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Forests 2018, 9(11), 694; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9110694

Regeneration of Native Forest Species in Mainland Portugal: Identifying Main Drivers

Centro de Investigação e Tecnologias Agroambientais e Biológicas, CITAB, Universidade de Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro, UTAD, Quinta dos Prados, Apartado 1013, 5000-801 Vila Real, Portugal
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Received: 4 October 2018 / Revised: 3 November 2018 / Accepted: 6 November 2018 / Published: 8 November 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Ecology and Management)
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Abstract

Persistence of native forests is a global concern. We aimed at unveiling the main factors affecting tree recruitment in Portuguese native forests, modelling sapling data collected during the 5th Portuguese Forest Inventory, for five main Quercus taxa. Zero-inflated count data models allowed us to examine simultaneously (i) the absence of tree recruitment and (ii) the density of tree recruitment. Using Akaike weights, we obtained importance values for 15 relevant explanatory variables. Results showed that seed availability and climatic variables were determinant to understand regional absence of regeneration for all taxa. Seed availability was also an important driver of sapling density, except for Quercus suber. Other variables impacted on regeneration density: grazing hindered Q. suber regeneration; regeneration of Q. rotundifolia and Q. suber was lower in flat areas; recurrent fire hampered the regeneration of Q. robur and Q. pyrenaica; Q. broteroi and Q. pyrenaica showed depressed regeneration in regions where forest plantations abound, while Q. robur and Q. suber seemed selectively protected. We conclude that caution is warranted when analysing pooled data for Quercus spp. regeneration, as different variables affected Quercus taxa differently. Finally, we suggest dedicated management actions to enhance the establishment of new native forests. View Full-Text
Keywords: native forest; Portugal; Quercus; regeneration; sapling; zero-inflated count data model native forest; Portugal; Quercus; regeneration; sapling; zero-inflated count data model
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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 (CC BY 4.0).

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Monteiro-Henriques, T.; Fernandes, P.M. Regeneration of Native Forest Species in Mainland Portugal: Identifying Main Drivers. Forests 2018, 9, 694.

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