Production potential and structural variability of pine stands in the Czech Republic: Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) vs. introduced pines - case study and problem review.
Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) is one of the most important tree species in Eurasia. During the past centuries, it has been extensively introduced into artificial monocultures, but is currently experiencing a number of problems related to climate change and extreme droughts. There is a large-scale disintegration of its stands and, in addition to its replacement by other native trees, it is possible to use a wide range of introduced species of the same genus. The aim of the investigation was to compare production parameters, structure and diversity of pine stands at the age of 35 years in school Arboretum of Faculty of Forestry and Wood Science in Central Bohemia (320 m a.s.l., medium rich habitats, water deficit site). Seven species of pine were compared: ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa Douglas ex C. Hawson), Jeffrey pine (Pinus jeffreyi Balf.), black pine (Pinus nigra J.F. Arnold), eastern white pine (Pinus strobus L.), Lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta Douglas), Macedonian pine (Pinus peuce Griseb.) and the only native Scots pine. The results showed that significantly (P < 0.001) highest height, diameter at breast height and mean stem volume were achieved in Pinus ponderosa and P. strobus stands, while these parameters were lowest in P. peuce and P. nigra. In contrast, the lowest stand volume was calculated for P. strobus (112 m3.ha-1) due to the lower stand density, while the highest production was again in P. ponderosa (430 m3.ha-1). In terms of structural variability, the highest diversity was found in P. jeffreyi and P. peuce. The introduced pine species, especially P. ponderosa, could therefore play an important role in terms of production and economic potential and even replace native P. sylvestris on suitable sites.