Marginal fragmented beech stands and climate change in Sicily:effects of non-sustainable traditional silviculture practices in relation to micro-topographic gradientIn Sicily where the southernmost beech forests of Europe are located, beech stands showpeculiar ecological, characters. The ecological marginality of these forests is particularly evidentin the fragmented and isolated beech stands, near the timberline and/or located on lessfavourable topographic conditions.In this study we analyzed stand-structural parameters and tree health comparing recentlycoppice felled beech stands and control plots. Additionally, these aspects have been related alsoto the local topographic gradient and the cover fragmentation.Results clearly show a pronounced tree health reduction (more crown and bark damages,higher percentage of dead trees, lower seedling density) related to cut coppice, as far as tomarginal topographic condition (on ridges and slopes) and stand-cover fragmentation (inclearing/border trees). The clear decreased tree health may lays an increasing future threat forthese multi-marginal (for latitude, topography and cover fragmentation) beech stands. In addition, our results could also support the hypothesis that, although the silviculture effectsoriginated by the human actions is quite evident in the two compared groups (coppice-cut andcontrol), hastening the tree health reduction, a general climate change effect is going on thesemarginal beech stands. The reduced tree health status also in control plots seems to show this way.
|Numero di pagine||24|
|Rivista||L'ITALIA FORESTALE E MONTANA|
|Stato di pubblicazione||Published - 2016|