The Natural Park of Sierra de las Nieves

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Flora is extremely diverse, as the Sierra de las Nieves Natural Park is at the crossroads of North African and Iberian influences. The geology, soil complexity and altitudes of over 1,500 metres are factors that determine an important variety of botanical species.

Of all the plants and trees found in the Sierra de las Nieves Natural Park, the most outstanding is the Spanish Fir (abies pinsapo), a species native to southern Spain and northern Morocco. It is a highly protected tree, due to its reduced numbers and threatened habitat: it is found in only two other areas of the Iberian Peninsula, and in two locations in Morocco. This is due to the fact that the Spanish Fir requires high humidity, therefore best surviving in areas of most rainfall, and secondly because it does not germinate following fires, a relatively common phenomenon in the geographical latitudes in which it survives. Spanish Firs originated during the last glacial period, and can live for up to 400 years.

In addition to Spanish Firs, there are also healthy populations of holm oak and cork oak trees at lower altitudes, plus carob and dense chestnut tree plantations. Indeed, the latter is one of the local industries, and used for jams, puddings, and for roasting.

Finally, several varieties of pine tree are present, native and non-native.


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