Dinaric & Alpine Forests

 

The central and southern part of Slovenia is dominated by Dinaric forests, named after the Dinaric mountains, a chain running from central Slovenia down through most of the Balkans as far as Albania, in a northwest-southeast direction. The Dinarides are not very high (around 800-1500 m) and most of the area is covered by forests. The predominant forest type is an association of Beech Fagus sylvatica, Silver Fir Abies alba and Norway Spruce Picea abies, known as Abieti-Fagetum Dinaricum. Sycamore Acer pseudoplatanus is also a very common tree species. The most notable examples of Dinaric forests in Slovenia are found in the Snežnik and Javorniki mountain ranges, the forests in the Kočevje region and the Trnovo forest (Trnovski gozd). Remnants of primeval (virgin) forest are still to be found in Slovenia and some of the best examples are in the Dinaric forests (e.g. Kočevje and Snežnik forests).Alpine forests in Slovenia are quite similar to Dinaric forests, except they exibit a greater abundance of Norway Spruce Picea abies and Mountain Pine Pinus mugo. The upper treeline in the Alps is formed by Larches Larix decidua, a specie not found in the Dinarides

 

Most famous and charismatic species :

 

Brown Bear Ursus arctos

Wolf Canis lupus

Eurasian Lynx Lynx lynx

Golden Jackals Canis aureus

Red Deer Cervus elaphus

Roe Deer Capreolus capreolus

Wild Boar Sus scrofa

Fox Vulpes vulpes

Beech Marten Martes foina

Wildcat Felis silvestris

White-backed Woodepcker Dendrocopos leucotos

Red-breasted Flycatcher Ficedula parva

Three-toed Woodpecker Picoides tridactylus

Ural Owl Strix uralensis

Edible Dormouse Glis glis

Tengmalm’s Owl Aegolius funereus

Pygmy Owl Glaucidium passerinum

Hazel Grouse Bonasa bonasia

Capercaillie Tetrao urogallus

Crested Tit Lophophanes cristatus

Coal Tit Periparus ater

Willow Tit Poecile montanus 

Treecreeper Certhia familiaris

Firecrest Regulus ignicapillus

Goldcrest Regulus regulus

Crossbill Loxia curvirostra

Bullfinch Pyrrhula pyrrhula

Black WoodpeckerDryocopus martius

Grey-headed Woodpecker Picus canus

Common Treecreeper Certhia familiaris

Nutcrackers Nucifraga caryocatactes

Alpine Salamander Salamandra atra

Adder Vipera berus

Rosalia Longicorn Rosalia alpina

Beech Longhorn Beetle Morimus funereus

 

 

Thermophilous Forests

 

 

This forest type is found on relatively warm and dry sites, where beech Fagus sylvatica is replaced by other thermophilous tree species such as: Downy Oak Quercus pubescens, Hop-hornbeam Ostria carpinifolia, Manna Ash Fraxinus ornus, Sessile Oak Quercus petraea and Turkey Oak Quercus cerris. In certain sunny locations in western Slovenia (and more commonly in nearby northeast Italy) there are also evergreen Holm Oak Quercus ilex forests, typical of the Mediterranean. The largest areas of thermophilous forests are found in the sub-Mediterranean part, that is mainly in western Slovenia. Such areas include a good proportion of the Classical Karst area, Istria and the Vipava valley. These forests are not as old and well preserved as those in the Dinarides, but are rather the result of human land use through centuries. Many forests are coppiced and/or grow on abandoned farming areas (agricultural terraces, meadows and pastures). Despite the fact that thermophilous forests are of secondary formation, they are important habitats for some rare and protected animal and plant species. 

 

 

Most famous and charismatic species :

 

 

Golden Oriole Oriolus oriolus

Nightingale Luscinia megarhynchos 

Short-toed Treecreeper Certhia brachydactyla

Hawfinch Coccothraustes coccothraustes 

Black Woodpecker Dryocopus martius 

Grey-headed Woodpecker Picus canus

Lesser Spotted Woodpecker Dendrocopos minor

Tawny Owl Strix aluco

Middle Spotted Woodpecker Dendrocopos medius

Rock Bunting Emberiza cia

Roe Deer Capreolus capreolus

Wild Boar Sus scrofa

Fox Vulpes vulpes

Beech Marten Martes foina

Eastern Hedgehog Erinaceus concolor

Golden Jackal Canis aureus

Stag Beetle Lucanus cervus 

Great Capricorn Beetle Cerambyx cerdo

Sardinian Warbler Sylvia melanocephala

Subalpine Warbler Sylvia cantillans 

Eastern Olivaceous Warbler Iduna pallida

Crested Tit Lophophanes cristatus

Coal Tit Periparus ater

Crossbill Loxia curvirostra

Black Woodpecker Dryocopus martius

Red Squirrels Sciurus vulgaris

 

 

Lowland Riparian Forests

 

 

Lowland riparian forests can be found in the flood area of all major rivers of Slovenia, but are generally more widespread in the east. They are periodically flooded by nearby rivers (for example Sava, Krka, Mura, Drava) and support an interesting animal and plant community. The predominant tree species in these forests are Pedunculate Oak Quercus robur, Common Hornbeam Carpinus betulus, Common Alder Alnus glutinosa, European Ash Fraxinus excelsior and Narrow-leaved Ash Fraxinus angustifolia. Some of the most notable examples of riparian forest in Slovenia include Krakovski gozd, Dobrava and the forests along the river Mura. 

 

 

Most famous and charismatic species :

 

 

 

Middle Spotted Woodpecker Dendrocopos medius 

Collared Flycatcher Ficedula albicollis.

Black Stork Ciconia nigra 

White-tailed Eagle Haliaeetus albicilla,

Hawfinch Coccothraustes coccothraustes

Turtle Dove Streptopelia turtur

Short-toed Treecreeper Certhia brachydactyla.

Otter Lutra lutra 

European Beaver Castor fiber.

Fire-bellied Toad Bombina bombina 

Yellow-bellied Toad Bombina variegata

Moor Frog Rana arvalis 

Fire Salamander Salamandra salamandra. 

European Pond Terrapins Emys orbicularis