Habitat 1510* Mediterranean salt steppes (Limonietalia)

 

 

See habitat register entry

GENERAL INFORMATION

Lim est3These are formations rich in evergreen plants that usually appear on soils that are temporarily humid (but not waterlogged) with salt water from the surface dragging salts in solution (chlorides, sulphates and, sometimes, carbonates). During the summer period, they are exposed to extreme desiccation, which leads to the formation of salt crusts. They frequently appear associated with saline complexes of endorheic basins, where they occupy the driest parts, although they may also occur on the driest strip of marshes and coastal salt marshes. On occasions, these habitats are dominated by Lygeum spartum plant formations.

The Andalusian coast has a great diversity of houseleeks (species of the genus Limonium), with a high degree of endemicity, such as Limonium estevei, a species native to the Almeria coastline, catalogued as endangered in Decree 23/2012, which regulates the conservation and sustainable use of wild flora and fauna and their habitats.

WHERE CAN IT BE FOUND?

In Europe, this habitat is found in the continental and Mediterranean regions. On the Iberian Peninsula, France, Italy, Greece and the Mediterranean islands. This habitat can be found all around Spain, with the exception of the northwest of the peninsula, however, it is relatively rare.

In Andalusia, it is mainly found in the eastern third, appearing very sporadically on the Atlantic coastal strip and on the endorheic complexes of the Guadalquivir valley.

WHAT ARE THE THREATS?

Desiccation and overexploitation of aquifers. 

Urbanisation of the salt marshes and associated wetlands.

Transformation in areas of cultivation.

Inadequate public use. 

Presence of invasive exotic species. 

Fragmentation of the habitat.

IMPROVEMENTS TO BE MADE

1. Increase knowledge about the genetic diversity of the associated flora.
2. Monitoring of the occupied area.
3. Financial assessment of the environmental and ecosystem services.
4. Maintaining the edaphohygrophile conditions of these environments.
5. Holding awareness-raising information campaigns to showcase these landscapes.

Examples of coastal and interior saline steppes and some representative species: