Economic Botany

, Volume 68, Issue 1, pp 85–95 | Cite as

The Electronic Trade in Greek Endemic Plants: Biodiversity, Commercial and Legal Aspects


The Electronic Trade in Greek Endemic Plants: Biodiversity, Commercial and Legal Aspects. We present for the first time an analytical survey of the Greek endemic plants traded over the Internet (n = 588 cases). A total of 145 taxa corresponding to ca. 10% of the Greek endemic flora were found to be traded by 73 nurseries in Europe, North America, and Australia. Of the traded taxa, 35% feature in the websites of only one nursery, and ca. 10% in websites of more than 10 nurseries. Most traded are members of Campanulaceae, Iridaceae, Lamiaceae, and Liliaceae. The live plant is the commonest form of sale, at an average price of EUR (Euros) 6.38/USD 8.61; most expensive is Ophrys kotschyi ssp. cretica (EUR 20.46/USD 27.60). The price range for individual bulbs is EUR 0.24–5.67 (USD 0.32–7.65), whereas for seeds, it is EUR 0.03–0.93 (USD 0.04–1.26) per seed, and EUR 0.07–44.0 (USD 0.09–59.36) on a per gram basis, with Draba cretica being the most expensive in the latter case. Many of the traded taxa face the risk of extinction: 6 are designated as endangered, 27 as vulnerable, 5 as near threatened, and 32 as rare; of these, 30 are steno-endemics, confined in one (12 taxa) up to five localities (18 taxa). Overall, 58 taxa are protected at the national and 19 at the international level. We cannot estimate the degree to which this commerce is legal. Nevertheless, none of the nurseries surveyed seem to have been granted a permit from the authorities of Greece to harvest and sell its wild flora. We recommend regular surveillance of popular Internet sites in order to curb illegal commerce, and suggest that nurseries’ websites should declare that the plant material sold is not of wild origin and has been legally obtained. State authorities should take action to protect biodiversity, but also exert the rights deriving from national laws and international treaties regarding the exploitation of their countries’ genetic resources.

Key Words

Conservation e-commerce illegal trade Mediterranean Nagoya protocol ethnobotany threatened species 

Η ηλεκτρονική αγορά των ενδημικών φυτών της Ελλάδας: βιοποικιλότητα, εμπορικά και νομικά ζητήματα. Παρουσιάζονται αποτελέσματα έρευνας που έγινε για πρώτη φορά σχετικά με το διαδικτυακό εμπόριο των ενδημικών φυτών της Ελλάδας. Εντοπίστηκαν 588 περιπτώσεις εμπορίας από 73 φυτώρια στην Ευρώπη, τη Βόρειο Αμερική και την Αυστραλία. Αφορούν 145 taxa που αντιστοιχούν σε περίπου 10% της ενδημικής χλωρίδας της χώρας. Εμπορευόμενα από πολλά φυτώρια (>10) εμφανίζονται 10% αυτών των taxa, ενώ 35% από μόνον ένα. Κυριαρχούν εκπρόσωποι των Campanulaceae, Iridaceae, Lamiaceae και Liliaceae. Το ζωντανό φυτό είναι η πιο κοινή μορφή πώλησης, με μέση τιμή €6,38 ανά άτομο και ανώτερη €20,46 για το Ophrys kotschyi ssp. cretica. Για τις άλλες μορφές πώλησης, οι τιμές είναι €0,24–5,67 ανά βολβό, €0,03–0,93 ανά σπέρμα και €0,07–44,0 ανά γραμμάριο σπερμάτων. Στην τελευταία περίπτωση, η μέγιστη τιμή αντιστοιχεί στο Draba cretica. Από τα εμπορευόμενα taxa, 58 είναι προστατευόμενα σε εθνικό και 19 σε διεθνές επίπεδο, 33 χαρακτηρίζονται ως απειλούμενα (κινδυνεύοντα και τρωτά) και 37 ως σχεδόν απειλούμενα ή σπάνια. Από αυτά, 12 έχουν βρεθεί σε μια μόνο τοποθεσία και άλλα 18 σε δύο έως πέντε. Είναι άγνωστο πόσο νόμιμο είναι αυτό το εμπόριο. Ωστόσο, κανένα φυτώριο από όσα εξετάστηκαν δεν φαίνεται να έχει άδεια από τις αρχές της χώρας για συλλογή και πώληση των ενδημικών φυτών της Ελλάδας. Εξετάζοντας μια αγορά που δεν έχει επαρκώς μελετηθεί μέχρι τώρα, η έρευνά μας συμβάλλει στην διάνοιξη ενός νέου πεδίου στην προστασία της βιοποικιλότητας. Για την καταπολέμηση του παράνομου εμπορίου, προτείνουμε συστηματική παρακολούθηση των ιστοσελίδων μεγάλης επισκεψιμότητας και υποχρέωση των φυτωρίων να δηλώνουν ότι το προς πώληση φυτικό υλικό δεν προέρχεται από τη φύση και ότι έχει νόμιμα αποκτηθεί. Οι αρμόδιες αρχές θα πρέπει να λαμβάνουν μέτρα όχι μόνον για την προστασία της βιοποικιλότητας των χωρών τους αλλά και την άσκηση των δικαιωμάτων που απορρέουν από την εθνική νομοθεσία και τις διεθνείς συμβάσεις σχετικά με την εκμετάλλευση των γενετικών πόρων.

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© The New York Botanical Garden 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nikos Krigas
    • 1
    • 2
  • Viktoria Menteli
    • 1
  • Despoina Vokou
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Ecology, School of BiologyAristotle University of ThessalonikiThessalonikiGreece
  2. 2.Laboratory of Systematic Botany and Phytogeography, Department of BotanyAristotle University of ThessalonikiThessalonikiGreece

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