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Title: Post-Fire Demography, Growth, and Control of Eucalyptus globulus Wildlings
Authors: Silva, Joaquim S. 
Nereu, Mauro 
Pinho, Simão 
Queirós, Luís 
Jesús, Cláudio
Deus, Ernesto 
Keywords: Eucalyptus globulus; herbicide; plant invasion; seedling establishment; seedling growth; wildfire
Issue Date: 2021
Project: FCT projectWildgum II, grant number PTDC/ASP-SIL/30435/2017 
Serial title, monograph or event: Forests
Volume: 12
Issue: 2
Abstract: Several eucalypt species are known for their capacity to massively regenerate through seeds in recently burned areas, becoming an ecological problem in regions where the species is not native. Here we study the demography and the development of highly dense Eucalyptus globulus wildling populations established one year after a fire and test two methods to control these populations. We monitored five mixed E. globulus stands across one year, in Central Portugal. We established a set of plots in each stand, with three treatments: mechanical cutting, herbicide spraying and no disturbance (control plots). Herbicide was applied in four concentrations. We tagged randomly selected plants in the control plots to monitor their growth. The initial mean wildling density was 322,000 plants ha1, the highest ever recorded in the introduced range. Wildling density was significantly dependent on the density of surrounding adult E. globulus trees. Wildling density in control plots decreased 30% in one year, although showing positive variations over time because of new recruitment. Despite seasonal growth differences, wildlings showed a high growth rate throughout the year, reaching 15.6 cm month1 in the summer. The growth rate of tagged wildings was positively affected by solar radiation and negatively affected by evapotranspiration and maximum temperature. Mechanical cutting reduced wildling density by 97% while herbicide treatment reduced density between 80% (for the lowest concentration) and 99% (for the highest concentration). Herbicide-treated plants were more likely to resprout than cut plants. Regardless of the control method adopted (cutting or herbicide), management strategies should include the follow-up of the treated areas, to detect the establishment of new recruits and resprouting.
ISSN: 1999-4907
DOI: 10.3390/f12020156
Rights: openAccess
Appears in Collections:I&D CFE - Artigos em Revistas Internacionais

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