The biogeographical seminars

The biogeographical seminars

The scope of the Biogeographical Seminar is to assist the member-states to: a) manage the Natura 2000 Network as a coherent ecological network, b) exchange experiences and good practices, c) achieve the targets and priorities and d) augment cooperation and synergies.

Specifically, in a Mediterranean level, during the Biogeographical Seminar on the management of the Natura 2000 Network that took place in Thessaloniki, 26-28th May, 2014, seven (7) habitat types were selected (9260, 6320, 9330, 9340, 9540, 92A0, 92D0). Their main pressures, problems and  weaknesses in their management and administration were identified.

From the above seven (7) habitat types, six (6) are found in Greece. These are

The biogeographical seminars

  • 9260 Castanea sativa forests: Sweet chestnut forests are distributed in 25 sites of the Natura 2000 Network with a total area 13.570 ha.
  • 9320 Olea and Ceratonia forests: It is found in 60 sites of the Natura 2000, with a total area of 60.520 ha. These evergreen thickets that occasionally reach a height as to be designated as forests, show a remarkable stability, as they are consisted of species very well adapted to adverse mediterranean conditions.
  • 9340 Forests with Quercus ilex and Quercus rotundifolia: In Greece, this habitat type is represended by the Holm oak  (Q. ilex) and is distributed in 44 Natura 2000 sites, with a total area of 59.200 ha.
  • 9540 Mediterranean pine forests with endemic Mesogean pines: The habitat type includes  thermophilous forests of Aleppo, Calabrian and stone pine. It is broadly distributed along the Greek coasts and it can be found in 71 Natura 2000 sites, with a total area of 113.650 ha.
  • 92A0 Salix alba and Populus alba galleries: The riparian forests with species of willow and poplar are distributed in 40 Natura 2000 sites, with a total area of 4.060 ha. The conservation status of this habitat type has been assesed as “inadequate” in the 3rd National Report for the implementation of the article 17 of the Habitats Directive.
  • 92D0 Southern riparian galleries and thickets (Nerio-Tamaricetea and Securinegion tinctoriae): Forests and thickets with tamarisks, chaste-trees and oleanders are distributed in 73 Natura 2000 sites with a total area of 11.150 ha.

The biogeographical seminars

Pressures and threats: The distribution and good conservation status of the above habitat types is threatened by land use change, change in hydrological conditions, habitat fragmentation, diseases, climate change impacts, forest fires, invasive species, disturbance due to recreational activities and inadequate management and limited access to funding.

Management needs: Application of suitable management measures (i.e. prolongation of rotation periods, abondenment of coppice management, reduction of fragmentation, of logging  παραμονή των υπολειμμάτων υλοτομίας στη συστάδα), transformation of pure sweet chestnut forests in mixed high forests (9260 habitat type), thinnings of Kermes oak forests (habitat type 9340), application of not interventional silvicultural techniques,  and development of communication and information actions to the increase the approval level of the aforementioned measures in the local communities and the reduction in disturbances due to human activities.

Main weaknesses: What complicates the application of suitable management measures is the lack of technical guidelines for the sustainable forest management and the limitations in transfer of knowledge among the member states, ignorance related to forest ecosystem services in Natura 2000 sites to different user groups, limited levels of stakeholders’ awareness, lack of suitable communication material etc.

More on the Mediterranean Biogeographical Seminar is available here.

The biogeographical seminars

Tamarisk thickets in Nestos river - Habitat type 92D0EKBY Photoarchive/ L. Logothetis

Tamarisk thickets in Nestos river – Habitat type 92D0

Riparian galleries with species of willow and poplar - Habitat type 92A0EKBY Photoarchive/ L. Logothetis

Riparian galleries with species of willow and poplar – Habitat type 92A0

Sweet chestnut - Habitat type 9260EKBY Photoarchive/ L. Logothetis

Sweet chestnut – Habitat type 9260