Effects of light/darkness, thermal shocks and inhibitory components on germination of Pinus canariensis, Pinus halepensis and Pinus pinea

Calvo, Leonor; García-Domínguez, Celia; Naranjo, Agustín; Arévalo, José R.
November 2013
European Journal of Forest Research;Nov2013, Vol. 132 Issue 5/6, p909
Academic Journal
Knowledge of the germination characteristics of Pinus species can help in the understanding, prediction and management of the regeneration of pine forests. In the Canary Islands, several exotic pines ( Pinus halepensis L. and Pinus pinea L.) were planted with Pinus canariensis Chr. Sm. Ex DC, the only native pine species, and there is now an interest in controlling these exotic species to restore the original forest. The main objective of the present study is to determine the germination response of P. canariensis,P. halepensis and P. pinea to different light regimes (darkness and light/darkness), thermal shocks and the presence of inhibitory substances from the leaves and litter of P. canariensis. P. halepensis seeds showed the highest viability and germination rate. Darkness accelerated P. halepensis germination, while exudates accelerated P. canariensis germination. Only treatments of 200 °C for 5 min and 300 °C for 5 min significantly decreased the germination of all three pine species. In the absence of strong differences in germination among species after treatments, the key for fire management or prescribed burning in this case may be the sprouting ability of P. canariensis. A possible management strategy to control the two obligate seeder exotic species could be to use one intense prescribed fire followed by a low-intensity prescribed fire after seed bank germination in the field, so in this way, only P. canariensis could resprout after fire and it would eliminate only the exotic pines in a mixed stand.


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