Original paper

A palynological approach to the study of Quercus pyrenaica forest communities in the Spanish Central System

López-Sáez, José Antonio; Alba-Sánchez, Francisca; Sánchez-Mata, Daniel; Abel-Schaad, Daniel; Gavilán, Rosario G.; Pérez-Díaz, Sebastián

Abstract

A total of 75 surface samples collected from mosses in the Quercus pyrenaica forests of the Spanish Central System mountains were analysed for their pollen content. The samples were taken from six different Quercus pyrenaica phytosociological associations between 443 and 1657 m a.s.l. and fall within distinct rainfall and temperature regimes. The aims of this paper are to provide new data on the modern pollen rain from Central Spain, and to perform these data using multivariate statistics (hierarchical cluster analysis and principal component analysis) and pollen percentages. We could distinguish first between unaltered and disturbed forest landscapes and among different Quercus pyrenaica forest associations based on climatic gradients (rainfall pattern, summer moisture). This analysis allowed us to identify a set of pollen taxa markers which could assist in distinguishing these oak forest communities.

Keywords

surface pollen assemblagepollen-vegetation relationshipiberian peninsulapalynologynumerical analysishierarchical cluster analysispollen analysiscentral spainmountain forest