Red List habitat classification > RLG - Forests > RLG1.3 Mediterranean and Macaronesian riparian woodland

Mediterranean and Macaronesian riparian woodland

Quick facts

Red List habitat type code RLG1.3
Threat status
Europe Vulnerable
EU Vulnerable
Relation to
Source European Red List habitat factsheet
European Red List of habitats reports
European Red List of habitats (Excel table)

Summary

These are broadleaved deciduous woodlands of periodically- or seasonally-flooded alluvial or gravelly deposits in river valleys and along streamsides within the Mediterranean and Macaronesian regions. Typical of humid localities within the thermo- and meso-Mediterranean belts, this habitat has been long exploited for being an easy source of firewood and widely lost from the middle and lower reaches of rivers, often surviving now as more fragmentary relict stands in deeper steep-sided valleys extending upstream into the submediterranean zone. Dominance can be of a single tree species, among which Populus alba and, in Sicily, the Balkans and Greece, Platanus orientalis are the most widespread and these fast-growing trees can attain a huge size in a very tall canopy. To the east also, Populus canescens, P. nigra and P. tremula can be prominent along with P. alba while, on Rhodes, Liquidambar orientalis dominates in gallery woodlands of this kind. Also included here are woodlands with Rhododendron ponticum ssp. baeticum and Betula parvibracteata (a synonym of B. pendula subsp. fontqueri var. parvibracteata) that occur in riparian situations in the Iberian peninsula. Generally, Fraxinus angustifolia, F. ornus, Salix alba, S. eleagnos, Alnus glutinosa are common associates and can be locally prominent and where Salix spp, dominate in riparian woodlands in the Mediterranean and Macaronesia, they are included here and not in G1.1 Riparian and gallery woodland. Other woody species, sub-shrubs and lianas associated with this habitat are Frangula alnus, Salix atrocinerea, Juglans regia, Crataegus monogyna, Cornus sanguinea, Nerium oleander, Vitex agnus-castus, Vitis vinifera ssp. sylvestris, Rubus subsp., Rosa sempervirens, Hedera helix, Clematis vitalba. The field layer shares some species with the equivalent habitat type, G1.2 hardwood riparian woodland in the temperate and boreal zone, but more distinctive here are Aristolochia grandiflora, Cyclamen hederifolium, C. repandum, C. creticum, Galanthus nivalis subsp. reginae-olgae, Dracunculus vulgaris and Arum italicum. The associated fern, bryophyte and lichen floras can be very species-rich and especially luxuriant in deep humid gorges.

Indicators of good quality:

  • Intact natural hydrology
  • Natural composition of canopy
  • Structural diversity/ complexity with (semi)natural age structure or completeness of layers
  • Typical flora and fauna composition of the region
  • Presence of natural disturbance such as treefall openings with natural regeneration
  • Survival of larger stands of forest without anthropogenic fragmentation and isolation (to support fauna which need large undisturbed forests)
  • Absence of non-native species in all layers (flora & fauna)
  • No signs of pollution

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

Threat status

Synthesis of Red List assessment

The habitat type is considered Vulnerable (VU) based on extent and severity of degradation affecting a large part of its European range, particularly in Italy, France and Spain. This result is confirmed by the assessment of the equivalent Annex I types, that have been reported to be in an overall unfavourable conservation status.
EU
Red List Category Red List Criteria
Vulnerable C/D1
Europe
Red List Category Red List Criteria
Vulnerable C/D1

Confidence in the assessment

medium
Red List of habitat categories and criteria descriptions

Pressures and threats

  • Sylviculture, forestry
    • Forest and Plantation management & use
  • Transportation and service corridors
    • Roads, paths and railroads
  • Urbanisation, residential and commercial development
    • Urbanised areas, human habitation
  • Invasive, other problematic species and genes
    • Invasive non-native species
  • Natural System modifications
    • Human induced changes in hydraulic conditions

Habitat restoration potential

The intrinsic resilience of the habitat makes not necessary specific actions, but ceasing disturb.

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

The main approach for the conservation of this habitat type is currently the inclusion in protected areas. Additional actions to be undertaken include: maintenance of the spatial integrity of the habitat within the landscape; minimization of edge disturbance; maintenance of natural river hydrological regime; no forestry exploitation, usually for soft timber, wood or paper pulp.

List of conservation and management needs

  • Measures related to forests and wooded habitats
    • Adapt forest management
  • Measures related to wetland, freshwater and coastal habitats
    • Restoring/Improving water quality
    • Restoring/Improving the hydrological regime
  • Measures related to spatial planning
    • Establish protected areas/sites
    • Legal protection of habitats and species
  • Measures related to urban areas, industry, energy and transport
    • Specific management of traffic and energy transport systems

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 3 Decreasing Decreasing
Cyprus Present 20 Increasing Increasing
France mainland Present 1100 Stable Decreasing
Greece (mainland and other islands) Present 551 Increasing Stable
Italy mainland Present 755 Decreasing Decreasing
Sardinia Present 755 Decreasing Decreasing
Sicily Present 755 Decreasing Decreasing
Malta Present Unknown Unknown Unknown
Portugal mainland Present 959 Unknown Decreasing
Romania Uncertain Unknown Unknown Unknown
Spain mainland Present 654 Decreasing Decreasing
Corsica Uncertain 1100 Stable Decreasing
Crete Uncertain 551 Increasing Stable
East Aegean Uncertain 551 Increasing Stable
Portugal Azores Uncertain 959 Unknown Decreasing
Madeira Uncertain 959 Unknown Decreasing
Savage Islands Uncertain 959 Unknown Decreasing
Croatia Present Unknown Unknown Unknown
Canary Islands Present 654 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)
Bosnia and Herzegovina Present 20 Decreasing Decreasing
Former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) Present 1 Decreasing Unknown
Montenegro Present 10 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 4884350 6898 3398
EU28+ 6944 3419
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.
Ferns Athyrium filix-femina
Ferns Pteridium aquilinum
Flowering Plants Alnus glutinosa
Flowering Plants Arum italicum
Flowering Plants Brachypodium sylvaticum
Flowering Plants Carex pendula
Flowering Plants Clematis vitalba
Flowering Plants Cornus sanguinea
Flowering Plants Crataegus monogyna
Flowering Plants Cyclamen hederifolium
Flowering Plants Dracunculus vulgaris
Flowering Plants Frangula alnus
Flowering Plants Fraxinus angustifolia
Flowering Plants Galium aparine
Flowering Plants Hedera helix
Flowering Plants Juglans regia
Flowering Plants Lonicera periclymenum
Flowering Plants Nerium oleander
Flowering Plants Oenanthe crocata
Flowering Plants Platanus orientalis
Flowering Plants Populus alba
Flowering Plants Populus canescens
Flowering Plants Populus nigra
Flowering Plants Rosa sempervirens
Flowering Plants Rubus ulmifolius
Flowering Plants Salix alba
Flowering Plants Salix atrocinerea
Flowering Plants Tamus communis
Flowering Plants Ulmus minor
Flowering Plants Urtica dioica
Flowering Plants Vitex agnus-castus
Species scientific name English common name Species group
Athyrium filix-femina Ferns
Pteridium aquilinum Ferns
Alnus glutinosa Flowering Plants
Arum italicum Flowering Plants
Brachypodium sylvaticum Flowering Plants
Carex pendula Flowering Plants
Clematis vitalba Flowering Plants
Cornus sanguinea Flowering Plants
Crataegus monogyna Flowering Plants
Cyclamen hederifolium Flowering Plants
Dracunculus vulgaris Flowering Plants
Frangula alnus Flowering Plants
Fraxinus angustifolia Flowering Plants
Galium aparine Flowering Plants
Hedera helix Flowering Plants
Juglans regia Flowering Plants
Lonicera periclymenum Flowering Plants
Nerium oleander Flowering Plants
Oenanthe crocata Flowering Plants
Platanus orientalis Flowering Plants
Populus alba Flowering Plants
Populus canescens Flowering Plants
Populus nigra Flowering Plants
Rosa sempervirens Flowering Plants
Rubus ulmifolius Flowering Plants
Salix alba Flowering Plants
Salix atrocinerea Flowering Plants
Tamus communis Flowering Plants
Ulmus minor Flowering Plants
Urtica dioica 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 G1.3 Mediterranean riparian woodland same
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