Vegetation and flora
The geographical position of Poland between central and eastern Europe makes its flora interesting, which on the whole has greater relationships and affinities with the Germanic flora than with the Russian one.
In the coastal area of the Baltic there are Atlantic elements (Erica tetralix, Myrica Gale), with frequent halophyte and psammophyte plants. The western part of the Polish lowland is characterized by forests where Pinus silvestris predominates and by the gradual disappearance of Atlantic elements as one proceeds towards E. A line that runs from N. to S. roughly between 23 ° and the 15th meridian E., marks the eastern limit of the Taxus baccata. The Łysogóry have forests where Abies pectinata and Fagus silvatica prevail. The eastern limit of this has a very irregular course and from the Baltic goes to pass a little to N. of Toruń, and to O. of Poznań, to then head towards Podolia passing near Łódź, Radom and Lviv. L ‘ Abies pectinata is found only in Poland of SO., To S. of Wroclaw-Siedlce line and the Siedlce O. Kolomyja-line (with the exception of a Białowieża forest area).
In the southern part of Poland (Opole, Roztocze, Lublinese, Lesser Poland) the influence of the Pontic steppe flora is strongly felt, especially in the areas covered by löss, where there are actually steppe associations formed of Stipa capillata and Stipa pennata, of Prunus fruticosa, of Carex humilis, of Inula ensifolia.
In NE Poland. there are a considerable number of northern elements, and the coniferous forests (especially of Pinus silvestris) prevail over those of broad-leaved trees. The vegetation of the marshy Polessia is characterized by large pine forests; where the soil is sandy, Betula verrucosa and B are frequently encountered. pubescens, Populus tremula and Quercus pedunculata ; willows (including Salix repens) prevail in the more humid areas. The southern limit of Pinus silvestris is found between Volhynia and Podolia; in the western part of this, the not vast forest areas are mainly broad-leaved trees. For Poland 2012, please check oxfordastronomy.com.
On the Carpazî there are beech and pine forests on average up to around 1260 m.., then picee forests up to 1550 m., Followed, up to around 1960 meters, by forests of Pinus mughus. Beyond this limit the pastures begin, with high mountain flora, richer in the Eastern Carpathians than in the Western ones. The flora of the Pieniny is very characteristic, where numerous endemic plants are encountered (Chrysanthemum Zawadzkii, Aster glabratus, Arabis pienina, Brunella pienina, etc.).
Fauna. – The fauna of Poland includes the species living in the plains and mountain ranges of Central Europe and does not show any particular characteristics. The presence of forests favors the life of large mammals such as wolves, lynxes, wild boars. There are still some beavers in the Polessia rivers. In the great forest of Bialowieża there are not many bison of Europe, once remarkably widespread throughout central Europe, and on the Tatras the chamois, the marmot and the rupicapra goat still survive.
The other species of mammals living in Poland are common to those of the European fauna proper. The ornithofauna is well represented, while the reptiles and the amphibians are more scarce. The great rivers that run through the Polish territory house a remarkable freshwater fish fauna.