Betulla Aetnensis on Mount Etna

October 09, 2019


2222222222October 2019 Viewer's ChoicePhotographer: Giuseppe Pappa 
Summary Authors: Giuseppe Pappa; Jim Foster

Shown above is a type of white birch tree (Betulla aetnensis) that is adapted to the slopes of Mount Etna, Sicily, Italy. Photographed here at 5,575 ft (1,700 m), it’s become ecologically specialized (punctiform endemism) on the flanks of this very active volcano, distributed between about 4,300 ft and 6,900 ft (approximately 1,300 m and 2,100 m). Unlike most other trees, it thrives in both cold and hot weather and can survive Etna’s many eruptions. Note the lava soil beneath the clump of trees in the foreground (top photo and inset). Photos taken on September 21, 2019.


Photo Details: Canon 760d camera; sigma 17-50mm lens.