Red List habitat classification > RLF - Heathland and scrub > RLF7.1 Western Mediterranean spiny heath

Western Mediterranean spiny heath

Quick facts

Red List habitat type code RLF7.1
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

Rare, extremely local and isolated, cushion-forming scrubs, often with spiny species, located in the clifftops of rocky coastal stretches, dispersed along the coasts of south Portugal, Northeast Spain and southern France, the Balearic and Thyrrenian Islands (Corsica, Sardinia, Malta and Pantellaria) up to the southern Italian Peninsula (Gulf of Taranto). It is submitted to the constant wind actions and to the salinity transported by the spray reaching particularly during the strong wind episodes. The rocky shallow soils and the steep slopes prevent from further development of vegetation, being considered this habitat as a permanent community of coastal clifftops in the Mediterranean area. These clifftop scrubs are characterized by irregular cover at their optimal phases, depending on the slope and the soil depth. Most of the stands of this habitat are quite inaccessible and the threats seem so be low.

Indicators of quality:

• no signals of human activity: trampling, building, trash, etc.

• presence and abundance of narrow-endemic species

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

Threat status

Synthesis of Red List assessment

The assessment results on the basis of the main criteria (A1,B1,C/D1) lead to the Least Concern category, due to the topographic self-defensive position of this habitat. However, if degraded, the recovery is difficult because the habitat is a low resiliency type adapted to high stressing conditions.
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

  • Transportation and service corridors
    • Paths, tracks, cycling tracks
  • Urbanisation, residential and commercial development
    • Dispersed habitation
  • Human intrusions and disturbances
    • Mountaineering & rock climbing

Habitat restoration potential

The reconstruction of this habitat after severe damage seems to be very difficult at least in a relatively short period of time

Trends in extent

Average current trend in quantity

Decreasing Decreasing
EU28 EU28+

Trends in quality

Average current trend in quality

Decreasing Decreasing
EU28 EU28+

Conservation and management needs

Preventing from building in the coastal strip as well as ordering the leisure activities of walking and climbing

List of conservation and management needs

  • Measures related to spatial planning
    • Establish protected areas/sites
  • Measures related to urban areas, industry, energy and transport
    • Urban and industrial waste management

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)
Spain mainland Present 6.4 Decreasing Decreasing
Corsica Present 19 Stable Stable
Sardinia Present 146 Stable Stable
Balearic Islands Present 6.4 Decreasing Decreasing
Portugal mainland Present 4.3 Decreasing Decreasing
France mainland Present 19 Stable Stable
Sicily Present 146 Stable Stable
Malta Present 71 Stable 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)

Extent of Occurrence, Area of Occupancy and habitat area

Extent of Occurrence (EOO) (Km2) Area of Occupancy (AOO) Current estimated Total Area Comment
EU28 >50000 >50 241
EU28+ >50 241
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.
Flowering Plants Anthyllis fulgurans
Flowering Plants Anthyllis hermanniae
Flowering Plants Armeria ruscinonensis
Flowering Plants Astragalus balearicus
Flowering Plants Astragalus massiliensis
Flowering Plants Centaurea balearica
Flowering Plants Centaurea horrida
Flowering Plants Euphorbia pithyusa
Flowering Plants Genista corsica
Flowering Plants Genista morisii
Flowering Plants Helichrysum italicum
Flowering Plants Launaea cervicornis
Flowering Plants Sarcopoterium spinosum
Flowering Plants Teucrium subspinosum
Flowering Plants Thymelaea hirsuta
Species scientific name English common name Species group
Anthyllis fulgurans Flowering Plants
Anthyllis hermanniae Flowering Plants
Armeria ruscinonensis Flowering Plants
Astragalus balearicus Flowering Plants
Astragalus massiliensis Flowering Plants
Centaurea balearica Flowering Plants
Centaurea horrida Flowering Plants
Euphorbia pithyusa Flowering Plants
Genista corsica Flowering Plants
Genista morisii Flowering Plants
Helichrysum italicum Flowering Plants
Launaea cervicornis Flowering Plants
Sarcopoterium spinosum Flowering Plants
Teucrium subspinosum Flowering Plants
Thymelaea hirsuta 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 F7.2 Central Mediterranean spiny heaths wider
EUNIS Habitat Classification 200711 F7.1 West Mediterranean spiny heaths wider
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