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Forest management and regeneration success in protection forests near the Timberline in Finnish Lapland

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Sustainable forestry is practised in Finnish Lapland north of latitude 69°, i.e. farther north than anywhere else in the world. The Protection Forests Act was passed in 1922 to guarantee the stability of timberline forests in this climatically extreme, unique area. This review, based on earlier studies, covers forest and climate statistics, and legislation, regulations and recommendations of forest management, and the effects of management practices and climatic trends on the results of natural and artificial regeneration of conifer forests, as well as on shifts in the timberline. The review is mainly based on Finnish research, but references from the other Fennoscandian countries have also been used. Temperature plays the main role in forest regeneration success, and the effective temperature sum has been found to express well the location of the Scots pine ( Pinus sylvestris L.) timberline. Natural regeneration of pine has been satisfactory, especially when combined with soil preparation. In many cases the pine forests regenerate in the form of advance growth without any silvicultural action. The success of artificial regeneration seems to be associated with favourable, warm periods lasting for at least 20 yrs. The effects of cutting, forest fires, reindeer herding, biotic damage and air pollution on forest regeneration and the conifer timberlines are discussed.
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Keywords: Advance growth; climate trend; growth level; natural regeneration; planting; seeding; sustainable forestry

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Rovaniemi Research Station, The Finnish Forest Research Institute, P.O. Box 16, FI-96301, Rovaniemi, Finland

Publication date: 2004-12-01

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