Pine Woods

Pinewood in Val Cordevole
(photo by: G.Poloniato)

In the central-eastern part of Dolomiti Bellunesi National Park there are Scots pine woods (Pinus silvestris) and, in some places, Austrian pine woods (Pinus nigra). The latter is an Illyric species whose range of distribution limit in the west lies in this area. Pines are pioneer trees, resistant to dryness, able to colonize cliffs, alluvial cones, and ancient landslides.
They need plenty of light, and for this reason they can be especially found on slopes facing south. The herbaceous layer is very rich in species characterizing the dry environments, like the Heather (Erica carnea), the Purple Broom (Chamaecytisus purpureus), brooms (Genista germanica and G. radiata), the Grass-leaved Scabious (Scabiosa graminifolia), Euphorbia (Euphorbia kerneri), while in the low arboreal and shrubby belt, Hop Hornbeams (Ostrya carpinifolia) and Manna Ashes (Fraxinus ornus) are abundant. These woods are spread especially in Val Cordevole and in Valle del Mis.
The Goshawk (Accipiter gentilis) lives also in the pine woods, where it hunts other birds, especially corvids, skillfully flying in the midst of the foliage. The many insects living in pine barks are preys for the Tits, while the Squirrel is very fond of the seeds contained in the pine cones.