Apr 16, 2020

The relic ecosystem of Gymnosporia senegalensis (Lam.) Loes. in an agricultural plastic sea: past, present and future scenarios

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Antonio Jesus Mendoza-FernandezJ. Mota

Abstract

Gymnosporia senegalensis is a shrub belonging to the Celastraceae family, which is native to tropical savannahs. Its only European populations are distributed discontinuously along the south-eastern coast of the Iberian Peninsula, forming plant communities with great ecological value, unique in Europe. As it is an endangered species that makes up plant communities with great paleoecological significance, the development of species distribution models is of major interest under different climatic scenarios, past and present, based on the fact that the climate could play a relevant role in the distribution of this species as well as in the conformation of the communities in which it is integrated. Paleoecological models were generated for the Maximum Interglacial, Last Maximum Glacial and Middle Holocene periods. The results obtained showed that the widest distribution of this species, and the maximum suitability of its habitat, occurred during the Last Glacial Maximum, when the temperatures of the peninsular southeast were not as contrasting as those of the rest of the European continent and were favored by higher rainfall. Under these conditions, large territories could act as shelters during the glacial period, a hypothesis re...Continue Reading

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