Paleoecology of Abies sp. in Sierra Bermeja (southern Iberian Peninsula) during the mid-holocene from a pedoanthracological analysis

José Antonio Olmedo-Cobo, Raquel Cunill-Artigas, Emilio Martínez-Ibarra, José Gómez-Zotano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


© 2017, Universidad Austral de Chile. All rights reserved. This paper presents the first paleoecological results of the study of soil charcoals in the ultramafic massif of Sierra Bermeja (Betic Cordillera, southern Iberian Peninsula). Through the pedoanthracological analysis, a charcoal fossil register of Abies sp. has been obtained -with high certainty belonging to Abies pinsapo- in a small endorheic basin at the summit of Sierra Palmitera, a littoral mountainous appendix of Sierra Bermeja where the fir forests are extinct at present. Analyses results confirm the existence of a distribution area of Abies sp. more extensive in the past than currently in the geographical context of the Serrania de Ronda (western end of the Betic Cordillera). Dating of Abies sp. and other species found in the area of study, such as Pinus pinaster and Quercus sp., allowed theorizing about the local paleobotanical dynamic between 8,100 and 5,600 BP, largely solving the encysted dynamic and successional-ecologic controversy between broadleaf trees and coniferous trees as potential vegetation over ultramafic substrates under Mediterranean climate that occurred to that moment. This information should be considered as essential for the proper management of Abies pinsapo to achieve their preservation in the future given its cataloguing as a relict endangered species. The data also support the possible restoration of fir forests in those enclaves considered as potential ecological niches for these coniferous forests in Sierra Bermeja and also in the whole of the Betic Cordillera.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)259-270
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017


  • Abies pinsapo
  • Paleoendemism
  • Peridotites
  • Restricted distribution
  • Soil charcoals


Dive into the research topics of 'Paleoecology of Abies sp. in Sierra Bermeja (southern Iberian Peninsula) during the mid-holocene from a pedoanthracological analysis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this