Cities in BELGIUM
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Despite its small surface area, Belgium has a fairly rich and varied plant world, including 1300 species of vascular plants, an even greater number of seaweeds, more than 5000 species of fungi and lichens and about 700 species of liver and leaf mosses. Atlantic and Central European plant species in particular provide many elements. Some of the northernmost representatives of the sub-Mediterranean flora even reach Belgium, for example the bacon, the Apennine rockrose, the palm tree and the woolly snowball.
Various submontane plants, including grasses such as the mountain meadow grass and the forest fescue, as well as the wreath-leaf Solomon seal, the white rush and the pepper tree, occur in the highest parts of Belgium. Among the varieties of vascular plants, about 400 species can be found almost everywhere, including the large nettle, the shepherd's purse and the annual meadow grass.
The dunes are covered with colostrum grass, marram grass and the striking sea buckthorn. The sea polders protected by dikes lie behind the dunes and are practically fully cultivated.
The Flemish Kempen and Flanders are woody. Most of the forests were felled and cultivated here from the early Middle Ages. Most of the forest also disappeared in the Kempen and turned into heather. A large part of the heath has already been cultivated again by planting, among other things, maritime pine and scots pine.
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The Kempens Plateau is the eastern part of the Kempen and includes several shallow pools with varied plant growth.
If the forests are completely absent, meadows are created with, among other things, blue grass, finned short stem and mountain turn, also a type of grass.
In the High Ardennes you will find many beech forests and the high-stemmed fir is also common here. Here, too, submontane plant species such as wreath-leaf Solomon seal and mountain meadow grass. The extensive bogs are the locations for many peat mosses, bilberry and one-eared wool grass.
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A number of animal species are threatened in Belgium due to the increasing urbanization, the chemical control of crops and the pollution of the surface water, including wild cat, otter, cormorant, bittern and tench. Long ago or only recently wolf, raven, sturgeon, salmon and bottlenose dolphin have disappeared.
Mole, hedgehog and a number of shrew species are found throughout Belgium.
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The reptiles and amphibians are not as strongly represented. Slowworm and some lizard species are quite common, three snake species are rarer. In addition to a dozen toad and frog species, newts are found all over the country; however, certain species are quite strictly geographically limited.
A special cave fauna lives in the caves of the Kalkstreek and where south-facing slopes, especially in Belgian Lorraine, form a favorable microclimate, southern forms such as the praying mantis can be found.
Belgium, a way of life
European Union: fifteen country documents
European Platform for Dutch Education
The Stateman's Yearbook: the politics, cultures and economies of the world
CIA - World Factbook
BBC - Country ProfilesLast updated September 2020
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