Plot size and shape for the early assessment of post-fire regeneration in Aleppo Pine Stands

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Aleppo pine stands account for a third of the burned forests in the Mediterranean basin. The early assessment of post-fire regeneration is essential for the management of such stands. The assessment should be based on reliable and objective methods. In the Mediterranean basin, plot size and shape applied in regeneration survey designs and sampling schemes differ considerably. A study involving twelve stands (7 unharvested and 5 harvested) in the Province of Taranto (southern Italy) was carried out 38 months after a fire, by comparing plots of different shape and size within a plot-count sampling frame. The relative efficiency method was used to compare the efficiency of each size and shape. Early regeneration of Aleppo pine proved to be best assessed by 8m × 2m plots, i.e. by a plot size four times wider than the most commonly used one (2m × 2m). The need for such wide plots depends upon the typical spatial arrangement of the seedlings whose clustering is associated with the presence of seed bearing trees.

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