Sunday, 8 May 2011


In the Rodnei Mountains, human intervention, propelled by the wish to expand the grazing and exploitation area for limiting forests, is reflected at present in the upper limit intensely lowered in comparison with the natural limit, especially in the most accessible areas. The variation in altitude of the superior limit of forests is appreciated at a medium range of 200-300 m, having elevated values on the southern slope where, on several peaks, the superior limit of forests is artificially lowered up to 1,100-1,200 m in altitude.

The forest species that can be found most often at the upper limit of the forest is the Picea Abies. There are situations when the superior limit of the forest is made up of other species as well: the Fagus sylvatica (in the south and south-west), the Sorbus aucuparia, the Betula pendula, and the Pinus cembra (in the east). In most cases, however, the height of limiting trees in Rodnei Mountains exceeds 8-10 m, which gives away the fact that, generally speaking, the present forest is not one to indicate a natural limit.

The forests’ upper limit is, mostly, artificially lowered due to the anthropic pressure in the transition area between the forest belt and the sub-alpine belt. Here, deforestation activities aiming at the expansion of grazing fields and obtaining wood, conducted mainly throughout the past century, have had a main effect in the destruction of savins and spruce open woods, and in the deforestation of large areas covered in forests. Since spruce forests make up the upper-most belt in Rodnei Mountains, and softwood timber is the main matter destined for the internal and external market, or used in the reinforcing of mining galleries, it is easy to understandthe downwards expansion of terrains occupied by sub-alpine and alpine grazing fields following deforestation.

The natural limit is usually found where the terrain is not easily accessible, especially on the northern slope of Rodnei Mountains, on the slopes of Hotarului Peak, Curmătura Pietrosului, Piciorul Plescuţei Peak, Gaja Mountain.

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