Short Communication. Recruitment and early growth of Pinus pinaster seedlings over five years after a wildfire in NW Spain

L. Calvo, O. Torres, L. Valbuena, E. Luis-Calabuig


Aim of study: The main aim of this study was to analyse the post-fire recruitment and growth of Pinus pinaster seedlings during the first five years after wildfire and also to analyse the effects of climatic conditions on the survival of P. pinaster seedlings

Area of study: The study area was located in a P. pinaster stand in León province (NW Spain) burned in 1998.

Material and Methods: Three sites in the burned area were selected. In each site three permanent transects of 20m x 1m were placed. In each transect, twenty 1m2 sampling units were marked and the number and height of each pine seedlings was recorded at 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 months and 2, 3, 4 and 5 years after the wildfire. The soil of study area is Cambisol.

Mean results: Mean Pinus regeneration densities varied between 33.2 seedlings/m2 after 7 months and 6 seedlings/m2 five years after wildfire. In this P. pinaster stand, maximum mortality appeared during the summer months in the first year of regeneration. There was a significant increase in seedling height associated with a decrease in density.

Research highlights: The post-fire recruitment is considered enough to ensure good natural Pinus pinaster forest regeneration. In the short term post-fire management strategy in this type of forest could be the remaining branches with cones of burned trees that allow the dissemination of the seeds during the first few years after fire and ensure natural regeneration.

Keywords: Fire effects; natural regeneration; León province (NW Spain); seedlings density; growth and survival.

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DOI: 10.5424/fs/2013223-04623