Endemic Mediterranean forests with Juniperus foetidissima (9560*)

Juniperus foetidissima forest stand on Mt. Oiti. (Photo: G. Karetsos)

Juniperus foetidissima is widespread in Greece at altitudes of 600-2,300 metres, but its populations are scattered and it rarely forms forest stands. In the site of Mt. Oiti (GR2440004) Juniperus foetidissima is sometimes found in the fir forests, but it forms pure forest stands at two small patches (8 ha and 1 ha) at high inclinations (70–80°) on the eastern, dry, limestone slopes.

There, the tree layer cover is 30 % and the shrub and the herb layer cover is less than 15 %. The main woody species, apart from Juniperus foetidissima, are Juniperus oxycedrus, Daphne oleoides, and Crataegus monogyna. The composition of the herb understorey varies. It includes several grasses and a great number of herbs and subshrubs, typically high altitude species of rocky grasslands and screes, including endemic and rare plants. In total, the floristic composition includes approximately 70 species.

Juniperus foetidissima has suffered destructive human pressure because in the past its valuable rot-proof wood was used in buildings and in the manufacture of agricultural tools.

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