iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry


Estimating the mechanical stability of Pinus nigra Arn. using an alternative approach across several plantations in central Italy

Paolo Cantiani, Ugo Chiavetta   

iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, Volume 8, Issue 6, Pages 846-852 (2015)
doi: https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor1300-007
Published: Apr 08, 2015 - Copyright © 2015 SISEF

Research Articles

Black pine has been used often in central and southern Italy to reforest mountainous areas depleted by the intensive use of natural resources. The main purpose of establishing pine forests in Italy was to protect the soil from excessive erosion, and also to facilitate the natural succession toward mixed forests with deciduous species. The most common silvicultural treatments in Europe currently aim at maximizing the stability of the stands and facilitating the transition from pure to mixed stands comprising a larger component of native tree species. In this work, we investigated the relationships between the living whorls number and four indexes of individual tree stability: the slenderness ratio, the crown depth, the crown projection, and an eccentricity index of the canopy. The data set used was composed of 1098 trees from ten black pine plantations located in central Italy. Our results demonstrate that the living whorls number can be handily used to predict the slenderness ratio with an error of 18%. A non-parametric model based on a reduced number of field measures was obtained as a support for thinning operations aimed at improving single tree stability.


Black Pine, Tree Stability, Living Whorl Number, Slenderness Ratio, Crown Depth, Crown Projection, Crown Eccentricity

Authors’ address

Paolo Cantiani
Ugo Chiavetta
Consiglio per la Ricerca in Agricoltura e l’Analisi dell’Economia Agraria, Forestry Research Center, v.le Santa Margherita 80, I-52100 Arezzo (Italy)

Corresponding author

Ugo Chiavetta


Cantiani P, Chiavetta U (2015). Estimating the mechanical stability of Pinus nigra Arn. using an alternative approach across several plantations in central Italy. iForest 8: 846-852. - doi: 10.3832/ifor1300-007

Academic Editor

Chris Eastaugh

Paper history

Received: Mar 26, 2014
Accepted: Oct 18, 2014

First online: Apr 08, 2015
Publication Date: Dec 01, 2015
Publication Time: 5.73 months

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