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Mountain Pine

The mountain pine (Pinus uncinata) is often referred to as an upright growing dwarf pine. The dwarf pine (Pinus mugo) and mountain pine cannot be clearly distinguished. The mountain pine is not always described as its own species, but most of the time as a sub-species (Pinus mugo uncinata) of the dwarf pine.

The mountain pine is a medium-sized tree and settles in the same habitats as the more common Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris). Because of its dark trunk is can be easily defined  from the red-trunked Scots pine. It can deal well with being covered by gravel, and since its competitiveness is low, it settles in  locations with extreme conditions (nutrient-poor, aridity, extreme drought, high levels of light, etc.), etc.), such as on piles of debris and rock fields.

Mountain pines are a special treasure in the Lechtal Alps. The precious mountain pine forests are found on debris-covered and rocky locations, have no competitors, and are also aesthetically unique. The remaining populations in the Lechtal are the richest in Austira (SCHIECHTL et al. 1993).

In Austria, mountain pine forests can only be  found in Tirol and Vorarlberg. Mountain pines are a rarity in northern Tirol. They are marked by a particular variety of species and have an important protective function, because they stabilise instable slopes of debris and prepare the soil for future forest populations. Mountain pine forests on gypseous and calcareous soils have a special conservation status in Europe and they belong to the international Natura 2000 network.

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