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Slovenia

Beech Forests in Slovenia

The beech forests in Slovenia are located in the Dinaric Mountains, which, compared to the Alps, are characterised by lower altitudes, less slope, and a less rocky surface.

The primeval forests there belong to the most important relicts of the beech forest communities in the northern part of the Illyrian Beech Forest Region. This World Heritage Site is thus an indispensable component of the ongoing ecological expansion process of the European beech forest.
Large areas of the Dinaric Mountains were not suitable for agriculture, so that the permanent land cover consisted mainly of forest. Due to its inaccessibility and distance from the timber market, logging in this area began relatively late, in the 1850s.

Ancient Beech Forests in Slovenia

Two beech forest properties are recognised in Slovenia: Krokar and Snežnik-Ždrocle. The Krokar Forest Reserve is located in the northern part of the Dinaric Mountains, where fir and beech forests typically predominate, accounting for more than 65% of the forest area. The World Heritage Site is embedded in an extensive forest landscape, which is managed in a near-natural and sustainable way. Snežnik-Ždrocle is the largest Forest Reserve in Slovenia. It surrounds Big Mount Snežnik (1,796 m), the highest peak of the karst plateau in the north-western part of the Dinaric Mountains. Mountain Beech forests prevail, changing into subalpine beech forests in exposed positions of the highest points, which form the tree line due to the mild and humid climate.