Natural Regeneration (natural + regeneration)

Distribution by Scientific Domains


Selected Abstracts


Restoration of species-rich grassland on arable land: assessing the limiting processes using a multi-site experiment

JOURNAL OF APPLIED ECOLOGY, Issue 2 2002
Richard F. Pywell
Summary 1Agricultural intensification has resulted in the reduction and fragmentation of species-rich grasslands across much of western Europe. 2We examined the key ecological processes that limit the creation of diverse grassland communities on ex-arable land in a multi-site experiment over a wide variety of soil types and locations throughout lowland Britain. 3The results showed it was possible to create and maintain these communities successfully under a hay-cutting and grazing management regime. Furthermore, there was a high degree of repeatability of the treatment effects across the sites. 4Lack of seed of desirable species was the key factor limiting the assembly of diverse grassland communities. Sowing a species-rich seed mixture of ecologically adapted grassland plants was an effective means of overcoming this limitation. Community assembly by natural colonization from the seed bank and seed rain was a slow and unreliable process. However, there was no evidence to suggest that sowing a species-poor grass-dominated seed mixture made the vegetation any less susceptible to colonization by desirable species than allowing natural regeneration to take place. 5Deep cultivation caused significant reductions in soil P and K concentrations across the sites. This had a significant beneficial effect on the establishment and persistence of sown forbs in all years. It also resulted in a significant reduction in the number of unsown weedy grasses. However, for both variables these differences were very small after 4 years. 6Sowing a nurse crop significantly reduced the number of unsown grass species, but had no beneficial effect on the establishment of desirable species. 7Treatments sown with the species-rich seed mixture following deep cultivation corresponded most closely to the specified target communities defined by the UK National Vegetation Classification. Natural regeneration and treatments sown with the species-poor seed mixture were much less similar to the target. The sites on circum-neutral soils achieved the greatest degree of similarity to the target. Those on calcareous and acid soils failed to achieve their targets and most closely resembled the target for neutral soils. This reflected the poor performance of the sown preferential species for these communities. [source]


Natural regeneration and population dynamics of the tree Afzelia quanzensis in woodlands in Southern Africa

AFRICAN JOURNAL OF ECOLOGY, Issue 4 2009
Karin Gerhardt
Abstract The logging of tree species of high commercial value is increasing throughout the African continent, yet the ecology of these species is generally poorly known. We studied the regeneration pattern and size class distribution of Afzelia quanzensis populations in northern South Africa over a 5-year period. Recruitment was low as the annual seedling mortality was >65%. Seedlings were located under the canopy and were affected by drought and browsing. The adults were scattered or were in a clump-dispersed pattern, which would result in higher recruitment of offspring near parents. Individuals of 0,10 cm diameter at breast height (DBH) were few, while there were 32 trees ha,1 at >10 cm DBH with an annual mortality of 0.8%. Annual diameter increments varied between 0.06 and 0.28 cm. It appears that the transition from the sapling into the juvenile stage could be a bottleneck in the regeneration of the species. A longer study, including more rainfall cycles, may reveal other patterns as dry and wet years have different impacts on dynamics. Résumé La coupe d'espèces d'arbres de grande valeur commerciale augmente dans tout le continent africain, pourtant l'écologie de ces espèces est généralement mal connue. Nous avons étudié le schéma de régénération et la distribution des classes d'âge des populations d'Afzelia quanzensis dans le nord de l'Afrique du Sud pendant cinq ans. Le recrutement était faible car la mortalité annuelle des jeunes plants était de plus de 65%. Les jeunes plans se trouvaient sous la canopée et étaient affectés par la sécheresse et par le broutage des animaux. Les adultes étaient dispersés ou se trouvaient en un schéma en bosquet, qui résulte en un plus fort recrutement de la progéniture près des parents. Les individus de 0,10 cm DBH étaient rares, alors qu'il y avait32 arbres ha,1à >10 cm DBH, avec une mortalité annuelle de 0,8%. L'incrément annuel du diamètre variait entre 0,06 et 0,28 cm. Il semble que la transition entre le stade de jeune arbre et celui de juvénile pourrait bien constituer un étranglement dans la régénération de l'espèce. Une étude plus longue, comprenant plus de cycles de pluies, pourrait révéler un autre schéma étant donné que les années sèches et humides ont des impacts différents sur cette dynamique. [source]


Autecology and conservation status of Magnolia sargentiana Rehder & Wilson (Magnoliaceae) in the Dafengding region, southern Sichuan Province, China

JOURNAL OF SYSTEMATICS EVOLUTION, Issue 6 2009
Jing WANG
Abstract, This paper reports the first population ecology study of the endangered Magnolia sargentiana Rehder & Wilson (Magnoliaceae). Magnolia sargentiana is a protected species in China, but little is known about its present status in the field. In 2007 and 2008, we surveyed the population and conservation status of M. sargentiana in the Provincial Mamize Nature Reserve and the National Meigu Dafengding Nature Reserve, Sichuan Province, southwestern China. Natural regeneration is poor because of unfavorable environmental conditions and anthropogenic disturbances. Flower buds and bark of M. sargentiana are used in traditional Chinese medicine and their collection by local people over the period 1983,1994 has led to marked population declines. The collection of flower buds and bark is now banned, but hewing branches for firewood and grazing continues to have a negative impact on the recovery of M. sargentiana populations. To protect the species, we require a ban on hewing branches, closure of primary forests to reduce the impact of humans and ungulates, better education of local people, and increased awareness of wildlife conservation. [source]


LIVESTOCK VERSUS "WILD BEASTS": CONTRADICTIONS IN THE NATURAL PATRIMONIALIZATION OF THE PYRENEES

GEOGRAPHICAL REVIEW, Issue 4 2009
ISMAEL VACCARO
ABSTRACT. The Pyrenees are becoming an environmental reservoir. The acute human depopulation experienced during the twentieth century and the progressive appropriation of large parts of the mountainous territory by the state in order to implement conservation policies have resulted in the return, via reintroduction or natural regeneration, of bears, wolves, beavers, river otters, marmots, mouflon, feral goats, and deer, among other species. This development, however, has not occurred without social and scientific controversy and leads to questions about territorialization and governmentality. Herders perceive wild animals as unregulated public property subsidized by the work of the local populace. Agriculturalists see their fields trespassed on a daily basis by animals they cannot kill because of their protected status. Ranchers, under extremely strict sanitation regulations, see their animals coming into contact with these unchecked wild populations. The work and living space of the mountain communities has fallen under the jurisdiction of external institutions and constituencies that value conservation and ecotourism above local subsistence. [source]


Adaptive restoration of sand-mined areas for biological conservation

JOURNAL OF APPLIED ECOLOGY, Issue 1 2005
JASON CUMMINGS
Summary 1Adaptive management approaches to ecological restoration are current best practice. The usefulness of such an approach was tested in this study by implementing repeated experiments that examined restoration options for derelict sand mine sites dominated by Imperata cylindrica. Reclamation of degraded land that is dominated by I. cylindrica is a common problem throughout the tropics. 2Initially, the hypothesized barrier to regeneration was limited seedling establishment because of I. cylindrica competition. After burning the grassland, woody weed control and planting of seedlings were implemented in factorial combination. 3Seedling survival 28 months after planting averaged 26%, with < 1% of all seedlings establishing to a height > 1 m. The hypothesis that a transition barrier comprising solely biotic interactions restricted regeneration of native woody cover was rejected after seedlings and natural regeneration failed to thrive in this experiment. 4A revised hypothesis, that the transition barrier comprised a combination of abiotic limitations (soil deficiencies) and biotic interactions (Wallabia bicolor browsing and I. cylindrica competition), was developed. A second experiment tested this hypothesis by removing W. bicolor (fencing), slashing the I. cylindrica, adding organic mulch and planting a mixture of native pioneer and secondary successional woody species in factorial combination. 5Seedling survival was 61% in the second experiment and mulching significantly enhanced the survival and growth of all planted species. Planting alone reduced the regeneration of I. cylindrica after slashing. Native woody cover establishment was maximized by planting seedlings in mulched treatments. 6Synthesis and applications. Taken together, these experiments support the hypothesis that there is a barrier restricting regeneration of native woody cover, and the barrier probably comprises both abiotic and biotic components. By adopting an adaptive management approach to the ecological restoration of sites, significant insights into their management requirements have been gained, supporting the current best practice restoration framework. Insights gained through monitoring and adaptation will be used to update the reserve plan of management, enhancing restoration of this severely degraded area and promoting connectivity of native woody cover within the conservation estate. [source]


Restoration of species-rich grassland on arable land: assessing the limiting processes using a multi-site experiment

JOURNAL OF APPLIED ECOLOGY, Issue 2 2002
Richard F. Pywell
Summary 1Agricultural intensification has resulted in the reduction and fragmentation of species-rich grasslands across much of western Europe. 2We examined the key ecological processes that limit the creation of diverse grassland communities on ex-arable land in a multi-site experiment over a wide variety of soil types and locations throughout lowland Britain. 3The results showed it was possible to create and maintain these communities successfully under a hay-cutting and grazing management regime. Furthermore, there was a high degree of repeatability of the treatment effects across the sites. 4Lack of seed of desirable species was the key factor limiting the assembly of diverse grassland communities. Sowing a species-rich seed mixture of ecologically adapted grassland plants was an effective means of overcoming this limitation. Community assembly by natural colonization from the seed bank and seed rain was a slow and unreliable process. However, there was no evidence to suggest that sowing a species-poor grass-dominated seed mixture made the vegetation any less susceptible to colonization by desirable species than allowing natural regeneration to take place. 5Deep cultivation caused significant reductions in soil P and K concentrations across the sites. This had a significant beneficial effect on the establishment and persistence of sown forbs in all years. It also resulted in a significant reduction in the number of unsown weedy grasses. However, for both variables these differences were very small after 4 years. 6Sowing a nurse crop significantly reduced the number of unsown grass species, but had no beneficial effect on the establishment of desirable species. 7Treatments sown with the species-rich seed mixture following deep cultivation corresponded most closely to the specified target communities defined by the UK National Vegetation Classification. Natural regeneration and treatments sown with the species-poor seed mixture were much less similar to the target. The sites on circum-neutral soils achieved the greatest degree of similarity to the target. Those on calcareous and acid soils failed to achieve their targets and most closely resembled the target for neutral soils. This reflected the poor performance of the sown preferential species for these communities. [source]


Seedling survival in Manilkara butugi Chiov. along a dispersal gradient in Kakamega forest, Kenya

AFRICAN JOURNAL OF ECOLOGY, Issue 3 2010
Geoffery M. Wahungu
Abstract The spatial patterns of seedling distribution in Manilkara butugi were studied between December 2004 and April 2005 at Kakamega forest, Kenya. Our objectives were to determine the spatial variation in seedling density in relation to distance from the parent tree and the survivorship patterns of M. butugi seedlings. We hypothesized that seedling density and mortality would be highest beneath the parent tree and would reduce with increasing distance from the parent tree. Line transects, radiating along the four compass directions from mature female M. butugi trees were established, and quadrats marked out at intervals of 5 m in which seedlings were counted. To determine establishment and survivorship, belt transects 5 m × 40 m running along the northerly compass direction were laid and data collected on seedling variables. Seedling density reduced with increasing distance from the parent plant (F = 25.72, df = 3; P < 0.001). Whereas seedling height (F = 14.806, df = 1; P < 0.05) and the number of leaves (F = 12.45, df = 1; P < 0.05) increased with increasing distance from the parent tree, damage to seedlings reduced with increasing distance (F = 27.59, P < 0.05). Our results were consistent with the Janzen,Cornell escape hypothesis and have implications for natural regeneration of M. butugi and to maintenance of species diversity. Résumé Entre décembre 2004 et avril 2005, on a étudié le schéma spatial de la distribution de jeunes plants de Manilkara butugi dans la forêt de Kakamega, au Kenya. Notre objectif était de déterminer la variation spatiale de la distribution de la densité des jeunes plants en fonction de la distance par rapport à l'arbre parent et le schéma de la survie des jeunes plants de M. butugi. Nous avions émis l'hypothèse que la densité et la mortalité des jeunes plants seraient maximales sous l'arbre parent et qu'elles iraient en diminuant quand la distance augmenterait par rapport à lui. Nous avons défini des transects en ligne, rayonnant dans les quatre directions de la boussole à partir de M. butugi femelles adultes, et délimité tous les cinq mètres des quadrats où les jeunes plants furent comptés. Pour déterminer l'établissement et la survie, des transects en bandes de 5m x 40m ont été définis le long de la direction nord et nous avons récolté des données sur des variables concernant les jeunes plants. La densité des jeunes plants diminuait avec l'éloignement par rapport à l'arbre parent (F = 25.72; ddl = 3; P < 0.001). Alors que la hauteur des jeunes plants (F = 14.806; ddl = 1; P < 0.05) et le nombre de feuilles (F = 12.45, ddl = 1; P < 0.05) augmentaient avec la distance les séparant de l'arbre parent, les dommages causés aux jeunes plants diminuaient (F = 27.59; P < 0.05). Nos résultats concordent avec l'hypothèse d'évitement de Janzen-Connell et ils ont des implications pour la régénération naturelle de M. butugi et pour la préservation de la diversité des espèces. [source]


Enrichment planting does not improve tree restoration when compared with natural regeneration in a former pine plantation in Kibale National Park, Uganda

AFRICAN JOURNAL OF ECOLOGY, Issue 4 2009
Patrick A. Omeja
Abstract Given the high rates of deforestation and subsequent land abandonment, there are increasing calls to reforest degraded lands; however, many areas are in a state of arrested succession. Plantations can break arrested succession and the sale of timber can pay for restoration efforts. However, if the harvest damages native regeneration, it may be necessary to intervene with enrichment planting. Unfortunately, it is not clear when intervention is necessary. Here, we document the rate of biomass accumulation of planted seedlings relative to natural regeneration in a harvested plantation in Kibale National Park, Uganda. We established two 2-ha plots and in one, we planted 100 seedlings of each of four native species, and we monitored all tree regeneration in this area and the control plot. After 4 years, naturally regenerating trees were much taller, larger and more common than the planted seedlings. Species richness and two nonparametric estimators of richness were comparable between the plots. The cumulative biomass of planted seedlings accounted for 0.04% of the total above-ground tree biomass. The use of plantations facilitated the growth of indigenous trees, and enrichment planting subsequent to harvesting was not necessary to obtain a rich tree community with a large number of new recruits. Résumé Étant donné le rythme élevé de déforestation et, par la suite, d'abandon de terres, il y a des demandes croissantes pour repeupler les terrains dégradés; cependant, de nombreuses surfaces se trouvent dans un état de succession interrompu. Des plantations peuvent mettre fin à cette succession stoppée, et la vente de grumes peut financer les efforts de reforestation. Pourtant, si les prélèvements d'arbres endommagent la régénération naturelle, il peut être nécessaire d'intervenir avec des plantations d'appoint. Malheureusement, il n'est pas toujours facile de savoir quand une intervention est nécessaire. Nous documentons ici le taux d'accumulation de biomasse dans des jeunes arbres replantés par rapport à la régénération naturelle dans une plantation exploitée, à l'intérieur du Parc National de Kibale, en Ouganda. Nous avons établi deux parcelles de deux hectares et, dans une, nous avons repiqué 100 plants de chacune des quatre espèces natives. Nous avons ensuite suivi la régénération de tous les arbres dans cette parcelle et dans la parcelle témoin. Après quatre ans, les arbres provenant de la régénération naturelle étaient beaucoup plus grands, plus gros et plus abondants que les arbres replantés. La richesse en espèces et deux estimateurs nonparamétriques de la richesse étaient comparables dans les deux parcelles. La biomasse cumulée des jeunes arbres plantés comptait pour 0,04% de la biomasse aérienne totale des arbres. Le recours à des plantations a facilité la croissance d'arbres indigènes et la plantation d'appoint faisant suite à l'exploitation ne fut pas nécessaire pour obtenir une communauté d'arbres riche, avec un grand nombre de nouvelles recrues. [source]


Factors influencing the natural regeneration of Polyscias kikuyensis Summerh in Nyamweru forest , Kikuyu escarpment, Kenya

AFRICAN JOURNAL OF ECOLOGY, Issue 3 2007
M. Karachi
First page of article [source]


Change in soil organic carbon following the ,Grain-for-Green' programme in China

LAND DEGRADATION AND DEVELOPMENT, Issue 1 2010
K. Zhang
Abstract Agricultural soils are considered to have great potential for carbon sequestration through land-use change. In this paper, we compiled data from the literatures and studied the change in soil organic carbon (SOC) following the ,Grain-for-Green' Programme (GGP, i.e., conversion from farmland to plantation, secondary forests and grasslands) in China. The results showed that SOC stocks accumulated at an average rate of 36·67,g,m,2,y,1 in the top 20,cm with large variation. The current SOC storage could be estimated using the initial SOC stock and year since land use transformation (Adjusted R2,=,0·805, p,=,0·000). After land use change, SOC stocks decreased during the initial 4,5 years, followed by an increase after above ground vegetation restoration. Annual average precipitation and initial SOC stocks had a significant effect (p,<,0·05) on the rate of change in SOC, while no significant effects were observed between plantation and natural regeneration (p,>,0·05). The ongoing ,Grain-for-Green' project might make significant contribution to China's carbon sequestration. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]


Nitrogen balance in forest soils: nutritional limitation of plants under climate change stresses

PLANT BIOLOGY, Issue 2009
H. Rennenberg
Abstract Forest ecosystems with low soil nitrogen (N) availability are characterized by direct competition for this growth-limiting resource between several players, i.e. various components of vegetation, such as old-growth trees, natural regeneration and understorey species, mycorrhizal fungi, free-living fungi and bacteria. With the increase in frequency and intensity of extreme climate events predicted in current climate change scenarios, also competition for N between plants and/or soil microorganisms will be affected. In this review, we summarize the present understanding of ecosystem N cycling in N-limited forests and its interaction with extreme climate events, such as heat, drought and flooding. More specifically, the impacts of environmental stresses on microbial release and consumption of bioavailable N, N uptake and competition between plants, as well as plant and microbial uptake are presented. Furthermore, the consequences of drying,wetting cycles on N cycling are discussed. Additionally, we highlight the current methodological difficulties that limit present understanding of N cycling in forest ecosystems and the need for interdisciplinary studies. [source]


Spontaneous Vegetation on Overburden Piles in the Coal Basin of Santa Catarina, Brazil

RESTORATION ECOLOGY, Issue 3 2008
Robson Dos Santos
Abstract The objective of this work was to select indigenous vegetal species for restoration programs aiming at the regeneration of ombrophilous dense forest. Thirty-five spoil piles located in the county of Sideropolis, Santa Catarina, that received overburden disposal for 39 years (1950,1989) were selected for study because they exhibited remarkable spontaneous regrowth of trees compared to surrounding spoil piles. Floristic inventory covered the whole area of the 35 piles, whereas survey on phytosociology and natural regeneration studies were conducted in 70 plots distributed along the 35 piles. Floristic inventory recorded 83 species from 28 botanical families. Herbaceous terricolous plants constituted the predominant species (47.0%), followed by shrubs (26.5%), trees (19.3%), and vines (7.2%). Results from surveys on phytosociology and natural regeneration, focused on shrubs and trees, recorded incipient ecological succession. In addition, the most adapted species recorded on the overburden piles, as ranked by index of natural regeneration (RNT) plus importance value index (IVI), were as follows: Clethra scabra (RNT = 23.93%; IVI = 17.28%), Myrsine coriacea (RNT = 20.93%, IVI = 11.26%), Eupatorium intermedium (RNT = 7.56%, IVI = 0.40%), Miconia ligustroides (RNT = 5.84%, IVI = 2.37%), Ossaea amygdaloides (RNT = 3.84%, IVI = 1.30%), Tibouchina sellowiana (RNT = 3.29%, IVI = 1.94%), Eup. inulaefolium (RNT = 2.65%, IVI = 0.80%), and Baccharis dracunculifolia (RNT = 2.28%; IVI = 0.56%). High values of IVI and RNT exhibited by the exotic species Eucalyptus saligna (IVI = 21.73%, RNT = 51.41%) indicated strong competition between exotic and indigenous species. Severe chemical (acidic pH and lack of nutrients) and physical (coarse substrate and slope angle of 40,50°) characteristics displayed by the overburden piles constituted limitations to floristic diversity and size of indigenous trees, indicating the need for substrate reclamation prior to forest restoration. [source]


Forest Regeneration in a Chronosequence of Tropical Abandoned Pastures: Implications for Restoration Ecology

RESTORATION ECOLOGY, Issue 4 2000
T. Mitchell Aide
Abstract During the mid-1900s, most of the island of Puerto Rico was deforested, but a shift in the economy from agriculture to small industry beginning in the 1950s resulted in the abandonment of agricultural lands and recovery of secondary forest. This unique history provides an excellent opportunity to study secondary forest succession and suggest strategies for tropical forest restoration. To determine the pattern of secondary succession, we describe the woody vegetation in 71 abandoned pastures and forest sites in four regions of Puerto Rico. The density, basal area, aboveground biomass, and species richness of the secondary forest sites were similar to those of the old growth forest sites (>80 yr) after approximately 40 years. The dominant species that colonized recently abandoned pastures occurred over a broad elevational range and are widespread in the neotropics. The species richness of Puerto Rican secondary forests recovered rapidly, but the species composition was quite different in comparison with old growth forest sites, suggesting that enrichment planting will be necessary to restore the original composition. Exotic species were some of the most abundant species in the secondary forest, but their long-term impact depended on life history characteristics of each species. These data demonstrate that one restoration strategy for tropical forest in abandoned pastures is simply to protect the areas from fire, and allow natural regeneration to produce secondary forest. This strategy will be most effective if remnant forest (i.e., seed sources) still exist in the landscape and soils have not been highly degraded. Patterns of forest recovery also suggest strategies for accelerating natural recovery by planting a suite of generalist species that are common in recently abandoned pastures in Puerto Rico and throughout much of the neotropics. [source]


Effects of invasive alien kahili ginger (Hedychium gardnerianum) on native plant species regeneration in a Hawaiian rainforest

APPLIED VEGETATION SCIENCE, Issue 1 2010
V. Minden
Abstract Questions: Does the invasive alien Hedychium gardnerianum (1) replace native understory species, (2) suppress natural regeneration of native plant species, (3) increase the invasiveness of other non-native plants and (4) are native forests are able to recover after removal of H. gardnerianum. Location: A mature rainforest in Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park on the island of Hawai'i (about 1200 m a.s.l.; precipitation approximately 2770 mm yr,1). Study sites included natural plots without effects of alien plants, ginger plots with a H. gardnerianum -dominated herb layer and cleared plots treated with herbicide to remove alien plants. Methods: Counting mature trees, saplings and seedlings of native and alien plant species. Using non-parametric H -tests to compare impact of H. gardnerianum on the structure of different sites. Results: Results confirmed the hypothesis that H. gardnerianum has negative effects on natural forest dynamics. Lower numbers of native tree seedlings and saplings were found on ginger-dominated plots. Furthermore, H. gardnerianum did not show negative effects on the invasive alien tree species Psidium cattleianum. Conclusions: This study reveals that where dominance of H. gardnerianum persists, regeneration of the forest by native species will be inhibited. Furthermore, these areas might experience invasion by P. cattleianum, resulting in displacement of native canopy species in the future, leading to a change in forest structure and loss of other species dependent on natural rainforest, such as endemic birds. However, if H. gardnerianum is removed the native Hawaiian forest is likely to regenerate and regain its natural structure. [source]


Response of pine natural regeneration to small-scale spatial variation in a managed Mediterranean mountain forest

APPLIED VEGETATION SCIENCE, Issue 4 2009
Ignacio Barbeito
Abstract Questions: What influence do management practices and previous tree and shrub stand structure have on the occurrence and development of natural regeneration of Pinus sylvestris in Mediterranean mountain forests? How are the fine-scale and environmental patterns of resources affected and what impact does this have on the distribution of the regeneration? Location: A Pinus sylvestris Mediterranean mountain forest in central Spain. Methods: Upperstory trees and regeneration (seedlings and saplings) were mapped in four 0.5-ha plots located in two types of stand with different management intensities (even-aged and uneven-aged stands). Environmental variables were recorded at the nodes of a grid within the plots. The relationships between the upperstory and regeneration were evaluated by bivariate point pattern analysis; redundancy analysis ordination and variation partitioning were performed to characterize regeneration niches and the importance of the spatial component. Results: Seedlings and saplings presented a clumped structure under both types of management and their distribution was found to be related to the spatial distribution of favourable microsites. Regeneration was positively related to conditions of partial cover with high soil water content during the summer. More than half of the explained variance was spatially structured in both types of stand. This percentage was particularly high in the even-aged stands where the pattern of regeneration was highly influenced by the gaps created by harvesting. Conclusions: The spatial distribution of the tree and shrub upperstory strongly influences regeneration patterns of P. sylvestris. Current management practices, promoting small gaps, partial canopy cover and moderate shade in even-aged stands, or favouring tree and shrub cover in the case of uneven-aged stands, appears to provide suitable conditions for the natural regeneration of P. sylvestris in a Mediterranean climate. [source]


Spatial distribution and prediction of seed production by Eucalyptus microcarpa in a fragmented landscape

AUSTRAL ECOLOGY, Issue 1 2010
PETER A. VESK
Abstract Woodlands worldwide have been greatly modified by clearing for agriculture, and their conservation and restoration requires understanding of tree recruitment processes. Seed production is one possible point of recruitment failure, and one that the spatial arrangement of trees may affect. We sampled 118 Eucalyptus microcarpa (Myrtaceae) trees to compare and analyse the determinants of seed production in this dominant tree of modified, fragmented temperate grassy woodlands, which extend over much of southeastern Australia. Fecundity was estimated as the seed crop measured on leaf mass and whole tree bases and was compared between categories of tree configuration. We also modelled fecundity using boosted regression trees, a new and flexible tool. Fecundity on a leaf mass basis was predominantly influenced by environmental factors (topographic ,wetness', slope, soil type), rather than by local tree density and configuration. Fewer seed per unit leaf mass were produced on flat and topographically wet sites, reflecting poor tolerance of waterlogging by E. microcarpa. By contrast, whole tree fecundity was little influenced by environmental factors. Local tree density and configuration did influence whole tree fecundity, which was high in solitary and woodland-spaced trees and reduced under high local density. We found little evidence for reduced fecundity of E. microcarpa in solitary trees. This points to the importance of scattered trees as sources of seed for tree recruitment and for natural regeneration of landscape level tree cover. Considerable uncertainty remains in modelled seed supply, and may be reduced with sampling across multiple years and greater environmental and spatial domains. [source]


The effect of soil compaction on germination and early growth of Eucalyptus albens and an exotic annual grass

AUSTRAL ECOLOGY, Issue 6 2009
ALISON K. SKINNER
Abstract Most agricultural land has been compacted to some degree by heavy machinery or livestock trampling. This legacy is expected to influence the success of tree seedling recruits in farmland areas where natural regeneration is being encouraged. We investigated the impact of soil compaction on seedlings of a woodland eucalypt (Eucalyptus albens) and an annual grass competitor (Vulpia myuros) in a laboratory experiment. Replicate soil cores were created at five bulk density levels; 1.0, 1.1, 1.2, 1.3 or 1.4 Mg m,3 with a soil water content of 20%. The depth of root penetration declined linearly with increasing bulk density, resulting in a decrease in root depth of around 75% in the most compacted soil compared with the least compacted soil for both species. Shoot length and primary root length did not vary between soil bulk density levels for either species, but seedlings responded to increasing levels of compaction with oblique (non-vertical) root growth. Results suggest that young seedlings of both E. albens and V. myuros will be more susceptible to surface drying in compacted than uncompacted soils and therefore face a greater risk of desiccation during the critical months following germination. Any competitive advantage that V. myuros may have over E. albens is not evident in differential response to soil compaction. [source]


Consequences of soil compaction for seedling establishment: Implications for natural regeneration and restoration

AUSTRAL ECOLOGY, Issue 8 2005
I. E. BASSETT
Abstract Soil compaction can affect seedling root development by decreasing oxygen availability and increasing soil strength. However, little quantitative information is available on the compaction tolerances of non-crop native species. We investigated the effects of soil compaction on establishment and development of two New Zealand native species commonly used in restoration programmes; Cordyline australis (Agavaceae) (cabbage tree) a fleshy rooted species, and Leptospermum scoparium (Myrtaceae) (manuka) a very finely rooted species. Seedlings were grown in a range of soil compaction levels in growth cabinet experiments. Low levels of soil compaction (0.6 MPa) reduced both the number and speed of C. australis seedlings penetrating the soil surface. In contrast, L. scoparium seedlings showed improved establishment at an intermediate compaction level. Root and shoot growth of both species decreased with increasing soil strength, with L. scoparium seedlings tolerating higher soil strengths than did C. australis. Despite these results, soil strength accounted for only a small amount of variation in root length (R2 < 0.25), due to greater variability in growth at low soil strengths. Soil strengths of 0.6 MPa are likely to pose a barrier to C. australis regeneration. This is consistent with adaptation to organic and/or soft, waterlogged soils. Active intervention may be necessary to establish C. australis from seed on many sites previously in farmland. [source]