Mediterranean conifer and mixed forests
Mediterranean conifer and mixed forests is an ecoregion, in the temperate coniferous forest biome, which occupies the high mountain ranges of North Africa and southern Spain. The term is also a botanically recognized plant association in the African and Mediterranean literature.
The Mediterranean conifer and mixed forests ecoregion consists of a series of enclaves in the coastal Rif Mountains and interior Middle Atlas and High Atlas of Morocco, the eastern Tell Atlas and eastern Saharan Atlas of Algeria, and the Kroumerie and Mogod ranges of Tunisia.
The Mediterranean woodlands and forests ecoregion surrounds the Mediterranean conifer and mixed forests at lower elevations.
In the High Atlas, the Mediterranean conifer and mixed forests yield to the Mediterranean High Atlas juniper steppe at the highest elevations.
The predominant canopy tree in the forests is Atlas cedar (Cedrus atlantica). Other conifer trees that grow in this area may include pines such as Aleppo pine and Maritime pine. Firs such as the Spanish fir and the Algerian fir. Junipers such as Juniperus oxycedrus and Juniperus thurifera And Yews such as Taxus baccata.
Other non-coniferous trees can be found in scattered area throughout this Eco-region which includes cork oak, White willow and any other oaks and trees. Quercus afares, a deciduous oak, is endemic to the ecoregion.
Endangered mammals in the ecoregion include the Barbary macaque (Macaca sylvanus) at locations such as the Djebel Babor Mountains; other species in the ecoregion include Atlas deer (Cervus elaphus barbarus), and the African leopard (Panthera pardus pardus).
Conservation and threats
Deforestation due to overuse by the local population is a major threat as are the effects of climate change.
- C. Michael Hogan, (2008) Barbary Macaque: Macaca sylvanus, Globaltwitcher.com, ed. Nicklas Stromberg
- Harry Van der Linde, Anada Tiéga and Thomas Price (2001) Beyond Boundaries: Transboundary Natural Resource Management in Sub-Saharan Africa, Published by Biodiversity Support Program, 166 pages
- "Mediterranean conifer and mixed forests". Terrestrial Ecoregions. World Wildlife Fund.