Turkey, situated on the Alpine Belt
, where the world's richest marble deposits are found, is among the world's oldest natural stone producers, said the official.-TradeArabia News Service
There, the subalpine belt is characterized by widespread conifer forests and related scrubs and grasslands, and gives way upwards to the alpine belt through the treeline ecotone.
From lowlands to the subalpine belt, they form secondary vegetation related to deforestation, or permanent units on rocky slopes, whereas in the alpine belt they mainly inhabit the most balanced habitats (flat areas and gentle slopes).
They showed a general increasing trend with increasing altitude for most of the gradient, excluding the lowest altitudes and the alpine belt. Therophytes made high proportions in the submontane belt (23-28%) and decreased regularly up to the highest altitudes, together with phanerophytes.
The ruderal flora was very rich in the submontane belt (22-28%) and gradually decreased in altitude, although it remained noticeable (4-5%) up to the lower alpine belt. Particular habitats related to water or to rocky outcrops hosted moderate species percentages up to 2,000 m asl (10-19% in the axial Pyrenees and 8-18% in the pre-Pyrenees), and showed inverse shifts towards the summits; whereas hygrophilous species clearly decreased, species richness in rock and scree habitats showed a rising trend and accounted for more than 25% of the summit floras.
However, whereas Atlantic species disappeared along the alpine belt, Mediterranean orophytes increased variously, and reached noticeable percentages (10-14%) at the pre-Pyrenean higher altitudes.
The path becomes steeper the higher you climb until it reaches the alpine belt
, the lush trees of the lowland changing to stunted bonsais.
The two suballiances Leontopodio nivalis-Elynenion myosuroidis (alpine belt) are present in the study area, including the associations Leontopodio nivalis-Seslerietum juncifoliae with the new subassociation caricetosum kitaibelianae and Saxifrago speciosae-Silenetum cenisiae, and Seslerenion apenninae (subalpine belt), including the two associations Seslerio apenninae-Dryadetum octopetalae and Seslerietum apenninae.
These plant communities show ecological and floristic relations with Leontopodio nivalis-Seslerietum juncifoliae, an association described for the alpine belt of the Majella massif and typically located on crests and ridges at high altitudes (Blasi & al., 2005).
This vegetation can be referred to Saxifrago speciosae-Silenetum cenisiae, an association described for the Velino massif and present in the alpine belt of the main massifs of the central Apennines (Petriccione, 1993; Petriccione & Persia, 1995).
Floristic, ecological and structural features allow this vegetation to be framed within Ranunculo pollinensisPlantaginetum atratae, described for the alpine belt of the Gran Sasso massif.
Numerous similarities can be observed with the high-altitude (alpine belt) environments of the Majella massif: the presence of the Leontopodio nivalis-Seslerietum juncifoliae association, including the Sesleria juncifolia grasslands of the alpine belt characterized by a high presence of Leontopodium nivale, is a characteristic of these two massifs.