Pindus Mountains mixed forests
The Pindus Mountains 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 Mediterranean forests, woodlands, and shrub, and to the Palearctic ecozone.
The Pindus Mountains mixed forests are situated in the
montaneparts of the southern Balkansin the wide altitudinal range above 300-500 m. They cover Taygetuson the Peloponnesusin the south, occur in the mountain ranges of Central Greece(including the Pindus), eastern Albaniaand the southwestern part of the Republic of Macedonia, extend to the Drin Rivervalley in the north and occupy 39,500 km² (15,300 sq. mi) in the three countries.
The ecoregion is landlocked and surrounded by the
Aegean and Western Turkey sclerophyllous and mixed forests(in Greece), Illyrian deciduous forests(in Greece and Albania), Dinaric Mountains mixed forests(in Albania to the north of the Drin) and Balkan mixed forests(in Kosovo, the Republic of Macedonia and Greece).
Due to the wide altitudinal range of this ecoregion the highest elevations (above 1,000-1,400 m) are covered with coniferous forests, with a mixed broadleaf zone occurring lower. The coniferous forests are dominated by "
Pinus nigra" subsp. "nigra" var. "pallasiana", " Abies cephalonica" and "A. borisii-regis", with deciduous European Beechin the north. " Juniperus foetidissima" occurs widely near the tree line. The dominant species on the lower elevations are remarkably diverse, including " Aesculus hippocastanum" (in more damp places) and various deciduous oaks (" Quercus frainetto", "Q. pubescens", "Q. cerris", "Q. trojana", "Q. petraea"). Evergreen oaks, mainly "Q. calliprinos", and other Mediterranean sclerophyllshrubland species are abundant on dry and rocky south-facing slopes.
Phytogeographically, the ecoregion is shared between the East Mediterranean province of the
Mediterranean Regionand the Illyrian province of the Circumboreal Regionwithin the Holarctic Kingdom( Armen Takhtajan's delineation).
Vikos-Aoos National Park(Greece)
Galičica(Republic of Macedonia)
Pelister(Republic of Macedonia)
* [http://www.worldwildlife.org/wildworld/profiles/terrestrial/pa/pa1217_full.html Pindus Mountains mixed forests (PA1217)] , World Wildlife Fund, 2001.
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