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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2003

Survival, growth, and growth allocation of planted Scots pine trees after different levels of biomass removal in clear-felling

Egnell G, Valinger E

Abstract

A great concern in forestry today is whether whole-tree harvesting influences site productivity and whether it is consistent with the principle of sustainable use of forest resources. To evaluate this a randomised field experiment established 24 years ago in Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) in southern Sweden was used. Treatments were conventional stem harvest (CH), whole-tree harvest (WTH), and branch and stem harvest (BSH). Seedling survival was unaffected by treatments. The total basal area over bark at breast height (1.3 m, m(2) ha(-1)) was significantly reduced following WTH from the 15th year after planting. Sample trees on CH plots produced 20% more wood biomass than WTH and BSH plots, while biomass produced within the crown was unaffected by treatment. Height growth was greater for sample trees on CH plots during the last year of measurement, while basal area and volume under bark were larger from the 12th year onwards when compared with the WTH treatment. BSH showed a decreased basal area growth under bark during the two 4-year-periods, 13-16 and 17-20 years after planting, and a decreased volume growth under bark from year 9 onwards in comparison with CH. Radial growth was increased for CH up to 3 m of the stems during the 9-12-year period and at 3 m during the 13-16-year period in comparison with the other two treatments. The implications of the results are discussed in terms of long-term site productivity and overall silvicultural outcome. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved

Keywords

Production; Pinus sylvestris; Whole-tree harvest; Slash removal

Published in

Forest Ecology and Management
2003, Volume: 177, number: 1-3, pages: 65-74
Publisher: ELSEVIER SCIENCE BV