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In the maritime regions, pine forests predominate, and wild rye and various bushy plants grow on the sand dunes.Spruce trees are prevalent in the hilly eastern portion.In the central region, weakly podzolized loamy peats predominate, and it is there that the most fertile, and hence most cultivated, soils are found.In the southeast there are sandy soils, somewhat loamy and moderately podzolized.The mean temperature for January, the coldest month, is in the low 20s F (about −5 °C), while July, the warmest month, has an average temperature in the 60s F (about 17 °C).Average annual rainfall usually exceeds 30 inches (about 800 mm), diminishing inland.The central region is characterized by large tracts of oak trees, with elegant birch forests in the northern portions, as well as distinctive black alder and aspen groves. Indeed, about one-third of the country is forested, and about another one-fifth is taken up by meadowlands.Swamps and marshlands account for only a small percentage of the total land.
Lithuania, country of northeastern Europe, the southernmost and largest of the three Baltic states. The new Soviet parliament acknowledged Lithuania’s independence on September 6, 1991. The less-accessible Lithuanians, living in dense forests and swamplands, managed to withstand the foreign incursions and preserve their independence.
The Baltic coastal area is fringed by a region characterized by geographers as the maritime depression, which rises gradually eastward.
Sand dunes line an attractive coast; the Curonian Lagoon (Lithuanian: Kuršiu Marios), almost cut off from the sea by the Curonian Spit, a thin 60-mile (100-km) sandspit, forms a distinctive feature.
On March 11, 1990, Lithuania declared its independence by a unanimous vote of its newly elected parliament.
Underlying rock structures are of little significance for the contemporary Lithuanian terrain, which basically is a low-lying plain scraped by Ice Age glaciers that left behind thick, ridgelike terminal deposits known as moraines.