Biodiversity and Conservation

, Volume 16, Issue 2, pp 357–376 | Cite as

Species diversity, endemism and conservation of the family Caryophyllaceae in Greece

  • Panayiotis Trigas
  • Gregoris Iatrou
  • Giorgos Karetsos


The family Caryophyllaceae includes world-wide 86 genera and approximately 2100 species. Greece is one of its most important centres of diversity and endemism. A total of 428 Caryophyllaceae taxa are distributed in Greece, 161 of them being endemic to the Greek political territory. The endemic element represents approximately 5% of the global diversity of the family at the species level. The aim of this paper is to discuss the distribution patterns of the Greek endemic Caryophyllaceae, as well as those with a limited distribution range to the neighbouring areas of the Balkans and Anatolia, on the basis of the phytogeographical regions of Greece in order to identify the important regions for their conservation. The majority of the Greek endemic Caryophyllaceae (64.6%) are distributed in only one single phytogeographical region, or even a smaller area indicating the extremely restricted distribution ranges of the endemic plants in Greece. Actually 83 Greek endemic Caryophyllaceae can be grouped on cytotaxonomic criteria. Most of them belong to the category of schizoendemics (91.6%), indicating that the endemism of Caryophyllaceae in Greece has mainly originated in an active way. Cluster analysis has been used to classify the phytogeographical regions according to their floristic similarities. Two iterative complementarity methods were used to evaluate the importance of each phytogeographical region in the conservation of the endemic Caryophyllaceae in Greece. Peloponnisos, Kriti-Karpathos and Sterea Ellas are the most important phytogeographical regions in this respect, followed by North Central and North East. When adding the Balkan-Aegean-Anatolian endemics to the analysis, Peloponnisos, North Central, Kriti-Karpathos, North East and Eastern Aegean result as the most important areas. In every case, an elevated number of sites are required for the conservation of Caryophyllaceae in Greece, reflecting the great dissimilarities in the floristic composition of the various phytogeographical regions. The results provided by the different methods are compared. A catalogue of the Greek endemic Caryophyllaceae is appended.


Biogeography Caryophyllaceae Conservation Diversity Endemism Greece 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Bittrich V. (1993). Caryophyllaceae. In: Kubitzki, K., Rohwer, J.G. and Bittrich, V. (eds) The Families and Genera of Vascular Plants II Flowering Plants Dicotyledons, Magnoliid, Hamamelid and Caryophyllid Families, pp 206–236. Springer-Verlag, Berlin, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  2. Constantinidis Th. (1999). Dianthus haematocalyx subsp. phitosianus (Caryophyllaceae), a new serpentine endemic from Greece. Phyton (Horn, Austria) 39(2): 277–291Google Scholar
  3. Dávila-Aranda P., Lira-Saade R. and Valdés-Reyna J. (2004). Endemic species of grasses in Mexico: a phytogeographic approach. Biodivers. Conserv. 13: 1101–1121CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Dimitrakopoulos P.G., Memtsas D. and Troumbis A.Y. (2004). Questioning the effectiveness of the Natura 2000 special areas of conservation strategy: the case of Crete. Global Ecol. Biogeogr. 13: 199–207CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Favarger C. (1975). Cytotaxonomie et historie de la flore orophile des Alpes et de quelques autres massifs montagneux d’ Europe. Lejeunia, ser. 2 77: 1–44Google Scholar
  6. Favarger C. and Contandriopoulos J. (1961). Essai sur l’ endémisme. Ber. Schweiz. Bot. Ges. 71: 384–408Google Scholar
  7. Greilhuber J. and Ehrendorfer F. (1988). Karyological approaches to plant taxonomy. ISI Atlas of Science. Anim. Plant Sci. 1: 289–297Google Scholar
  8. Greuter W., Pirker B. and Oxelman B. (1997). Silene L. In: Strid, A. and Kit, Tan (eds) Flora Hellenica, pp 239–323. Koeltz Scientific Books, Königstein, GermanyGoogle Scholar
  9. Greuter W., Böhling N. and Jahn R. (2002). The Cerastium scaposum group (Caryophyllaceae): three annual taxa endemic to Crete (Greece), two of them new. Willdenowia 32: 45–54Google Scholar
  10. Greuter W. and Raus Th. (eds.) 2004. Med-Checklist Notulae 22. Willdenowia 34: 71–80Google Scholar
  11. Iatrou G. (1985). Petrorhagia grandiflora sp. nov. (Caryophyllaceae) from Greece. Nord. J. Bot. 5: 441–445CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Iatrou G. 1986. Simvoli sti meleti tou endimismou tis chloridas tis Peloponnisou. PhD Thesis, University of Patras, Greece. (In Greek with an English summary).Google Scholar
  13. Iatrou G. 1996. The richness and the rarity of the Greek Flora. In: Dafis S., Papastergiadou E., Georgiou K., Babalonas D., Georgiadis Th., Papageorgiou M., Lazaridou T. and Tsiaoussi V. (eds), Directive 92/43/ EEC. The Greek Habitat Project Natura 2000: An Overview. Life Contract B4-3200/94/756, Commission of the European Communities DG XI, The Goulandris Natural History Museum- Greek Biotope/ Wetland Centre. Thessaloniki, Greece, pp. 437–438.Google Scholar
  14. Lira R., Villaseñor J.L. and Ortíz E. (2002). A proposal for the conservation of the family Curcubitaceae in Mexico. Biodivers. Conserv. 11: 1699–1720CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Phitos D. (1997). Bolanthus (Ser.) Reichenb. In: Strid, A. and Kit, Tan (eds) Flora Hellenica, pp 325–329. Koeltz Scientific Books, Königstein, GermanyGoogle Scholar
  16. Prendergast J.R., Quinn R.M., Lawton J.H., Eversham B.C. and Gibbons D.W. (1993). Rare species, the coincidence of diversity hotspots and conservation strategies. Nature 365: 335–337CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Pressey R.L., Humphries C.J., Margules C.R., Vane-Wright R.L. and Williams P.H. (1993). Beyond opportunism: key principles for systematic reserve selection. Trend. Ecol. Evol. 8: 124–128CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Preston F.W. (1948). The commonness and rarity of species. Ecology 29: 254–283CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Rebelo A.G. (1994). Iterative selection procedures: centres of endemism and optical placement of reserves. Strelitzia 1: 231–257Google Scholar
  20. Rechinger K.H. (1965). Der Endemismus in der griechischen Flora. Rev. Roum. Biol. 10: 135–138Google Scholar
  21. Strid A. (1986). The mountain flora of Greece with special reference to the Anatolian element. Proc. Royal Bot. Soc. Edinb. 89B: 59–68Google Scholar
  22. Strid A. (1989). The “Flora Hellenica” Project. Bot. Chron. 10: 81–94Google Scholar
  23. Strid A. (1993). Phytogeographical aspects of the Greek mountain flora. Fragm. Flor. Geobot. Suppl. 2(2): 411–433Google Scholar
  24. Strid A. (1996). Phytogeographia Aegaea and the Flora Hellenica Database. Ann. Naturhist. Mus. Wien 98(Suppl.): 279–289Google Scholar
  25. Strid A. and Tan K. (1997). Flora Hellenica. Koeltz Scientific Books, Königstein, GermanyGoogle Scholar
  26. Tan K. and Iatrou G. (2001). Endemic Plants of Greece I. The Peloponnese. G. Forlag, KøbenhavnGoogle Scholar
  27. Trigas P. 2003. Contribution to the study of the endemism of the flora of the island of Evvia (W Aegean, Greece). PhD Thesis, University of Patras, Greece. (In Greek with an English summary).Google Scholar
  28. Trigas P. and Iatrou G. 2004. A new species of Minuartia (Caryophyllaceae) from the island of Evvia (Greece). Nord. J. Bot. 23(4)Google Scholar
  29. Vane-Wright R.I., Humphries C.J. and Williams P.H. (1991). What to protect? Systematics and the agony of choice. Biol. Conserv. 55: 235–254CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Panayiotis Trigas
    • 1
  • Gregoris Iatrou
    • 2
  • Giorgos Karetsos
    • 3
  1. 1.Ministry of Rural Development and FoodGeneral Directorate of Development and Protection of Forests and Natural EnvironmentAthensGreece
  2. 2.Department of Biology, Division of Plant BiologyUniversity of PatrasPatrasGreece
  3. 3.National Agricultural Research Foundation (N.AG.RE.F.) Forest Research InstituteIlisia, AthensGreece

Personalised recommendations