Available at: https://digitalcommons.calpoly.edu/theses/347
Date of Award
MS in Forestry Sciences
Natural Resources Management
The future resilience of Pinus radiata D. Don (Monterey pine) is dependent upon the development of a silviculture program inclusive of either preventative or management techniques for the potentially fatal pitch canker disease (Fusarium circinatum Nirenberg and O’Donnell [=F.subglutinans (Wollenw. & Reinking) Nelson et al. f. sp. Pini). As an ecologically and commercially valued species, a myriad of factors threaten the genetic resources of the geographically limited natural range. This study evaluated the effectiveness of uneven-aged forest management for regeneration success in the native, pitch canker infected Año Nuevo stand at Swanton Pacific Ranch in Davenport, California. Seedling survival and growth averages were used to evaluate the impact of the variables of gap size (0.20-hectare, 0.10-hectare, and 0.05-hectare), site-preparation treatment (pile and burn, lop and scatter), and parent tree (13 local seed sources). Pitch canker symptoms were quantified to conclude if there is indeed a range of expressed resistance according to parent tree. Statistical models (i.e. ‘mixed effect’) yielded moderately significant differences in odds of survival between site treatments, with pile and burn plots producing higher survival rates (p=0.066). No significant difference in survival was detected between gap-sizes (p=0.936 and 0.803, 0.05- and 0.10-hectare gaps respectively to 0.20-hectare reference). Significant variation was expressed (estimate=0.1219, SE=0.057) between the 13 parent trees, implicating usefulness in predicting seedling survival. ‘Mixed effect’ models only detected a significant effect from gap-size on growth measures: 0.20-hectare gaps yielded height and diameter measures significantly larger than 0.05-hectare gaps (p=0.027 and 0.0081 respectively). Contingency tables detected significant association between gap-size and number of pitch canker branch symptoms. The range of infection rates produced by the 13 parent trees did not prove significant by analysis. Pile and burn site preparation treatment increases the probability of survival for artificially regenerated seedlings and 0.20-hectare gaps yield significantly higher growth averages over 0.05-hectare gaps.