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Phrygana Macchie Pine forest Firforest Oak thickets
Brushwood Riverine vegetation Chasmophytes Meadows


PINE FOREST

The pine forests of the National Park of Parnitha are situated at the low and moderate altitudes of the mountain, they cover an area of c. 9,500 hectares and they consist of haleppo pine (Pinus halepensis) exclusively. A very important part of these forests (approximately 2,900 hectares) is included in the core of the National Park and is strictly protected.

pine forest at Tatoi areaPine forests extend from the foot of the mountain, where they mix with shrubs (kermes oaks, strawberry trees, etc.), up to 800m. In higher altitudes (800 - 1000), but mainly at the south-facing slopes of Parnitha, haleppo pine mixes with grecian fir and prickly juniper (Juniperus oxycedrus).

Haleppo pine is a valuable and irreplaceable species for the area, because it is extremely tolerant to summer drought and highly adjustable to fires, after which it easily regenerates. Fire plays an important role in pine ecosystems, which are characterized as fire-dependent, as the pine cones that enclose the seeds open under high temperatures and the seeds are being transported through air in large distances, enabling the species' regeneration. However, if an area is repeatedly burnt, regeneration decreases, due to soil erosion, which eventially leads the pine forest to degradation.

The pine forests of Parnitha National Park were used for resin extraction, grazing and logging since ancient times. The shrub layer under the pines was lumbered for the production of charcoals and the operation of lime-kilns. pine forest at Metochi areaThis kind of management, combined with frequent fire outbreaks destroyed huge sections of the pine forests. Also, the biggest part of the mountain is covered with poor and shallow soils, leading to the concurrent structure of the forests.

Nowadays the economic importance of the resin extraction and logging of the pine forests is not notable. The pattern of the leaf canopy, the bright green color of the pine needles and their variety, give though the pine forests an incomparable aesthetic appearance.

Under the pines very few plant species grow, due to the thick layer of dry pine needles that fall on the ground and are left intact for a long period of time. The only species that can grow under pine trees are bulbous, such as sowbreads (Cyclamen graecum, Cyclamen hederifolium), orchids (Ophrys lutea, Ophrys tenthredinifera, Orchis italica, Orchis quadripunctata), and asparagus (Asparagus acutifolius).

 
   
 
 
   
 

 

Play our game and meet the animals living on Mt Parnitha!

 
 
 

Contact:

  Forest Service of Parnitha
  Thrakomakedonon Ave.    142, Acharnes. GR13601
   Athens, Greece.

Tel.: 0030 210 2434061-3 fax.: 0030 210 2434064

mail: daspar@otenet.gr

 
   
           
         
   

 Design-editing:
  Eirini Aplada, Biologist-M.Sc. Environmental Biology and Terrestrial and Marine Ecosystem Management

mail: iaplada@yahoo.com
©2006