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Reconstructing 100-150 years of logging history in coastal spruce forest (Picea abies) with special conservation values in central Norway

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Coastal spruce forests of central Norway harbour a unique assemblage of epiphytic lichens and are given high priority with respect to conservation of biodiversity. To assess the historical impact of logging during the last 100-150 yrs, 31 remnant stands were studied by means of tree-ring analysis of 2199 trees and the decay stage of 1605 stumps. No stands had been clear-cut, but all had been selectively logged at least twice during the last 150 yrs. Total harvested timber volume ranged from 65 to 409 m3ha-1 (31-124% of present-day standing volume) and the selective logging kept standing volume low (40-200 m3ha-1) during 1890-1930. Present-day stand characteristics were strongly correlated with site productivity and topographic position within the ravine valleys. Low amounts of dead wood at sites with high historical logging activity was the only consistent relationship found after covariance of site productivity, topographic position and deciduous trees were taken into account. The results indicate that old-growth stand characteristics, such as reversed J-shaped age distributions and dead wood in advanced decay classes, can be obtained 100-150 yrs after intensive selective logging.
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Keywords: CENTRAL NORWAY; COASTAL SPRUCE FOREST; FOREST HISTORY; GROWTH RELEASE; LOGGING ACTIVITY; PICEA ABIES; STAND RECONSTRUCTION; STUMP DECAY

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Norwegian Forest Research Institute, Høgskoleveien 12, N-1432 Ås, Norway 2: Norwegian Forest Research Institute, Høgskoleveien 12, N-1432 ˚s, Norway 3: Department of Forest Sciences, Agricultural University of Norway, P.O. Box 5044, N-1432 Ås, Norway

Publication date: 2000-12-01

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