Straw mulching and salvage logging are common management techniques after forest wildfires. However, these post-fire actions may result in an additional disturbance in burned soils, which may hamper the natural regeneration of forest species, especially in Mediterranean areas. The results of the investigations on the impacts of these post-fire management techniques are still insufficient, and especially about post-fire regeneration of Pinus halepensis Mill. This tree species is typical of the western Mediterranean Basin and is hardly threatened by forest wildfires. To fill these literature gaps, this study explores the effects of salvage logging after straw mulching on the regeneration of Pinus halepensis Mill. throughout four years after a wildfire. These effects have been also related to the changes in the main chemical properties of the supporting soils. Compared to the burned but non-treated areas, after four years of fire and post-fire treatments, we found that: (i) mulched and non-logged sites showed a significantly higher number of seedlings (+66%) with larger diameter (+12%) and higher height (+25%); (ii) logging did not significantly increase this number (+74%), but, in mulched and logged sites, the seedlings had significantly lower diameters (-18%) and heights (-9%); (iii) an increase in the seedling number (+29%), and decreases in the plant diameter (-34%) and height (-15%) were observed in the non-mulched and logged areas; (iv) no significant differences in the other morphometric parameters of seedlings were detected among all post-fire treatments; (v) a clear gradient between the organic matter content of soils and the number of plants growing under the four treatments was evident. These results support the task of forest managers in accelerating the recovery of natural vegetation in burned pine forests in the Mediterranean environment.

Mid-Term Natural Regeneration of Pinus halepensis Mill. after Post-Fire Treatments in South-Eastern Spain

Carra, BG;Zema, DA
2022

Abstract

Straw mulching and salvage logging are common management techniques after forest wildfires. However, these post-fire actions may result in an additional disturbance in burned soils, which may hamper the natural regeneration of forest species, especially in Mediterranean areas. The results of the investigations on the impacts of these post-fire management techniques are still insufficient, and especially about post-fire regeneration of Pinus halepensis Mill. This tree species is typical of the western Mediterranean Basin and is hardly threatened by forest wildfires. To fill these literature gaps, this study explores the effects of salvage logging after straw mulching on the regeneration of Pinus halepensis Mill. throughout four years after a wildfire. These effects have been also related to the changes in the main chemical properties of the supporting soils. Compared to the burned but non-treated areas, after four years of fire and post-fire treatments, we found that: (i) mulched and non-logged sites showed a significantly higher number of seedlings (+66%) with larger diameter (+12%) and higher height (+25%); (ii) logging did not significantly increase this number (+74%), but, in mulched and logged sites, the seedlings had significantly lower diameters (-18%) and heights (-9%); (iii) an increase in the seedling number (+29%), and decreases in the plant diameter (-34%) and height (-15%) were observed in the non-mulched and logged areas; (iv) no significant differences in the other morphometric parameters of seedlings were detected among all post-fire treatments; (v) a clear gradient between the organic matter content of soils and the number of plants growing under the four treatments was evident. These results support the task of forest managers in accelerating the recovery of natural vegetation in burned pine forests in the Mediterranean environment.
seedling number
seedling diameter
seedling height
straw mulching
salvage logging
wildfire
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12318/130035
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