State of Biodiversity and Forest Genetic Resources in Greece in Relation to Conservation

  • Filippos A. AravanopoulosEmail author
  • Paraskevi G. Alizoti
  • Anna-Maria Farsakoglou
  • Ermioni Malliarou
  • Evangelia V. Avramidou
  • Nikolaos Tourvas
Part of the Advances in Global Change Research book series (AGLO, volume 65)


The different levels of biodiversity (genetic diversity, species diversity, ecosystem diversity) present in Greece are introduced, quantified, where possible, and analysed in comparison to the rest of the European continent and internationally. Greece ranks third and fourth regarding key biodiversity areas in Europe and Mediterranean Basin respectively and first in the number of species per unit area. The genetic diversity and differentiation in natural ecosystems and especially in forest tree species is very high. For a number of species (e.g. in chestnut) a significant portion of their total European genetic diversity is present in Greece and some metrics of genetic diversity parameters present high values when compared to European and world-wide average values. Nevertheless, the conservation of biodiversity has insofar focused at the ecosystem level. About one-third of the country land mass is under some form of biodiversity protection (27% included in the Natura 2000 network), however the forest genetic resources protection lags behind as officially only 5 species and 15 populations are part of the European Forest Genetic Resources Network. Overall, the richness for biodiversity in Greece is almost irreversibly proportional to the stage of its protection, especially at the genetic resource level.


Biodiversity Gene diversity Species diversity Conservation genetics Forest trees Greece 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Filippos A. Aravanopoulos
    • 1
    Email author
  • Paraskevi G. Alizoti
    • 1
  • Anna-Maria Farsakoglou
    • 2
  • Ermioni Malliarou
    • 2
  • Evangelia V. Avramidou
    • 3
  • Nikolaos Tourvas
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Forestry and Natural EnvironmentAristotle University of ThessalonikiThessalonikiGreece
  2. 2.Laboratory of Forest Genetics and Tree Breeding, Faculty of Agriculture, Forestry and Natural EnvironmentAristotle University of ThessalonikiThessalonikiGreece
  3. 3.Laboratory of Silviculture, Forest Genetics and BiotechnologyInstitute of Mediterranean Forest Ecosystems and Forest Products TechnologyAthensGreece

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