Scarification and Seedfall affects Natural Regeneration of Scots Pine Under Two Shelterwood Densities and a Clear-cut in Southern Sweden
A study was undertaken to evaluate the effect of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) shelterwood density and timing of removal on the regeneration of forests with improved wood quality. This paper focuses on the effect of scarification and seedfall on the success of natural regeneration of Scots pine under two shelterwood densities and in a clear-cut. Wood quality aspects will be addressed later in the study. After 4 yrs, natural regeneration of Scots pine under a 200 stems ha-1 shelterwood reached 90000 seedlings ha-1, 53000 under a 160 stems ha-1 shelterwood and 3700 in a clear-cut. The high natural regeneration under the densest shelterwood resulted from a high seedfall, slower invasion by competing vegetation, consequent prolonged recruitment and low mortality. Since mortality largely decreased for both shelterwood densities and recruitment seems to continue, the success of regeneration should be maintained in the future if proper release operations are conducted. The latter could begin when seedlings reach a height of about 0.5 m and the cover should be maintained until they reach a height of about 6 m. Therefore, it may be possible to use 200 stems ha-1 Scots pine shelterwoods in southern Sweden to obtain dense stands and thus improve wood quality (stem taper, wood density, etc.).