Acidophile beech

9120. Atlantic acidophile beech with an understory of holly and sometimes taxus (Quercion robori-petraeae or Illici-Fagenion)

In Izki

The main masses of beech occupy the most humid and shady ravines and slopes of the surrounding mountains and some isolated areas within the Pyrenean oak wood. In total, the acidophile beech of Izki cover a surface of some 450 ha (5%) with a good state of conservation.

Currently the exploitation of these forests is scarce, limited to the exploitation of wood for the local population and the cutting of a few lumber patchs.

Growing in the sade

These deciduous forests are almost dominated exclusively by the beech (Fagus sylvatica) being one of the most abundant forests in the Basque Country, occupying acid soils in rainy climates and an altitude between 700 and 1300 m.

The shrub like stratum is not very dense, with special attention to the holly (Ilex aquifolium), tree heath (Erica arborea) and bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus). Some species like the Ilex aquifolium, Taxus baccata and Narcissus pseudonarcissus ssp. nobilis are catalogued as “of special interest” in the Basque Autonomous Community.

Among the fauna associated with the beech is the community of saproxylic beetles, some birds like the Accipiter gentilis and Pernis apivorus and mammals like the Felis silvestris, Martes martes, Barbastella barbastellus and Plecotus auritus.

Among the invertebrates, it is worth noting the sproxylic beetles.