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ABSTRACT: 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.

Biodiversity and Conservation, 19(9): 2715-2740
Category: Conservation
Authors: Brehm, J.M. et al.
Publication Year: 2010

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