Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2021
The millennium shift: Investigating the relationship between environment and growth trends of Norway spruce and Scots pine in northern EuropeMensah, Alex Appiah; Holmstrom, Emma; Petersson, Hans; Nystrom, Kenneth; Mason, Euan G.; Nilsson, Urban
AbstractFor boreal forests in colder climates, changes in environmental conditions are hypothesised to substantially affect ecosystem processes. In this study, trends of top height growth of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) and Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst) were analysed using permanent sample plot data from more than 300 long-term experimental sites distributed from temperate zones to the boreal forest conditions in Sweden. By regression analyses, the effects of temperature-sum and precipitation-sum on top height growth were assessed in the period 1986-2018. A significant upward temporal trend in height growth was observed for both species, with the trend more pronounced after the millennium shift. The magnitude of the annual relative height growth after the millennium was about 16.92% and 9.54% higher than expected, respectively for Scots pine and Norway spruce. A potential climate response on height growth was found for both species with temperature-sum positively correlated with top height growth. No significant effect of precipitation-sum on height growth was observed for either species. Our results suggest improved growing conditions and forest sites became more productive in response to increasing temperature in the northern temperate and boreal regions. The increasing growth trends may offer shorter rotation periods and increased forest value for Norway spruce and Scots pine, coupled with contributions of boreal forests to the emerging bio-economy and the regulation of global atmospheric carbon.
KeywordsBoreal forest; Picea abies; Pinus sylvestris; Growth-climate relationships; Site productivity; Rotation period
Published inForest Ecology and Management
2021, volume: 481, article number: 118727
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Southern Swedish Forest Research Centre
Mason, Euan G.
University of Canterbury
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