Life Zones of The Mediterranean Region - Dinaric Alps of The Balkan Peninsula

Dinaric Alps of The Balkan Peninsula

An example of the wetter (or maritime) pattern comes from the Orjen range in the southeastern coastal Dinaric ranges of Montenegro and Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Above 400 metres (1,300 ft) of elevation, the Orjen range lies in the Dinaric Mountains mixed forests ecoregion (as defined by the World Wildlife Fund). This ecoregion is known for its humidity, compared to other mountain ranges of the Mediterranean. Life zones in the Orjen range, with corresponding elevation ranges and indicator species are:

  • Eu-mediterranean (lower subtropical belt, ME=meridional) 0–400 metres (0–1,300 ft), Holm Oak (Quercus ilex), Kermes Oak (Quercus coccifera), Olive tree (Olea europaea). More humid habitats show Bay Laurel (Laurus nobilis) and Oleander (Nerium oleander) formations.
  • Supra-mediterranean (upper subtropical belt) 400–1,100 metres (1,300–3,600 ft), Macedonian Oak (Quercus trojana) and Oriental Hornbeam (Carpinus orientalis); above Turkey Oak (Quercus cerris) and Hungarian Oak or Italian Oak (Quercus frainetto). With more humidity: Forests of Sweet Chestnut (Castanea sativa), Downy Oak or Pubescent Oak (Quercus pubescens) and European Hophornbeam (Ostrya carpinifolia Scop.).
  • Oro-mediterranean (temperate zone, NE= Nemoral) 1,100–1,450 metres (3,600–4,760 ft), Forest of Common Beech (Fagus sylvatica) over calcareous soil. Dinaric calcareous block fir forest; European Silver Fir (Abies alba).
  • Alti-mediterranean (taiga zone, BO= Boreal); 1,450–1,700 metres (4,760–5,600 ft), European Beech (Fagus sylvatica), Bosnian Pine (Pinus heldreichii), Greek Maple (Acer heldreichii) at the Tree line. The less humid regions have Juniper (and for example: Iris orjenii, Viola chelmea) over Sesleria robusta grasses.
  • Cry-omediterranean (tundra zone, AL= Alpine); 1,700–1,900 metres (5,600–6,200 ft), Xerophytes. Trifolium, Narcissus, Gentiana nivalis, Draba hoppeanae, Androsace alpina.

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