Reforestation with resprouter species to increase diversity and resilience in Mediterranean pine forests

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Title: Reforestation with resprouter species to increase diversity and resilience in Mediterranean pine forests
Authors: Granados, María Elena | Vilagrosa, Alberto | Chirino Miranda, Esteban | Vallejo, V. Ramon
Center, Department or Service: Universidad de Alicante. Departamento de Ecología | CEAM (Centro Estudios Ambientales del Mediterráneo)
Keywords: Ecosystem management | Seedling survival | Pine plantations | Drought | Shade | Pinus halepensis
Knowledge Area: Ecología
Issue Date: 15-Feb-2016
Publisher: Elsevier
Citation: Forest Ecology and Management. 2016, 362: 231-240. doi:10.1016/j.foreco.2015.12.020
Abstract: Under Mediterranean conditions, drought and fire are prevalent disturbances that play a fundamental role in the distribution, organization and evolution of ecosystems. Reforestation programs were carried out in degraded areas by planting pines. Presently, the spontaneous regeneration of other species is scarce and species diversity is poor. Introducing woody resprouter species under pine forests would increase species diversity and ecosystem resilience to cope with different types of disturbances, such as wildfires. In this study, we investigated the survival, growth and functional responses of six Mediterranean trees and shrub resprouter species planted under pine forests. Experiments were done in a dry Mesomediterranean climate. Seedlings from a wide array of early to late successional trees and shrub species were outplanted in different pine densities, low, medium and high, which corresponded to 22%, 48% and 62% of the maximum sunlight received, respectively. The time course of survival and growth (height and basal diameter) were analyzed for 3 years after outplanting. Survival was higher than 78%, although differences between species and pine densities were found. Seedling growth also reflected different interactions among introduced seedlings and density of pines. Water use efficiency of species based on isotopic determinations (δ13C and δ18O) differed between densities and species according to functional groups. These results have relevant implications for the management and restoration of fire-prone Mediterranean pine forests.
Sponsor: This work has been carried out thanks to Projects FUME (EU FP7-Environment, GA. 243888), SURVIVE (CGL-2011-30531-CO2-02) and GRACCIE-NET (CTM2014-59111-REDC), funded by the Spanish Government, and the PROMETEO program (DESESTRES 2014/038), funded by the Generalitat Valenciana (Regional Valencian Government). M.E. Granados thanks the University of Michoacana (México) for her grant to conduct this study. CEAM also thanks the Geronimo Forteza grant (FPA/2014/126), funded by the Generalitat Valenciana to the SURVIVE project. CEAM is supported by the Generalitat Valenciana.
ISSN: 0378-1127 (Print) | 1872-7042 (Online)
DOI: 10.1016/j.foreco.2015.12.020
Language: eng
Type: info:eu-repo/semantics/article
Rights: © 2015 Elsevier B.V.
Peer Review: si
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Research funded by the EU
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