Regeneration patterns in Mexican pine-oak forests

Teresa Alfaro Reyna, Jordi Martínez-Vilalta*, Javier Retana

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Global change is causing an increase in the incidence of natural and anthropogenic disturbances on forests, which frequently interact synergistically and promote changes in forest structure, composition and functioning. In this study we evaluate the regeneration of Pinaceae and Fagaceae species in pure and mixed stands in Mexico to determine if current regeneration patterns are indicative of changes in the relative dominance of these two tree families, as observed in other temperate regions. We also identify the environmental factors that determine the regeneration patterns of Pinaceae and Fagaceae species in these forests. Results: We use data from two consecutive surveys of the National Inventory of Forests and Soils of Mexico (INFyS), obtained in 2004–2009 and 2009–2014. Our results show that the spatial patterns of regeneration are affected by forest structure, by climate, by the type and intensity of disturbances and by land tenure. Importantly, the presence and abundance of Fagaceae regeneration is generally higher than that of Pinaceae, and tends to be favoured (relative to Pinaceae) under warmer climates and by the presence of wildfires. Conclusions: The higher regeneration of Fagaceae relative to Pinaceae under warmer and fire-prone conditions could have important impacts on the composition and functioning of Mexican temperate forests under ongoing climate change, as well as affect their resilience to future disturbances.

Original languageEnglish
Article number50
JournalForest Ecosystems
Volume6
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2019

Keywords

  • Fagaceae
  • Forest dynamics
  • Forest inventory
  • Mexico
  • Pinaceae
  • Regeneration
  • Temperate forests

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