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J Environ Manage. 2006 Jan;78(1):44-51. Epub 2005 Nov 21.

Regeneration of Nothofagus pumilio [Poepp. et Endl.] Krasser forests after five years of seed tree cutting.

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Escuela de Ciencias y Tecnologías Agropecuarias, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Magallanes, Avenida Bulnes 01890, casilla 113-D, Punta Arenas, Chile.


Nothofagus pumilio [Poepp. et Endl.] Krasser is a deciduous tree species that grows in Chile and adjacent Argentina between 36 and 56 degrees S, often forming the Andean tree line. Silvicultural systems proposed for this species integrate both regeneration and intermediate level operations in an orderly process for managing forest stands. The seed-tree method of regeneration has been used to manage even-aged stands of this species. This paper investigates the effect of seed tree cuttings on the regeneration of Nothofagus pumilio [Poepp. et Endl.] Krasser forest located in the Magallanes region (Chile). The studied forest was managed on an even-aged basis using a seed tree silvicultural system for regeneration with an intensity of cutting of 65-70% of the basal area and a minimum of 15 dominant lenga trees per hectare retained. A regeneration inventory sampling was used to quantify regeneration attributes in the study area. Regeneration was found to be significantly affected by the seed tree cuttings. In fact, the number of established individuals rose from 0.39 to 26.7 plants m(-2) pre-harvest to 9.2-21.5 plants m(-2) post-harvest, depending on the particular development stage. Total regeneration ranged from 9.5 to 48.2 plants m(-2). The number of plants established over the period 1992-1997 was related to the residual basal area, coverage and number of trees. However, mean tree height was not significantly related to any regeneration variable. Significant variables were used to establish a regeneration prediction model using single and multiple linear equations (R2<0.418). Consequently, the seed tree method of regeneration can be considered feasible for commercially valuable lenga forests, although this method, in its strictest application, will create many large, irregularly shaped, even-aged groups.

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