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

Date of Submission: 30/01/2019
Criteria: (ix)
Category: Natural
Submitted by:
Délégation Permanente de la République de Serbie auprès de l'UNESCO
Ref.: 6394
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The Tentative Lists of States Parties are published by the World Heritage Centre at its website and/or in working documents in order to ensure transparency, access to information and to facilitate harmonization of Tentative Lists at regional and thematic levels.

The sole responsibility for the content of each Tentative List lies with the State Party concerned. The publication of the Tentative Lists does not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever of the World Heritage Committee or of the World Heritage Centre or of the Secretariat of UNESCO concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its boundaries.

Property names are listed in the language in which they have been submitted by the State Party

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.

Name(s) of the component part(s)

National Park „Fuška gora“:
- Fuška gora cluster (Level I Protection Regime localities „Papratski do“ and „Ravne“) - Republic of Serbia, Vojvodina Province, Municipality of Sremska Mitrovica - E 19,639 N 45,139; Y 392967,92 X 4999292,38

National Park„Tara“:
- Level I Protection Regime locality „Zvezda“ - Republic of Serbia, Western Serbia, Municipality of Bajina Bašta - E 19,618 N 45,143;  Y 391386,23   X 4999728,23
- Level I Protection Regime locality „Klisura Rače“ - Republic of Serbia, Western Serbia, Municipality of Bajina Bašta - E 19,517 N 43,917; Y 380902,51 X 4863734,49

National Park „Kopaonik”:
- Level I Protection Regime locality „Kozije stene“ - Republic of Serbia, Central Serbia, Municipality of Raška - E 20,74 N 43,338; Y 478951,89  X 4798406,12
- Duboka i Brzećka reka cluster (Level I Protection Regime localities „Metođe”, „Jelak“ and „Duboka“) - Republic of Serbia, Central Serbia, Municipality of Brus - E 20,86 N 43,301; Y 488608,11 X 4794285,25

Description of the component part(s)

Serbian component parts which are hereby proposed to be included in the World Heritage property of the „Ancient and Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and Other Regions of Europe” belong to protected areas in category of National Parks. These component parts represent three out of five Serbian National Parks:

- NP Fruška gora: The northernmost and the oldest National Park in Serbia, protected in 1960. It covers an area of 25.393 ha on Fruška gora Mt. (539 m a.s.l.), an Island Mountain in the great Pannonian Plain, located in the Vojvodina Province of Serbia, 78 km wide from east to west and 15 km wide from north to south. During the existence of the Pannonian Sea, this mountain was an island, and so, it represents a natural geological phenomenon of revealing almost all geological periods in its geological substrate, alongside a rich fossil fauna of the Pliocene Epoch. To the north, the mountain is bordered by the Danube River, while to the south it descends into the Syrmian lowlands. The National Park is almost completely covered by forest (90%), mainly Linden (Tilia sp.), oak (Quercus sp.) and Beech (Fagus sp.) monodominant and mixed forests, with over 20 forest associations described so far. Flora of NP Fruška gora counts around 1500 plant species, out of which at least 40 are strictly protected by Serbian national legislation, including over 30 species of Orchidaceae family. Its diverse fauna include 13 Amphibian species of and 11 Reptile species, out of which 14 are placed in the Threatened Categories of IUCN Red List. Out of 211 bird species, 130 nest in the Park. Mammal fauna is represented with close to 60 species.

- NP Tara: The westernmost National Park and protected area in Serbia in general, established in 1981, located on the border between Serbia and Bosnia and Hercegovina (Republic of Srpska entity), with the Drina River canyon as a natural state border. The National Park Tara covers Tara Mt. which lays on the right bank of the Drina River canyon, spreading on 24.991,82 ha of mostly heavily forested mountain landscape (>60%), intermitted with mountain rivers forming deep gorges. These mountains represent far eastern part of the Dinaric Alps mountain range, having limestone as its geological substrate, which is then crafted by the forces of nature in a vast variety of rock forms. Drina River canyon, 38 km long and over 1000m deep, surrounds this mountain Park forming its altitudinal amplitude of almost 1600 m a.s.l., with an average altitude of 1100-1300m a.s.l.. The geomorphological features and position of NP Tara influenced a unique, secluded and humid microclimate, which gave it its strong refugial character and resulted in a complex of microrefugia, rich in biodiversity of endemic and relict flora and fauna. Added to being located between Iliric and Moesian floristic provinces, this influenced a high floristic diversity of nearly 1200 species, 76 out of which are endemic, with many being stenoendemic and Tertiary relicts. Out of 40 forest plant communities, 4 are considered relict. Due to favorable abiotic conditions not having changed significantly in this area as glacial and interglacial epochs went by, since the Tertiary Epoch to date, NP Tara holds some of the oldest forest ecosystems in the Balkan Peninsula and in Europe, and its diverse habitats favored the high number of endemic and relict species present. Main tree species are Abies alba (43,3%), Fagus sylvatica ssp. moesiaca (30,2%) and Picea abies (15,3%), forming an Piceto-Abieti-Fagetum association which dominates the Park (85%). One tree species stands out as the most significant in this protected area: Serbian Spruce (Picea omorika), for which Tara Mt. represents locus classicus. This coniferous species is a Tertiary relict now endemic to the River Drina valley, discovered in 1875. by Serbian botanist Josif Pančić, who also discovered and described 47 more scientifically accepted plant taxons, many of which can be found in NP Tara. The high floristic value of NP Tara is reflected in 210 species being nationally protected and 115 found on the Red list of flora of Serbia, but also in its title as Important Plant Area (IPA). The fauna of NP Tara is also exceptionally diverse, with great number of relict and endemic species, the most famous being Pancic's grasshopper (Pyrgomorphulla serbica Pancic), discovered in NP Tara by Josif Pančić in 1881. With 115 Butterfly species, 23 of them being on the Red list of butterflies of Serbia, NP Tara is considered Prime Butterfly Area (PBA). Other groups of fauna are also quite diverse: Ichthyofauna is represented with 28 species, Batrachofauna with 10, Herpetofauna with 9, Ornitofauna with 170, out of which 120 species nest in the Park (Important Bird Area – IBA) and Teriofauna with nearly 60 species. The plenitude of endemic species related to forest ecosystems provides strong evidence that the region around Tara NP was a refuge forest area during the Ice Age.

NP Tara with the Drina River canyon was added in 2002. to the Serbian tentative list for inclusion on the natural World Heritage list. NP Tara, along with NP Drina in Bosnia and Hercegovina, is envisioned to be nominated for a transboundary Biosphere Reserve of UNESCO MaB Programme.

- NP Kopaonik: With the exception of NP Šar Planina, which lays on the state border with Albania and is the southernmost and the highest mountain National Park in Serbia, NP Kopaonik would hold these titles. NP Kopaonik was established in 1981. in the central part of Kopaonik Mt. plateau. Said mountain is one of the highest mountains in Serbia, with many peeks around 1600m a.s.l. of height, the highest being 2017m a.s.l. Abundant in mountain rivers forming deep gorges, with dense hydrographic network of mountain springs and streams, large peat bogs, high-mountain meadows, pastures and old-growth forests, it is a mosaic layout of well-preserved ecosystems. This high-mountain National Park has an orderly vegetation belt changeover, representing almost all types of central Balkan high mountain ecosystems. Herbaceous vegetation takes 74% of 118 present plant associations, with forest vegetation taking 26%. High diversity of natural habitats resulted in high floristic heterogeneity and the diversity of 1603 plant species (155 species of Mosses), with 91 endemic (3 stenoendemic) and 82 subendemic species. This great number of endemic plants, with 12% of endemic high-mountain flora of Balkan Peninsula represented, sets this Park out as one of the hotspots of endemic Balkan flora (IPA). Out of a total area of 12.079,61 ha of NP Kopaonik, 58% is covered with forest. The best preserved, old-growth forests take almost 12% of the total area. Forests of NP Kopaonik, depending on the altitude, which ranges between 1000-2000m, form two main forest vegetation belts: Beech forest belt (1000-1550m a.s.l.), with Fagetum montanum as the main association, forming mostly on silicate and serpentinite substrate, but also on carbonate substrate, and Spruce forest belt (1550-2000m a.s.l.) forming mainly on granite substrate (Picetum excelsae). Between these two main belts, with addition of Silver Fir (Abies alba), a mixed forest of Beech, Fir and Spruce frequently forms (Piceto-Abieti-Fagetum, Abieti-Fagetum, Piceto-Abietum). Beech forests are present even in the Spruce forest belt, forming a forest association Fagetum subalpinum, in some places with Mountain Maple (Acer heldreichii), a Tertiary relict endemic to the Balkan Peninsula. This endemo-relict tree species was preserved in homeostatic habitats of deep river gorges in NP Kopaonik, along with a few others (Taxus baccata). Faunistic diversity is expressed in 138 Butterfly species (PBA), 210 Bird species, with 115 nesting in the Park (IBA), 6 Amphibian species, 8 Reptile species and 35 Mammal species.

Proposed component parts include:

  1. Fruška gora cluster (Level I Protection Regime localities „Papratski do“ and „Ravne“ of NP „Fruška gora”): Located close together on the northern slopes on Fruška gora Mt. these ancient Beech forests grow on deep, moist soil, the result of several springs and streams nearby and a dense canopy complexion reducing evaporation. Papratski do was first protected as a Strict Nature Reserve in 1955, later becoming Level I Protection Regime locality of National Park Fruška gora. The old growth characteristics of this Beech forest are result of the strict protection regime being in place for more than half a century. Beech here forms pure stands (Fagetum submontanum), but in some parts it forms mixed forest with Linden (Tilio-Fagetum). Up until recently, this forest was one of last nesting places of Eastern Imperial Eagle (Aquila heliaca) in Serbia, the species that is on global scale considered vulnerable (IUCN Red List), but is endangered in Europe, with currently only one nesting pair left in Serbia. Papratski do locality with 71,35 ha of size covers altitudinal range between 400m and 460 m a.s.l., as for Ravne locality this range is between 350m and 450 m a.s.l. Ravne with 95,69 ha of size is a Level I Protection Regime locality of NP Fruška gora since 2004. (before was a part of Level II Protection Regime) and is known for its well-preserved Beech and Linden forest (Tilio-Fagetum), that take up the largest part of the locality, in some parts mixed with Quercus petraea (Querco-Fagetum) and Ostrya carpinifolia (Querco-Carpinetum). Buffer zone would be formed out of the forested area of Level II Protection Regime locality „Čortanovačka šuma” which surrounds both core component parts.

  2. Level I Protection Regime locality „Zvezda“ of NP „Тara“: This locality is the largest Level I Protection Regime locality of NP „Тara“, covering the right slopes of the Drina River canyon of western and northwestern exposition and the adjacent mountain landscape called Zvezda. The size of this locality is 2030,18 ha, with the altitude ranging between 220m and 1440m a.s.l. Geological substrate is limestone on which Rendzina and terra fusca soils are formed. This locality was formally first protected in the IXX century, when it was excluded from any future exploitation in all forestry planning documents, as a measure of erosion prevention. Inaccessibility of these forests has made them unexploitable beforehand, so it is safe to say that these are virgin forests, dating far back in past epochs of natural history. Zvezda locality was first nationally protected part of NP Tara, as it was established as a Strict Nature Reserve in 1971. for its exceptionally preserved wilderness, unique landscape qualities and being the natural habitat of endemo-relict species Picea omorika, Ilex aquifolium and Taxus baccata, but also of the brown bear (Ursus arctos)and chamois (Rupicapra rupicapra). The canyon slopes have a very steep inclination of over 35°, which is preferred habitat condition of Picea omorika and Pinus nigra, growing on the higher parts of the slopes, along with Fir, Spruce and Beech. On the slopes, Beech inhabits gullies of the rugged slopes, where deeper soils are formed, leaving the remaining rocky terrain to Ostrya carpinifolia and Fraxinus ornus (Fraxineto-Carpinetum). On the adjacent mountain terrain with an inclination of 20-30° Fagetum montanum and Piceto-Abieti-Fagetum forest associations are formed, with dominance of Beech. On the top of the canyon slopes, where Picea omorika population is numerous, the forest association Omorikae-Piceto-Abieti-Fagetum mixtum is formed.

  3. Level I Protection Regime locality „Klisura Rače“ of NP „Тara“: Located on the far eastern part of NP Tara, the Rača River gorge (“klisura” meaning “gorge” in Serbian) represents one of the deep river gorges in NP Tara, forming around the spring which creates the mountain river called Rača and following its course up until thermal spring called Lađevac. From this point on, the Rača River forms a valley, where the Serbian orthodox monastery Rača (XIII c.) is located. Geological substrate is limestone. On the gorge and valley sides of Rača River, an old-growth Beech forest is formed. Beech trees of 35m in height and with the trunks over 1m wide can be found on the valley sides (Fagetum submontanum), while upon entering a gorge, a mixed Beech forest with Walnut (Juglans regia) is found, forming an relict association Fagetum montanum juglandetosum in the lowest levels of the gorge, by the river. Also present are the forest associations Musco-Alnetum glutinosae, Ostryo-Pinetum nigrae and Aceri-Osryo-Fagetum, the latter also being of relict character, forming on the lower parts of the gorge and having Walnut as an accompanying species. The altitudinal range is between 600m and 1000m a.s.l., inclination ranges between 15° and 35° and geological substrate is limestone. The size of this locality is 301,80 ha. For the most part, it is surrounded by Level II Protection Regime, but also with Level III Protection Regime. North-eastern border of the Locality is at the same time border of the National Park. Since it is not a natural border, a part of the Locality area would be excluded from the core zone to form a sufficient buffer zone of the component.

  4. Level I Protection Regime locality „Kozije stene“ of NP Kopaonik”: Located on the westernmost part of NP Kopaonik, this locality of strong refugial character covers the left slopes of the Samokovska River gorge, and also Kozije stene reef, Kukavica peek and east slopes of Jadovnik hill. It has a very diverse geological substrate of mostly metamorphic rocks: Paleozoic serpentinites, granitoides, Mesozoic kornites and marble. Forest vegetation is formed on shallow and medium deep Dystric Cambisols. At the lowest elevations a Beech forest forms (Fagetum submontanum, Fagetum montanum), with Quercus petraea and Ostrya carpinifolia as accompanying species, above which a mixed Fir and Beech forest is formed (Seslerio-Abieti-Fagetum). In some higher parts of the gorge this forest type transforms with the presence of Spruce (Picea abies) into Piceto-Abieti-Fagetum forest, followed by the Fir and Spruce association Piceo-Abietetum serpentinicum. Spruce dominates highest elevations where it forms a relict forest association Erico-Piceto-Abietum in which Erica carnea and Vaccinium myrtillus dominate the ground level vegetation. In this forest association a Tertiary relict species, Daphne blagayana, can be found. Endemic plant taxons present in this locality are: Edraianthus jugoslavicus, Stachys scardica, Cerastium decalvans, Silene parnassica serbica, Linum tauricum ssp. serbicum, Cardamine pancicii, Saxifraga adsendens ssp. blavi, Festuca panciciana, Thymus jankae, Aquillegia blecicii, Cerastium moesiacum, Viola macedonica and Campanula abietina. Тhe total number of plant species found in Kozije stene locality is 132. The size of this locality is 485,24 ha and its western border is also the National Park border, spreading along the summit of Jadovnik hill and forming a natural border. Buffer zone can be formed out of surrounding Level II and III Protection Regimes.

  5. Duboka i Brzećka reka cluster (Level I Protection Regime localities „Metođe”, „Jelak“ and „Duboka“ of NP Kopaonik): This cluster is located on the far eastern part of the Kopaonik National Park. Locality „Metođe” borders with locality „Jelak“, together covering the right side of the Brzećka River gorge in its length. „Duboka“ locality is located about 1 km (air length) to the south, covering the left side of the Duboka River gorge. On all three localities a mixed Beech forest grows, with Mountain Maple (Acer heldreichii) as an accompanying species. Mountain Maple is a glacial relict species endemic to the Balkan Peninsula. Mutual buffer zone can be formed out of surrounding Level II and III Protection Regimes.

- In Metođe locality the altitude ranges between 1190m and 1840m a.s.l., with an inclination of 20-30° for the most part and of over 45° in some parts. Geological substrate is formed out of metamorphic rocks like greenschist and marbleized limestone, with granitoides in some parts. The complex geomorphology and varying microclimate conditions resulted in highly diverse vegetation and flora, with numerous rare and relict species, due to the homeostatic conditions of the gorge. On the steep cliffs, rock vegetation communities develop and on the gentler parts, covered with shallow to medium deep Dystric Cambisol soil, forest vegetation develops. Beech dominates this locality and for the most part it is covered with a mixed Beech, Fir and Spruce forest (Piceto-Abieti-Fagetum), with individual trees going up to 30m in height and having trunks up to 1,5m wide. Scattered in this forest grows Mountain Maple (Acer heldreichii). Lower elevations are covered with Fagetum montanum Beech forest. In some higher elevated areas of this locality the following forest associations are formed: Piceto-Abietum, Erico-Piceto-Abietum, Fagetum subalpinum piceetosum, Picetum subalpinum, some with different varieties, depending on the ground floor flora, out of which a Tertiary relict species, Daphne blagayana, should be mentioned. On the area of 117 ha, 10 different forest associations are found and even higher number of rock vegetation associations. Endemic plant species found here include: Alyssum corymbosum, Chamaecytisus jankae, Stachys alpina var. bosniaca, Chamaecytisus tommasinii, Cerastium moesiacum, Edraianthus jugoslavicus subsp. subalpinus, Silene sendtneri, Cicerbita pancicii and Hesperis dinarica among many others which are endemic and/or relict, rare or threatened. Total number of plant species found in Metođe locality is 137.

- Jelak locality follows Metođe locality on the right side of the Brzećka River gorge, covering forested area of the altitudinal range between 1000-1490m a.s.l. The geological substrate here is limestone, marl and sandstone, with a tinge of many different metamorfic rocks. Soil types are Podzol and Dystric Cambisol. The lowest elevations are covered with Beech forest (Fagetum montanum), above which lays a mixed Beech and Fir forest (Abieti-Fagetum), where the Fir dominates. In these forests Mountain Maple (Acer heldreichii) is an accompanying species, along with Betula verocosa and Acer pseudoplatanus. In one part of this locality a relict forest association Taxo-Abietum is formed, with Taxus baccata and Abies alba as the main edificatory species. In Jelak locality, over 50 plant species are documented, which is quite diverse considering its small size of 60,39 ha.

- With the size of 144,03ha Duboka locality covers the left side of the Duboka River gorge, with altitudes ranging between 1020m and 1780m a.s.l. The geological substrate is mainly limestone and Beech forest dominates this locality. On the more secluded parts of the highest elevations of the gorge, Picea abies subsp. subalpine, Juniperus sibirica, Vaccinium myrtillus and Vaccinium uliginosum form the following associations: Piceo subalpinae-Vaccinio-Juniperetum, Piceetm subalpinum myrtilletosum, Vaccinio-Juniperetum, Vaccinietum myrtilli. Deeper down the gorge, several different Beech, Fir and Spruce forest associations are formed (Picetum fagetosum subalpinae, Fagetum subalpinum inferiorum piceetosum, Piceto-Abieti-Fagetum, Fago-Abietum, Piceo-Abietum), followed by Beech forest associations Fagetum montanum, Luzulo-Fagetum, Seslerio-Fagetum and Ostryo-Seslerio-Fagetum and a relict Beech and Mountain Maple forest association Aceri heldredichii-Fagetum subalpinum. The total number of plant species found here is 164.

Justification of Outstanding Universal Value

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.

Statements of authenticity and/or integrity

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 of the re-colonization and development of terrestrial 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.  

 All Serbian component parts are in the whole of their territory protected under Level I Protection Regime of protected areas in the category of National Parks, the highest protection regime in Serbian national legislation, often called the Strict Protection, which prohibits any kind of human activities, except for scientific research and monitoring of natural processes, controlled visits for educational, recreational and cultural purposes. This regime has been in place for an average of five decades, resulting in undisturbed development of the forests, with all development phases of the Beech forest development process having been represented. With the exception of NP Fruška gora, all other components are situated in and around river gorges, giving them a long-lasting protection against environmental change and disturbances, but also against negative anthropogenic influence. In all component parts the Beech accounts for a significant part of forested area, forming many different forest associations with presence of endemic and relict species, which emphasizes the refugial character of the Balkan Peninsula and in particular these selected localities. The species composition in the proposed components is demonstrating the development patterns of Beech forest ecosystems characteristic for this part of Europe.

Justification of the selection of the component part(s) in relation to the future nomination as a whole

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:

- The cluster component part in NP Fruška gora represents the only remaining ancient Beech forests of the Pannonic Beech Forest Region, as in this region the Beech forests are very rare because of the unfavorable climate conditions for their development. In the Pannonian Plain, an island mountain with the sufficient humidity and favorable climate provided by its geographic position and geomorphologic features, supported the existence of these ancient Beech forests. The inclusion of this component part in the existing WH site would contribute a more complete representation of all Beech Forest Regions in Europe.

- For all other proposed component parts the main additional value is represented in the endemic and relict species and forest plant communities found in these Beech forests, which are for the most part mixed forests of Beech and coniferous species. In Zvezda locality of NP Tara an endemo-relict species of coniferous trees is present (Picea omorika) with a relict forest association Omorikae-Piceto-Abieti-Fagetum mixtum. In Rača locality of NP Tara a relict Fagetum montanum juglandetosum forms. For NP Kopaonik being one of the hotspots of endemic high-mountain Balkan flora, numerous endemic and relict herbaceous plant species are represented in the selected Level I Protection Regime localities, along with the diverse geological substrate. In Duboka i Brzećka reka cluster of NP Kopaonik Acer heldreichii, a glacial relict endemic to the Balkan Peninsula, is present, as well as Taxus baccata, forming a relict forest association Taxo-Abietum.

Comparison with other similar properties

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