Red List habitat classification > RLG - Forests > RLG2.2 Mainland laurophyllous woodland

Mainland laurophyllous woodland

Quick facts

Red List habitat type code RLG2.2
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)


This habitat comprises micro-forest vegetation with a low canopy dominated by lauriphyllous evergreen shrubs or small trees growing in warm-temperate oceanic to hyper-oceanic environments along the Atlantic coasts of northern Iberian Peninsula, central and southern Italy, Sardinia and Sicily. Nowadays, they present small remnants in the most humid and oceanic areas of the Atlantic areas of the continent or isolated enclaves surviving where sheltered situations like ravines provide local protection against summer heat and dessication. Typically species-poor, the habitat is usually dominated by shrubs of the humid Mediterranean zone, such as Arbutus unedo and Laurus nobilis which have a broad Mediterranean and southern Atlantic distribution and has an associated liane and field flora with general affiliations to the evergreen oak forests of the Quercetea ilicis.

Indicators of good quality:

  • When the stands are in optimal conditions they show the appearance of a closed deep shady bush or small forest.
  • Canopy is continuous and evergreen
  • Soil is covered by a thick layer of decomposing litter.
  • Ferns are common in the understory, sometimes as epiphytes, and bryophytes cover the stones and the trunks.
  • No signs of disturbance (logging, grazing, etc.) should be visible
  • Dead wood can be considered as a good indicator of maturity

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

Threat status

Synthesis of Red List assessment

The habitat has been assessed as Least Concern. The surface of the area is estimated to have increased by 22% during the last 50 years according to data from Portugal, Spain and Italy. If new data could justify trend in quality (currently missing), this could substantially change the assessments results. Historic trends and future projections are not available, neither in quantity nor quality.
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

  • Sylviculture, forestry
    • Forest and Plantation management & use
    • Forest replanting (non native trees)
  • Natural System modifications
    • Human induced changes in hydraulic conditions
  • Climate change
    • Changes in abiotic conditions

Habitat restoration potential

Unlike other laurophilus woodland that show very limited recovery capacity (for example the canary island ones), this habitat has shown very elastic behaviour, increasing naturally almost by 1/3 in last 50 years, according to territorial experts.

Trends in extent

Average current trend in quantity

Increasing Increasing
EU28 EU28+

Trends in quality

Average current trend in quality

Stable Stable
EU28 EU28+

Conservation and management needs

Currently as locations of this habitat are usually remote, the threats are low. Proposed conservation measures are related to identified pressures: Forestry, change in the hydraulic conditions

List of conservation and management needs

  • Measures related to forests and wooded habitats
    • Other forestry-related measures
    • Adapt forest management
  • Measures related to spatial planning
    • Legal protection of habitats and 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)
Italy mainland Present 5 - -
Sardinia Uncertain 5 - -
Sicily Uncertain 5 - -
Portugal mainland Present 130 Unknown Increasing
Spain mainland Present 45 Stable Stable
France mainland Uncertain Unknown Unknown Unknown
Corsica Uncertain Unknown Unknown Unknown
Croatia Uncertain Unknown - -
EU28 + Present or presence uncertain Current area of habitat (Km2) Recent trend in quantity (last 50 years) Recent trend in quality (last 50 years)
Switzerland Present unknown Unknown Unknown
Serbia Uncertain 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 1623700 704 180 AOO and EOO incl. potential distribution
EU28+ 704 180 AOO and EOO incl. potential distribution
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
European Environment Agency (EEA)
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1050 Copenhagen K
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