Structure and spatio-temporal dynamics of cedar forests along a management gradient in the Middle Atlas, Morocco uri icon

abstract

  • Diameter distribution and temporal and spatial patterns of a Cedrus atlantica forest were studied across a management gradient (undisturbed, logged and highly disturbed) in Ifrane National Park, Morocco. Forest structure and regeneration dynamics showed significant differences among management levels. The diameter distribution in undisturbed and logged stands indicated the presence of few young individuals, and a poor regeneration status in highly disturbed stands. Variance in diameter was larger in natural stands compared to managed ones. There was a seedling establishment pulse during the time period between 1910 and 1990 at three sites, but a lack of sapling and juveniles occurred at undisturbed and logged forests in the last century, which might be attributed to competition between C atlantica and Quercus ilex. Nevertheless, cedar trees persistently recruited to all forests during the last 50 years, but cedar density was significantly higher in the highly disturbed forest areas. Spatial analysis shows a general trend toward aggregation for all species involved. This pattern was observed among C atlantica trees in undisturbed and highly disturbed stands but was not significant in logged stands. Differences in management may promote variation in stand structure and regeneration dynamics of the subalpine cedar forests along the management gradient in the Middle Atlas, Morocco. (C) 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

publication date

  • 2013
  • 2013