Growth and structure of a young Aleppo pine planted forest after thinning for diversification and wildfire prevention

J. Ruiz-Mirazo, J. L. Gonzalez-Rebollar

Abstract


Aim of study: In the Mediterranean, low timber-production forests are frequently thinned to promote biodiversity and reduce wildfire risk, but few studies in the region have addressed such goals. The aim of this research was to compare six thinning regimes applied to create a fuelbreak in a young Aleppo pine (Pinus halepensis Mill.) planted forest.

Area of study: A semiarid continental high plateau in south-eastern Spain.

Material and Methods: Three thinning intensities (Light, Medium and Heavy) were combined with two thinning methods: i) Random (tree selection), and ii) Regular (tree spacing). Tree growth and stand structure measurements were made four years following treatments.

Main results: Heavy Random thinning successfully transformed the regular tree plantation pattern into a close-to-random spatial tree distribution. Heavy Regular thinning (followed by the Medium Regular and Heavy Random regimes) significantly reduced growth in stand basal area and biomass. Individual tree growth, in contrast, was greater in Heavy and Medium thinnings than in Light ones, which were similar to the Control.

Research highlights: Heavy Random thinning seemed the most appropriate in a youngAleppo pine planted forest to reduce fire risk and artificial tree distribution simultaneously. Light Regular thinning avoids understocking the stand and may be the most suitable treatment for creating a fuelbreak when the undergrowth poses a high fire risk.

Keywords: Pinus halepensis; Mediterranean; Forest structure; Tree growth; Wildfire risk; Diversity.


Full Text:

PDF

References


Agee JK, Bahro B, Finney MA, Omi PN, Sapsis DB, Skinner CN et al., 2000. The use of shaded fuelbreaks in landscape fire management. Forest Ecol Manage 127: 55-66. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0378-1127(99)00116-4

Ciancio O, Iovino F, Mendicino V, Menguzzato G, Nicolaci A, Nocentini S, 2007. Structure and management of Aleppo pine forests. In: Proceedings of the international workshop MEDPINE 3: conservation, regeneration and restoration of Mediterranean pines and their ecosystems (Leone V, Lovreglio R, eds). CIHEAM-IAMB, Bari, Italy. Options Mediterranéennes: Série A. Séminaires Méditerranéens 75. pp: 61-72.

Clark PJ, Evans FC, 1954. Distance to nearest neighbor as a measure of spatial relationships in populations. Ecology 35: 445-453. http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/1931034

Cotillas M, Sabaté S, Gracia C, Espelta JM, 2009. Growth response of mixed Mediterranean oak coppices to rainfall reduction: Could selective thinning have any influence on it? Forest Ecol Manage 258: 1677-1683. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2009.07.033

Crecente-Campo F, Pommerening A, Rodríguez-Soalleiro R, 2009. Impacts of thinning on structure, growth and risk of crown fire in a Pinus sylvestris L. plantation in northern Spain. Forest Ecol Manage 257: 1945-1954. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2009.02.009

Chirino E, Bonet A, Bellot J, Sánchez JR, 2006. Effects of 30-year-old Aleppo pine plantations on runoff, soil erosion, and plant diversity in a semi-arid landscape in south eastem Spain. Catena 65: 19-29. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.catena.2005.09.003

Del Río M, Barbeito I, Bravo-Oviedo A, Calama R, Ca-ellas I, Herrero C et al., 2008a. Carbon sequestration in Mediterranean pine forests. In: Managing forest ecosystems: the challenge of climate change (Bravo F, LeMay V, Jandl R, Von Gadow K, eds). Springer, Managing Forest Ecosystems 17. pp: 221-245.

Del Río M, Calama R, Cañellas I, Roig S, Montero G, 2008b. Thinning intensity and growth response in SW-European Scots pine stands. Ann For Sci 65: 308. http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/forest:2008009

Del Río M, Montes F, Ca-ellas I, Montero G, 2003. Revisión: Índices de diversidad estructural en masas forestales. Invest Agrar: Sist Recur For 12: 159-176.

Fernandes PM, Vega JA, Jiménez E, Rigolot E, 2008. Fire resistance of European pines. Forest Ecol Manage 256: 246-255. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2008.04.032

Gadow KV, 1993. Zur Bestandesbeschreibung in der Forsteinrichtung. Forst und Holz 21: 601-606.

Ginsberg P, 2006. Restoring biodiversity to pine afforestations in Israel. J Na Conserv 14: 207-216. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jnc.2006.04.003

González-Ochoa AI, López-Serrano FR, De las Heras J, 2004. Does post-fire forest management increase tree growth and cone production in Pinus halepensis? Forest Ecol Manage 188: 235-247. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2003.07.015

Graham RT, Harvey AE, Jain TB, Tonn JR, 1999. The effects of thinning and similar stand treatments on fire behavior in Western forests. Gen. Tech. Rep. PNW-GTR-463. US Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacif ic Northwest Research Station. 27 pp.

Hegyi F, 1974. A simulation model for managing black pine stands. In: Fries J (ed). IUFRO meeting Sr .01.04. Royal College of Forestry, Stockholm, Sweden. pp: 74-90.

Lähde E, Laiho O, Norokorpi Y, Saksa T, 1999. Stand structure as the basis of diversity index. Forest Ecol Manage 115: 213-220. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0378-1127(98)00400-9

Lei X, Lu Y, Peng C, Zhang X, Chang J, Hong L, 2007. Growth and structure development of semi-natural larchspruce- fir (Larix olgensis-Picea jezoensis-Abies nephrolepis) forests in northeast China: 12-year results after thinning. Forest Ecol Manage 240: 165-177. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2006.12.019

López-Serrano FR, De las Heras J, González-Ochoa AI, García-Morote FA, 2005. Effects of silvicultural treatments and seasonal patterns on foliar nutrients in young post-fire Pinus halepensis forest stands. Forest Ecol Manage 210: 321-336. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2005.02.042

Maestre FT, Cortina J, 2004. Are Pinus halepensis plantations useful as a restoration tool in semiarid Mediterranean areas? Forest Ecol Manage 198: 303-317. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2004.05.040

Mitsopoulos ID, Dimitrakopoulos AP, 2007. Canopy fuel characteristics and potential crown fire behavior in Aleppo pine (Pinus halepensis Mill.) forests. Ann For Sci 64: 287- 299. http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/forest:2007006

Montero G, Cañellas I, Ruiz-Peinado R, 2001. Growth and yield models for Pinus halepensis Mill. Invest Agrar: Sist Recur For 10: 179-201.

Moya D, De las Heras J, López-Serrano F, Condés S, Alberdi I, 2009. Structural patterns and biodiversity in burned and managed Aleppo pine stands. Plant Ecol 200: 217-228. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11258-008-9446-6

Navarro FB, Jiménez MN, Gallego E, Ripoll MA, 2010. Short-term effects of overstory reduction and slash mulching on ground vegetation in a Mediterranean Aleppo pine woodland. Eur J Forest Res 129: 689-696. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10342-010-0374-3

Ne'eman G, Lahav H, Izhaki I, 1995. Recovery of vegetation in a natural east Mediterranean pine forest on Mount Carmel, Israel, as affected by management strategies. Forest Ecol Manage 75: 17-26. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/0378-1127(95)03544-K

Osem Y, Ginsberg P, Tauber I, Atzmon N, Perevolotsky A, 2008. Sustainable management of Mediterranean planted coniferous forests: an Israeli definition. J Forest 106: 38-46.

Osem Y, Zangy E, Bney-Moshe E, Moshe Y, Karni N, Nisan Y, 2009. The potential of transforming simple structured pine plantations into mixed Mediterranean forests through natural regeneration along a rainfall gradient. Forest Ecol Manage 259: 14-23. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2009.09.034

Parresol BR, 1999. Assessing tree and stand biomass: a review with examples and critical comparisons. Forest Sci 45: 573-593.

Philip MS, 1994. Measuring trees and forests. CAB International, Wallingfork, UK. 310 pp.

Pommerening A, 2002. Approaches to quantifying forest structures. Forestry 75: 305-324. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/forestry/75.3.305

Rivas-Martínez S, Loidi Arregui J, 1999. Bioclimatology of the Iberian Peninsula. Itinera Geobot 13: 41-47.

Ruiz-Peinado R, Del Río M, Montero G, 2011. New models for estimating the carbon sink capacity of Spanish softwood species. Forest Syst 20: 176-188.

Scarascia-Mugnozza G, Oswald H, Piussi P, Radoglou K, 2000. Forests of the Mediterranean region: gaps in knowledge and research needs. Forest Ecol Manage 132: 97- 109. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0378-1127(00)00383-2

Valbuena-Carabaña M, López de Heredia U, Fuentes-Utrilla P, González-Doncel I, Gil L, 2010. Historical and recent changes in the Spanish forests: a socio-economic process. Rev Palaeobot Palyno 162: 492-506. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.revpalbo.2009.11.003

Vélez R (ed), 2009. La defensa contra incendios forestales. Fundamentos y experiencias. McGraw-Hill, Aravaca, Spain.

Verkaik I, Espelta JM, 2006. Post-fire regeneration thinning, cone production, serotiny and regeneration age in Pinus halepensis. Forest Ecol Manage 231: 155-163. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2006.05.041




DOI: 10.5424/fs/2013221-02500

Webpage: www.inia.es/Forestsystems