Interactions between tree species determine the dynamics of forest communities. Spatial and temporal changes in resource availability, variation in species composition and spatial distribution of trees may alter competitive interactions between species and, therefore, affect tree growth and forest productivity. In this study, we analyzed the intra and inter-specific interactions between European beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) and silver fir (Abies alba Mill.) in southern Italy (Molise and Calabria regions), and how these interactions affect basal area increments in mixed-species and pure stands. Results showed that intraspecific interactions have a negative effect on the basal area increment, both in pure and mixed-species stands of Molise and Calabria. Basal area increment was higher influenced by intra-specific interactions in pure stands than in mixed-species stands. Silver fir in Molise showed higher basal area increment in mixed-species stand, probably in relation with stand structure and space occupation that resulted in less competition between individual trees. European beech showed high values of intra-specific interactions in pure stands, likely related to the low self-tolerance of this species and to the spatial arrangement of trees, due to canopy closure. The absence of inter-specific interactions in mixed-species stands could be explained by the sub-dominant position of European beech, which may have limited the benefit derived from niche separation and complementarity for silver fir.

Species interactions in pure and mixed-species stands of silver fir and European beech in Mediterranean mountains

Versace, S;Garfi', V;Di Febbraro, M;Tognetti, R
2021-01-01

Abstract

Interactions between tree species determine the dynamics of forest communities. Spatial and temporal changes in resource availability, variation in species composition and spatial distribution of trees may alter competitive interactions between species and, therefore, affect tree growth and forest productivity. In this study, we analyzed the intra and inter-specific interactions between European beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) and silver fir (Abies alba Mill.) in southern Italy (Molise and Calabria regions), and how these interactions affect basal area increments in mixed-species and pure stands. Results showed that intraspecific interactions have a negative effect on the basal area increment, both in pure and mixed-species stands of Molise and Calabria. Basal area increment was higher influenced by intra-specific interactions in pure stands than in mixed-species stands. Silver fir in Molise showed higher basal area increment in mixed-species stand, probably in relation with stand structure and space occupation that resulted in less competition between individual trees. European beech showed high values of intra-specific interactions in pure stands, likely related to the low self-tolerance of this species and to the spatial arrangement of trees, due to canopy closure. The absence of inter-specific interactions in mixed-species stands could be explained by the sub-dominant position of European beech, which may have limited the benefit derived from niche separation and complementarity for silver fir.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11695/95802
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