Saturday, December 15, 2012

Dinaric Mountain Vegetation Zone (15)

Like the rest of the Mediterranean zone, as defined by the World Wildlife Fund, this mountainous region with a wide altitudinal range is characterized by hot, dry summers and mild to cool rainy winters. With high precipitation ranges and an overabundance of limestones, karst relief is a dominating landform.  The region is home to a large diversity of habitats and species such as the Pindus Mountains mixed forests (in Greece, the Republic of Macedonia and Albania), Dinaric Mountains mixed forests (in Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina).  Within the zone, the various vegetation groups form a mosaic of forests, woodlands, savannas, shrublands, and grasslands forming complex landscape patterns created by variations in soil, topography, exposure to wind and sun, and fire history. The lower altitude forests (below 600–1000 m) are of mixed broadleaf composition - dominant species  include various deciduous oaks (Quercus frainetto, Q. pubescens, Q. cerris), Carpinus orientalis. Fraxinus ornus marks the submediterranean zone. The  highest elevations (above 1,500 m) are covered with conifer forests,
The conifer zone is dominated by the Norway Spruce, Silver Fir and European Black Pine with the admixture of the European Beech. The region is also characterised by a wide variety of  sclerophyll shrubs as in the mediterranean ecological zone.

Mediterranean Forests, Woodlands, and Scrub Ecoregions". Terrestrial Ecoregions. World Wildlife Fund.
Dinaric Mountains mixed forests". Terrestrial Ecoregions. World Wildlife Fund.

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