Mixed forests and broadleaves

Mixed forests, between conifers and broadleaves
Where firs mix with beeches, the realm of woodpeckers and especially of the black woodpecker (Dryocopus martius), that is the largest in Europe, begins. Big oval openings on tree trunks are a symbol of their presence. The black woodpecker lives with the rare reserved grey-headed woodpecker (Picus canus), species with limited number of specimens. When these birds leave the cavities that they have dug, they become home to new "guests" like the boreal owl (Aegolius funereus) and the Eurasian pigmy owl (Glaucidium passerinum), fearsome night hunters of the forests. Other diurnal predators that build their nests in pure or mixed conifer woods are the northern goshawk (Accipter gentilis) and the Eurasian sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus). 
Under the crown of the trees, the slightly acid humus formed by the needles allows the growth of mushrooms and of tangled bushes of blueberries (Vaccinium myrtillus) and lingonberries (Vaccinium vitis-idaea). Under the shadow of beeches grow hellebores (Helleborus niger), primulas (Primula veris e Primula vulgaris) and the common hepatica (Hepatica nobilis): they grow before the big trees above them grow their crown covering them from the light, after that the dark broad leaves allow them to catch the little light that filters through the thick foliage. 


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