Spruce Dominated Landscape Since Pre-Industrial Times in Northern Sweden: the Influence of Modern Forest Management on Forest Structure


landscape since pre-industrial times in northern Sweden: the influence of modern forest management on forest structure. Silva Fennica 43(5): 783–797. Logging history and the study of reference conditions in Scandinavian boreal forests has tended to focus on Scots pine dominated ecosystems. This paper presents a regional study of pre-industrial forest conditions and examines the effects of the industrial exploitation of ecosystems dominated by Norway spruce in northern Sweden. Historical records covering a period which preceded industrial logging in the study area (1917–1927) were used to obtain quantitative data on forest structure and influence of forest fires. These data were compared with a modern data set (2003) to analyse changes due to the industrial transformation of the forest. The early 20th century landscape was dominated by old, multi-cohorted spruce forests and mixed coniferous forests. It was found that fire affected both the structure and composi-tion of the landscape. In post-burnt areas, even-aged forests dominated by deciduous species were the principal forest type. Between the early and modern data sets, profound changes in tree-species composition and age structure were documented. While the total volume of deciduous species increased substantially, the coverage of forests dominated by deciduou

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