Can prescribed burning improve resin yield in a tapped Pinus pinaster stand?

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Rodriguez-Garcia, A.; Madrigal, J.; Gonzalez-Sancho, D.; Gil, L.; Guijarro, M.; Hernando, C. (2018) - Can prescribed burning improve resin yield in a tapped Pinus pinaster stand? - Industrial Crop and Products

The defence system of Pinus spp. has been exploited to obtain resin for hundreds of years, and studying ways of enhancing yields continues to be important. In this study, we hypothesize that prescribed burning will increase secretory structures and/or resin yield in pine stands. To test this hypothesis, we applied an experimental burning treatment to a pure Pinus pinaster stand in February 2015 and tapped the trees in 2015 and 2016 (between June and October). We then analyzed the anatomy of the last four growth rings (2013–2016) of 6 trees subjected to each of four different treatments (tapping, burning, burning+tapping and control). We also measured and compared the resin yields from burned and unburned trees in 2015 and 2016. The secretory structures were more numerous in burned+tapped trees than in tapped only trees in 2016, which could lead to higher resin yields in subsequent years. However, there were no differences in resin yields in relation to treatments in the period of study (2015–2016). Prescribed burning alone did not cause significant anatomical variations in Pinus pinaster. More extensive studies are required to evaluate the use of prescribed burning as a management tool for resin extraction, an activity of importance in rural development strategies.

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