Modelling dead wood in Norway spruce stands subject to different management regimes

Department of Entomology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, P.O. Box 7044, SE-750 07 Uppsala, Sweden; Department of Forest Resource Management and Geomatics, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, SE-901 83 Umeå, Sweden; Department of Ecology and Environmental Science, Ecological Botany, Umeå University, SE-901 87 Umeå, Sweden
Forest Ecology and Management (Impact Factor: 2.77). 01/2003; DOI: 10.1016/S0378-1127(03)00027-6

ABSTRACT Strategies for preserving biodiversity in boreal forests should include the maintenance of coarse woody debris (CWD) because this substrate is a key feature for the preservation of many threatened species. Computer simulation programs are useful tools for predicting the amount of CWD that will arise if certain management practices are applied in the long term. We have constructed and used a simulation program based on stochastic equations, which aims at predicting the amount of CWD in homogenous stands of Norway spruce in central Scandinavia. Because the rate of tree mortality is a critical factor in such simulations, we present such data derived from spruce-dominated forests surveyed in the Swedish National Forest Inventory.A comparison between simulation outcomes and field data shows that the average quantity of CWD in today’s managed forest is possible to predict using the simulation model. If the forest is managed according to the Forest Certification Standard, the amount of CWD (diameter larger than 10 cm) will be almost three times higher as the amount in today’s managed forests. The amount of CWD was found to be highest in old stands and immediately after cutting. In stands of an intermediate age the amount of CWD was low, especially CWD in early decay stages and of larger sizes. High productivity and long rotation time tended, on average, to increase the amount of CWD in stands. Among the management practices recommended in the new biodiversity-oriented forestry, retention of small areas with living trees is the most efficient way to increase the average amount and continuous occurrence of CWD within a stand, at least if the retained areas are as productive as the main part of the stands.

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