Red List habitat classification > RLF - Heathland and scrub > RLF9.3 Mediterranean riparian scrub

Mediterranean riparian scrub

Quick facts

Red List habitat type code RLF9.3
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

Alluvial Mediterranean tamarisk (Tamarix spp), oleander (Nerium oleander), and chaste tree (Vitex agnus-castus ) galleries and thickets, and similar low ligneous formations living in irregularly flooded environments. In climates with severe seasonal drought, such as the Mediterranean, streams can be intensely fluctuant and even temporary; often the flooding temporal pattern is extremely irregular. This can leave riverbeds (or large portions of them) completely dry for long periods, in which often salinity increases during the drought. The hydric requirements of the scrub in such river beds are much lower than those of the willow, poplar or alder riparian forests (habitat G1.3). Under even more extreme conditions pioneer communities of habitat C3.5e are found.

These scrub and thickets are frequent in the areas where summer drought is long and severe, i.e. the thermo- and meso-Mediterranean belts of southern Europe (central and southern Iberia, southern Italy and southern Greece) and the Canary Islands, expanding in North Africa and Middle East along the Saharo-Arabian and Irano-Turanian regions. They include formations of Tamarix ramossissima of stream sides and coastal localities of the Pontic and Steppic areas of the Black Sea shores in SE Europe.

This habitat is rarely forming a dense shrubland due to disturbance regime determined by the floods. The best examples are found in uncontrolled stretches of mature rivers, rivulets or depressions.

Indicators of good quality:

  • periodically inundated with flood waters
  • bushes distributed scattered, sometimes closing in a more dense thicket
  • no signal of timber or firewood exploitation
  • no sign of eutrophication due to anthropogenically polluted or enriched flood-waters, with appearance of nitrophilic herbs
  • no sign of non-native invaders

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

Threat status

Synthesis of Red List assessment

The overall decrease in quantity is relatively low (-12%), resulting in the category Least Concern (LC). The quality shows a slight negative trend affecting on average 20% of the surface with a moderately high severity (49%). Also these values lead to the conclusion Least Concern.
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

  • Agriculture
    • Cultivation
  • Sylviculture, forestry
    • Forest planting on open ground
  • Urbanisation, residential and commercial development
    • Urbanised areas, human habitation
  • Pollution
    • Pollution to surface waters (limnic, terrestrial, marine & brackish)
  • Natural System modifications
    • Human induced changes in hydraulic conditions

Habitat restoration potential

When the hydrological functioning of rivers (and coastal sites) is being restored through intervention, the habitat will develop naturally within a short time frame. Therefore restoration is a combination of intevention (first) and spontaneous development (next).

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

In natural functioning rivers, extreme dynamics (temporary flooding, strong periodical drought) cause regularly development of new habitat and at the same time prevent succession of the habitat into alluvial forest at large scale. In these situation no management is needed. However, where the hydrological conditions have been altered, restoration practices should be applied, focussing on restoration of the hydrological functioning of rivers and coastal sites. In this way the habitat will develop spontaneously.

List of conservation and management needs

  • No measures
    • No measures needed for the conservation of the habitat/species
  • Measures related to wetland, freshwater and coastal habitats
    • Restoring/Improving the hydrological regime
    • Restoring coastal areas

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)
Bulgaria Present 1.2 Decreasing Decreasing
Croatia Present 0.04 Stable Stable
Cyprus Present 6.6 Stable Stable
France mainland Present 2 Decreasing Decreasing
Corsica Present 2 Decreasing Decreasing
Greece (mainland and other islands) Present 137 Stable Unknown
Crete Present 137 Stable Unknown
East Aegean Present 137 Stable Unknown
Italy mainland Present 177 Decreasing Decreasing
Sardinia Present 177 Decreasing Decreasing
Sicily Present 177 Decreasing Decreasing
Portugal mainland Present 27 Decreasing Decreasing
Portugal Azores Uncertain 27 Decreasing Decreasing
Madeira Uncertain 27 Decreasing Decreasing
Savage Islands Uncertain 27 Decreasing Decreasing
Romania Present 10 Decreasing Decreasing
Spain mainland Present 525 Decreasing Decreasing
Balearic Islands Present 525 Decreasing Decreasing
Canary Islands Present 525 Decreasing Decreasing
EU28 + Present or presence uncertain Current area of habitat (Km2) Recent trend in quantity (last 50 years) Recent trend in quality (last 50 years)
Albania Present Unknown Unknown Unknown
Montenegro 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 886
EU28+ 900
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 Flueggea tinctoria
Flowering Plants Lonicera biflora
Flowering Plants Nerium oleander
Flowering Plants Polygonum equisetiforme
Flowering Plants Prunus lusitanica
Flowering Plants Rhamnus saxatilis
Flowering Plants Rubus ulmifolius
Flowering Plants Tamarix africana
Flowering Plants Tamarix boveana
Flowering Plants Tamarix dalmatica
Flowering Plants Tamarix gallica
Flowering Plants Tamarix hampeana
Flowering Plants Tamarix tetrandra
Flowering Plants Vitex agnus-castus
Species scientific name English common name Species group
Flueggea tinctoria Flowering Plants
Lonicera biflora Flowering Plants
Nerium oleander Flowering Plants
Polygonum equisetiforme Flowering Plants
Prunus lusitanica Flowering Plants
Rhamnus saxatilis Flowering Plants
Rubus ulmifolius Flowering Plants
Tamarix africana Flowering Plants
Tamarix boveana Flowering Plants
Tamarix dalmatica Flowering Plants
Tamarix gallica Flowering Plants
Tamarix hampeana Flowering Plants
Tamarix tetrandra Flowering Plants
Vitex agnus-castus 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 F9.3 Southern riparian galleries and thickets narrower
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