Long-term monitoring of thinning for silvopastoral purposes in Nothofagus antarctica forests of Tierra del Fuego, Argentina

Guillermo Martínez Pastur, Rosina Soler, María V. Lencinas, Juan M. Cellini, Pablo L. Peri


Aim of the study: To analyse the effectiveness of thinning on tree growth, forest structure and microclimatic variables along seven years after cuttings in a secondary Nothofagus antarctica forest in Southern Patagonia.

Area of study: Five hectares of homogeneous stand of secondary forests (54º15’46” SL, 66º59’41” WL) in Tierra del Fuego, Argentina.

Material and methods: One control and two thinning levels were established, and forest structure, growth, crown dynamic and microclimate variables in long-term permanent plots were evaluated. Main comparisons were made using multiple ANOVAs.

Main results: Intensive thinning in secondary forests allowed to increase tree individual growth rates by doubling the radiation levels at the understory level that enhances the silvopastoral management. These forests showed a desirable resilience to the forest interventions and natural disturbances (e.g. heavy defoliator attack), with a rapid reaction in the canopy cover growth.

Research highlights: Monitoring of thinning for silvopastoral management must include easy and cheap measuring variables, e.g. diameter growth as a proxy for timber production objectives and hemispherical photos (crown cover and radiation) as a proxy for pasture production. Long-term monitoring allowed to identify reliable indicators that assist new sustainable management alternatives.


crown cover; leaf area index; radiation; insect plague; growth; forest structure

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DOI: 10.5424/fs/2018271-11928

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