Micro-reserves of flora
Aras de los Olmos brings together the largest protected area of micro-reserves of flora in the Valencian Community in part due to a marked difference of 600 meters between the highest areas of the Muela de Santa Catalina, the place where the astronomical observatories are also located –1,200 m. of altitude above sea level– and the lowest areas, where the waters of the Turia River cross –600 m altitude–.
Microreserves are home to rare and endemic, often threatened, species that tend to be in microhabitats, small sites that usually have characteristics different from those of their macrogeographic environment. They are plots generally of small size and always of high botanical value, destined to the long-term monitoring and conservation of plant species of great conservationist interest. Micro-reserves can only be visited in a moderate and regulated manner, prioritizing visits of a scientific, cultural, or educational nature.
The micro-reserves of Flora declared and protected by the Generalitat Valenciana in Aras de los Olmos are Barranco de Escaiz – the juniper junipers, the black pine and endemic and rare species in the Valencian flora stand out, up to 150 species; Barranco de las Balsillas – a natural pine forest of laricio pine and 55 species of tilting flora with rocky slopes of limestone nature; El Cabezo A – abundance of black juniper and juniper along with formations on the banks of the Turia River, a total of 55 species of vascular flora; and El Cabezo B – of similar characteristics to the previous one, that is, coscojares with black juniper that come into contact with forests and riparian scrub with willows and white poplars.