Sunday, December 16, 2012

Balkan Mixed Forest Zone (14)

Balkan mixed forest zone
The Balkan mixed forests ecoregion covers much of Bulgaria and bordering countries, excluding the  mountain ranges in the centre and south of the zone. The vegetation of this ecoregion, especially that of the forests and grasslands belongs in the Temperate broadleaf and mixed forests biome and is Central European in character. The ecoregion predominantly corresponds with Bohn et al.’s sub-Mediterranean-subcontinental thermophilous bitter oak forests and sub-Mediterranean and meso-supra-Mediterranean downy oak forests.  [ Bohn, Udo, Gisela Gollub, and Christoph Hettwer. 2000. Reduced general map of the natural vegetation of Europe. 1:10 million. Bonn-Bad Godesberg 2000].

To the south it merges with the Mediterranean ecological zones, while to the north and east with the
Pannonian mixed forests (in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Romania), Carpathian montane conifer forests, Central European mixed forests (both in Romania), as well as the East European forest steppe and Pontic steppe (both situated in Romania and Bulgaria).

Several species of deciduous oaks (most prominently Quercus frainetto, as well as Q. cerris, Q. pubescens) dominate most of the ecoregion's forests, interspersed higher up mountainsides (above 800–1200 m) mostly with European Beech and such conifers as Scots Pine, Macedonian Pine, Silver Fir and Norway Spruce. The highest peaks support alpine tundra vegetation.

Taukliman salt lake on the Bulgarian Black Sea coast

The mountains of the balkan region have their own ecological zones, such as the higher parts of the Rhodope and Balkan Mountains, which form their own ecological zone, the Rodope montane mixed forests, or the  Pindus Mountains mixed forests (in Greece, the Republic of Macedonia and Albania).

"Balkan mixed forests". Terrestrial Ecoregions. World Wildlife Fund.

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