WOODLANDS

In broad terms, the typical vegetation of Andalucía is characterized by Mediterranean woodland leafy perennials that are adapted to the long, hot dry summers. The dominant species of the climax community is the Holly Oak (Quercus ilex). Also abundant are Cork Oak  (Quercus suber), various pines, and Spanish Fir (Abies ). Due to cultivation, olive (Olea europea) and almond (Prunus dulcis) trees also abound.

The dominant understory is composed of thorny and aromatic woody species, such as Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis), Thyme (Thymus), and Cistus. In the wettest areas with acidic soils, the most abundant species are the Oak and Cork Oak, and the cultivated Eucalyptus. In the woodlands, leafy hardwoods of genus Populus (poplars, aspens, cottonwoods) and Ulmus (elms) are also abundant; poplars are cultivated in the plains of Granada.

The Andalucían woodlands have been much altered by human settlement and the use of nearly all of the best land for farming. The degraded forests become shrubby and combustible garrigue. Extensive areas have also been planted with non-climax trees such as pines. There is now a clear conservation policy for the remaining forests, which survive almost exclusively in the mountains.




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