Western European broadleaf forests

The Western European broadleaf forests is an ecoregion in Western Europe, and parts of the Alps. It comprises temperate broadleaf and mixed forests, that cover large areas of France, Germany and the Czech Republic and more moderately sized parts of Poland, Austria, Switzerland and Belgium. Luxembourg is also part of this ecoregion.

Western European broadleaf forests
20070517-20 Vosges du Nord (098).JPG
Temperate mixed forests covering the mountain slopes in Vosges du Nord Bioreserve in Alsace, France.
Ecoregion PA0445
Biometemperate broadleaf and mixed forests
Area492,357 km2 (190,100 sq mi)
Conservation statusCritical/Endangered



The Western European broadleaf forests ecoregion covers an area of 492,357 km2 (190,100 sq mi), including the Massif Central, Central German Uplands, Jura Mountains, Bavarian Plateau, and Bohemian Massif.

This area has been inhabited for thousands of years and holds several large cities such as Lyon, Nancy and Munich. Most of the countryside has been cleared for agricultural land, cultivated with cereals (corn, wheat, oats), and to a smaller extent grapes. The ecoregion hosts a good variety of animal species, birds in particular, but most large mammals are in decline.


The forest habitats of the ecoregion comprise mainly lowland and alti-montane mixed beech forests. There is also some natural beech woods, and the region also includes small parts of sub-Mediterranean forest habitats.


Status and conservation

Most of the original forest of the ecoregion has been cleared in the last 200 years, but a few larger patches remain, typically in non-arable montane areas that are part of national parks or protections. The woodlands of the ecoregion is generally second-growth and heavily fragmented.

National parks and larger nature protections in the ecoregion includes:

Eifel National Park
Winter. Palatinate Forest Nature Park.
Canopy walkways in Bavarian Forest National Park
Elbe Sandstone Mountains
Thal Nature Park
Waterfalls and gorges in Jura Mountains Regional Natural Park
Country Name
Area (km²)[2]
IUCN category
Germany and Belgium High Fens – Eifel Nature Park 1960 2,485 107 km2 is category II Cross-border protection.
Includes a Ramsar Wetland area since 2003.
Includes the Eifel National Park established in 2004.
Germany and Luxembourg German-Luxembourg Nature Park 1964 789 Cross-border protection.
Germany Bergstraße-Odenwald Nature Park 1960 3,500
Germany Spessart Nature Park 1961 2,440
Germany Sauerland-Rothaargebirge Nature Park[3] 2015 3,827
Germany Arnsberg Forest Nature Park 1960 482
Germany Teutoburg Forest / Egge Hills Nature Park 1965 2,700
Germany Thuringian Forest Nature Park 1979 2,200 337 km2 is category II Includes a UNESCO biosphere reserve
Germany Swabian-Franconian Forest Nature Park 1,270
Germany Central/North Black Forest Nature Park 3,750 101 km2 is category II Includes the Black Forest National Park established in 2014.
Germany Southern Black Forest Nature Park 1999 3,940
Germany and France Palatinate Forest-North Vosges Biosphere Reserve 1992 3,018 Cross-border protection.
UNESCO biosphere reserve.
A fusion of Palatinate Forest Nature Park (Germany) and Northern Vosges Regional Nature Park (France).
Germany Franconian Switzerland-Veldenstein Forest Nature Park 1995 2,346
Germany Bavarian Forest National Park 1970 243 Category II The park connects with the Šumava National Park in Czech Republic
Germany Altmühl Valley Nature Park 1969 2,962
Germany Augsburg Western Woods Nature Park 1988 1,175
Belgium Two Ourthes Nature Park[4] 2001 760
Belgium Upper Sure Anlier Forest Nature Park[5] 2001 720
Belgium Gaume Natural Park 2014 581
Belgium Viroin-Hermeton Nature Park 120
Belgium Attert Valley Nature Park 1994 71
Czech Republic and Germany Elbe Sandstone Mountains 1956 783 173 km2 is category II A collection of several protections, including Bohemian Switzerland National Park and Saxon Switzerland National Park.
Czech Republic and Germany Lusatian Mountains 1976 397 The Czech parts of these mountains forms the Lusatian Mountains Protected Landscape Area and the smaller German part forms the Zittau Mountain Nature Park.
Czech Republic Bohemian Paradise 1955 181
Czech Republic Jizera Mountains Protected Landscape Area 1968 368
Czech Republic Krkonoše National Park 1963 550 Category II UNESCO biosphere reserve.
Connects with Karkonosze National Park in Poland
Czech Republic Broumovsko Protected Landscape Area 1991 430 Category V
Czech Republic Orlické Mountains Protected Landscape Area 1969 204 Category V
Czech Republic Jeseníky Protected Landscape Area 1969 740 Category V
Czech Republic Žďár Highlands Protected Landscape Area 1970 709 Category V
Czech Republic Třeboňsko Protected Landscape Area 1979 700 UNESCO biosphere reserve.
Includes two Ramsar Wetland areas.
Czech Republic Blanský Forest Protected Landscape Area 1990 212
Czech Republic Šumava National Park 1991 681 Category II The park connects with the Bavarian Forest National Park in Germany.
UNESCO biosphere reserve.
Czech Republic Bohemian Forest Protected Landscape Area 2005 473
Czech Republic Slavkov Forest 1974 606
Poland Karkonosze National Park 1959 56 Category II Connects with Krkonoše National Park in Czech Republic
Poland Bóbr Valley Landscape Park 1989 109 Category V
Poland Rudawy Landscape Park 1989 157 Category V
Poland Chełmy Landscape Park 1992 160 Category V
Poland Sudety Wałbrzyskie Landscape Park 1998 65 Category V
Poland Owl Mountains Landscape Park 1991 81 Category V
Poland Stołowe Mountains National Park 1993 63 Category II
Switzerland Parc Jura vaudois
Switzerland Doubs Nature Park
Switzerland Chasseral Regional Park
Switzerland Thal Nature Park
Switzerland Aargau Jura Park 2012 241
Switzerland Schaffhausen Regional Nature Park
France The Ardennes Regional Nature Park[6] 2001 1,172
France Lorraine Regional Natural Park 1974 2,050
France Ballons des Vosges Nature Park 1989 2,700
France The IllWald, regional nature reserve 2013 19
France Jura Mountains Regional Natural Park 1986 1,641
France The Bauges Massif Regional Nature Park[7] 1995 856
France Chartreuse Regional Nature Park 1995 767
France Grands Causses Natural Regional Park[8] 1995 3,285
France Aubrac Natural Regional Park[9] 1967 2,207
France Auvergne Volcanos Regional Park[10] 1977 3,950
France Morvan Regional Natural Park 1970 2,850
France Millevaches Regional Nature Park in Limousin[11] 2004 3,140
France Forêt d'Orient Regional Nature Park 1970 820
France Forêts National Park 2019 2,500

Luxembourg maintains the Upper Sûre Natural Park, but this park covers mostly the Upper Sûre Lake, an artificial dam created in 1959, and no land area of significance. The lake is an important bird area. Luxembourg also holds part of the cross-border German-Luxembourg Nature Park in addition to several smaller nature reservations. Here eco-typical patches of forest are growing.

Austria does not have any protections in this ecoregion.

External links


  1. ^ Note that the year given here, marks the earliest establishment. Several protections has been expanded later on.
  2. ^ Note that forest might not cover all of the protected area.
  3. ^ "Naturpark Sauerland Rothaargebirge" (in German). Retrieved 11 September 2019.
  4. ^ "Le Parc naturel des deux Ourthes" (in French). Retrieved 11 September 2019.
  5. ^ "Parc naturel Haute-Sûre Forêt d'Anlier" (in French). Retrieved 11 September 2019.
  6. ^ "Parc naturel régional des Ardennes" (in French). Fédération des Parcs naturels régionaux de France. Retrieved 11 September 2019.
  7. ^ "Parc naturel régional du Massif des Bauges" (in French). Fédération des Parcs naturels régionaux de France. Retrieved 11 September 2019.
  8. ^ "Parc naturel régional des Grands Causses" (in French). Fédération des Parcs naturels régionaux de France. Retrieved 11 September 2019.
  9. ^ "Parc naturel régional Aubrac" (in French). Fédération des Parcs naturels régionaux de France. Retrieved 11 September 2019.
  10. ^ "Parc naturel régional des Volcans d'Auvergne" (in French). Fédération des Parcs naturels régionaux de France. Retrieved 11 September 2019.
  11. ^ "Parc naturel régional de Millevaches en Limousin" (in French). Fédération des Parcs naturels régionaux de France. Retrieved 11 September 2019.


Information as of: 20.08.2021 07:01:13 CEST

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