Conditions and limits to the natural regeneration of a mountain pine forest (Pinus nigra subsp. salzmannii)

P. A. Tíscar Oliver

Abstract


This paper analyses the influence of different factors in the regeneration process of a natural Salzmann pine (Pinus nigra) forest in the Cazorla mountain range (south-east Spain). The factors analysed were related to stand structure, soil conditions, climate records, shrub competition and, finally, to the presence of seed predators. In particular, the forage pattern of seed predators in relation to the spatial distribution of shrubs was investigated, and, at the same time, whether shrubs do not compete with Salzmann pine seedlings for resources, but facilitate their establishment and growth. Results suggest that pine regeneration is facilitated by the presence of Juniper bushes (Juniperus communis), and that seed predators can not consume the whole harvest of a mast year. Of the other factors considered, only the long summer drought has a definitive influence on the population dynamics of Salzmann pine stands. For this reason, the use of selection felling methods is recommended, in order to maintain soil moisture, as is the maintenance of all the shrub species within the stand, and, finally, to be patient until achieved enough quantity of regeneration.

Keywords


Pinus nigra; natural regeneration; summer drought; facilitation; seed predation





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