TITLE

Fire-free natural regeneration in water limited Pinus halepensis forests: a silvicultural approach

AUTHOR(S)
Osem, Yagil; Yavlovich, Hagay; Zecharia, Nitai; Atzmon, Nir; Moshe, Yosi; Schiller, Gabriel
PUB. DATE
November 2013
SOURCE
European Journal of Forest Research;Nov2013, Vol. 132 Issue 5/6, p679
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
We aimed to elucidate environmental and silvicultural factors that determine the extent of fire-free natural regeneration in east Mediterranean Pinus halepensis forests. The specific aims were to study the potential and identify bottlenecks for natural regeneration and examine the effects of overstory thinning and site preparation treatments. We integrated four experiments conducted in diverse ecoregions in Israel ranging from semiarid to subhumid. Seedling emergence and survival were traced for 2–4 years in Mishmar Ha’Emek Forest (MHF) with annual rainfall of 604 mm; Shaharia Forest (SF)—435 mm; and Yatir Forest (YF)—280 mm. Effects of thinning treatments: clearcut, 100 tree, 200 tree ha −1 and control—310 tree ha −1, were examined in MHF. Effects of site preparation treatments: soil scarification and herb clipping were examined in SF. Density of emerged seedlings varied among ecoregions and was linked to average annual rainfall. Within ecoregions, emerged seedling density was higher on north-facing slopes than on south-facing slopes and was strongly related to stand characteristics (e.g., stem basal area) and seed rain. Seedling survival rate of about 20 % was recorded in MHF while no seedling survival was observed in YF and SF during the study years. Thinning treatments reduced seed rain and emerging seedling density, but increased seedling survival and growth. Recruitment 4 years after thinning was highest in the 100 tree ha −1 treatment and lowest in the control. In SF, seedling survival was limited mainly by herbaceous vegetation and was improved by soil scarification and herb clipping. Silvicultural implications are discussed.
ACCESSION #
91941741

 

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