iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry


The effects of fire on Pinus sylvestris L. as determined by dendroecological analysis (Sierra de Gredos, Spain)

Mar Génova (1)   , Paula Ortega (1), Enrique Sadornil (2)

iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, Volume 15, Issue 3, Pages 171-178 (2022)
doi: https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor3727-015
Published: May 09, 2022 - Copyright © 2022 SISEF

Research Articles

Iberian populations of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) have been declining since the late-glacial period; among those that remain, relict stands have great biological and ecological value. This paper investigates the effects of a 2009 fire on tree growth in one of these small populations in the Sierra de Gredos (Spain) by examining the responses recorded in the tree-ring width series of the surviving trees. The current status and distribution of these surviving trees reveal the severity of the fire; indeed most show scars or other evidence of fire damage. Dendroecological analysis revealed narrower tree rings, indicating negative pointer years for the year of the fire and the following year. A very significant reduction in growth was recorded for the years after the fire, both in terms of tree-ring width and basal area increment; incomplete and even absent rings were also recorded. No relationship was seen between these effects and climatic events. The dates and geographical extension of former possible disturbances were also investigated, using the data from these same trees plus information collected from others in the region. The vulnerability of these populations to past fires was evident. Lastly, given the problems affecting the regeneration of these relict populations, it is strongly suggested to urgently include all these populations in conservation and environmental management programs.


Disturbances, Tree-ring Width, Growth Change, Absent Rings, Negative Pointer Years

Authors’ address

Mar Génova 0000-0003-1944-1888
Paula Ortega 0000-0002-5740-2348
Departamento de Sistemas y Recursos Naturales, Escuela de Ingeniería de Montes, Forestal y del Medio Natural, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, C/Antonio Novais 10, 28040 Madrid (Spain)
Enrique Sadornil 0000-0002-6927-5155
Departamento de Matemática Aplicada, Escuela de Ingeniería de Montes, Forestal y del Medio Natural, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, C/Antonio Novais 10, 28040 Madrid (Spain)

Corresponding author

Mar Génova


Génova M, Ortega P, Sadornil E (2022). The effects of fire on Pinus sylvestris L. as determined by dendroecological analysis (Sierra de Gredos, Spain). iForest 15: 171-178. - doi: 10.3832/ifor3727-015

Paper history

Received: Dec 22, 2020
Accepted: Feb 22, 2022

First online: May 09, 2022
Publication Date: Jun 30, 2022
Publication Time: 2.53 months

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