Plant Ecology and Evolution 151(2): 175-184, doi: 10.5091/plecevo.2018.1370
Edaphic characterization of coastal Western Mediterranean Limonium (Plumbaginaceae)
expand article infoLeonardo Llorens, Lorenzo Gil, Herminio Boira§
‡ Department of Biology (Botany), University of the Balearic Islands (UIB), Carretera de Valldemossa Km. 7,5, E-07122 Palma de Mallorca, Spain§ Mediterranean Agroforestal Institute, Polytechnic University of Valencia, Camino de Vera 14, E-46022 Valencia, Spain
Open Access

Introduction – Edaphic factors influence the structure and composition of plant communities. The main objective is to identify soil properties associated with the presence of different Limonium species.

Methods – We conducted a systematic phytocoenological and edaphic survey over 37 locations across the Balearic archipelago. Canonical Correspondence Analysis was applied to the physicochemical characteristics of soils in which 29 species of Limonium grow.

Results – The distribution of Limonium species has a high correlation to specific edaphic factors. The species can be clustered into four major groups. The first group represents species with a high edaphic selectivity – soils characterized by having a high proportion of sand, SO42- and Ca2+. The second group is composed of species with high levels of SAR, OM and SO42- /Cl- ratio. The third group includes species present in soils with a loamy texture, low Ca2+ /Mg2+ ratio and high levels of CO32- and Mg2+. The fourth group includes plants which colonize soils that have a sandy texture, low salinity and high proportion of CO32-.

Conclusions – A strong correlation between the distribution of Limonium species and soil characteristics exist. The study contributes to the establishment of foundations for habitat conservation, cultivation and recovery projects for endangered species of Limonium.

Limonium, soil characterization, sulphates, saline habitats, conservation


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