Identification and spatial extent of understory plant species requiring vegetation control to ensure tree regeneration in French forests - AgroParisTech Access content directly
Journal Articles Annals of Forest Science Year : 2022

Identification and spatial extent of understory plant species requiring vegetation control to ensure tree regeneration in French forests

Abstract

Abstract Key message Fifteen species are most susceptible to require vegetation control during tree regeneration in the range of our study. Among these 15 species, Rubus fruticosus , Pteridium aquilinum , and Molinia caerulea cover each more than 300,000 ha of open-canopy forests. Context Vegetation control, i.e., the reduction of competitive species cover, is often required to promote tree seedling establishment during the forest regeneration stage. The necessity to control understory vegetation largely depends on the species to be controlled. In order to plan forest renewal operations, it is critical to identify which species require vegetation control during the regeneration stage and to quantify the forest area affected by these species. Aims We aimed at identifying the main species requiring vegetation control and at estimating the forest area they cover at the national level. Methods Using National Forest Inventory data, we created four indicators based on two levels of plant cover, cross-referenced with two levels of canopy opening, and compared them to the outcome of a survey of forest manager practices. Results The best indicator was the one that represented the proportion of forests with open canopy where the species was present with a large cover in the understory. In non-Mediterranean France, according to the indicator, a total of 15 species were found to frequently require vegetation control during the tree regeneration stage. Pteridium aquilinum , Molinia caerulea , and Rubus fruticosus were the main species, and each covered more than 300,000 ha of forest with open canopies, representing about 13% of the total forest area with open canopies outside of the Mediterranean area. Conclusions Forests covered by species requiring vegetation control according to forest managers represent a large share of the forest area undergoing regeneration. This study provides the first list of species that require vegetation control based on a methodological protocol that makes it possible to calculate the area associated with each species.
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hal-03926054 , version 1 (02-02-2023)

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Noé Dumas, Jean-Luc Dupouey, Jean-Claude Gégout, Vincent Boulanger, Jean-Daniel Bontemps, et al.. Identification and spatial extent of understory plant species requiring vegetation control to ensure tree regeneration in French forests. Annals of Forest Science, 2022, 79 (41), ⟨10.1186/s13595-022-01160-w⟩. ⟨hal-03926054⟩
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