Herein we investigate the distribution and conservation problems of a relict interaction in the Sierra Nevada mountains (southern Europe) between the butterfly *Agriades zullichi* —a rare and threatened butterfly— and its larval foodplant *Androsace vitaliana* subsp. *nevadensis*. We designed an intensive field survey to obtain a comprehensive presence dataset. This was used to calibrate species distribution models with absences taken at local and regional extents, analyze the potential distribution, evaluate the influence of environmental factors in different geographical contexts, and evaluate conservation threats for both organisms.
We studied the natural history as well as the conservation status of the first-known population of Polygala balansae in Europe (Granada, SE Spain). In the study area, we located only one population occupying a small patch of 1920 m2, between 120 and 160 m a.s.l., with 246 mature individuals. The species is classified as Critically Endangered (CR), under the following criteria: severely fragmented, inferred continuous decline, small population size, and continuing decline inferred from the number mature individuals.
Quaternary palaeopalynological records collected throughout the Iberian Peninsula and species distribution models (SDMs) were integrated to gain a better understanding of the historical biogeography of the Iberian Abies species (i.e. Abies pinsapo and Abies alba). We hypothesize that SDMs and Abies palaeorecords are closely correlated, assuming a certain stasis in climatic and topographic ecological niche dimensions. In addition, the modelling results were used to assign the fossil records to A. alba or A. pinsapo, to identify environmental variables affecting their distribution, and to evaluate the ecological segregation between the two taxa.