Discover the flora of the Lot Valley
We find in the Lot Valley a wide variety of trees: willows, beeches, lime trees, maple trees, alders, poplars, elms, chestnut trees, hazel trees, Scots pines. These trees enjoy a milder climate than on the surrounding highlands, and a richer soil than that of the Causses.
On the banks of the water is the riparian area. The riparian forest, from the Latin "ripa" (shore) and "sylva" (forest), is the name of the plant formation that borders rivers. It plays an essential role, in particular by:
-To ensure the proper maintenance of the banks. To ensure significant protection of the banks against erosion and limit the risks of large floods, the riparian forest must be composed of many plant species of different sizes and ages. It is this diversity and the interlacing of the roots, in particular of certain species of trees, which gives it its resistance and therefore its usefulness. *
-to offer specific natural habitats which form "biological corridors" maintaining the biodiversity of the environments and protecting the quality of the river water by acting as a sort of "filter".
-to provide a habitat for river fauna: the roots and cavities allow fish and insects to shelter from predators and sometimes serve as nesting places. The riparian forest keeps the water cool in summer, which is essential for salmonids such as trout. The shade formed on the river is sometimes reassuring for animal species which decrease their activity in full light. This "ecotone" (ecological transition zone between two systems) is also appreciated by species such as kingfishers and otters.
Then, the riparian forest makes the link between the terrestrial environment and the aquatic environment. It allows the river to remain healthy and to preserve the biodiversity of this habitat.