Lithodora nitida 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Magnoliopsida Lamiales Boraginaceae

Scientific Name: Lithodora nitida (Ern) R.Fern.
Common Name(s):
Spanish Viniebla Azul
Taxonomic Notes:

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B1ab(i,ii,iii,iv,v)+2ab(i,ii,iii,iv,v) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2011
Date Assessed: 2011-03-23
Assessor(s): Blanca, G., Gutiérrez, L., Algarra Ávila, J.A., Luque Moreno, P. & Hierro, M.J.
Reviewer(s): Blanca, G., Peraza Zurita, M.D. & Bilz, M.

Lithodora nitida is listed as Endangered because there are only five subpopulations known with a low number of individuals and confined to a total area of occupancy of less than 10 km². There is continuing decline in its distribution, extent and quality of its habitat, number of subpopulations and number of mature individuals, due to grazing from domestic livestock and forest herbivores.

Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is endemic to the mountains ranges of Mágina, Pandera, Horconera and Rute (Spain) (Blanca et al. 2004). It probably also occurs in the mountain range of Almijara (Granada and Málaga).
Countries occurrence:
Spain (Spain (mainland))
Additional data:
Lower elevation limit (metres):1140
Upper elevation limit (metres):1850
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:There are five known populations, whose actual surface area of occupancy is less than 3 km². A percentage of 80% of the individuals are capable of flowering; there have been no saplings detected, probably because the growth occurs within the thorny bushes due to the the influence of cattle.

The five known subpopulations include:
  • Mountain range of Mágina I: 51 individuals
  • Mountain range of Mágina II: 251 individuals
  • Mountain range of the Pandera: 571 individuals
  • Horconera mountain range: 38 individuals
  • Mountain range of Rute: 11 individuals
There is continuing decline in its distribution, extent and quality of its habitat, number of subpopulations and number of mature individuals.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:922

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This small suffrutescent shrub grows in thicket vegetation on poorly developed rocky or sandy soils, on a dolomite substrate. It grows between spiny cushions and in fissures of rock faces. It comes in the domain of Rhamno myrtifolii-Junipereto phoeniceae, and Daphne oleoidi-Pineto sylvestris. These communities have a special value as biological hotspot. The species is accompanied by species such Convolvulus boissieri, Pterocephalus spathulatus, Helianthemum frigidulum, Hormathophylla lapeyrousiana, Centaurea granatensis, Thymus granatensis, Sideritis incana, Viola cazorlensis, Erinacea anthyllis, Echinospartum boissieri, Genista longipes and Vella spinosa.

The populations are renewed mainly by vegetative reproduction (stolons). It is distylous, with two types of plants, some whose flowers have long stamens and short style and others have flowers with short stamens and long style. The only pollinators are Anthophora spp. (Hymenoptera, Apioidea).

Each flower contains four seminal primordia of usually about three and in the best case, only one is mature. Dispersion is by zoobolocoria, where most of the nuts are dropped in the environment of the parent plant, where some may remain dormant until December.


Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species is threatened by grazing from domestic livestock and forest herbivores. The majority of individuals shelter between thorny bushes, in rock crevices or on eroded slopes with little plant coverage; the flowering tops are eaten and few examples come to fruition. It has a poor reproductive strategy. Other threats are the planting of conifer plantations, wild fires and the accessibility of populations.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Lithodora nitida is listed as priority species on the Annex II of the EU Habitats Directive and under Appendix I of the Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats (Bern Convention).

The mountain range of Sierra de Mágina is a Natural Park, and the mountain ranges of Horconera and Rute are included in the Natural Park of 'Sierras Subbéticas'; both have been proposed as SCIs. A recovery plan has been proposed by the 'Consejería de Medio Ambiente de la Junta de Andalucía'. Some parts of the subpopulation at Mágina are fenced. The Sierra de Jaén is a surburban park. It is included as species "En peligro de extinción" in the national catalogue of threatened species.

Citation: Blanca, G., Gutiérrez, L., Algarra Ávila, J.A., Luque Moreno, P. & Hierro, M.J. 2011. Lithodora nitida. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2011: e.T61662A12534203. . Downloaded on 23 June 2018.
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