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Tree and stand structure of the non-native Pinus contorta in relation to native Pinus sylvestris and Picea abies in young managed forests in boreal Sweden
- Bäcklund, Sofia, Jönsson, Mari, Strengbom, Joachim, Thor, Göran
- Scandinavian journal of forest research 2018 v.33 no.3 pp. 245-254
- Picea abies, Pinus contorta, Pinus sylvestris, biodiversity, bioenergy, branches, forest stands, forestry, forests, habitats, indigenous species, stand structure, surface area, trees, Sweden
- Managed forest stands are typically younger and structurally less diverse than natural forests. Introduction of non-native tree species might increase the structural changes to managed forest stands, but detailed analyses of tree- and stand-structures of native and non-native managed forests are often lacking. Improved knowledge of non-native forest structure could help clarify their multiple values (e.g. habitat for native biodiversity, bioenergy opportunities). We studied the structural differences between the introduced, non-native Pinus contorta and the native Pinus sylvestris and Picea abies over young forest stand ages (13–34 years old) in managed forests in northern Sweden. We found that P. contorta stands had greater mean basal areas, tree heights, diameters at breast height, and surface area of living branches than the two native species in young stands. The surface area of dead attached branches was also greater in P. contorta than P. abies. Although this indicates greater habitat availability for branch-living organisms, it also contributes to the overall more shaded conditions in stands of P. contorta. Only one older 87 years old P. contorta stand was available, and future studies will tell how structural differences between P. contorta and native tree species develop over the full forestry cycle.