A silviculture-oriented spatio-temporal model for germination in Pinus pinea L. in the Spanish Northern Plateau based on a direct seeding experiment uri icon

abstract

  • Natural regeneration in Pinus pinea stands commonly fails throughout the Spanish Northern Plateau under current intensive regeneration treatments. As a result, extensive direct seeding is commonly conducted to guarantee regeneration occurrence. In a period of rationalization of the resources devoted to forest management, this kind of techniques may become unaffordable. Given that the climatic and stand factors driving germination remain unknown, tools are required to understand the process and temper the use of direct seeding. In this study, the spatio-temporal pattern of germination of P. pinea was modelled with those purposes. The resulting findings will allow us to (1) determine the main ecological variables involved in germination in the species and (2) infer adequate silvicultural alternatives. The modelling approach focuses on covariates which are readily available to forest managers. A two-step nonlinear mixed model was fitted to predict germination occurrence and abundance in P. pinea under varying climatic, environmental and stand conditions, based on a germination data set covering a 5-year period. The results obtained reveal that the process is primarily driven by climate variables. Favourable conditions for germination commonly occur in fall although the optimum window is often narrow and may not occur at all in some years. At spatial level, it would appear that germination is facilitated by high stand densities, suggesting that current felling intensity should be reduced. In accordance with other studies on P. pinea dispersal, it seems that denser stands during the regeneration period will reduce the present dependence on direct seeding.

publication date

  • 2013
  • 2013