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Free Content Edaphic characterization of coastal Western Mediterranean Limonium (Plumbaginaceae)

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Introduction – Edaphic factors influence the structure and composition of plant communities. The main objective is to identify soil properties associated with the presence of different Limonium species.

Methods – We conducted a systematic phytocoenological and edaphic survey over 37 locations across the Balearic archipelago. Canonical Correspondence Analysis was applied to the physicochemical characteristics of soils in which 29 species of Limonium grow.

Results – The distribution of Limonium species has a high correlation to specific edaphic factors. The species can be clustered into four major groups. The first group represents species with a high edaphic selectivity – soils characterized by having a high proportion of sand, SO4 2- and Ca2+. The second group is composed of species with high levels of SAR, OM and SO4 2-/Cl- ratio. The third group includes species present in soils with a loamy texture, low Ca2+/Mg2+ ratio and high levels of CO3 2- and Mg2+. The fourth group includes plants which colonize soils that have a sandy texture, low salinity and high proportion of CO3 2-.

Conclusions – A strong correlation between the distribution of Limonium species and soil characteristics exist. The study contributes to the establishment of foundations for habitat conservation, cultivation and recovery projects for endangered species of Limonium.
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Keywords: CONSERVATION; LIMONIUM; SALINE HABITATS; SOIL CHARACTERIZATION; SULPHATES

Document Type: Regular Paper

Publication date: August 22, 2018

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