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Desertification in the White Mountains of Crete. A botanical study with special reference to the effects of grazing and wildfires


To study the combined effects of grazing and wildfires on the
flora and vegetation of the White Mountains of Crete, one of the
driest areas of Europe which also houses a unique flora rich in
local endemics. Results are expected to provide an improved
background for actions in the field of conservation and land

Studies are carried out mainly on the drier southern side of the
White Mountains. Six study areas in different types of
vegetation from near sea level to the subalpine zone were
selected in the winter and early spring of 1992/93; fenced plots
and adjacent unfenced plot were established in each area.

Careful analysis of flora and vegetation, with records of
floristic composition as well as abundance and coverage of the
individual species, will be carried out initially, and repeated
at regular intervals. Vegetative development as well as
abundance of lowering and fruiting units will also be recorded
regularly. Soil samples will be collected at suitable intervals,
and analysed for texture, organic matter, carbon, nitrogen, pH,
phosphorus, and cations.

To study the vegetation response after
fire, permanent plots will be established on the coastal plains
of the White Mountains where a suitable burnt area has been
selected. Flora, vegetation and soil will be analysed in a
similar manner as described above. Additionally, vegetation
samples and transects will be studied in all relevant vegetation
types in the White Mountains.

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts


Kobenhavns Universitet
140,Gothersgade 140
1123 København K

Participants (1)

University of Crete

71110 Heraklion-crete