Species composition and structure of an exotic Quercus suber stand on the island of Gran Canaria (Canary Islands)

José Ramón Arévalo, Agustín Naranjo-Cigala, Marcos Salas-Pascual, Eva M. Padrón, Aday González-García

Abstract


Aim of the study: Although introduced tree species have been recognized as adversely affecting native ecosystems, conversely, some studies suggest they can facilitate recovery and promote the establishment of native plant communities. This study tests whether a native plant community is established under the closed canopies of an exotic species by analyzing regeneration and plant species composition.

Area of study: Finca de Osorio, a public property of the Cabildo de Gran Canaria included in the Doramas Rural Park (Canary Islands, Spain).

Main results: The results reveal that sapling regeneration is dominated by the exotic species, though some native ones are also present. The sapling regeneration community did not differ from the tree canopy composition, so, a native plant community recovery cannot be expected to occur. In addition, other introduced species were also present in the sapling composition community.

Research highlights: The laurel forest of the Canary Islands is the most emblematic plant community of the Canary Island archipelago. The studied area dominated by Q. suber does not favor the regeneration of the native plant community. Thus, restoration programs will be required to enhance the native plant community and the area covered by this highly disturbed plant ecosystem on the island of Gran Canaria.

Keywords: catalytic effect; invasion; laurel forest; plant community.

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References


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