Oak – Hornbeam forests
The characteristic forest type in the southern and partly the central areas of the Karst region are oak–hornbeam forests with sessile oak (Quercus petraea), hornbeam (Carpinus betulus), mezereon (Daphne mezereum), rough-stemmed spindle-tree(Euonymus verrucosa), cornelian cherry (Cornus mas), wood anemone (Anemone nemorosa), cowslip (Primula veris), common Solomon’s seal (Polygonatum multiflorum), lily of the valley (Convallaria majalis) and others. Invertebrates living in these forests include the stag beetle (Lucanus cervus), and rarely the jewel beetle Eurythyrea quercus.
The largest area in the northern and parts of the central sections of the Moravský kras PLA territory are covered by beech forests with beech (Fagus sylvatica), Norway maple (Acer platanoides) and sycamore (Acer pseudoplatanus). In the herb layer we can find hepatica (Hepatica nobilis), nine-leaved toothwort (Dentaria enneaphyllos) and coral-wort (Dentaria bulbifera), dog’s mercury (Mercurialis perennis), the decorative martagon lily (Lilium martagon), white helleborine (Cephalanthera damasonium), narrow-leaved helleborine (Cephalanthera longifolia) and red helleborine (Cephalanthera rubra). A characteristic invertebrate is the ground beetle Carabus irregularis. In recent years the black stork (Ciconia nigra) has nested in the area regularly.
On the steep, inaccessible slopes of the karst canyons theash, lime and maple mixed forests have survived with European ash (Fraxinus excelsior), sycamore (Acer pseudoplatanus), wych elm (Ulmus glabra) and the autochthonous variety of Norway spruce (Picea abies). More than 1000 yew trees (Taxus baccata) also grow here. The herb layer is typically composed of sub-montane and montane species such as perennial honesty (Lunaria rediviva), bugbane (Cimicifuga europaea) and the critically-endangered hart’s tongue fern (Phyllitis scolopendrium). The glacial relict Alpine bells (Cortusa matthioli subsp. moravica) which grows in the Macocha abyss, is found nowhere else in the Czech Republic.