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Long-term effects of stump harvesting on soil properties and tree growth in Scots pine and Norway spruce stands

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Effects of stump harvesting on the properties of surface soil and on the density, structure and growth of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) and Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst.) stands were estimated in a field trial in western Finland. The experiment was established in 1977 and measured in 2010. Stems and logging residues were harvested after clear-cutting, and stumps were lifted and removed from half of the experimental area. Sixteen plots were planted with pine seedlings and 16 with spruce. The main effects of stump harvesting were improved survival of planted trees and an increase in natural regeneration. No clearly negative effects were noted in the stand development. Stump harvesting had no or minimal effects on the properties of the organic layer and those of the 0- to 10-cm mineral-soil layer. Soil properties did not differ between tree species. Pine production was higher on plots with stump removal compared to plots without soil treatment.

Keywords: Picea abies; Pinus sylvestris; nutrients; plant survival; soil properties; stand production; stump harvest

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Western Finland Regional Unit, Finnish Forest Research Institute, Kannus, Finland 2: Southern Finland Regional Unit, Finnish Forest Research Institute, Vantaa, Finland

Publication date: September 1, 2013

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