Effects Of Thinning In a Water-Limited Holm Oak Forest

Romà Ogaya, Anna Escolà, Daijun Liu, Adrià Barbeta, Josep Peñuelas

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearch

    2 Citations (Scopus)


    © 2019, © 2019 Taylor & Francis. A natural holm oak forest was selectively thinned to test thinning as a tool to reduce tree mortality, increase productivity, and reverse the recent regression of the dominant species (Quercus ilex) induced by climate change. Thinning increased aboveground productivity and reduced stem mortality in this Mediterranean forest during four years just after thinning, contributing to the maintenance of forest functioning under changing climatic conditions. Q. ilex was the only species positively affected by the thinning: stem growth increased for all stem sizes, and mortality was significantly lower in thinned plots. On the contrary, mortality rates of Phillyrea latifolia and Arbutus unedo were not significantly lower. Stem growth increased for P. latifolia only in the smallest stem-size class. Our results highlight the suitability of selective thinning for improving the forest productivity and ensuring the conservation of Mediterranean coppices. Other benefits of selective thinning, such as a decrease in the risk of fire dispersion and an increase in the water supply for human populations, are also discussed.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalJournal of Sustainable Forestry
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019


    • Carbon sink
    • climate change
    • forest dieback
    • forest management
    • holm oak
    • mediterranean forest
    • selective thinning
    • tree growth
    • tree mortality


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