Next Article in Journal
Abiotic and Biotic Disturbances Affecting Forest Health in Poland over the Past 30 Years: Impacts of Climate and Forest Management
Next Article in Special Issue
Some Lessons Learned on Early Survival and Growth of Containerized, Locally-Sourced Ponderosa Pine Seedlings in the Davis Mountains of Western Texas, US
Previous Article in Journal
Landscape-Scale Mixtures of Tree Species are More Effective than Stand-Scale Mixtures for Biodiversity of Vascular Plants, Bryophytes and Lichens
Previous Article in Special Issue
Evaluation of Composite Burn Index and Land Surface Temperature for Assessing Soil Burn Severity in Mediterranean Fire-Prone Pine Ecosystems
Article Menu
Issue 1 (January) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Forests 2019, 10(1), 74; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10010074

Effect of Herbaceous Layer Interference on the Post-Fire Regeneration of a Serotinous Pine (Pinus pinaster Aiton) across Two Seedling Ages

1
Departamento de Ecología, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Granada, Av. Fuentenueva SN, 18071 Granada, Spain
2
Field Station Fabrikschleichach, Department of Animal Ecology and Tropical Biology (Zoology III), Julius-Maximilians-University Würzburg, 96181 Rauhenebrach, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 30 December 2018 / Revised: 17 January 2019 / Accepted: 17 January 2019 / Published: 20 January 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Post-Fire Regeneration)
Full-Text   |   PDF [1361 KB, uploaded 20 January 2019]   |  
  |   Review Reports

Abstract

Herbaceous vegetation is a major source of interference with the regeneration of woody species. This is particularly the case after forest fires, as a dense herbaceous layer usually regenerates naturally. Although the competitive effect of the herbaceous vegetation upon tree seedlings has been widely studied, there are still gaps in knowledge for management related to the effect of tree seedling age and size on the outcome of the interaction. In this study, we seek to determine the response of maritime pine (Pinus pinaster Aiton) seedlings to herbaceous competition at two different seedling ages. For that, two treatments of herbaceous competition were implemented, namely unweeded (no action around pine seedlings) and weeded (herbaceous cover removed around pine seedlings). Treatments were conducted twice (2 and 4 years after the fire), and we monitored seedling survival and growth at the end of each growing season. The treatments were implemented across three adjacent landscape units that differed in the management of burned wood and that are representative of common post-fire scenarios: no intervention, salvage logging, and an intermediate degree of intervention. Weeding increased seedling survival from 44.7% to 67.8% when seedlings were 2 years old, but had no effect for four-year-old seedlings, which showed 99% survival. Seedling growth also increased in the weeding treatment, but only slightly. Moreover, growth (and survival for two-year-old seedlings) was strongly correlated with initial seedling size, particularly in the case of two-year-old seedlings. Initial pine seedling height was strongly and positively correlated with the height of the herbaceous layer, supporting the existence of microsite features that promote plant growth above competitive effects. The results support that management actions conducive to foster post-fire pine forest restoration in this Mediterranean ecosystem should reduce herbaceous competition at early stages after fire (second or third year) and focus on larger seedlings. View Full-Text
Keywords: burnt wood management; wildfire management; Mediterranean-type ecosystems; plant demography; plant competition; post-fire regeneration; salvage logging burnt wood management; wildfire management; Mediterranean-type ecosystems; plant demography; plant competition; post-fire regeneration; salvage logging
Figures

Figure 1

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).
SciFeed

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Castro, J.; Leverkus, A.B. Effect of Herbaceous Layer Interference on the Post-Fire Regeneration of a Serotinous Pine (Pinus pinaster Aiton) across Two Seedling Ages. Forests 2019, 10, 74.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics

1

Comments

[Return to top]
Forests EISSN 1999-4907 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top