Alpine Biogeographical Region
Europe has several important mountain chains which stretch across the majority of the countries. Within the EU, five of the longest and highest ranges have been included in the Alpine biogeographic region.
They comprise the Alps which stretch over France, Italy, Germany, Austria, Slovenia and the non EU countries of Switzerland and Monaco, the Apennines that run down the spine of Italy, the Pyrenees on the border between Spain and France, the Scandes which straddle Sweden, Finland and Norway and the Carpathians that extend well beyond the EU frontiers of Slovakia and Poland into Romania and the Ukraine.
The Alpine region has very rich and diverse biodiversity. Almost two thirds of the plants on the European continent are present here. The high peaks harbour many endemics whilst, on the lower slopes, species diversity is more influenced by its transition with other biogeographical regions and the long history of compatible human land uses. Altogether, 105 habitat types, 97 plants and 134 animal species listed in the Habitats Directive are found in the Alpine region.
In terms of fauna, the area has become an important retreat for many species originally occurring in higher numbers in the lowlands. Large carnivores (wolves, bears, lynx) and raptors (eagles, falcons, vultures) have been drawn to the mountains because, unlike most other regions, they still harbour large unfragmented areas where human disturbance is limited.
AT • BG • HR • FI • FR • DE • IT • PL • RO • SK • SI • ES • SE
Lead country: Austria
Rivers and lakes
3140 Hard oligo-mesotrophic waters with benthic vegetation of Chara spp.
3150 Natural eutrophic lakes with Magnopotamion or Hydrocharition - type vegetation
3220 Alpine rivers and the herbaceous vegetation along their banks
3230 Alpine rivers and their ligneous vegetation with Myricaria germanica
3240 Alpine rivers and their ligneous vegetation with Salix elaeagnos
3260 Water courses of plain to montane levels with the Ranunculion fluitantis and Callitricho-Batrachion vegetation
91E0 Alluvial forests with Alnus glutinosa and Fraxinus excelsior (Alno-Padion, Alnion incanae, Salicion albae)
6210 Semi-natural dry grasslands and scrubland facies on calcareous substrates (Festuco - Brometalia) * important orchid sites
6230 Species-rich Nardus grasslands, on silicious substrates in mountain areas (and sub-mountain areas in Continental Europe)
6410 Molinia meadows on calcareous, peaty or clayey-silt-laden soils (Molinion caeruleae)
6430 Hydrophilous tall herb fringe communities of plains and of the montane to alpine levels
6510 Lowland hay meadows (Alopecurus pratensis, Sanguisorba officinalis)
6520 Mountain hay meadows
7110 Active raised bogs
7140 Transition mires and quaking bogs
7230 Alkaline fens
91D0 Bog woodland
|Woodland and forest||
9130 Asperulo-Fagetum beech forests
9170 Galio-Carpinetum oak hornbeam forests
9180 Tilio-Acerion forests of slopes, screes and ravines
9260 Castanea sativa woods
9410 Acidophilous Picea forests of the montane to alpine levels (Vaccinio-Piceetea)
All documents related to Alpine Region Seminars can be found in our document library here.
Preparatory / Follow up actions
- Workshop on Natura 2000 management: threats, challenges and solutions, with a specific focus on management of forest and grassland habitats in the Alpine biogeographic region, Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria, 12-14 September, 2013.
- Natura 2000 Management Workshop - Alpine Biogeographical Seminar Follow-up, 22-23 September 2014. CEEweb for Biodiversity together with the ECNC organised this event which consisted of two parts: a follow up of the Alpine biogeographical seminar and a preparatory Continental/Pannonian/Steppic/Black Sea workshop. The participants discussed various approaches to forest management, funding opportunities for conservation, as well as issues within the forests and grasslands habitats. Workshop report .
- CIPRA Living in the Alps
- International Alliance in the Alps
- Alpine Convention
- Dinaric Arc Initiative
- EUROMONTANA - European association of mountain areas