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Biodiversity and Conservation

, Volume 22, Issue 13–14, pp 3027–3044 | Cite as

Tourism and recreation: a common threat to IUCN red-listed vascular plants in Europe

  • Mark Ballantyne
  • Catherine Marina Pickering
Original Paper

Abstract

Tourism and recreation are large industries employing millions of people and contribute over US$2.01 trillion to the global economy. Unfortunately they also have diverse and sometimes severe environmental impacts affecting many species, including those that are rare and threatened. To assess the extent to which these industries threaten vascular plants, we reviewed data in the IUCN Red List for 462 Critically Endangered, Endangered and Vulnerable European species. Tourism and recreation were listed as threatening 42 % (194 species) of these species from across 50 families, mostly herbs (70 %). They were listed as threatening plants in 9 of the 10 bioregions in Europe and in 25 of the 40 countries assessed. Popular tourism destinations such as the Canary Islands (41 species) and mainland Spain (40 species) had the greatest diversity of species listed as threatened by tourism and recreation. The most common of these threats were trampling (61 species), plant collection (59), the maintenance/construction of tourist infrastructure (43) and habitat degradation due to the urbanisation of tourist sites (13). Additional species assessments and more research on the impacts of tourism and recreation may add to these values. It is clear that these industries pose an important threatening process on plants in Europe based on the IUCN Red List data and hence deserve greater recognition in terms of research, conservation and management.

Keywords

Endangered species Vegetation trampling Plant collecting Infrastructure impacts Mediterranean flora 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors would like to thank Clare Morrison, Julien Grignon and Daniela Guitart of Griffith University for their comments on this manuscript as well as Nicholas Turland of the Botanischer Garten und Botanisches Museum, Berlin-Dahlem for his review.

Supplementary material

10531_2013_569_MOESM1_ESM.doc (330 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 331 kb)

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Environment, Environmental Futures CentreGriffith UniversityGold CoastAustralia

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