Structural changes in three mid-boreal Swedish forest landscapes, 1885–1996

Structural changes in three mid-boreal Swedish forest landscapes, 1885–1996 Changes in the structure and composition of 123 000 ha of boreal forests in Sweden, were analysed using historical records. These forests had not been commercially logged when the first forest surveys took place in the late 1800s, so the earliest surveys provide unique data on structure of the natural boreal forest. The pre-exploitation forests had many large-diameter living and standing dead trees ( Pinus sylvestris L. and Picea abies (L.) Karst.), and were dominated by stands > 200 years old. Commercial exploitation in the late 1800s, subsequent intensive forest management and fire protection have generated a forest landscape dominated by relatively young and dense stands, totally different from the pre-exploitation forests. Since the late 1800s, both the number of large trees and the volume of snags have been reduced by about 90%, and the area of old stands has diminished to < 1%. These fundamental changes have reduced the number of habitats for many red-listed species considerably. We conclude that the essential characteristics of the natural forest landscape have to be re-created in order to restore and maintain natural biodiversity. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Biological Conservation Elsevier

Structural changes in three mid-boreal Swedish forest landscapes, 1885–1996

Biological Conservation, Volume 85 (1) – Jul 1, 1998

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Publisher
Elsevier
Copyright
Copyright © 1998 Elsevier Ltd
ISSN
0006-3207
D.O.I.
10.1016/S0006-3207(97)00168-7
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Changes in the structure and composition of 123 000 ha of boreal forests in Sweden, were analysed using historical records. These forests had not been commercially logged when the first forest surveys took place in the late 1800s, so the earliest surveys provide unique data on structure of the natural boreal forest. The pre-exploitation forests had many large-diameter living and standing dead trees ( Pinus sylvestris L. and Picea abies (L.) Karst.), and were dominated by stands > 200 years old. Commercial exploitation in the late 1800s, subsequent intensive forest management and fire protection have generated a forest landscape dominated by relatively young and dense stands, totally different from the pre-exploitation forests. Since the late 1800s, both the number of large trees and the volume of snags have been reduced by about 90%, and the area of old stands has diminished to < 1%. These fundamental changes have reduced the number of habitats for many red-listed species considerably. We conclude that the essential characteristics of the natural forest landscape have to be re-created in order to restore and maintain natural biodiversity.

Journal

Biological ConservationElsevier

Published: Jul 1, 1998

References

  • Wood-inhabiting fungi and substratum decline in selectively logged boreal spruce forest
    Bader, P.; Jansson, S.; Jonsson, B.G.
  • Threatened plant, animal, and fungus species in Swedish forests: Distribution and habitat associations
    Berg, Å.; Ehnström, B.; Gustafsson, L.; Hallingbäck, T.; Jonsell, M.; Weslien, J.
  • Stand structure and successional trends in virgin boreal forest reserves in Sweden
    Linder, P.; Elfving, B.; Zackrisson, O.
  • Invertebrate communities in boreal forest canopies as influenced by forestry and lichens with implications for passerine birds
    Pettersson, R.B.; Ball, J.P.; Renhorn, K.-E.; Esseen, P.-A.; Sjöberg, K.
  • Crustose lichens as indicators of forest continuity in boreal coniferous forests
    Tibell, L.

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