Skip to main content
SLU publication database (SLUpub)

Research article2021Peer reviewedOpen access

Lessons learned from assessing the cover and yield of bilberry and lingonberry using the national forest inventories in Finland and Sweden

Miina, Jari; Bohlin, Inka; Lind, Torgny; Dahlgren, Jonas; Harkonen, Kari; Packalen, Tuula; Tolvanen, Anne


Bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus L.) and lingonberry (V. vitis-idaea L.) can be a part of healthy diet and are important for many animals. Two approaches are described to assessing their vegetation cover and berry yield via national forest inventory (NFI) observations. The aim was to provide estimates and predictions of the abundance and yield of the species at regional and national levels in Finland and Sweden. In Finland, the model-based predictions are used in evaluating the impacts of cutting intensity on forest berries needed in forest-related decision making. In Sweden, seasonal inventory-based estimates are used to evaluate the annual national and regional berry yields, and in a forecasting system aimed at large public and berry enterprises. Based on the NFI sample plots measured between 2014 and 2018, the total annual yields are estimated to be 208 Mkg of bilberry and 246 Mkg of lingonberry on productive forest land (increment at least 1 m3 ha–1 year–1) in Finland, and 336 and 382 Mkg respectively in Sweden (average of NFI inventories in 2015–2019). The predicted development of berry yields is related to the intensity of cuttings in alternative forest management scenarios: lower removals favoured bilberry, and higher removals lingonberry. The model-based method describes the effects of stand development and management on berry yields, whereas the inventory-based method can calibrate seasonal estimates through field observations. In providing spatially and timely more accurate information concerning seasonal berry yields, an assessment of berry yields should involve the elements of both inventory-based and model-based approaches described in this study.


berry models; field measurements; forest management planning; predictions

Published in

Silva Fennica
2021, Volume: 55, number: 5, article number: 10573