Release of Juniperus thurifera woodlands from herbivore-mediated arrested succession in Spain

Soto, Lucia de and Olano, José Miguel and Rozas, Vicente and Cruz Rot, Marcelino de la (2010). Release of Juniperus thurifera woodlands from herbivore-mediated arrested succession in Spain. "Applied Vegetation Science", v. 13 (n. 1); pp. 15-25. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1654-109X.2009.01045.x.

Description

Title: Release of Juniperus thurifera woodlands from herbivore-mediated arrested succession in Spain
Author/s:
  • Soto, Lucia de
  • Olano, José Miguel
  • Rozas, Vicente
  • Cruz Rot, Marcelino de la
Item Type: Article
Título de Revista/Publicación: Applied Vegetation Science
Date: February 2010
Volume: 13
Subjects:
Faculty: E.U.I.T. Agrícolas (UPM)
Department: Biología Vegetal [hasta 2014]
Creative Commons Licenses: None

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Abstract

Question: Do abiotic constraints maintain monospecific woodlands of Juniperus thurifera? What is the role of biotic (livestock) versus abiotic (climate) drivers in the recruitment and growth of the different tree species? Location: Cabrejas range, Soria, north-central Spain, 1200m altitude. Methods: Stand history was reconstructed using dendroecology and spatial pattern analysis, combined with historical data of livestock abundances and climatic records. Results: J. thurifera establishment occurred in two distinct pulses, with a tree component establishing in the late 1800s to early 1900s. Quercus ilex and Pinus sylvestris establishment was evident only from the late 1970s onward. Recruitment events were related to reductions in livestock browsing. J. thurifera spatial structure was clumped and Q. ilex showed a short-scale aggregation to J. thurifera trees and saplings. Radial growth trends of J. thurifera saplings, Q. ilex and P. sylvestris were negatively related to livestock density. Summer drought limited the radial growth of all the study species, and P. sylvestris and Q. ilex grew faster than J. thurifera even after considering an age effect. Conclusions: The differences in radial growth patterns and recruitment pulses between species indicate that livestock browsing and not abiotic factors is the main factor controlling plant succession and structural development. In this process, J. thurifera acts as a nurse plant, facilitating the establishment of other tree species. Under the current low pressure from herbivores, formerly pure J. thurifera woodlands will change towards dense stands of mixed species composition.

More information

Item ID: 2463
DC Identifier: http://oa.upm.es/2463/
OAI Identifier: oai:oa.upm.es:2463
DOI: 10.1111/j.1654-109X.2009.01045.x
Official URL: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/122498401/abstract
Deposited by: PTU Marcelino De la Cruz Rot
Deposited on: 04 Mar 2010 08:36
Last Modified: 20 Apr 2016 12:09
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