Highlights: Two regeneration methods were modelled on stand level and optimised numerically to maximise present value for a range of site indexes and locations; Natural regeneration was optimal in most cases; Planting was optimal for high site indexes, low rate of seedling mortality and for low discount rates; Using genetically improved plant material greatly shifts the preference towards planting
In this study the profitability of regenerating Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) was examined for two methods; planting and natural regeneration with seed trees. The methods were modelled on stand level and optimised numerically using nonlinear optimisation. The analysis includes 7 site indexes, 16 to 28 expressed as dominant height in meters at an age of 100 years; and 8 localities in northern Sweden distributed on two latitudes, 60°N and 64°N and four altitudes, 100 to 400 m.a.s.l. Furthermore, two scenarios of genetically improved planting material were examined. The results show that the optimal choice of regeneration method depends on the location, site index and discount rate. Considering the same genetic regeneration material, natural regeneration was the optimal method for most of the evaluated sites. Planting was optimal only for stands of high site index and low rate of seedling mortality, which is associated with localities on low altitudes. The break even site index, where the two methods yielded the same net present value, was 27 on average (25 to 28). The choice between the two regeneration methods was found to be more economically important when the discount rate was low and for low site indexes. The option of using genetically improved plant material shift the preference towards planting. Thus, the two levels of genetic gain of +4% and +10% to maximum mean annual increment resulted in an average break even site index of 25 and 21 respectively.