Electronic commerce of the endemic plants of northern Morocco (Mediterranean coast-Rif) and Tunisia over the internet

keywords: Conservation, Nagoya Protocol, North Africa, neglected & underutilized species, wild plants traffic, threatened, ornamental value


Background: Internet trade popularize the ornamental interest of plants but can also threaten species’ wild populations, if this activity is performed in uncontrolled and unauthorised ways.

Questions: What endemic plants of Morocco and Tunisia are traded over the Internet by whom and at what prices?

Studied species: 94 endemic plants of northern Morocco and 83 of Tunisia.

Study site and dates: Tunisia and northern Morocco (Mediterranean coast and Rif region); internet survey between September 2018 and December 2019.

Methods: To understand the extent of this new form of trade, We recorded the type of plant material sold over the Internet for the studied taxa, their prices and suppliers using online platforms.

Results: Four northern Moroccan taxa (4.25 % of the total local endemics) were found as marketed by 18 nurseries in Europe, North America, Australia and New Zealand, while no marketing activity was detected for Tunisian endemic plants. The nurseries involved offer for sale and distribution living individuals of Abies marocana at €12.00-259.50, Rhodanthemum hosmariense at €0.35-19.5, Salvia interrupta subsp. paui at €6.23-8.90, and bulbs of Acis tangitana at €1.05-3.95. Although these taxa are classified as endangered, they are traded worldwide without permit of the Moroccan authorities. The source and origin of the plant material are not clearly indicated, and only some nurseries report that their marketed material comes from own cultivated stocks.

Conclusions: The implementation of protection laws/regulations and the monitoring of nurseries’ websites are recommended to control the illegal trade of wild plant material.


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Electronic commerce of the endemic plants of northern Morocco (Mediterranean coast-Rif) and Tunisia over the internet


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How to Cite
Khabbach, A., Libiad, M., El Haissoufi, M., Bourgou, S., Megdiche-Ksouri, W., Lamchouri, F., Ghrabi-Gammar, Z., Menteli, V., Vokou, D., Tsoktouridis, G., & Krigas, N. (2021). Electronic commerce of the endemic plants of northern Morocco (Mediterranean coast-Rif) and Tunisia over the internet. Botanical Sciences, 100(1), 139-152. https://doi.org/10.17129/botsci.2850