General considerations on the flora and vegetation of Albania's rivers


The studied region is characterised by its rich flora,vegetation,and diversity of habitats,from constantly submerged areas,moving on to areas subject to tidal movements,and ending in areas that are always above water level.In many cases the relations between these various types of habitat are of great ecological importance.All of these areas are specific to the area ’s rivers and cannot be found anywhere else.The relatively modest density of the vegetation is due to human pressure exerted on the area:cementing,building embankments,and poplar fields have greatly changed the original landscape.Where human influence has been reduced,thickets of common reed (Phragmites australis)can often be found,as well as populations of floating species such as the duckweed (of the Lemna species),the giant duckweed (Salvinia natans)and the water chestnut (Trapa natans).On the edges,in other words in transitional areas between aquatic and terrestrial habitats,there are varieties of sedge (Carex elata,C.riparia)water lilies (Iris pseudoacorus),purple-loosestrifes (Lythrum salicaria),and sometimes summer snowflakes (Leucojum aestivum).Mesophyte woods,characterised less by Mediterranean and more by continental features,grow in less protruding areas, where conditions are cooler and more humid.The dominant species of these woods are:Alnus glutinosa,Fraxinus angustifolia,the bay-oak (Quercus robur)and the elm (Ulmus minor).In the low areas close to the water table,and in the floodplains not given over to the growing of poplars,there are small hygrophilous woods whose main species are the willow (Salix alba)and the white poplar (Populus alba).

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