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Research article2012Peer reviewedOpen access

Productivity of Norway Spruce Compared to Scots Pine in the Interior of Northern Sweden

Nilsson, Urban; Elfving, Björn; Karlsson, Kjell


Productivity of Norway spruce (Picea abies L. Karst.) and Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) was studied in 12 paired plots in the interior of northern Sweden. Stands were established between 1928 and 1959; yield plots were established between 1974 and 1983 during pre-commercial thinning of the stands. Gross stem-wood production was significantly higher for Scots pine than for Norway spruce, stem-wood production by Norway spruce being 29.4% that of Scots pine. The site index for Norway spruce was lower than for Scots pine at all sites except one; the average difference in site index was 4.8 m. The simulated maximum mean annual increment (MAI(max)) during the rotation was 19% higher than the MAI(max) estimated with the site index for Scots pine, whereas simulated MAI(max) and MAI(max) estimated from the site index was about the same for Norway spruce. The simulations also indicated that MAI peaked about 50 years later for Norway spruce than for Scots pine. More small trees were included in the diameter distribution of Norway spruce than of Scots pine resulting in a lower stem-wood volume for Norway spruce when stands with the same dominant height were compared. This study shows that the difference in growth and rotation length between Scots pine and Norway spruce has implications when choosing which species to grow in the interior of northern Sweden.


current annual increment; mean annual increment; Picea abies; Pinus sylvestris; site index; yield

Published in

Silva Fennica
2012, Volume: 46, number: 2, pages: 197-209