Go_mez-Aparicio, L., M.A. Zavala, F.J. Bonet and R. Zamora
The ecological impacts of forest plantations are a focus of intense debate, from studies that consider plantations as “biological deserts” to studies showing positive effects on plant diversity and dynamics. This lack of consensus might be influenced by the scarcity of studies that examine how the ecological characteristics of plantations vary along abiotic and biotic gradients. Here we conducted a large-scale assessment of plant regeneration and diversity in plantations of southern Spain. Tree seedling and sapling density, plant species richness, and Shannon’s (H_) diversity index were analyzed in 442 pine plantation plots covering a wide gradient of climatic conditions, stand density, and distance to natural forests that act as seed sources.