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Vegetation dynamics and regeneration of Pinus pinea forests in Mount Lebanon: Towards the progressive disappearance of pine

Abstract : Pinus pinea is a species of great economic and ecological importance in Lebanon, but there is a lack of knowledge about the distribution of the pine forests, their vegetation dynamics and regeneration. Our study aims to produce the first classification of the pine stands according to their floristic composition and the abiotic factors of the Mount Lebanon region and to analyse natural pine recruitment. Floristic composition, environmental and soil factors as well as stand dendrometric characteristics and woody seedling regeneration were recorded on fifty plots distributed in the main stone pine stands of the study area. Using canonical correspondence and clustering analyses, we classified pine stands into five groups which were mainly influenced by physiographic factors (altitude, slope, temperature, rainfall), nature of the bedrock, and evidence of human interventions. Most stone pine stands in Mount Lebanon were dense (849 stems.ha−1), old (81 years) with a high basal area (49 m2.ha−1). Pine regeneration was particularly scant, and the understory was dominated by the oak species: Quercus calliprinos, mainly and Quercus infectoria, secondarily. Based on these results, we concluded that the presence of stone pine and its persistence are linked to human actions. In the absence of human intervention, the stone pine stands will progressively disappear and be replaced by oak formations. Thus, an urgent management plan is required to favour pine regeneration to allow for the renewal of the pine stands in the Mount-Lebanon region.
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Submitted on : Friday, June 19, 2020 - 11:03:34 AM
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Joseph Nakhoul, Catherine Fernandez, Anne Bousquet-Mélou, Nabil Nemer, Jihad Abboud, et al.. Vegetation dynamics and regeneration of Pinus pinea forests in Mount Lebanon: Towards the progressive disappearance of pine. Ecological Engineering, Elsevier, 2020, 152, pp.105866. ⟨10.1016/j.ecoleng.2020.105866⟩. ⟨hal-02874030⟩

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