The Floristic and Vegetation Study of an Area of Interest in Valencia (Spain) Proposed as Plant Micro-Reserve
Keywords:plant micro-reserve, Valencian endemics, Iberian endemics, endemic flora, floristic catalogue, vegetation
Plant micro-reserves (PMRs) represent a new tool for conservation, which were developed in the last decade in Spain. They are small land plots that shelter populations of endemic, rare and threatened taxa. The originality of PMRs is that they not only provide protection for plants of special interest but are also a tool for scientific studies and management actions, such as ecological restoration, reinforcement or creation of new populations. The first PMRs were declared in 1998 in Valencia (SE Spain), and today there are 259 in this region alone, as well as many others in different parts of Spain and other countries. The aim of the present study was to thoroughly analyse the floristic composition and to identify the plant communities present in an area that we considered of special interest and worth to be declared as a new PMR in Valencia. The site was selected for its special floristic interest, and for its status of preservation of the natural habitat, which is rather high in this area, near the coast, where most natural spaces have been severely modified by the anthropic effect. The floristic inventory consists of 199 vascular plants. Four taxa are endemics restricted to the Valencian territory (Biscutella gr. calduchii, Sideritis juryi, Teucrium edetanum and Urginea undulata subsp. caeculi), two are narrow nearly exclusively endemics (Helianthemum origanifolium subsp. glabratum and Thymus vulgaris subsp. aestivus) and seven are eastern Iberian endemics of wider distribution. The potential natural vegetation, corresponding to scrublands of the community Querco cocciferae-Pistacietum lentisci, is underrepresented due to the extension of perennial (ass. Heteropogono contortii-Stipetum tenacissimae and Teucrio pseudochamaepitys-Brachypodietum retusi) and therophytic pastures (Saxifrago tridactylitae-Hornungietum petraeae). In addition, three plant communities of anthropic origin were recorded (Medicagini littoralis-Stipetum capensis, Crassulo tillaeae-Saginetum apetalae and Plantagini albicans-Stipetum parviflorae).
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