Long-term dynamics of shrub facilitation shape the mixing of evergreen and deciduous oaks in Mediterranean abandoned fields
AuthorsRey Benayas, José María; Villar Salvador, Pedro; Cruz Alonso, Verónica; Ibáñez , Inés; Ruiz Benito, Paloma
IdentifiersPermanent link (URI): http://hdl.handle.net/10017/41220
Journal of Applied Ecology, 2019; 00: 1– 13.
REMEDINAL-3 S2013/MAE-2719 and REMEDINAL TE-CM S2018/EMT-4338, FIRE (FIRE-UAH 127/2017). Fellowship of 'Tatiana Pérez de Guzmán el Bueno' Foundation and the REMEDINAL postdoctoral fellowship Programme (TE- 503 CM S2018/EMT-4338).
Atribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)
© 1999-2019 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Recovery of Mediterranean forests after field abandonment is a slow process, even without propagule limitations. This is mainly due to stressful conditions for seedling establishment. In this context, shrubs play a critical role in facilitating tree recruitment, but how this process unfolds after field abandonment is not entirely known. We evaluated the long-term dynamics of facilitation by the nurse shrub Retama sphaerocarpa in the recruitment of two ecologically contrasting oaks, the evergreen Quercus ilex and the deciduous Quercus faginea. Thirty years after field abandonment, we dated shrubs and oak established in an old field to estimate the annual recruitment rates and investigate temporal recruitment patterns. For oaks, we differentiated recruitment at each microsite (i.e., open or under shrub). To assess how nurse shrubs modulated environmental stressors, we modelled oak recruitment as a function of climatic variables. For the evergreen oak, we assessed these effects within each microsite. Finally, we estimated the annual interaction index between shrubs and oak juveniles as a function of climatic conditions.
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