Red List habitat classification > RLF - Heathland and scrub > RLF2.2c Balkan subalpine genistoid scrub

Balkan subalpine genistoid scrub

Quick facts

Red List habitat type code RLF2.2c
Threat status
Europe Least Concern
EU Least Concern
Relation to
Source European Red List habitat factsheet
European Red List of habitats reports
European Red List of habitats (Excel table)

Summary

This habitat encompasses genistoid dominated high mountain scrub in the Balkan, Apennines and southern outcrops of the Alps. It can be found mainly on carbonate and ultramaphic bedrock, in places also over siliceous bedrock. The genistoid scrub (mainly dominated by Genista radiata) can reach about one meter and forms dense communities. It prefers warm-humid habitats, where fog condensates or that are exposed to precipitation, mainly steep, sunny and rocky sites with shallow soil types, where more demanding plant species cannot thrive. It often appears on sites of degraded Pinus mugo communities. Above the timberline this habitat can form the climax vegetation and mosaics with alpine pastures, Pinus mugo and Juniperus scrub. It can thrive also in the subalpine vegetation belt, on clear cuttings, burnt sites, rocky pastures and similar habitats, or form the mantle vegetation of subalpine forests, on sites of Fagus, Picea, Betula and Larix. The dominant species of this habitat is mainly Genista radiata, but also Genista holopetala and Genista hassertiana can be regarded as an element of illyric-tertiary flora and have a relict character. Shepherds favor grasslands and they often cut or burn these shrubby-habitats to provide more grazing area, but on the other hand abandonment of traditional land use leads to an increase of the surface occupied by this habitat.

Indicators of quality:

This vegetation can be threatened by (over)grazing, burning, extirpation of shrub for cultivation, global warming and urbanization. In the areas where it presents secondary vegetation it may be subject to succession towards forest.

The following characteristics may be considered as indicators of good quality:

  • dense stands with presence of diagnostic species

  • absence of tree species

  • moderate grazing

  • species richness

Characteristic species
For full habitat description, please download the habitat factsheet.

Threat status

Synthesis of Red List assessment

The habitat is assessed as Least Concerned (LC), as it is distributed in a rather large range and area and no reduction in quality and quantity has occurred in about the last 50 years.
EU
Red List Category Red List Criteria
Least Concern -
Europe
Red List Category Red List Criteria
Least Concern -

Confidence in the assessment

medium
Red List of habitat categories and criteria descriptions

Pressures and threats

  • Sylviculture, forestry
    • Forest planting on open ground (native trees)
  • Human intrusions and disturbances
    • Skiing, off-piste
    • Trampling, overuse
  • Natural System modifications
    • Burning down
  • Natural biotic and abiotic processes (without catastrophes)
    • Species composition change (succession)
  • Climate change
    • Temperature changes (e.g. rise of temperature & extremes)

Habitat restoration potential

If completely destroyed, the habitat needs a lot of time to recover due to extreme site conditions in mountains. If there are some shrub populations left nearby, one could roughly estimate that the habitat can recover within 20-30 years, with intervention (planting) even within 10-20 years.

Trends in extent

Average current trend in quantity

Stable Increasing
EU28 EU28+

Trends in quality

Average current trend in quality

Stable Decreasing
EU28 EU28+

Conservation and management needs

No special treatment is needed. Grazing and removal of genistoid scrub should not be too intensive. On the other side, afforestation of these areas (especially under the timberline) should be precented. Finally, the occurrence of the habitat should be taken into account with planming of constructions in the mountains, like ski resorts.

List of conservation and management needs

  • Measures related to forests and wooded habitats
    • Adapt forest management
  • Measures related to spatial planning
    • Establish protected areas/sites
    • Establishing wilderness areas/allowing succession
    • Legal protection of habitats and species

Distribution

For each habitat a distribution map was produced from a wide variety of sources indicating known and potential occurrences of the habitat in 10x10 km grids within Europe. Occurrences in grid cells were given in two classes: actual distribution from relatively reliable sources (surveys, expert knowledge), and potential distribution based on models or less reliable indicators. Please download the fact sheet to see the map.

Geographic occurrence and trends

EU28 Present or presence uncertain Current area of habitat (Km2) Recent trend in quantity (last 50 years) Recent trend in quality (last 50 years)
Croatia Present 1 Stable Stable
Italy mainland Present unknown Stable Increasing
Slovenia Present 0.5 Stable Stable
Bulgaria Uncertain unknown Unknown Unknown
France mainland Uncertain Unknown Unknown Unknown
Greece (mainland and other islands) Present unknown Unknown Unknown
EU28 + Present or presence uncertain Current area of habitat (Km2) Recent trend in quantity (last 50 years) Recent trend in quality (last 50 years)
Bosnia and Herzegovina Present 15 Increasing Increasing
Switzerland Present 1 Stable Decreasing
Former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) Present unknown Unknown Unknown
Kosovo Present 1 Decreasing Decreasing
Albania Present unknown Unknown Unknown

Extent of Occurrence, Area of Occupancy and habitat area

Extent of Occurrence (EOO) (Km2) Area of Occupancy (AOO) Current estimated Total Area Comment
EU28 421800 31 1.5
EU28+ 43 17.5
AOO = the area occupied by a habitat measured in number of 10x10 km grid cells.
EOO = the area (km2) of the envelope around all occurrences of a habitat (calculated by a minimum convex polygon).

Characteristic species

The full list of characteristic species and genus are available above from the Summary. The species available in the EUNIS database are shown here.
Conifers Juniperus communis
Conifers Pinus mugo
Flowering Plants Asperula cynanchica
Flowering Plants Avenella flexuosa
Flowering Plants Bromus fibrosus
Flowering Plants Calamagrostis arundinacea
Flowering Plants Calamagrostis varia
Flowering Plants Calluna vulgaris
Flowering Plants Cerastium decalvans
Flowering Plants Daphne blagayana
Flowering Plants Dorycnium germanicum
Flowering Plants Erica carnea
Flowering Plants Festuca scabriculmis
Flowering Plants Genista hassertiana
Flowering Plants Genista holopetala
Flowering Plants Genista radiata
Flowering Plants Hypericum alpinum
Flowering Plants Iberis sempervirens
Flowering Plants Linum tauricum
Flowering Plants Polygala chamaebuxus
Flowering Plants Scabiosa columbaria
Flowering Plants Sesleria latifolia
Flowering Plants Thymus longicaulis
Flowering Plants Vaccinium myrtillus
Species scientific name English common name Species group
Juniperus communis Conifers
Pinus mugo Conifers
Asperula cynanchica Flowering Plants
Avenella flexuosa Flowering Plants
Bromus fibrosus Flowering Plants
Calamagrostis arundinacea Flowering Plants
Calamagrostis varia Flowering Plants
Calluna vulgaris Flowering Plants
Cerastium decalvans Flowering Plants
Daphne blagayana Flowering Plants
Dorycnium germanicum Flowering Plants
Erica carnea Flowering Plants
Festuca scabriculmis Flowering Plants
Genista hassertiana Flowering Plants
Genista holopetala Flowering Plants
Genista radiata Flowering Plants
Hypericum alpinum Flowering Plants
Iberis sempervirens Flowering Plants
Linum tauricum Flowering Plants
Polygala chamaebuxus Flowering Plants
Scabiosa columbaria Flowering Plants
Sesleria latifolia Flowering Plants
Thymus longicaulis Flowering Plants
Vaccinium myrtillus Flowering Plants

Vegetation types

Relation to vegetation types (syntaxa)

Not available

Other classifications

This habitat may be equivalent to, or broather than, or narrower than the habitats or ecosystems in the following typologies.
Classification Code Habitat type name Relationship type
EUNIS Habitat Classification 200711 F2.2 Evergreen alpine and subalpine heath and scrub narrower
European Environment Agency (EEA)
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