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Effect of Site Preparation and Reforestation Method on Survival and Height Growth of Scots Pine

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The influence of site preparation and reforestation method on the performance of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) was followed during 16 growing seasons in northern Finland using a split-plot design in randomized blocks. The site-preparation methods were prescribed burning (BURN), patch scarification (PATCH), disk trenching (DISK) and ploughing (PLOU). The reforestation methods were sowing (SOW) and planting with containerized seedlings (CON) and bare - rooted transplants (BARE). The reforestation was repeated in three successive years. A total of 72 000 reforestation spots was sown or planted on the 288 plots using the reforestation density of 2500 spots ha-1. Four of the eight clear-cut forest sites were dryish pine - dominated sites and four were moist, formerly Norway spruce-dominated sites. After 16 growing seasons, average survival was 49% on the pine sites and 33% on the spruce sites. Site preparation significantly affected survival on the spruce sites (PLOU 44%>DISK 23%) but not on the pine sites. The reforestation method had a significant effect only on the pine sites (CON 58%>SOW 36%). The effect of site preparation on mean height was significant on the pine (BURN 271 cm>DISK 222 cm) and spruce sites (PLOU 269, BURN 256 cm>DISK 212 cm). The differences between the reforestation methods were highly significant on the pine (BARE 295 cm>CON 261 cm>SOW 186 cm) and spruce sites (BARE 309 cm>CON 255 cm>SOW 171 cm). The results of this study indicate that different site-preparation methods can be used successfully in Scots pine reforestation on dryish, formerly pine-dominated sites in northern Finland. Intensive site-preparation methods, such as ploughing or mounding, are needed if Scots pine is to be established on moist, formerly spruce-dominated sites. However, the low survival and wide variation in survival indicated that there is a high risk of failure on such sites.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 31 December 1999

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