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Forests 2016, 7(11), 257;

Effects of Boreal Timber Rafting on the Composition of Arctic Driftwood

Swiss Federal Research Institute, WSL, Birmensdorf 8903, Switzerland
Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research, Bern 3012, Switzerland
V.N. Sukachev Institute of Forest SB RAS, Krasnoyarsk 660036, Russia
Institute of Ecology and Geography, Siberian Federal University, Krasnoyarsk 660130, Russia
Global Change Research Centre AS CR, Brno 60300, Czech Republic
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Annika Nordin and Tomas Lundmark
Received: 16 August 2016 / Revised: 22 October 2016 / Accepted: 26 October 2016 / Published: 31 October 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dynamics and Management of Boreal Forests)
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Wood from the boreal forest represents an important resource for paper production and sawmill processing. Due to poor infrastructure and high transportation costs on land, timbers are often transported over long distances along large river systems. Industrial river rafting activities started at the end of the 19th century and were intensified in western Russia and central Siberia from the 1920s to the 1980s. After initial single stem rafting, timber is today mostly floated in ship-guided rafts. Lost wood can be transported further to the Arctic Ocean, where it may drift within sea ice over several years and thousands of kilometers before being deposited along (sub-)Arctic coastlines. Here, we introduce dendro-dated tree-ring width series of 383 driftwood samples from logged timber that were collected along different driftwood-recipient coastlines in Greenland, Iceland and Svalbard. The majority of driftwood is Pinus sylvestris from the southern Yenisei region in central Siberia, whereas Larix sp. and Picea sp. from western Russia and eastern Siberia are rare. Although our results are based on a small sample collection, they clearly show the importance of timber rafting on species, age and origin of Arctic driftwood and indicate the immense loss of material during wood industrial river floating. View Full-Text
Keywords: Arctic driftwood; boreal rivers; timber logging; industrial floating; Siberia Arctic driftwood; boreal rivers; timber logging; industrial floating; Siberia

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Hellmann, L.; Kirdyanov, A.V.; Büntgen, U. Effects of Boreal Timber Rafting on the Composition of Arctic Driftwood. Forests 2016, 7, 257.

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