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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2003

Steam treatment as a vegetation management method on a grass-dominated clearcut

Norberg G, Dolling A


A field experiment was established to investigate whether a new site preparation technique by steam treatment could be used to control Deschampsia flexuosa vegetation. The experiment was conducted at a south Swedish clearcut dominated by Deschampsia. Growth and survival of planted Norway spruce seedlings in steam-treated plots were compared to seedlings planted in traditional soil scarified plots and in intact vegetation. A second experiment was conducted to study the duration of the heat in the soil during and after a steam treatment and its impact on vegetation reduction. Steam treatment efficiently killed the vegetation and duration for 60 s or more reduced the vegetation to less than 25% of that in untreated plots for 2 years. Steam treatment also reduced the vegetation to a greater extent than soil scarification. After the third growing season the total seedling height was greatest for spruce seedlings grown in steam-treated plots and soil scarified plots. The number of spruce seedlings attacked by pine weevil was about the same in steam-treated plots as in intact plots, however, seedling survival was significantly lowest in intact plots. Pine weevil damage on seedlings grown in steam-treated plots may have affected seedling growth negatively. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved


Competition; Deschampsia flexuosa; Picea abies; Steam treatment; Soil scarification

Published in

Forest Ecology and Management
2003, volume: 174, number: 1-3, pages: 213-219

Authors' information

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Forest Vegetation Ecology
Norberg, Giesela

UKÄ Subject classification

Forest Science

Publication Identifiers


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