baumzaehlen - Primeval Forests & Their Trees

©2014copyright christoph hase

Biogradska Gora National Park, Montenegro

 

The park's virgin forest reserve (16 km²) consists of a mountain valley and surrounding mountains up to 2117 metres. There is a small lake, Biogradsko Jezero, in the valley bottom (elev. 1100 m). Annual precipitation is quite high, approx. 2 200 mm 1. In this "Illyric beech forest zone", there is no drought period despite the Mediterranean rainfall distribution2. This is one of the few true old-growth forests remaining in Europe outside Russia and Fennoscandia. The area has been protected since 1878, when the forest was already old.

 

According to the national park information1, 86 tree species have been found in the park but this is a translation error: they mean woody species including shrubs. The tree flora consists mainly of species common in Central Europe. Most are easy to identify, the most common species being Opens internal link in current windowFagus sylvatica (European beech), Opens internal link in current windowAbies alba (European silver fir) and Opens internal link in current windowPicea abies (Norway spruce), on the valley bottom and around the lake also Opens internal link in current windowAcer pseudoplatanus (sycamore maple). At the end of the lake around the delta of an inflowing river (Biogradska Rijeka), there is lush moist forest composed mainly of Opens internal link in current windowFraxinus excelsior (European ash) and Opens internal link in current windowAlnus incana subsp. incana (grey alder). Between this moist forest and the lake there is a still wetter area, seasonally flooded each year, with stands of Opens internal link in current windowSalix alba (white willow), which tolerates periods of up to 3-6 months flooding annually; its seeding coincides precisely with the sinking of water levels in the summer, allowing seedlings to become established on the exposed land3.

 

In 2012, Jeroen Philippona*, Michael Spraggon and I Opens external link in new windowmeasured with Nikon 550 instruments the tallest known reliably measured Opens internal link in current windowUlmus glabra (wych elm) specimen: 40.4 m. The tallest tree we found was P. abies 59 m.

 

Camping is allowed only at the official campsite, which is rather noisy at times. There are also a few cabins, which cannot be reserved in advance.

 

* Jeroen’s www-site: Opens external link in new windowbomeninfo.nl/english1.htm

 

References:

 

1       Dožić, Bulatović & Vincek (1997): National Park Biogradska Gora. National Parks of Montenegro.

2       Mayer, H. (1986): Europäische Wälder. Gustav Fischer Verlag.

3       Schirmer, R. & Stimm, B. (2006): Salix alba. In Schütt, P. et al.: Enzyklopädie der Laubbäume, pp. 535-550. Nikol.

 

Official site:

 

http://www.nparkovi.me/sajt/np-biogradska-gora/o-parku

 

Fagus sylvatica (European beech) dominated forest. Also Acer pseudoplatanus (sycamore maple, scaly bark). Elev. 1120 m.
Fagus sylvatica (European beech) dominated forest. Also Acer pseudoplatanus (sycamore maple, reddish bark). Elev. approx. 1100 m.
Acer pseudoplatanus (sycamore maple) dominated forest in Biogradska Rijeka valley at approx. 1100 m. Also Fagus sylvatica (European beech, smooth bark).
Moist Alnus incana subsp. incana (grey alder) dominated forest in Biogradska Rijeka delta at 1100 m. Also Acer pseudoplatanus (sycamore maple, scaly bark, centre) and Fraxinus excelsior (European ash) sapling, left.
Moist Alnus incana (grey alder) dominated forest in Biogradska Rijeka delta at 1100 m. Also Acer pseudoplatanus (sycamore maple, scaly bark).
Alnus incana subsp. incana (grey alder) forest in Biogradska Rijeka delta at 1100 m.
Biogradska Rijeka. Elev. approx. 1100 m. Acer pseudoplatanus (sycamore maple), leaning trees; Fagus sylvatica (European beech), background; Abies alba (European silver fir), left.
Biogradsko Jezero. Elev. 1100 m. Fagus sylvatica (European beech) and Abies alba (European silver fir, narrow dark crowns) dominated forest.
Salix alba (white willow) on shore of Biogradsko Jezero.
Seasonally flooded Salix alba (white willow) forest at Biogradsko Jezero. On slopes, Fagus sylvatica (European beech) - Abies alba (European silver fir) dominated forest.
Salix caprea (goat willow) on shore of Biogradsko Jezero. Also Fagus sylvatica (European beech), right.
Salix viminalis (common osier) at Biogradsa Rijeka at 1230 m.
Picea abies (Norway spruce) at Biogradska Rijeka at 1270 m. Height 56.2 m, girth 671 cm, volume 40-50 cubic metres. Abies alba (European silver fir) foliage, foreground.
The 56.2-metre Picea abies (Norway spruce) of image 13 on the right. The other big P. abies, left centre, is 56 m tall with a girth of 540 cm. Acer pseudoplatanus (sycamore maple, mossy trunks) and Fagus sylvatica (European beech, pale trunks). The conifer saplings are Abies alba (European silver fir) except the nearest, which is P. abies. Biogradska Rijeka is behind the big P. abies.
59-metre Picea abies (Norway spruce) emerging from conifer canopy. Left from it Abies alba (European silver fir) and right P. abies. Also Acer pseudoplatanus (sycamore maple) and Ulmus glabra (wych elm, left). Elev. approx. 1200 m.
Abies alba (European silver fir), height 53.6 m, girth 504 cm, at 1266 m. Other trees are A. alba and Fagus sylvatica (European beech).
Abies alba (European silver fir) at Biogradska Rijeka at 1260 m. Girth 514 cm, height 48.4 m. Also Ulmus glabra (wych elm, larger leaning trunk), Acer pseudoplatanus (sycamore maple, multi-trunked tree, left background) and Fagus sylvatica (European beech).
Abies alba (European silver fir) dominated forest slope at 1220 m. Also thin trunks and foliage of Fagus sylvatica (European beech).
Fraxinus excelsior (European ash) at 1100 m. Girth 470 cm, height 38 m.
Fraxinus excelsior (European ash), same specimen as in image 19.
Acer pseudoplatanus (sycamore maple) in Fagus sylvatica (European beech) forest close to shore of Biogradsko Jezero. Girth 462 cm.
Double-trunked Acer pseudoplatanus (sycamore maple), height 40.6 m, girth 542 cm (taller trunk 360 cm). A. pseudo- platanus also left background and right; Fagus sylvatica (European beech), centre background; Corylus avellana (common hazel), shrub, left.
Acer platanoides (Norway maple) on shore of Biogradsko Jezero.
Fagus sylvatica (European beech) forest at 1130 m.
Ulmus glabra (wych elm), height 40.4 m, girth 492 cm. Also Abies alba (European silver fir, left) and Fraxinus excelsior (European ash, right).
Two large Ulmus glabra (wych elm) trees at 1270 m. Right: height 38 m, girth 541 cm; left: height 38 m, girth 450 cm. Also young Abies alba (European silver fir) and Picea abies (Norway spruce, partly hidden behind foreground U. glabra).
Tilia platyphyllos (large-leaved linden) at 1100 m. Height 39.2 cm. Also Fagus sylvatica (European beech, right).
Crataegus rhipidophylla on shore of Biogradsko Jezero.
Pyrus communis subsp. pyraster (wild pear) on shore of Biogradsko Jezero.
Bases of Prunus avium (wild cherry) and Abies alba (European silver fir), left, on shore of Biogradsko Jezero.
Corylus avellana (common hazel) on shore of seasonally dry pond at 1100 m.
Cornus sanguinea (common dogwood) at 1100 m.
Bottom: seasonally flooded Salix alba (white willow) forest at Biogradsko Jezero, backed by Alnus incana (grey alder) - Fraxinus excelsior (European ash) forest of Biogradska Rijeka delta. On lower slopes Fagus sylvatica (European beech) dominated forest, on upper slopes Abies alba (European silver fir) dominated forest. Top right: narrow crowns of Picea abies (Norway spruce); extreme left: two large F. excelsior, one of which pictured in images 19 and 20.
Some broadleaf trees of the park.