New approaches for establishing conservation priorities for socio-economically important plant species

JM Brehm, Nigel Maxted, MA Martins-Loucao, Brian Ford-Lloyd

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

48 Citations (Scopus)


The establishment of priorities among species is a crucial step in any conservation strategy since financial resources are generally limited. Traditionally, priorities for conservation of plant species have been focused on endemicity, rarity and particularly on their threatened status. Crop wild relatives (CWR) and wild harvested plants (WHP) are important elements of biodiversity with actual or potential socio-economic value. In this study, eight prioritisation criteria were used along with different prioritisation systems and applied to the Portuguese CWR and WHP. The top 50 species obtained by each of these methods were identified. The final top CWR were those that occurred as a priority in most methods. Twenty CWR were identified as the highest priorities for conservation in Portugal and they include wild relatives of the crop genera Allium, Daucus, Dianthus, Epilobium, Festuca, Herniaria, Narcissus, Quercus, Plantago, Trifolium, and Vicia. Eighteen WHP were recognised as priorities for conservation and include several Narcissus and Thymus species, among others. The advantages, limitations and level of subjectivity of each of the methods used in this exercise are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2715-2740
Number of pages26
JournalBiodiversity and Conservation
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2010


  • Scoring systems
  • Prioritisation criteria
  • Wild harvested plants
  • Ranking systems
  • Crop wild relatives
  • Conservation planning


Dive into the research topics of 'New approaches for establishing conservation priorities for socio-economically important plant species'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this