Herbivory and seedling establishment in Pyrenean forests: Influence of micro- and meso-habitat factors on browsing pressure
MetadataShow full item record
Browsing damage is among the most determinant factors that limit the establishment of tree seedlings in forests. In some areas, this process leads to massive mortalities that can reduce or even completely prevent the regeneration of some tree species. Mediterranean mountain forests have undergone during
the last decades important changes in land-uses that have significantly altered the type and abundance of herbivore populations. In this study we assessed the impact of current grazing conditions in forest regeneration using a set of experimental plantations established in the Eastern Pyrenees in areas visited by domestic livestock (cattle and horses) and wild ungulates (mainly roe deer and chamois). We analyzed during 4 years the role of seedling species and size, mesohabitat (elevation and type of forest cover) and microhabitat (herbaceous cover, distance to shrub, and light availability) on the browsing-induced mortality of more than 500 seedlings of Pinus sylvestris, Pinus uncinata, Betula pendula and Abies alba, the most common tree species in the study area. Browsing-induced mortality for the three conifer species was much lower (<15%) than the one observed for B. pendula (>40%) and depended on both microhabitat - mainly on the distance to protective elements such as shrubs; and mesohabitat, with an interaction between the elevational belt (site) and the type of forest cover (gaps vs. understory). In the subalpine belt, browsing on A. alba and P. uncinata was higher during summer at plots located in the forest understory whereas, during winter, it was higher at plots located in gaps. The study shows that both mesohabitat and microhabitat can exert an effect on the patterns of plant damage by herbivores, providing useful information to adapt forest management in areas particularly exposed to them
Is part ofForest Ecology and Management, 2015, vol. 342, p. 103-111
The following license files are associated with this item:
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
Unraveling the role of light and biotic interactions on seedling performance of four Pyrenean species along environmental gradients Améztegui González, Aitor; Coll Mir, Lluís (Elsevier, 2013)The predicted upward displacement of forest species due to climate warming is expected to be modulated by a medley of abiotic and biotic factors acting at microsite level. Species-specific differences in plant responses ...
Modelling the effect of climate-induced changes in recruitment and juvenile growth on mixed-forest dynamics: the case of montane-subalpine Pyrenean ecotones Améztegui González, Aitor; Coll Mir, Lluís; Messier, Christian (Elsevier, 2015)Most predictive models forecast significant upward displacement of forest species due to increases in temperatures, but not all the species respond in the same way to changes in climate. In temperate or mountain systems, ...
Elevation modulates the phenotypic responses to light of four co-occurring Pyrenean forest tree species Coll Mir, Lluís; Améztegui González, Aitor (Springer Nature, 2019)Key message. Elevation markedly modified the species-specific phenotypic responses of trees to light. The effects from elevation mostly occurred at organ level (SLA) for the montane species, but at whole-plant level ...