Juniperus turbinata Guss.

Juniperus turbinata is widespread but scattered, and mainly limited to the coast of the Mediterranean, where it often occurs in or close to urbanized coastal strips, where much of the habitat has been irreversibly destroyed .


Taxonomic note:

This species was formerly recognised as a subspecies of Juniperus phoenicea. Its status has changed following a series of recent range wide reviews (see bibliography)


Mediterranean: France (Corsica and mainland coast), Spain (Canaries, Baleares and mainland coast), Portugal (Algarve, Estremadura,) Italy (Sardinia, Sicily), Greece, Crete, Cyprus, Turkey, Egypt (Sinai), Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco. The area of occupancy is estimated to be less than 2,000 km² and the subpopulations are severely fragmented, scattered and usually small. The overall population trend is unknown.

Habitat and Ecology

It is mainly restricted to littoral maritime habitats, on rocks or sand dunes. It also occurs at altitudes up to 2000m a.s.l. in some mountain areas, for example in Morocco and Algeria.

Human Uses

No specific uses have been recorded for this species.

Conservation Status

Global status and rationale

Near Threatened (VU B2ab(iii,v).

Juniperus turbinata is widespread but scattered, and limited mainly to the coast of the Mediterranean, where it often occurs in or close to urbanized coastal strips, where much of the habitat has been destroyed irreversibly. Rates of decline are not known, and it is uncertain if it has stopped, but it has probably slowed down. The area of occupancy is very likely small, and certainly under 2,000 km² so it would qualify for Vulnerable if decline was continuing. It is therefore assessed as Near Threatened until more information is available as it almost qualifies for a threatened listing under criterion B2ab(iii,v).

Conservation Actions

This species is present in several coastal reserves. It is listed as a vulnerable species in the Red Book of Italian plants and its various communities are included in Annex I of the Habitats Directive 92/43/EEC as a priority habitat for conservation.

References and further reading

  1. Adams, R., Boratynski, A., Arista, M., Schwarzbach, A.E., Leschner, H., Liber, Z., Minissale, P., Mataraci, T. and Manolis, A. (2013) Analysis of Juniperus phoenicea from throughout its range in the Mediterranean using DNA sequence data from nrDNA and petN-psbM: The case for the recognition of J. turbinata Guss. Phytologia 95(2): 202-209
  2. El Bana, M., K. Shaltout, A. Khalafallah & H. Mosallama (2010) Ecological status of the Mediterranean Juniperus phoenicea L. Relicts in the desert mountains of North Sinai, Egypt. Flora 205:171-178.
  3. Farjon, A. (2015) Juniperus turbinata. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T16349692A84434669. Downloaded on 19 July 2016.
  4. Lebreton, P. and P. L. Perez de Paz. (2001) Définition du Genévrier de Phénicie (Juniperus aggr. phoenicea), reconsidéré à ses limites biogéographiques : Méditerranée orientale (Crète et Chypre) et Atlantique (Iles Canaries). Bull. mens. Soc. linn. Lyon, 70(4) : 73-92.
  5. Mazur, M., Minissale, P., Sciandrello, S. and Boratyński, A. (2014) Morphological and ecological comparison of populations of Juniperus turbinata Guss. and J. phoenicea L. from the Mediterranean region. Plant Biosystems DOI:10.1080/11263504.2014.994579.
  6. Minissale, P. & S. Sciandrello (2013) A relic wood of Juniperus turbinata Guss. (Cupressaceae) in Sicily: Structural and ecological features, conservation perspectives. Plant Biosystems - An International Journal Dealing with all Aspects of Plant Biology, 147(1)145-157, DOI: 10.1080/11263504.2012.743931