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Ancient and Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and Other Regions of Europe - extension (France)

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Description

The future nomination, which is subject of this Tentative List entry, represents an extension to the existing World Heritage property of the “Ancient and Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and Other Regions of Europe” (Albania, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Germany, Italy, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Ukraine, 1133ter). This property was inscribed by the World Heritage Committee first in 2007 as “Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians”, extended once in 2011 by the “Ancient Beech Forests of Germany” and extended another time in 2017 by the “Ancient and Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and Other Regions of Europe” to the present transnational site.

The future extension corresponds to the decision 41  COM 8B.7, where future extensions toward a finite series are noted. With this extension 37 component parts in 10 European States Parties add new values to displaying the history and evolution of the European Beech.

Together with the already inscribed component parts in 12 European States Parties the component parts of this extension will represent an outstanding example of relatively undisturbed, complex temperate forests and exhibit a wide spectrum of comprehensive ecological patterns and processes of pure and mixed stands of European beech across a variety of environmental conditions. They contain an invaluable genetic reservoir of beech and many species, which are associated with and dependent on these forest habitats.

Nom(s) de l’élément/des éléments constitutif(s)

  1. Aigoual biological strict reserves - Occitanie region - (La Breze) N 44.1346 / E 3.5488 and (Peyrebesse) N44.0234 / E3.4618
  2. Chapitre- Petit-Buech biological strict reserve - Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur region - N44.6303 I E5.9910
  3. Fontainebleau biological strict reserves cluster - lle-de-France region - (Tillaie) N 48.4230 I E2.6625; (Gros-Fouteau) N48.4253 I E2.6814; (Chene Brule) N48.4125 / E2.6338; (Gorge aux Loups) N48.3624 I E2.7119; (Vallee Jauberton) N 48.3450 I E2.6798; (Beorlots) N48.3699 / E2.5853; (Rocher de Ia Combe) N48.3798 /E2.64,15
  4. Massane and Moixoses reserves - Occitanie region - (Massane) N42.4905 / E2.9832 and (Moixoses) N42.4781 / E3.0240
  5. Py-Pas de Rotja national natural reserve - Occitanie region - N42.4696 I E2.3641
  6. Sainte-Baume biological strict reserve - Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur region - N43.3295 / E5.7609
  7. Saint-Pe-de-Bigorre biological strict reserve - Occitanie region - N43.0760 / E -0.1570
  8. Sylve d'Argenson biological strict - Nouvelle Aquitaine région - N46.1217 / E -0.4195

Description de l’élément/des éléments constitutif(s)

1.    Aigoual biological strict reserves

The two biological strict reserves of Ia Breze (110 ha) and Peyrebesse (18 ha) are part of the Aigoual State forest. The forest  lies in the  Cevennes mountain, at the South end of the  Pyrenean-Hercynic Beech Region, under Mediterranean climate  influence. Located on summit  position or steep slopes under a wide range of orientation, the reserves are found on granite and slaty rock, from 1120 to 1460 meters above sea level.

The reserves are composed of two beech-dominated forest types:
-  Sub-Mediterranean  calcicolous  beech  forests  (EUNIS:  G1.675  I CORINE Biotopes: 41.175); phytosociological suballiance : Geranio nodosi-Fagenion sylvaticae
- Pyreneo-C,vennian acidophilous beech forest or Sub-Atlantic acidophilous beech forests (Gl.672 or G1.622 I 41.171or 41.122); suballiance 1/ici aquifolii-Fagenion sylvaticae.

2.    Chapitre- Petit-Buech biological strict reserve

The Chapitre  - Petit-Buech biological  strict  reserve is part  of the Gap-Chaudun and des Sauvas State forests. The reserve is located at the south of the Devoluy massif, in the Petit-Buech upper  valley, on steep slopes under a wide range of orientation. Situated  on the south-west end of the Alpine beech forest  region, the reserve spans out at mountain and alpine levels at altitudes of 1250 to 2060 meters above sea level.
The reserve is 552 ha wide and composed  of 3 sub-components: the Chapitre  and de Brouas woods constitutes the main core (249 ha half of which are beech-fir  forests); the Viere wood (40 ha) is found 200 meters  away and detached  by a larch wood; the Donnes wood (164 half of which  are beech-fir­ forests) is located 2 Km away and detached  by a municipal wood.

The forest comprises two beech-dominated forest types:
-   Sub-Mediterranean calcicolous  beech  (beech-fir)  forests  (EUNIS:  G1.675  I CORINE Biotopes : 41.175); phytosociological suballiance : Geranio nodosi-Fagenion sylvaticae
-   Middle European   dry-slope   limestone  beech-  ( beech-fir)   forests   (G1.661  I 41.16);   alliance: Cephalantero rubrae-Fagion

The reserve is composed of other natural habitats such as western white oak woods,boulder and slope forests  (lime and maple trees) and mountainous open lands: grasslands and ravines.

3.   Fontainebleau biological strict reserves cluster

The Fontainebleau biological strict reserves cluster is part of a large State forest and located 40 Km south­ east of Paris. The 21600 ha State forest of Fontainebleau lies on a wide plateau at the planar altitudinal zone. The altitudes of the forest ranges from 80 to 140 meters above sea level but show high relief and high diversity of substrates (limestone,sandstone and sands). The cluster is composed of 7 reserves with a total surface of 1004 ha.

The forest comprises two beech-dominated forest types:
-  Sub-Atlantic   acidophilous   beech   forests   (EUNIS:  G1.622  I CORINE Biotopes:  41.122); phytosociological suballiance: Quercenion robori-petraeae
- Atlantic neutrophile to calcicolous beech forests from Northern France (G1.632 I 41.132);Carpino­ Fagion alliance.

 4.    Massane and Moixoses reserves

Massane and Moixoses reserves form an 855 ha forest ensemble located on the Albera massif, the last link east of the Pyrenees mountain range and overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. The forest spans from lowest  part of the norther  slope to the border  crest with  Spain. Altitudes  vary of 200 to 1160 meters above sea level, from meso-Mediterranean to mountain levels.

The large altitudinal range produces a very contrasted  climatic conditions  from  humid  Mediterranean climate to mountain hyper-humid Mediterranean climate. 6 forest  types  are identified within the  component, beech is the  dominant species along with  oak woods, lime, maple and alder trees. The beech dominance is particularly notable at the mountain level on 520 hectares depending on two forest types :
- Sub-Mediterranean calcicolous  beech (beech-fir) forests  (EUNIS : G1.675 I CORINE Biotopes: 41.175); phytosociological suballiance: Geranio nodosi-Fagenion sylvaticae
- Pyreneo-C,vennian acidophilous beech forest or Sub-Atlantic acidophilous beech forests (G1.672 or G1.622 I 41.171 or 41.122) ; phytosociological suballiance : 1/ici aquifolii-Fagenion sylvaticae, uncertainty due to the biogeographic location.

The overall forest ensemble  is at least 90 years old and comprises  several hundreds  of large stands from 180 to 300 years old. The Massane reserve covers 180 hectares beech forest unexploited for over 140 years.
The massif is located at a biogeographical transition  zone between  Pyrenean and Mediterranean influences. 8119 species originating  from  both biogeographical  regions  have been identified  in the Massane reserve. Massane and Moixoses beech forests evolved from the Catalonia glacial refuge, origin of a postglacial expansion of the Eastern-Pyrenees and Southwestern Massif Central.

5.    Py-Pas de Rotja national natural reserve

Py- Pas de Rotja beech forest is located on north-facing slopes of the Pyrenean mountain range close to the border  with Spain. It is a mountain beech forest where beech is rather  abundant  at such altitudes (between 1300 and 1800 meters above sea level). The 1SO ha core zone of the component comprises the most mature forest core based of dendrometric data out of 3930 ha of the entire Py natural reserve. This core zone comprises  acidophilous  Pyreneo-C,vennian  acidophilous  beech  forest  (EUNIS : G1.672 CORINE Biotopes 41.171),7S% of pure beech forest and 28% composed of beech, pine, fir, oak and birch trees. Py- Pas de Rotja forest stands in the Mediterranean climate  region with continental influences. Accessibility of the forest is limited  due to steep slopes from 40% to 60%, forest stands are ranging from 100 years to 170 years old.

6.    Sainte-Baume biological strict reserve

Sainte-Baume biological reserve (138 ha, ongoing extension to 49S ha) is located on the north-facing slope of the Sainte-Baume mountain, 1S Km north from Mediterranean shores, at the north end of the Central Mediterranean beech forest region. The reserve lies from  440 to 11SO meters above sea level, beech forest are found from 700 to 1100 meters above sea level.

The central part of the reserve (320 ha with extension) is composed of one beech-dominated forest type: Sub-Mediterranean  calcicolous  to neutrophil beech  forest  (EUNIS : G1.67S4 I CORINE Biotopes :41.17S4); suballiance: Geranio nodosi-Fagenion sylvaticae. Part of the  whole  forest is dominated  by Holm-oak woodland. Forest stands are over 200 years old.

7.    Saint-Pe-de-Bigorre biological strict reserve

Saint-Pe-de-Bigorre biological  strict  reserve  (1010 ha) is located  on the  first  relief  of  the  Pyrenean mountain  range, between 42S and 1400 meters above sea level, on north-facing slopes of the Pibeste mountain, cut by two deep valleys; slopes are very steep and rather inaccessible. The reserve is under Atlantic climate with significant mountain influences, characterized by heavy rainfall (>1800 mml/year) and mildly high average annual temperature.

The reserve is covered by one beech-dominated forest type: Pyreneo-Cantabrian neutrophile  beech (or beech-fir) forests (EUNIS : G1.64 I CORINE Biotopes : 41.14); suballiance Scillo lilio-hyacinthi-Fagenion sylvaticae. Beech forest is completed by ravine and slope lime woods (Gl.A4 I 41.4).The forest is composed of 100 to 1SO-year-old dense stands with diameters over 90 em.

8.    Sylve d'Argenson biological strict reserve

Sylve d'Argenson biological  strict  reserve (2S79 ha) is part of the vast lowland State forest  of Chize. Located SO Km west from  the  Atlantic Ocean, it stands at the south-west end of the  lowland  beech climatic  area, the climate is atlantic with meridonal influences. The altitude varies from 80 to 100m above sea level on a limestone plateau.

The reserve is covered  by one beech-dominated forest type: Atlantic  south-western neutrophile to calcicole beech forests, (EUNIS: G1.64 I CORINE Biotopes: 41.14), associated with western white oak woods (G1.71 I 41.71).

Justification de la Valeur Universelle Exceptionnelle

Criterion (ix): The property is indispensable for the understanding of the history and evolution of the genus Fagus  which, given its wide distribution in the  Northern  Hemisphere  and its  ecological importance, is globally significant. These largely undisturbed, complex temperate forests exhibit comprehensive ecological patterns and processes of pure and mixed stands of European beech across a variety of environmental gradients, such as climatic and geological conditions, throughout much of the European beech forest range. Forests are included from all altitudinal zones from the coast up to the forest line in the mountains and,furthermore,include the best remaining examples from the range limits of the European beech forest. Beech is one of the most important features in the Temperate Broadleaf  Forest Biome and represents an outstanding  example of the re-colonization and development of terrestrial ecosystems and communities since the last Ice Age. The continuing northern  and westward expansion of beech from its original glacial refuge areas in the eastern and southern parts of Europe can be tracked along natural corridors and stepping stones spanning the continent. The dominance of beech across extensive areas of Europe is a living testimony of the tree's genetic adaptability, a process which is still ongoing.

Déclarations d’authenticité et/ou d’intégrité

The selected component  parts represent  the diversity found across Europe in terms of different climatic and geological conditions and altitudinal zones. Inclusion of these components representing the variability of European beech forest ecosystems across these different  environmental conditions contributes  to the integrity  of the property  as a whole in terms of the  full representation of the ecological processes that convey the OUV of the property. However, each component part also needs to demonstrate integrity at the local level by representing the full suite of natural forest development processes in its particular geographical and ecological setting within  the series. All component parts are of  sufficient  size (> 50 ha) to  maintain such natural processes necessary for their long-term ecological viability.

All component parts have buffer zones of various configurations including surrounding protected areas (national parks, nature parks, biosphere reserves and others). These buffer  zones will be regularly reviewed to ensure protection  under changing environmental conditions such as climate change. The boundaries of buffer zones are, where  possible, aligned with existing protected area boundaries. Special emphasis was given during the zonation of the new component  parts to ensure effective ecological connectivity between beech forests and the surrounding complementary habitats to allow natural development and adaptation to environmental change.

While the history of distribution and expansion of beech across Europe demonstrates an outstanding example ofthe re-colonization and development ofterrestrial ecosystems since the last Ice Age,more recent changes in the distribution pattern of beech across Europe relate to direct influences of human disturbance and the more complex effects of anthropogenically induced climate change. To effectively protect  the components  of the property from  negative influence, a comprehensive analysis of threats has been undertaken.

1.    Aigoual biological strict reserves

The reserves of Ia Breze and Peyrebesse of ancient forest, which existence is confirmed at least since the 19th century. The protected areas rely on relic forest cores which were acquired by the State during the second half of the 19th century. Both reserves are owned by the State and under the protection status of "Biological strict reserve" (IUCN category Ia). They are part of the National Park of Cevennes. The reserve of Peyrebesse, although of limited size, is remarkable for being protected as strict reserve since 1933.

Forest stands have been free of sylvicultural use for over 50 to 100 years and comprise  very large individuals over 150 years old. The absence of fir trees at mountain in the mountain part of the Cevennes show nevertheless the effect of ancient forest management. The forest maturity is demonstrated by the richness in saproxylic species,especially coleoptera.
There is no trail within the reserves. A forest road and a hiking trail are found at the border of the Peyrebesse reserve. The protection regime forbids any forest use or sylvicultural intervention, except for both  alien species fighting and ungulates density regulation strategies as well as for securing trails. Mushroom picking is allowed and controlled. Reserves are encompassed by the Aigoual State forest, with  only one management  authority (OfficeNational des Fon ts).

2.    Chapitre - Petit-Buech biological strict reserve

The reserve is owned by the State and under the protection status of "Biological strict reserve" (IUCN category Ia) since 1990. It is composed of ancient forest, which existence is confirmed at least since the early 19th century. The area relies on relic forest cores which were acquired  by the State during the second half of the 19th century. The end of management and sylvicultural use dates to at least 60 to  130 years back. The density  of large  stands, the  wide  natural  presence  of fir-trees  and the  diversity  of  certain  species (saproxylic species) underline  the very little exploitation thus a very high level of naturalness. Game pressure on flora is considered high; high mortality of fir-trees  was detected due to an intense drought episode in 2003.

The protection regime forbids any forest use or sylvicultural intervention, except for both alien species fighting and ungulates density regulation strategies as well as for securing two  hiking trails. Fishing is allowed and controlled.

The three elements of the reserve are encompassed by forest land that are managed sustainably and pastured.

 3.    Fontainebleau biological strict reserves cluster

The reserves are composed of ancient forest, which existence is confirmed  at least since the early 19th century. They are owned by the State and under the protection status of "biological strict reserve" (IUCN category Ia). Of the 7 reserves, 4 are established since 1953 (TIIIaie,Gras Fouteau - Hauteurs de Ia Solie, Chene Brule, Gorge aux Loups) and 3 were  created  in 1990 (Beorlots, Rocher de Ia Combe; Valee Jauberton). The 282 ha relating to the 4 old reserves (respectively: 35 ha, 185 ha, 32 ha and 30 ha) are protected   from  any  sylvicultural  exploitation since  1861, they were first  recognized  as « artistic reserves ». For the remaining 722 ha relating to the latest extensions or new reserves, all exploitation were stopped in the mid-1990s.

Due to its peri-urban  situation and its renown,the overall Fontainebleau State forest registers 15 million visitors per year. All reserves are close to a road network. Hiking trails cross or hug the edges of two reserves Gros-Fouteau- Hauteurs de Ia Solie and Chene Brule. Any trespassing outside trails is forbidden. The protection regime forbids  any forest use or sylvicultural intervention, except for both alien species fighting and ungulates density regulation strategies as well as for securing two hiking trails.

All 4 old reserves (Tillaie, Gras Fouteau - Hauteurs  de Ia Solie, Chene Brule, Gorge aux Loups) are encompassed by State forest, under the same management authority (Office National des Forets).

4.    Massane and Moixoses reserves

Massane  and Moixoses  reserves  are respectively  under  the  protection status  of  "national natural reserve" and "biological forest reserve" (both IUCN category IV). They cover ancient forest, which existence is confirmed at least since the early 19th century.

The end of  management and sylvicultural  use dates  to  at  least  60 to  140 years back. The level of naturalness  is characterized  by the  richness of  saproxylic  species, for  instance Osmderma eremita, Rosalia alpina, Cerambyx cerdo, Lucanus cervus. In the Massane forest 634 out of 1766 coleoptera taxa are considered saproxylic (36%).

The protection regime forbids any forest use or sylvicultural  intervention, except for both alien species fighting and ungulates density regulation strategies as well as for securing hiking trails and a forest road located in the upper part of the reserve. Several pasture permits are still effective, bovine forest pasture is allowed and controlled.

 5.    Py-Pas de Rotjit national natural reserve

The overall Py forest is protected since 1953, forest stands are 100 years old in average with old-growth 170 years old patches. Several transhumance trails are used by farmers to cross the forest. Due to very steep slopes, access to the forest is limited  to on hiking trail, a couple of forest roads are passing south of the forest. Last sylvicultural exploitation occurredin 1918.

The amount  of  dead wood, 44 m3 per ha, is characteristic of old-growth forests. Other parameters suggest development potential to later maturity stages: the total pool of living timber amounts to 503 m 3 per ha, of which 22% in volume are large to very large stands. The forest hosts a diverse saproxylic fauna with 22 indicator species.

6.    Sainte-Baume biological strict reserve

The reserve is owned by the State, 138 ha are under the protection status of "Biological reserve" (IUCN category IV) since 1973. The ongoing extension will upgrade the protection to "Biological strict reserve" (IUCN category  Ia except  55 ha remaining  of category  IV). It  is composed  of  ancient  forest, which existence is confirmed at least since the early 19th century.

This old reserve has been preserved since the Middle  Age due to the presence of a religious sanctuary. It is exceptional for its late maturity,the richness of the understory vegetation  with yew and holly-trees of remarkable  dimensions, the richness of lichens and mushrooms, it constitutes  a major area for the saproxylic entomofauna.
Attendance in the forest is high, two hiking trail are crossing the reserve. The protection regime forbids any forest use or sylvicultural intervention, except for both alien species fighting and ungulates density regulation strategies as well as for securing trails. Slight conservation interventions are conducted by the National Forest Office within the "genetic resources conservatory unit" (55ha).

The reserve is encompassed by State forest,under the same management authority (Office National des Fonts), other boundaries are protected by natural topography.

7.    Saint-Pe-de-Bigorre biological strict reserve

The reserve is under undivided co-ownership of the Saint-Pe-de-Bigorre municipality and the State and under the protection status of 11Biological strict reserve" (IUCN category Ia). One fourth of the reserve is composed of ancient forest, which existence is confirmed at least since the early 19th century. The forest was exploited during the 19th century, management in the 20th century focused on forest restoration. The reserve hasn't been exploited since the 1920s,except for a few parcels in the 1950-GOs.

Fir trees scarcity show  former  exploitation  of  the  forest  for  the  production  of  wood  charcoal. Nevertheless, the association of bryophytes, lichens, mushrooms and saproxylic entomofauna confirm continuity of the forest's character and naturalness.

The forest is free of any forest exploitation and pasture exploitation: a rare characteristic on such a wide surface throughout the Pyrenees.
A couple of trails,one is authorized as transit for pastoral activities,are passing through the reserve. The remoteness of the reserve and rugged topography make the beech massif barely accessible. The protection  regime forbids any forest use or sylvicultural intervention, except for both alien species fighting and ungulates density regulation strategies as well as for securing trails. Fishing is authorized.

Three quarters of the reserve are encompassed by State forest,under the same management authority (Office National des Forets), other boundaries are protected by natural topography.

8.    Sylve d' Argenson biologicalstrict reserve

Sylve d'Argenson reserve owned by the State and under the protection  status of "biological strict reserve" (IUCN category Ia) since 2006.
The reserve is formed of ancient forest, which existence is confirmed  at least since the early 19th century. Overall natural characteristics remain low due to the recent stop of forestry use and exploitation in 2000, except for 190 ha that were held free of exploitation since 1994. Low density in large woods is due to an exceptional storm that occurred in 1999.

The protection regime forbids any forest use or sylvicultural intervention,except for both alien species fighting and ungulates density regulation strategies as well as for securing forest roads that are closed to public transport. Deer and boar pressure on flora is considered high. One fifth of the perimeter is surrounded by State forest under the same management authority (Office National des Forets),other boundaries are close to agricultural lands.

Justification de la sélection de l’élément/des éléments constitutif(s) en relation avec la future proposition d’inscription dans son ensemble

In the selection process of suitable primeval and ancient beech forests in Europe, a classification system defining Beech Forest Regions (BFR) in Europe has been developed. Each BFR is characterized by its specific climatic and floristic situation and showing an individual history of postglacial beech forest development differing in time of first beech arrival and the different genetic exotypes of beech, as beech was re-colonising Europe after the last ice-age from different refuge areas.

It is considered that a finite serial transnational European nomination  will include candidates from all BFR. Therefore, the best suitable beech forest sites in each BFR have been selected to represent the different  ecotypes  and  postglacial development  processes in  a most  representative  way. Each component part within one BFR brings specific aspects and significantly adds additional value to the series as a whole. These specific aspects are shown in the following:

France intends to participate in the extension to the existing World Heritage property of the "Ancient and Primeval Beech Forests of the  Carpathians and Other Regions of Europe" (Albania, Austria,Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Germany, Italy, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Ukraine, 1133ter) with 8 new components in order to consolidate beech forest types diversity and long term preservation :
-  with  lowland  beech forests in the Atlantic climatic region thus located at the western end of the beech distribution area, remarkable for their  biogeographical situation, the  size or the level of integrity  and maturity;
- with beech forests located at the edge of beech forest regions or at the transition between beech forest regions, some can be considered as particularly sensitive to climate change.

1.    Aigoual biological strict reserves

Due to the long history of high-level protection free-of-sylvicultural use, the biological strict reserves of Ia Breze and Peyrebesse stand out as part of most natural forests throughout  the  Massif Central mountain range. Their biogeographic location is remarkable, at the south end of the Atlantic Hercynic beech forest, situated  on  the  borders  of  three  beech forest  regions: Central European, Atlantic-Hercynic and Mediterranean.

2.    Chapitre - Petit-Buech biological strict reserve

The Chapitre - Petit-Buech biological strict reserve is located at the very south-west end of the alpine beech forest region. Beech forests show a very high level of naturalness.

3.    Fontainebleau biological strict reserves cluster

The old Fontainebleau reserves are by far the oldest biological strict reserves in France and count among the oldest protected areas worldwide. They demonstrate distinctive features of naturalness and long-lasting protection without  any exploitation (more than 150 years), especially for planar forests.

4.    Massane and Moixoses reserves

The Massane reserve and the Moixoses reserve are located at the far-east end of the Pyrenean mountain range and the Pyrenean-lberic beech forest region. It brings better climatic diversity and beech genetic diversity representativeness along with the Spanish component of Hayedos de Navarra in this region. Massane and Moixoses forests are one essential link as a testimony of the history of beech persistance for 6000 years,they constitute a sentinel forest of climate change in the meso-Mediterranean context.

The Massane forest is probably the best covered protected area in Europe for natural inventories.

5.    Py-Pas de Rotja national natural reserve

Py-Pas de Rotja beech forest is a micro-refuge essential for beech conservation in the eastern Pyrenees, it holds with Massane and Moixoses forest the largest beech genetic diversity of the Pyrenean-lberic beech forest region.

Located away from the Mediterranean climatic transitional zone, Py-Pas de Rotja constitutes the most central component in the Pyrenean mountain range compared to 3 other components and stands as a centre reservoir away from  components that are exposed to climate change such as Massane and Moixoses beech forests.

Like Hayedos de Navarra component, the altitude range offers good adaptability to climate change.

6.    Sainte-Baume biological strict reserve

Sainte Baume biological strict reserve is a relic forest and served as refuge during the last glacial period. Highly isolated, Saint-Baume beech forest lies 60 Km south to other closest beech forests.

Due to its long-lasting preservation Sainte-Baume beech forest is one of the most remarkable for its naturalness in France.


7.    Saint-Pe-de-Bigorre biological strict reserve

Saint-Pe-de-Bigorre reserve is the widest biological strict reserve in the Pyrenees and one the rare reserves free from any pastoral activity on the French slopes of the mountain range; this beech forest has significantly no equivalent in France.

Located at the middle of the Pyrenean mountain range, Atlantic influences imprint  a  climatic and biogeographic context different to the other components in the Pyrenean-lberic beech forest region. The forest shows a high and increasing level of naturalness confirmed by the richness in several groups.


8.    Sylve d'Argenson biological strict reserve

Sylve d'Argenson biological strict reserve is located at the western end of the beech distribution area, at the far southern limit of the Atlantic beech forest region. Lowland beech forests are considered as "outpost" and very sensitive to climate change.

It is today, the largest forest strict reserve in metropolitan France.

Comparaison avec d’autres biens similaires

The comparison with similar properties has already been provided in the nomination dossiers 1133 (2007), 1133bis (2011) and 1133ter (2016).