Estimation and uncertainty of the mixing effects on Scots pine - European beech productivity from National Forest Inventories data
Bravo Oviedo, Andrés
del Río, Miren
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An increasing amount of research is focusing on comparing productivity in monospecific versus mixed stands, although it is difficult to reach a general consensus as mixing effects differ both in sign (over-yielding or under-yielding) and magnitude depending on species composition as well as on site and stand conditions. While long-term experimental plots provide the best option for disentangling the mixing effects, these datasets are not available for all the existing mixtures nor do they cover large gradients of site factors. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects and uncertainties of tree species mixing on the productivity of Scots pine-European beech stands along the gradient of site conditions in Europe, using models developed from National and Regional Forest Inventory data. We found a positive effect of pine on beech basal area growth, which was slightly greater for the more humid sites. In contrast, beech negatively affected pine basal area growth, although the effects switched to positive in the more humid sites. However, the uncertainty analysis revealed that the effect on pine at mid- and more humid sites was not-significant. Our results agree with studies developed from a European transect of temporal triplets in the same pine-beech mixtures, confirming the suitability of these datasets and methodology for evaluating mixing effects at large scale.