The spatial isolation from source and other populations limit gene flow, which could make these populations vulnerable to changing environmental conditions.In addition, there is high gene flow with the non-serpentine communities that can cause genotypic pollution, hybridization and nonviable offspring.
Some examples of common serpentine tolerant plants include: Gray Pine (Pinus sabiniana), California Lilac (Ceanothus sp.), Manzanita (Arctostaphylos sp.), Live-Oak (Quercus sp.), California Redbud (Cercis occidentalis), California Buckeye (Aesculus californica), and California Laurel (Bay tree) (Ubellularia californica).
Caution should be taken when working in serpentine soils or when working with crushed serpentine rock.
Serpentine-rich rock or serpentinite has a mottled, greenish-gray color with a waxy feel to it.
The unique plants that survive in serpentine soils have been used in the process of phytoremediation, a type of bioremediation.
Since these plants developed specialized adaptations to high concentrations of heavy metals, they have been used to remove heavy metals from polluted soil.