Scenario analyses on the effects of fertilization, improved regeneration material, and ditch network maintenance on timber production of Finnish forests
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CitationHeinonen, T. Pukkala, T. Asikainen, A. Peltola, H. (2017). Scenario analyses on the effects of fertilization, improved regeneration material, and ditch network maintenance on timber production of Finnish forests. EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF FOREST RESEARCH, [First online: 18 December 2017], 10.1007/s10342-017-1093-9.
We used national scenario analyses to examine the effects of fertilization, use of improved regeneration material and ditch network maintenance (DNM), both separately and simultaneously, on timber production of Finnish forests under the current climate. We also analyzed how the area of artificial regeneration, forest fertilization, and DNM developed in different management and harvesting intensity scenarios. The initial data were obtained from the 11th National Forest Inventory of Finland, excluding protected forests. Four sets of even-flow harvesting scenarios with annual timber harvest targets of 60, 70, 80, and 90 million m3 were developed for 90-year simulation period. Use of improved material in artificial forest regeneration was assumed to result in 10% higher diameter and height increment compared to naturally regenerated seedlings. Sub-xeric pine-dominated and mesic spruce-dominated sites were fertilized, and 40% of drained peatlands were maintenance-ditched when they fulfilled a set of predetermined criteria for temperature sum, stand basal area, and mean tree diameter. As a result, when fertilization, improved regeneration material, and DNM were all used, the mean annual volume increment over the 90-year simulation period increased by 3.4–5.4 million m3 depending on harvesting intensity. The maximum sustainable harvest of timber would be almost 80 million m3 yr−1. The simulated fertilization area was about four times larger than the presently fertilized area, and the simulated DNM area was about the same as the current. Fertilization gave the largest additional 90-year volume increment and the DNM the smallest when they were used separately. The use of improved regeneration material gave the largest additional volume increment in southern Finland and fertilization in central and northern Finland.