Red List habitat classification > RLG - Forests > RLG3.1c Mediterranean mountain Abies woodland

Mediterranean mountain Abies woodland

Quick facts

Red List habitat type code RLG3.1c
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

These are xerophytic coniferous woodlands of shallow, drought-prone soils within the lower to mid-altitudinal belts of the Mediterranean climatic zone, where firs of very limited, sometimes relictual, distribution are able to maintain a competitive advantage against other trees and dominate in woodlands of highly distinctive character.  

Abies pinsapo persists in three small enclaves in southern Andalusia on relatively humid northerly slopes between 1000 and 1800 m, stands on limestone having Quercus ilex and Q. faginea in the canopy and a sparse shrub layer with Berberis vulgaris subsp. australis, Rosa micrantha, Juniperus oxycedrus and Ulex baeticus.  Some stands on limestone have Paeonia broteroi and  P. coriacea as distinctive field layer elements, others on serpentine are distinguished by Bunium alpinum subsp. macuca.  

On the southern Greek mainland and some Ionian and Aegean islands A. cephalonica dominates, often growing tall and dense, sometimes with Pinus nigra intermixed. Usually only in gullies away from dense shading does the field layer attain any richness with such distinctive species as Geocaryum parnassicum, Lilium heldreichii, Cardamine graeca, Neotinea maculata, Helictotrichon convolutum, Iris unguicularis and Carex macrolepis. 

On a fog-bound slope in the Madonie mountains of Sicily a relict population of Abies nebrodensis survives on embryonic quartzite soils with an understorey of Juniperus hemisphaerica, occasional Acer pseudoplatanus and Sorbus graeca and a field layer with Silene sicula, Plantago humilis, Galium venustum and Armeria nebrodensis.    

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

Threat status

Synthesis of Red List assessment

The habitat is considered as Least Concern (LC) given the small changes in quality and quantity of the habitat for the last 50 year period. No analysis has been posible for historical period due to lack of data.
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
    • Grazing
  • Sylviculture, forestry
    • Forest exploitation without replanting or natural regrowth
    • Grazing in forests/ woodland
  • Natural System modifications
    • Fire and fire suppression
    • Burning down
  • Natural biotic and abiotic processes (without catastrophes)
    • Introduction of disease (microbial pathogens)
  • Climate change
    • Changes in abiotic conditions
    • Droughts and less precipitations

Habitat restoration potential

The Mediterranean Abies species have shown capable of recolonizing severely damaged areas (e.g. after agricultural colonization and abandonment) and the rest of habitat species may slowly follow given nearby refugia. As all forest types, slow time lapses apply for recovery.

Trends in extent

Average current trend in quantity

Stable Stable
EU28 EU28+

Trends in quality

Average current trend in quality

Stable Stable
EU28 EU28+

Conservation and management needs

Very large proportion of the habitat are currently located inside protected areas. For the very small, relictual and isolated populations of the dominant species the germplasm conservation might be opportune.

List of conservation and management needs

  • Measures related to forests and wooded habitats
    • Restoring/Improving forest habitats
  • Measures related to spatial planning
    • Legal protection of habitats and species

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 2000 Stable Stable
Italy mainland Uncertain 4 Decreasing Decreasing
Sicily Present 4 Decreasing Decreasing
Spain mainland Present 11 Stable 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)

Extent of Occurrence, Area of Occupancy and habitat area

Extent of Occurrence (EOO) (Km2) Area of Occupancy (AOO) Current estimated Total Area Comment
EU28 960950 245 2015 EOO and AOO need to be confirmed after correction of map.
EU28+ 255 2015
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 Abies borisii-regis
Conifers Abies cephalonica
Conifers Abies nebrodensis
Conifers Abies pinsapo
Conifers Juniperus hemisphaerica
Conifers Juniperus oxycedrus
Conifers Pinus nigra
Flowering Plants Acer pseudoplatanus
Flowering Plants Armeria nebrodensis
Flowering Plants Cardamine graeca
Flowering Plants Carex macrolepis
Flowering Plants Galium venustum
Flowering Plants Helictotrichon convolutum
Flowering Plants Iris unguicularis
Flowering Plants Lilium heldreichii
Flowering Plants Neotinea maculata
Flowering Plants Paeonia broteroi
Flowering Plants Plantago humilis
Flowering Plants Quercus ilex
Flowering Plants Rosa micrantha
Flowering Plants Silene sicula
Flowering Plants Sorbus graeca
Flowering Plants Ulex baeticus
Species scientific name English common name Species group
Abies borisii-regis Conifers
Abies cephalonica Conifers
Abies nebrodensis Conifers
Abies pinsapo Conifers
Juniperus hemisphaerica Conifers
Juniperus oxycedrus Conifers
Pinus nigra Conifers
Acer pseudoplatanus Flowering Plants
Armeria nebrodensis Flowering Plants
Cardamine graeca Flowering Plants
Carex macrolepis Flowering Plants
Galium venustum Flowering Plants
Helictotrichon convolutum Flowering Plants
Iris unguicularis Flowering Plants
Lilium heldreichii Flowering Plants
Neotinea maculata Flowering Plants
Paeonia broteroi Flowering Plants
Plantago humilis Flowering Plants
Quercus ilex Flowering Plants
Rosa micrantha Flowering Plants
Silene sicula Flowering Plants
Sorbus graeca Flowering Plants
Ulex baeticus Flowering Plants

Vegetation types

Relation to vegetation types (syntaxa)

Not available

Other classifications

Not available
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