The habitat arborescent matorral with Ziziphus (5220*) was included in the Habitats Directive of the European Commission. These plant formations represent the maximum potential vegetation in a very restrictive arid environment, since it encompasses endemic, tropical, or Maghrebian floristic elements, and from other areas of the ancient Thetis Sea. In fact, the version of this community with Gymnosporia senegalensis (Lam.) Loes. [=Maytenus senegalensis (Lam.) Exell] constitutes extraordinarily singular flora formations in the Iberian southeast. These are unique communities in Europe and ecologically extremely valuable and, however, have been included among the Europe’s most endangered habitats. The vast economic development experienced in South Spain based on the remarkable transformation of traditional farming patterns into a highly profitable agriculture that uses industrial production methods and the groundwater intensively (agriculture intensification and land-use change), in addition to urbanization without sustainable land planning, determines that European G. senegalensis populations are seriously threatened by severe habitat destruction and fragmentation.
Part of the book: Habitats of the World