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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2010

Current state of European beech ( Fagus sylvatica L.) in Sweden

Övergaard Rolf, Stener Lars-Göran


More than half of Sweden is covered with forests. Beech migrated from more southern areas of Europe approximately 4,000 years ago and is today located in the very southernmost part of the country. Beech has been used for several industrial purposes over recent centuries. A large part of the original beech forests was converted into spruce woodland in the 20th century due to economical reasons. As a result the "Hardwood Tree Forestry Act" was approved with the aim to protect beech and other hardwood forests. Today beech forests are primarily regenerated naturally and managed using an intensive thinning program. The rotation period generally varies from 80 to 140 years. It is primarily recommended to use regeneration material from seed orchards or from approved seed stands close to the cultivation location. Research is mainly focused on cost-effective management, but also assesses issues relating to biodiversity, recreation and vitality (indicated by crown defoliation and reduction of soil pH). Tree breeding work with beech is very extensive. Future climate change is predicted to increase yield within the species present distribution and may also lead to an increase of the beech forest area in Sweden


biodiversity; climatic change; forest health; forest management; forest policy; forest recreation; forests; natural regeneration; plant genetic resources; provenance; seed orchards; silviculture; tree breeding

Published in

Communicationes Instituti forestalis Bohemicae
2010, Volume: 25, pages: 242-247
Publisher: Forestry and Game Management Research Institute, Praha, Czech Republic

    SLU Authors

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Forest Science

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