Influence of climate and thinning on Quercus pyrenaica Willd. coppices growth dynamics uri icon

abstract

  • Many oak stands (Quercusspp.) have been managed as coppices for firewood production for centuries in the Mediterranean area. After the abandonment of firewood production during the 1980s, current management practices attempt to convert coppices into coppices-with-standards through thinning and promoting forest regeneration via sexual reproduction. In this work, we used long-term data from repeated forest inventories and dendrometers in a thinning trial to assess the effects of thinning and climate on the intra- and inter-annual growth dynamics ofQuercus pyrenaicaWilld. coppices. Our results revealed that thinning favored the growth ofQ. pyrenaicatrees, especially when the stand density reduction was high (ca. 50% of the basal area extracted). Unthinned plots displayed more natural mortality i.e., self-thinning. Growth was enhanced with low vapor pressure deficit. Intense thinning treatments displayed higher intra-annual growth rates and interacted positively with rainfall to induce higher growth. We conclude that thinning, especially intensive thinning, may alleviate the negative effects of dry years and thus could provide a potential measure to adapt these stands to the different climatic scenarios with higher temperatures and less precipitation within the framework of sustainable forest management.

publication date

  • 2021
  • 2020