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Alnus viridis
Green alder

Green alder (Alnus viridis) is a fast-growing, short-lived deciduous shrub or small tree, usually with a height between 0.5-5 m. It is native to the cooler parts of the northern hemisphere, where it appears as different subspecies. In Europe, the tree is mainly found in the central part of the continent, in areas with elevations between 1600-2300 m.

Green alder’s economic importance is quite low. Nevertheless, the species forms a key component of the ecosystems in which it grows. The tree contributes to the stabilization of slopes and riverbanks and is able to fix nitrogen, thereby enriching soil conditions for neighbouring plants. The leaf litter from the green alder is also an important source of organic matter and the species plays a significant role in colonizing areas after disturbances such as avalanches. However, the species is sometimes considered invasive.

Green alder prefers riparian areas and often grows on shallow, stony slopes. It is light-demanding, but extremely tolerant to poor soils. 

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