The aim ofthis paper is to evaluate the dynamics of Etna birch stands (Betula aetnensis Rafin) following the cessation ofsilvicultural activities in the Etna Regional Park (Sicily). We investigated forest structure, natural regeneration,vegetation and deadwood in different forest types. Our findings highlighted three different dynamicsfor birch populations: stable birch stands in the high mountain area which might represent an edapho-climaxforest; progressive dynamic birch stands in the intermediate mountain area, showing a gradual depletion ofbirch and a concomitant replacement with monospecific stands (calabrian pine, beech, oaks) or mixed ones(with birch); pure birch stands (typical) that tend to be regressive - especially under stressful conditions - andto be replaced by xerophilous grasslands. Following the cessation of coppicing and with stand ageing, thestumps transformation into more homogeneous stand structures have been increasing. Within the context ofprotected areas the restoration of coppice selection system (with appropriate adaptations) could help tomaintain the traditional forest landscape, acting as a silvicultural technique with low environmental andlandscape impact.

Dinamiche evolutive in boschi cedui di betulla (Betula aetnensis Rafin) nel Monte Etna (Sicilia)

Bagnato S;Mercurio R.;Spampinato G
2014

Abstract

The aim ofthis paper is to evaluate the dynamics of Etna birch stands (Betula aetnensis Rafin) following the cessation ofsilvicultural activities in the Etna Regional Park (Sicily). We investigated forest structure, natural regeneration,vegetation and deadwood in different forest types. Our findings highlighted three different dynamicsfor birch populations: stable birch stands in the high mountain area which might represent an edapho-climaxforest; progressive dynamic birch stands in the intermediate mountain area, showing a gradual depletion ofbirch and a concomitant replacement with monospecific stands (calabrian pine, beech, oaks) or mixed ones(with birch); pure birch stands (typical) that tend to be regressive - especially under stressful conditions - andto be replaced by xerophilous grasslands. Following the cessation of coppicing and with stand ageing, thestumps transformation into more homogeneous stand structures have been increasing. Within the context ofprotected areas the restoration of coppice selection system (with appropriate adaptations) could help tomaintain the traditional forest landscape, acting as a silvicultural technique with low environmental andlandscape impact.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12318/1493
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