Paisaje: naturaleza y cultura

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Pirineos-Monte Perdido

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This will cross-reference all available documents in our data base related to the UNESCO World Heritage Site

Plants

The Pyrenees-Monte Perdido World Heritage Site is noted for the diversity of its landscapes and its wealth of flora and fauna.

There is a very high concentration of different plant species here due to the combination of various palaeobiogeographic, climatic, edaphic, orographic, anthropic and other factors. At higher altitudes, the temperature drops, one of the main factors that determine the distribution of species, as it conditions the individualisation and layering of plant and animal communities in bioclimatic zones.

Another factor that should not be ignored is the impact that people living in the area have had on the plant cover over the centuries, as they have significantly altered the structure and distribution of plant communities.

Plant varieties typical of Atlantic, boreo-Alpine, oro-Mediterreanian and Mediterranean environments can be found within the protected area, an extremely wide range amounting to more than 1,500 species (50% of Pyrenean flora). Nineteen classes of vegetation have been described, including 36 orders, 51 alliances and 75 plant associations (BENITO, 2010).

The endemic plants are particularly notable due to their importance and singularity. Around 50 endemic Pyrenean species have been recorded, along with species present in other nearby mountainous massifs, such as the Cantabrian Mountains, the Alps and Sierra Nevada. Most of these species are to be found in rocky habitats such as river beds, outcrops and stony pastureland.

Climatic and anthropic factors are responsible for the general structure of the vegetation today and have produced a number of landscape units. E. Balcells has identified 16 especially important biological communities.