Next Article in Journal
Combination of Multi-Temporal Sentinel 2 Images and Aerial Image Based Canopy Height Models for Timber Volume Modelling
Previous Article in Journal
Weak Apical Control of Swiss Stone Pine (Pinus cembra L.) May Serve as a Protection against Environmental Stress above Treeline in the Central European Alps
Open AccessArticle

Comparison of Natural Regeneration in Natural Grassland and Pine Plantations across an Elevational Gradient in the Páramo Ecosystem of Southern Ecuador

1
Departamento de Recursos Hídricos y Ciencias Ambientales, Facultad de Ciencias Agropecuarias, Facultad de Ingeniería, Universidad de Cuenca, Av. 12 de abril s/n, 0101168 Cuenca, Ecuador
2
Institute of Silviculture, Center of Life and Food Sciences Weihenstephan, Technische Universität München, Hans-Carl-von-Carlowitz-Platz 2, D-85354 Freising, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Forests 2019, 10(9), 745; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10090745
Received: 29 July 2019 / Revised: 19 August 2019 / Accepted: 23 August 2019 / Published: 29 August 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impacts of Non-native Trees: Basic and Applied Aspects)
During the 1980s, reforestation programs using exotic species (Pinus spp.) were established in the páramo ecosystem of Ecuador. The aims of this study were: (1) to compare the natural regeneration between pine plantations (Pi) and natural grassland (NG) across an elevational gradient and (2) to identify the attributes of Pi and soil properties that were influencing herbaceous and woody plant composition and their plant cover. In total, six independent Pinus patula (Schltdl. & Cham. plantations (two per each elevation) were selected and distributed in an elevational range (3200–3400, 3400–3600, 3600–3800 m a.s.l.). Adjacent to Pi, plots in NG were established for recording natural regeneration. Both, namely the attributes and the soil samples, were measured in Pi. The results showed that natural regeneration differs significantly between both types of vegetation. As expected, NG holds more plant diversity than Pi; the elevational range showed a clear tendency that there was more herbaceous richness when elevation range increases, while the opposite was found for woody species. Moreover, attributes of Pi influenced herbaceous and woody vegetation, when saturated hydraulic conductivity (Ksat) in the soil, basal area (BA) and canopy density (CD) increased, herbaceous species richness and its cover decreseased; and when Ksat and the acidity in the soil increased, woody plants richness and its cover decreased. The plantations have facilitated the establishment of shade tolerant species. More studies are needed to evaluate if removal with adequate management of pine plantations can improve the restoration and conservation of the native vegetation of the páramo ecosystem. View Full-Text
Keywords: Andes; species richness; vegetation assemblage; plant cover; natural grassland; soil properties Andes; species richness; vegetation assemblage; plant cover; natural grassland; soil properties
Show Figures

Figure 1

MDPI and ACS Style

Quiroz Dahik, C.; Marín, F.; Arias, R.; Crespo, P.; Weber, M.; Palomeque, X. Comparison of Natural Regeneration in Natural Grassland and Pine Plantations across an Elevational Gradient in the Páramo Ecosystem of Southern Ecuador. Forests 2019, 10, 745.

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.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

1
Back to TopTop