Natural regeneration in Iberian pines: A review of dynamic processes and proposals for management

Rafael Calama, Rubén Manso, Manuel E. Lucas-Borja, Josep M. Espelta, Miriam Piqué, Felipe Bravo, Carlos del Peso, Marta Pardos

Abstract


Aim of study: Designing adequate silvicultural systems for natural regeneration of a forest species requires sound knowledge of the underlying ecological subprocesses: flowering and fruiting, seed dispersal and predation, seed germination, seedling emergence and seedling survival. The main objective of the present work is to carry out a review on the current knowledge about the different subprocesses governing the regeneration process for the main Iberian Pinus species, in order to propose scientifically based management schedules.

Area of study: The review focuses on the five main native Pinus species within their most representative areas in the Iberian Peninsula: Pinus nigra in Cuenca mountains, Pinus sylvestris in Sierra de Guadarrama, Pinus pinaster and Pinus pinea in the Northern Plateau and Pinus halepensis in Catalonia

Material and methods: Firstly, currently available information on spatiotemporal dynamics and influential factors is introduced for each subprocess and species. Secondly, current regeneration strategies are characterized and the main bottlenecks are identified. Finally, alternative silvicultural practices proposed on the light of the previous information are presented.

Main results: Different climate-mediated bottlenecks have been identified to limit natural regeneration of the Iberian pine species, with seed predation and initial seedling survival among the most influential. New approaches focusing on more gradual regeneration fellings, extended rotation periods, prevent big gaps and program fellings on mast years are presented.

Research highlights: Natural regeneration of the studied species exhibit an intermittent temporal pattern, which should be aggravated under drier scenarios. More flexible management schedules should fulfil these limitations. 


Keywords


seed production; seed dispersal; seed predation; germination; regeneration fellings

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References


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DOI: 10.5424/fs/2017262-11255

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