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Articles by Torbjörn Josefsson

Category : Research article

article id 10460, category Research article
Hanna Lundmark, Lars Östlund, Torbjörn Josefsson. (2021). Continuity forest or second-generation forest? Historic aerial photos provide evidence of early clear-cutting in northern Sweden. Silva Fennica vol. 55 no. 1 article id 10460. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.10460
Keywords: continuous cover forestry; forest history; aerial photography; satellite image; clear-cutting; clear-felling
Highlights: In the early 1900s clear-cutting had been applied to 10% of the forest land in the study area situated in Västernorrland province, northern Sweden; By the end of the 1940s 40% of the study area had been clear-cut and constituted second-generation forest; 50–70 years is too short of a time frame for assessing the continuity of a forest in the study area.
Abstract | Full text in HTML | Full text in PDF | Author Info

Modern forestry, which mainly consists of clear-cutting, is one of the most important factors influencing today’s boreal forests. In Sweden, the breaking point for modern forestry is generally considered to be around 1950. Recently, our common knowledge of the implementation of clear-cutting in Sweden has increased, and new research indicates that clear-cutting systems were already applied before the 1950s. In this case study, we used aerial photographs from the 1940s to analyze the extent of contemporaneous clear-cuts and even-aged young forests in an area in northern Sweden. Our results show that almost 40% of the study area had already been clear-cut by the end of the 1940s, but also that clear-cutting had been applied to 10% of the forest land in the early 1900s. This implies that the historical development of forestry in northern Sweden is more complex than previously thought, and that certain proportions of the forest land were already second-generation forests in the 1950s. Our results have implications for the use of concepts such as “continuity forest”, suggesting that this concept should employ a time frame of at least 100 years.

  • Lundmark, Department of Forest Ecology and Management, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, S-901 83 Umeå, Sweden ORCID https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8402-7152 E-mail: hanna.lundmark@slu.se
  • Östlund, Department of Forest Ecology and Management, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, S-901 83 Umeå, Sweden ORCID https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7902-3672 E-mail: lars.ostlund@slu.se
  • Josefsson, Department of Forest Ecology and Management, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, S-901 83 Umeå, Sweden ORCID https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8734-5778 E-mail: torbjorn.josefsson@slu.se (email)
article id 173, category Research article
Erik Hellberg, Torbjörn Josefsson, Lars Östlund. (2009). The transformation of a Norway spruce dominated landscape since pre-industrial times in northern Sweden: the influence of modern forest management on forest structure. Silva Fennica vol. 43 no. 5 article id 173. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.173
Keywords: birch; disturbance dynamics; forest history; deciduous forest; fire
Abstract | View details | Full text in PDF | Author Info
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 composition 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 deciduous species decreased. There was also a significant increase in pine-dominated forests and in the total volume of pine. The industrial transformation of the studied landscapes has had profound effects on the structure of spruce forests, but much less so on deciduous forests. The study concludes that the present forest structure is a function of past management regimes, and that future transformations of the landscape will continue, thus affecting the natural variability and biodiversity of the forests.
  • Hellberg, Tunstigen 10, SE-831 43 Östersund, Sweden E-mail: eh@nn.se
  • Josefsson, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Forest Ecology and Management, SE-901 83 Umeå, Sweden E-mail: torbjorn.josefsson@svek.slu.se (email)
  • Östlund, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Forest Ecology and Management, SE-901 83 Umeå, Sweden E-mail: lo@nn.se

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