iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry


Naturally regenerated English oak (Quercus robur L.) stands on abandoned agricultural lands in Rilate valley (Piedmont Region, NW Italy)

G Minotta   , D Degioanni

iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, Volume 4, Issue 1, Pages 31-37 (2011)
doi: https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor0560-004
Published: Jan 27, 2011 - Copyright © 2011 SISEF

Research Articles

The present study was carried out in 14 sites located in Rilate valley, a hilly area in the south-east Piedmont (NW Italy) within the Monferrato district. Sites were selected where naturally regenerated forest communities are developing on abandoned crop lands. Altitude ranges from 190 to 240 m a.s.l., while the abandonment period varied from 1 to 50 years at the time of the surveys (year 2007). The presence of younger stands (i.e., stands with age < 12 yrs) demonstrates a rapid invasion of abandoned farmlands by forest communities dominated by English oak mixed with other hardwoods, such as wild cherry and common elm. Observations conducted in older stands (i.e., stands with age ranging between 20 and 50 yrs) confirm the ability of English oak to generate well structured woodlands in the study area. In these environmental conditions previous cropping and exposure seem to play a significant influence on stand characteristics. Other noble hardwoods, such as wild cherry and common elm, are frequently associated with the oak. These stands showed a mean annual increment varying from 4 to 6 m3 ha-1 year-1 at the age of 45-50 yrs. At the present, black locust is only sporadic in the uppermost canopy layer and generally confined in the understory. The rapid colonization by Q. robur is favoured by the presence of adult oak trees in the field edges, providing abundant acorns efficiently dispersed by small rodents and birds. Oak stands observed in this study are worthy of notice in the light of the current decline of many adult oak communities in northern Italy, as well as for their potential to produce lumber and veneer logs. Therefore, these stands should be preserved avoiding coppicing or other irrational cuts. Further studies would be needed to analyze the contribution of soil characteristics to the colonization processes.


Quercus robur, Abandoned croplands, Oak stands, Piedmont, Rilate valley

Authors’ address

G Minotta
D Degioanni
Dept. AgroSelviTer, University of Turin, v. Leonardo da Vinci 44, I-10095 Grugliasco (TO - Italy)

Corresponding author


Minotta G, Degioanni D (2011). Naturally regenerated English oak (Quercus robur L.) stands on abandoned agricultural lands in Rilate valley (Piedmont Region, NW Italy). iForest 4: 31-37. - doi: 10.3832/ifor0560-004

Paper history

Received: Apr 23, 2010
Accepted: Dec 12, 2010

First online: Jan 27, 2011
Publication Date: Jan 27, 2011
Publication Time: 1.53 months

Breakdown by View Type

(Waiting for server response...)

Article Usage

Total Article Views: 27948
(from publication date up to now)

Breakdown by View Type
HTML Page Views: 22192
Abstract Page Views: 1457
PDF Downloads: 3206
Citation/Reference Downloads: 22
XML Downloads: 1071

Web Metrics
Days since publication: 4890
Overall contacts: 27948
Avg. contacts per week: 40.01

Article Citations

Article citations are based on data periodically collected from the Clarivate Web of Science web site
(last update: Nov 2020)

Total number of cites (since 2011): 2
Average cites per year: 0.20


Publication Metrics

by Dimensions ©

Articles citing this article

List of the papers citing this article based on CrossRef Cited-by.

Bini C, Buffa G, D’Onofrio E, Zilioli DM (2009)
Soil and land qualities influence forest decline in the Venetian plain (NE Italy). In: “Proceedings of the air water and soil quality international congress” (Manos Dassenakis A, Pattee E, Vianello G, Vittori Antisari L eds). Imola (Italy) 24-25 June 2009, vol. 3, pp. 175-182.
Boelke B, Kahle P (2008)
Energy forestry with willows and poplars - yields and nutrient supply. Pflanzenbauwissenschaften 12: 78-85.
Castellani C, Scrinzi G, Tabacchi G, Tosi V (1984)
Inventario forestale nazionale italiano. Tavole di cubatura a doppia entrata. Ministero dell’Agricoltura e delle Foreste, Istituto Sperimentale per l’Assestamento Forestale e per l’Alpicoltura, Trento (Italy), pp. 114.
De Bernardi P, Patriarca E (2000)
I mammiferi delle aree protette astigiane: inventario e caratterizzazione ecologica preliminare. Quaderno n° 2, Ente dei Parchi e delle Riserve Astigiani, pp. 32.
Ouden J, Jansen PA, Smit R (2005)
Jays, mice and oaks: predation and dispersal of Quercus robur and Q. petraea in north-western Europe. In: “Seed fate: predation, dispersal and seedling establishment” (Forget PM, Lambert JE, Hulme PE, Vander Wall SB eds). CABI publishing, Wallingford, MI, USA, pp. 223-240.
Fontana S (1997)
Boschi di neoformazione: un caso nelle Prealpi venete. Sherwood-Foreste ed alberi oggi 3: 13-17.
Garbarino M, Pividori M (2006)
Le dinamiche del paesaggio forestale: evoluzione temporale del bosco di neoformazione sui pascoli di Corte Pogallo - Parco nazionale della Val Grande (VB). Forest@ 3: 213-221. - doi: 10.3832/ efor0359-0030213.
Ghidotti N, Piussi P (1999)
Rimboschimento spontaneo di coltivi abbandonati nelle Alpi orobiche. Atti del II Congresso S.I.S.E.F.: “Applicazioni e Prospettive per la Ricerca Forestale Italiana” (Bucci G, Minotta G, Borghetti M eds). Ed. Avenue media, Bologna (Italy), pp. 23-26.
Halle S (1988)
Mammal fauna in a young reclaimed area in the Rhineland lignite region. Zeitschrift für Angewandte Zoologie 75: 421-427.
IPLA (2001a)
Boschi collinari. Regione Piemonte, Collana Blu, Torino, pp. 119.
IPLA (2001b)
Carta dei suoli 1:50000 on line. Regione Piemonte, Torino, Italy.
Online | Gscholar
Jensen TS, Nielsen OF (1986)
Rodents as seed dispersers in a heath-oak wood succession. Oecologia 70: 214-221.
CrossRef | Gscholar
McGaughey RJ (2002)
Stand Visualization System, version 3.36. Gen. Tech. Rep. PNW-0000, USDA Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station, Portland, OR, USA.
Online | Gscholar
Onaindia A, Gegout JC, Piedallu C, Nicolescu NV, Bastien Y (2001)
Research on forest vegetation naturally regenerated on abandoned agricultural, vine growing, orchard and pasture lands in the Amance-Apance region (Haute-Marne County, France). Revista Padurilor 116: 19-26.
Piussi P, Pettenella D (2000)
Spontaneous afforestation of fallows in Italy. NEWFOR - New forests for Europe: Afforestation at the turn of the Century. EFI Proceedings 35: 151-163.
Pividori M, Bertolotto G (2003)
Analisi strutturale ed evolutiva in acero-frassineti di neoformazione delle valli di Lanzo (TO). Monti e Boschi 5: 34-40.
Ragazzi A, Moricca S, Capretti P, Dellavalle I, Turco E (2003)
Differences in composition of endophytic mycobiota in twigs and leaves of healthy and declining Quercus species in Italy. Forest Pathology 33: 31-38. - doi: 10.1046/ j.1439-0329.2003.3062003.x.
Salbitano F (1987)
Vegetazione forestale ed insediamento del bosco in campi abbandonati in un settore delle Prealpi Giulie (Taipana-Udine). Gortania 9: 83-144.
Scattolin L, Montecchio L (2007)
First report of damping-off of common oak plantlets caused by Cylindrocladiella parva in Italy. Plant Disease 91: 771.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Smit R, Olff H (1998)
Woody species colonisation in relation to habitat productivity. Plant Ecology 139: 203-209.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Turco E, Marianelli L, Vizzuso C, Ragazzi A, Gini R, Selleri B, Tucci R (2006)
First report of Botryoshaeria dothidea on sycamore, red oak and English oak in Northwestern Italy. Plant Disease 90: 1106.
CrossRef | Gscholar

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. More info