Central European mixed forests

Austria, Belarus, Czechia, Germany, Lithuania, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Russia, Ukraine

One of Europe’s largest ecoregions spanning much of the north-east of the continent. It is heavily impacted by human activity with only about a third remaining in a relatively intact, forested state.

Central European mixed forests

Status

Protection
0 %

 

Background – Public Domain – Cristi Pitulice, 2007 / 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

Green Transport: MOTUM
Waste Management: Green Group

DONATE

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 trees important to this large ecoregion like Sessile Oak (Quercus petraea), Scots Pine (Pinus sylvestris), Silver Lime (Tilia tomentosa), European White Elm (Ulmus laevis) and European Beech (Fagus sylvatica) 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 such as Hornbeam (Carpinus betulus), Black Alder (Alnus glutinosa) and Silver Birch (Betula pendula). To create habitat, consider installation of nestboxes for native birds and creating tree hollows in old, dead tree limbs.

SHRUB LAYER

Plant shrubby herbaceous perennials such as Yellow Oxeye (Telekia speciosa), the ornamental Cotton Thistle (Onopordum acanthium) and Great Mullein (Verbascum thapsus) 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 meadow plants like Chicory (Cichorium intybus), Common Agrimony (Agrimonia eupatoria), Tuberous Pea (Lathyrus tuberosus) and Peach-leaved Bellflower (Campanula persicifolia). 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

The Romanian portion of the Central European mixed forests ecoregion spans the north-east and central-south of the country, including around its capital, Bucharest. The ecoregion is defined by temperate broadleaf and mixed forests on hills and lowlands. The dominant trees tend to be evergreens like Scots Pine, spruces and firs, with broadleaf species like European Beech, limes, alders and oaks creating important levels of woodland diversity. Due to heavy human influence, much of the ecoregion has been converted to farmland or developed into urban centres. This is one of the main reasons, combined with excessive poaching, that important keystone species like the Wisent went extinct earlier in the 20th century. Reintroduction programs for this species, as well as other vital grazers and carnivores, have been successful and are supported by increasing agroforestry, protected areas and rehabilitation zones.

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

Formerly-glaciated central plains, valleys and hills

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.
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.

Bechstein's Bat
(Myotis bechsteini)

Large Blue Hepatica
(Hepatica transsilvanica)

Eurasian Golden Oriole
(Oriolus oriolus)

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

Wisent, or European Bison, are important grazers. Much-persecuted in the past, these herbivores are making a comeback with rewilding projects, which help rebalance flora and fauna populations in the ecosystems they live.

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.