Floral complexity as indicator of plant vulnerability



Inspired by an earlier finding regarding the Greek flora, i.e., plants with higher floral complexity were found more prone to extinction vs. those with less complex flowers, we proceeded to explore the same hypothesis at a broader geographical scale, that of the entire European continent. We assembled a dataset of more than 25,000 records belonging to 10,111 insect-pollinated plant taxa with an assessed threat status sensu IUCN. Originated from 35 different European countries, the dataset includes information on intrinsic (floral characters, lifecycle, etc.) and extrinsic (habitat, spatial elements, etc.) plant traits and is further broken down into three major geographical groups based on climatic and bee/pollinator diversity drivers: Mediterranean, North & Central Europe, and Eastern Europe & the Balkans.

We strongly believe that the analyses of the entire European flora dataset will provide a more solid basis for better understanding the importance of floral ecology in predicting plant population vulnerability.

Project coordinator: Theodora Petanidou




Presentations at conferences

  • Ranalli R., FoisM., GalloniM., Bacchetta G., AronneG., StefanakiA., PetanidouT., FiserZ. Does floral complexity increase the likelyhood of extinction for the Italian flora? Poster presented at the 116° Congresso della Società Botanica Italiana, 8-10 September 2021, Bologna, Italy.
  • Stefanaki A., Petanidou T. Floral complexity, an indicator of plant vulnerability? assessment at the European continent level. Presented at the Greek ecological conference (, on-line, 14-17.10.2022
  • Charitonidou M., StefanakiA., Lázaro Α., Cursach J., Panitsa M., Bazos I., Kantsa A., Ranalli Ρ., Fois Μ., Galloni Μ., Bacchetta, Γ., Castro Σ., Loureiro J., Goula K., Navarro L., Bou Dagher Kharrat, M., Kahale R., Vasileiou L., Aronne G., Fišer Ζ. & Petanidou T. Does floral complexity induce plant vulnerability? Lessons learned from the Mediterranean with using Red Data Books. Presentation at the 11th Panhellenic Ecological Conference “Ecology at the Anthropocene” of the Hellenic Ecological Society, 4-7 October 2023, Patras, Greece. 11° Συνέδριο Ελληνικής Οικολογικής Εταιρίας (,
  • Charitonidou M, Stefanaki A, Lázaro A., Cursach J., Panitsa M., Bazos I., Kantsa A., Ranalli R., Fois M., Galloni M., Bacchetta G., Castro S., Loureiro J., Goula K., Navarro L., Dagher-Kharrat MB., Kahale R., Vassiliou L., Aronne G., Fišer Ž., Petanidou T. Floral complexity as indicator of plant vulnerability: Lessons learned from the Mediterranean RedData Books. ConservePlants final conference, Izola, Sovenia, 12-13.2.2024.