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First results on early post-fire succession in an Abies cephalonica forest (Parnitha National Park, Greece)

Author(s): Ganatsas P | Daskalakou E | Paitaridou D

Journal: iForest : Biogeosciences and Forestry
ISSN 1971-7458

Volume: 5;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 6;
Date: 2012;
Original page

Keywords: Greek fir | Ecological succession | Spontaneous regeneration | Planting performance

Due to climate changes, the interest in the post-fire recovery of forest communities not adapted to wildfires, such as Greek fir (Abies cephalonica) forests, has increased. In this study, the post-fire recovery of the burned A. cephalonica forest of Parnitha National Park (central Greece) was investigated after a stand-replacing fire occurred in summer 2007, as well as the performance of A. cephalonica plantings in the post-fire conditions. The research focused on the estimation of the A. cephalonica stand reproductive capacity without fire, the evaluation of the post-fire regeneration of the burned stands, and the monitoring of the plantations performance after the fire in the area. Then, based on the field and laboratory data, the post-fire recovery process of A. cephalonica was evaluated by application of a simplified form of the comprehensive causal framework for ecological succession estimation in open site, developed by Pickett et al. (1987), adapted to the study conditions. According to the findings of the study, stand seed crop without fire was high, while seed quality was found extremely low. In the burned area, no A. cephalonica seedling recruitment was observed during the three years after the fire. A. cephalonica plantings exhibited a medium overall survival rate (65.3%), while seedlings growth was very slow. Thus, we can suppose that an ecological succession process may occur in the burned area, if no human interventions applied, and species adapted to wildfires (mainly shrubs and herbaceous) will dominate in the area. However, planting of A. cephalonica seedlings could contribute to the species participation in the post-fire communities.

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