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Grassland vegetation of the North-Adriatic karst landscape in Slovenia

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Chapter Summary

The North Adriatic Karst (NAK) is located between the Adriatic Sea, the Alps and the Dinarids on the north westernmost part of the Balkans. The natural potential vegetation of the NAK is deciduous oak-dominated thermophilous forest at lower altitudes and beech forest above 800-1000 m. The NAK is floristically a contact area between the Mediterranean and Euro-Siberian biogeographical zones, and shares the characteristics of both zones. The natural vegetation is deciduous forest. The derivatives of the deciduous forests are dry and semi-dry grasslands of the order Scorzoneretalia villosae. One of the most precious advantages of the NAK grasslands is their size, shape and their unfragmented nature. This is due mostly to a sparsely populated landscape with few opportunities for intensive agriculture. The NAK represents the gateway between the "wild", species-rich ancient landscape of the north western Balkans to the densely populated Central Europe.

Keywords: deciduous forest; natural potential vegetation; North-Adriatic Karst landscape grassland



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