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Ken Olaf Storaunet (email), Jørund Rolstad, Ivar Gjerde, Vegard S. Gundersen

Historical logging, productivity, and structural characteristics of boreal coniferous forests in Norway

Storaunet K.O., Rolstad J., Gjerde I., Gundersen V.S. (2005). Historical logging, productivity, and structural characteristics of boreal coniferous forests in Norway. Silva Fennica vol. 39 no. 3 article id 479. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.479

Abstract

Conservation of forest biodiversity has brought about an interest in evaluating the naturalness of forests, and to locate and protect semi-natural and old-growth forests in the Fennoscandian countries. However, it is not always clear how natural these forests really are, and how the past management history has affected their present structural composition. We studied the relationships between cut stumps from historical logging activity (50–100 years ago) and forest structural characteristics of today in a total of 385 0.25 ha plots in three boreal coniferous forests which are parts of National Nature Reserves in Norway. We also studied how forest productivity influenced these relationships. In plots with negligible logging impact we found the amount of living trees, dead wood, and size of the oldest trees mainly to increase with increasing productivity, whereas the age of the oldest trees decreased. The amount of deciduous trees was generally low irrespective of productivity. The intensity of logging did not consistently influence most of these forest structural variables, neither at low- nor at high-productive sites. The only consistent relationship in all study areas was a decreasing amount of dead wood with increasing logging intensity at high-productive sites. Also, the decay class distribution of dead wood was more right-skewed (indicating on-going accumulation of dead wood) the more logging had occurred at high-productive sites. Except from the effects on dead wood, previous logging does not show up as a major determinant of other stand structures of today.

Keywords
boreal forest; dead trees; decaying wood; forest history; naturalness; selective logging; stand structure

Author Info
  • Storaunet, Norwegian Forest Research Institute, Høgskolevegen 8, NO-1432 Ås, Norway ORCID ID:E-mail ken.storaunet@skogforsk.no (email)
  • Rolstad, Norwegian Forest Research Institute, Høgskolevegen 8, NO-1432 Ås, Norway ORCID ID:
  • Gjerde, Norwegian Forest Research Institute, Fanaflaten 4, NO-5244 Fana, Norway ORCID ID:
  • Gundersen, Norwegian Forest Research Institute, Fanaflaten 4, NO-5244 Fana, Norway ORCID ID:

Received 31 January 2005 Accepted 12 September 2005 Published 31 December 2005

Available at https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.479 | Download PDF

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