THE MEDITERRANEAN BASAL PLANE
It is mostly occupied by crops, prevalently citrus, above all at the lowest altitudes (about 0 – 500 m a.s.l.). These crops have replaced the pastiche, olive and carob scrub-forest that once occupied the lower flanks of the volcano. The rest of the natural vegetation is limited to the edges of the crops and the inhabited areas; among these, the Euphorbia (Euphorbia dendroides) is very significant. At higher altitudes (about 600 – 1000 m a.s.l.), the vegetation was once characterized by the holly oak forests (Quercus ilex). Today, however, they have almost completely disappeared due to the human impact on the environment. Crops are very widespread, above all vines, olives, almonds and pistachio (on the western flank) and nut trees (on the north-eastern flank). The holly oak woods in some zones on the western flank are characterized by the presence of Oriental hackberry (Celtis tournefortil). Instead, on the eastern flank the woods are very fragmentary, and together with the holly oak, the flowering ash (Fraxinus ornus) and the European hop horn beam (Ostrya carpinifolia) can often be found. In some zones, between the holly oak woods, the Spanish chestnut (Castanea sativa) can also be seen.