Mukassabi, TA, Thomas, PA and Elmogasapi, A (2017) Medicinal plants in Cyrenaica, Libya: existence and extinction. Biological Diversity and Conservation. ISSN 1308-5301

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Cyrenaica is a distinguished region located in the south of the Mediterranean region. Eighty-nine plant taxa were collected and identified as having medicinal properties from four main valleys in Cyrenaica in 2001 and 2013. Collections included the same 47 families in both years, dominated by Lamiaceae 9% followed by Apiacea 8% and Asteraceae 7% ; only two of these species collected were endemic. Species frequency was assessed in both years and showed a dramatic decrease in 25 taxa over all sites. Regression analysis was applied to determine which plant families in Cyrenaica are more likely to contain species with medicinal compounds. Climate change was clearly noticeable in the last few decades; metrological data showed an increase in the mean monthly temperate and a decline in the annual rainfall over the whole area. This study concludes that there is a significant diversity of medicinal plant species on the southern edge of the Mediterranean which is being disturbed and some of wild native plant species could be under threat. Findings of this work suggest that conservation strategies should take place urgently; and suggest a number of important strategies that could be effective to preserve the plant community structure in this area

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: The final published version of this article is available online at
Uncontrolled Keywords: Mediterranean; plant diversity; endangered species; medicinal plants; climate change
Subjects: Q Science > QK Botany
R Medicine > RZ Other systems of medicine
S Agriculture > SB Plant culture
Divisions: Faculty of Natural Sciences > School of Physical and Geographical Sciences
Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 03 Oct 2017 08:31
Last Modified: 11 Mar 2021 16:34

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