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Nesocrambe socotrana

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
PLANTAE TRACHEOPHYTA MAGNOLIOPSIDA CAPPARALES CRUCIFERAE

Scientific Name: Nesocrambe socotrana
Species Authority: A.G.Mill.
Taxonomic Notes: Treated by Al-Shebaz, I.A. (2004) under Hemicrambe socotrana. But this is rejected by Tony Miller (see Novon 14(2): 156 (2004)).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B2ab(iii) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2004
Date Assessed: 2004-04-30
Assessor(s): Miller, A.
Reviewer(s): Abuzinada, A.H. & AL-Eisawi, D.M.H. (Arabian Plants Red List Authority)
Justification:
Nesocrambe socotrana is restricted to a small refugium with a total estimated area of occupancy of less than 10 km². At present the rapid development of the island poses no threat to this unique habitat: the area is inhospitable, inaccessible by road and there is a lack of potable water. However, its restricted distribution and the very limited extent of the niche which it occupies means that it is vulnerable to any change. It is strongly suspected that this marginal habitat is threatened by the long-term trend of lower rainfall in the region and would be particularly vulnerable to the effects of global warming (Miller and Morris 2004).

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Endemic to Soqotra. Nesocrambe is closely related to Hemicrambe a genus with a remarkably disjunct distribution; with one species, H. fruticulosa on Soqotra and a second H. fruticosa, in Morocco. N. socotrana, with its yellow flowers and dissected leaves, is perhaps most comparable to the Moroccan H. fruticulosa. However, the fruits of both H. fruticosa and H. fruticulosa are quite different from those of N. socotrana: the upper segment is flattened and contains 1–4 seeds whilst the lower segment is sterile, but has vestigeal dehiscent valves. Based on this difference, N. socotrana was described as a new monotypic genus Nesocrambe (Miller et al. 2002). There has been a proposal to transfer transfer this species to Hemicrambe (Al-Shehbaz 2004), but that is not accepted here. It is astonishing that this remarkable plant has apparently survived only in a small refugium at the extreme west end of Soqotra.
Countries:
Native:
Yemen (Socotra)
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Rare; on a windswept ridge at the western end of Soqotra; in shade in relatively humid cracks and gullies on limestone cliffs and pinnacles. Altitude of 400–550 m.

The extreme west of Soqotra is generally dry (as witnessed by the sparse vegetation), however, H. socotrana occurs on limestone pinnacles and cliffs on the highest points of the ridge at Heger (between Riy di Isfer and Riy do Sherubrub). This ridge traps cloud and limited precipitation from the southwest (summer) and northeast (winter) monsoons and create a small area of relatively humid conditions in this otherwise desertic region.
Systems: Terrestrial

Citation: Miller, A. 2004. Nesocrambe socotrana. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 30 September 2014.
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