Determinants of woody species richness in Scot pine and beech forests: climate, forest patch size and forest structure

Helena Estevan, Francisco Lloret, Jordi Vayreda, Jaume Terradas

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15 Citations (Scopus)


We analysed patterns of woody species richness in Pinus sylvestris and Fagus sylvatica forests in Catalonia (NE Spain) from forestry inventory databank in relation to climate and landscape structure. Both types of forests are found within the same climatic range, although they have been managed following somewhat different goals. Overall, woody species richness significantly increased when conditions get closer to the Mediterranean ones, with milder temperatures. Differences between the two types of forests arose when comparing the relationship between richness and forest patch size. Woody species richness increased in pine forests with patch size, while the opposite trend was observed in beech forests. This pattern is explained by the different behaviour of structural canopy properties, since leaf area index and canopy cover showed a steeper increase with increasing forest patch size in Fagus forests than in Pinus ones. Accordingly, richness decreased with canopy cover in Fagus plots, but not in Pinus ones. We suggest that these differences would be related to management history, which may have enhanced the preservation of beech stands in larger forest landscape units. © 2007 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)325-331
JournalActa Oecologica
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2007


  • Catalonia
  • Diversity
  • Fagus sylvatica
  • Forest management
  • Forest type
  • Leaf area index
  • Pinus sylvestris


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