European Journal of Forest Research

, Volume 132, Issue 5–6, pp 841–850 | Cite as

Spatial pattern of trees influences species productivity in a mature oak–pine mixed forest

  • Marie Ange Ngo Bieng
  • Thomas Perot
  • François de Coligny
  • François Goreaud
Original Paper


Spatial pattern has a key role in the interactions between species in plant communities. These interactions influence ecological processes involved in the species dynamics: growth, regeneration and mortality. In this study, we investigated the effect of spatial pattern on productivity in mature mixed forests of sessile oak and Scots pine. We simulated tree locations with point process models and tree growth with spatially explicit individual growth models. The point process models and growth models were fitted with field data from the same stands. We compared species productivity obtained in two types of mixture: a patchy mixture and an intimate mixture. Our results show that the productivity of both species is higher in an intimate mixture than in a patchy mixture. Productivity difference between the two types of mixture was 11.3 % for pine and 14.7 % for oak. Both species were favored in the intimate mixture because, for both, intraspecific competition was more severe than interspecific competition. Our results clearly support favoring intimate mixtures in mature oak–pine stands to optimize tree species productivity; oak is the species that benefits the most from this type of management. Our work also shows that models and simulations can provide interesting results for complex forests with mixtures, results that would be difficult to obtain through experimentation.


Point process model Spatially explicit growth model Intimate mixture Patchy mixture Quercus petraea Pinus sylvestris 



This work forms part of the PhD traineeships of M. A. Ngo Bieng and T. Perot and was funded in part by the research department of the French National Forest Office. We are grateful to the Loiret agency of the National Forest Office for allowing us to install the experimental sites in the Orléans state forest. Many thanks to the Irstea staff at Nogent-sur-Vernisson who helped collect the data: Fanck Milano, Sandrine Perret, Yann Dumas, Sébastien Marie, Romain Vespierre, Grégory Décelière. Many thanks to Victoria Moore for her assistance in preparing the English version of the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marie Ange Ngo Bieng
    • 1
  • Thomas Perot
    • 2
  • François de Coligny
    • 3
  • François Goreaud
    • 4
  1. 1.CIRAD, UMR SYSTEMMontpellier Cedex 1France
  2. 2.Irstea, Forest Ecosystems Research UnitNogent-sur-VernissonFrance
  3. 3.INRA, UMR931 AMAP, Botany and Computational Plant ArchitectureMontpellier Cedex 5France
  4. 4.Irstea, UR LISC Laboratoire d’Ingénierie des Systèmes ComplexesAubièreFrance

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