Habitat and Ecology
Picea omorika occurs on steep north to northwest facing limestone slopes (sometimes precipitous) which overlay igneous material. The altitudinal limits are from 800-1,450 m. Depending on the altitude and slope, the associated tree species can include Abies alba, Picea abies, Pinus nigra, Fagus sylvatica, Populus tremula, Sorbus aucuparia, S. aria, Quercus spp and Ostrya carpinifolia. Sometimes it can occur as the dominant species within the forest, and at higher altitude on rocky outcrops it is co-dominant with Pinus nigra. On steep slopes at high altitudes it is co-dominant with Picea abies and Pinus nigra while on steep slopes at lower elevations it is co-dominant with Fagus sylvatica.
The sites at Bilo, Lutibreg, Crvene Stene, Studenac, Pod GoruÅ¡icom, Zvijezda, Vranjak and Karaula Å tula.Most sites are on limestone. The main associated species are Picea abies, Abies alba and Fagus sylvatica. It can also occur with Pinus nigra, P. sylvestris, Carpinus betulus and Acer platanoides. Sometimes it forms almost pure stands. The Crveni Potok site is on peatland while the ZmajevaÄki Potok site is on serpentine soils that are derived from ultramafic rocks. In Serbia it has an altitudinal range between 1,000-1,500 m, mainly on very steep north-facing slopes.
Male cones mature in May. Female cones mature in September-October but mostly remain closed until the following May-June: they may persist for up to five years. Typically a good coning year is usually followed by a poor one. Post fire regeneration is usually very good although limited to steep slopes and cliffs. The climate is characterized by very high humidity, high precipitation regularly distributed over the year, high snow cover, and low winter temperatures.
Molecular Biology and Genetics
Barcode data: Picea omorika
Statistics of barcoding coverage: Picea omorika
Public Records: 4
Specimens with Barcodes: 5
Species With Barcodes: 1
IUCN Red List Assessment
Red List Category
Red List Criteria
The extent of occurrence (EOO) is estimated to be 4,076 kmÂ² and Picea omorika is restricted to fewer than five locations. Recent fieldwork indicates that there is a continuing (albeit slow) decline in the extent of occurrence, area of occupancy, quality of habitat and number of mature individuals in some locations. This is primarily due to poor regeneration and an inability to compete with associated tree species.
- 1997Vulnerable(Walter and Gillett 1998)
Confined to the eastern part of the country in Republika Srpska close to the Drina River. It occurs in three regions â Region FoÄa (Municipalities - ViÅ¡egrad, ÄajniÄe, FoÄa) Region Vlasenica (Municipalties - Srebrenica, MiliÄi) and Region, Sarajevo-Romanija (Municipality â Rogatica). There are 14 confirmed sites within Republica Srpska. These are (names followed by kmÂ²/no. individuals):
These sites represent three distinct locations. The largest cluster of sites (ca 12) is in an area ca 40 x 20 kmÂ² between ViÅ¡egrade and Srebrenica and is contiguous with the main location in Serbia. The second is about 25 km south at Viogor (
In Serbia it occurs in 11 different sites forming two distinct locations. Ten sites are in the Municipality of Bajina BaÅ¡ta in the Tara National Park (Site name/no. of trees): Bilo, 4,192; Lutibreg, 319; Crvene Stene,3,000; Studenac, 763; Pod GoruÅ¡icom, 1; Zvijezda, 50,000; Vranjak (locus classicus), 442; Karaula Å tula, 374; Crveni Potok, 6; ZmajevaÄki Potok, 797. The eleventh site is at RavniÅ¡te-Kanjon MileÅ¡evke (Municipalty of Prijepolje), about 75 km from the southern most point of the main area. Here, there are about 300 individuals.
Picea omorika is widely grown in gardens in northern Europe but few of these collections are either comprehensive or well documented. A well co-ordinated ex-situ conservation programme could play a significant role in conserving its genetic diversity. Recent collections by the International Conifer Conservation Programme in collaboration with Bosnia and Herzegovina aims to broaden the genetic base of the trees grown in the UK. An extensive programme of seed-banking would also be advantageous.
Picea omorika, common name Serbian Spruce (Serbian: Панчићева оморика, Pančićeva omorika, pronounced [pâːnt͡ʃit͡ɕɛv̞a ɔmɔ̌rika]), is a species of coniferous tree endemic to the Drina River valley in eastern Bosnia and Herzegovina near Višegrad, and western Serbia, with a total range of only about 60 ha, at 800–1,600 m (2,625–5,249 ft) altitude. It was originally discovered near the village of Zaovine on the Tara Mountain in 1875, and named by the Serbian botanist Josif Pančić; the specific epithet omorika is simply the Serbian word for "Serbian spruce". All other spruces are smrča (смрча) in Serbian.
It is a medium-sized evergreen tree growing to 20 m (66 ft) tall, exceptionally 40 m (131 ft), with a trunk diameter of up to 1 m (3 ft). The shoots are buff-brown, and densely pubescent (hairy). The leaves are needle-like, 10–20 mm long, flattened in cross-section, dark blue-green above, and blue-white below. The cones are 4–7 cm (2–3 in) long, fusiform (spindle-shaped, broadest in the middle), dark purple (almost black) when young, maturing dark brown 5–7 months after pollination, with stiff scales.
Outside its native range, Serbian spruce is of major importance as an ornamental tree in large gardens, valued in northern Europe and North America for its very attractive crown form and ability to grow on a wide range of soils, including alkaline, clay, acid and sandy soil, although it prefers moist, drained loam. It is also grown to a small extent in forestry for Christmas trees, timber and paper production, particularly in northern Europe, though its slow growth makes it less important than Sitka spruce or Norway spruce. In cultivation, it has produced hybrids with the closely related Black spruce and also with Sitka spruce.
Because of its limited range, it is not a major source of nutrition to wildlife, but does provide cover for birds and small mammals. Prior to the Pleistocene ice ages, it had a much larger range throughout most of Europe.
- Mataruga, M., Isajev, D., Gardner, M., Christian, T. & Thomas, P. (2010). "Picea omorika". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 3.1. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 2013-11-10.
- Farjon, A. (1990). Pinaceae. Drawings and Descriptions of the Genera. Koeltz Scientific Books ISBN 3-87429-298-3.
- Rushforth, K. (1987). Conifers. Helm ISBN 0-7470-2801-X.
- Rushforth, K. (1999). Trees of Britain and Europe. Collins ISBN 0-00-220013-9.
- "RHS Plant Selector Picea omorika AGM / RHS Gardening". Apps.rhs.org.uk. Retrieved 2013-02-25.
- "RHS Plant Selector Picea omorika 'Nana' AGM / RHS Gardening". Apps.rhs.org.uk. Retrieved 2013-02-25.
- "RHS Plant Selector Picea omorika 'Pendula' AGM / RHS Gardening". Apps.rhs.org.uk. Retrieved 2013-02-25.