GARIBALDI Lucas Alejandro
Early response of Nothofagus antarctica forests to thinning intensity in northern Patagonia
GOLDENBERG, MATIAS G; NACIF, MARCOS E; ODDI, FACUNDO J; GARIBALDI, LUCAS A
CANADIAN JOURNAL OF FOREST RESEARCH
NATL RESEARCH COUNCIL CANADA-N R C RESEARCH PRESS
Año: 2021 vol. 51 p. 493 - 499
Nothofagus antarctica (G. Forst.) Oerst. stands of northern Patagonia (Argentina) have great potential to provide multiple ecosystem services. Nonetheless, the lack of basic information limits the application of silvicultural treatments to this forest type. This study reports the early response to three systematic strip thinning treatments (30, 50, and 70%) carried out during 2013 in a 30-year N. antarctica stand, where control plots (i.e. no thinning) were also established. Subplots were located within each plot. Basal diameters (BD) of all retained stems were measured in the non-vegetative season (winter) of 2016, 2017 and 2018, to calculate basal diameter annual increment (BDI), and stand volume growth. BDI ranged from 1.9 mm year-1 in the control plots to 2.7 mm year-1 at 70% thinning. Relative BDI also responded positively to thinning intensity. Stand volume growth decreased non-linearly with thinning intensity, from 3.36 m3 ha-1 year-1 in the control plots, and 0.71 m3 ha-1 year-1 when thinning was 70%. Smaller differences were observed between control plots, 30% thinning and 50% thinning. Our results show that Nothofagus antarctica forests, in the stem exclusion stage, respond to strip thinning. Thus, silviculture based on this management system could favor the development of retained trees without losing productivity if it remains under 50% intensity. This outcome represents an important incremental contribution to the design of silvicultural interventions in northern Patagonia.