Habitat 2250* Coastal dunes with Juniperus spp.

 

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GENERAL INFORMATION

2250 Dunas litoralesThis habitat consists of stabilised dunes covered with scrubland or saplings adapted to the saline spray and the strong coastal winds. The representative species are the large-fruited juniper (Juniperus oxycedrus subsp. macrocarpa) and the Juniperus phoenicea subsp. turbinata. These junipers and savins are typical of the Huelva and Cadiz coasts, also being present in Malaga (barely a few fragments) and Almeria. In the pastures and scrublands, we occasionally find other endemic or endangered plants such as Linaria tursica, the Portuguese crowberry (Corema album) or Halimium halimifolium.

In the dunes of the best-preserved dune complexes it is possible to find two strips of vegetation, one of juniper, closer to the sea, more subject to the influence of marine winds, and another of savin, more towards the interior, which makes contact with the vegetation of non-dune soils.

The junipers and savins may be present in different situations: in the crests of mobile dune systems characterised by a high influence of marine aerosol loaded with salts, high mobility of the substrate, a scarcity of nutrients and a low availability of water. Juniper forests have vegetation that is more heliophilic and with species adapted to the mobility of the substrate. On other occasions, juniper forests may develop on the high parts of cliffs, growing in the first metres, occupying gullies and slopes, so that, as the level of stress decreases, communities of greater coverage and diversity of species develop. The savin forests, which develop in more xeric environments, on fixed dunes, are usually more open and have species rich in helophites both in the shrub stratum (Halimium halimifolium, Cistus libanotis, Thymus mastichina subsp. donyanae) and in the herbaceous stratum. When the savins reach their maturity, the soils have a covering of lichens. Lastly, on other occasions, juniper and savin forests develop in the shelter of Pinus pinea pine forests, presenting more diverse and less heliophilic companion species with vines, sandy areas shaded by herbaceous communities and a richer and diverse scrubland.

In the pastures and scrublands there are occasionally other endemic or endangered plants such as Linaria tursica or Portuguese crowberry (Corema album) amongst others.

WHERE CAN IT BE FOUND?

In Europe, this habitat is typical of the Atlantic and Mediterranean regions.
In Spain, it is located on the Atlantic coastline (Huelva and Cadiz) and on the Mediterranean coastline (Almeria, Malaga, Murcia, Castellón, Valencia, Alicante, Tarragona and the Balearic Islands).

WHAT ARE THE THREATS?

  • Urban pressure, unregulated public use.
    Presence of invasive exotic plants.
    Expansion and densification of forest plantations (pine and eucalyptus).
    Agriculture.

IMPROVEMENTS TO BE MADE

1. Regulating urban development.
2. Regulating and channelling transit (pedestrians and vehicles).
3. Clearing coastal repopulations of pines.
4. Eradication of exotic species.
5. Fire prevention.
6. Control of overgrazing, restoration/boosting of populations.
7. Improving knowledge and perception of citizens.

Landscapes and some representative species of the dunes with Juniperus spp. in Andalusia: