Red List habitat classification > RLG - Forests > RLG1.7b Mediterranean thermophilous deciduous woodland

Mediterranean thermophilous deciduous woodland

Quick facts

Red List habitat type code RLG1.7b
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

Quercus ithaburensis subsp. macrolepis (Kotschy) Hedge and Yaltirik (Valonia oak) is a subspecies of the broadly distributed East Mediterranean deciduous oak species Quercus ithaburensis Decne (mount Thabor’s oak), that is confined to continental Greece and some Greek islands (surviving as relict isolated trees or in scattered localities as the dominant species in open woodland), in Southeastern Italy, in Southern Albania (forming important pure and mixed forests up to 800-900 m a.s.l.) and in Turkey. The relict Quercus macrolepis stands in Salento (S Italy), appear to have been derived from planted stock, but are treated here as semi-natural woodlands. Most stands occur on shallow soils, perhaps because of the absence of competition from rival trees but also maybe because of preferential felling of the oak on deeper better soils. It can grow on a variety of terrain types and soils up to 700m and beyond, but growth is better where the local climate is semi-arid with warmer winters. Often the canopy is pure but there can be some other deciduous oaks such as Q. frainetto, Q. coccifera or Q. pubescens, Pinus pinea. In some cases the overall effect is of a phrygana, at higher altitudes a grassland with trees, but a common feature in many stands is the prominence of a variety of therophytes, maybe because of the long history of disturbance of the landscapes. Agroforestry and specifically silvopastoralism is a traditional land use system in parts of continental and insular Greece where livestock breeders use the valonia oak forests (Quercus ithaburensis subsp. macrolepis) for grazing and the collection of acorns. Valonia oak regeneration is affected by livestock grazing and tree canopy cover. Very low regeneration is observed in various distances from the sheep and goat sheds where livestock is intensively grazing in the surrounding area. On the other hand, tree regeneration is strongly related to the tree canopy cover, whereas new seedlings are observed under trees due to the favorable micro-environmental conditions.

Indicators of quality:

  • No forest exploitations (if applicable, mainly azonal types with high nature value)
  • 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 old trees and a variety of dead wood (lying or standing) and the associated flora, fauna and fungi
  • Presence of natural disturbance such as treefall openings with natural regeneration
  • Long historical continuity (ancient woodland) with high species diversity
  • 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 man-induced very high population levels of grazing animals (sheep, goats, cows)

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

Threat status

Synthesis of Red List assessment

The habitat is assessed as Least Concern (LC) due to the very small reduction in its quantity in the EU28 countries and the slight decline in biotic and abiotic quality; both the quantity and the quality are currently in the process of improvement and expansion of the valonia oak woodlands after abandonment of agro-pastoral practices within the Q. macrolepis forest zones. Compared to the past, the forests of Q. ithaburensis subsp. macrolepis currently have more ecological than economic importance. No data from outside the EU28+ (Albania) was reported.
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
    • Intensive grazing
    • Abandonment of pastoral systems, lack of grazing
    • Livestock farming and animal breeding (without grazing)
  • Sylviculture, forestry
    • Forestry clearance
    • Removal of dead and dying trees
    • Forest exploitation without replanting or natural regrowth
    • Grazing in forests/ woodland
  • Geological events, natural catastrophes
    • Fire (natural)

Habitat restoration potential

The natural recovery of the Q. ithaburensis subsp. macrolepis woodlands takes long, depending on the grazing conditions and the factor which led to the deterioration/degradation and/or complete destruction of these forests.

Trends in extent

Average current trend in quantity

Increasing Stable
EU28 EU28+

Trends in quality

Average current trend in quality

Increasing Stable
EU28 EU28+

Conservation and management needs

In most cases the abandonment of grazing in the forests has led to unmanaged, almost not penetrable stands; so regulation of grazing to keep the openings among the woodlands with Q. ithaburensis subsp. macrolepis should support the open landscape characteristics of these woodlands. The abandonment of cultivated fields contribute substantially to the expansion of the area covered by the Valonia oak woodlands. The control of the illegal woodcutting at sites where the Q. ithaburensis subsp. macrolepis woodlands are present would help and would speed up the recovery of these forests.

List of conservation and management needs

  • Measures related to agriculture and open habitats
    • Maintaining grasslands and other open habitats
  • Measures related to forests and wooded habitats
    • Restoring/Improving forest habitats
    • Adapt forest management
  • Measures related to spatial planning
    • Manage landscape features
  • Measures related to hunting, taking and fishing and species management
    • Regulation/Management of hunting and taking
    • Specific single species or species group management measures

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)
Greece (mainland and other islands) Present 299 Increasing Increasing
Italy mainland Present 1.5 Decreasing Decreasing
Crete Present 299 Increasing Increasing
East Aegean Present 299 Increasing Increasing
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

Extent of Occurrence, Area of Occupancy and habitat area

Extent of Occurrence (EOO) (Km2) Area of Occupancy (AOO) Current estimated Total Area Comment
EU28 12.95 39 300.5 The map attached below is wrong. The map for Greece should be corrected and corrected (in this EUNIS habitat unit two Annex I habitats should be included: 9310 + 9350) and include all the occurrences
EU28+ 39 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

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 Pinus pinea
Flowering Plants Asparagus acutifolius
Flowering Plants Asphodelus aestivus
Flowering Plants Cardamine hirsuta
Flowering Plants Chrysopogon gryllus
Flowering Plants Cistus creticus
Flowering Plants Dactylis glomerata
Flowering Plants Galium aparine
Flowering Plants Origanum vulgare
Flowering Plants Phillyrea latifolia
Flowering Plants Pistacia terebinthus
Flowering Plants Prunus spinosa
Flowering Plants Pyrus amygdaliformis
Flowering Plants Quercus ithaburensis
Flowering Plants Quercus macrolepis
Flowering Plants Ruscus aculeatus
Flowering Plants Urginea maritima
Species scientific name English common name Species group
Pinus pinea Conifers
Asparagus acutifolius Flowering Plants
Asphodelus aestivus Flowering Plants
Cardamine hirsuta Flowering Plants
Chrysopogon gryllus Flowering Plants
Cistus creticus Flowering Plants
Dactylis glomerata Flowering Plants
Galium aparine Flowering Plants
Origanum vulgare Flowering Plants
Phillyrea latifolia Flowering Plants
Pistacia terebinthus Flowering Plants
Prunus spinosa Flowering Plants
Pyrus amygdaliformis Flowering Plants
Quercus ithaburensis Flowering Plants
Quercus macrolepis Flowering Plants
Ruscus aculeatus Flowering Plants
Urginea maritima 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 G1.7 Thermophilous deciduous woodland narrower
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