Determinants of Woody Plant Species Richness in Abandoned Olive Grove Ecosystems and Maquis of Central Greece
The present study aimed to compare the woody plant species richness and cover (%) of five abandoned olive groves and five maquis ecosystems in central Greece and to describe the relationship between woody plant species richness and a set of environmental variables [soil pH, nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), potassium (K), and organic matter; air temperature and humidity; altitude; slope; type of ecosystem; and presence of leaf litter]. Although woody plants are abundant in the abandoned olive groves, the number of species and amount of cover (%) are significantly greater in maquis. According to principal component analysis, woody plant species richness was positively correlated with soil organic matter, plant litter, and soil P and K in maquis. Also, woody plant species richness was positively correlated with slope in the abandoned olive groves. Olive grove ecosystems abandoned for at least 12years have developed species compositions similar to the corresponding features of neighboring maquis, although the number of species and amount of cover (%) are significantly greater in maquis.