The alder grove

If we move to the north face of the mountain, we can admire a climber of exceptional strength, a true pioneer. It grows readily on rocky ground, making it richer in nutrients. Its dense, bushy branches, curved and elastic (prostrate, in botanical jargon), cover the slopes and, during rockslides or avalanches, slow the impetus of the falling material and bear its weight.

This plant is the green alder (Alnus viridis), which can reach up to three meters in height. On its roots live nitrogen-fixing bacteria that make the soil rich in nutritive substances, as if it were fertilized. Thanks to this nourishing soil, the megaphorbias, well-developed plants with large leaves, also make this habitat their home.

© 2018 Fondazione Saussurea Onlus