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Research article2019Peer reviewedOpen access

Within-Site Variation in Seedling Survival in Norway Spruce Plantations

Holmstrom, Emma; Galnander, Helena; Petersson, Magnus


Seedling survival was evaluated from inventories of a large set of Norway spruce plantations in privately owned forests in southern Sweden. The inventories were conducted at the time of planting and a subset was re-inventoried three years later. This enabled comparison of regeneration success after soil scarification and planting. The acquired data enabled evaluation of annual and climatic variation of seedling mortality since inventories were made on newly established clearcuts distributed spatially throughout three regions in southern Sweden and repeated in five consecutive years. Within-site variation was also captured via the use of a large number of sample plots on each clearcut. To do so, thirty sample plots were established within weeks of planting on 150 clearcuts. Small- and large-scale site and management variables were recorded as well as the numbers of suitable planting spots and planted seedlings. Three years later, 60 of the initially surveyed clearcuts were revisited and the numbers of both planted and naturally regenerated seedlings counted. On average, 2000 seedlings ha(-1) were planted and 1500 seedlings ha(-1) had survived after three years. However, there was high variation, and in 42% of the revisited sample plots no mortality was recorded. Important variables for seedling survival identified by linear regression analysis included the number of suitable planting spots, soil moisture conditions and annual variation in available soil water.


regeneration; soil scarification; site preparation; pine weevil; depth to water mapping; soil water content; disc trenching; containerized seedling; bare root seedling

Published in

2019, Volume: 10, number: 2, article number: 181
Publisher: MDPI

    Sustainable Development Goals

    SDG15 Life on land

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Forest Science

    Publication identifier


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