Testing the use of shelters in cork oak (Quercus suber L.) reforestation


Abstract: The authors analyse the results obtained by using shelters in a Quercus suber L.reforestation carried out from 2001. Two different types of shelters, with two different heights (60and 120cm), that can be found on the market have been used for this experimentation; 5protection modalities were tested: a) Tubex® 60cm, b) Tubex® 120cm, c) no protection (control),d) Arboplus® 60cm, e) Arboplus® 120cm. Each year, the mortality of the seedling as well as theirdiameter at collar and height were recorded. The shelters were removed in spring 2006. Theannual pluviometric data of the study period showed that the rain trend was extremely variable incomparison to the historical average (1961-1990), with some really dry years. The data analysispointed out that using individual shelters led to a less important mortality level (10%) incomparison to the control plot (30%). The higher height values have been observed in theseedlings protected by shelters of 120cm, while the smallest values are those of the control plot.The growth in diameter was greater in seedlings protected by Arboplus 60 and Tubex 60, whilethe seedlings of the control plot showed smaller diameters. The use of the shelters, originallyemployed to avoid the damages caused by animals, has proved to be an effective help to reducethe mortality and facilitate the seedlings growth. It remains of basic importance to follow in thefuture the growth of the experimental plantations, in order to assess if the good results obtainedby using individual shelters will influence the future growth of the plantation.

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