Acer heldreichii

Acer heldreichii Orph.

Aceraceae – Maple family

Conservation status. Vulnerable [VU B2ab(ii)]. BDA. Balkan endemic.

Morphology and biology. Tree up to 20 m, with broad, spherical crown. Leaves 5–14 cm long, deeply 5-lobed with middle lobe free nearly to base; lobes acute, with 2 or 3 large teeth on each side, dark green, glabrous above, light green and hairy on veins beneath. Inflorescence erect, terminal on the branches, blossoming after the appearance of leaves. Fruit glabrous, with arcuate wings usually diverging at an obtuse angle. Fl. V–VI, fr. IX. Insect pollination. Fruits dispersed by wind.

Habitats and populations. Single trees or groups of several individuals in deciduous forests in the mountains.

Distribution in Bulgaria. Balkan Range, Vitosha region, Znepole region, West Frontier Mts., Belasitsa Mts., Rila Mts., Sredna Gora Mts., Rhodopi Mts.; up to 1600 m alt.

General distribution. Balkan Peninsula.

Threats. Mainly of anthropogenic character – timber production, building of tourist facilities in the mountains, etc.

Conservation measures taken. Acer heldreichii subsp. visianii is protected by the national Biodiversity Act. Some of the sub-populations of the species are within the borders of Vitosha Nature Park, Rila and Rila and Central Balkan National Parks. Most of the localities of the species are in sites of the European ecological network Natura 2000 in Bulgaria.

Conservation measures needed. Detailed study of the chorology, biology and ecology of the species, the numerical strength and area of its populations; long-term monitoring; collection of seeds for the National Seed Genebank in Bulgaria.

References. Palamarev 1979; Marinov 1984.

Author: Dessislava Dimitrova

Acer heldreichii (distribution map)

Acer heldreichii (drawing)