Influence of environmental conditions on germinant survival and diversity of Scots pine ( Pinus sylvestris L.) in central Spain uri icon

abstract

  • The aim of the study was to investigate dynamics and pattern of natural regeneration and the influence of seedbed and light on germination and initial seedling survival of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) during three growing seasons. Four 5-m(2) plots in a natural Scots pine forest in central Spain were randomly established at the beginning of the regeneration process. Germination and seedling survival were recorded in 100 regeneration sampling subplots (0.25 m(2)) per plot, while seedbed type and the relative light intensity reaching the forest floor was characterised in 1-m(2) plots. The spatial correlations between survival, light conditions and organic matter depth were analysed through cross-variograms. Germination and survival were highly variable both within and between plots (ranging from 0 to 89%) and affected by high summer temperatures (33-35 degrees C) in 2003. The spatial pattern characterisation of survival by Ripley's K function showed a dominant cluster distribution. Occurrence tended to be clumped when abundance was greater than 15 seedlings, whereas for lower densities, seedlings were randomly distributed. Seedlings and herbs occupied the same sites where environmental conditions were appropriate for them to live. Spatial association occurred frequently for light and organic matter depth. Results suggested that the Scots pine seedlings in our study in central Spain preferred moderate light conditions (Global Site Factor < 0.40). Thus, if this forest is to be naturally regenerated with Scots pine, the shelterwood system (whereby some mother trees are left to provide shelter for at least 5 years), along with mechanical disturbance of the seedbeds, would promote seed germination, as long as a seed source is present. However, regeneration success is affected by year-to-year conditions.

publication date

  • 2007
  • 2006