Photo: Aleksander Koren

Riparian oak-ash-elm woodlands along large rivers
Quercus robur, Ulmus laevis in Ulmus minor, Fraxinus excelsior ali Fraxinus angustifolia; Ulmenion minoris

Hardwood floodplain woodlands consist of hardwood deciduous trees (pedunculate oak, European white elm, common elm and narrow-leaved elm). These are typical lowland riparian forests that usually thrive a trifle away from river banks on alluvial soils and become inundated only during high waters. As a result of various influences, only a few stands of hardwood floodplain forest stands (along the Drava and Mura Rivers) have survived in Slovenia.

Threat factors

Hardwood floodplain forests along the Drava River are threatened by hydroregulation, their inappropriate use and the river’s changed flow regime. The floodplain forest’ status is additionally aggravated by invasive nonindigenous plant species, preventing the rejuvenation of this forest habitat type.

Project activities

To improve the status of typical floodplain forests along the Drava River, part of the stands will be rejuvenated through planting typical tree species, removal of nonindigenous plant species and land reclamation to enhance natural insemination. To increase people’s awareness as to the significance of preserving hardwood plain forests and their species diversity, educational interpretation units will be set up.

What can we do to improve the conservation status of hardwood floodplain forests?

  • Rejuvenation of forests is to be carried out with indigenous locally typical tree species.
  • Active rejuvenation of floodplain forests is to be provided for.
  • No nonindigenous wood species are to be planted.

Did you know that woodlands:

  • protect the earth's surface from soil erosion,
  • have a beneficial impact on the microclimate in our environment, mitigate wind power,
  • prevent rapid evaporation of water from the soil,
  • retain floodwater during floods and release it during droughts,
  • are a source of wood for the locals.

Sources and literature