Fire reduces Pinus pinea distribution in the northeastern Iberian Peninsula

Anselm Rodrigo, Vanessa Quintana, Javier Retana

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


This study analyzes the recovery of Pinus pinea in forested areas that have burned in the last 30 years. The main objectives of the study were (i) to analyze the success of the regeneration of P. pinea in areas with the presence or absence of surviving adult trees and (ii) to investigate whether or not the post-fire response of P. pinea may affect its present distribution. We analyzed the survival of adult P. pinea trees and the regeneration of P. pinea seedlings in 8 areas burned by wildfires in Catalonia (northeast Spain) between 1979 and 2001. This study shows that the inability of seedlings to establish after fire, together with the short seed dispersal distance of this species and the low level of seedling survival, renders the natural regeneration of P. pinea in burned areas difficult. A comparison of the presence of P. pinea in plots located in burned and unburned areas throughout its distribution area in Catalonia indicates that its presence at the regional level is clearly reduced after fire. Moreover, in the areas where it persists, tree density and cover are smaller than in unburned areas. This decrease of P. pinea forests is exacerbated by the increase in surface area burned by forest fires during recent decades in the Mediterranean basin and by decreasing profits associated with this species as a consequence of the falling value of its pine kernel.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-30
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 12 Apr 2007


  • Dispersal
  • Fire
  • Pinus pinea
  • Post-fire regeneration
  • Seedling density
  • Species distribution


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