Some Observations on the Vegetation of The South Crimea Coast, Ukraine
Robert J. Liebermann, May 1994, for independent study in Geography, Central Michigan University
The Crimean Peninsula extends southward from the Ukrainian coast into
the Black Sea. Historically, this "continent in miniature"
has been controlled to various degrees by the Greeks, Kievan Rus, the
Tatars, Russia, the Soviet Union, and now Ukraine. The association most
people are likely to make at the present to this area is conflict, and
many Westerners may have heard about the current dispute in this area
between Russia and Ukraine over nationalities, economics, and the naval
base at Sevastopol, though few have seen or heard about the nature of
Purpose of paper
The purpose of this paper is not to give a thorough or complete description of any aspect of the area, but rather to describe the general associations of vegetation, climate, topography, and other factors representative of the following areas of the Crimean Peninsula visited by the author:
In addition, I will examine some of the phytogeographical influences responsible. In doing so, it is hoped that the unique natural character and value of the Crimea will be shown to be more important than its political, economic, or military associations. The study is not intended to give a comprehensive view of all vegetation communities found in the area, but rather to show only some general aspects of those actually visited by the author.
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The Crimean peninsula is a unique area. In traveling less than three
hours in any direction from my base at Yalta by vehicle or foot I could
experience the Black Sea, alpine meadows, mountain forests of pine or
mixed wood, plateaus, steppes, coastal forests, seashores, quiet inland
deciduous forests, orchards, wheat fields, vineyards, and a number of
other varied environments. The area has one of the most comfortable
climates in Europe, though still (and hopefully forever) unmarred by
the large-scale commercial resorts so common in other parts of the world.
The visitor or resident can, in addition to enjoying the nature, learn
much about biogeography by observing the varied plants and animals of
the Crimea and where they occur; the Crimean Peninsula is a giant field
station for students of the natural sciences.