Western Mediterranean

Climate plays a key role in determining the distribution and persistence of conifers in their natural habitats. Climates change over both contemporary and geological timescales and in response to this, some species may become locally or even globally extinct or they may disperse to more suitable areas. Over shorter time scales, the longevity and resilience of many species may allow them to persist in the same area.  In the recent past, these processes generally occurred within a landscape locally impacted by humans but more recently, large areas of natural vegetation have been converted for other uses. Ecosystems have become fragmented and degraded, many individual species have been intensively exploited and the introduction of alien plants, animals and diseases has also caused significant problems.  Against this backdrop, climate changes associated with global warming such as increases or decreases in precipitation levels and average temperatures are having increasing direct and indirect effects on many conifer species and their habitats. Impacts include more intensive or prolonged droughts, higher frequency and intensity of fires and increases in pests and disease.

Juniperus excelsa ssp. polycarpos. Oman

Juniperus excelsa ssp. polycarpos. Oman

Taxa in the category - Western Mediterranean:

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Abies numidica de Lannoy ex Carrière

Endemic to a very small area of the Djebel Babor Mountains in northern Algeria where it is threatened by a combination of fire, fuel-wood collection and grazing by cattle and goats. Read full species entry >

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Abies pinsapo Boiss.

The Spanish fir has two subspecies distributed in southern Spain and northern Morocco where threats include fire, grazing and climate change. Read full species entry >

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Abies pinsapo var. marocana (Trabut) Ceballos & Bolanos

The Moroccan fir is restricted to two small forests in the Rif Mountains of northern Morocco where over a period of 60 years it has suffered a 70% decline. Read full species entry >

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Abies pinsapo var. pinsapo

One of two varieties of the Spanish fir restricted to three areas of southern Spain where in the last 45 years large areas of  forest have been lost mainly as a result of fire. Read full species entry >

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Cedrus atlantica (Endl.) Manetti ex Carrière

Endemic to North Africa where it occurs in Morroco and Algeria. The main threats include logging, fire and extensive grazing by goats Read full species entry >

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Cupressus dupreziana A.Camus

Represented by the two varieties C. dupreziana var. dupreziana (Algeria) and C. dupreziana var. atlantica (Morocco). Long-lived (2000 years) but their future is threatened by fire, seed collecting and climate change. Read full species entry >

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Cupressus dupreziana var. atlantica (Gaussen) Silba

One of two varieties of cypress native to North Africa where it occurs in a very restricted area of the Atlas Mountains of Morocco. The severely fragmented population is Crtically Endangered Read full species entry >

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Cupressus dupreziana var. dupreziana

Native to the Sahara Desert in Algeria where it occupies a narrow strip of about 120km long on the edge of Tassili Plateau. It is Critically Endangered due to grazing and cutting for firewood Read full species entry >

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