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Overview

Distribution

Range Description

Picea omorika is restricted to Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. There are four locations: i) the Tara National Park in Serbia and the almost adjacent areas in Bosnia and Herzegovina between Višegrade and Srebrenica; ii) Viogor (Čajniče Municipality) in Bosnia and Herzegovina; iii) Radomišlje (Foča Municipality) in Bosnia and Hercegovina; iv) Ravnište-Kanjon Mileševke (Municipalty of Prijepolje) in Serbia.

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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
Bosnia and Herzegovina
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.

Serbia
The sites at Bilo, Lutibreg, Crvene Stene, Studenac, Pod Gorušicom, Zvijezda, Vranjak and Karaula Štula.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 Zmajevački 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.


Systems
  • Terrestrial
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Picea omorika

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Picea omorika

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 4
Specimens with Barcodes: 5
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
EN
Endangered

Red List Criteria
B1ab(i,ii,iii,v)

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2011

Assessor/s
Mataruga, M., Isajev, D., Gardner, M., Christian, T. & Thomas, P.

Reviewer/s
Luscombe, D & Farjon, A.

Contributor/s

Justification

The extent of occurrence (EOO) is estimated to be 4,076 km² 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.


History
  • 1998
    Vulnerable
  • 1997
    Vulnerable
    (Walter and Gillett 1998)
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Population

Population
Bosnia and Herzegovina

Confined to the eastern part of the country in Republika Srpska close to the Drina River. It occurs in three regions – Region Foča (Municipalities - Višegrad, Čajniče, Foča) Region Vlasenica (Municipalties - Srebrenica, Milići) and Region, Sarajevo-Romanija (Municipality – Rogatica). There are 14 confirmed sites within Republica Srpska. These are (names followed by km²/no. individuals): Višegrad Municipality: Veliki Stolac (0.3/3,000); Karaula Štula (00.1/100); Gostilja (0.258/1,000); Tovarnica (0.02/?). Čajniče Municipality : Viogor (0.1/150). Foča Municipality: Radomišlje (0.027/100). Srebrenica Municipality: Šarena Bukva (0.005/20); Strugovi (0.1/100). Milići Municipality: Crkvice-Tijesnido (0.014/100). Rogatica Municipality: Suvi Dol (0.1/2,000; Baba (0.03/1000; Panjak (0.005/20); Novo Brdo (0.005/200).

These sites represent three distinct locations. The largest cluster of sites (ca 12) is in an area ca 40 x 20 km² between Višegrade and Srebrenica and is contiguous with the main location in Serbia. The second is about 25 km south at Viogor (ČajničeMunicipality) while the third is another 60 km southwest at Radomišlje (FočaMunicipality).

Serbia

In Serbia it occurs in 11 different sites forming two distinct locations. Ten sites are in the Municipality of Bajina Bašta in the Tara National Park (Site name/no. of trees): Bilo, 4,192; Lutibreg, 319; Crvene Stene,3,000; Studenac, 763; Pod Gorušicom, 1; Zvijezda, 50,000; Vranjak (locus classicus), 442; Karaula Štula, 374; Crveni Potok, 6; Zmajevački Potok, 797. The eleventh site is at Ravnište-Kanjon Mileševke (Municipalty of Prijepolje), about 75 km from the southern most point of the main area. Here, there are about 300 individuals.



Population Trend
Decreasing
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Threats

Major Threats
Until the middle of the 19th century the natural range of P. omorika was more continuous and less disjunct than it is today. Its current fragmented distribution is mainly the result of anthropogenic factors such as general forest clearing and cutting, pastoralism and wildfires. Fire has perhaps been the biggest threat. For example, in Bosnia and Herzegovina during the the 1950s, a large forested valley was devastated by fire which resulted in leaving three small fragments, each about 5 km apart. Local changes in landuse has prevented these fragments from expanding. More recently, during the 1992-1993 conflict, the forest at Strugovi was deliberately burnt leaving today less than 100 mature individuals alive. Generally speaking regeneration is extremely limited except on the steepest rocky slopes and on cliffs where broadleaved trees are unable to compete effectively. During recent fieldwork it was noted that the isolated locality at Viogor in Čajniče Municipality had a poor quality of habitat where the old-growth trees were stressed with thin crowns. Picea omorika is dependent on catastrophic events for good recruitment and healthy subsequent growth to take place. Once established, it often becomes suppressed by Abies alba, Fagus sylvatica and Picea abies (Burschel 1965). In Serbia the decline is slow as a direct result of poor regeneration and its lack of competitive ability. It is most evident at Mitrovac (Crveni Potok) and in the canyon of the river Milesevka, near to Prijepolje. This decline may become even more pronounced due to the expected climate change (Ballian 2006). Logging has never been a significant threat.
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
In Serbia, all locations except one are protected within the Tara National Park. In Bosnia and Herzegovina all stands are protected by national legislation.

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.
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Wikipedia

Picea omorika

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;[2][3][4] the specific epithet omorika is simply the Serbian word for "Serbian spruce". All other spruces are smrča (смрча) in Serbian.

Description[edit]

Serbian Spruce in its native range. Note extremely slender shape of crown.

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.[2][3][4]

Cultivation[edit]

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.[2][3]

The following cultivars have gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit: P. omorika,[5] Nana,[6] (dwarf form) Pendula[7] (weeping form)

Ecology[edit]

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.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ 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. 
  2. ^ a b c d Farjon, A. (1990). Pinaceae. Drawings and Descriptions of the Genera. Koeltz Scientific Books ISBN 3-87429-298-3.
  3. ^ a b c Rushforth, K. (1987). Conifers. Helm ISBN 0-7470-2801-X.
  4. ^ a b Rushforth, K. (1999). Trees of Britain and Europe. Collins ISBN 0-00-220013-9.
  5. ^ "RHS Plant Selector Picea omorika AGM / RHS Gardening". Apps.rhs.org.uk. Retrieved 2013-02-25. 
  6. ^ "RHS Plant Selector Picea omorika 'Nana' AGM / RHS Gardening". Apps.rhs.org.uk. Retrieved 2013-02-25. 
  7. ^ "RHS Plant Selector Picea omorika 'Pendula' AGM / RHS Gardening". Apps.rhs.org.uk. Retrieved 2013-02-25. 
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