Predicting suitability of forest dynamics to future climatic conditions:
the likely dominance of Holm oak [Quercus ilex subsp. ballota (Desf.)
Samp.] and Aleppo pine (Pinus halepensis Mill.)
Pablo J. Hidalgo
Received: 6 September 2017 /Accepted: 29 January 2018 /Published online: 21 February 2018
INRA and Springer-Verlag France SAS, part of Springer Nature 2018
Key message Composite logistic regression models simulating the potential effect of global climate change on forests
dynamics in the southern Iberian Peninsula identify Holm oak [Quercus ilex subsp. ballota (Desf.) Samp.] and Aleppo
pine (Pinus halepensis Mill.) as the chief beneficiaries of the anticipated environmental shifts, whereas other oak species
and conifers suffer a decline.
Context The ten most important tree species (five oaks and five conifers) in Southern Spain were selected for the study. The
study area, corresponding to the region of Andalusia, is located in an interesting position between Central European and North
African climates. The territory also exhibits the most extreme patterns of rainfall in the Iberian Peninsula.
Aims This study aims to model the potential distribution of the ten species in response to climate change, in several time
periods, including the present and two future twenty-first century dates.
Methods The potential distributions within the different scenarios were simulated using logistic regression techniques based on
a set of 19 climate variables from the WorldClim 1.4 project. The scenarios were drawn from the RCP 2.6 and 6.0 in the CCSM4
Global Circulation Model. The resolution of the output maps was 30 arc-seconds.
Results The simulation predicted increased distribution areas for Q. ilex and P. halepensis under the four future scenarios as
compared to present. The eight remaining taxa suffered a severe retraction in potential distribution.
Conclusion Global climate change is likely to have a significant impact on forest dynamics in southern Spain. Only two species
would benefit to the detriment of the others. Logistic Regression is identified as a robust method for carrying out management and
Keywords Species distribution models
Tree dominance and codominance
The last few decades have seen an increase in multidisci-
plinary approaches to forest dynamics. Land use, paleo-
ecology, modelling and genetic diversity are just some of
the disciplines which have been brought to the study (Alix-
Garcia et al. 2016; Conedera et al. 2016; Vacchiano et al.
2016;Feurdeanetal.2017). Forest dynamics depend on
biotic (species interactions) and abiotic (climate, orogra-
phy, pedology, soil chemistry, water content, etc.) process-
es, which modify stand structures on both temporal and
spatial scales (Frelich 2002). In Europe, anthropogenic ac-
tivity has been a significant driver of forest dynamics since
before the Common Era (BCE) (Watson 1996), and this has
led to a decline in species in some cases, although some
Handling Editor: Thomas Wohlgemuth
Contribution of co-authors
Javier López-Tirado: Design of the experiment, data analysis, writer of
Pablo J. Hidalgo: Supervisor of the work and coordinator of the research
This paper is part of the topical collection on Mediterranean pines.
Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article
(https://doi.org/10.1007/s13595-018-0702-1) contains supplementary
material, which is available to authorized users.
* Javier López-Tirado
Department of Integrated Sciences, Faculty of Experimental
Sciences, International Campus of Excellence of the Sea (CEIMAR),
University of Huelva, Avda. Tres de Marzo s/n, 21071 Huelva, Spain
Annals of Forest Science (2018) 75: 19