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Macroecology and Biogeography meeting

May 3rd to 6th 2023 - Universität Bayreuth

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Assessing the role of fire history in the resilience of Pinus canariensis stands to disturbance ​

Christopher Shatto1, Frank Weiser1, Anke Jentsch2, Peter Wolff2, Leonardos Leonardos2, Carl Beierkuhnlein1
1 Biogeography, University of Bayreuth
2 Disturbance Ecology, University of Bayreuth

P 2.8 in Poster Session Friday (14:45-15:30)

Forest fires play a critical role in the maintenance of ecological processes as they influence spatial patterns, temporal dynamics and biodiversity. The natural pine forests of the Canary Islands are prone to frequent natural and human induced fire and are well adapted due to the presence of the endemic Canary Island pine, Pinus canariensis. Pinus canariensis is unique among all pine species because in addition to serotinous cones, thick bark, deep rooting and tall growing habits, it recovers quickly from fire through its ability to resprout from aboveground organs. With the increasing number of fires in recent decades, it is paramount to understand the legacy of fire on ecosystem regeneration and also ecosystem resilience to disturbances besides fire. Here, we investigate the regeneration of pine stands following the 2021 Cumbre Vieja eruption on the island of La Palma. These pine stands were exposed to intense sulfur emissions during the eruption which browned the needles of pine trees in a 7-km radius from the volcano. The needles of many of these trees have since returned to color. To assess the recovery rate of different pine stands, we conduct a time series analysis of remotely sensed NDVI. We expect there to be a significant relationship between stand fire history and its regeneration following the immense sulfur exposure.

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