Fire effects in Pinus uncinata Ram plantations
Aim of study: Understanding fire ecology of main forest species is essential for a sound, scientifically based on managing of wildlands and also to assess likely implications due to changes in fire regime under a global change scenario. Few references can be found about fire ecology of Pinus uncinata Ram. (PU). PU species grows in the Central Pyrenees where large, severe wildland fires did not occur frequently in the past. However, several fires with extreme fire behavior have affected PU stands in last years and they might disturb other PU forest in the future.
Area of study: Cabdella fire (February 2012), in Lleida province, is one of the several wildland fires occurred in 2012 (winter season) in the Central Pyrenees. Fire affected a large PU plantation (102 ha) located at 1.800-2,100 meters above the sea.
Material and methods: We have analyzed first order fire effects in three fireline intensity thresholds along three years in terms of mortality ratio, scorched height, percentage of scorched crown volume and bark char height.
Main results: PU seems to be a very tolerant species to low and medium fire line intensity but fire effects were very significant when fire line intensity was high. In medium fireline intensity sites, probability of mortality ranged from 15 to 30% and the dead trees had the highest values on scorched height and percentage of scorched crown volume.
Research highlights: Results from this work supports that prescribed burning might be used to efficiently decrease fuel load and fuel vertical continuity while avoiding considerable PU mortality. It also displayed that when fuel management has been implemented, PU mortality might be limited even under extreme fire behavior.
Abbreviations used: PU: Pinus uncinata Ram.
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