, Volume 206, Issue 2, pp 297-308
Date: 01 Aug 2009

Response of maritime pine (Pinus pinaster Ait.) recruitment to fire severity and post-fire management in a coastal burned area in Galicia (NW Spain)

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Abstract

The short-term effects of fire severity and post-fire management on maritime pine recruitment were evaluated in a mature serotinous pine stand in a coastal area of Galicia (NW Spain) burned by a wildfire occurred in the summer of 2001. Two levels of fire severity estimated by the levels of tree crown damage—scorched and unaffected crown—were compared. Seed dispersal and first cohort pine (November 2001) seedling density, before salvage logging, were significantly and positively affected by fire severity. Between November and January, a fungal attack caused a noticeable decrease in seedling density in both levels of fire severity. The first cohort survival was significantly reduced by harvesting and slash treatments carried out in February 2002. However, slash chopping favoured a new pine cohort, particularly in the unaffected crown plots, in which seedling density was significantly higher than in the scorched crown plots between July 2002 and February 2003. First cohort seedling survival and height were positively related. Fire severity levels, combined with post fire management, did not appear to determine final pine seedling density and height. Finally, reduction in seedling density caused by post-fire management did not threaten pine establishment and may reduce the need for subsequent thinning operations.