Mountain strongholds for woody angiosperms during the Late Pleistocene in SE Iberia

  • Saúl Manzano /
  • José S. Carrión /
  • Lourdes López-Merino /
  • Penélope González-Sampériz /
  • Manuel Munuera /
  • Santiago Fernández /
  • Ignacio Martín-Lerma /
  • María Del Carmen Gómez Ferreras
Journal ar
  • Volumen: 149
  • Fecha: 01 febrero 2017
  • Páginas: 701-712
  • ISSN: 03418162
  • Tipo de fuente: Revista
  • DOI: 10.1016/j.catena.2016.03.008
  • Tipo de documento: Artículo
  • Editorial: Elsevier B.V.
© 2016 Elsevier B.V. Mediterranean mountains played an essential role during glacial periods as vegetation refugia. The SE Iberia Late Pleistocene woody angiosperm fossil and floristic evidences are reviewed in the context of phylogeographical studies aiming to identify (i) spatial patterns related to woody angiosperms glacial survival, (ii) structural and functional characteristics of montane refugia, and (iii) gaps in knowledge on the woody angiosperm patterns of survival in Mediterranean mountains. The distribution of palaeobotanical data for SE Iberia refugia has been found to be taphonomically biased due to the scarcity of available and/or studied high-altitude Late Pleistocene sites. However, Siles Lake data together with floristic inference provide evidences for woody angiosperms' survival in a high-altitude Mediterranean area. The main features boosting survival at montane contexts are physiographic complexity and water availability. Phylogeography studies have mainly been conducted at a continental scale. Although they cohere with palaeobotanical data to a broad scale, a general lack of sampling of SE Iberian range-edge populations, as well as misconceptions about the origin of the populations sampled, impede to infer the proper location of woody angiosperms' mountain refugia and their importance in the post-glacial European colonisation. We conclude that floristic, geobotanical, palaeobotanical, ethnographical and genetic evidence should be merged to gain a deeper understanding on the role played by Mediterranean mountains as glacial refugia in order to explain the current distribution of many plants and the large biodiversity levels encountered in Mediterranean mountain areas. This is hallmark for effective and efficient conservation and management.

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