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Stand structure and dynamics of four native Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) woodlands in northern Scotland

Edwards, C., Mason, W.L.
Forestry 2006 v.79 no.3 pp. 261-277
coniferous forests, woodlands, conifers, forest stands, stand structure, age structure, tree and stand measurements, tree growth, deer, browsing, forest-wildlife relations, botanical composition, stand composition, plant establishment, forest stand establishment, spatial data, spatial distribution, stand density, height, Pinus sylvestris, Scotland
Stands in four native pinewoods (Glenmore, Black Wood of Rannoch, Glen Garry and Glen Affric) dominated by Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) with contrasting management histories and climates were assessed for differences in age, structure and dynamics. Tree age, height, diameter at breast height (d.b.h.), basal area, stem density and x, y coordinates were used to compare the recruitment of trees (>1.3 m height, >7 cm d.b.h.), saplings (>1.3 m height, <7 cm d.b.h.) and seedlings (<1.3 m) following disturbance events and protection from browsing. There was a 20-year lag between localized intensive cultivation and tree recruitment on sites that were protected from deer browsing (Glenmore and Glen Garry). Recruitment was low in sites with disturbance but no protection (Black Wood of Rannoch). The oldest population, Glen Affric, showed signs of initial intense recruitment followed by a long period of nil recruitment. Abundant standing dead trees were recorded only in Glen Affric, and prolific birch and rowan only in Glen Garry. Managers should consider localized intense cultivation in conjunction with a complete reduction in browsing pressure for rapid seedling recruitment and increased structural diversity.