Climatic responses of plant species on Tenerife, The Canary Islands
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The distribution of 44 common vascular plant species on Tenerife, The Canary Islands, has been related to the variation in temperature and precipitation. Frequency values for these speceis were obtained using a stratified sampling system with 200 10 m x 10 m plots distributed all over the island. A model is proposed relating variation in vegetation to altitude according to two main climatic gradients occurring between the 3718 m summit and the coastline of Tenerife. The vascular plants have been classified into guilds according to their presumed tolerance to cold and drought; one remainder group includes species which are randomly distributed without any relation to climatic variation. Differences between the guild structure suggested here and common knowledge of plant species occurrence in the well‐known vegetation belts of Tenerife are explained by assuming disturbance and local ground‐water availability as additional decisive factors.