Contrasting growth and water use efficiency after thinning in mixed Abies pinsapoPinus pinasterPinus sylvestris forests R.M., Sánchez-Salguero R., Herrera R., Ceacero Ruiz C.J., Moreno-Rojas J.M., Manzanedo R.D., López-Quintanilla J. (2016): Contrasting growth and water use efficiency after thinning in mixed Abies pinsapoPinus pinasterPinus sylvestris forests. J. For. Sci., 62: 53-64.
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Foresters frequently lack sufficient information about thinning intensity effects to optimize semi-natural forest management and their effects and interaction with climate are still poorly understood. In an Abies pinsapo–Pinus pinaster–Pinus sylvestris forest with three thinning intensities, a dendrochronologial approach was used to evaluate the short-term responses of basal area increment (BAI), carbon isotope (δ13C) and water use efficiency (iWUE) to thinning intensity and climate. Thinning generally increased BAI in all species, except for the heavy thinning in P. sylvestris. Across all the plots, thinning increased 13C-derived water-use efficiency on average by 14.49% for A. pinsapo, 9.78% for P. sylvestris and 6.68% for P. pinaster, but through different ecophysiological mechanisms. Our findings provide a robust mean of predicting water use efficiency responses from three coniferous species exposed to different thinning strategies which have been modulated by climatic conditions over time.

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