Red List habitat classification > RLF - Heathland and scrub > RLF6.2 Eastern garrigue

Eastern garrigue

Quick facts

Red List habitat type code RLF6.2
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)


Evergreen, open, low scrub communities of the meso-, thermo- and occasionally supra-Mediterranean zones of Greece, southern Albania, western and eastern coasts of the Adriatic Sea, Cyprus and southern Anatolia, Black Sea coasts in Crimea, southern Bulgaria, European part of Turkey and northern Anatolia, as well as in the Mediterranean-Steppic zone of southern Thrace. Here are included all the sclerophyllous communities with scanty and low physiognomy due to the increased summer aridity and human pressure. The scrub communities with: a) conspicuous spiny cushion structure (F7), b) abundant thermo-Mediterranean shrub species (F5.5) and c) Erica arborea and Arbutus spp. forming high macchia vegetation (F5.2) are excluded from this unit.

This habitat type includes:

a)    garrigues dominated by Quercus coccifera, the most widespread xerophyllous scrub communities in the eastern meso-Mediterranean,

b) xerophyllous low scrub communities with Cistus spp., Rosmarinus officinalis of the eastern Ionian, Aegean and eastern Mediterranean coastlands and more to the inland,

c) low scrub communities (garrigues) of the western and eastern coasts of the Adriatic Sea (Illyrian garrigues) dominated by, Erica manipuliflora, Erica multiflora, Rosmarinus officinalis, Spartium junceum and dwarf shrubs like Cistus spp. and Dorcynium hirsutum,

d) Mediterranean-type xerophyllous open low scrub communities (Black Sea garrigues) dominated mostly by Cistus incanus and Cistus salvifolius (distributed along the Black Sea coasts - in Crimea, southern Bulgaria, and European part of Turkey and northern Anatolia, as well as of the Mediterranean-Steppic zone of southern Thrace). The most typical Mediterranean species, including evergreen shrubs like Myrtus communis, Arbutus unedo and A. andrachne, occur at the Anatolian coast of the Black Sea. Specific communities (not typical garrigues, as the dominant species are perennial herbs and short semi-shrubs) are distributed on flysch slopes of the Crimean Peninsula.

All the types of garrigues assigned to the habitat F6.2, as geographically and floristically/ecologically differentiated above, are dominated by (or are rich in) Quercus coccifera, Rosmarinus officinalis, Erica manipuliflora, Cistus incanus, C. salvifolius and Dorcynium hirsutum, low shrubby Juniperus oxycedrus, or J. phoenicea, Lavandula stoechas or L. angustifolia, labiate shrubs or robust perennials like Teucrium fruticans, Phlomis spp., Salvia triloba, S. argentea, S. eichlerana, S. pomifera, Stachys spp., broom-like shrubs of the genera Genista, Chamaecytisus, Teline, Ebenus cretica (in Crete), dwarf, shrubby composites of the genera Helichrysum, Phagnalon, Scorzonera, shrubs dominated by Erica manipuliflora, low bushes of Arbutus andrachne, Globularia alypum, dwarf shrubs of the genera Helianthemum or Fumana, shrubs of the genus Thymelaea, Bupleurum fruticosum shrubs and, finally, the low, pre-desert formations with Ziziphus spp., Acacia albida, Capparis spinosa, Rhamnus palaestina, Rhus tripartita of the Levant and southern Anatolia.

Garrigues are the result of retrogressive succession after degradation of evergreen Mediterranean forest and macchia (maquis) vegetation and maintained by grazing and fire. The floristic composition of garrigues reflects the diverse geographical position, altitudinal zones and human impact. The garrigues at the Black Sea coasts represent one of the latest stages of degradation of the mixed xerothermic oak forests and pseudomaquis in areas with transitional-Mediterranean climate. They differ from the typical Mediterranean garrigues by the prevalence of deciduous species and the absence of typical Mediterranean species.

Indicators of quality:

· Low levels of soil compactness and absence of active secondary succession

· Communities rich in perennial and annual herb species, shrub and semi-shrub species

· Presence and abundance of a given set of typical (diagnostic) species or functional traits (i.e. morphological, physiological and life history characteristics)

· Dominance of low shrub and semi-shrub species

· Open habitat conditions

· Moderate grazing

· Absence of fire

· Absence of alien, invasive and/or ruderal species

· Occurrence of rare and/or threatened species mostly with Mediterranean origin

· Sporadic presence of maquis and forest species.

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

Threat status

Synthesis of Red List assessment

Relatively few quantitative data exist, but all information indicates that the habitat is Least Concern (LC), as declines in quality are relatively small and the habitat is widespread and increasing in area in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Red List Category Red List Criteria
Least Concern -
Red List Category Red List Criteria
Least Concern -

Confidence in the assessment

Red List of habitat categories and criteria descriptions

Pressures and threats

  • Agriculture
    • Grazing
    • Intensive grazing
    • Abandonment of pastoral systems, lack of grazing
    • Restructuring agricultural land holding
  • Sylviculture, forestry
    • Forest and Plantation management & use
  • Urbanisation, residential and commercial development
    • Urbanised areas, human habitation
  • Natural biotic and abiotic processes (without catastrophes)
    • Biocenotic evolution, succession
    • Species composition change (succession)

Habitat restoration potential

In case of fire, the only indirect measures to be taken in order that the restoration of the habitat becomes possible, are related to the prevention of grazing and other legistlative regulations to prevent land cover/land use changes and changes in species composition towards the establishment of woodland communties, through ecological succession.

Trends in extent

Average current trend in quantity

Stable Unknown
EU28 EU28+

Trends in quality

Average current trend in quality

Unknown Unknown
EU28 EU28+

Conservation and management needs

Currently and as far as it is known from literature, no conservation measures/actions are implemented to safeguard the structure and functions of the habitat and its favorable conservation status. This is also related to the fact that the Eastern garrigues are not corresponding to any Annex I habitat type of the Dir. 92/43/EC.

List of conservation and management needs

  • No measures
    • No measures needed for the conservation of the habitat/species


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)
Bulgaria Present - -
Croatia Present 812 Stable Increasing
Cyprus Present unknown Unknown Unknown
Greece (mainland and other islands) Present 6000 Increasing Increasing
Crete Present 6000 Increasing Increasing
East Aegean Uncertain 6000 Increasing Increasing
Italy mainland Present unknown Unknown Stable
Sardinia Present unknown Unknown Stable
Sicily Present unknown Unknown Stable
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 3 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 1483850 256 >20.000 The current estimated total area is based only on the territorial data provided in combination to the literature available for the Quercus coccifera scrublands in the Mediterranean.
EU28+ 295 unknown
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

Not available

Vegetation types

Relation to vegetation types (syntaxa)

Not available

Other classifications

Not available
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