Journal of the Bulgarian Geographical Society 44: 21-24, doi: 10.3897/jbgs.e66377
Shrubland habitats in Dragoman municipality: a case study from western Bulgaria
expand article infoBorislav Grigorov, Nikolay Velev§, Assen Assenov, Momchil Nazarov§, Mladen Gramatikov|, Beloslava Genova, Kiril Vassilev§
‡ Sofia University, Sofia, Bulgaria§ Institute of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Research, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Sofia, Bulgaria| FCG Povvik Ltd., Sofia, Bulgaria¶ University of Plovdiv, Plovdiv, Bulgaria
Open Access

The current research focuses on the investigation of shrubland vegetation in Dragoman municipality. The study is motivated by the willingness of the authors to check the shrubland habitats’ territorial extent and their importance to ecosystem processes, following the increased degree of succession over the last three decades. On the other hand, governmental subsidizing has been common for the last decade, leading to a clearance of lands with shrubs. Shrublands were studied through the application of the Braun-Blanquet approach and were defined by the European Nature Information System (EUNIS) classification. One main habitat type with three subtypes have been defined. Those are the Subcontinental and continental deciduous thickets (F3.24) that covers the largest area, Peri-Pannonic dwarf almond scrub (F3.24122), Moesian oriental hornbeam thickets (F3.2431), Moesian lilac thickets (F3.2432), covering a total area of 52.32 km2. Secondary succession has to be considered among the main reasons for shrubland distribution. The lower number of grazing animals and forest clearings act as boosters for this ecological process. Large areas in Dragoman municipality are characterized also by shallow soils that are unable to sustain forest vegetation, thus giving way to shrubs.

EUNIS, field verification, mapping, vegetation