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Etude des processus de régénération naturelle du pin maritime en contexte de dune forestière gérée : influence de la sylviculture, du climat et des interactions biotiques

Abstract : In south-western France, the coastal fringe with maritime pine (Pinus pinaster) forest has a multifunctional role, with erosion protection, preservation of biodiversity, tourism, and wood production as main objectives. Natural regeneration is used to renew these stands after clear-cutting. However, in recent years, regeneration failures have increased in some areas,leading to significant economic losses.The objective of this work was to identify the ecological mechanisms involved in these recurrent failures, in order to propose adapted forestry management practices to ensure forest regeneration. To do this, we studied four stages of the regeneration process: seed dispersal, germination, survival, and growth. A monitoring network of five sites along the Aquitaine Coast was also used to quantify the regeneration and characterize local differences in terms of forest management practices (clear-cut vs seed-tree regeneration,and sowing vs no sowing). Two experimental sites were set up to study in detail some factors potentially important in our context (climate, plant-plant interactions, herbivory).Our results confirm that natural regeneration is a complex process, influenced by many –often interacting – environmental and management factors. The quantity of seeds reaching the forest soil does not seem to be limiting. Seed germination is strongly related to soil moisture, and is influenced by the heterogeneity of the micro topography. Summer drought, the main cause of seedling mortality, may be mitigated by remaining seed trees on the stand.Direct and indirect biotic interactions with understorey vegetation have a strong impact on seedling survival, but vary greatly both in direction and intensity, depending on the seasonand the year.Even though our results provide a better understanding of the mechanisms involved in there generation cycle of maritime pine, it is difficult to put forward a single factor explaining local regeneration failures. However, overall, maintaining seed trees for a few years allows obtaining a successful regeneration in the entire coastal forest, thanks to the multi-yearsupply of seeds but also through the modifications of the microclimate under their canopy. Controlling understorey vegetation to reduce competition with pine seedlings and increasing hunting plans to reduce herbivory pressure on seedlings should also be considered in areas where regeneration failures are common.
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Arthur Guignabert. Etude des processus de régénération naturelle du pin maritime en contexte de dune forestière gérée : influence de la sylviculture, du climat et des interactions biotiques. Sylviculture, foresterie. Université de Bordeaux, 2018. Français. ⟨NNT : 2018BORD0437⟩. ⟨tel-02121792⟩

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