Autoecology of beech woodstands in La Rioja (Spain)

A. Blanco, D. Graña, R. Elena, O. Sánchez, A. Rubio, V. Gómez


In this study, a strastif ied sampling on 21 plots has been carried out on beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) stands in La Rioja (N.E. Spain). On each plot, 36 physiographic, climatic and edaphic parameters have been calculated in order to define central and marginal habitat of beech. Most of beech woodstands are located between 850 and 1650 m elevation, 600 and 1300 mm annual rainfall. According to FAO criteria, soil are classified as Cambisols and Luvisols. These soils are developed on slates, schists, sandstones and cuartzites. Although soil water holding capacities are low, there is no significant drought stress, because rainfalls are regularly distributed. Morever, several silvicultural stand parameters have been calculated and correlationed with ecological parameters. As a result, it is concluded that the best beechwoods are located on 1000 m elevation, with around 150 mm summer rainfalls. An increase in stand density and basal area are correlationed with an increase in clay content and soil water holding capacities.


Fagus sylvatica; central habitat; marginal habitat; biotopes; autoecology; silviculture; La Rioja