Research article

Post-planting treatments and shading effects in a Fraxinus angustifolia Vahl. silvopastoral system

Giorgos Klossas, Apostolos P. Kyriazopoulos , Zoe Koukoura

Giorgos Klossas
Laboratory of Range Science (236), School of Forestry and Natural Environment, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 54124 Thessaloniki, Greece
Apostolos P. Kyriazopoulos
Laboratory of Range Science (236), School of Forestry and Natural Environment, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 54124 Thessaloniki, Greece. Email: apkyriaz@fmenr.duth.gr
Zoe Koukoura
Laboratory of Range Science (236), School of Forestry and Natural Environment, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 54124 Thessaloniki, Greece

Online First: November 16, 2012
Klossas, G., Kyriazopoulos, A., Koukoura, Z. 2012. Post-planting treatments and shading effects in a Fraxinus angustifolia Vahl. silvopastoral system. Annals of Forest Research 56(1): 179-186.


Silvopastoral systems present difficulties in their management due to their complexity. When trees are planted into grasslands, they need protection from livestock to prevent damage from trampling or browsing, especially during early years of establishment. One of the common post-planting protective treatments is the protection of individual trees with shelters. Trees also need protection from competition from herbaceous vegetation. The aim of present study was to evaluate the effects of using different types of tree shelters and of controlling competing herbaceous vegetation on the growth of planted young trees and, to assess the effects of heavy shading on the herbage production and composition. The study was conducted in a Fraxinus angustifolia silvopastoral system of a 2 x 2.5 m spacing plantation in northern Greece. The effects of solid-walled (tubex and handmade by greenhouse nylon) and wire mesh tree shelters as well as of herbicide application and mechanical removal of the competing herbaceous vegetation on tree height, height increment and the crown surface area of the trees were tested. The effects of artificial shading (80%) on the production of the natural herbaceous vegetation were also investigated. All measurements were recorded three years after plantation. The use of solid wall tubex shelters resulted in higher tree height and higher crown surface area in comparison to the other tested shelters. The solid wall Nylon shelters were more beneficial to the above growth parameters than the wire mesh ones. Both vegetation control treatments proved beneficial to all the growth parameters of Fraxinus angustifolia. The artificially applied heavy shading reduced herbage production by 54% compared to the control. The results indicated that post planting treatments in the Mediterranean droughty conditions are essential for the success of this tree species establishment. Furthermore, the later thinning of the dense spacing is important to maintain high herbage production. 

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  • Giorgos Klossas
  • Apostolos P. Kyriazopoulos
  • Zoe Koukoura
  • Giorgos Klossas
  • Apostolos P. Kyriazopoulos
  • Zoe Koukoura