Flora, the Austrian flora is determined by climate, soil type and location. In Austria the Central European (Baltic) flora dominates; the East and Southeast of the country are classified as Pannonian Climatic Zone; this is especially evident in the Neusiedl Basin with the Seewinkel Area ( Halophytes) and in the Sandy Steppes of the Marchfeld Plain in Lower Austria; the south of Austria has characteristics of submediterranean flora, the mountainous regions contain Alpine Flora. 11 % of Austria's surface is without vegetation. The vegetation period lasts 10 months on average, in the mountains 2-7 months.
The Woods and Forests account for a large portion of Austria's vegetation, with the timber line varying greatly in the Alpine region, from above 2,000 m in the Central Alps to only 1,700 m above sea level on the north and south edges of the Alps. The shrub region is located above the timber line and, in turn, gives way to the rock and ice region. Different species of algae occasionally colour the glaciers' ice blood red. The Alpine pasture regions have in many cases been cleared so often that the timber line has receded.
The forests of the floodlands alongside the larger rivers contain diverse vegetation determined only by its ability to survive in that particular soil; it is made up of alders, willows, black and silver poplars, ash trees, elm trees and thick underwood with clematis. The gradual clearing of floodland forests has also had an impact on the natural landscape, changing it into a cultivated area ( Agriculture). Nature reserves have been established to preserve and protect the untouched natural areas for later generations ( National Parks).
Literature#Catalogus Florae Austriae: J. Nevole, Die Wald- und Steppenflora am Ostrande des Wiener Beckens, 1934; G. Wendelberger, Die Vegetation des Neusiedler-See-Gebietes, 1959; H. Mayer, Waelder des Ostalpenraumes, 1974; W. Adler, K. Oswald and R. Fischer, Exkursionsflora von Oesterreich, 1994.