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Patterns of ecological, chorological and taxonomic diversity at both sides of the Strait of Gibraltar

AutorOjeda Copete, Fernando; Marañón, Teodoro ; Marañón, Teodoro ; Arroyo Marín, Juan
Palabras claveAcid soil
Fecha de publicaciónfeb-1996
International Association for Vegetation Science
CitaciónJournal of Vegetation Science 7(1): 63-72 (1996)
ResumenDiversity relations in Mediterranean heathlands and the understorey of oak woodlands on sandstone-derived substrates were studied at both sides of the Strait of Gibraltar. Trends in species composition and cover were analysed by Detrended Correspondence Analysis; the first axis, assumed to reflect a main environmental gradient, was used to analyse the patterns of three aspects of community diversity. Species richness, i.e. number of species along a 100-m transect, shows a humpbacked trend along the gradient, with the highest values in the understorey of evergreen Quercus suber woodlands, associated with soils of intermediate fertility and moisture status. The number of endemic species is highest in open heathlands, associated with more extreme conditions of acid, infertile soils on exposed ridges. The taxonomic singularity, as measured by the inverse of the average number of species per genus at each site, is highest at the most fertile and moist sites occupied by semideciduous Q. canariensis woodlands. A comparison between northern (Spanish) and southern (Moroccan) sides of the Strait of Gibraltar shows a general concordance of the trends of woody plant communities along the main environmental gradient. However, significant differences of the southern samples are: (1) lack of some differential, habitat-specific species and greater abundance of widespread generalists; and (2) a general reduction in species diversity, number of endemics and taxonomic singularity. We interpret these differences as affected partly by the smaller extent and fragmentation of sandstone areas in the south, and partly by the higher impact of slashing and grazing there.
Versión del editorhttp://dx.doi.org/10.2307/3236417
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