Compositional and structural differences in two laurel forest stands (windward and leeward) on Tenerife, Canary Islands
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The laurel forest of Anaga is the most emblematic community of the Canarian Archipelago. Restoration programs are being developed to increase laurel forest area on the island of Tenerife. Structural and spatial characteristics determine many aspects of the community, including regeneration patterns, disturbance level, stand history. In spite of the importance of this information for restoration, few quantitative studies have been conducted on laurel forest dynamics. We analyzed two stands of the Anaga laurel forest of different aspect. The main difference between the two sites was the wind exposure, one leeward and the other windward. Regeneration, spatial distribution of regeneration, tree species composition, asexual regeneration and environmental parameters were analyzed in three 50 9 50 m plots at each site. Both sites differ in important aspects such as species richness, species composition, asexual regeneration and dead tree composition, while they are not different in basal area, density, density of regeneration and density of dead trees. Both sites have had similar management in the last century. Asexual regeneration is able to maintain the present species composition, while sexual regeneration is able to offer future changes in the canopy composition. Regeneration strategies and the effect of some environmental characteristics should be considered in restoration programs.