Annals of Forest Science

, Volume 66, Issue 4, pp 410–410 | Cite as

The rise and fall of the black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia L.) in the “Siro Negri” Forest Reserve (Lombardy, Italy): lessons learned and future uncertainties

  • Renzo MottaEmail author
  • Paola Nola
  • Roberta Berretti
Original Article


  • • The alluvial forests of the Ticino valley have been greatly reduced in size and are now represented by only a small number of fragmented remnants. To study the natural development of the black locust, an invasive species, on relatively undisturbed lowland forests, two permanent plots were established in 2005 in the “Siro Negri” Forest Reserve.

  • • The black locust became established almost exclusively between 1940 and 1960. The observed dynamic of the black locust in the Reserve was very similar to what has been observed in its native North American range: following the initial colonization, the black locust firmly established itself in the dominant and intermediate layers but did not regenerate. In addition to the absence of a significant younger population, the decline of the black locust is evident in an elevated mortality rate and higher proportion of black locust biomass in the total coarse woody debris (CWD)

  • • Our results support the hypothesis that the best strategy to control the spread of black locust is to avoid disturbances that favour black locust colonization, and to wait for natural suppression of the species by other trees. Due to the lack of past reference conditions and the future uncertainties, ongoing monitoring will be needed to fully understand the dynamics of forest ecosystem change in the Reserve.


forest dynamic alluvial forests Robinia pseudoacacia L. treerings disturbances 

L’essor et le déclin du robinier (Robinia pseudoacacia L.) dans la Réserve Forestière « Siro Negri » (Lombardie, Italie) : leçons et incertitudes futures


  • • Les forêts alluviales de la vallée du Tessin ont été fortement réduites en taille et ne sont maintenant représentées que par un petit nombre de vestiges fragmentaires. Pour étudier le développement naturel du robinier, une espèce envahissante, dans des forêts de plaine relativement intactes, deux placettes permanentes ont été établies en 2005 dans la Réserve Forestière « Siro Negri ».

  • • Le robinier s’est établi presque exclusivement entre 1940 et 1960. La dynamique d’installation observée de Robinia pseudoacacia L. dans la réserve est très similaire à ce qui a été observé dans son habitat naturel en Amérique du Nord : après la première colonisation, le robinier s’est fermement établi dans les strates dominantes et intermédiaires, mais il ne s’est pas régénéré. En plus de l’absence d’une population plus jeune, l’évidence du déclin du robinier est révélée par une élévation du taux de mortalité et une plus grande proportion de la biomasse du robinier dans le total des débris ligneux grossiers (CWD).

  • • Nos résultats appuient l’hypothèse que la meilleure stratégie pour contrôler la propagation du robinier est d’éviter les perturbations qui favorisent sa propagation, et d’attendre la suppression physique de l’espèce par d’autres arbres. En raison de l’absence de références sur les conditions passées, et les incertitudes futures, la surveillance continue sera nécessaire pour comprendre la dynamique de l’écosystème forestier dans la réserve.


dynamique forestière forêts alluviales Robinia pseudoacacia L. cernes des arbres perturbations 


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Copyright information

© Springer S+B Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dep. AGROSELVITERUniversity of TurinGrugliascoItaly
  2. 2.Dep. ECOTERUniversity of PaviaPaviaItaly

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