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Review article - Peer-reviewed, 2017

Tamm Review: Selection system reduces long-term volume growth in Fennoscandic uneven-aged Norway spruce forests

Lundqvist, Lars


The review gives a short general history of the selection system, suggests a way to systematize silviculture and summarizes research on the selection system in Fennoscandia. The review is restricted to Norway spruce, Picea abies (L.) Karst, being the only tree species having documented examples of being managed with selection system in boreal Fennoscandia. It covers four main subjects: (i) the dynamics governing the stand structure and the possibilities to maintain a full-storied structure over time; (ii) how ingrowth is affected by stand density and structure, and by internal dynamics within the seedling-sapling layer, and to what extent it is possible to get sufficient ingrowth to perpetuate the selection system: (iii) the key characteristics governing volume growth at stand level; and (iv) the maximum long-term growth compared to the rotation-forestry system.The residual standing volume is crucial to the long-term growth level. A moderate harvest strength at relatively short intervals, focusing on the largest trees and leaving behind a large standing volume, results in a high sustainable volume growth, low requirement of ingrowth, large average stem volumes and low levels of damage to the remaining stand. Long-term volume growth can then be approximately equal to the site productivity expressed by site characteristics, which is lower than the level expected in even aged plantations managed with rotation-forestry. The review ends with suggestions for future research. (C) 2017 The Author. Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (

Published in

Forest Ecology and Management
2017, volume: 391, pages: 362-375
Publisher: Elsevier

Authors' information

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Forest Ecology and Management

Sustainable Development Goals

SDG15 Life on land

UKÄ Subject classification

Forest Science

Publication Identifiers


URI (permanent link to this page)