Mesophytes in woodland torrential gullies on the west coast of Krk Island

Prospekt Flora, Intresting facts

Photo 1. Corydalis can often be found in mesophytic type forests on Krk Island, but unlike the corydalis populations on the “continent” that are pink-flowered, on Krk Island we can mostly find corydalis plants with snow-white flowers. (Photo by Patrik Krstinić)

In some forest habitats on the west coast of Krk Island, we will be surprised in the pre-spring to find spring flowers that can be classified as mesophytic flora (plants that prefer more humid and colder habitats). Such a plant is the white-flowered corydalis, which we shall take a look at here…

Mesophytes in woodland torrential gullies on the west coast of Krk Island

Mesophytic plant species can be found in many of the forest communities we have studied in torrential gullies on the west coast of Krk Island. The community located “between the Small Oak and the Big Oak” in the Čavlena region of Dubašnica, as well as some communities in the vicinity of the Port, has exceptionally continental features because of the presence of the common hornbeam, the coralroot bittercress, the corydalis and several other “continental” species.

This fact leads us to assume that during climate change, which probably took place at the end of the ice ages, the mesophytic forests of Krk Island spread outwards from their “mesophytic refuge”. On one side, they spread onto flysch deposits in the torrent gullies of the Dobrinjština region, while on the other side, they expanded over deep, reddish soil and into shady, humid gullies along the west coast of Krk Island. These plant species and their communities considerably enhance the diversity and importance of ecologically opposing taxa and forms of forest communities on Krk Island.

M. R.

Photo 2. The white-flowered corydalis of Krk Island can be found in the mesophytic forests of the island’s west coast, but we also came across the plant in a “mesophytic oasis” in the Ponikva region. The common hornbeam is a prominent mesophytic tree in these communities. (Photo by Patrik Krstinić)