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Book chapter - Peer-reviewed, 2022

Historical and Contemporary Views on Non-wood Forest Products in Sweden—Contrasting Reflections

Tunon, Håkan


Far away from the Southeast Asian forests in Northern Europe lies Sweden, a contrasting industrial country. Approximately 75% of the country is covered with boreal forest. Due to intense industrial forestry for almost two centuries, only about 25% have qualities as primary forest. The rest is managed forests. Biodiversity is low compared to Southeast Asia, the dominant species are 40.3% Norway spruce (Picea abies), 39.3% Scots pine (Pinus silvestris), and 12.4% birches (Betula spp.). About 8.7% of the forests is protected, mostly areas with low capacity to produce timber. Sweden is a developed country with 10 million inhabitants (average 25.4 inhabitants /km2). Historically, the forests supplied game, fir and pelts, to a lesser extent berries and mushrooms, and it was also used for grazing. Timber was extracted mainly for household purposes or to produce coal, tar, and potash, but during late nineteenth century, the sawmill industry became increasingly important. Today most forests are subjected to industrial forestry and harvest of non-wood forest products (NWFPs) is considered a conflicting interest. So, how can forestry and harvest of NWFPs coexist? In industrial countries ecotourism and recreational uses of forests may be more urgent NWFPs than many provisioning ecosystem services—and most likely also more profitable. However, in order to safe-guard the future of valuable biodiversity-rich forests suitable for recreation as well as harvest of more concrete NWFPs it is necessary that some of the profits from such ventures finds the way to the forest owners in order to motivate them not to clear-cut.


Forestry; Hunting; Trapping; Berries; Mushrooms; Recreation

Published in

World Forests
2022, number: 25, pages: 13-39
Book title: Non-Wood Forest Products of Asia : Knowledge, Conservation and Livelihood
ISBN: 978-3-030-99312-2, eISBN: 978-3-030-99313-9
Publisher: Springer

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Economic Geography
    Forest Science

    Publication Identifiers


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