|Scientific Name:||Arnica montana|
|Taxonomic Notes:||There are two known subspecies: Arnica montana ssp. montana and Arnica montana ssp. atlantica A.Bolòs described in 1948.|
|Red List Category & Criteria:||Least Concern ver 3.1|
|Assessor(s):||Falniowski, A., Bazos, I., Hodálová, I., Lansdown, R. & Petrova, A.|
|Reviewer(s):||Dostalova, A., Ericsson, S., Gigot, G., Gygax, A., Jogan, N., Melnyk, V., Montagnani, C., Petrova, A., Rasomavicius, V., Burden, A. & Bilz, M.|
European regional assessment: Least Concern (LC)
EU 27 regional assessment: Least Concern (LC)
Arnica montana is widespread in Europe and is found at hundreds of localities. The populations are stable in some countries and declining in other parts of its range. The reasons for this decline are partly due to collection of the plant for medicinal purposes and partly due to habitat loss. This plant is found mainly in acidic and nutrient poor grasslands and shrublands, a habitat that changes among others due to abandonment of grazing activities or fertilisation to use the land for agriculture. The species is currently classed as Least Concern as it is too abundant to be at risk of extinction in the near future, however the population trends should be monitored.
Arnica montana is endemic to Europe where it is found from Norway to the Balkans and from Spain to Ukraine.
In France, the species is reported from more than 1,000 localities and is found in the Alps, Pyrenees, eastern and Mediterranean area and is only absent in the west and northwest. In Italy, it occurs in the Alps and northern Apennines. It is common in the Czech Republic in mountains and is scattered in all of Slovenia with small local populations. It occurs in most of Denmark's lowlands in the mainland and in the west. In Norway and Sweden there are hundreds of localities. In Switzerland, the species can be found over more than 50% of the country.
In Ukraine, it grows in the Carpathian Mountains. Single isolated populations were founds in the 19th and first half of the 20th century in the lowland part of Ukraine (Lvivska and Zytomirska regions) but are now likely to be extinct.
In Bulgaria, the only evidence for the species presence is a single herbarium sheet from the Rila mountains without further specifications of the locality. Its presence is therefore considered doubtful.
Native:Andorra; Austria; Belarus; Belgium; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Croatia; Czech Republic; Denmark; Estonia; France (France (mainland)); Germany; Italy (Italy (mainland)); Liechtenstein; Lithuania; Luxembourg; Montenegro; Netherlands; Norway; Poland; Portugal (Portugal (mainland)); Romania; Russian Federation (Kaliningrad); Slovenia; Spain (Spain (mainland)); Sweden; Switzerland; Ukraine (Ukraine (main part))
|Range Map:||Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.|
The populations are stable and big in some countries such as Switzerland and the Ukrainian Carpathian mountains but seem to be slowly or strongly decreasing in other countries. In Slovenia and the Czech Republic, for example, there is a slow decrease due to changes to its natural habitat and collection of the plant. There are strong population declines, e.g. in Lithuania where the size of subpopulations is usually small and the species is sporadically distributed, or in Scandinavia due to shifting agricultural methods.
In Luxembourg, it used to be locally quite common in grazed grasslands and heaths and was formerly known from 14 localities whereas now only four populations remain. The current populations show no establishment of seedlings.
|Habitat and Ecology:||
Arnica montana is a perennial plant that flowers from June to July and prefers acid and poor soils. It is mainly found in grassland and shrubland and alpine mountain environments. It also grows in dry pine forests, meadows, grazed moors on siliceous soils, marginal parts of spruce forests, open forest edges, mowing pastures, road and path sides, margins of peatlands. It can be found in coastal heath and benefits from occasional burning of heathlands.
The species occurs in the following habitat types of the Habitats Directive (Commission of the European Communities 2009):
|Use and Trade:||Arnica montana is a medicinal plant that is used to treat bruises and sprains externally but also internally for the treatment of heart complaints and as a booster for the immune system. It is used internally in homeopathic medicine but can be toxic in quite low doses. The parts of the plant that are used are mainly the flowers, but also the roots, the leaves or the whole plant is known to be harvested (Plants For A Future 2010). It can also be used to make spices.|
The picking of the flowers for medicinal purposes is one of the main threats to this species although it is illegal in some countries (e.g. France).
Another threat is coming from agriculture. Here the application of fertilisers to grassland in order to increase the ph, such as limestone dust, decrease the suitability of the habitat for Arnica montana that naturally prefers nutrient-poor soils. The abandonment of grasslands leads to a change in vegetation such as mosses and tall plants that can outcompete Arnica montana. A change of grazing from cattle to sheep impacts the species although it is generally well adapted to grazing as it has flat leaves on the ground. Reforestation also reduces the habitat available to Arnica montana.
In some areas skiing is affecting the species as it causes soil compaction.
Arnica montana is listed on Annex V of the Habitats Directive and on Annex D of the Council Regulation (EC) No 338/97 of 9 December 1996 on the protection of species of wild fauna and flora by regulating trade therein.
There are protection measures in place for some European countries and it features in some national red lists:
|Citation:||Falniowski, A., Bazos, I., Hodálová, I., Lansdown, R. & Petrova, A. 2013. Arnica montana. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 31 July 2014.|
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