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Miles, Benjamin, 2022. The Combined Influences of Canopy Openness, Browsing Protection, and Low Intensity Fire on the Natural Regeneration of Oak in Southern Sweden. Second cycle, A2E. Alnarp: SLU, Southern Swedish Forest Research Centre

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Abstract

Whilst oak was historically prevalent in the landscape of temperate Europe, changes in the disturbance regime of forests have led to limited regeneration across its distribution. In this study, the fire oak hypothesis is tested to assess the tolerance of Quercus robur and Quercus petraea recruits (seedlings and saplings) to a low intensity burn, and how this response may differ depending on the presence of browsing and canopy openness. In five oak dominated forests, the use of a replicated field experiment, with a randomized block design revealed distinct differences in the conditions that favour the regeneration of oak. After the initially raised mortality of recruits in a burning treatment in the first two years, low levels of mortality were observed across treatments. For unburned recruits, growth was largely absent with lower light conditions, whilst under a canopy gap, a dramatic increase in growth was observed, heavily favouring the larger recruits. Most recruits survived a burning treatment by resprouting, after the above ground portion of the tree was killed (top-kill). However, the largest recruits measured (≈25 mm diameter) were found to survive without top-kill, but only in conjunction with a canopy gap. For burned recruits, growth was dramatically higher under a canopy gap, however, the elevated levels of browsing with this treatment point to benefits from fencing recruits. The results of this experiment highlight the importance of different treatment conditions on the successful regeneration of oak and suggest low intensity burns may allow the successful natural regeneration of oak, if complemented with browsing protection, and improved light conditions.

Main title:The Combined Influences of Canopy Openness, Browsing Protection, and Low Intensity Fire on the Natural Regeneration of Oak in Southern Sweden
Authors:Miles, Benjamin
Supervisor:Löf, Magnus
Examiner:Felton, Adam
Series:UNSPECIFIED
Volume/Sequential designation:UNSPECIFIED
Year of Publication:2022
Level and depth descriptor:Second cycle, A2E
Student's programme affiliation:SM001 Euroforester - Master's Programme 120 HEC
Supervising department:(S) > Southern Swedish Forest Research Centre
Keywords:burn, browsing, disturbance, fire, light, oak, Q.robur, Q.petraea, ungulates
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-s-18218
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-s-18218
Subjects:Forestry - General aspects
Forestry production
Forest injuries and protection
Language:English
Deposited On:01 Sep 2022 05:53
Metadata Last Modified:02 Sep 2022 01:06

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