Laurisilva of Madeira, Portugal

  • Vanda Claudino-Sales
Part of the Coastal Research Library book series (COASTALRL, volume 28)


Madeira is a volcanic island off the Atlantic northwest coast of Africa, politically part of Portugal. It is characterized by the presence of a primary laurel forest, named Laurisilva, which covered the European continent in the Tertiary and disappeared during the Quaternary climatic changes. Madeira Island is the largest surviving example of this type of vegetation. The forest is largely undisturbed and plays a predominant role in the island’s hydrological balance. It is formed by evergreen trees and bushes with dark green leaves. The Laurisilva of Madeira also has important biological diversity. A large proportion of its plants and animals are unique to the laurel forest, and it is larger than and with significant differences from other laurel forest areas in the world.


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© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vanda Claudino-Sales
    • 1
  1. 1.Federal University of Ceará StateFortalezaBrazil

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