Ecological assessment of Juniperus turbinata Guss. forest on the Strofades Islands, Ionian Sea, Greece

https://doi.org/10.17221/52/2018-JFSCitation:Martinis A., Chaideftou E., Minotou C., Poirazidis K. (2018): Ecological assessment of Juniperus turbinata Guss. forest on the Strofades Islands, Ionian Sea, Greece. J. For. Sci., 64: 345-352.
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The Strofades Islands form part of the National Marine Park of Zakynthos. Juniperus turbinata Gussone (syn. Juniperus phoenicea Linnaeus) forests are one of the few remaining high forest forms in Mediterranean. Here, the ecological status and the state of forest regeneration on the Strofades were evaluated to contribute information to their preservation. Seventeen sampling sites were established in the most representative locations. Fourteen sites were dominated by J. turbinata, while the predominant species was Quercus coccifera Linnaeus, accompanied by Phillyrea latifolia Linnaeus and Pistacia lentiscus Linnaeus, in the remaining three sites. Our results showed the presence of poorly formed juniper populations dominated by individuals with multiple trunks and rotting heartwood. Various factors contributed to the absence of regeneration, including poor soil, rocky substrate and grazing activity by a large number of free ranging goats. The broadleaf evergreen species dominated over J. turbinata along the juniper forest boundaries. Our results demonstrate that broadleaved shrubs are favoured, limiting the regeneration of juniper, stressing the importance for implementing forest conservation measures and expanding our knowledge about juniper regeneration processes.

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