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Biodiversity and Conservation

, Volume 27, Issue 8, pp 1905–1924 | Cite as

What are palm groves of Phoenix? Conservation of Phoenix palm groves in the European Union

  • C. Obón
  • D. Rivera
  • F. Alcaraz
  • E. Carreño
  • S. Ríos
  • E. Laguna
  • J. Sánchez-Balibrea
  • M. del Arco
  • E. Bergmeier
  • D. Johnson
Original Paper
  • 142 Downloads

Abstract

There are three species of Phoenix (Arecaceae) in the territory of the European Union, P. canariensis, P. dactylifera and P. theophrasti, found in wild-native populations, feral, planted and intermediate states, accounting each for thousands of individuals. The EU Habitats Directive has addressed the conservation of P. theophrasti and P. canariensis under the habitat type 9370, ‘Palm groves of Phoenix,’ but neglected to include the wild-growing populations of P. dactylifera palms in southern Spain. In this paper, we survey the habitats and status of both representative native and naturalized populations of Phoenix, in total 103, through fieldwork, image analysis and review of literature. We underline the significance of feral populations and palms originating from ancient abandoned plantations, existing in protected areas as a reservoir of genetic variation. We conclude that, in order to improve their conservation status by adequate protection and conservation management, the concept of Phoenix palm groves in the Habitats Directive should be redefined to include the western group of P. dactylifera and the various habitats of P. canariensis and P. theophrasti that do not appear in the current definition.

Keywords

Canary Islands Crete EU habitats directive Greece Spain 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This research received, for the Spanish part, support from the projects RF2007-00010-C03, RF2010-00006-C02, RFP2013-00004-00-00 (INIA, Ministerio de Economia y Competitividad, European Regional Development Fund 2007-2013, 2014-2020). EB acknowledges the support received during the mapping and monitoring project in Crete funded by the European Union and the Greek Ministry of Environmental Affairs.

Supplementary material

10531_2018_1516_MOESM1_ESM.docx (85 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 84 kb)

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dpto. Biología Aplicada, Escuela Politécnica SuperiorUniversidad Miguel HernándezOrihuelaSpain
  2. 2.Depto. Biología Vegetal, Campus de EspinardoUniversidad de MurciaMurciaSpain
  3. 3.Biological Research Station-Botanical Garden of Torretes, Institute of Biodiversity CIBIOUniversity of AlicanteAlicanteSpain
  4. 4.Generalitat Valenciana, Conselleria de Medi Ambient, AiguaUrbanisme i Habitatge, Servei de Biodiversitat/Centre per a la Investigació i Experimentació ForestalValenciaSpain
  5. 5.ANSE, Plaza Pintor José María PárragaMurciaSpain
  6. 6.Departamento de Geografía FísicaUniversidad de MurciaMurciaSpain
  7. 7.Facultad de CienciasUniversidad de La LagunaLa LagunaSpain
  8. 8.Albrecht-von-Haller InstituteUniversity of GoettingenGöttingenGermany
  9. 9.CincinnatiUSA

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