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SusPiRe - a tool towards sustainable management of Pinus pinaster (Ait.) forests based on the prediction of spontaneous regeneration
Coordinator - Paula Alexandra Aquino Maia
Programme - Programa Operacional da Competitividade e Internacionalização (02/SAICT/2017)
Execution dates - 2018-07-01 - 2020-12-31 (30 Months)
Funding Entity - FCT - Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia, within the PT2020 Partnership Agreement and Compete 2020 co-funded by the FEDER - Fundo Europeu de Desenvolvimento Regional
Funding for CESAM - 206257 €
Total Funding - 206257 €
Proponent Institution - Universidade de Aveiro


Replacement of pine by eucalypt plantations is a common forest conversion in Portugal after fire and after clear cutting of mature pine plantations. Abundant spontaneous pine regeneration, however, is often observed in new planted eucalypt stands and, to a lesser degree, in newly planted pine stands, particularly in Central Portugal, implying that forest management planning in such situations could have benefited from a proper cost-benefit analysis of the foreseen operations vs potential for spontaneous regeneration. In fact, undermanaged eucalypt plantations often develop into mixed stands of eucalypts and pines, indicating that the costs of eucalypt plantation were, in one hand, poorly justified, and in the other hand, of little economic revenue for the land owner. Maritime pine spontaneous regeneration, if properly managed could develop into mature exploitable natural forests, with negligible associated costs, and the advantage of using native resources, with much lesser environmental impacts. The "use of natural regeneration whenever appropriate and possible" is in fact, recommended in EU directives for forest protection and management and converges with prioritary portuguese I&I lines in forest sciences. SusPiRe aims at expanding the current understanding of the drivers and bottlenecks to Pinus pinaster spontaneous regeneration. The underpinning conceptual framework hypothesizes that the resilience of pine forests is shaped by a combination of biological, ecological, environmental and management factors. To this end, a multidisciplinary approach will tackle key points in the community dynamics, as the processes determining seed production, availability, recruitment, establishment and growth of pines. In particular, the experimental tasks will address: a)the variability of sexual maturation and seed production of different pine populations; b)the implication of seed availability for pine recruitment and establishment, and how local conditions may affect this dynamics; c)the impact of small mammals in pine seeds availability, and how predatory behavior is influenced by local conditions; d)the effect of manipulated climatic scenarios, particularly concerning temperature and irrigation on pine recruitment, establishment and short-term development. SusPiRe will rely on a coherent, multidisciplinary scientific approach, carried out in close relation with relevant stakeholders. This intends to create a bi-directional communication, to understand the management needs and motivations behind the most common forest operations, with the objective to optimize the elaboration of guidelines, targeting real forest management needs. Divulgation of scientific results will then have clear management implications. The ultimate objective is to create a tool that allows estimating the range of potential regeneration of Pinus pinaster on different sites of interest, as well as the best management practices to adopt in order to take advantage of such potential.




CESAM Funding: