Skip to main content
SLU publication database (SLUpub)

Research article2021Peer reviewedOpen access

Varying rectangular spacing yields no difference in forest growth and external wood quality in coniferous forest plantations

Ara, Mostarin; Barbeito, Ignacio; Elfving, Bjorn; Johansson, Ulf; Nilsson, Urban

Abstract

Historically square or almost square spacing design has been used in plantation forest, as it has been claimed to maximize productivity. In this study, based on field experiments established in the mid-1980s, we tested the effect of square or different rectangular planting designs (2 x 2, 1.33 x 3, 1 x 4, 0.8 x 5, 1.46 x 1.46 x 4 m) on productivity, stand heterogeneity, and external wood properties of three coniferous species: Scots pine, Lodgepole pine, and Norway spruce. Stand production (volume, diameter), external wood properties (ovality, branch thickness, living crown height, height-diameter ratio), and stand heterogeneity (Gini coefficient) were not significantly affected by the different rectangular designs. Based on this evidence, we propose that more flexibility is available than previously thought for rectangular spacing layouts and consequently for the choice of planting spots and machinery operations.

Keywords

Lodgepole pine; Norway spruce; Scots pine; Planting design; Stand heterogeneity

Published in

Forest Ecology and Management
2021, Volume: 489, article number: 119040Publisher: ELSEVIER