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Effects of pre-commercial thinning on growth and reproduction in post fire regeneration of Pinus halepensis Mill.
Año del Documento
Annals of Forest Science; June 2013, Volume 70, Issue 4, pp 357-366
Excessive recruitment in post-fire regeneration of Pinus halepensis can require pre-commercial thinning. The 1994 Moratalla fire (Spain) and the thinning applied there since 2004 provided good conditions for testing pre-commercial thinning effectiveness. Aims To analyse pre-commercial thinning effects on tree size, reproductive potential, stem biomass and annual growth in 15-year-old saplings. Methods Twenty nine circular plots (5 m radius) were established based on (1) years since thinning and (2) aspect. Non-thinned plots were included as controls. Sapling variables were measured and pine cones were counted and classified according to maturity. Three saplings per plot were felled, five sample disks were extracted from each and tree rings were analysed with Windendro® software. Results Sapling size, annual growth and stem biomass were higher in thinned plots than in control plots 2–4 years after thinning. Annual growth declined five years after thinning. Cone counts were higher 2–5 years after thinning, depending on the cone type. Aspect influenced some variables. Conclusion Thinning accelerated stand maturity but positive effects were indiscernible until 2–5 years later. Serotinous cones, which are fundamental to regeneration after fire, increased in number after 5 years. The effects of aspect were inconclusive due to interactions with years since thinning.
Instituto Universitario de Gestión Forestal Sostenible
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