Abies – Circum-Mediterranean firs in Europe: distribution, habitat, usage and threats

Caudullo, Giovanni; Tinner, Willy (2016). Abies – Circum-Mediterranean firs in Europe: distribution, habitat, usage and threats. In: San-Miguel-Ayanz, J.; de Rigo, D.; Caudullo, G.; Houston Durrant, T.; Mauri, A. (eds.) European Atlas of Forest Tree Species (pp. 50-51). Luxembourg: Publication Office of the European Union

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Most European firs occur predominantly in small to medium-sized populations in the Mediterranean region, sometimes with fragmented and limited distributions, except for silver fir (Abies alba). They all are genetically closely related and can easily hybridise, perhaps as a consequence of late speciation during the late Quaternary. Circum-Mediterranean firs occur principally in mountain areas with medium to high precipitations rates which are mostly concentrated during the winter period. The species are able to tolerate long droughts in summer and tend to form pure stands when in optimal habitats. In the past firs have been extensively logged for construction and fire wood and their stands were replaced by other more disturbance adapted species or converted into rural areas. Nowadays with the exception of silver fir and Caucasian fir (Abies nordmanniana), circum-Mediterranean firs do not have a wide commercial interest. In Turkey they are still exploited for timber wood, while other firs have an ornamental use in gardening. Great importance is given to their preservation, especially to those populations which have very limited areas and specimens, with the creation of protected reserves and conservation programmes. Wild fires, livestock grazing and genetic drift represent actually their main threats.

Item Type:

Book Section (Encyclopedia Article)

Division/Institute:

08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Plant Sciences (IPS) > Palaeoecology
08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Plant Sciences (IPS)

UniBE Contributor:

Tinner, Willy

Subjects:

500 Science > 580 Plants (Botany)

ISBN:

978-92-79-52833-0

Publisher:

Publication Office of the European Union

Language:

English

Submitter:

Peter Alfred von Ballmoos-Haas

Date Deposited:

06 Apr 2016 10:03

Last Modified:

12 Jan 2021 20:32

Related URLs:

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.80788

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/80788

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