- Fir-dominated forests in Bavaria, Germany (2005)
- The map of “Regional natural forest composition by main tree species” (WALENTOWSKI et al. 2001) depicts Bavaria as a region largely predominated by the European beech (Fagus sylvatica). Analyses of climatope, hygrotope and trophotope of fir-dominated regional natural units make evident that the reasons for the preponderance of the European silver fir (Abies alba) are edaphic. In terms of regeneration vigour, growth and yield the fir particularly dominates in habitats with a combination of humus cover, acid-oligotrophic topsoils and clayey or waterlogged subsoils, where the beech usually exhibits stunted and malformed growth forms. This ecological preference has the effect that Bavarian Abies alba-forests are restricted to small patches within a matrix of potential natural vegetation formed by mixed deciduous-coniferous mountain forests. Within European Natura 2000 areas Abies- forests should be recorded carefully as special habitats. Their transitional character between temperate beech forests (habitat type 9130) and boreal spruce forests (habitat type 9410), the ecological preference of Abies alba as an endangered tree species and their sensitivity against environmental stressors, including changes in forest structure, air quality, and climate, make them important objects for nature conservation.