Habitat Types

In Akamas we can distinguish twenty-three (23) terrestrial habitat types, out of the total of forty-three (43) that occur in Cyprus.

The dominant habitats are the Juniper shrubland (5210), Juniperus phoenicea, occupying (29%), followed by Pine forest (9540), Pinus brutia covering (11%), Phrygana communities (5420) with (5%), Maqui (9320) with (3,5%) and Thorny shrubland (5330) for (2,5%). (Figures referring to the Akamas Natura 2000 site).

Five (5) of them are of special importance and are considered as priority habitats:

  • Coastal dunes with Juniperus phoenicea (2250)
  • Endemic Mediterranean forest with Juniperus phoenicea (9560)
  • Temporary Mediterranean ponds hosting rare and unusual group of hydrophilous, amphibious plants (3170)
  • Mediterranean xerophytic grassland (6220)
  • Grassland on serpentine (62B0)


(xxxx) Habitat code as in Habitat directive 92/43/EEC)

1210 - Annual vegetation of Drift line

Annual plants thrive on the drift zone in sandy or gravelly beaches of Akamas. Hardy plants to the harsh conditions, high salinity etc. such as Cakile maritima subsp. maritima, Salsola tragus subsp. tragus and Euphorbia peplis can be found. Occasionally the endemic perennial Taraxacum aphrogenes appears also.

1240 - Vegetated sea cliffs of the Mediterranean coasts

Sea cliffs are colonized by species hardy to salt spray and wind force: Limonium spp, Frankenia hirsuta, Taraxacum aphrogenes and rarely Crithmum maritimum. Such habitat can be found along almost all the Akamas rocky seaside.

2110 - Embryonic shifting dunes

Further, next to the drift line, shifting sand deposits around tolerant plants such as Echium angustifolium, Eryngium maritimum, Pancratium maritimum and Centaurea aegialophila. Primary, not fully stabilized sand dunes are formed. Can be found in Lara and Toxeftra beaches.

2190 - Humid dune slacks

Humid, sometimes holding stagnant water, sunken areas between sand dunes, sometimes host this quite rare to Akamas habitat. Hydrophilous plants and halophytes appear here, mainly grasses.

2230 - Dune Grassland (Malcolmietalia)

Comprise of annual flowering plants that thrive on dry openings of sand dunes or at their boundaries. Most representative habitats of this type occur in Lara bay and Toxeftra beach. With Malcolmia nana, Papaver cyprium, Biscutella didyma subsp. dunensis and Plantago coronopus being some of the most frequent species.

2240 - Dune grassland with annuals (Brachypodietalia)

Dry patches on stabilized dunes are colonized by annual species, mainly grasses: Brachypodium distachyon, Stipa capensis, Aegilops spp, Tuberaria quttata, Silene discolor, Parapholis marginata, Hedysarum spinosissimum. Can be found at Lara bay and Toxeftra beach.

2250 - Coastal dunes with Juniperus phoenicea.

Forms the most inland formation of dunes in big fully developed dune systems. Juniperus phoenicea shrubs dominate, sometimes associated with Pistacia lentiscus, Prasium majus, Asparagus horridus etc.

2260 - Dune Sclerophyllous shrubs

Similarly to Juniperus phoenicea covered dunes, we meet dunes occupied by phrygana communities with Thymbra capitata, Teucrium micropodioides and Cistus spp. Also occupies dunes at Lara and Toxeftra beaches.

3170 - Mediterranean temporary Ponds

Shallow, few centimeters deep, seasonal, small sized ponds developed in gullies on limestone / “Kafkala “. They are fed by rain water and are colonized by special amphibious flora. Characteristic species include: Callitriche brutia,Ranunculus peltatus subsp. fucoides, Limosella aquatica, Crassula vaillanti etc. Such ponds are found scattered in Akamas, wherever exposed limestone rock exists, like Peyia forest and shrubland, Erimites shore etc.

5210 - Arborescent matorral with Juniperus phoenicea

Shrubland of the Thermo – Mediterranean zone dominated by Juniperus phoenicea shrubs. Spreads along almost the whole of the coastal zone, being the most extensive habitat type in Akamas.

5330 - Thermo Mediterranean and pre-steppe scrub

Shrubland dominated by gorses, Genista fasselata subsp. fasselata, that develops sporadically all over Akamas, more commonly on the southeast region. They are considered as a degraded type of vegetation due to fire occurrence or grazing in the area, in the past.

5420 - Sarcopoterium spinosum phrygana

Phrygana plant communities are formations of low, dome-shaped shrubs, usually thorny and aromatic. They are also the result of grazing, fire and cultivation. It’s a frequent type of vegetation in Akamas adding to the landscape mosaic. Characteristic species are Sarcopoterium spinosum, Thymbra capitata, Helichrysum stoechas and other.

6220 - Pseudo - steppe with grasses and annuals

Xerophytic grassland with low annual species and grasses. This habitat is widespread all over the peninsula in openings among shrubland and forests.

62B0 - Serpentinophylous grassland of Cyprus

Peculiar community of perennial herbs and subshrubs that developed on rocky exposures, exclusively on serpentine rocks. It’s an endemic habitat to Cyprus and thrives on the whole geological zone of serpentine rock at elevation of 250-450m in Akamas. Characteristic species are the endemics: Alyssum akamasicum and Centaurea cyprensis.

8210 - Calcareous inland cliffs with chasmophytic vegetation

Includes plant communities that develop in limestone rock fissures and soil pockets. Such habitat occurs in Avakas gorge, Argaki ton Koufon, Farkonies etc. Endemic and rare plants are thriving here such as Centaurea akamantis, Ptilostemon chamaepeuce subsp. cyprius, small fern plants, Capparis spinosa, Hyoscyamus aureus, Umbilicus rupestris etc.

8220 - Siliceous rock slopes with chasmophytic vegetation

Igneous rocks, crevices and stony slopes are common on Akamas Peninsula belonging to the Troodos ophiolite complex. Chasmophytic species thrive on them where such rocks are exposed, especially on their steep faces. Characteristic species are: Umbilicus rupestris, small ferns, Hyoscyamus aureus, Silene fruticosa etc.

9290 - Cupressus forests

Cypress, Cupressus sempervirens, forests develop sporadically on calcareous ground, on steep slopes and ravines. Such stands exist at Kathikas village and in the Avgas and Aspros rivers.

92CO - Platanus orientalis woods

A river site habitat quite rare in Akamas, confined along the Aspros and Avgas rivers. Water presence is required for long period. Few scattered plane trees thrive, associated with other riparian species around them.

92D0 - Southern riparian galleries and thickets

Riverside shrubland develops along river beds and streams with periodic seasonal water flow, while they have to cope with a long drought period. Nerium oleander, Vitex angus castus, Tamarix tetragyna and Rubus sanctus are representative species of this habitat that is not usual in Akamas. Can be found along the Aspros and Argas river and other minor stream bed and wet locations elsewhere.

9320 - Olea and Ceratonia forest

Maquis, comprised of evergreen tall shrubs spread over many areas of Akamas, predominantly wild olive trees Olea europea and wild carob tree, Ceratonia siliqua, often accompanied by other shrubs: Pistacia lentiscus, Pistacia terebinthus etc.

93A0 - Wood lands with Quercus infectoria

Rather unusual habitat in Akamas, with indications that the remaining single trees and small stands, are relics of more extensive oak woods existing in the region. They develop on fertile deep land and host an understory of phrygana and bulbous plants including the endemic Scilla morrisi.

9540 - Mediterranean Pine forest with endemic Mesogean Pines

Are composed of dense or open Pinus brutia trees with a usually dense understory of Juniperus phoenicea, Pistacia lentiscus, Ceratonia siliqua Cistus ssp., Calycotome villosa, Genista fasselata subsp. fasselata, Lithodora spp etc. They occupy much of Akamas area: Peyia and Meleti forest being the most known forest areas.

9560 - Endemic Mediterranean forest with Juniperus phoenicea

Forest formations with Juniperus phoenicea can be found scattered in Akamas. Here junipers in tree form dominate with an understory of Prasium majus, Pistacia lentiscus, Dioscorea communis etc.