Aksel Granhus

Head of Department/Head of Research

(+47) 974 82 012
aksel.granhus@nibio.no

Place
Ås H8

Visiting address
Høgskoleveien 8, 1433 Ås

Abstract

Root rot in Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst.) causes substantial economic losses to the forestry sector. In this study, we developed a probability model for decay at breast height utilizing 18,141 increment cores sampled on temporary plots of the Norwegian National Forest Inventory. The final model showed a good fit to the data and retained significant relationships between decay and a suite of tree, stand and site variables, including diameter at breast height, stand age, altitude, growing season temperature sum (threshold 5°C), and vegetation type. By comparing model predictions with recorded decay at stump height in an independent data set, we estimated a proportionality function to adjust for the inherent underestimation of total rot that will be obtained by applying a probability model derived from increment cores sampled at breast height. We conclude that the developed model is appropriate for national and regional scenario analyses in Norway, and could also be useful as a tool for operational forestry planning. This would however require further testing on independent data, to assess how well the new model predicts decay at local scales.

Abstract

Natural regeneration of Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst.) is a relatively common practice in Norway on medium to low site indices. However, seedling establishment is often hampered by rapid regrowth of competing vegetation in scarified patches. The aim of our study was to examine the effect of coordinating scarification towards an expected seed-fall, by studying germination and seedling establishment in scarified patches of different age (fresh, one- and two-year-old). The experiment was conducted in two stands in southeast Norway that were clear-cut in 2007. Scarification was applied to subplots in autumn 2008–2010. To simulate seed-fall, seeds were sown in fresh scarification patches in spring 2009–2011, in one-year-old patches in 2010 and 2011, and in twoyear- old patches in 2011. Both germination and seedling survival were negatively affected by the age of the scarified patches. Germination was higher, and mortality lower, at the small fern woodland site, compared with the bilberry woodland site. Sowing in fresh patches also resulted in increased height and root collar diameter of the seedlings compared with sowing in older patches. It is likely that the competing vegetation both on the site and in the scarification patches affected the growth of the seedlings. In conclusion, the age of the scarified patches affected both germination and mortality, as well as early growth of the seedlings.

Abstract

Removal of logging residues causes significant nutrient losses from the harvesting site. Furthermore,collection of residues into piles could lead to small-scale differences in establishment conditions for seedlings. We studied the effects of stem-only (SOH) and aboveground whole-tree harvesting (WTH) on Norway spruce (Picea abies) seedling growth and pine weevil (Hylobius abietis) damage at two sites (SE and W Norway). We also compared two planting environments within the WTH plots (WTH-0: areas with no residues, WTH-1: areas where residue piles had been placed and removed before planting). In practice, one-third of the residues were left on site after WTH. After three growing seasons there were no differences for height or diameter increment between SOH and WTH (WTH-1 and WTH-0 combined) treatments. However, relative diameter increment was largest for WTH-1 seedlings and lowest for WTH-0 seedlings. Few seedlings sustained pine weevil attacks at the W Norway site, with no differences among treatments. At the SE Norway site, the percent of seedlings damaged by pine weevils and average debarked area were significantly higher after WTH (82% and 3.3 cm2) compared to SOH (62% and 1.7 cm2). We conclude that WTH may lead to spatial differences in establishment conditions.

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Abstract

The goal of this study was to assess the long-term effects of partial harvesting and supplementary soil scarification on the frequency of root and butt rot in managed uneven-sized Norway spruce stands. Frequency of rot and the population structure of the rot fungi were assessed on 1353 stumps after clear-cutting 21 years after a selection harvesting experiment. The initial experiment was comprised of three harvest strength (low, intermediate and high) of single-tree selection, removing approximately 25, 45 and 65% of the stand basal area. Uncut control plots were established at the same time. Supplementary soil scarification was applied in subplots within the single-tree selection plots, using a medium-sized excavator. After clear-cutting the stumps were analyzed with respect to rot caused by Heterobasidion parviporum, Armillaria spp., Stereum sanguinolentum as well as other rot fungi. Rot caused by Armillaria spp. was most common (8.6% of the stumps), while infection by H. parviporum (2.9%) or S. sanguinolentum (3.0%) was less frequent. The group “other rot” (5.4%) comprised 21 identified taxa, each occurring in 1–15 stumps. Significantly lower rot frequencies were found for the uncut control (16.3%) and intermediate harvest strength (15.7%), compared with low harvest strength (23.6%). A rot frequency of 21.0% was found in the high harvest strength. In two of three harvest strengths, the rot frequency was higher than for the uncut control. As the observed rot frequencies did not increase consistently with increasing harvest strength, the results do not completely support the initial expectations of increased rot after single-tree selection compared with the uncut control. However, since the probability of rot in individual stumps on plots treated with single-tree selection was significantly affected by the distance to the nearest strip road (H. parviporum) as well as dependent on the size of and distance to the nearest stump of trees cut during the experimental harvest (H. parviporum, S. sanguinolentum and total rot), it is evident that the single-tree selection harvesting was partially responsible for some of the observed rot. One of the selection criteria in the initial harvest was a sanitary removal of trees of poor vitality. Varying degrees of sanitation felling may therefore have offset the effects of new infections in wounds or spread of rot fungi through adjacent stumps. Supplementary soil scarification in small gaps of the residual stand had no significant effect on the frequency of rot, suggesting that such treatment may be used to facilitate regeneration in uneven-sized spruce stands on similar sites.

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Abstract

Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst.) understory seedlings, growing in partially harvested plots with different canopy cover in a boreal spruce stand, were spot fertilized (Hydro 15-4-12) 9 years after planting. The principal aimwasto test the hypothesis that nitrogen (N)availability influences growthof understory seedlings at intermediate but not at lowlevels of irradiance. In addition, we tested the combined influences of N and light availability on selected morphological and phenological traits, covering a 2-year period after treatment. Diffuse radiation (DIFR) at the seedling level was estimated from hemispherical photographs and ranged from 19 to 46 per cent of DIFR in openconditions. Fertilizer applicationwasassociatedwithamarkedincreasein foliarNconcentration.Thefertilized seedlings grew better in height and root collar diameter compared with unfertilized controls. While the absolute growth in both diameterand height increased with increasing DIFR, seedlings also responded to improved nutrient availability across the rangeof light conditions studied. Fertilizer treatment did not affect thenumberof nodal buds, but we observed a higher apical dominance ratio and advanced bud burst in fertilized seedlings. In conclusion, nutrient availability influenced growth and bud phenology of understory Norway spruce seedlings at least down to 20 per cent DIFR.

Abstract

Miljødirektoratet utarbeidet i 2014 et kunnskapsgrunnlag for hvordan vi kan omstille Norge til et lavutslippssamfunn (Miljødirektoratet 2014). I rapporten ble en rekke tiltak i skog beskrevet. Denne rapporten er en del av neste fase av dette arbeidet, som er å utdype analysen av mulige tiltak og virkemidler. Her beskriver vi, på oppdrag fra Miljødirektoratet, et utvalg klimatiltak i skog. Det er på ingen måte noen uttømmende oversikt over klimatiltak, men dekker et utvalg som det var ønske om å belyse nærmere. Disse er belyst nærmere med hovedvekt på karbonopptak og –lagring. Betydning for andre økosystemtjenester, som for eksempel biodiversitet og friluftsliv, er ikke belyst. Hovedkonklusjonene fra dette arbeidet kan kort oppsummeres slik: Fra 1990 og frem til 2012 har et bruttoareal på 1,4 mill. daa blitt avskoget (NIR 2014). Basert på data fra Landsskogtakseringen ser vi at den viktigste årsaken er nedbygging av skogareal til ulike formål (73 % av arealet), etterfulgt av omdisponering til beite (16 %). Om lag 29 % av skogen som avvirkes, hogges før hogstmodenhetsalder. Av dette arealet utgjør hogstklasse IV 25 %, mens hogstklasse III eller yngre utgjør 4 %. Skog definert som ”yngre skog” etter forslag til revidert PEFC skogstandard utgjør 9 %. Generelt benyttes relativt skånsomme metoder for markberedning i Norge i dag, og disse er vurdert til sannsynligvis å ha liten eller ingen effekt på karbonmengder i jorda over tid og over det totale areal. Tettere planting gir høyere volumproduksjon tidlig i bestandets liv. I følge resultatkontrollen i 2013 hadde 29 % av det totale foryngelsesarealet et plantetall under anbefalt nivå i bærekraftforskriften. Framskrivningene av skogbestokningen viser at en fortsettelse av dagens praksis på årlig foryngelsesareal fra 2015 og frem til 2100 akkumulert gir 83,5 millioner tonn CO2 lavere opptak enn om arealet hadde vært plantet med anbefalt tetthet. Høyere plantetetthet gir også økt mulighet for å ta ut virke gjennom tynning. Vi mener det er potensial for økt tynningsaktivitet, uten at dette vil redusere produksjon (opptak) på lenger sikt. Tynning kan øke potensialet for mer bruk av GROT (heltretynning). Ved tynning og gjødsling kan andelen sagtømmer i det hogstmodne bestandet øke, og samtidig kan tynning være ønskelig for å lage stabile bestand som kan overholdes utover normal hogstmodenhetsalder. Uttak av hogstrester (GROT) gir råstoff til bioenergi, som kan brukes til å erstatte fossile brensler. Forutsatt høstet på en bærekraftig måte, kan uttaket av GROT sannsynligvis økes uten redusert fremtidig produksjon (opptak). En lavskjerm med bjørk over granforyngelse vil, dersom den skjøttes riktig, gi en høyere total volumproduksjon på arealet over ett omløp sammenlignet med et renbestand med gran.

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Abstract

Forests will play a crucial role in the transformation from an economy based on fossil fuels to one relying on renewable resources. Hence, besides being a source of raw material for the forest industry, in the future, forests are expected to increasingly contribute to the production of energy as well as providing a wide range of environmental and social services. Thus, the objective of the present study is to assess the short-term and long-term potential for increasing sustainable wood supply in the EFINORD countries. Present practices and prospects for intensive forest management have been assessed using information from a questionnaire complemented by compilation and evaluating of national forest inventory (NFI) data and other forest sector relevant information. The study indicates a striking variation in the intensity of utilisation of the wood resources within the EFINORD region. For the region as a whole, there seems to be a substantial unused (biophysical) potential. However, recent NFI data from some countries indicate that annual felling rates can be underestimated. If felling rates are higher than currently recognised then, given the increased demand for wood-based energy, there appears to be a need to discuss strategies for large-scale implementation of more intensive forestry practices to ensure that the availability of wood resources in the future can meet an increasing demand in the EFINORD countries.

Abstract

In this report, the oral and poster contributions of the scientific conference “Forest Management and Silviculture in the North – Balancing Future Needs” have been compiled. The conference was arranged 6-8 September 2011 in Stjørdal, Norway, gathering more than 50 delegates from seven countries. The conference was hosted by the Norwegian Forest and Landscape Institute and was initiated jointly by IUFRO WP 1.01.01 Boreal forest silviculture and management and the SNS network group Sustainable forest management in northern Fennoscandia (NORFOR).

Abstract

In this report, the oral and poster contributions of the scientific conference “Forest Management and Silviculture in the North – Balancing Future Needs” have been compiled. The conference was arranged 6-8 September 2011 in Stjørdal, Norway, gathering more than 50 delegates from seven countries. The conference was hosted by the Norwegian Forest and Landscape Institute and was initiated jointly by IUFRO WP 1.01.01 Boreal forest silviculture and management and the SNS network group Sustainable forest management in northern Fennoscandia (NORFOR).

Abstract

Four Norway spruce stands treated with single tree selection were studied 11 years after the cuttings. In each of the stands we performed four strengths of cuttings in 0.2 ha plots, with removals ranging from zero to 70 % of the basal area. We investigated accumulated and annual growth, changes in stand structure, tree age and tree damage. 10-20 % of the living trees were still damaged 11 years after the cutting. The diameter distribution displayed a reverse J-curve in all plots both before and after the cuttings. Eleven years later, the curve is only slightly changed. Annual ring widths from 300 increment cores were analysed. Most trees started to increase the growth two or three years after the cutting. This improved growth accelerated the following six or seven years with 20-80 % increase. Both small and large trees reacted, including severely suppressed trees. The initial crown volume and crown vitality after cutting is essential for the increased growth since several years are necessary to build up a larger and better crown. A reduced volume per hectare provided an increased growth for each of the remaining trees and indicates less competition for nutrients and light after cutting. The observed growth during the 11-year post-harvest period was about 10 % less than the estimated yield capacity for even-aged stands.

Abstract

Le gel printanier peut etre dommageable pour les semis de Picea abies (L.) Karst. nouvellement plantes si leur rythme de croissance n'est pas suffisamment adapte aux conditions climatiques de la station forestiere. Les objectifs de cette etude consistaient a determiner de quelle facon le debourrement et la resistance au gel printanier sont influences par un traitement de jours courts (JC) appliques a differents moments et avec differents regimes de temperature durant la periode de formation des bourgeons. A la suite d'un entreposage hivernal, la resistance au gel a ete evaluee apres une, trois et cinq semaines dans des conditions de forcage. Le traitement JC a avance le debourrement comparativement aux semis temoins. Par comparaison, le moment du traitement et les differentes temperatures ont eu peu d'effet sur le debourrement. Le traitement JC a augmente la resistance au gel des aiguilles d'un an pendant la periode de desendurcissement. Applique tot, le traitement JC a augmente la resistance au gel des aiguilles d'un an et le diametre au collet comparativement a une application plus tardive. Il est important que la periode de noirceur atteigne une duree critique lorsque le traitement JC prend fin pour eviter une deuxieme eclosion des bourgeons. Des temperatures basses a la suite du traitement JC ont augmente la resistance au gel des aiguilles et diminue celle de la tige. Les effets contraires de la temperature sur differents tissus vegetaux demontrent l'importance d'examiner differents tissus apres des essais de gel-degel. Spring frost may result in detrimental damage in newly planted Picea abies (L.) Karst. seedlings if their growth rhythm is not sufficiently adapted to the climatic conditions on the forest site. The aims of this study were to evaluate how bud break and spring frost hardiness were influenced by short-day (SD) treatments with different timing and different temperature regimes during bud formation. Following winter storage, frost hardiness was tested after 1, 3 and 5 weeks in forcing conditions. The SD treatment advanced bud break compared with the control seedlings. In comparison, the effects of timing and the different temperatures on bud break were small. The SD treatment improved frost hardiness in first-year needles during dehardening. The early SD treatment resulted in improved frost hardiness in first-year needles and greater root collar diameter compared with later SD treatment. To avoid a second bud flush, it is important that a critical night length is attained when the SD treatment terminates. Low temperatures following the SD treatment resulted in increased hardiness of the needles and decreased hardiness of the stems. The contrasting effect of temperature in different plant tissues demonstrates the importance of examining different tissues following freezing tests.

Abstract

In trees adapted to cold climates, conditions during autumn and winter may influence the subsequent timing of bud burst and hence tree survival during early spring frosts. We tested the effects of two temperatures during, dormancy induction Mid mild spells (MS) during chilling, on the timing of bud burst in three Picea abies (L.) Karst. provenances (58-66 degrees N). One-year-old seedlings were induced to become dormant at temperatures of 12 or 21 degrees C applied during 9 weeks of short days (12-h photoperiod). The seedlings were then moved to cold storage and given either continuous chilling at 0.7 degrees C (control), or chilling interrupted by one 14-day MS it either 8 or 12 degrees C. Interruptions with MS were staggered throughout the 175-day chilling period, resulting in 10 MS differing in date of onset. Subsets of seedlings were moved to forcing conditions (12-h photoperiod, 12 degrees C) throughout the chilling period, to assess dormancy status different timings of the MS treatment. Finally, after 175 days of chilling, timing of bud burst was assessed in a 24-h photoperiod at 12 degrees C (control and MS-treated seedlings). The MS treatment did not significantly affect days to bud burst when given early (after 7-35 chilling days). When MS was given after 49 chilling days or later, the seedlings burst bud earlier than the controls, and the difference increased with increasing length of the chilling period given before the MS. The 12 degrees C MS treatment was more effective than the 8 degrees C MS treatment, and the difference remained constant after the seedlings had received 66 or more chilling days before the MS treatment was applied. In all provenances, a constant temperature of 21 degrees C during dormancy induction resulted in more dormant seedlings (delayed bud burst) than a constant temperature of 12 degrees C, but this did not delay the response to the MS treatment.

Abstract

Manipulation of the canopy cover and site preparation are the most important silvicultural measures to enhance the conditions for natural regeneration of Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst.). During the early regeneration phase however, seedling mortality may be high, so it is important to study how different combinations of stand-level treatments and site preparation methods affect seedling establishment. We studied emergence, 1st winter and 2nd summer mortality for naturally regenerated spruce seedlings in a field experiment that combined four harvest treatments (shelterwoods of high (SH), medium (SM) and low (SL) residual basal area, and a 50 x 50 m clear-cut (CC)) and two site preparation methods (patch scarification and inverting). The CC had significantly fewer seedlings the 1st fall than the SL and SH (p = 0.0377), and in all harvest treatments, fewer seedlings emerged in inverted than in patch scarified spots (p = 0.0351). Mortality was also lower with patch scarification than inverting (1st winter: p = 0.0565, 2nd summer: p = 0.0377), but was not affected by harvest treatment (1st winter: p = 0.9211, 2nd summer: p = 0.1896). On average, mortality from 1st to 2nd fall reached 38% and 27% after inverting and patch scarification, respectively. First winter mortality accounted for approximately two thirds of the accumulated mortality, regardless of the harvest treatment and site preparation method.

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Abstract

We studied first winter frost-heaving damage to one-year-old Picea abies (L.) Karst. seedlings planted in gaps made by group fellings (large circular gaps, ca. 500 m(2)) and single-tree selection cuttings (small irregularly shaped gaps, ca. 175 m 2), as well as in uncut forest. One-month-old seedlings were planted on manually exposed LF, Ae, and B horizons that emulated various intensities and depths of scarification. The three experimental sites were located in multistoried Pinus sylvestris L. or P. abies forests on sandy loam or silt loam in southeastern Norway. Altogether, 5% of seedlings sustained frost heaving damage on the LF horizon, compared with 20% on the Ae horizon and 45% on the B horizon. On average, 31% of the seedlings in large gaps incurred frost-heaving damage compared with 20% in small gaps and 19% in uncut forest. Exposed roots and poorly anchored or uplifted seedlings were recurring classes of damage, especially on the B horizon and in large gaps. The above- versus below-ground biomass ratio of seedlings was higher on the B than on the Ae horizon in uncut forest and large gaps, inferring broken roots. Therefore, to reduce the risk of frost-heaving damage, shallow soil preparation and smaller gap sizes should be used.

Abstract

According to previous studies, short day (SD) treatment may increase frost hardiness in Picea abies (L.) Karst. seedlings during shoot elongation the next year. The purpose of this study was to examine how timing of the SD treatment affects spring frost hardiness. The following four treatments were applied in the first growth period: natural photoperiod (Nat), or SD treatment (8/16 h, day/night) either from 14-28 July (SD1), 28 July-11 August (SD2), or 11 20 August (SD3). After 125 days in the cold store (October-January), the seedlings were transferred to forcing conditions (20-25oC, 24 h photoperiod) followed by freezing tests at 3, -5, -7 and 9oC when most seedlings had reached bud break stage 7 (Krutzsch index). Seedling height measurements and analyses of carbohydrate status, nitrogen concentration and dry weight of needles after cold storage were done to examine the treatments` impact on seedling quality. SD treatment reduced visual freezing injury to current- and first-year shoots. Mortality occurred at –7 and –9oC and was significantly higher in treatments Nat and SD1 (43% in both) than in the SD2 (23%) and SD3 (15%) treatments. Seedlings from the late SD treatments also showed better height growth and developed more shoots from dormant buds after freezing to –3 and –5oC. Collectively, these findings demonstrate the importance of proper timing of the SD treatment in relation to the seedlings’ natural growth rhythm.

Abstract

In this study, forest treated with different strengths of selective cutting (2570 % of volume removed) was remeasured after twelve years in 2005. At each of the sixteen 0.2 ha plots, including four repeats of each treatment, all trees larger than dbh 2.5 cm were calipered. We investigated growth, changes in stand structure, tree age, tree damage and crown condition.The diameter distribution displayed a reverse J-curve at all plots both before and after the cuttings. Twelve years later the curve is only slightly changed. Increment cores from 300 trees were taken to analyse annual growth reactions in different diameter classes. Most trees reacted with increased growth from the second or third year after the cutting.This improved growth accelerated the following six or seven years with 20-80% increase. Both small and large trees reacted, including severely suppressed trees. The initial crown volume and crown vitality after cutting is essential for the increased growth since several years are necessary to build up a larger and better crown. The relationship between increased growth and reduced volume per hectare indicates less competition between trees regarding nutrients and light after the cutting.

Abstract

Mortality, injury and height growth of planted Picea abies (L.) Karst. were examined in a six-year period in eight stands in southeast Norway. There were four residual stand densities (shelterwoods of high, medium and low density, 25 x 25 m patch cut) combined with three scarification treatments (unscarified, patch scarification, inverting) in a split-plot design. Mortality was generally low during the experimental period, and did not differ significantly between the residual density treatments (mean=11.1%). Both survival and plant height after 6 years were improved by inverting, while patch scarification was intermediate but not significantly different from the unscarified alternative. The patch-cutting resulted in the tallest plants, while only minor differences in height growth were found between the shelterwood treatments. The frequency of injured plants after six years was not significantly affected by the treatments (mean=10.6%). The improved plant establishment with inverting in this study is in agreement with previous studies on clear-cuts.

Abstract

Establishment, survival and height growth of sown and naturally regenerated Picea abies (L.) Karst. seedlings were examined in a 6 yr period in eight stands on bilberry woodland in south- east Norway. Five harvesting treatments (shelterwoods of high, medium and low density, 253/25 m patch-cut, 503/50 m clear-cut) and three scarification alternatives (unscarified, patch scarification, inverting) were combined in a split-plot design. Establishment, survival and plant height after 6 yrs were positively affected by scarification. Significant differences between patch scarification and inverting were not observed, although mortality tended to be lower, and seedlings slightly taller, after patch scarification. Establishment after natural seedfall was least successful on the clear-cut, but more or less equal at the other stand treatments. Height growth increased with decreasing overstorey retention, while there was a tendency towards lower survival on the clear-cuts and patch-cuts. Natural regeneration in the unscarified plots was unsuccessful after 6 yrs, while the different combinations of harvesting and scarification treatments usually gave sufficient regeneration.

Abstract

Foliage nutrient concentrations of overstorey and understorey Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst.), and height growth and needle weights of understorey saplings, were studied in a seven-year period after harvest. The following treatments were applied on each of three sites five years prior to needle sampling: control with no cutting, partial cutting with 50-60 % removal of basal area, and patch cut (25 x 25 m - 0.063 ha clear-cut). Saplings on control plots had higher concentrations of K and Cu in current-year needles (C) than overstorey trees. Increased harvest intensity led to a reduction of K in C- needles and Mg in (C+1)-needles of saplings, and of B in both saplings (C, C+1) and overstorey trees (C+1). Sapling needle weights generally increased with harvest intensity, whereas no effect of foliage N status on needle weights could be detected. The growth response of saplings was explained by the interaction between foliage N status, quantified as average N concentration in C- and (C+1)-needles, and harvest intensity. The results illustrate that sufficient N supply is a key factor for the ability of advance regeneration to utilize the improved light condition associated with overstorey removal.

Abstract

The risk of logging damage to residual trees (height >3.0 m) and advance regeneration saplings (height 0.5–3.0 m) was evaluated after mechanized (single-grip harvesters + forwarders) and motor-manual (chain saw + skidding) selection harvesting in studies I and II. Harvesting took place during the winter season. Mechanized harvesting caused the highest injury rates, and the difference was highest at high cutting intensity in densely stocked stands. Another important difference between the two operating methods was the spatial distribution of the injury risk relative to striproads. The most important injuries on the larger (>3.0 m) trees were stem- and root wounds, and loss of branches. Wounds tended to be larger, and crown injuries more serious, after mechanized harvesting, but differences were not statistically significant. The most frequent injuries on saplings were crown injuries (loss of branches, stem breakage) and stem lean. In motor-manually harvested stands saplings without pre-harvest deformities in the form of top- or leader defects were more prone to damage than saplings with such defects. A similar difference was not found in stands subjected to mechanized harvesting. This result was attributed to the different work patterns during felling and processing with the two operating methods, in combination with the spatial distribution of saplings of different quality relative to larger trees and stand openings. In study III sapling mortality, and recovery from logging damage in a five-year period after selection harvesting, was investigated. Mortality on the different plots (n=11) was highly variable. For saplings without previous logging damage mortality was related to pre-harvest vigour, and increased with increasing cutting intensity in the immediate surrounding of the sapling. Unspecified site factors also contributed to explain the probability of mortality. Saplings that had been pushed over during harvesting often survived and recovered, while injuries to the crown led to poor survival. Crown injuries were most common on plots subjected to mechanized harvesting, while stem lean was correspondingly important on motor-manually harvested plots. Whether this pattern was attributed to differences in temperature at the time of harvesting (winter), or operating method, is uncertain. In study IV advance regeneration responses in terms of height growth, needle dry weights, and foliar nutrient concentrations were compared after three different release treatments: untouched control, selection harvesting with 50-60 % removal of basal area (BA50-60), and patch cut (25x25 m - 0.063 ha clear-cut). The foliar analyses were carried out five years after treatment, and included dominant and co-dominant (overstorey) trees on control and BA50-60 plots. Height growth and needle dry weights of saplings generally increased with increasing overstorey removal. The growth response was explained by an interaction of foliar nitrogen concentration in current (C) and one-year-old (C+1) needles, and degree of overstorey removal. The foliar analyses did, however, not confirm improved N status after cutting. Increasing overstorey removal led to a reduction of K (C), Mg (C+1) and B (C, C+1) in saplings. A parallel decline of B (C+1) occurred in the overstorey trees (BA50-60). Saplings on control plots had higher concentrations of K and Cu in C-needles, relative to overstorey trees. The influence of neighbour tree basal area on sapling height growth and presence of natural defects (top- and leader damage) was examined in study V. The three stands selected for the study had not been subjected to cutting for several decades, and basal areas ranged from 25–33 m2 ha-1. The relationship between growth and four basal area variables was evaluated: basal area (m2 ha-1) of taller (>3.0 m) neighbour trees within 2.82, 3.99 and 5.64 m radius from the sapling (25, 50 and 100 m2 circular plots), and basal area (m2) of trees within 5.64 m radius weighted according to distance from the sapling. A reduction of growth attributed to increasing basal area of neighbour trees was only observed for the tallest saplings (2.1-3.0 m). Between 33 and 42 % of the saplings had leader- or top defects, and damage frequencies increased with declining distance to the nearest taller neighbour tree.

Abstract

Injuries and mortality to advance growth (saplings) after selection harvesting was studied in 17 multi-storied Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst.) stands. Harvest removals ranged from 33 to 67 % of initial basal area. Four of the stands were harvested motor-manually (chain saw + skidding with farm tractors; M-FT). The remaining stands were harvested with single-grip harvesters and forwarders (H-FW). In each stand, injury rates were evaluated on a 24x48 m plot, located between the centrelines of two parallel striproads that were spaced 24 m apart. All logging teams had at least five years of experience in clear-cutting and thinning operations. The trees to be removed, and striproad centrelines, were marked prior to harvest. Mortality varied between 5 and 51 %, whereas total injury (injured + dead saplings) varied between 17 and 76 %. Mortality- and injury levels were generally highest on H-FW plots. Crown reduction and leaning stems were the most frequent types of injury, regardless of operating method. Injury rates increased with sapling height with the H-FW method, whereas the opposite was found on M-FT plots. Saplings without pre-harvest damage in the form of top- or leader defects had a higher probability of being injured than saplings with such damage in stands harvested with the M-FT method. A similar difference was not found on H-FW plots. A logistic regression model show that the spatial risk for injury depends on the interaction between forest condition factors and operational characteristics. Forest condition factors influencing the risk of injury are sapling height and the location of saplings relative to larger residual trees and striproads. Corresponding operational characteristics are operating method and harvest intensity.