VIRTUAL BOTANICAL MUSEUM OF CRETE
|Mediterranean Plant Conservation Unit of MAICh
© Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Chania (MAICh)
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The ‘Virtual Botanical Musem of Crete’ constitutes a digital edition of a part of the Botanical Museum (Herbarium) collection of the Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Chania (MAICh).
This collection consists of specimens of wild (native) plants of Crete, preserved in a special room, along with information about the place and date of collection, the habitat, etc. To date, 8,500 plant specimens are preserved in the MAICh Herbarium, representing approximately 1,300 different plant species among the approx.2,000 species of the Cretan flora, and the collection is continuously being enriched.
From this collection, the most rare and particular plant species of the flora of Crete (approximately 300 species, see table below) have been selected for digitization and publicity, classified in the following three thematic sub-categories: ‘Protected plant species’, ‘Threatened’ and ‘Other Rare plant species’.
In the sub-category of ‘Protected Plant Species’, information is given regarding the species of the Cretan flora that are rare (many of them are endemic to Crete) or threatened, and the need for their protection is anticipated by:
• the Greek Presidential Decree 67/1981 “about the protection of the native flora and fauna…” (Greek Off.J. F.E.K.A’ 23/30.1.1981, corrected by F.E.K.A’ 43/18.2.1981), or
• the European Directive 92/43 (‘Habitats Directive’) “on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora” that has been adopted by the Greek legislation with the Common Ministerial Decision K.Y.A. 33318/3028/1998 (F.E.K.B’ 1289/28.12.1998), or
• the Bern Convention, signed in 1979, entered into force in 1992 and ratified by Greece with the national law 1335/1983 (F.E.K.A’ 32/14.3.1983).
In the sub-category of ‘Threatened Plant Species’, information is provided regarding the species of the Cretan flora that are rare (most of which are endemic to Crete) and considered ‘threatened’ according to the “Red Data Book of Rare and Threatened Plant Species of Greece” (1) and the study of the ARCHI-MED project “Threatened Endemic Species of the Flora in Southern Greece” (2). Unfortunately, for these species no protection measures are foreseen thus far by any national law or international convention.
In the sub-category of ‘Other Rare Plant Species’, information is given about species of the Cretan flora that are rare due to a very restricted geographical distribution: endemic to Crete or to the Cretan area (Crete-Karpathos) or to the Southern Aegean, or to Greece, according to the most recent references (3, 4). Nevertheless, despite their singularity, they are not considered threatened and no protection measures are foreseen so far by any national law or international convention.
In the ‘Virtual Botanical Museum of Crete’, besides photos of the Herbarium specimens of MAICh, one can also find other plant photos, their distribution maps in Crete and information about their botanical taxonomy, habitat, flowering period, conservation and protection status, common names (if any), possible uses, etc.
The aim of this publication is to contribute to the promotion of particularities in the region of Crete, public sensitization about environment and biodiversity protection, facilitation of access to results of scientific works that are useful in environmental education activities, eco-touristic promotion of the island of Crete, studies of regional planning, environmental impact assessment, environmental management, etc.
The “Virtual Botanical Museum of Crete” project has been implemented in the framework of the Operational Programme “Information Society” (Measure 2.4, Subcateg.1.2) and co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).
Design, supervision, realisation of the project and texts by the:
Scientific team at the Mediterranean Plant Conservation Unit of MAICh
Gotsiou Panagiota, Biologist MSc.
Fournaraki Christina, Biologist MSc.
Galani Polyxeni, Biologist
Remoundou Ilektra, Agronomist
Markaki Eleni, Agronomist
Digital photos of the Herbarium specimens of MAICh and of Seeds, done by
Efi Tsakraklidou (www.ephietsakraklidou.com/)
[assisted by Evangelia Voutsaki (www.evavoutsaki.com/)]
All other published photos (with no photographer name) originate from the archive of the Mediterranean Plant Conservation Unit of MAICh
The intellectual property rights of all the photos published in the ‘Virtual Botanical Museum of Crete’
belong to MAICh and are protected by National Law 2121/93.
Mediterranean Plant Conservation Unit of MAICh, email@example.com (tel.0030 28210 35053)
(1) Phitos, D., Strid, A., Snogerup, S., Greuter, W. (eds.) 1995. The Red Data Book of rare and threatened plants of Greece. World Wide Fund for Nature. Publish.: Ê.Michalas, S.A. Athens. 528pp.
(2) Georghiou K & Delipetrou P. 2001. Threatened Endemic plant species in Southern Greece. Project ARCHI-MED “Protection of the endangered endemic species in Southern and Eastern Mediterranean”, Action 2.1. Region of Crete, Natural History Museum of Crete, 367pp. (in Greek)
(3) Turland & Chilton, 2008. FLORA OF CRETE: Supplement II, Additions 1997-2008. Last revision: 16 August 2008 (http://www.marengowalks.com/fcs.html accessed on 11/11/2008)
(4) Georghiou K & Delipetrou P. 2008. ‘Chloris’ - Data base on the endemic, sub-endemic, rare, threatened and protected species of the Greek flora. Edition of 25/08/2008.