The montane zone

The montane zone in the Ötztal alps is characterized by the Common Spruce (Picea abies). Due to the dry continental climate and frequent late frosts in the Central Alps, the Silver or White Fir (Abies alba) and the European or Common Beech (Fagus sylvatica) are sporadically distributed. Therefore, it is the frost-resistant coniferous species, such as the Larch and Swiss Stone Pine (Swiss Pines), that prevail in the Ötz valley. Being an undemanding species, the Scots Pine (Pinus sylvestris) is the third most important conifer of the lower forest level. They are present in dry and meager habitats such as rocky soil or in boulder areas. Among the few species of deciduous trees in the Ötz valley one finds the Trembling Poplar or Aspen (Populus tremula) and the Rowan or Sorb (Sorbus aucuparia).