Original Papers


, Volume 91, Issue 3, pp 365-370

First online:

Spatial pattern of seedlings 1 year after fire in a Mediterranean pine forest

  • G. Ne'emanAffiliated withDepartment of Biology, University of Haifa at Oranim
  • , H. LahavAffiliated withDepartment of Biology, University of Haifa at Oranim
  • , I. IzhakiAffiliated withDepartment of Biology, University of Haifa at Oranim

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The spatial distribution of seedlings of the dominant perennial plant species (Pinus halepensis, Cistus salviifolius, Rhus coriaria) and may annual species was studied after a wild fire in an eastern Mediterranean pine forest. The spatial distribution of all seedlings is affected by the location of the old burned pine trees. Seedling density of Pinus and Cistus is higher at a distance from the burned pine canopy and lower near the burned pine trunk. It is also higher beneath small burned pine trees than under big ones. Rhus seedling density is higher under big burned pine trees and also near the burned trunks. Seedlings of Pinus, Cistus and Rhus growing under the burned canopy of big pine trees tend to be taller than seedlings under small ones or outside the burned canopy. Most annual species germinate and establish themselves outside the burned canopies, and only a few annual species are found beneath them. It is suggested that variation in the heat of the fire, in the amount of ash between burned pine trees of different sizes, and in the distance from the burned canopy are responsible for the observed pattern of seedling distribution. The possible ecological significance of the spatial pattern of seedlings distribution and their differential growth rate are discussed.

Key words

Pinus Cistus Rhus Pine forest Fire Seedling Recruitment Mediterranean