The high altitude beech wood

The high altitude beech wood

 

The disappearance of beech and other deciduous trees in favour of conifers is generally characteristic of the change from the mountain level to the sub-alpine level. But in the Vosges it is the conifers that are gradually disappearing and mainly the beech trees that are developing! This may be explained by an unusual climate: violent and frequent west winds, a lot of cloud cover (with persistent freezing fog) and heavy loads of snow that are easier for beech to cope with because it loses its leaves in winter, whereas the conifers keep their needles…

The uniqueness of the high altitude beech forest also lies in its herbaceous plant life: Gymnocarpium dryopteris, Polygonum bistorta, Cicerbita alpina