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2013 | 61 | 3 |
Tytuł artykułu

Seed banks and forest recruitment after disturbance: the composition and abundance of seed after clear-cut of stone pine (Pinus pinea L.) plantations

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Seed banks play a key role in the recruitment of forest vegetation after severe disturbance, but can originate an undesired plant community. Thus, investigations on seed bank structure, and early changes occurring after clearcut, are of primary interest for sustainable forest management. Researches were carried out in two mature stone pine (Pinus pinea L.) plantations located in Tuscany (Italy), along the Mediterranean coast. Soil samples were collected in March, July and October of the 2nd and 3rd year after clear-cut, in cut strips and adjacent intact stands. Seed bank size and composition were evaluated through the number of seedlings and species emerged from soil samples. Intact plantations differed in seed bank richness and composition, but not in abundance that was approximately 1,200 seeds m–2. Clear-cut doubled seed density in soil, did not change seed bank richness, and affected markedly composition. Seed banks of cut strips were richer in annual and open space species, and poorer in perennial, forest and disturbed sites species. Seeds of Erica scoparia dominated the seed bank, with a relative abundance of 60% in intact stands and 43% in cut strips. Proportion of annual seeds was slightly less than 20% in intact stands, but increased up to 50% after clear-cut. Between the 2nd and 3rd year from clear-cut, the proportion of seeds from species typical of stone pine forests decreased, while that of non-forest species and aliens increased. The scarcity of seeds from most forest species and the lack of tree seeds make the recruitment of understorey vegetation from seed banks critical. In addition, the increased seed density of alien and disturbed site species in intact seed banks with time from clear-cut, suggests that disturbance caused by cutting in narrow strips threatens the integrity of intact plantations.
Opis fizyczny
  • Department of Agricultural, Food and Agro-Environmental Sciences, University of Pisa, Via del Borghetto 80, I-56124 Pisa, Italy
  • Department of Agricultural, Food and Agro-Environmental Sciences, University of Pisa, Via del Borghetto 80, I-56124 Pisa, Italy
  • Department of Veterinary Sciences, University of Pisa, Viale delle Piagge 2, I-56124 Pisa, Italy
  • Department of Agricultural, Food and Agro-Environmental Sciences, University of Pisa, Via del Borghetto 80, I-56124 Pisa, Italy
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