The present study reports spatiotemporal variations in seedling bank dynamics during a 5-year period in thinned and unthinned holm oak (Quercus ilex) plots in the Montseny Massif (NE Spain). Large spatial and temporal variations in seedling density have been found in the three plots studied, while the spatial pattern has shown low temporal fluctuations. However, differences in recruitment and survival among thinned and unthinned plots were small, but both variables had large between-year variability. The monitoring of seedling growth over time demonstrated that holm oak seedlings hardly grew in height after five years. According to these results, holm oak seedlings persisted through time in the understory and remained suppressed while in the shade, but did not show any release after thinning. Thus, the seedling bank only represents a reserve of small individuals that do not have any evident role in holm oak forest dynamics under the present disturbance/management regime.
- Holm oak