Detailed spatial changes in foreststructure in a central Swedish landscape were examinedusing geographic information system techniques. First,the influence of grazing and burning on forest densityand structure in the 19th century landscape wereanalyzed. Then, the development of the landscapeduring the 20th century, together with the impactof modern forest management methods on foreststructure, were analyzed using historical sources. In1907, over 20% of the 2200 hectare study site wassparsely-wooded (12 m3 ha−1) with old trees.These areas have been reforested with single-storiedmiddle-aged and old pine stands (66 m3 ha−1in 1989) during the 20th century. Firesuppression and changes in land use from subsistence-to-industrialforestry, facilitated Norway spruceregeneration as undergrowth in open Scots pine standsafter logging. This natural regeneration has, to alarge extent, been cut down and replaced by pineafforestation. During the second half of the 20thcentury, the standing timber volume has steadilyincreased, while the mean age of the forest hasdecreased. Today's young dense forests will result inhigher timber values in the coming decades, but theforest has lost a range of ecological niches.
New Forests – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 16, 2004
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