iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry


Effects of gap size and within-gap position on seedlings establishment in silver fir stands

E Albanesi, OI Gugliotta, I Mercurio, R Mercurio   

iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, Volume 1, Issue 1, Pages 55-59 (2008)
doi: https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor0448-0010055
Published: Feb 28, 2008 - Copyright © 2008 SISEF

Research Articles

The conversion of pure conifer plantations into stands with heterogeneous structure and composition is a current silvicultural challenge in Italy. A silvicultural system aiming to the regeneration of natural forests by means of openings in the canopy cover is considered. The purposes of this study are: I) to evaluate if the creation of gaps is an appropriate way to transform homogeneous man-made stands of silver fir (Abies alba Mill.) into naturally regenerated stands; II) to analyse the influence of micro-environmental conditions in gaps of different size on the recruitment and establishment of natural regeneration of forest tree species. After three growing seasons silver fir seedlings recruitment was greater in small gaps and in the central-southern positions where PAR was lower and the shading influence of ground vegetation less relevant. The most suitable gap size for silver fir regeneration, in the southern Apennine, is 200 (300) m2, D/H = 0.5 and anyway <0.75. The silvicultural treatment proposed seems to foster natural regeneration of silver fir and other broadleaves, enhancing the development of a multi-layered forest structure and fulfilling timber production objectives without compromising ecosystem management principles.


Forest gaps, light, natural regeneration, silvicultural systems, Abies alba, Italy

Authors’ address

E Albanesi
OI Gugliotta
I Mercurio
R Mercurio
Dipartimento di Gestione dei Sistemi, Agrari e Forestali, Università Mediterranea, loc. Feo di Vito, I-89100 Reggio Calabria (Italy)

Corresponding author

R Mercurio


Albanesi E, Gugliotta OI, Mercurio I, Mercurio R (2008). Effects of gap size and within-gap position on seedlings establishment in silver fir stands. iForest 1: 55-59. - doi: 10.3832/ifor0448-0010055

Paper history

Received: Apr 27, 2005
Accepted: Nov 07, 2005

First online: Feb 28, 2008
Publication Date: Feb 28, 2008
Publication Time: 28.10 months

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