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Medicinal plants in Cyrenaica, Libya: existence and extinction


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

Acceptance Date Jul 3, 2017
Publication Date Jul 31, 2017
Journal Biological Diversity and Conservation
Print ISSN 1308-5301
Keywords Mediterranean; plant diversity; endangered species; medicinal plants; climate change


Medicinal Plants in Cyrenaica Libya Existence and Extinction.docx (271 Kb)

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