The disturbance of a research plot by a windstorm allowed us to study the role of the seedling bank in the regeneration processes. The released advance regeneration dominated among the saplings; taller individuals retained their position until the end of the study. Pioneer species occurred sporadically. Seven years after the disturbance, the windthrow was covered by a dense thicket of young trees.
Context The dominant role played by advance regeneration in natural regeneration processes after intense wind disturbances is still a matter of dispute.
Aims We took advantage of a windstorm in one of our research plots to study the role of the seedling bank released by the disturbance in the regeneration processes.
Methods We collected data in 70 plots, recording the survivorship of seedlings, annual height growth, and signs of browsing. The height ranking was analyzed with Kendall’s concordance coefficient, and the height growth rates were compared using Dunn’s test.
Results The density of seedlings increased from 6.7/m2 in 2008 to 8.1/m2 in 2010 and then decreased to 1.2/m2 in 2015. The density of saplings increased continuously from 0.14 to 1.9/m2. The highest size differentiation occurred in sycamore maple; the individuals which were taller before the windstorm retained their position until the year 2015. The only species that was recruited mainly from germinants was European hornbeam.
Conclusion The advance regeneration released by the windstorm played a major role in the regeneration process, while pioneer species occurred only sporadically. Seven years after the disturbance, the windthrow was already covered by a dense thicket of young trees.
Advance regeneration, Forest dynamics, Natural disturbance, Regeneration processes, Seedling recruitment, Temperate forests
Open Access Publication
Szwagrzyk, J., Maciejewski, Z., Maciejewska, E. et al. Annals of Forest Science (2018) 75: 80. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13595-018-0765-z