Anales del Jardín Botánico de Madrid, Vol 72, No 1 (2015)

Vegetative and reproductive phenological patterns in coastal dunes in S Spain

Carmen Rodríguez-Gallego
Dep. Biología Vegetal (Botánica), Universidad de Málaga, Spain

Teresa Navarro
Dep. Biología Vegetal (Botánica), Universidad de Málaga, Spain


The phenology of Mediterranean plant species has been extensively studied in different types of ecosystems. However, very little research has been conducted on dune ecosystems. The aim of this research is the phenological characterization and comparison among phenological patterns in three coastal dunes areas in S Spain. For this purpose, we apply the methodology proposed by Orshan (1989) and NLPCA phenological indexes. Our results show that seasonality of species from coastal dunes in S Spain follows the pattern observed in dry and warm Mediterranean ecosystems. The maximum phenological activity occurs for a period of 7-9 months, mainly in spring and late winter, whereas summer is clearly the most inactive period of the year. Vegetative phenophases predominate over the reproductive. Flowering is mainly early (March-May), but it may extend to summer. Flowering duration has been identified as a key index in the differentiation among coastal dunes with different conditions of Mediterranean macroclimate, whereas the importance of the phenophase sequence index has been shown in order to discriminate sectors within dunes. Using the NLPCA analysis based on phenological indexes, four phenological groups of species have been determined. From a conservation perspective, the identification of these groups point out the utility of developing different strategies of management according to the high diversity of eco- and phenomorphological variability that characterize the coastal dunes.


Coastal dunes; Mediterranean vegetation; S Spain; Phenological phases; Phenological indexes; Flowering duration

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