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Bosque (Valdivia)

versión On-line ISSN 0717-9200

Resumen

RUBIO, Alejandra; LOETTI, Verónica  y  BELLOCQ, Isabel. Effect of defoliation intensity and timing on the growth of Populus alba and Salix babylonica x Salix alba. Bosque (Valdivia) [online]. 2013, vol.34, n.3, pp.353-358. ISSN 0717-9200.  http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0717-92002013000300011.

Insect defoliations have detrimental impacts on timber production in commercial tree plantations. The effect of intensity and timing of defoliation on the growth of two commercial salicaceae was assessed at plantations located in the Delta of the Paraná River, Argentina. Experimental trees were randomly selected from two 1-year-old plantations of the most common clones planted in forestry production, Populus alba 'Villafranca' ("I-58/57") and Salix babylonica x Salix alba ("A-250/33"). We used a pre-post design to evaluate the effect of five intensities of manual defoliation (i.e. 100 %, 75 %, 50 %, 25 %, and 0 % as control) applied in four different times during the growing season (i.e. October, November, December and January) on tree height and diameter at breast height (DBH). Results indicated that manual defoliation negatively affected the growth of the studied poplar and willow clones in both height and diameter, and that the magnitude of the effect depended on the intensity and timing of defoliation. Willows were only affected by defoliation conducted during the spring (October and November); complete defoliation caused the highest reduction in growth (46 % reduction in height and 62 % in DBH compared to the control). Manual defoliation of poplars had a significant effect on growth at any time during the spring-summer; trees subjected to 100 % defoliation showed the highest growth reductions (up to 76 % in height and 88 % in DBH compared to control). This study indicated that commercial poplars were less tolerant to defoliation than willows.

Palabras clave : Salicaceae; manual defoliation; tree growth; Delta of the Paraná River; Argentina.

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