Contributions of the pedoantracological analysis to the paleoecological knowledge of Pinus pinaster in southern Spain: the case of Sierra Bermeja.
Pinus pinaster is a native conifer to the Western Mediterranean that occupies a wide range of geographical distribution, appearing in a great diversity of habitats. In the case of Sierra Bermeja (province of Málaga, southern Spain), the species integrates currently the predominant forests on serpentine soils. However, together with the fir forests of Abies pinsapo, this conifer has also been considered by certain authors as an introduced species in this territory. This fact and the isolated appearance of different species of arboreal Quercus have justified certain phytosociological theories defending the marginality of P. pinaster in front of the broad-leaved trees. This study, through the pedoanthracological analysis and later 14C radiometric dating of charcoal samples, has allowed to establish the natural origin of the species on the ultramafic substrates and its presence in the massif along much of the Holocene. Also, of the obtained results seems to be inferred the role of refuge - probably the southernmost in Europe - that this massif could hold for this species during the last glacial maximum, in a context in which it seems that the fire had in the configuration of the vegetal landscape of S. Bermeja throughout the Holocene.