General Distribution Of Picea Abies

Norway spruce belongs to the Holarctic, European flora. It occurs in the mountain ranges of central and southeastern Europe, the eastern European lowlands, and in the Scandinavian Peninsula (Fig. 4.2). The easternmost range limit of the species extends to the foothills of the Urals and the westernmost limit is the Alps in France. The northernmost occurrences are from 69°47'N latitude in Norway (HULTEN1971; SCHIER1973) and in the south at 41°45'N in Macedonia and Greece (Boratynski et al. 1992).

Picea abies forms forests in many countries (Figs. 2.2 and 4.3). It is an important forest tree in the mountains of Switzerland, Austria, and Italy (HESS et al. 1967; FENAROLI and Gambi 1976; WELTEN and Sutter 1982). P. abies is important in the Scandinavian countries, in Germany, and in Russia (Table 2). In Germany, Norway spruce grows in the mountain ranges of the southern part of the country (HAEUPLER and SCHONFELDER 1989) and is planted as a forest tree in many other regions. The species occurs frequently in the mountain ranges of the Balkan Peninsula, extending to northern Albania and Macedonia. Further to the south, it grows in isolated stands dispersed in western Macedonia, western Bulgaria, and northern Greece (Adamovic 1909; Hayek 1931; Stojanov 1963; Fukarek 1981; Boratynski et al. 1992).

Picea abies forests cover large areas in the Carpathians (Fig. 4.3). The species is common in the southern and eastern Carpathians of Romania and the Ukraine (SRODON 1947; BELDIE 1967; PROKUBIN 1987). In the western Carpathians in Slovakia and Poland, the species is common in the higher mountain ranges (SVOBODA 1953; Kornas 1957; SOMORA 1958; STUCHLIKOWA and STUCHLIK 1962; ZARZYCKI 1963; JASIEWICZ 1965; Jasicova 1966; Myczkowski et al. 1975; Towpasz 1975; ZARZYCKI 1981; Bialecka 1982; Pagan 1992), whereas in the lower mountain ranges it is very rare and may not occur at all. In the Sudety Mts P. abies is common and frequently planted (SkalickA and Skalicky 1988; Dostal 1989; BORATYNSKI 1991) (Figs. 2.1 and 2.2). In the northern foothills of the Sudety and Carpathian ranges in central Europe, Norway spruce occurs in the lowlands, where it is less common than in the mountains.

Picea abies is a common forest tree in the Scandinavian Peninsula except for the southern regions of Sweden and the northernmost, arctic regions of Norway (HULTEN 1971; SCHIER 1973). The taxon, P. fennica (REGEL) KOM., has been described in northern Finland and in the Khibiny Mts of the Kola Peninsula at the northern arctic limit of the species. This taxon has an undetermined systematic position and is considered a subspecies or variety of Norway spruce or P. abies subsp. obovata (Jalas and SUOMINEN 1973).

Specimens intermediate between the typical subspecies Picea abies subsp. abies and Siberian subspecies P. abies subsp. obovata are quite common in the eastern European lowlands and in the northern regions of Scandinavia. Thus, delineating the geographic ranges of these two taxa is difficult. The typical P. abies is thought to occur only in central Europe, whereas intermediate specimens are found only in the eastern part of the continent (PRAVDIN1975). The northern lowland range of Picea abies attains its southern limit in Belorussia and northern Ukraine (SOKOLOV et al. 1977; MEL'NYK 1993). In central Europe, P. abies occurs mostly in the mountains, but north of the Alps - Sudety -

Figure 4.2. The geographic range ofPicea abies: A) latitudinal distribution; B) altitudinal range (after Boratynska 1998)

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