National Forest Inventories (NFIs) are the primary source of information to fulfill international requirements, such as growing stock volume. However, NFI cycles may be “out of phase” in terms of the information required, so prediction techniques are needed. To disentangle the effects of climate and competition on stand productivity and to estimate the volume of stocks at national scale, it is important to recognize that growth and competition are species-specific and vary along climatic gradients. In this study, we estimate the productivity of five pine species (Pinus sylvestris, Pinus pinea, Pinus halepensis, Pinus nigra
and Pinus pinaster
), growing in monospecific stands or in mixtures along an aridity gradient in the Iberian Peninsula, based on Spanish NFI data. We study the stand volume growth efficiency (VGE), since it allows the comparison of volume growth in monospecific and mixed stands. The results reveal the importance of considering the aridity when assessing VGE. Moreover, it was found that, in general, admixture among pine species leads to modifications in the VGE, which can vary from negative to positive effects depending on species composition, and that this is always influenced by the aridity. Finally, we provide simple growth efficiency models for the studied pines species which are valid for both monospecific and mixed stands along the aridity gradient of the Iberian Peninsula.
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