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The use of large databases to characterize habitat types: the case of Quercus suber woodlands in Europe

  • Emiliano AgrilloEmail author
  • Nicola Alessi
  • Borja Jiménez-Alfaro
  • Laura Casella
  • Pierangela Angelini
  • Olivier Argagnon
  • Guillermo Crespo
  • Federico Fernández-González
  • Tiago Monteiro-Henriques
  • Carlos Silva Neto
  • Fabio Attorre
Vegetation Science and Habitats Directive

Abstract

The conservation of habitat types has been recognized to be of relevant importance for the conservation of biodiversity and is a major concern in the European Union. With the 92/43/EEC Habitats Directive, the European Commission targeted these habitat types, which conservation must be ensured by Member States. In this context, the Habitat type 9330 “Quercus suber forests” is intended to ensure the conservation of cork oak woodlands in Europe. To support the enhancement of nature conservation policies, in this study we provide a classification of cork oak woodlands in Europe using a large vegetation database. We identify four major groups with clear biogeographic differences and characterize them by lists of indicator species. We also provide distribution maps based on occurrence data and the modelled potential area of distribution as an additional tool for conservation. This study offers a contribution to the comparative description of the European Q. suber woodlands subtypes and to establish a protocol for habitat monitoring and assessment.

Keywords

European Vegetation Archive Quercus suber woodlands Vegetation databases Vegetation classification Habitats Directive Structure and function 

Notes

Acknowledgements

Special thank to all the co-authors for patience and their suggestions. We also thank to the two anonymous reviewers for helpful and constructive comments on a previous version of this manuscript.

Author contributions

AE designed the research; AN, BJA and CL developed the initial aims; AN, BJA prepared the data set and did the analyses; AE, AN, BJA and CL wrote the manuscript; all the other authors contributed vegetation data, improved the aims of this research and critically revised the manuscript.

Supplementary material

12210_2018_703_MOESM1_ESM.docx (3.4 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 3460 kb)

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© Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Environmental BiologySapienza University of RomaRomeItaly
  2. 2.Faculty of Science and TechnologyFree University of Bozen-BolzanoBozen-BolzanoItaly
  3. 3.Research Unit of Biodiversity (CSIC/UO/PA)Oviedo UniversityMieresSpain
  4. 4.Institute for Environmental Protection and Research (ISPRA)RomeItaly
  5. 5.Conservatoire botanique national méditerranéen de PorquerollesMontferrier sur LezFrance
  6. 6.Institute of Environmental SciencesUniversity of Castilla-La ManchaToledoSpain
  7. 7.Centro de Estudos Florestais, Instituto Superior de AgronomiaUniversidade de LisboaLisbonPortugal
  8. 8.Centre for Geographical Studies, IGOT (Institute of Geography and Spatial Planning)Universidade de LisboaLisbonPortugal

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