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Special Issue "Effects of Post-Fire Management Activities on Forests"

A special issue of Forests (ISSN 1999-4907).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2017)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Xavier Úbeda

GRAM (Mediterranean Environmental Research Group). Department of Geography, University of Barcelona, Spain
Website | E-Mail
Interests: forests fire; forests ecology; prescribed fires, soils, hydrology.
Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Victoria Arcenegui

GEA (Environmental Soil Science Group). Department of Environment and Agrochemistry, Miguel Hernández University, Elche, Spain
Website | E-Mail
Interests: forests fire; hydrophobicity, aggregates, soils, hydrology

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Significant changes in the configuration of forest ecosystems, when not related to climate, are frequently caused by the action of fires. Repeated fires can result in a different ecosystem than expected when solely considering the climatic situation in which it is located. Fire acts as an essential ecological factor for the distribution of biomes on Earth.

There are many factors that are responsible for changing fire regimes, their intensity, and their recurrence:

  • Widespread rural abandonment resulting in the accumulation of fuel.
  • The rapid extinguishment of small fires, due to increased efficiency of modern firefighting techniques, which has led to eradication of the ecological role of fire.
  • Land-use changes.
  • The replacement of native species with more productive, fast-growing species.
  • Global warming.

After a forest fire occurs, there is a question of whether to act, and if so, which types of post-fire management techniques to perform. Performing management actions in areas affected by fires is crucial for their recovery, but sometimes post-fire management may have more of an effect on the environment than the fire itself. This must be carefully studied and corrected.

Of special interest is the study of certain post-fire management techniques and their possible effects, such as:

  • The best approach to extracting burnt wood.
  • Usage of mulch treatment after a fire occurrence to avoid soil degradation.
  • The reduction of the vegetation density, to avoid a high accumulation of fuel sources after a fire.

It would also be interesting to learn about the effects that prescribed fires, utilized as a management tool, can have on different forest ecosystems, as well as whether there are possible land-use changes after forest fire occurrences.

The objective of this Special Issue is to learn about types of post-fire management techniques that can guarantee the preservation of forest ecology and also, from an economic point of view, preserve potential forest-based business models that rely on forest products. Utilizing these management techniques should avoid negative processes, diseases, erosion, or detrimental contributions to forest structures, which can cause renewed and severe forest fires.

Dr. Xavier Úbeda
Dr. Victoria Arcenegui
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Forests is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1200 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Forests fires
  • Forest management
  • Forest ecosystems
  • Post-fire actions
  • Soils
  • Vegetation recovery

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Soil Respiration Changes after Prescribed Fires in Spanish Black Pine (Pinus nigra Arn. ssp. salzmannii) Monospecific and Mixed Forest Stands
Forests 2017, 8(7), 248; doi:10.3390/f8070248
Received: 25 April 2017 / Revised: 3 July 2017 / Accepted: 6 July 2017 / Published: 13 July 2017
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Abstract
Soil respiration is a major carbon pathway sensitive to environmental changes. Using prescribed burnings to reduce fuel accumulation and lower risks of large-scale wildfires has recently become more important. Prescribed burning can significantly alter the soil environment, but its effect in practice on
[...] Read more.
Soil respiration is a major carbon pathway sensitive to environmental changes. Using prescribed burnings to reduce fuel accumulation and lower risks of large-scale wildfires has recently become more important. Prescribed burning can significantly alter the soil environment, but its effect in practice on soil respiration is not sufficiently understood. We evaluated the effects of prescribed burning on soil respiration before and after burning (May–July 2016). Prescribed burning was conducted in two natural pine areas by comparing a mixed stand of Pinus nigra Arn. ssp. salzmannii with Pinus pinaster Ait. to a pure stand of Pinus nigra Arn. ssp. salzmannii in the central Iberian Peninsula. Soil respiration was measured by an EGM-4 (Environmental Gas Monitor) infrared gas analyser in both burned and unburned (control) plots. Burnings were low-intensity, and slightly more energetic in the pure stand given its larger litter volume. Post-burning soil respiration followed a similar evolution to that in the control plots, but was greater in the pure stand burned zone and slightly lower in the burned plots in the mixed stand. No significant differences were found in any stand. Soil respiration significantly changed in temporal evolution due to increasing temperatures when summer began. We conclude that prescribed fire induces no changes in SR immediately after fire. This study helps understand how prescribed burnings can affect soil respiration in pure and mixed Spanish black pine forest stands. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effects of Post-Fire Management Activities on Forests)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Effectiveness of Polyacrylamide, Wood Shred Mulch, and Pine Needle Mulch as Post-Fire Hillslope Stabilization Treatments in Two Contrasting Volcanic Soils
Forests 2017, 8(7), 247; doi:10.3390/f8070247
Received: 5 May 2017 / Revised: 27 June 2017 / Accepted: 29 June 2017 / Published: 12 July 2017
PDF Full-text (2154 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Post-fire hillslope stabilization treatments aim to reduce runoff-erosion risks following forest fires by counteracting the impact of fire on key soil and hillslope properties. Here we evaluate the effectiveness of wood shred mulch, long-leaved pine needle mulch, and polyacrylamide (PAM) in reducing post-fire
[...] Read more.
Post-fire hillslope stabilization treatments aim to reduce runoff-erosion risks following forest fires by counteracting the impact of fire on key soil and hillslope properties. Here we evaluate the effectiveness of wood shred mulch, long-leaved pine needle mulch, and polyacrylamide (PAM) in reducing post-fire runoff and erosion in two volcanic soil types of contrasting wettability using rainfall simulations (55 mm h−1 for 30 min) at the microplot (0.25 m2) scale. The cover provided by the wood shreds and pine needles led to a reduction of runoff and erosion in both the wettable—(62% and 92%, respectively, for wood shreds, and 55% and 87%, respectively, for needle mulch) and the extremely water-repellent soils (44% and 61%, respectively, for wood shreds). In contrast to what might be expected, PAM did not reduce runoff or erosion when applied to the extremely water-repellent soils, suggesting that PAM should not be applied in this terrain type. Although more research is needed to determine whether the high effectiveness of pine needle mulch and wood shred mulch fully translates to coarser scales, the results are encouraging in terms of these materials’ ability to provide effective and relatively economic mitigation treatments for fire-induced runoff-erosion risks in volcanic soils. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effects of Post-Fire Management Activities on Forests)
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Open AccessArticle Predation on Early Recruitment in Mediterranean Forests after Prescribed Fires
Forests 2017, 8(7), 243; doi:10.3390/f8070243
Received: 21 April 2017 / Revised: 23 June 2017 / Accepted: 5 July 2017 / Published: 8 July 2017
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Abstract
Wildfires play a significant role in many different elements of Mediterranean forest ecosystems. In recent years, prescribed fires have started being used more often as a fuel reduction tool, and also as silvicultural treatment to help the regeneration and health improvement of stands.
[...] Read more.
Wildfires play a significant role in many different elements of Mediterranean forest ecosystems. In recent years, prescribed fires have started being used more often as a fuel reduction tool, and also as silvicultural treatment to help the regeneration and health improvement of stands. Apart from the fact that fire may alter microsite conditions, very little is known about the impact of prescribed burning on natural regeneration or plant species renewal in Mediterranean pine forests. Likewise, knowledge about the influence of seedling predators on post-fire regeneration is still scarce. In this study, we aimed to compare the effects of seedling predation on recruitment in earlier stages after prescribed burnings in three pine stands in Central Spain: a pure stand of Pinus nigra; a mixed stand of Pinus halepensis and Pinus pinaster and a mixed stand P. nigra with P. pinaster. In situ we superficially sowed seeds from two different species. In the sowing experiment, we tested two different seed provenances (drier and more humid spanish regions) for each species. In all, 60 plots (30 burned, 30 unburned) per site, with 10 seeding units per plot and more than 20,000 seeds, were used in the whole study. Seedling predation was evaluated by replicating the seeding units inside and outside a wire cage as protection for rodents and birds. Our results showed that prescribed fires alter initial seedling predation intensity: predation was significantly higher in the seedlings grown in the plots affected by prescribed fire. The individuals sown before the fire passed showed slightly more predation than those sown after fire passage. Provenances did not appear as an important predation drive. Understanding the role of the predation associated with these treatments can help improve Mediterranean pine forest management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effects of Post-Fire Management Activities on Forests)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Seed Origin and Protection Are Important Factors Affecting Post-Fire Initial Recruitment in Pine Forest Areas
Forests 2017, 8(6), 185; doi:10.3390/f8060185
Received: 23 April 2017 / Revised: 23 May 2017 / Accepted: 24 May 2017 / Published: 27 May 2017
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Abstract
Initial seedling recruitment is one of the most critical stages for plants in the Mediterranean basin. Moreover, wildfires and post-fire environmental conditions might deteriorate regeneration success, which can lead to problems for sustainable forest restoration and forest persistence. On this context, different seed
[...] Read more.
Initial seedling recruitment is one of the most critical stages for plants in the Mediterranean basin. Moreover, wildfires and post-fire environmental conditions might deteriorate regeneration success, which can lead to problems for sustainable forest restoration and forest persistence. On this context, different seed origins and pine species may be better adapted to new environmental conditions remaining after forest fires and seed protection might modulate seedling initial recruitment. This study evaluates the effects of seed origin (Pinus nigra Arn. subsp. salzmannii Dunal (Franco) from lowland, midland and upland distribution areas), pine species (Pinus pinaster Aiton, Pinus sylvestris L. and Pinus nigra Arn. subsp. salzmannii Dunal (Franco)) and seed protection on seed emergence and early seedling survival after forest fires in the Cuenca Mountains. In addition, a greenhouse experiment was set up under controlled conditions to test seedling performance and to compare initial seedling growth of different P. nigra seed origins growing in field and greenhouse conditions. Results showed that wetter spring seasons and P. nigra seed origins from midland and upland distribution growing in their natural habitat distribution perform better that P. sylvestris and P. pinaster. Seed protection is an important factor modulating the above-mentioned trend. P. nigra seeds growing at the greenhouse experiment showed differences in growth for extreme (upland or lowland) P. nigra distribution. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effects of Post-Fire Management Activities on Forests)
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Open AccessArticle Contrasting Effects of Fire Severity on the Regeneration of Pinus halepensis Mill. and Resprouter Species in Recently Thinned Thickets
Forests 2017, 8(3), 55; doi:10.3390/f8030055
Received: 23 December 2016 / Accepted: 21 February 2017 / Published: 24 February 2017
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Abstract
Many studies have outlined the benefits for growth and reproduction resulting from thinning extremely crowded young forests regenerating after stand replacing wildfires (“thickets”). However, scarce information is available on how thinning may influence fire severity and vegetation regeneration in case a new fire
[...] Read more.
Many studies have outlined the benefits for growth and reproduction resulting from thinning extremely crowded young forests regenerating after stand replacing wildfires (“thickets”). However, scarce information is available on how thinning may influence fire severity and vegetation regeneration in case a new fire occurs. We investigated the relationship between thinning and fire severity in P. halepensis thickets, and the effects on the establishment of pine seedlings and resprouting vigour in resprouter species the year after the fire. Our results show a positive relationship between forest basal area and fire severity, and thus reserved pines in thinned stands suffered less fire damage than those in un‐thinned sites (respectively, 2.02 ± 0.13 vs. 2.93 ± 0.15 in a scale from 0 to 4). Ultimately, differences in fire severity influenced post‐fire regeneration. Resprouting vigour varied depending on the species and the size of individuals but it was consistently higher in thinned stands. Concerning P. halepensis, the proportion of cones surviving the fire decreased with fire severity. However, this could not compensate the much lower pine density in thinned stands and thus the overall seed crop was higher in un‐thinned areas. Establishment of pine seedlings was negatively affected by the slope and positively driven by the number of cones and thus it was higher in un‐thinned than in thinned stands (respectively, 2581 ± 649 vs. 898 ± 325 seedlings∙ha-1). Thinning decreases fire intensity, and thus it may facilitate fire suppression tasks, but retaining a higher density of pines would be necessary to ensure P. halepensis regeneration after a new fire event. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effects of Post-Fire Management Activities on Forests)
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Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessReview Post-Fire Restoration Plan for Sustainable Forest Management in South Korea
Forests 2017, 8(6), 188; doi:10.3390/f8060188
Received: 19 March 2017 / Revised: 22 May 2017 / Accepted: 25 May 2017 / Published: 30 May 2017
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Abstract
This review was to determine a standard post-fire restoration strategy for use in South Korea according to the magnitude of the damage and the condition of the affected site. The government has strongly enforced reforestation in deforested areas as well as fire prevention
[...] Read more.
This review was to determine a standard post-fire restoration strategy for use in South Korea according to the magnitude of the damage and the condition of the affected site. The government has strongly enforced reforestation in deforested areas as well as fire prevention and suppression since the 1960s. These efforts have successfully recovered dense even-aged forests over the last five decades. However, high fuel loading and the homogeneous structure have made forests vulnerable to large fires. In recent years, large forest fires have occurred in the eastern coastal region of Korea. Forest fires can significantly influence the economic and social activities of the residents of such affected forest regions. Burned areas may require urgent and long-term restoration strategies, depending on the condition of the affected site. Erosion control is the most important component of an urgent restoration and should be completed before a rainy season to prevent secondary damage such as landslides and sediment runoff in burned areas. Long-term restoration is necessary to renew forest functions such as timber production, water conservation, ecosystem conservation, and recreation for residents. Sound restoration for burned areas is critical for restoring healthy ecological functions of forests and providing economic incentives to local residents. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effects of Post-Fire Management Activities on Forests)
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: Effects of agricultural terraces and fire recurrence on soil quality in three contrasted Mediterranean afforested micro-catchments

Authors: Lucas-Borja, M.E, Calsamiglia, A., Fortesa, J., García-Comendador, J., Estrany, J.

Abstract: Abandonment of terraced lands lead to afforestation increasing fire risk and land degradation. The relations between two biochemical soil properties may be used as simple indexes of soil quality to evaluate soil deterioration in terraced and burned areas. This work assesses the effect of fire recurrence and terracing in soil quality by using metabolic quotient (qCO2), mineralization coefficient (Qcm), soil microbial biomass and total organic carbon ratio (MCB/TOC) and Synthetic index (SEI). The presence of terraces and the forest fire recurrence in the last 20 years were sampled in thirty-six plots of 25 m2 along three micro-catchments collecting four replicas at the corners of each plot. Non-terraced plots exhibited significantly (p < 0.05) higher ratio values; i.e., qCO2 index: 0.010 mg C-CO2 g-1 Cmic h-1 in terraced plots and 0.025 mg C-CO2 g-1 Cmic h-1 in non-terraced plots. However, fire recurrence did not illustrate a significant effect on both non- and terraced plots although consistently presenting lower soil indexes values.

 

Title: Medium-term impact of post-fire emergency rehabilitation treatments on a forest ecosystem in Galicia (NW Spain)

Authors: Raviña, M.

Abstract: The post-fire emergence rehabilitation techniques, seeding and mulching, are often recommended to reduce post-fire erosion. However, quantitative information concerning their effects on soil properties and hence on soil quality and their effectiveness both at short- and medium-term is scarce. In the present study the effectiveness of these two techniques 8 and 12 months after the application of the treatments as well as their effects on soil quality at medium-term (8-48 months after the fire) were studied. Soil samples were collected from the A horizon and a wide range of physicochemical, chemical and biochemical soil properties were analyzed. The mean efficiency of both seeding and mulching treatments in preventing soil erosion during the study period was 11 and 65 %, respectively. The fire effect on soil properties persisted even 4 years after the wildfire. Although, no effect of seeding or mulching on the vegetation cover was observed, the PLFA data showed that in the medium-term, fire may modify soil microbial communities by altering the plant community via plant-induced changes in the soil environment. Both stabilization treatments had a minor influence on the post-fire soil quality at medium-term; therefore, taking into account its effectiveness the mulching treatment is recommended as the best post-fire stabilization technique.

 

 Title: Effect of salvage logging on soil hydrological behaviour in a Mediterranean forest recently affected by a wildfire

Authors: J. Mataix-Solera, K. Chrenková, P. Dlapa, V. Arcenegui, P. Arnaiz, F. García-Orenes, A. Cerdá, E. García-Sánchez

Abstract: In Mediterranean areas, water availability for plants is the main limiting factor for ecosystem restoration after fire. Post-fire management can have a negative impact on the soils that in some cases is even more severe than the fire itself. Salvage logging (SL) is a common management technique in fire-affected areas, but carrying it out, by using heavy machinery, leads to a consequent increase in the vulnerability to erosion and soil degradation. We monitored some soil properties in an area affected by a big forest fire (>500 has) in July 2012. The study area is located in the “Sierra de Mariola Natural Park”, Alicante (E Spain). The forest was composed mainly of Pinus halepensis trees with an understory of typical Mediterranean shrub species. The soil was classified as a Typic Xerorthent developed from Miocene marls. In February 2013, the SL treatment, comprising a complete extraction of the burnt wood using heavy machinery, was applied in a part of the affected forest. Plots for monitoring were installed and in a similar nearby area there was no treatment (control C) for comparison. Soil samplings were done immediately after treatment and every 6 months. We found that all soil properties were negatively affected by SL treatment compared with C plots: a progressive decrease with time of soil organic matter content, microbial biomass, soil respiration, aggregate stability, water holding capacity and an increase in bulk density were observed. In May 2014, undisturbed soil cores (100 cm3) from both treatments (C and SL) were taken in order to study water retention curves. Results showed differences between treatments, most likely due to differences in the pore size distribution of soils and the strong influence of parent material. The underlying marl rocks contain only very fine pores and thus they are “impermeable” once saturated with water. The water does not infiltrate into these rocks but flows down the surface and increases the erosion. The soil samples from SL treatments have higher content of coarse pores and thus they retain more water under wet conditions compared C samples where the humus horizon is preserved. But they have a lowered ability to retain water at high water tension in dry conditions. The soil samples from C plots showed the best properties. The soils have relatively stable structure and higher content of finer pores and thus the soil retains more water in dry conditions compared to the eroded soil at SL plots.

In addition to laboratory analyses, we studied the soil hydrological behaviour under field conditions using the portable rainfall simulator designed by Kamphorst (1987). Rainfall simulations (n=15) were performed comparing control plots (C), where no treatment was applied, over bare soil in salvage logging treatment area (BSL) which represents more than 50% of surface, and after applying a mulch of pine needles (MPN) in BSL area. Data obtained from rainfall simulation experiments showed that time to runoff was less in control area than in BSL and MPN plots, but not very significant differences were observed between treatments. However, percentage of runoff and soil erosion rates showed significant differences between control and others. Bare soil in salvage logging area showed mean values of runoff and erosion much more higher than in control plots. The application of a mulch of pine needles considerably reduced these values, especially for erosion but mean values measured were still higher than in control plots, indicating that despite protecting the soil with a mulching, soil properties still control the hydrological response.

 

Title: Strategies and policies for post-fire forest management in China

Authors: Caifang Luo, Zehao Shen, Lingxiao Ying

Abstract: Post-fire forest management is critical for habitat protection, forest regeneration and sustainability of ecosystem in the burned area. Fire is a common disturbance in forests of China, mostly caused by human activities, but post-fire forest management as a science-based practice has started only in the last decade, and the studies of ecological effects of post-fire forest management are still inadequate and sparse. In this paper, we reviewed the policy development for forest fire prevention and post-fire forest management in China, meta-analyzed the studies of post-fire forest management as both the traditional practices and as modern forest management strategies, and then summarized the effect of post-fire management measures on fire-prone ecosystem, with regard to habitat conservation and forest regeneration. For those studies of post-fire forest management that published in both Chinese and English journals since 1990, over 70% were about the boreal forests in Northeast China, which is a part of the taiga forest zone extending across the temperate Eurasia, and 20% for subtropical forests that is characterized by monsoon climate with a prominent dry season. The annual records of forest fires in these two regional, however, constituted 15% and 70% of the annual number of all forest fires in China, respectively. The primary ecological impact of forest fire is forest swampiness in the boreal region, and soil erosion in the subtropical forests. In China, the traditional post-fire management measures applied mostly in the early post-fire stage, and focused on treatment of coarse woody debris, surface soil conservation and forest regeneration; while fuel management, fire predicting and monitoring has become the recent emphasis of post-fire management. The application of post-fire management measures depends on fire severity, burned area and habitat condition (e.g. climate and topography), as well as population density and social-economic condition in the surrounding area. In contrast to the strategies of the post-fire forest management in western countries, less importance has been put on biodiversity conservation in China, alternatively more efforts has been devoted to canopy recovering and economic utilization of the land emptied by the fires. Comparing with the giant investment in fire-fighting and fire prevention propaganda in China, the capacity building of forest fire monitoring and dynamic fire-risk assessment is critical for post-fire forest management in the future.

 

Title: Direct seeding of Pinus halepensis Mill. to recover burned semi-arid forests: implications for post-fire management to improve natural regeneration

Authors: Francisco Antonio García-Morote, Eduardo Martínez-García, Manuela Andrés-Abellán, Eva Rubio, Heli Miettinen, Francisco Ramón López-Serrano

Abstract: Fire is a determinant factor playing a key role in the distribution of vegetation in the Mediterranean area. In Mediterranean conifer species, a critical component of the regeneration strategy after forest-fire is the initial seedling establishment in the burned stand. Pinus halepensis Mill. is a typical Mediterranean species well adapted to forest fires due to cone characteristics, seed ecology and physiology (light demanding species). However, under a semi-arid climate, which is characterized by extreme drought period, unfavorable weather conditions when the seed is spread (mainly in the first summer) may cause poor stand establishment, and consequently, subsequently risks of soil erosion and desertification. In this context, the planning of post-fire emergency soil management techniques not only would reduce the adverse effects of high-severity wildfires to soil but would increase the initial establishment of seedlings. Artificial regeneration, performed with direct seeding, could also be an alternative when natural succession becomes more difficult. Some of emergency post-fire soil treatments are contour felling (log erosion barriers: burned trees are cut down and the delimbed boles are placed on the contour to trap runoff and sediment), and left on-site coarse woody debris of crowns (branches) to erosion control, and provide organic matter to soil. In other treatments the dead wood is removed and chipped to reduce the risk of xylophagous proliferation, or the herb and shrubs are cleared, which could negatively affect new pine development and survival. Despite its importance to improve regeneration, information related to emergency post-fire soil treatment effects on seedling emergence in Mediterranean ecosystems is still very scarce, and studies that have focused on direct seeding of Pinus halepensis in semi-arid woodlands are practically non-existent. In this study we present the results of a seeding experiment to investigate the regeneration of this pine simulating post-fire treatments in the burned stand. Thus, the aim of this research is twofold: to propose a procedure of direct seeding that will help the regeneration of this species, while analyzing the effects of post-fire treatments on natural regeneration in semi-arid burned stands. This will allow us to make post-fire treatment recommendations to improve natural regeneration. The research were carried out in the mountain Sierra de Los Donceles (Southern Spain), burned in July 2012 (6,500 hectares approx.). This is the more unfavorable habitat of Pinus halepensis at world level (annual rainfall under 325 mm).The seeding were made installing spot seeding dropping a predetermined number of seeds (100) on a plot of 50 x 50 cm, and following 5 methods: (i) covering seeding by wood chips, (ii) seeding under crown debris (stacked burned branches), (iii) seeding along trunks disposed in contour felling (on the shade side), (iv) seeding under regenerate of shrubs, and (v) seeding on bare ground (control). The experiment was replicate in function of site quality (topographic condition) analyzing the factors: i) slope (2 levels: low 0-15% and high 20-40%), and ii) aspect (2 levels: north-shading and south slopes). Response variables analyzed (factorial experimental design in a General Linear Model; 95% probability level) were seed germination (%), and total seedling survival (plants) and mortality rate (%) after summer. The direct seeding were carried out in 8 blocks in which there were a combination of slope and exposure, as follows: 5 methods of seeding x 8 blocks x 4 replicates = 160 spot seeding. Seeding were made in late fall of 2014. Although direct seeding is a difficult regeneration tool in severe drought areas, our results showed that the wood chips as surface-covering material is the only treatment that significantly improved both seed germination and seedling survival when comparing with control, in all quality site (16.2±2.3 % vs. 5.8±1,5 %, and 6.6±1.2 plants vs. 2.4±1.2 plants, respectively; p<0.05). In addition, mortality was significantly reduced by about 10% in this treatment compared to control (p<0.05). Therefore our results suggest that it would be recommendable to chip the dead wood within the burned stand to leave the chips on the ground as a post-fire treatment to improve natural regeneration in Pinus halepensis. In this sense, seeding could be protected with wood chips to achieve greater success when artificial regeneration (direct seeding) of this conifer in semi-arid environments is proposed.

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