Vegetation of the Tatra Mountains.
The rich vegetation favorably distinguishes the Tatras in comparison with the higher glaciers. A particularly striking phenomenon, and related to the exacerbation of the climate, there is a selection of species as altitude increases above sea level. It causes isolation 6 plant floors, perfectly visible, e.g.. from Gubałówka. The foothills (farmland) goes back to 1000 m. It is followed by a strip of forests, in which it was separated 2 floors: low-level (do 1200— 1250 m), originally composed of beech and fir stands, and upper log cabin (do 1550 m), the land of spruce. The first of them is the best preserved within the Zakopane Regions. The upper border of the forest is an extremely important line in terms of vegetation and landscape (d. 50a), which, in addition to the dwarf spruce, are formed by:. in. such trees, like Silesian willow / Carpathian birch, naked rowan and limba trees. Over the forests - to 1800 m npm. - there is a subalpine layer of mountain pine, shrubby species of pine, as the height increases, it decreases and disintegrates into fifths and tufts. In turn, there is the floor of the halls (alpine), reaching up to 2300 m. They are made up of natural mountain meadows made of grasses and flowering herbs, until recently, intensively grazed. Above the halls there is a crag floor (subnatural), basically formed only in the High Tatras and reaching the highest peaks. The harshness of the climate and the predominance of rock formations make, that the vegetation here is already poorer and consists in a large percentage of alpine and arctic species, adapted to living in such harsh conditions. According to recent studies, in this floor he still lives in the Tatras 130 flowering plant species, of which 47 reaches the highest peaks - the Iceberg, Gierlachu, Lomnica.
The total number of vascular plant species growing in the Tatra Mountains exceeds 1000, from what has passed 250 are mountain and alpine species. Plants found also in other mountains predominate, however, there are also some - and there are several - which are limited only to the Tatra Mountains (so-called. endemity). The most interesting of them are the Tatra Warzucha, Tatra saxifrage and Wahlenberg's mollusk. Relics from the Ice Age have been found in a large group of plants, in several genres - even pre-divisible, Pliocene (m. in. Tatra delphinium and a shining carnation).
Here are the popular gems of the Tatra flora, the most interesting for tourists: majestic pine, most abundant in the area of Roztoka and Morskie Oko; inconspicuous edelweiss, growing only in calcareous subsoil; gold-headed lily and stalkless nine-tree - two main motifs in today's highlander ornamental carving; finally the crocus - "the first harbinger of the Tatra spring", showering with purple flowers all over clearings and meadows.