Forests 2014, 5(1), 1-20; doi:10.3390/f5010001
Article

Large-Scale Regeneration Patterns of Pinus nigra Subsp. salzmannii: Poor Evidence of Increasing Facilitation Across a Drought Gradient

Received: 24 October 2013; in revised form: 19 December 2013 / Accepted: 24 December 2013 / Published: 31 December 2013
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Abstract: Tree recruitment is a key process underlying stand dynamics and sustainability in managed forests. Woody plant cover is known to affect the regeneration success of Pinus nigra, suggesting the existence of facilitative plant-plant interactions. The regeneration patterns of this Mediterranean pine were analyzed across its distribution area, using data from 3226 plots of the Spanish National Forest Inventory. We aimed to test the hypothesis that seedlings establishment occurs under higher values of either canopy or shrub cover in the driest populations, as predicted by the stress-gradient hypothesis. Data were analyzed by means of Generalized Linear Models and multivariate methods. Results revealed that regeneration failure occurs on a regional scale, and that regeneration is facilitated by tree canopy cover of 55%–80%. A non-linear pattern of interaction along an aridity gradient was identified, with competition at the wettest site, high facilitation at the mid-dry sites, and low facilitation at the driest site. Evidence suggests that some shrub species may facilitate recruitment in the harsher areas. Collectively, our results reduce the possibilities of adapting forest management to drying climates by the application of alternative silvicultural prescriptions involving canopy cover.
Keywords: facilitation; summer drought; abiotic gradient; recruitment; Mediterranean forests
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MDPI and ACS Style

Tíscar, P.A.; Linares, J.C. Large-Scale Regeneration Patterns of Pinus nigra Subsp. salzmannii: Poor Evidence of Increasing Facilitation Across a Drought Gradient. Forests 2014, 5, 1-20.

AMA Style

Tíscar PA, Linares JC. Large-Scale Regeneration Patterns of Pinus nigra Subsp. salzmannii: Poor Evidence of Increasing Facilitation Across a Drought Gradient. Forests. 2014; 5(1):1-20.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Tíscar, Pedro A.; Linares, Juan C. 2014. "Large-Scale Regeneration Patterns of Pinus nigra Subsp. salzmannii: Poor Evidence of Increasing Facilitation Across a Drought Gradient." Forests 5, no. 1: 1-20.

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