Estiarte M., De Castro M., Espelta J.M. (2007) Effects of resource availability on condensed tannins and nitrogen in two Quercus species differing in leaf life span. Annals of Forest Science. 64: 439-445.LinkDoi: 10.1051/forest:2007021
Seedlings of Quercus ilex and Q. cerrioides, an evergreen and a winter-deciduous oak co-occurring in western-Mediterranean forests, were grown at two light regimes (8 and 36% of photosynthetically active radiation), at two water regimes (500 and 800 mm) and with two nutrient availabilities (standard substrate and 7% increase in soil N). The concentrations of soluble condensed tannins (CT) and nitrogen in the leaves were analyzed to test the phenotypic plasticity of these commonly related parameters in two congeneric species with contrasting leaf habit. Q. ilex contains seven times more CT and a few less N than Q. cerrioides. Light increased CT, whereas neither fertilization nor water had an effect on CT. N concentration was decreased by light, increased by fertilization and not affected by water treatment. Plant growth was increased by light but not affected by fertilization or water treatment. CT were negatively correlated with N concentration. CT of the evergreen species exhibited greater plasticity than the deciduous one as reflected by a steeper negative correlation among nitrogen and CT concentrations in Q. ilex. Given the antiherbivory activity of CT, this implies that in less shaded environments, e.g. canopy aperture by disturbances, leaf tissue quality for herbivores will be much more reduced in Q. ilex than in Q. cerrioides. Higher leaf CT in Q. ilex and its higher plasticity to light availability may explain the higher browsing by sheep in Q. cerrioides than in Q. ilex resprouts, as well as the low recruitment rates of seedlings of the former species, reported in other studies. © INRA, EDP Sciences, 2007.
Moya D., Espelta J.M., Verkaik I., López-Serrano F., De Las Heras J. (2007) Tree density and site quality influence on Pinus halepensis Mill. reproductive characteristics after large fires. Annals of Forest Science. 64: 649-656.LinkDoi: 10.1051/forest:2007043
In Spain, many Pinus halepensis Mill. forests have been seriously affected by significant forest fires in the past decade, in 1994 alone, more than 100 000 ha were burned in Eastern Spain. In order to study the reproductive characteristics of P. halepensis after forest fires, six locations were selected in four areas affected by serious fires in the summer of 1994, and the following different precipitation zones were studied: dry-subhumid, dry and semi-arid. Ten years after the fires, data relevant to the production of pine cones: serotinous (grey), mature (brown), immature (green) and opened cones, was collected from areas with natural post-fire regeneration. Various cone and seed characteristics, such as pine cone seed number and weight, and germination percentage, were measured. The results showed greater production of cones and strobili in high-density sites. The biggest cone sizes (volume) and seed number per cone were related to site quality (dry-subhumid precipitation zone). Also, viability and germination percentages were higher with better site quality, with significant differences in values for serotinous and non-serotinous cones. Despite these differences, the canopy seed bank was large enough to ensure regeneration in this area for this age stand. © INRA, EDP Sciences, 2007.
Quevedo L., Rodrigo A., Espelta J.M. (2007) Post-fire resprouting ability of 15 non-dominant shrub and tree species in Mediterranean areas of NE Spain. Annals of Forest Science. 64: 883-890.LinkDoi: 10.1051/forest:2007070
Post-fire resprouting ability of the non-dominant tree and shrub species of the Mediterranean Basin has not yet been experimentally tested, although this group contributes to maintain the richness of Mediterranean plant communities. In this study, we have analyzed the post-fire recovery ability of 15 woody species that occur in relatively low abundance in dry and sub humid Mediterranean areas in NE of Spain. The main goals have been: (i) to determine experimentally the post-fire resprouting ability of these species and (ii) to compare the abundance of these species in areas affected by wildland fires and in unburned areas. We have observed a high resprouting ability after prescribed burning of most species except for Juniperus communis and J. phoenicea which showed a null resprouting. As the species with high resprouting ability showed similar presence in burned and unburned areas, we can conclude that wildfires are not a factor that constrains the presence of these species in Mediterranean woodlands. However, we found a reduction in the abundance of J. communis and J. phoenicea at the regional level after wildland fires. © INRA, EDP Sciences, 2007.
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