The effects of intensifying the management of 15% of the Swedish forest land on potential future forest production over a 100-year period were investigated in a simulation study. The intensive management treatments, which were introduced over a period of 50 years, were:
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The effects of intensifying the management of 15% of the Swedish forest land on potential future forest production over a 100-year period were investigated in a simulation study. The intensive management treatments, which were introduced over a period of 50 years, were: intensive fertilization of Norway spruce (IntFert
); bulking-up Norway spruce elite populations using somatic embryogenesis (SE-seedlings
); planting of lodgepole pine, hybrid larch, and Sitka spruce (Contorta
); fertilization with wood ash on peatlands (Wood ash
); and conventional fertilization in mature forests (ConFert
). Potential sites for applying intensive forest management (IFM) to sites with low nature conservation values were determined with a nature conservation score (NCS). Four different scenarios were simulated: “Base scenario”, which aimed at reducing the negative impact on nature conservation values, “Fast implementation”, “No IntFert” (IntFert
was not used), and “Large Forest Companies”, where the majority of plots were selected on company land. Total yields during the 100-year simulation period were about 85–92% higher for the intensive forest management scenarios than for the reference scenario (business as usual). In the “No IntFert” scenario total production was 1.8% lower and in the “Large Forest Companies” scenario total production was 4.8% lower than in the “Base scenario”. “Fast implementation” of IFM increased yield by 15% compared to the “Base scenario”.
Norway spruce SE-seedlings
gave the highest yields, measured as total production during the 100-year simulation period, but relative to the yields in the reference scenario, the highest increases in yield were for Contorta.
The “Base scenario” and “No IntFert” gave the highest yields for plots with the lowest NCS, but plots with higher NCS had to be used in the “Fast implementation” and “Large Forest Companies” scenarios. More than half of the effect on future growth of IFM methods was because of increased intensity in the regenerations. It took a relatively long time (40–60 years) for the simulated IFM treatments to result in a significant increase in stem volume production.