Skip to main content
SLU publication database (SLUpub)

Research article2022Peer reviewedOpen access

Short-term effects of continuous cover forestry on forest biomass production and biodiversity: Applying single-tree selection in forests dominated by Picea abies

Ekholm, Adam; Axelsson, Petter; Hjalten, Joakim; Lundmark, Tomas; Sjogren, Jorgen


The rotation forestry system provides high biomass production, but could also have a negative impact on species sensitive to disturbance. Continuous cover forestry (CCF) could contribute to solving these conflicting goals, but its feasibility in nutrient limited boreal forests is yet unresolved. In a unique experiment, we simultaneously assessed the short-term effect of single-tree selection on both biomass production and biodiversity (vascular plants, bryophytes, wood-inhabiting fungi), and tested fertilization as a way to mediate growth-biodiversity trade-offs. We found that unharvested stands and stands subjected to single-tree selection had a similar species assemblage of vascular plants, bryophytes, and wood-inhabiting fungi. Fertilization increased growth by 37% and induced shifts in two understory species (favoring the grass Avenella flexuosa and disfavoring the bryophyte Hylocomium splendens). We conclude that single-tree selection may become a useful tool to enhance biodiversity in managed forests.


Biodiversity; Boreal forest; Picea abies; Selection system; Single-tree selection; Uneven-aged forestry

Published in

AMBIO: A Journal of the Human Environment
2022, Volume: 51, number: 12, pages: 2478-2495 Publisher: SPRINGER