Identifying Important Plants Areas (Key Biodiversity Areas for Plants) in northern Algeria

N. Yahi, E. Vela, S. Benhouhou, G. De Belair, R. Gharzouli


A study was undertaken in 2010 to identify Important Plant Areas (Key Biodiversity Areas for Plants) in the south and east Mediterranean region, in order to prioritise the best sites for plant conservation action. It follows a first work of identification of Important Plant Areas (IPAs) initiated for Algeria and relates exclusively to the flora of northern Algeria. These IPAs were delineated in northern Algeria for those sites harbouring a number of “IPA selection species” (threatened species and locally endemic or restricted range). Recent taxonomic revisions estimate the number of national endemics for the north of Algeria (excluding the Sahara) to be over 300 taxa. In the present study, data were extracted from the global list of 22 IPAs identified for the north of Algeria. The species considered are i) threatened species as defined by the 1997 IUCN global red list of plants, ii) locally endemic species, iii) nationally threatened species. Trigger species, identified by combining the criteria of endemism and rarity, are mainly Algerian national endemics but also include some Algerian-Moroccan and Algerian-Tunisian endemics. One hundred and fifty two (152) trigger species were identified and these species, which have high ecological value, can be used to characterize the particular floristic interest of a site and can therefore be a useful tool for conservation purposes. Important gaps in knowledge have been highlighted, in particular those relating to taxonomy and the lack of up-to-date field data. It is therefore essential to undertake in situ research in order to better understand the distribution and status of these species. A flexible approach to identifying and recognising priority sites for plants using surrogate criteria, supplemented by expert opinion, alongside existing globally standardised criteria, is therefore essential if the most important sites for plant diversity are to receive the conservation attention they deserve.

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Copyright (c) 2012 N. Yahi, E. Vela, S. Benhouhou, G. De Belair, R. Gharzouli

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The Journal of Threatened Taxa is an open access and print, peer-reviewed, monthly, international journal on conservation and taxonomy. The aim of the Journal is to promote wildlife research and conservation action worldwide at no cost to authors, no subscription or membership cost, and no hidden cost, on a regular basis without compromising on ethics, standards and pre-requisites of scientific publications.





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