Full text of this article is only available in PDF format.

Per Linder (email), Peter Jonsson, Mats Niklasson

Tree mortality after prescribed burning in an old-growth Scots pine forest in northern Sweden

Linder P., Jonsson P., Niklasson M. (1998). Tree mortality after prescribed burning in an old-growth Scots pine forest in northern Sweden. Silva Fennica vol. 32 no. 4 article id 675. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.675

Abstract

Tree mortality and input of dead trees were studied after a prescribed burning in a forest reserve in northern Sweden. The stand was a multi-layered old-growth forest. The overstorey was dominated by Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) and the understorey consisted of mixed Scots pine and Norway spruce (Picea abies L. Karst.). Ground vegetation was dominated by ericaceous dwarf-shrubs and feathermosses. The stand has been affected by six forest fires during the last 500 years. The prescribed burning was a low intensity surface fire that scorched almost 90% of the ground. Tree mortality for smaller pines and spruces (DBH < 10 cm) was over 80% in the burned parts of the reserve. For larger pines, 10–50 cm DBH, mortality showed a decreasing trend with increasing diameter, from 14% in class 10–20 cm DBH to 1.4% in class 40–50 cm DBH. However, pines with DBH ≥ 50 cm had a significantly higher mortality, 20%, since a high proportion of them had open fire scars containing cavities, caused by fungi and insects, which enabled the fire to burn inside the trunks and hollow them out. The fire-induced mortality resulted in a 21 m3 ha–1 input of dead trees, of which 12 m3 ha–1 consisted of trees with DBH ≥ 30 cm. An increased mortality among larger trees after low-intensity fires has not previously been described in Fennoscandian boreal forests, probably owing to a lack of recent fires in old-growth stands. However, since large pines with open fire scars were once a common feature in the natural boreal forest, we suggest that this type of tree mortality should be mimicked in forestry practices aiming to maintain and restore natural forest biodiversity.

Keywords
coarse woody debris; dead trees; forest fire; forest management; nature conservation; tree mortality

Author Info
  • Linder, Department of Forest Vegetation Ecology, SLU, S-901 83 Umeå, Sweden ORCID ID:(email)
  • Jonsson, Department of Forest Vegetation Ecology, SLU, S-901 83 Umeå, Sweden ORCID ID:
  • Niklasson, Southern Swedish Forest Research Centre, SLU, Box 49, S-230 53 Alnarp, Sweden ORCID ID:

Received 24 February 1998 Accepted 7 October 1998 Published 31 December 1998

Available at https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.675 | Download PDF

Creative Commons License

Register
Click this link to register for Silva Fennica submission and tracking system.
Log in
If you are a registered user, log in to save your selected articles for later access.
Contents alert
Sign up to receive alerts of new content

Your selected articles
Your search results