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      Biosphere Reserve Information
     

France

LUBERON


© Photo: Thomas Schaaf
 
       
  General Description   This biosphere reserve is situated contiguous to the Mont Ventoux Biosphere Reserve to the north. It consists of two mid-altitude mountain chains, the Luberon and the Vaucluse. The long history of human settlement has created a human-modified landscape and a mosaic of habitats and biotopes with a rich biodiversity. The cultural heritage dates from prehistoric times and is also very rich, with numerous classified monuments, ancient towns and ancient villages, houses, manors, fountains and chapels, all blended into the landscape.
However, traditional methods of land use that created this landscape have essentially been abandoned, with profound effects on the fauna and flora. About 150,000 people live in the biosphere reserve (1997). Much effort has been made to safeguard Luberon’s heritage and maintain agricultural activities. ‘Areas of major biological value’ have been identified and protected: these include holm oak forests (Quercus ilex), Montpellier pine oak forests (Pinus halepensis), beech groves, garrigues, dry grasslands and riverine woodlands. Tourism plays a major role in the local economy and efforts are made to promote ecotourism backed up by environmental education and public information. Research focuses on the fauna and flora, resulting in detailed inventories of genetic resources.
  Major ecosystem type   Evergreen sclerophyllous forests, woodlands or scrub
  Major habitats & land cover types   Sclerophyllous forests with Quercus ilex; Mediterranean pine woods with Pinus halepensis; deciduous oak woodland with Quercus pubescens; mountain pine forest with Pinus sylvestris; beech woodlands (Fagus sylvatica); garrigues and dry Mediterranean, sub-mediterranean and mountane grasslands; wetlands and riverine forests; open scrublands; agroecosystems with ruderals; rocky outcrops and cliffs; caves and underground habitats
  Location   43°50' to 44°03'N; 4°58' to 5°53'E
  Area (hectares)    
  Total   179,600
  Core area(s)   34,700
  Buffer zone(s)   24,900
  Transition area(s) when given   120,000
  Altitude (metres above sea level)   +50 to +1256
  Year designated   1997
  Administrative authorities   Parc Naturel Régional de Luberon


Last updated: 2/23/2007

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