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Wednesday, 29 August 2012

ECCB2012 PRESS RELEASE: Where the rain never ends – rainforests in Europe

Everyone has heard of tropical rainforests. However, did you know that Europe also has rainforests? About 15% of all “temperate-boreal rainforests” of the world occur in Europe. Most of these forests have now been lost due to human land-use and pollution. Remnants of these fascinating and forgotten forests, lush with lichens and mosses, only occur in wet and isolated places in Ireland, Scotland and Norway. Experts from around the world are gathered in Glasgow, to share knowledge on the biology and conservation of these precious ecosystems, and to help preserve their biodiversity faced with climate change.

Christopher Ellis, UK


Edward Forrest Frank said...

It is curious that the temperate rainforests of Australia and New Zealand, and those of the western US and Canada have the worlds tallest trees, while those trees in the temperate rainforests of South America and Europe do not have trees of exceptional height.

KoutaR said...

In Europe, the Ice Ages destroyed possible genetic stock for super-tall trees. For example, Abies and Picea were present in the British Isles still in the Hoxnian Interglacial some 400.000 years ago. They could well have been as tall species as A. grandis and P. sitchensis from the Pacific Northwest. The latter species grow in the British Isles as fast as at their home.

In New Zealand there is no native tree 60 metres tall. In southwestern South America, Fitzroya cupressoides may reach 70 metres.