Southern Forests: a Journal of Forest Science

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Establishment of a Nothofagus alessandrii plantation using different levels of shade and weed control methods in Talca province, central Chile

R Santelices, F Drake, RM Navarro-Cerrillo


There is a lack of information regarding the establishment of Nothofagus alessandrii  plantations, including any impacts that shading and weed control may have on early survival and growth. A trial was therefore initiated where four shade levels (0% and Rachel® plastic net of 50%, 65%, and 80%) and two weed control methods (chemical and mulching) were tested. Three years after establishment, significant differences in survival were found in response to shading with 0% survival of seedlings planted with no shade protection. At the end of the three-year study period, there were no differences in height and diameter growth in response to weed control and shade  protection. However, there were significant differences in carbohydrate concentration and plant biomass in response to level of shading, with differences in the morphological attributes of leaves also apparent. In general, as the shade level increased, the carbohydrate concentration and the biomass decreased and the leaves showed a greater specific leaf area. The method of weed control did not significantly affect any of the variables studied. The results indicate that shading is necessary for establishing young N. alessandrii  plants.

Keywords: afforestation, cultural treatments, endangered species, ex situ conservation, Mediterranean environment

Southern Forests 2012, 74(1): 71–76

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