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Revista chilena de historia natural

Print version ISSN 0716-078X


PULIDO, Fernando J.. Plant reproductive biology and conservation: the case of temperate and subtropical oak forest regeneration. Rev. chil. hist. nat. [online]. 2002, vol.75, n.1, pp.5-15. ISSN 0716-078X.

This study presents a review of 21 experimental studies on oak (Quercus) regeneration analysing at least three phases of the reproductive cycle, namely fertilization, viable fruit production, acorn dispersal, postdispersal predation, seedling emergence, sapling establishment, and adult recruitment. Most study cases came from North American and European temperate forests representing a continuum from xeric sites with evergreen oaks (usually managed by humans) to mesic, well-preserved sites with deciduous oaks. Studies were classified according to three types of regeneration limitation, that is, viable seed production, herbivory, and safe sites availability. Results show that regeneration is usually limited by a combination of factors, tipically acorn consumption and unfavourable abiotic conditions for establishment. Tree fecundity, as well as seed dispersal by animals, are two important, usually neglected sources of recruitment limitation. On the other hand, anthropogenic disturbances negatively affects forest regeneration by changing the abundance or behavior of mutualistic or phytophagous organisms, and by modifying the abiotic scenario for seedling establishment. Finally, the application of ecological information for solving regeneration failures of oak forests is discussed, especially in relation to the alternatives of natural regeneration versus planting

Keywords : facilitation; forest regeneration; herbivory; oaks; Quercus; recruitment; safe sites; seed dispersal; seed limitation.

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