West Caucasian Pinus pityusa-forests with Carpinus orientalis, Cistus creticus subsp. eriocephalus, Ruscus aculeatus
Georgia: east coast of the Black Sea (Cape Pitsanda); Ukraine: at two isolated localities at the south coast of the Crimea: west of Balaklava and in the east near Sudak (not on the map, because too small-scaled)
Scientific names of main plant communities and their most common synonyms (with author citation)
Pinetum pityusae tauricum Diduch, Vakarenko & Šeljag-Sosonko 1986; Pinetum orientali-carpinosum, Pinetum cotinosum, Pinetum quercetosum Kolesnikov 1963.
Structural feature of the main community(ies) (layers, life-forms, etc.)
Open, two- to three-layered stands of Pinus pityusa, 60-120 years old and 30-35 m tall; the undergrowth of shrubs and low trees is usually well developed, and Juniper species are very common. For the herb layer the incidence of Asiatic-Mediterranean species is characteristic, as well as sub-Mediterranean xerophytes and petrophytes.
Dominant and most frequent species in different layers
Pinus pityusa, Juniperus excelsa, Juniperus foetidissima, Pistacia mutica, Quercus pubescens, Carpinus orientalis, Mespilus germanica
Juniperus oxycedrus, Cotinus coggygria, Cistus creticus, Rhus coriaria, Ruscus aculeatus, Paliurus spina-christi, Jasminum fruticans; Cistus creticus subsp. eriocephalus, Rubus spp., Carpinus orientalis (bush), Mespilus germanica (bush)
Bituminaria bituminosa, Galium mollugo, Teucrium capitatum, Sesleria anatolica, Cynosurus cristatus, Helictotrichon bromoides, Elymus nodosus, Convolvulus calvertii, Thymus roegneri, Scutellaria taurica, Seseli ponticum
Moss layer (incl. lichens)
Hypnum cupressiforme, Plagiomnium affine, Dicranum scoparium
Diagnostically important species
Pinus pityusa; Cistus creticus subsp. eriocephalus, Ruscus aculeatus, Juniperus excelsa, Carpinus orientalis; Teucrium capitatum, Veronica multifida, Lathyrus laxiflorus, Festuca callieri, Jasminum fruticans, Helictotrichon bromoides among others
Open forests or sparse forests with an absent to a dense undergrowth, 12-15 m high, growing on unexploited sandy soils or rocky biotopes. The forest stand on Cape Pitsanda with its comparatively mesophilous species in the undergrowth is especially typical: Mespilus germanica etc., at the seacoast with Hippophae rhamnoides etc.
Geographical variants (geogr. differential species)
Type in the Caucasus with Ruscus aculeatus; on the southern Crimean peninsula Helictotrichon bromoides and the endemic Elymus nodosus dominate.
Natural accompanying vegetation (most important units in complex with the name giving mapping unit, scientific names)
Buxus colchica-Carpinus orientalis communities, rock coast vegetation on limestone, Quercus iberica or Quercus pubescens communities.
Adjoining climax and permanent vegetation (with numbers of mapping units)
hornbeam-oak forests (F169), Oriental hornbeam-downy oak forests (G61), open juniper woodlands (K32).
Land use, substitute communities
forestry (substitute communities, plantations of economic tree-species, scrub)
Pinus pityusa, Quercus pubescens and Carpinus orientalis plantations; secondary communities with Paliurus spina-christi, Crataegus spp. etc.
grassland (meadows, pastures, herb-rich communities)
arable land (characteristic weed communities)
settlements (typical ruderal vegetation)
Communities with Lepidium texanum, Conyza bonariensis etc.
Site conditions of the mapping unit
Landscape type, geomorphology
steep, poorly accessible mountain slopes on carbonate rock in the lower vegetation belt, rocks exposed to the sea
Altitudinal belt and/or altitudinal range
colline-submontane; 20-300 (500-600) m
Cretaceous-, chalky clay-, carbonate rocks, sea sand; (Cretaceous; marine, Holocene sediments)
soil type, also the depth of fine textured earth (soil), stone content; (international nomenclature)
shallow carbonte soils and weakly developed cinnamonic soils; (leptosols; orthic acrisols; calcaric arenosols)
stony; only at Cape Pitsunda sandy-gravely soils
soil moisture, water balance
Climate incl. local climate
climate type (following Walter & Lieth)
average annual temperature
average annual precipitation
350-750 mm (Crimea), 1200-1400 mm (Caucasus)
average temperature of the warmest month
average temperature of the coldest month
local climate or other climatic peculiarities
Importance for nature protection
Present state and development trend of natural vegetation (degree of endangerment)
All preserved stands determine the uniqueness of the sub-Mediterranean landscape and play a major role in soil protection; the pine stands (200 ha) on Pitsunda have been destroyed to a large extent since Pitsunda is a major recreational centre; all preserved natural stands are greatly endangered and require protection.
endangered communities, species worthy of protection in natural vegetation
All natural forest communities.
causes of endangerment
Tourism, recreational activities.
required measures for protection and restitution
Compliance to a strict protection of all semi-natural stands in nature reserves.
Localities of representative stands (loci typici) with state of protection
of the natural vegetation
Georgia: nature reserve Pitsunda-Miusera at the Black Sea coast.
of characteristic substitute communities worthy of protection
Most important references (author, year)
Diduch, Vakarenko & Šeljag-Sosonko 1986; Gribova, Isačenko & Lavrenko (Red.) 1980; Kolesnikov 1963; Maleev 1927
Z. Neuhäuslová and N. Zazanašvili based on documents by Ja.P. Diduch and Ju.R. Šeljag-Sosonko; T.K. Jurkovskaja