Study led by Rui B. Elias (cE3c/GBA) distinguished with the Editors’ Award 2016 of the scientific journal Phytocoenologia
- May 19th, 2017
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The study Natural zonal vegetation of the Azores Islands: characterization and potential distribution (*), led by Rui B. Elias (cE3c/Azorean Biodiversity Group-GBA) and published in the scientific journal Phytocoenologia, was distinguished by the Editors' Award 2016 "for their combination of vegetation classification and distribution modelling to derive a map of the natural vegetation of the Azores".
In this study has also collaborated the cE3c/GBA researcher Artur Gil, as well as researchers from the University of Azores, CIBIO-Azores and the University of La Laguna (Tenerife). In this work, the researchers use for the first time a statistical method to classify zonal vegetation and, by applying it to the whole archipelago, were able to define and describe the main vegetation belts of the Azores. This study also gives the first potential distribution maps of the natural vegetation for each island. Most of the Azorean natural vegetation has been transformed or degraded by human action, with a greater impact on Laurel forests. Nevertheless, most of the extant vegetation is unique due to its ecological similarity to tropical montane cloud forests. In fact, the Azores islands are probably the only place in the world where cloud forests occur outside tropical areas.
(*) Elias, R.B., Gil, A., Silva, L., Fernández-Palacios, J.M., Azevedo, E.B. & Reis, F. (2016) Natural zonal vegetation of the Azores Islands: characterization and potential distribution. Phytocoenologia, 46(2), 107-123. DOI:10.1127/phyto/2016/0132