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Vascular Plants

Taxonomic scope

Europe's flora comprises 20-25,000 species and this Red List includes 1,826 selected species of vascular plants native to Europe or naturalised before AD 1500. The species selected belong to one or more of three groups: policy species, crop wild relatives and aquatic plants. Distinct subspecies were only assessed as part of this project when they were listed in the EC Habitats Directive or the Bern Convention, or in cases where a species is only represented in its wild form at subspecies level. However, due to recent taxonomic developments, a few species selected in 2008 have since been reclassified as subspecies and are therefore included in this Red List.

Data Collection

For the selected plant species native to Europe or naturalised before AD 1500, the following data were compiled:

  • Species’ taxonomic classification
  • Geographic range (including a distribution map)
  • Red List Category and Criteria
  • Population information
  • Habitat preferences
  • Major threats
  • Conservation measures (in place, and needed)
  • Species utilization
  • Other general information
  • Key literature references

All species had their global status assessed according to the 2001 IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria: Version 3.1.

Data review and evaluation of assessments

Two workshops involving around 25 national and taxon experts each were organised on 12-16 April 2010 in Cascais/Portugal for crop wild relatives and 21-24 June 2010 in Brest/France for the policy and a selection of the aquatic plant species. During the workshops, focused working groups were organised to discuss the preliminary assessments and to add new information to the species summaries and maps. Red List Categories were then defined for each species at the European and EU 27 levels.

Following the review workshop, the data were edited, and outstanding questions were resolved through communications with the experts. Consistency in the use of IUCN Criteria was checked by IUCN staff from the IUCN Red List Unit. The resulting finalised IUCN Red List assessments are a product of scientific consensus concerning species status and are backed by relevant literature and data sources.