by Antonio Jordán, University of Seville, Sevilla, Spain
Los Alcornocales Natural Park is the biggest cork oak forest (Quercus suber) in the world. It covers a wide area, from Grazalema to the Strait of Gibraltar, on siliceous sandstone. Elevation hardly reaches 1000 masl, but relief is extremely complex and steep. Although the humid forest is generally well-preserved, human intervention due to cork extraction and other activities is intense. Main soils are Luvisols, Cambisols and Alisols. Preferably in shaded hillslopes and deep gorges, where humidity is high and constant throughout the year, rainfall and the existence of impermeable clay layers (lithologic discontinuities) often lead to washed horizons and gleyic properties in depth.
Picture http://imaggeo.egu.eu/view/2662/ shows this soil's typical environment.
Antonio Jordán (distributed via imaggeo.egu.eu)