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Forests 2011, 2(1), 243-260; doi:10.3390/f2010243

Consequences of More Intensive Forestry for the Sustainable Management of Forest Soils and Waters

Department of Forest Ecology and Management, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), Umeå, SE-901 83 Umeå, Sweden
Department of Aquatic Sciences and Assessment, SLU, SE-750 07 Uppsala, Sweden
Department of Earth Sciences, Uppsala University, SE-752 36 Uppsala, Sweden
The Forestry Research Institute of Sweden, Uppsala Science Park, SE-751 83 Uppsala, Sweden
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 19 November 2010 / Revised: 17 January 2011 / Accepted: 8 February 2011 / Published: 16 February 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Future Forests)
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Additions of nutrients, faster growing tree varieties, more intense harvest practices, and a changing climate all have the potential to increase forest production in Sweden, thereby mitigating climate change through carbon sequestration and fossil fuel substitution. However, the effects of management strategies for increased biomass production on soil resources and water quality at landscape scales are inadequately understood. Key knowledge gaps also remain regarding the sustainability of shorter rotation periods and more intensive biomass harvests. This includes effects of fertilization on the long-term weathering and supply of base cations and the consequences of changing mineral availability for future forest production. Furthermore, because soils and surface waters are closely connected, management efforts in the terrestrial landscape will potentially have consequences for water quality and the ecology of streams, rivers, and lakes. Here, we review and discuss some of the most pertinent questions related to how increased forest biomass production in Sweden could affect soils and surface waters, and how contemporary forestry goals can be met while minimizing the loss of other ecosystem services. We suggest that the development of management plans to promote the sustainable use of soil resources and water quality, while maximizing biomass production, will require a holistic ecosystem approach that is placed within a broader landscape perspective. View Full-Text
Keywords: soils; streams and rivers; sustainability; forestry; biomass production; nitrogen fertilization soils; streams and rivers; sustainability; forestry; biomass production; nitrogen fertilization

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Laudon, H.; Sponseller, R.A.; Lucas, R.W.; Futter, M.N.; Egnell, G.; Bishop, K.; Ågren, A.; Ring, E.; Högberg, P. Consequences of More Intensive Forestry for the Sustainable Management of Forest Soils and Waters. Forests 2011, 2, 243-260.

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