Early growth of Scots pine, European larch and common oak at the young age on post-fire area located in the Sława Śląska Forest District (SW Poland)

Piotr Robakowski, Piotr Balicki, Maciej Łukaszewski, Marek Szczerba

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.12775/EQ.2014.016

Abstract


The long-term forecasts predict that global warming will increase frequency and area of forest fires. Apart from economic losses resulting from a reduction of wood volume and annual increments of trees, the post-fire areas requiring the reforestation are enlarging considerably.

            The present study aimed at the comparison of growth parameters of Scots pine, European larch and common oak seedlings growing on post-fire forest area with those growing in the control forest site established after clear cutting which was not enveloped by fire. We hypothesized that differences in growth traits of seedlings growing on post-fire area or in the control would depend on the species-specific ecological requirements. Among three study species Scots pine was selected to be the most suitable for planting on burnt area taking into account its growth traits and reforestation success.

            Scots pine and European larch seedlings showed a greater thickness at root collar and pine had also a greater height on burnt area than in the control. Common oak responded inversely, it grew better in the control conditions compared with the burnt area. The pine grade of slenderness was similar in both treatments. Larch and oak reduced their grade of slenderness growing on post-fire area.

Our results supported the hypothesis that the responses of the study trees to the burnt area conditions were determined by the species-dependent traits. The post-fire environment was the most favourable for light-demanding, pioneer pine and larch, but it was disadvantageous for late-successional, more conservative oak. Scots pine together with European larch are recommended to be planted on the burnt area to restore relatively fast the forest ecosystem. At the beginning of reforestation these species can play a role of pioneer crop and later will be able to become the dominant species together with less flammable broadleaved trees in the converted stands.

Keywords


artificial regeneration, burnt area, forest fire, forest restoration, Larix decidua, Pinus sylvestris, Quercus robur

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References


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