loss within Europe and its impact on population should be properly monitored and investigated.

Citation: Barstow, M. & Rivers, M.C. 2017. Platanus orientalis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T33951A68135880. . Downloaded on 14 August 2018.
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