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Important Plant Areas of Serbia

Number of IPAs:62

Biogeographic zones: Continental, Pannonic, Alpine

Serbia covers an area of over 88,000km2

Mountainous landscape with grassland and forestry on lower land

Serbia has 62 IPAs. The country covers an area of over 88,000 km2 and borders Montenegro, Albania, Republic of North Macedonia, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia. It has three biogeographic zones: the Continental, the Pannonic and the Alpine.


The southern parts, particularly the limestone regions, are strongly influenced by the Mediterranean climate. The climate is continental in the north and southeast with semi-arid summer and cold winter periods.


The natural and semi-natural habitats are characterised by a high number of national and Balkan endemics in the mountain, forest, steppe and wetlands, and a rich limestone and serpentine flora both in the mountains and the limestone canyons and gorges.


Along the main rivers, alluvial forest of white willow, white and black polar, ash and pedunculate oak, as well as small areas of marshes with rich macrophyte flora, occur. Mountainous regions of Serbia are covered by mixed oak forests. The vegetation belts above are composed of beach or beech-silver fir forests. Subalpine forest is either spruce forests in the continental mountains and Macedonian or White-barked Pine in the mountains of Kosovo and Metochia province. The limestone and serpentine gorges and canyons hold a very rich flora of numerous relict and endemic taxa. Mountain areas above the tree line are also rich in diverse chasmophytic, scree and rocky ground communities composed by endemic and Alpine orophytes.


The IPAs identified so far have been concentrated on the mountainous areas with their many endemic and relict species, areas of the rare habitats of steppe, forest steppe and sandy steppe, and the few peat bogs, marshes and wet meadows. 56% of Serbian IPAs are nationally protected in full or in part – nearly half at a higher level of protection.


Every IPA has at least one high or moderate threat affecting it which has the potential to destroy habitat or cause sudden decline in the populations of threatened species. The most frequent threats to Serbian IPAs are land abandonment, fragmentation and invasive species but the most acute threats come from deforestation and water extraction.


Further information

Conserving Plant Areas: Investing in the Green Gold of South-East Europe

Find Serbia on pages 63-68