Scotland’s woodlands of pine, aspen and birch represent the westernmost examples of the boreal forest that stretches across most of northern Europe and extends east to the Pacific Ocean. The composition of the Scottish woodlands is unique in Europe, as other major boreal tree species such as larch and spruce do not naturally occur here. In places the structure of our ancient pine forests is also unique with many large veteran trees occurring in rather open woodland. Unlike Scandinavia, where forestry practices have removed larger, older pines, Scotland still has large stands of ancient pine woodlands. Scotland’s forests also receive a high rainfall which makes them particularly good for invertebrate species that depend upon damp decaying wood - such as the Pine hoverfly (Blera fallax) and the Aspen hoverfly (Hammerschmidtia ferruginea). The environmental conditions have produced an invertebrate fauna unique from the other boreal woodlands of northern Europe.
|Glen Freshie © Ann-Marie Smout|