Ecology and management of natural and reforested Canary Island pine stands
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Pinus canariensis Chr. Sm. Ex DC in Buch is an endemic conifer tree of the Canary Islands archipelago and its stands occupied much larger areas in the past. Plantation programs have been very common in the Canary Islands since the 1940s. The main objective of the plantations analyzed in this study is to restore the canarian pine forest which was heavily disturbed and eliminated during the last 5 centuries after the European colonization of the Canary Islands and reforestation with exotic species. There is not a general agreement in the plantation technology or the management of these plantations, probably due to the low number of studies related with the ecology of this forest stand. In this chapter, we will evaluate the ecological studies carried out with P. canariensis and analyze the management practices followed by the authorities. We will analyze the valuable aspects of this management and suggest, if possible, new alternatives for forest restoration. The impact of fire and the introduction of exotic species in the potential area for P. canariensis is also analyzed and evaluated. We finish the chapter with some concluding remarks based in the information provided by different sources found during this review.