La Palma Island - Spain
La Palma Island
La Palma an island of volcanic origin, is characterized by high topographic complexity, steep slopes and high substrate mobility. Intense precipitation results in mudflows and thus, the loss of fertile soil with all its ecological and socio-economic consequences. The endemic pine Pinus canariensis cover large parts of La Palma and the other Canary Islands. It stabilizes the soil with its long and sturdy roots and thus prevents large regions to loose fertile soils. The same is true for other endemic, shrub and herbaceous plant species. A major portion of these endemic species preferably grows on steep slopes and rocky outcrops and is therefore especially critical for soil stability. Today the whole island of La Palma is under the status of a UNESCO biosphere reserve, after initially in 1983 the laurel forest of Los Tilos was established as a first biosphere reserve, which was the first on all Canary Islands. It is an outstanding fact that in this reserve a complete terrestrial surface is protected including large surfaces of absolutely pristine ecosystems and a legacy of human influenced habitats. Since 2011 the island represents the first UNESCO starlight reserve worldwide. The central part of the island is preserved as a national park “Caldera de Taburiente” established as early as 1954.
General Characteristics and Status
Affiliation and Network Specific Information