Habitat 5220* Arborescent scrubland with Zyziphus


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014 Laura FernandezTypical of the southeast of the Iberian Peninsula are deciduous thorny scrublands, which are distributed around the area in an aggregated manner, forming islands of vegetation and occupying depressions, ravines and areas of surface streams of water. This habitat is formed by entangled deciduous, small shrubs, of around 3 metres in height, such as Zyziphus lotus.

They are very interesting scrublands due to the abundance of taxons of a tropical or subtropical origin such as African wolfbane (Periploca angustifolia) or spike thorn (Maytenus senegalensis), with catalogued species such as Maltese fungus (Cynomorium coccineum) and Linaria nigricans.

They grow from sea level to 300 metres in height, settling on a wide variety of substrates, preferably limestone (crusty, stony, salty or sandy limestone, amongst others), in semi-arid environments and without frosts (thermos-Mediterranean floor).

These formations are very interesting due to the fauna and flora, not only due to their fleshy fruits, but also because these shrub vegetation islands enrich the soil and create within them a microhabitat that softens the dry and torrid conditions of the environment, serving as a refuge for numerous species of plants, rodents, reptiles and birds.

In the Acantilados de Maro-Cerro Gordo Natural Area there are the best conserved formations of Maytenus senegalensis and Lycium intricatum, with it being a unique ecological niche in the region, although in Andalusia the greatest extensions of this habitat are located in Almeria.


In Europe, this habitat is found in the Mediterranean region.
At a state level, it is located on the Mediterranean coastline, in the south-eastern area.
And, in Andalusia, this habitat appears on the Mediterranean coastline (provinces of Granada, Malaga and Almeria).


  • Its original natural distribution has been reduced due to the implanting of crops under plastics, urban pressure and the limitation of resources such as underground water.
    Unregulated public use.
    Presence of invasive exotic species.
    Absence of regeneration.
    High risk of fires.


1. Control of invasive exotic species.
2. Identification of fragmented formations that can be interconnected.
3. Establishing of a monitoring network.
4. Legal protection of the habitat.
5. Regulation of aquifer use.
6. Improving the knowledge and perception of citizens.

Species representing the arborescent scrublands with Zyziphus: