Ecological dynamics of Quercus dominated woodlands in California and southern Spain: a state-transition model
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There are many similarities between Spanish and Californian Quercus woodlands and savanna. Both are located in Mediterranean climate zones, and are used predominantly for livestock grazing. The Californian overstory is dominated by one or a combination of five Quercus species and their hybrids: Quercus douglasii H.&A., Q. agrifolia Nee., Q. wislizenii A.DC., Q. lobata Nee., and Q. englemennii Greene (blue, coast live, interior live, valley, and Englemann oaks). In southern Spain and Portugal, Quercus woodland overstory is predominantly one or a combination of two Quercus species, Quercus ilex L. (holm oak) and Quercus suber L. (cork oak). The underlying natural and semi-natural ecological dynamics of the Quercus woodlands of Spain and California are different, and it follows that the management practices employed also differ. The greatest point of contrast between California and Spain is in the intensity and diversity of management goals and practices. A state-transition model for comparing the ecological dynamics of Quercus woodlands and savanna in California and southern Spain is developed and examined. The highly simplified model is an analytic tool of use in organizing research and developing management practices. States are reached and maintained in different ways in Spain and California, but their appearance and their function in each landscape are quite similar.
KeywordsAgroforestry Dehesa Mediterranean climate Succession Sustainability Wildlife
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