Present and future population dynamics of black cherry (Prunus serotina Ehrh.) in forests on sandy soils


Large-scale control of Prunus serotina does not agree with nature-oriented forest management: it would create homogenous situations with a risk for invasion of other unwanted species. Therefore, information is needed on the level of P. serotina that doesn’t hamper the regeneration and establishment of native species. However, studies on the ecology of establishment and dispersal of  P. serotina in Europe and on the effects of its presence are scarce. The purpose of our research is to find out why black cherry is so abundant in Flanders and to predict the future forest development in presence of P. serotina. We focus on pine forests on sandy soils, the ecosystem in which P. serotina occurs most in its invasive range. We examined seed/seedling dynamics and diameter growth of P. serotina in the understory of seven pine plantations (Campine region and Limburg, Belgium), and we compared the colonization patterns of P. serotina in a developing pine forest (the Ossenbos, the Netherlands) and a developing deciduous forest (Liedekerke forest reserve, Belgium) on sandy soils. The findings of these four studies will be used to make predictions on the future role of P. serotina in forests on sandy soils.


invasive species, pine plantations, Prunus serotina, dispersal kernels, spatiotemporal patterns, forest development, sandy soils, demography, radial growth, regeneration, seed rain


Name Role Amount
PhD grant unknown


Name Role Start End
Vanhellemont, Margot member 2005-10-01 2009-09-01
Verheyen, Kris promotor
Hermy, Martin co-promotor


Name Role Start End
Laboratory of Forestry member 2009-03-01

created:2011-12-14 14:18:59 UTC, source:web

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