Ibiza and Formentera give a great example of the interaction between marine and coast ecosystems. The dense meadows of Posidonia, unique species that can only be found in the Mediterranean, have and give support to the diversity of marine life. A great diversity of vegetal and animal life is found in the ecosystem.
The autochthonous flora is heavily influenced by the proximity of the sea, its high salt levels and the mobility of the sandy lands, giving to it a huge botanical interest. Between all the different kinds of vegetal groups, the vegetation of the dunes and sandbanks, marshes and brackish highlights for its singularity.
In the dunes of the Pitiusas, a very interesting vegetal formation is found, the sabine forests (Juniperus Phoenicea) that, even though they aren’t exclusive of the islands, they found there its most genuine character. Around the salt works pond of Ses Salines are found big groups of limonium flowers, endemic species of the Pitiuses, whose existence is linked to the saltworks activity.
All vertebrates of the Pitiusas are found, from reptiles to mammals. The small lizards that creep around are the only autochthon species of the islands and are already a symbol of Ibiza and Formentera. Ses Salines is also a key spot to see birds as there is a great ornithological diversity there. When we speak about land mammals, in the island appeared a group of new endemic subspecies as is the genet, the shrewmouse or the dormouse in Formentera
The bottom sea
The sea acts as a merger element of the cultural and natural richness of the islands. The posidonia with its bach formations are a basic pillar in the creation of an economy in Ibiza and Formentera. While it used to be fishing and salt commerce, nowadays the tourism that brings is the main economic sustenance of the islands.
So, the sea is a richness source and an element of identity of the Pitiusas islands. The fine sands and the clarity of the waters create the ideal environment for the growth of the oceanic posidonia, whose meadows create a submarine landscape of an ecosystem barely altered.
The posidonia is a phanerogam endemic of the Mediterranean Sea that has a composition similar to the plants from outside the sea. Root, stem, leaves and capacity to create flowers and seeded fruits. It grows covering the depths of the sea and forming leafy meadows. Those are found in alarming regression by its high sensitivity of the ambient perturbations. However, in Ibiza, it is found in good conditions, and it is essential to keep the beauty of the natural landscapes of the Pitiusas and its biodiversity and ecosystem.
The posidonia meadows are considered a habitat of priority protection by the Habitat Directive of the European Union. Furthermore, the area of Ses Salines has a special protection for the birds’ life (ZEPA), included in the Natura 2000 of the EEC and registered in the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance. Ses Salines is registered as Natural Reserve since 1995.
The Posidonia meadows of the Pitiusas are considered as the most important community of the Mediterranean coast for its organic matter productivity. They oxygen and filter the water, in addition to reducing the strength of the waves, protecting the beaches from erosion. So, in Ibiza and Formentera, you will find a natural submarine and coast ecosystem with an extraordinarily interesting group of threatened species. A great scientific value that creates this unique Mediterranean landscape.