The mountainous regions of Dannieh and the Lazzab Dannieh Nature Reserve have an interesting biodiversity profile.
According to various studies and reports on biodiversity in Lebanon, the ecosystem of Lazzab Dannieh Nature Reserve belongs to two Mediterranean bioclimatic zones:
- The Mountainous Mediterranean Zone which extends between 1,500 and 1,900 m. The Lebanese Cedar (Cedrus libani) is the dominant tree in this zone, with populations of firs (Abies cilicica) and junipers (Juniperus excelsa and Juniperus foetidissima).
- 2) The Oro-Mediterranean Zone which extends above 1,900 m. Juniper is the only tree species in this zone, accompanied by some plant species. Endemism is high in this zone due to effects of isolation.
The biodiversity components of the Reserve can be categorized as follow:
|Reptiles & amphibians||Plants & flowers|
TreesThe reserve contains four major forests:
- High density cedars forest, known as Arz Najib
- High density junipers forest
- Low density junipers forest
- Mixed forest with around 12 trees species
Shrubs, plants, and flowersthe 2012 biodiversity assessment report for the mountains of Dannieh identified around 100 species in the area. The reserve provides habitat to 8 endemic species to Lebanon, Syria, and Turkey and 4 endemic species to Lebanon and Syria.
BirdsThe 2012 biodiversity assessment report for the mountains of Dannieh identified around 25 species of breeding birds. The following main relationships between man and nature may constitute a threat on the biodiversity of the reserve and its surrounding area:
- Agriculture: agriculture is practiced on the boundaries of the reserve. As long as agriculture is practiced in an extensive way, there is no immediate threat to biodiversity.
- Hunting: hunting in the surrounding of the reserve area is a serious threat to biodiversity, especially for migratory birds.
- Overgrazing: goats overgrazing have a significant effect on the regeneration of the forest and shrub areas
- Tree felling: timber extraction is currently not conducted in a sustainable way in the mountains of Dannieh, especially concerning juniper trees which should be fully protected.
- Climate change: severe temperature variations and less rain and snow cover may lead to the change of the life cycle of some living organisms that may be harmful for other plants and trees.
- Quarries and sand extraction: quarries have existed in the area before the establishment of the reserve. These sites may contribute to landslides and may accelerate ground water pollution, in addition to the visual deterioration of the landscape.