iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry


Influence of site conditions and land management on Quercus suber L. population dynamics in the southern Iberian Peninsula

Vicente Jurado Doña (1), Javier López-Jurado (2)   , Antonio González Román (3-4), Raúl Sánchez-Salguero (4), Luis Matías (2), Fernando Díaz Del Olmo (1)

iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, Volume 15, Issue 2, Pages 77-84 (2022)
doi: https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor3753-015
Published: Mar 14, 2022 - Copyright © 2022 SISEF

Research Articles

During recent decades, tree mortality and dieback have been reported in forest ecosystems across global biomes. Although numerous forest species, including those of the genus Quercus, have been affected by hotter and drier conditions in the Mediterranean Basin during the last decades, there is scarce information regarding the interactive role of past management and climate across large areas of south-western Europe. Here, we examined the influence of several climatic factors (mean annual temperature, annual precipitation) over the last 3 decades, latitude, land management and site conditions on the cork oak (Quercus suber L.) population dynamics given their high ecological and economic relevance. We sampled 20 plots across contrasting environmental conditions in SW Iberian Peninsula with different land property (public vs. private) to characterize cork oak tree size, stand density, mortality ratio and regeneration. We observed widespread effects of latitude (8.9% at northern vs. 15.6% at southern plots) and land property (6.9% in private properties vs. 13.9% in public ones) on tree mortality. Tree density and basal area differed with latitude, with higher values (307.2 trees ha-1 and 38.4 m2 ha-1, respectively) at northern populations. In addition, the more intense cork-focused productive management resulted in higher tree sizes in private (mean DBH = 47.3 cm) than in public (mean DBH = 37.8 cm) plots. Tree regeneration was higher in northern forests (94.9 ± 25.2 vs. 26.0 ± 6.1 saplings ha-1 for the southern location), being this difference more pronounced in public plots. These findings highlight the importance of sustainable forest management in public and private forests for further reduction of mortality processes, as well as for enhancing the regeneration aimed to the conservation of cork oak under forecasted drier conditions of these economically invaluable Mediterranean forests.


Cork Oak, Climate Change, Forest Management, Mediterranean, Land Uses, Tree Mortality

Authors’ address

Vicente Jurado Doña
Fernando Díaz Del Olmo 0000-0002-0658-4989
Departamento de Geografía Física y Análisis Geográfico Regional, Universidad de Sevilla, E-41004 Sevilla (Spain)
Javier López-Jurado 0000-0002-6354-0800
Luis Matías 0000-0001-5603-5390
Departamento de Biología Vegetal y Ecología, Universidad de Sevilla, Apdo. 1095, E-41080 Sevilla (Spain)
Antonio González Román
Fundación Jaime González Gordon, E-11407 Jerez de la Frontera - Cádiz (Spain)
Antonio González Román
Raúl Sánchez-Salguero 0000-0002-6545-5810
Departamento de Sistemas Físicos, Químicos y Naturales, Universidad Pablo de Olavide, E-41013 Sevilla (Spain)

Corresponding author

Javier López-Jurado


Jurado Doña V, López-Jurado J, González Román A, Sánchez-Salguero R, Matías L, Díaz Del Olmo F (2022). Influence of site conditions and land management on Quercus suber L. population dynamics in the southern Iberian Peninsula. iForest 15: 77-84. - doi: 10.3832/ifor3753-015

Academic Editor

Tamir Klein

Paper history

Received: Jan 13, 2021
Accepted: Jan 10, 2022

First online: Mar 14, 2022
Publication Date: Apr 30, 2022
Publication Time: 2.10 months

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