Número 21 | December 2009

Mar Menor and its environment: a truly botanic treasure

Flora of Region of Murcia is extraordinary varied due to the quantity of environments that spot the regional geography. Geographical and climatic features allow developing different species of highly scientific interest because these are unique in the world. Mar Menor environment, due to its environmental particularities, is especially suitable to hold endemic flora, unique species and whimsical ecology. Weather in Mar Menor is semi-arid subtropical Mediterranean, with soft temperatures during the winter and high ones in summer, irregular and rare rainfalls, but humidity in the atmosphere represents an average above 70% saturation, with different bioclimatic scenes. All these features allow the settlement of more than 1.000 vegetal species in the environment of Mar Menor. The vegetation developed in this area has a few adaptations like stomas, small size of the leaf and sclerophilia, that let them to live in this hard climate. These are species with a high tolerance to salty environments and are able to resist heat and the shortage of water and nutrients. The landscape and biological richness of Mar Menor has brought the recognition of its ecological values with figures like Places of Community Value (LIC), Special Protection Areas for Births (ZEPA) and Special Important Protection Areas in the Mediterranean (ZEPIM). In this space there are numerous habitats recognised by the European Directive Habitat for its singularity, rarity and shortage.

Chumberillo de lobo (Caralluma europaea)
Brezo blanco (Erica arborea)
Arto negro (Maytenus senegalensis subsp. europaea)