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Title: Overstory Effects on the Understory of Aleppo Pine Plantations—Implications for Ecosystem Restoration
Authors: Tartarino, Patrizia
Greco, Roberto
Silva, Joaquim S. 
Keywords: ecological restoration; overstory variables; forestmanagement; Pinus halepensis; plant diversity; understory development
Issue Date: 2020
Publisher: MDPI
Project: Regional Agency for Irrigation and Forestry activities, A.R.I.F. Puglia (Italy), through a contract with the Department of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences of the University of Bari, Aldo Moro. 
University of Bari through a Visiting Professor grant to J.S.S. 
Serial title, monograph or event: Forests
Volume: 11
Issue: 6
Abstract: At the end of the 19th century and along the first half of the 20th century, public policies in Mediterranean countries and elsewhere in Europe strongly promoted pine a orestation for land reclamation and wood production. In many cases, the transition to native forests, more resilient and more diverse, was also foreseen. This study aims to find the overstory characteristics that are best related to the understory of Aleppo pine (Pinus halepensis) plantations, to assist ecosystem restoration goals. We installed 33 circular plots in mature Aleppo pine plantations located in the southeastern Salento peninsula, Apulia, Italy. We measured overstory characteristics and the corresponding understory on these plots. We assessed the e ects of overstory variables on understory development (plant density, plant height, and the Magini regeneration index) and diversity (species richness and the Shannon–Wiener index) using linear mixed models (LMM). Understory development and diversity were positively correlated with the Hart–Becking spacing index and negatively correlated with basal area and canopy cover, the three overstory variables that best explained variance. We used polynomial fitting and the subsequent derivation of these functions to determine the values of the Hart–Becking index and of the canopy cover that corresponded to the maximum development (33.7% and 84.6%, respectively) and diversity (32.6% and 86.5%, respectively) of the understory. Redundancy analysis (RDA) showed that late-successional species, including Quercus coccifera, were associated with higher levels of understory development and stand spacing. These results may assist in the restoration of native ecosystems in Aleppo pine plantations installed in similar ecological conditions.
ISSN: 1999-4907
DOI: 10.3390/f11060664
Rights: openAccess
Appears in Collections:I&D CFE - Artigos em Revistas Internacionais

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