iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry


Regeneration dynamics in the laurel forest: changes in species richness and composition

José Ramón Arévalo (1)   , Lea De Nascimento (1), Silvia Fernández-Lugo (1), Javier Méndez (1), Guacimara González-Delgado (1), Eduardo Balguerías (1), Eduardo Gomes Pereira Cabral (2), José María Fernández-Palacios (1)

iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, Volume 11, Issue 2, Pages 308-314 (2018)
doi: https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor2580-011
Published: Apr 13, 2018 - Copyright © 2018 SISEF

Research Articles

Collection/Special Issue: COST Action FP1202
Strengthening conservation: a key issue for adaptation of marginal/peripheral populations of forest trees to climate change in Europe (MaP-FGR)
Guest Editors: Fulvio Ducci, Kevin Donnelly

The recovery and survival of the Macaronesian laurel forest depends on its regeneration strategies. After years of long-term monitoring, both sexual and asexual regeneration appear to be equally important. However, the mechanisms for each are just beginning to be understood. In order to contribute to the understanding of the laurel forest sexual regeneration, we analyzed the species composition of the seedling bank every two weeks over three years in the laurel forest of Anaga (Tenerife, Canary Islands). We compared the species compositions of the seedling bank with the canopy, and analyzed changes in their diversity over this period in different forest stands. We found that species diversity (evenness) is different among plots regardless of the stand. In some cases, plot diversity remained constant over time, while others showed some variations, which were little related to climatic conditions (temperature and precipitation). We also found no relationship between the seedling bank and canopy composition, with shade-intolerant species being more abundant in the former. Although climatic conditions remained constant during the period and other environmental conditions did not vary either, some changes were found in the seedling bank species composition. These were related to the increased degree of conservation of the laurel forest of Anaga (by closing unpaved roads, limiting access, and the abandonment of agriculture) that had negatively affected the density of shade-intolerant species. We suggest that such conservation measures should be maintained and extended to other areas where agriculture has been recently abandoned to allow the potential establishment of laurel forest and late successional species.


Conservation, Evenness, Regeneration, Seedling Bank, Species Composition

Authors’ address

José Ramón Arévalo
Lea De Nascimento
Silvia Fernández-Lugo
Javier Méndez
Guacimara González-Delgado
Eduardo Balguerías
José María Fernández-Palacios
Departamento de Botánica, Ecología y Fisiología Vegetal, Universidad de La Laguna, La Laguna, 38206 Santa Cruz de Tenerife (Spain)
Eduardo Gomes Pereira Cabral
Instituto de Botânica, Governo do Estado São Paulo, Av. Miguel Stéfano 3687, São Paulo (Brazil)

Corresponding author

José Ramón Arévalo


Arévalo JR, De Nascimento L, Fernández-Lugo S, Méndez J, González-Delgado G, Balguerías E, Gomes Pereira Cabral E, Fernández-Palacios JM (2018). Regeneration dynamics in the laurel forest: changes in species richness and composition. iForest 11: 308-314. - doi: 10.3832/ifor2580-011

Academic Editor

Fulvio Ducci

Paper history

Received: Aug 03, 2017
Accepted: Jan 12, 2018

First online: Apr 13, 2018
Publication Date: Apr 30, 2018
Publication Time: 3.03 months

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