Current issue: 54(2)
Under compilation: 54(3)
Comparisons were made between artificially and naturally regenerated stands in the south-eastern part of North Karelia, Finland, and naturally regenerated stands in the western parts of the Republic of Karelia, Russian Federation. The effect of soil fertility and silvicultural operations on the stand structure was also investigated.
The results of the study show clearly that when forests are artificially regenerated the stand structure includes less variation when compared with the stands naturally regenerated. Differences between the regeneration methods are clearer the more fertile the forest site is. Within the regeneration method there is also a clear trend in stand structure, with the variation decreasing the poorer the site. The effect of silvicultural operations, i.e. the cleaning of the sapling stand, has disappeared by the time of first thinning, although it appears to have a permanent effect on the dynamics of the tree species within a stand.
The variation of the stand structure can be regarded as an essential factor for the potential biodiversity of the stand also at its young vegetation succession stage. This capacity for maintaining the forest biodiversity, developed at the young vegetation succession stage, becomes increasingly important in subsequent vegetation succession stages. Natural regeneration provides improved possibilities for the operations preserving forest biodiversity, as it generates more dense stands with a wider variation in stand structure, compared to artificial regeneration.