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An altimontane savannah vegetation
Mount Pelée (4,583 ft / 1,397 m) is a still active volcano that dominates Martinique. The combination of altitude, fresh climate (down to 46° F / 8° C), and acid volcanic soils explains the original vegetation with the many endemic species which covers it. In addition, the significant and almost constant nebulosity, the precipitations superior to 32.8 feet (10 meters) per year, the acceleration of the winds, and the leaching of the soil prevent the trees from prospering in height. Local plants have adapted to these conditions by developing tough and thick leaves or high hair. On the summit, the vegetation takes the form of an altimontane savannah dotted with dwarf plants. More luxuriant when losing altitude, it has undergone significant damage in the last two major eruptions of 1902 and 1928. Finally, tourism jeopardizes the already precarious balance of the altimontane savannah furthermore threatened by the trampling of visitors.
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