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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2009

The effects of soil fertility on the abundance of rowan (Sorbus aucuparia L.) in urban forests

Hamberg, Leena; Malmivaara-Lamsa, Minna; Lehvavirta, Susanna; Kotze, D. Johan


The amount of rowan saplings has increased considerably in urban forests in Finland. In this study, we investigated the effects of soil fertility on rowan abundance. Urban forests studied were more fertile than rural forests, and consequently included more rowans than reference areas. The abundance of rowan increased with increasing soil fertility in urban areas, being the highest at forest edges. Furthermore, rowan did not suffer from trampling, and the presence of other trees and saplings did not restrict its growth in relatively open urban forests. We conclude that the effects of urbanization, e.g., edge effects, and factors related to trampling (e.g., dog excrement), may increase forest soil fertility creating favorable conditions for rowan. To control the spread of rowan in urban forests, we recommend that open forest edges with a large number of broad-leaved trees should be avoided, and recreational use of forests should be guided to the maintained path network.


Saplings; Fragmentation; Urban woodlands; Invasive native species

Published in

Plant Ecology
2009, Volume: 204, number: 1, pages: 21-32
Publisher: SPRINGER

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Forest Science

    Publication Identifiers


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