Canary Islands, Tenerife (Spain)

Tenerife is the largest island of the Canary Island archipelago with a land area of 2,034 sq km. It is vulcanic origin and the oldest mountain ranges in Tenerife rose from the Atlantic Ocean by volcanic eruption around twelve million years ago. The uneven and steep orography of the island and its variety of climates has resulted in a diversity of landscapes and geographical and geological formations. It has central highs, different massifs, dorsal mountain ridge, ravines and valleys, vulcanic tubes and coastal landscapes. The climate is characterized by a warm tropical climate with an average of 18–20 °C in the winter and 24–26 °C in the summer in the lowlands. Humidity of tradewinds is mostly condensed over the north and northeast of the island, creating cloud banks that range between 600 and 1,800 m a.s.l. The cold sea currents of the Canary Islands also have a cooling effect on the coasts and its beaches, while the topography of the landscape plays a role in climatic differences on the island with its many valleys. Tenerife also has the largest number of endemic species in Europe, which is a consequence of the special environmental conditions on the island, where its distinct orography modifies the general climatic conditions at a local level, producing a significant variety of microclimates.

Mountain regions: Dinaric Mountains & Julian Alps (Slovenia)

The Dinaric Mountains are a mountain range covering approximately 100,000 sq km from Slovenia in the northwest to Albania and Northern Macedonia in the southeast. Our research will focus on the northern part in Slovenia. Dinaric Mountains are known for their rugged karstic relief and landscape dominated by limestone or dolomite, which results in typical karstic features like cliffs, dolines, caves, rock shelters, steep canyons, rocky ridges and collapse dolines. Surface water is rare, as most of the water is in underground rivers and lakes that run through large cave systems. The climate of Slovenian Dinaric Mountains is a mix of influences from the Alps, the Mediterranean Sea and the Pannonia Basin, with average annual temperature of 7˚C, ranging from an average monthly maximum of 18 ˚C to an average monthly minimum of – 2 ˚C. Most of the forests are mixed temperate forests. Average human population density is 28 people/sq km, with most of the settlements concentrated in the larger valleys. Dinaric Mountains have a rich biodiversity and are considered one of Europe’s biodiversity hotspots, with many endemic fauna and flora species.

Julian Alps are a mountain range covering approximately 4,400 sq km from northeastern Italy to Slovenia. This Mountain range includes 2,864 m high Mount Triglav that is the highest peak in Slovenia. The mountainous landscape is characterized by grey limestone rocks, sharp ridges, high karst plateaus, wide glacier-carved valleys and deep ravines. Precipitation ranging from rain to snow and ice shapes the limestone surface and underground of the Julian Alps. The climate is characterized by long and cold winters, short and fresh summers and high quantity of precipitation. Due to high changes in temperature across elevation, there are clearly distinct vegetation belts. At the bottom of the valleys is deciduous forest together with meadows and fields. This turns into mixed and coniferous forest with increasing elevation. The forest line is around 1700 m a.s.l., when trees become scarce and above this are mountain meadows and pastures and bare rocks. A large part of the Julian Alps is included in Triglav National Park which has exceptional biodiversity and is home to a large number of mountain endemic and protected species.