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Blomquist, Anders (2006) Uppföljning av plantering på nedlagd åkermark i Skåne 1991-1996. Other thesis, SLU.

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Abstract

The study was performed for the Swedish Regional Forestry Board in Södra Götaland. The study examines broadleaf plantations on former farmland that were planted between 1991 and 1996 with subsidy payments for conversion of farmland into forest. In particular, the study reviews forests planted in 1991-92 and 1994-96. In the early 1990s, Swedish agriculture was deregulated and direct subsides to farmers ended. The Swedish state instead granted farmers financial support and offered incentives for conversion of farmland and investments in order to make their unproductive land productive. The state supported conversion of farmland to broadleaf forest, forest for energy biomass production, or establishment of wetlands on former farmland. The County Administrative Boards and Regional Forestry Boards together monitored the planting of broadleaf forests. The forestry boards focused on practical concerns such as creation of plans, control of plantation, and verification. The county boards on the other hand were concerned with decision making and payment. The plantations created in Scania in connection with Omställning 90 were never extensively evaluated. This work is therefore the first comprehensive study about what happened with these plantations. The study was conducted in two parts: a preparative part consisting of telephone interviews and field studies, and a larger part consisting of telephone inquiries. The preparative study was conducted only in the former county of Kristianstad. Twenty plantations were chosen at random, 10 planted during 1991-92 and 10 during 1994-96. Two of the plantations were rejected directly as they did not meet the requirements. All of the landowners were to answer the same questions in the telephone interview: 1) Have they planted? 2) Have all the plants survived? 3) If not, why did the plants die? 4) Has the landowner replanted? 5) Why did the landowner join the broadleaf plantation program? 6) Would the landowner join the program again if he or she had another chance? In the following field studies an inventory was performed for 10 of these plantations, in order to determine if the landowners' statements were correct. The most noteworthy result of the field study was that only 2 of the 10 chosen plantations from 1991-92 still existed. The others have become wasteland with only a few trees left, or have disappeared altogether and become farmland once more. For the plantations from 1994-96, on the other hand, 8 plantations remained, according to interviews and the field study. Only 2 have failed. How could the outcomes be so different? Is this representative for all of Scania and if so, what caused the failure in 1991-92? To answer these questions, the study was broadened to include all of Scania and a more representative number of plantations.A total of 115 landowners were chosen at random. Of these, 75 participated in the study, 55 of whom had completed broadleaf plantations. Twenty had left the program and never planted, 36 of the others could not be reached, and 4 did not want to participate. The result from this larger telephone inquiry qualified the results from the field study somewhat. According to the telephone inquiry about 31% of the plantations had failed, 18% had succeeded after replantation, and 51% had succeeded without further measures. The field study showed a 53% success rate for the plantations. All results taken as a whole showed a 66% success rate. For 18% of the failed plantations no further measures were taken. The main reason for plant death seems to have been drought and damage from game. According to the landowners, drought was particularly severe during spring 1992, which seems to have caused extensive plant death on plantations from 1991 and 1992. It caused problems in all of Scania and maybe even in other parts of Sweden. As the main reason for planting broadleaf forest the landowners mentioned the possibility to get financial support, and the possibility to make unproductive land productive or economically less interesting land more valuable. Other answers included care for game and environment, establishment of forests near urban areas, and personal interest of the landowner. Regarding their intent to participate in a similar project again, 45% answered yes, 39% answered no, and the others were not sure.Reasons for not participating again were complicated bureaucracy, long processing times, and European Union subsidies for agriculture. The conclusion of this study is that the results from the plantations could and should have been better. Several landowners did not protect the plantations sufficiently against game or take sufficient ground preparation measures to forestall competition by grass. This surely has affected the outcome. The large number of landowners who have left the project, or participated but have a negative attitude toward possible future projects of this kind, suggests a necessity for different systems for administration and payment, preferably one that is simpler, more effective, less complicated, and under the responsibility of one agency. The fact that many landowners did not take any measures after the first plantation failed suggests that the forestry boards should have conducted thorough investigations about the success of the plantations. On the other hand, there are factors that neither landowners nor the forestry boards could influence. Severe drought is one of these. It is very probable that the outcome of the plantations would have been quite different, had it not been for the severe drought of 1992. It is likely that the drought of 1992 had a major impact to the plants planted during 1991 and 1992 in the whole of Scania County and probably also in most of Sweden.

Item Type: Thesis (Other)
Keywords: Forest-plantation, former agriculture land, broadleaves
Subject (faculty): Faculty of Forest Sciences > Southern Swedish Forest Research Centre
Divisions: SLU > Faculty of Forest Sciences
Depositing User: Eric Agestam
Date Deposited: 16 Aug 2006
Last Modified: 18 Aug 2015 09:42
URI: http://ex-epsilon.slu.se/id/eprint/1117

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