Western European broadleaf forests

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Typical beech forest

The palaearctic Western European broadleaf forests is an ecoregion, in the Temperate broadleaf and mixed forests Biome, that covers a large area in Western Europe including: Switzerland, Austria, France, Germany and Czech Republic.


The total Western European broadleaf forests area is around 490,000 km2 (189,190 sq mi). In particular the ecoregion is found in the Massif Central, Central German Uplands, Jura Mountains, Bavarian Plateau, and Bohemian Massif. It is essentially composed of lowland and alti-montane beech and mixed beech forests. It also includes small part of sub-Mediterranean regions.


This area has been inhabited for thousands of years. It hosts large cities (Lyon, Nancy, Munich), some forests, but most of the countryside is agricultural land, cultivated with cereals (corn, wheat, oats). This ecoregion hosts a good variety of animal species, birds in particular, but most large mammals are in decline.


  • "Western European broadleaf forests". Terrestrial Ecoregions. World Wildlife Fund.