Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2022
Pre-Commercial Thinning Increases the Profitability of Norway Spruce Monoculture and Supports Norway Spruce-Birch Mixture over Full RotationsAra, Mostarin; Berglund, Mattias; Fahlvik, Nils; Johansson, Ulf; Nilsson, Urban
AbstractPre-commercial thinning (PCT) is a common measure in Norway spruce (Picea abies L. Karst.) stands but the profitability of doing PCT and timing of PCT has not been fully investigated over a full rotation. Further, limited knowledge is available for mixed forest management compared to monocultures. In this study, different PCT strategies were tested to investigate the effect of PCT and timing of PCT on the production and profitability of Norway spruce monocultures and mixed Norway spruce-birch stands. A forest decision support system was used to simulate stand development during the whole rotation. Our study findings show that there is a positive effect of PCT on Norway spruce plantations' long-term profitability but that the timing of PCT has little effect on profitability. However, site variation might influence the effect of PCT timing on the profitability of Norway spruce stands. Moreover, we also found that retaining 1000 Norway spruce ha(-1) and 1000 birch ha(-1) after PCT supports a mixture of Norway spruce and birch over a full rotation, with little or no economic loss compared to pure Norway spruce stands. Therefore, such a mixture can lead to profitable production while still providing other ecosystem services.
Keywordsearly PCT; late PCT; mixed forest; Norway spruce; pre-commercial thinning; stump sprouting
2022, volume: 13, number: 8, article number: 1156
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Southern Swedish Forest Research Centre
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