Rare and Endangered Geophyte Plant Species in Serpentine of Kosovo

Naim Berisha, Fadil Millaku*, Elez Krasniqi, Bekim Gashi

Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Department of Biology, University of Pristina, KOSOVO
* Corresponding author: fadil.millaku@uni-pr.edu

Abstract. Our study documents information on rarity, geographical distribution, taxonomy and conservation status of 11 geophyte species in serpentine soils of Kosovo, already included in the Red Book of Vascular Flora of Kosovo. Kosovo's serpentine vegetation represents a diversity that yet has not been sufficiently explored. Large serpentine complexes are found in the northern Kosovo but also southern part of the country is rich in serpentines, therefore in endemics. Serpentine rocks and soils are characterized by low level of principal plant nutrients (N, P, K, Ca) and exceptionally high levels of Mg and Fe. Serpentines play particular importance for flora of the country due to their richness in endemic plant species. The following 11 plant species have been studied: Aristolochia merxmuelleri, Colchicum hungaricum, Crocus flavus, Crocus kosaninii, Epimedium alpinum, Gentiana punctata, Gladiolus illyricus, Lilium albanicum, Paeonia peregrina, Tulipa gesneriana and Tulipa kosovarica. Five out of eleven studied geophytes fall within Critically Endangered IUCN based threat category and five out of eleven are local endemics. Aristolochia merxmuelleri and Tulipa kosovarica are steno-endemic plant species that are found exclusively in serpentine soils. Information in our database should prove to be valuable to efforts in ecology, floristics, biosystematics, conservation and land management.  

Key words: Kosovo, rare, serpentine, IUCN, geophyte.

Ecologia Balkanica, 2014, vol. 6, Issue 2, pp. 67-74

Article № eb.14118, ICID: 1140469 [Full text - PDF]pdf

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