Biomass partitioning and leaf area of Pinus radiata trees subjected to silvopastoral and conventional forestry in the VI region, Chile
The effects of silvicultural regimes on leaf area and biomass distribution were analyzed in 16-year old Pinus radiata trees growing in the semiarid zone of Chile. Three stands with different silvopastoral management were compared with a conventionally managed stand. Data were obtained through destructive sampling of 36 trees and analyzed by MANOVA and regression models of ANCOVA. Results show that the management regime affects the leaf area. Specific leaf area was affected by both silvicultural regime and crown position. Total biomass per tree under the silvopastoral regime was 2.1 to 2.5 times larger than in the conventional forestry regime. However, aboveground biomass partitioning was neither affected by the silvicultural regime nor by the schemes of silvopastoral management. The most important allometric change was in fine root biomass, which was greater under the conventional forestry regime than in the silvopastoral one. Fine root biomass increases with a regular distribution of the plants in the field, and decreases with the clumping of trees. Similarly, the fine root biomass decreases with fertilization. Both plantation design and fertilization regimes explain the changes in the fine root biomass to components of the crown. However, crown structure influences the magnitude of these changes.