SERPENTINE PLANT DIVERSITY AND VEGETATION IN A MEDITERRANEAN AREA (SIERRA DE MIJAS, SOUTHERN IBERIAN PENINSULA, SPAIN)
Keywords:serpentine, flora, serpentinophytes, vegetation, Macrochloa tenacissima association, invasive alien plants, southern Iberian Peninsula
A study of the flora and vegetation of a serpentine outcrop in the south of the Iberian Peninsula (Malaga, Spain) has been carried out. The study area is located in the Bermejense biogeographical sector (Baetic province, Mediterranean region) and shows a Mediterranean pluviseasonal-oceanic bioclimate. Most of the outcrop is altered by urban planning linked to tourism and affected by invasive alien species. Three areas remain more intact. A catalogue of vascular flora has been completed, made up of 168 taxa, including three threatened species, four obligate serpentinophytes, one preferential serpentinophyte, and one subserpentinophyte (majority of populations on serpentine). Seven taxa are South-Iberian ultramafic endemics. Silene inaperta subsp. serpentinicola is an obligate serpentinophyte and threatened endemism. Twelve alien taxa have been identified showing invasive potential, 75% of them originating from inactive dumps. The richness of serpentinophytes / area fits in the trend of the southern outcrops of the Iberian Peninsula. Four associations and one community have been identified. The serpentine perennial grassland stands out for its abundance and dominance, for which a new association is proposed (Scorzonero boeticae-Macrochloetum tenacissimae ass. nova). There are three habitats included within the Directive 92/43/EEC: therophytic and perennial grasslands (6220), scrubland (5330) and oleander shrublands (92D0).