- Last Updated on Tuesday, 19 December 2017 12:51
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Benefitting from a very particular microclimate and little human intervention for centuries, it was possible to save in the Bussaco National Forest some habitats once much more abundant, which today are the climax Forest. This relic vegetation coexists with other important areas for biodiversity and visitation, such as the arboretum, the valley of ferns and firs and the gardens of the Palace Hotel.
In the climax Forest, alongside laurel habits and oak groves known in other parts of the country, it is noted a habitat - the adernal - whose current world distribution is restricted to the area of the Bussaco National Forest.
The adernal is an essentially Mediterranean community, but with strong Atlantic influence, presenting affinity with other less threatened habitats. This is a reliquial vegetable combination dominated by tree size Mock Privet.
In some places the Aderno is practically pure, forming a dense forest. In others it is followed by arbutus, laurel, holly or even by some species of oaks, that are supported by plants such as sarsaparilla, herbaceous flowering plants, ivy and brambles. The scenic outcome as Saramago says, "requires all the words, and as they are, shows how everything was left to say”.
The shrub layer is dominated by the butcher's broom, also emphasizing the presence of heather, Dwarf Furze, common hawthorn, Portugal laurel, , and less often with leaves.
The herbaceous layer is dominated, in the darkest and fresh areas, by the King Solomon's-seal, polypody, and navelwort, . In the most sunny and dry places we find the Mountain sandwort, the "Sedum brevifolium", , the "Sedum forsterianum", "Sedum hirsutum".