Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Pine plantations provide optimum conditions for natural forests to develop underneath them

Date:
December 11, 2013
Source:
Basque Research
Summary:
If there is any native forest in the vicinity, tree, fern and herbaceous species typical of these forests penetrate under the pine plantations without any need for action. That way it is possible, to a certain extent, for native forests to be restored, thanks to the process known as ecological succession.

UPV/EHU has studied the capacity of native forests to recolonize pine plantations.
Credit: UPV/EHU

If there is any native forest in the vicinity, tree, fern and herbaceous species typical of these forests penetrate under the pine plantations without any need for action. That way it is possible, to a certain extent, for native forests to be restored, thanks to the process known as ecological succession. This is the conclusion reached by the UPV/EHU's Landscape, Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services group in its research carried out on the pine plantations of Bizkaia.

Related Articles


The work has been published in the journal Forest Ecology and Management.

In many European countries forestry authorities have started to take the sustainable management of forests into consideration. As a result, greater importance has begun to be attached to the restoration and encouragement of native forests. "Forestry is currently going through a unique time as a result of the fall in the profitability of the plantations of exotic, rapid-growth species," says Ibone Ametzaga, member of the UPV/EHU's Landscape, Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services group.

Nowadays, mixed native forests, in other words, the ones in which the predominant species is the oak (Quercus robur), "occupy no more than 3% of the surface they could occupy in Bizkaia and Gipuzkoa," explained Ametzaga. However, this research group has concluded that oak groves make a much more significant contribution than plantations to the well-being of society. This was the conclusion they reached when developing the International Millennium Ecosystem Assessment Programme in Bizkaia. This programme involves assessing the services provided by ecosystems.

The benefits that human beings obtain from ecosystems are known as services. Besides their value in terms of leisure, landscape and education, forests provide food and timber, fix the carbon, and thus collaborate in the regulation of global climate systems; they participate in water purification; form soil and help to slow down erosion, etc. In these aspects, native forests "provide a better service, maintaining local biodiversity or accumulating carbon more. As they are trees with a longer turnover, because they grow more slowly than pine plantations, their management produces fewer disturbances in the system" explained Ametzaga.

Intervention, necessary to achieve restauration

As a result of the crisis affecting forestry, "there are many pine plantations at the end of their turnover. This fact has enabled us to see how the ecological succession of these systems takes place," Ametzaga pointed out. Ecological succession is the natural evolution that takes place in an ecosystem, and is driven by the competition or dynamics of the species present in it and those around it. "In the last years of pine plantations, as there has been no clearing, thinning out or pruning, the seeds arriving from the adjoining forests thrive in the conditions provided by the pine trees. We have seen that, on the whole, typical trees and ferns, and some herbaceous species, are the ones that adapt to that environment best," she added.

In view of these results, Ametzaga proposes that "in some areas, pine plantations can be used to encourage the native forest by taking advantage of ecological succession." What is more, the older or more ancient the plantations are, the richer the forest that develops from them is, and the more it resembles the mixed native forest."

However, Ametzaga indicated that when the moment comes, when the plantations are 25 to 30 years old, it will be necessary to take other kinds of measures to achieve mixed diverse forests. "To equate the species composition to that of native mixed forests, it will be necessary to undertake adaptive management involving the gradual removal of the pine trees and the introduction of species that have not been able to arrive under their own steam, etc. This would enable the native forest to be introduced within a short space of time."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Basque Research. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Miren Onaindia, Ibone Ametzaga-Arregi, Mikel San Sebastián, Anaïs Mitxelena, Gloria Rodríguez-Loinaz, Lorena Peña, Josu G. Alday. Can understorey native woodland plant species regenerate under exotic pine plantations using natural succession? Forest Ecology and Management, 2013; 308: 136 DOI: 10.1016/j.foreco.2013.07.046

Cite This Page:

Basque Research. "Pine plantations provide optimum conditions for natural forests to develop underneath them." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 December 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131211132455.htm>.
Basque Research. (2013, December 11). Pine plantations provide optimum conditions for natural forests to develop underneath them. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 28, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131211132455.htm
Basque Research. "Pine plantations provide optimum conditions for natural forests to develop underneath them." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131211132455.htm (accessed January 28, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Earth & Climate News

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Aquaponics Turn Suburban Industrial Park Into Farmland: Hume

Aquaponics Turn Suburban Industrial Park Into Farmland: Hume

The Toronto Star (Jan. 27, 2015) — Ancient techniques of growing greens with fish and water are well ahead of Toronto bylaws. Video provided by The Toronto Star
Powered by NewsLook.com
Madagascar Locust Plague Could Mean Famine For Millions

Madagascar Locust Plague Could Mean Famine For Millions

Newsy (Jan. 27, 2015) — The Food and Agriculture Organization says millions could face famine in Madagascar without more funding to finish locust eradication efforts. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Storm Slams New England, Spares Mid-Atlantic

Storm Slams New England, Spares Mid-Atlantic

AP (Jan. 27, 2015) — A howling blizzard with wind gusts over 70 mph heaped snow on Boston along with other stretches of lower New England and Long Island on Tuesday, but failed to live up to the hype in Philadelphia and New York City. (Jan. 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Mexico's Volcano of Fire Erupts Again

Mexico's Volcano of Fire Erupts Again

Reuters - News Video Online (Jan. 26, 2015) — A huge plume of smoke shoots into the air as activity in Mexico&apos;s Volcano of Fire picks up again. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins