An alluvial forest is a hardwood forest found on low levees, ridges and terraces with a high level of underground water within the floodplains of streams and rivers. This type of forest grows in areas that are slightly elevated above floodplain swamp and are usually flooded for a portion of the growing season. Formerly a normal biotope, it has been disappearing with the growing number of river realignment projects.
The largest alluvial forest in the Czech Republic grows at the confluence of the Morava and Dyje rivers. Residual alluvial forests can be found in the area of the confluence of the Labe and Cidlina rivers (Libický Alluvial Forest Natural Reserve), and on the banks or in the headwater area of the Morava and Dyje rivers.
The presence of a stream or river, or a high level of underground water leads to a lower amount of oxygen in the soil and subsequent reduction processes. The products of the processes contribute to the typical bluish colour and special smell of the so-called gley soil.
Primary trees found include poplar (Populus L.), oak (Quercus L.) , ash (Fraxinus L.) , elm (Ulmus L.) , alder (Alnus L.) , willow (Salix L.) , lime tree (Tilia L.) . Shrubs and small trees, such as cherry (Prunus serotina) , honeysuckle (Lonicera) , cornel (Cornel) , viburnum (Viburnum) , elder (Sambucus) , are present at places with more light.
Title: Europa Alluvial Forests
Date of Issue: 4 May 2011
Country: Czech Republic
Denominations: 20 CZK