iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry


Classification and mapping of Spanish Mediterranean mixed forests

Rut Sánchez de Dios (1)   , Juan Carlos Velázquez (1), Helios Sainz Ollero (2)

iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, Volume 12, Issue 5, Pages 480-487 (2019)
doi: https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor2817-012
Published: Oct 14, 2019 - Copyright © 2019 SISEF

Research Articles

Mixed forests play an important role in promoting forest functions and services, and showed better resilience to perturbations than monospecific forests. In the Mediterranean Basin they constitute an important share of the total forest area. However, although mixed forests have been described, classified and mapped in most of the Mediterranean regions around the world, in the Mediterranean Basin they remain neglected, with direct negative consequences for forest management and conservation strategies. Our objective is to present a reliable, uniform classification along with a map of the Spanish Mediterranean Mixed Forests (MMF) as a tool for their management and conservation in Spain. The digital Spanish Forest Map was analyzed to identify MMF. The most frequent tree species combinations were identified and their representativeness in terms of the total forest area was analyzed. In addition, to ensure environmental homogeneity in the proposed classification, the arrangement of each tree species combination within the Spanish Mediterranean ecoregions was evaluated using the Pearson Chi-square test. Based on our results, Spanish MMF currently cover 27.07% of the Mediterranean natural forest area. They were divided into 9 main ecological groups and 23 subtypes. The classification of Spanish MMF and the distribution map represent a first step towards recognizing the importance of mixed forests in the vegetation of the Mediterranean Basin. Together they may provide a valuable basis to improve future forest management, monitoring and conservation strategies both at national and European level.


Mixed Forests, Mediterranean Forests, Vegetation Classification, Forest Map, Mediterranean Mixed Forest

Authors’ address

Rut Sánchez de Dios 0000-0002-1296-8604
Juan Carlos Velázquez
Departamento de Biodiversidad, Ecología y Evolución. Facultad de Biología, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, C/ José Antonio Novais 12, 28040, Madrid (Spain)
Helios Sainz Ollero
Departamento de Biología, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, C/ Darwin 2, 28049 Madrid (Spain)

Corresponding author

Rut Sánchez de Dios


Sánchez de Dios R, Velázquez JC, Sainz Ollero H (2019). Classification and mapping of Spanish Mediterranean mixed forests. iForest 12: 480-487. - doi: 10.3832/ifor2817-012

Academic Editor

Luca Salvati

Paper history

Received: Apr 16, 2018
Accepted: Aug 01, 2019

First online: Oct 14, 2019
Publication Date: Oct 31, 2019
Publication Time: 2.47 months

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