Sarcocornia plant communities of the Iberian Peninsula and the Balearic Islands
Rufo, Lourdes; de la Fuente, Vicenta; Sánchez-Mata, Daniel
Aims: The latest reports on the taxonomy of the genus Sarcocornia A. J. Scott (Chenopodiaceae) in the western Mediterranean clarify the existence of several recognised species: Sarcocornia perennis and S. pruinosa from Atlantic littoral salt marshes; S. alpini from Atlantic and Mediterranean estuarine coastal salt marshes; S. lagascae found in Mediterranean coastal areas on the Iberian Peninsula and Balearic Islands; S. hispanica from Mediterranean semi-arid inland and coastal salt pans; and S. carinata, endemic in continental inland salt pans on the Iberian Peninsula. Sarcocornia fruticosa has been found to be absent from Iberian territories. We provide a survey of Sarcocornia plant communities traditionally framed in the order Salicornietalia fruticosae. In view of the new Sarcocornia taxonomy we review the current syntaxonomy of the Sarcocornia plant communities. Study area: Littoral, coastal and inland saline zones on the Iberian Peninsula and the Balearic Islands. Methods: We compiled and processed 700 phytosociological relevés (after screening, 515) selected from our unpublished field notes and from many bibliographical sources of vegetation studies. We performed a multivariate statistical analysis (K-means and correspondence analysis). Results: We describe the Sarcocornia communities, provide a regional syntaxonomical overview in the Salicornietea fruticosae and make nomenclatural proposals, including two new orders (Sarcocornio pruinosae-Halimionetalia portulacoidis and Arthrocnemo macrostachyi-Suaedetalia braun-blanquetii).