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Horstrissea dolinicola

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
PLANTAE TRACHEOPHYTA MAGNOLIOPSIDA APIALES UMBELLIFERAE

Scientific Name: Horstrissea dolinicola
Species Authority: Greuter, Gerstb. & Egli

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered B1ab(ii,v)+2ab(ii,v); C2a(i); D ver 3.1
Year Published: 2006
Date Assessed: 2006-01-31
Assessor(s): Latroú, G. & Fournaraki, C.
Reviewer(s): Strahm, W. & de Montmollin, B. (Mediterranean Island Plants Red List Authority)
Justification:
The only site where this species is found is very small, and both its range as well as the number of individuals is declining. It is estimated that there may be less than 50 mature individuals left in the wild.
History:
1997 Vulnerable (Walter and Gillett 1998)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is only found in the Mt. Ida (Psiloritis) mountain range of central Crete at about 1500 m altitude in an area of about 3,000 km².
Countries:
Native:
Greece (Kriti)
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Its total population numbers just a few dozen individuals.
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: A perennial herb which grows in a few limestone sinks in a region where many sheep graze during the summer. This species was first described in 1990. It is the only species belonging to the genus Horstrissea, which is closely related to the genus Scaligeria. This means that if this species disappears, the entire genus will disappear as well.

A great number of species endemic to the mountains of Crete grow in these limestone sinks. All the plants are very small and hug the ground, a strategy which allows them to sustain the grazing pressure of numerous herds of sheep. In the spring, these limestone sinks serve as outlets for melting snow and rain, and are periodically flooded.
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): H. dolinicola is mainly threatened by over-grazing and nutrient addition by sheep, as well as the possible use of fertilizers. It is also threatened by road construction. At the same time, it seems possible that the sheep may also control other plant species that might compete with H. dolinicola.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Actions in Place
Legally: No measures taken. The plant is included in Natura 2000 site GR 4330005, which gives it indirect protection.

In situ and ex situ: A replanting programme, supported by the MAVA foundation, has been undertaken by the University of Patras and the Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Chania (Crete). This institute stores seeds of H. dolinicola in seed banks, but germination has proven to be difficult due to parasites.

Actions Needed
It is essential to understand this species' ecology better, especially the role of sheep grazing in order to identify the best steps to take for its conservation in situ. It would be reasonable to attempt (re-)introductions of H. dolinicola in other nearby limestone sinks, and to bring this species into cultivation in botanical gardens, as well as store seeds. Finally legal measures for the conservation of this species and its habitat are needed, as well as an awareness campaign for the land-owners and users of this site.

Citation: Latroú, G. & Fournaraki, C. 2006. Horstrissea dolinicola. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 24 October 2014.
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