The Association Hyperico-Euphorbietum Glabriflorae Rexhepi 1978 in the Serpentine Terrains of Drenica Mountain
In the territory of Kosovo there are many serpentine mountain massifs. The largest complexes are found in the valley of the Ibër River, and the same are continued in a discontinuous chain through Koznica and Golesh to the southwest of the territory of Kosovo. Vegetation on the serpentine bedrock is rich in rare species and communities, which cannot be found in the Balkans and Europe. The communities appearing on the serpentine bedrock are characteristic and important for science. They are endemic due to the presence of endemic species in their species composition. Drenica Mountain (1051 m) is part of the Central Kosovo Mountains. These terrains are situated in the central part of Kosovo, between Çiçavica, Kosovo plain (Golesh), Llapusha, the Carraleva Mountains and the Anadrini region. A considerable part of these areas consists of serpentine bedrock, which is covered by interesting flora and vegetation. In the vegetation of Drenica Mountain 10 communities have been identified. Two of them are found on serpentine bedrock: ass. Hyperico-Euphorbietum glabriflorae and ass. Potentillo-Fumanetum bonapartei. These communities belong to the open space, and are also located in other parts of Kosovo, but only on serpentine bedrock. On Drenica Mountain there are two localities where these two communities appear. In this paper we focus in particular on ass. Hyperico-Euphorbietum glabriflorae
The Association Stipeto-Convolvuletum Compacti ASS. Nova in Kosovo
Serpentine vegetation of Kosovo represents a diversity which has not been sufficiently explored, yet. Kosovo's serpentine is spread in different parts of Kosovo at the altitudes of 400-2100 m. Large complexes with serpentine are found in the north of Kosovo, but the southern part of Kosovo is also rich in serpentine rocks and in endemic species.
Using the principles and methods of the Zürich-Montpellier School we have explored the serpentine flora and vegetation of Gurana, an area in the south-east of Kosovo near the border with the Republic of Macedonia. This area has not been sufficiently researched because of the militarized border areas. During the research of these fields, we found species that were not present on the other serpentines of Kosovo.
The species Convolvulus compactus Boiss. (syn. Convolvulus cochlearis) and Stipa mayeri dominate this terrain and create stands that we have classified as the association Stipeto-Convolvuletum compacti ass. nova. This association was researched during 2007-2010. Based on the results obtained and comparing them with the results of other authors, we have arrived at the conclusion that we are dealing with a new association which we called Stipeto-Convolvuletum compacti ass. nova.
In Europe, the genus Ramonda is represented with three species: Ramonda nathaliae, Ramonda serbica and Ramonda myconi. The first two are endemic Balkan species that are distributed also in Kosovo. These species grow in limestone as well as serpentine substrates, forming chasmophytic vegetation. The species Ramonda nathaliae is found in Macedonia, Greece, Serbia and in two localities in Kosovo, in the Sharri Mountains (Luboten and Gotovushë). R. nathaliae forms the following plant associations in the serpentines of Macedonia: AsplenioRamondetum nathaliae and Scorzonero-Ramondetum nathaliae, and the AchilleoRamondetum nathaliae in limestone substrates. Ostrya carpinifolia is charateristic species in Querco pubescentis-Ostryetum carpinifoliae, Ostryo-Fagetum, Querco-Ostryetum carpinifoliae and Corylo colurnae-Ostryetum carpinifoliae. This paper presents plant communities of Ramonda nathaliae and Ostrya carpinifolia in a limestone habitat, where the proposed new plant association named RamondoOstryetum carpinifoliae ass. nova. is described. This plant community belongs to the class Quercetea pubescentis, order Quercetalia pubescentipetraeae and alliance Fraxino orniOstryion. It was found and described on the limestone substrate on Mt. Luboteni (at 960–982 m a.s.l.).
Basic patterns of most priority biodiversity areas of Kosovo that shall be considered for conservation studies are offered here. On this work, all plant taxa that are included in the Kosovarian Red list are analysed and their analogy is interpreted to conservation priority hotspots. Kosovo represents an important centre for Balkan biodiversity; therefore a quantitative evaluation of the importance of different priority areas for conserving plant diversity of Kosovo is very much needed. This study provides a detailed quantitative approach concerning the identification of priority areas for biodiversity conservation, using threatened and endangered plant taxa in well-known grid squares system. Used grid squares (20 × 20 km) were classified into four different groups in terms of their conservation importance. Valuation factors taken into account are IUCN based risk category, endemism as well as ecological and distributional attributes. The results indicated that there are four grid squares – D4 (0.4300), G7 (0.3910), G8 (0.2750) and E4 (0.2860), that have remarkable conservation importance. These grid squares are all located along mostly high-elevation areas of two National Parks in Kosovo. These national scale data should prove to be very appropriate and easy to follow evidence for environmental decision-making bodies as well as be used for further research.
Sixteen endemic plant taxa were selected from Kosovo, according to the IUCN standards and for each taxon the risk assessment and threat category has been assigned. The taxa were compared with their previous status from fifteen years ago. From sixteen plant taxa, which were included in this work, four are Balkan endemics, whereas, eight of them are local endemics and four of the taxa are stenoendemics. Six of the taxa are grown exclusively on serpentine soils, five of them on limestone substrate, four of them in carbonate substrate, yet only one in silicate substrate. The work has been done based on the standard working methodologies of the IUCN (Guidelines for Using the IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria – Version 8.1). The most threatened plant taxa is Solenanthus krasniqii – which after its observance has only 20 mature individuals. As a result of the wild collection of the medicinal and aromatic plants, from the local population, Sideritis scardica is about to be completely go extinct. The aim of this study was to assess the state of endemics in the threats possessed to them during the previous times, present and predicting the trends for the upcoming years.