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Dry juniper woodlands in a subtropical oceanic island: climatic conditions and plant biodiversity in El Hierro, Canary Islands

AuthorsRomo, Àngel ; Cortés, Amparo; Salvador Franch, Ferran; Salvà Catarineu, Montserrat; Boratyński, Adam; Dering, Monika; Padrón, Pedro
Issue Date4-Feb-2019
Citation1st Meeting of the Iberian Ecological Society & XIV AEET (2018)
AbstractJuniperus turbinata subsp. canariensis is an endemism located in the Canary and Madeira Archipelagos. The biggest populations of this endemic juniper are located in the island of El Hierro. Some physical factors (air temperature, air humidity, altitude, type of soil) and their relationship with plant biodiversity are studied since 2012. Soils are generally classified as being shallow, stony and well-drained. Woodlands are associated with soils having medium to low fertility and episodic availability of water near the soil surface. Exhaustive relevés were drawn up to identify all the plants present in the plots studied, located in the same places where the data loggers were installed. The dry woodlands cover 1/10 of the island’s surface, where 1/5 of the amount of vascular flora present on El Hierro island is found. Juniper woodlands occur on soils that have developed from recent volcanic parent material and belong to one of three soil orders (Aridisols, Entisols, and Inceptisols). The most significant differences are in summer/winter soil temperature, and winter soil moisture. Differences are detected also in relative humidity data between the north (to windward) and south (to leeward) faces of the island. These differences are reflected in the biodiversity with the presence of hygrophilous plants on the windward and thermophilous plants on the leeward. These results highlight the relationship of climatic conditions with the biodiversity of the dry juniper woodlands. This kind of dry woodlands located on an oceanic island is sensitive to climatic change and should be conserved for its hot-spots of biodiversity.
DescriptionTrabajo presentado en el 1st Meeting of the Iberian Ecological Society & XIV AEET: Ecology: An integrative science in the Anthropocene, celebrado en Barcelona (España), del 4 al 7 de febrero de 2019
Appears in Collections:(IBB) Comunicaciones congresos
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