Management of Stands and Stone Pine Forests

The sustainability of stone pine stands and forests depends on good-practice-based forestry and adaptive management that aims to increase the resistance and resilience of stone pine in a new climate context. Promoting intra and inter-specific diversity, ensuring adequate natural/artificial regeneration, and establishing effective fertilization regimes are some measures that can contribute to adaptive and sustainable management. This thematic line will discuss innovations in stone pine forestry and management and the development/optimization of flexible and dynamic forestry models in time and space.

Forest Genetic Resources

Forest genetic resources have implications for the stability of ecosystem productivity, resilience to climate change, species coexistence, and ecosystem functioning. Forest genetic resources are a fundamental component in adaptive forest management. Conservation of genetic diversity is essential in sustainable forest management. However, knowledge of the potential of forest genetic resources to maintain ecosystem services, mitigate climate change, increase resilience and contribute to production is still limited. This thematic line aims to improve knowledge of stone pine forest genetic resources, identify gaps in knowledge and establish priorities in research and forest management.

Abiotic and biotic risks

Although stone pine is a species well adapted to the seasonality of the Mediterranean climate, warming trends associated with more frequent and severe droughts can critically affect the products and services provided by stone pine stands and forests. Climate change can increase the frequency and severity of fires and magnify damage from pests and diseases. The response of stone pine stands and forests to abiotic and biotic risks depends on site characteristics, the adaptive potential of individuals, physiology, and forest management. This thematic line will address these forest systems’ vulnerability and adaptation mechanisms.

Market, Products, and Services

Pine nuts are one of the most relevant non-wood forest products in the Mediterranean areas, however, stone pine woodlands and stands are multifunctional systems capable of woody (e.g., wood, biomass for energy) and non-woody production (e.g., pastures, resin, mushrooms) and protection/environmental functions (e.g., stability, hydrological regime, carbon storage, biodiversity). Inter-annual variation in the production of pine cones and nuts, the decline in productivity and yield due to biotic and abiotic factors, and the increasing import of pine nuts from other pine species affect how products and services are perceived and valued.
This thematic line will discuss market evolution, the recognition of other products/services, and innovations in the stone pine value chain based on sustainable concepts and new business models.