Are clearcut borders an effective tool for Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) natural regeneration?

Lukáš Bílek, Zdeněk Vacek, Stanislav Vacek, Daniel Bulušek, Rostislav Linda, Jan Král


Aim of the study: To describe the effect of stand edge after clearcut on the process of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) natural regeneration along the edge-to-interior gradient. The density, height, horizontal structure and quality of natural regeneration was evaluated.

Area of the study: Kokořínsko Protected Landscape Area, Northern Bohemia (Czech Republic). The study sites naturally host Scots pine Pinetum oligotrophicum with cover of Vaccinium myrtillus L. and Vaccinium vitis-idaea L. in the herbal storey.

Material and methods: Two 40 × 40 m permanent research plots were situated at the forest edge, two adjacent plots were established within the forest stand as control plots. Differences in regeneration characteristics were tested by analysis of variance (ANOVA) followed by the Tukey HSD test. Interactions between regeneration characteristics and the distance from the edge were evaluated by Pearson correlation. The relationship between the top storey and natural regeneration was depicted by pair-correlation function. Principal components analysis was carried out to assess overall data structure.

Main results: Generally, the further from the stand edge, the lower natural regeneration density (r ≤ -0.64, p<0.001), mean height (r ≤ -0.54, p<0.001) and the best-quality promising individuals (r = -0.40, p<0.05) were found, whereas significant influence on overall average pine quality was not observed. The highest regeneration density (15,250 pcs/ha) was reached at a distance of 5-10 m from the stand edge.

Research highlights: The forest edge interior can become favourable location for natural regeneration and can be implemented into traditional regeneration approaches in pine regions.


pine silviculture; forest edge effect; stand quality; Central Europe

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DOI: 10.5424/fs/2018272-12408