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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2014

The choice of definition has a large effect on reported quantities of dead wood in boreal forest

Soderberg U, Wulff S, Stahl G

Abstract

A survey was conducted to assess the impact of the choice of definition on reported quantities of dead wood in Swedish forests, which to more than 90% are located in the boreal zone. The data collection was made on a subsample of the permanent plots of the Swedish national forest inventory. The objects included were standing dead trees and snags down to 5-cm diameter at breast height, dead lying stems and branches down to a threshold diameter of 1 cm and stumps down to a threshold diameter of 5-cm at normal stump height. Standing trees, snags and stumps were inventoried on 10-m radius circular plots while the downed objects were inventoried using both circular plots and line intersect sampling; thin objects (diameter 1-5 cm) were assessed only through line intersect sampling. The results showed that the estimated volume of dead wood was as high as 25 m(3) ha(-1) when all components were included. With the standard Swedish definition, the corresponding estimate was only 10.9 m(3) ha(-1), or 43% of the total value. Since definitions of dead wood vary greatly between countries we conclude that great caution must be exercised when figures are compared in connection with international reporting. For example, adding stumps to the Swedish definition would increase the amounts of dead wood from 10.9 to 15.7 m(3) ha(-1), i.e. with 44%.

Keywords

coarse woody debris; harmonisation; international reporting; forest inventory

Published in

Scandinavian Journal of Forest Research
2014, volume: 29, number: 3, pages: 252-258

Authors' information

Söderberg, Ulf
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Forest Resource Management
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Forest Resource Management
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Forest Resource Management

Associated SLU-program

Forest

UKÄ Subject classification

Forest Science

Publication Identifiers

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/02827581.2014.896940

URI (permanent link to this page)

https://res.slu.se/id/publ/64301