Forest plants

Forest plants

The biodiversity of forest flora and the structure of forest stands are the subject of this rubric. They are presented using plant portraits. Plant ecology deals with the interaction of all forest vegetation as well as the relationships between individual plants and their environment.

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European Tree Species Distribution Maps

Did you know that sycamore trees do not grow naturally in Great Britain or in Denmark? Were you aware that the European beech tree can be found on Corsica and Sicily, but not on Sardinia?

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The Queen of the Alps – the Swiss Stone Pine

The five-needled Swiss stone pine is perfectly suited to harsh mountain climates where it braves wind and weather its whole life long. It also has a symbiotic relationship with the nutcracker which disperses its seeds year after year.

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Distribution and occurrence of yew trees in Switzerland

The yew tree population in Switzerland plays an important role in the conservation of this species in western and central Europe. The biggest challenge is protecting young plants from browsing by game.

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Mycorrhiza – a fascinating symbiosis in the forest

Everyone knows about the mushrooms in the forest, but to most people it is unknown as to why the mushrooms grow mostly in the forest and which functions they have. A WSL fact sheet gives insight into the fascinating community of the mycorrhizae.

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Tree rings – a phenological calendar of the past?

Long term phenological observations as well as tree ring time series provide information about past climatic conditions. Unfortunately data gaps in phenological observations cannot be reconstructed or can they?

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The Scots Pine – Tree of the year 2007

The Scot's pine is known in German speaking countries by several different names. The "resin tree" or "pitch tree" are just two names that are reminiscent of past uses.

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The black poplar (Populus nigra)

The black poplar is one of the rarest and most endangered species of tree. The main reason is the eradication of the alluvial areas which are their natural habitats. However, the cultivation of hybrid poplars also contributes to the decline of this tree species which is in danger of extinction.

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European Beech (Fagus sylvatica) – Portrait of a Tree Species

European beech may well reach an age of 300 years and, in rare cases, even 500 years. Also, it may reach over 40 m in height.

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Where trees can no longer grow: the alpine timberline

The growth of trees at high altitudes is not restricted by extreme frosts, but mainly by low temperatures during the vegetation period. The actual climatic warming could therefore lead to an altitudinal rise in the timberline.

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Growth Rings in Herbaceous Plant Species and Dwarf-Shrubs

Only a few experts know that dwarf-shrubs and perennial herbs show growth rings. Only little is known about the growth pattern of these plants species and about the wood anatomy.

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Heading image: Thomas Reich