Forest National Park Pirin
A combination of different climatic conditions, topography and soils, have created remarkable plant diversity within Pirin National Park which in turn have created habitats for other plant and animal species. Forest ecosystems play a major role.
The composition of forests in the territory of Pirin National Park includes 16 tree species, some of them are endemic species, others are of particular conservation significance, or represent some of the largest inventories of tree species in Europe and in Bulgaria. The total area of the Pirin National Park is 40,356 ha and the forested area is 23,110 ha. Within the large area there is dwarf pine, white fir, white pine, spruce, fir, beech, and black pine. The average age of forests in Pirin National Park is 85 years, the largest proportion of forests are older than 140 years. Most of the trees in the park are typical for the region – 21,749.3 hectares or 94.1% of forest area are dwarf pine. The remaining forests consist of 1,307.7 ha or 5.7% artificial stands of forest consisting of trees of local origin and 48.0 ha or 0.2% of unnatural origin.
In the park there are two types of endemic tree species (limited distribution) - the black and white fir.
Communities of white fir are important from a conservation perspective. White fir occupies 23.4 percent of the forested area of the park. Usually white fir form communities with spruce and rarely with white pine and beech. Interestingly, the endemic species, black and white fir, form communities with dominant species in herbaceous fescue, which occur mainly in the restricted area in the north of the park.
Black Fir / Pinus peuce /
Black Fir is a Balkan subendemic species. It occupies 3.9% of the forested area of the park and 52% of the total range of the species in Bulgaria. It occurs primarily in limestone terrains Reserve Bayouvi Dupki. The oldest conifer in Bulgaria is a black fir. Above Banderitsa hut in Pirin is the Baykushvata Mura, which is around 1300 years old. Communities of black fir occupy well-drained habitats, which in most cases due to the curved forms of relief and strong slopes. In some communities the black fir meets dwarf pines, while mixing less with white pine and spruce.
Coniferous forests occupy about 95% of the forested area of the park. A small part is covered by deciduous trees, most commonly the beech tree.
Beech-occupies a relatively restricted area of the park - 1110ha mainly in Park Region Bayouvi Dupki and Bezbog. Most of the communities of beech are in the climax stage of their lives (final steady state of an ecosystem). This process establishes the introduction of conifers. Usually mixed with beech are spruce, but rarely white pine, and white fir.