iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry


Role of serotiny on Pinus pinaster Aiton germination and its relation to mother plant age and fire severity

Oscar Cruz   , Juan García-Duro, Mercedes Casal, Otilia Reyes

iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, Volume 12, Issue 6, Pages 491-497 (2019)
doi: https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor2968-012
Published: Nov 02, 2019 - Copyright © 2019 SISEF

Research Articles

Serotiny degree may hypothetically depend on mother plant age and fire severity, and fire severity can strongly affect the regeneration of Pinus pinaster Aiton, which is an obligate seeder species with aerial seed banks stocked in cones showing a certain degree of serotiny. The main objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of serotiny and mother plant age on seed germination of P. pinaster in relation to fire severity. For this purpose, cones were collected in two stands from mother trees of different ages. Serotinous cones were opened in oven at increasing temperatures to determine the number of seeds released. The length of cones and the number and weight of seeds were measured. Seeds from both classes of mother plant age were subjected to 34 different treatments simulating different fire severity levels, and their germination was recorded. The results showed that serotiny was significantly higher in cones from young mother trees. Seed germination in the control groups from serotinous cones was always higher than that from non-serotinous cones without thermal shock. Fire severity decreased seed germination as fire severity increases in both mother age classes. Mother plant age was related to the serotiny level, which was higher in young than in old trees, suggesting a strong selection in the population due to a recent fire.


Fire Severity, Germination, Mother Plant Age, Pinus pinaster, Plantation Management, Serotiny

Authors’ address

Oscar Cruz 0000-0001-8010-9978
Juan García-Duro
Mercedes Casal
Otilia Reyes 0000-0002-2276-7734
Área de Ecología, Dpto. de Biología Funcional, Fac. de Biología, Universidad de Santiago de Compostela, Campus Vida, 15782 Santiago de Compostela (Spain)

Corresponding author

Oscar Cruz


Cruz O, García-Duro J, Casal M, Reyes O (2019). Role of serotiny on Pinus pinaster Aiton germination and its relation to mother plant age and fire severity. iForest 12: 491-497. - doi: 10.3832/ifor2968-012

Academic Editor

Andrea Cutini

Paper history

Received: Oct 04, 2018
Accepted: Aug 08, 2019

First online: Nov 02, 2019
Publication Date: Dec 31, 2019
Publication Time: 2.87 months

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