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Ribes sardoum

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
PLANTAE TRACHEOPHYTA MAGNOLIOPSIDA ROSALES GROSSULARIACEAE

Scientific Name: Ribes sardoum
Species Authority: Martelli
Common Name(s):
English Sardinian Currant
Taxonomic Notes: Some scientists consider this species part of a larger family, the Saxifragaceae, in which saxifrage- and currant-like species are grouped together. Others prefer to split such large groups up, preferring to work with more clearly defined smaller families (e.g. the currant family Grossulariaceae).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered B1ab(iii,v)+2ab(iii,v); C2a(i,ii); D ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2010-10-18
Assessor(s): Bacchetta, G., Congiu, A., Fenu, G. & Mattana, E.
Reviewer(s): de Montmollin, B., Abeli, T. & Bilz, M.
Contributor(s): Camarda, I.
Justification:
Listed as Critically Endangered because the population only covers an irregular area of around 300 m². The number of mature individuals is around 50 and is declining. This decline is due to low seed viability and grazing by goats and sheep.
History:
2006 Critically Endangered (IUCN 2006)
2006 Critically Endangered
1997 Endangered (Walter and Gillett 1998)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Ribes sardoum has been recorded from just one site in Sardinia in the Nuoro Province, occurring in a small southeast facing valley at about 900 m altitude. The extent of occurrence is 300 m²-1 km² and the area of occupancy is 1 km² (Bacchetta et al. in: Rossi et al. 2008).

This species was probably originally distributed throughout the boreal zone, and moved to warmer areas as the climate changed. It is now considered a relict species as it is no longer found anywhere else. Its closest relatives occur in China, Japan, and North America.
Countries:
Native:
Italy (Sardegna)
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The only growing site for this species is Prados (Oliena) in the Nuoro Province, Sardinia (locus classicus). In 2008, the whole population was estimated in less than 50 individuals, all in one subpopulation (Bacchetta et al. in: Rossi et al. 2008).
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This small woody shrub grows on limestone substrates (Bacchetta et al in: Rossi et al 2008). It has a very low fertility due to the early dropping of ovaries (Valsecchi 1977, 1981).
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This decline is due to low seed viability and grazing by goats and sheep. But despite the grazing pressure, the extent of occurrence seems not to have significantly decreased since R. sardoum was first recorded at the end of the eighteenth century. However, the lack of historical reference data makes it difficult to evaluate the present population dynamics. Nevertheless the species is seriously endangered by extinction, mainly due to the low seed vitality for reasons not yet clearly understood.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Actions in Place
Listed as priority species 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).
Legally: Currently there is no legal protection for this species, despite the fact that the regional council of Sardinia proposed a draft law in 2001 concerning protection of plant species on the island, and R. sardoum is listed in the Annex as an endemic species. However, this law is controversial as it may increase collecting interest in the species listed. The United Kingdom has included this species in its national legislation [Statutory Instrument 1996 No. 2677. The Endangered Species (Import and Export) Act 1976 (Amendment) Order 1996].

In situ: The local population is now committed to protect the site from fire and grazing.

Ex situ: R. sardoum has been cultivated in the Botanic Garden of Florence.

Actions Needed
The survival of this species in the wild requires developing serious management plans to protect the species from over-grazing, fire, and plant collection. The species should also be cultivated ex situ with the goal of eventually reinforcing the existing population, and perhaps undertaking introductions into similar habitats.

Citation: Bacchetta, G., Congiu, A., Fenu, G. & Mattana, E. 2013. Ribes sardoum. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 01 November 2014.
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