Pines as basic species for restoration of forests in the Mediterranean environment.
The history of deforestation in Spain is reviewed, and details are given of the extensive reforestation carried out in the period 1940-1987, viz. over 3.2 million ha. The main species used were pines, chiefly Pinus pinaster, P. sylvestris, P. halepensis, P. nigra, P. pinea and P. radiata (listed in descending order of importance), and this emphasis on pine has been criticized in recent years. The structural and functional features of pines that make them particularly suitable for use in reforestation in dry and droughty Mediterranean conditions are discussed, viz. their light-demanding nature, ability to store water and use it efficiently, and their low cost of maintenance in plantations.