Romania Flora and Fauna

Vegetation and flora. – The vegetation of Romania has characteristics due to the continental climate: the large temperature fluctuations between winter and summer, the abundance of spring and summer rains, the autumn drought determine a general trend towards the development of steppe vegetation, which occurs especially in Dobruja, in Moldavia, in eastern Wallachia.

Three regions can be distinguished in the Romanian territory, which are in turn subdivided into sub-regions or zones.

Plain region: it is characterized by an almost complete lack of forests and can be divided into three zones. The Danube area has the forest limited only to the river islands and the humid plains: it consists mainly of Quercus pedunculata mixed with willows and poplars. On the banks of the Danubian lakes there is an abundance of Nymphaea alba, Nuphar luteum, Myriophyllum spicatum, Potamogeton lucens and other hydrophytes; along the banks of the streams and in the wet meadows grow: Cicuta virosa, Euphorbia palustris, Mentha aquatica, and other similar species, Ranunculus Sceleratus, etc. The littoral area of ​​the Black Sea and the Danube brackish lakes has a manifest halophilic vegetation with Saline sandstone, Atriplex triangularis and littoralis, Salsola prostrata, etc. The terraced area has a scarce forest vegetation consisting of Quercus pubescens and conferta, with elms and maples; in the undergrowth woody vegetation dominates with a predominance of dogwoods, hazelnuts, etc. The grassy steppe covers very large surfaces and among the different species are characteristic: Knautia macedonica, Centaurea orientalis, Triticum cristatum, Phlomis pungens.

Region of the hills, called Podgoria:. once it was covered with forests, now it is almost totally cleared, cleared and cultivated with cereals, vines and fruit trees. The characteristic tree of the spontaneous vegetation is the Quercus sessiliflora, but as we get closer to the mountains there are beeches and vast formations of Betula verrucosa. Among the smaller trees and fruit trees we can note: Rhamnus frangula, Staphylaea pinnata, Evonymus verrucosa, Ligustrum vulgare. In the Moldovan territory grow: Ranunculus illyricus, Adonis vernalis, Alyssum calycinum, Crambe tatarica and in the wide Moldovan valleys there is no shortage of humid forests with Quercus pubescens. The abundance of oaks in the Danube region and in the hills denotes a certain affinity with the Mediterranean vegetation, but this disappears completely in the third region.

Carpathian region: it has very interesting floristic peculiarities, because many mountain plant species have their diffusion limit here towards the north-east, lacking important elevations of the ground up to the Urals: instead the number of those that present the southern limit. Pinus pumilio, Salix incana, Sedum alpestre, Viola lutea, etc., are common to the Carpathians and Sudetes; several are the common species with the mountains of the Balkan Peninsula (Trisetum carpathicum, Silene Jankae, S. dinarica, Alyssum transylvanicum, etc.). The location of the Carpazî means that they represent a meeting area between Central European and Eastern plant types; the large transverse and deep valleys, such as that of the Olt, constitute lines of vegetation of considerable importance. There are numerous endemic forms especially of the genera Draba, Pedicularis, Campanula. In this region four zones can be distinguished: the infrasubalpine (from 600 to 1200 msm) also known as the beech; in the lower part Quercus sessiliflora and pedunculata are mixed with the beech woods, in the upper part we begin to find spruce (Picea excelsa); among the herbaceous plants of the undergrowth there are: Dentaria eneaphyllos, Lilium martagon, Allium ursinum, Pteris aquilina, Convallaria verticillata. The subalpine zone (from 1200 to 1600-1800 m.) Is characterized by the vast formations of spruce: the vegetation of the undergrowth is very poor and consists mainly of Ferns and Lycopodiacee (Blechnum spicant, Scolopendrium officinarum, Struthiopteris germanica, Polypodium vulgare, Lycopodium clavatum and complanatum). In fir clearings: Clematis alpina, Ranunculus carpathicus, Aconitum neomontanum, Rosa alpina, Geum nivale, Pyrola minor and uniflora. The alpine area is located above the limit of the forests: when there is no spruce, the limit stops at 1300 m., When there are firs, it oscillates between 1675 and 1900 m. Here there are bushy formations of mugo (Pinus pumilio) and Juniperus nana associated or separate and Rhododendron myrtifolium is found on more or less vast expanses. The slopes of this area in spring are covered with bluebells (Campanula alpina, carpathica, rotundifolia), violets (Viola declinata and biflora), Primula longiflora, Gentiana acaulis, Dryas octopetala, etc. But in summer this brilliant flowering disappears and only a thin vegetation of grasses is seen (Poa alpina, Nardus stricta, Phleum alpinum, etc.). Finally there is a very limited area above, which is the nival, which is located above 2300 m., Is characterized by the absolute lack of woody plants and by the presence of distinctly alpine plants: Viola alpina, Dianthus alpinus, Veronica alpina, Primrose minimal. In these last two areas there are characteristic species that are also encountered in the Alps.

Fauna. – The Romanian fauna is very interesting zoogeographically since it includes elements of Eastern Europe, many of which are common to the fauna of Western Asia. Among the Mammals, the Chiroptera are represented by various species of bats, noctoles, etc. There are many Insectivores and among the Carnivores we will mention the wild cat and the lynx of the Transylvanian woods, where there is no lack of wolves; also there are various martens, the otter. Among the Artiodactyls, deer, roe deer, etc. The Rosicants include numerous species of squirrels, dormice, mice, voles, hares. Richly represented is the avifauna. We will mention, among the waders, the woodcock, the bigeye, frequent in the islands of the Danube, the quail king, the hen, the stork, etc. Among the Gallinacei the capercaillie; there are many birds of prey, various doves, the climbers, numerous passerines and palmipeds, among which we will mention the gargane, the seagull, the mackerel, the grebe. Reptiles and Amphibians include forms common to the European fauna and have representatives in the groups of saurians, Ophidis, tortoises, frogs and toads and even newts. The fauna of invertebrates is very rich in number of species, particularly that of insects and terrestrial molluscs.

Romania Flora