Response of Pinus pseudostrobus Lindl. to fertile growing medium and tephra-layer depth under greenhouse conditions
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Major disturbances that remove vegetation cover create conditions that differ greatly from those in adjacent forests. In volcanic areas, tephra deposition can be a major disturbance that eliminates vegetation cover and creates a barrier for plant establishment. The eruption of the Paricutín volcano, in Michoacán, México, from 1943 to 1952, created large tephra deposits adjacent to forest stands. Many of these deposits still lack native vegetation and understanding of the limiting factors for establishment of native tree species is necessary to restore these areas. Pinus pseudostrobus early growth in response to the amount of fertile growing medium on top of a variable-depth tephra layer was evaluated in a greenhouse experiment. Increasing amounts of fertile growing medium increased height of 28-week-old plants (no growing medium = 5.5 cm tall ±1.8 cm, 3 cm of growing medium = 21.2 ± 4.6 cm and 6 cm of growing medium 24.8 ± 4.4 cm). Other variables showed the same trend (diameter, number of fascicles, belowground biomass and aboveground biomass). Our results suggest that P. pseudostrobus establishment in tephra covered areas will depend on the accumulation of a fertile layer of more than 3 cm in thickness.
KeywordsRestoration Pine plantation Volcanic Growth Reclamation
We thank the Comunidad Indígena de Nuevo San Juan Parangaricutiro for their support in conducting this research and the Gaylor Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, of the University of Wisconsin-Madison for their support through a gift by Ed Weigner.
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