Western Mediterranean

The negative impacts of residential and commercial development on conifers is so severe that it has led to conifer species becoming Critically Endangered. Ironically, the very system put in place to protect biodiversty, such as national parks, can have a negative impact on biodiversity. Here the most detrimental impacts can be from the visiting public by bringing an increased risk of fire and the introduction of harmful pests and diseases. As a result of an explosive growth rates in the human population over the last 50 years there has been a steady drift of people from the city centres into urban areas. It is estimated that 60% of the Earth's population will live in urban areas by 2030. Hence these increasing population densities and mounting development pressures are causing large tracks of land in the immediate surroundings of urban areas undergoing a process of what is known as urbanisation. This phenomenon directly alters forest ecosystems by removing or fragmenting forest cover. It indirectly alters forest ecosystems by modifying hydrology, altering nutrient cycling, modifying disturbance regimes, and changing atmospheric conditions. 

<em>Tetraclinis articulata</em>, Malta

Tetraclinis articulata, Malta© M.Gardner, RBGE

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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