European Journal of Forest Research

, Volume 130, Issue 1, pp 41–53 | Cite as

Tree regeneration and plant species diversity responses to vegetation control following a major windthrow in mixed broadleaved stands

  • Marine DodetEmail author
  • Catherine Collet
  • Henri Frochot
  • Léon Wehrlen
Original Paper


By increasing resource availability, canopy opening enhances tree recruitment as well as the development of neighbouring vegetation. The proliferation of early successional and highly competitive vegetation may have dramatic consequences on seedling establishment. However, differences in competitive abilities have been shown among the plant growth forms commonly encountered in forests. We may thus expect that vegetation management leading to control of different plant growth forms would have different consequences on tree seedling growth and development. To test this hypothesis, we analysed the effects of an intensity gradient of four vegetation control treatments (untreated, coppice control, coppice and non-tree plant control, and coppice, non-tree and pioneer (tree) plant control) on plant species richness and natural tree regeneration in three post-storm sites. Higher plant species richness and a better natural tree regeneration were observed in the more intensive treatments that significantly improved the balance of the relative abundance of tree species. Suppressing the more competitive vegetation, mainly Rubus fruticosus and graminoids, led to the recruitment and growth of tree species sensitive to competition and good tree species diversity. Practical recommendations in terms of vegetation control relative to tree regeneration and plant species richness are given.


Vegetation control intensity Plant species richness Natural tree regeneration Competing vegetation Canopy opening Forest Vegetation Management 



The authors wish to thank Bruno Garnier and Florian Vast (LERFoB, INRA Nancy) for their valuable help during field work. They also thank the city of Faulx and the Office National des Forêts (ONF) for permission to carry out the study in the city-owned forest of Faulx and the state-owned forests of Haye and Mondon. This research was funded by the Direction Régionale de l’Agriculture et de la Forêt de Lorraine (convention no 3712B), the Ministère de l’Ecologie et du Développement Durable (convention no A1905), ONF (convention no 12000138) and the Ministère de l’Agriculture et de la Pêche (convention no E30/07).

The manuscript benefited from the comments of two anonymous reviewers.

Conflict of interest statement

None declared.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marine Dodet
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Catherine Collet
    • 1
    • 2
  • Henri Frochot
    • 1
    • 2
  • Léon Wehrlen
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.INRA, UMR 1092, Laboratoire d’Etude des Ressources Forêt Bois (LERFoB)Centre INRA de NancyChampenouxFrance
  2. 2.AgroParisTech, UMR 1092, Laboratoire d’Etude des Ressources Forêt Bois (LERFoB)ENGREFNancyFrance

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