Balkan mixed forests
The Balkan mixed forests constitute a terrestrial
ecoregionof Europeaccording to both the WWF and Digital Map of European Ecological Regions by the European Environment Agency. It belongs to the biomeof temperate broadleaf and mixed forestsand the Palearctic ecozone.
The Balkan mixed forests cover much of the valleys, plains and mountain slopes of the eastern
Balkanson different altitudes (except higher parts of the Rhodope and Balkan Mountains, where they are substituted by the Rodope montane mixed forests), extend from approximately the Drinavalley to the coasts of the Black, Marmara and Aegean Seas and occupy 224,400 km² (86,600 sq. mi) in Turkey, Greece, the Republic of Macedonia, Bulgaria, Romania, Kosovoand Serbia. The ecoregion is surrounded by the Euxine-Colchic deciduous forests(in Turkey, Georgia and Bulgaria), Aegean and Western Turkey sclerophyllous and mixed forests(in Greece), Pindus Mountains mixed forests(in Greece, the Republic of Macedonia and Albania), Dinaric Mountains mixed forests(in Montenegroand Bosnia and Herzegovina), 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 steppeand Pontic steppe(both situated in Romania and Bulgaria).
The climate of the ecoregion is mostly of Köppen's humid subtropical (Cfa) to humid warm summer continental (Dfb) type, with wet winters. Several species of deciduous
oaks (most prominently " Quercus frainetto" Ten., as well as "Q. cerris" L., "Q. pubescens" Willd. and others) dominate most of the ecoregion's forests, interspersed higher up mountainsides (above 800-1200 m) mostly with European Beechand such conifers as Scots Pine, Macedonian Pine, Silver Firand Norway Spruce. The highest peaks support alpine tundravegetation.
Phytogeographically, the ecoregion is shared between parts of the Central European, Illyrian and Euxinian provinces of the
Circumboreal Regionwithin the Holarctic Kingdom(according to Armen Takhtajan's delineation).
* [http://www.worldwildlife.org/wildworld/profiles/terrestrial/pa/pa0404_full.html Balkan mixed forests (PA0404)] , World Wildlife Fund, 2001.
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