This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, reproduction and adaptation in any medium and for any purpose provided that it is properly attributed. For attribution, the original author(s), title, publication source (PeerJ PrePrints) and either DOI or URL of the article must be cited.
The nemoral forests of the montane level are especially interesting, because they are on the edge of their distribution. We want to see the influence of some environmental conditions (temperature and rainfall) on the litterfall and growth, in three kinds of these forests. The Montseny massif in the NE part of Iberian Peninsula, with a maximum altitude of 1.706 m, has a strong gradient of climate and vegetation, from the lowlands to the top of the mountains. We analyze three forests in the Montseny massif, two of them are composed by deciduous species not very extensive in the region (beech and sessile oak) and the other is a Mediterranean species, the mountain holm oak. We recollect data since 2007, monthly litterfall was measured and radial growth, and correlated with the climate of the study area. Our results shows that Fagus sylvatica recorded the biggest drop in annual litterfall (6.3 Mg / ha), followed by Q. ilex (5.3 Mg / ha) and Q. petraea (4.6 Mg / ha) all recorded values are similar to those observed in other forests and mountains of the same state of maturity equivalent. The start of the growth took place in the spring and Quercus spp. occurred more gradually than in F. sylvatica. We found that the accumulated rainfall in late spring has had a positive effect specially on the growth of Quercus species while the effect of summer temperature has been especially prominent in beech. Mediterranean species show larger fluctuations growth than Central European ones in response to lower water availability.
This article will be a submission to PeerJ for review.