Balkan mixed forests

Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Greece, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Romania, Serbia, Turkey

An arc of valleys, plains, slopes and mountains in the eastern Balkans covered in a range of temperate broadleaf and mixed forests. The area has experienced thousands of years of human habitation and agricultural activities.
Balkans (2)

Status

Protection
0 %

 

Background – CC Attribution Share Alike 4.0 International – B&bnikolic, 2016 / Map – CC Attribution Share Alike 3.0 Unported – Terpsichores, 2012

ACT
Help your Ecoregion
So what can you do to help your ecoregion? Below is a list to help you support your ecoregion, while also achieving life's everyday tasks. Don’t underestimate your power in doing good for nature!

PRODUCTS

Food: Salad Box

Services

Energy Provider: Tema Energy
Waste Management: Environ

At Home
Below is a list of actions you can easily take at home to minimise your impact on the ecoregion in which you live, and the rest of the planet too!
In your Garden
Below is a list of native plants and habitat creation tips you can use in your garden or on your property to give your ecoregion and its species a boost!

CANOPY LAYER

Plant native broadleaf trees such as Hungarian Oak (Quercus frainetto), Turkey Oak (Quercus cerris) and Downy Oak (Quercus pubescens), or conifer species like Scots Pine (Pinus sylvestris) if you have space. To create habitat, consider installation of nestboxes for native birds and creating hollows in old, dead tree limbs.

SUB-CANOPY LAYER

Plant native sub-canopy trees like Grey Alder (Alnus incana) and Silver Poplar (Populus alba). To create habitat, consider installation of nestboxes for native birds and creating tree hollows in old, dead tree limbs.

SHRUB LAYER

Plant hardy shrubs such as Common Peony (Paeonia officinalis), Fern-leaved Peony (Paeonia tenuifolia), Russian Almond (Prunus tenella) and Hungarian Lilac (Syringa josikaea) for nectar-sources and structure. These plants create dense shrubby refugia for birds and mammals. To create habitat, consider installing insect hotels, compost-heaps and bird-baths in this layer.

GROUND LAYER

Plant native bulbs sourced from non-wild populations like the Danube Tulip (Tulipa hungarica) and White Martagon Lily (Lilium martagon var. albiflorum), interspersed with meadow plants like Polygala major, Salvia pratensis and Ox-eye Daisy (Leucanthemum vulgare). Bushy native grasses like Melica transsilvanica will help create a thick ground-layer for insects. To create habitat, consider installing a pond or bog-garden with native aquatic and riparian plants, log-piles for sheltering amphibians and reptiles and leave areas of leaf-litter for important insects.

Learn
Including a wide variety of landscapes from wide river valleys, plains and wetlands to low mountain ranges, this ecoregion is centred around the Carpathians of central Romania. The forests have been heavily managed and modified by humans for thousands of years, often utilising low-intensity agriculture and transhumance. The area has a temperate climate and a varied geology. The dominant vegetation is forests of beech, oak species and pines, but flora-rich pastures, valleys and plains also exist within the region either as a result of low-intensity agriculture or altitudinal gradients. The area supports populations of large animals that are rare elsewhere in Europe, including lynx and capercaillie. There are over 2,000 plants native to the region, including over 400 endemics.
Ecoregion Structure
The structure of the ecoregion is defined as the key living and non-living features characterising its ecosystems, and the differences between how these ecosystems are arranged. For example, layers of vegetation, geology, habitat features and landscapes.

Geology

Sedimentary and metamorphic lowlands, valleys and plains to both limestone and igenous extrusions in mountain ranges

Climate

Temperate

Iconic Landscapes

Native plant communities

Scenes by @blueringmedia
Ecoregion Composition
The composition of the ecoregion is defined as the biodiversity that inhabits its ecosystems, and the differences between this biodiversity. For example, communities, populations, species, subspecies and genetic traits.
Keystone Species​
Keystone species are those that have a disproportionately large effect on the ecosystems in which they live, relative to their natural abundance there. In other words, species with a really important role in the health of ecosystems.

Eurasian Brown Bear
(Ursus arctos subsp. arctos)

Flagship Species
Flagship species are those that are chosen by people to represent a wider conservation message, usually for a given place or social context, and as such often carry conservation messages for wider biodiversity.
Recently Extinct Species
All around the world, biodiversity is declining at a concerning rate. For some species it's already too late, and they have disappeared from the ecoregions they once called home. These are some examples of those lost species.

Tarpan
(Equus ferus subsp. ferus)

Ecoregion Function
The function of the ecoregion is defined as how its structural and compositional components all work together to form ecological relationships and processes which change over time through geological shifts and evolution by natural selection.

Keystone Relationships

As an apex predator, Eurasian Brown Bears are essential in the balance of healthy ecosystems in the Balkan mixed forests. Their predation on herbivores, such as deer species, keeps vegetation succession and many related food-chains, in check.

Life-support Systems​

Keystone Relationships
As an apex predator, Brown Bears are essential in the balance of healthy ecosystems in the Balkan mixed forests. Their predation on herbivores such as deer species, keeps vegetation succession and many related food-chains, in check.

Biodiversity is fundamental to a healthy planet and thriving communities, but the world's species are under tremendous threat.