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Ross, Alexander (2008) Ifrågavarande kronopark skall benämnas Skatan. Other thesis, SLU.

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Abstract

People have utilised and influenced the boreal forest for many centuries. Prior to the industrial revolution during the 19th century, however, human use primarily only had a low impact on the forest. When the timberfrontier swept over the country, the Swedish forests came to change for ever. The study site for this thesis is situated in the northern part of the county of Västerbotten, Sweden, and has previously been a National forest. Today the area is an ecopark and the land is owned by the forest company Sveaskog. An ecopark is a forested area of at least 1000 hektares where ecological values take precedence over financial values. The main objective of this study was to describe how people have utilised the forest in Skatan Ecopark, since the first forest surveys were produced almost 140 years ago. I have also investigated how this use has influenced the forest structure to present date. By studying historical records and cultural traces in the forest I have been able to analyze the forest ecosystem on a smaller, as well as on a larger spatial scale. On the basis of these results I have presented recomendations for the future management of the ecopark. My field surveys were conducted on the parts of the ecopark which previously constituted the state forest Skatan. From the stands with an average stand age above 140 years, I selected twelve areas which through their size and shape were suitable for inventory. The results from this study showed that the impact of human forest utilisation has been extensive since the introduction of industrial forestry to the area. The belt transect inventory of cultural traces at the study site showed that there are few traces of preindustrial forest use, but many traces from industrial forest use. The historical records show that the harvesting method has changed from selective harvesting to clear cutting. As early as before the end of the 19th century, the area of old growth forests had decreased substantially in the area compared to preindustrial levels. The average timber volume at the study site has increased by approximately 130 % since 1915. The old stands in the area have thus become denser and younger. The historical retrospective study performed on the present old stands shows that only one of the stands was uninfluenced by industrial forestry in 1871. The old forest stands in the ecopark today, are all influenced by industrial forestry and are generally not a representative remainder of the forest structure before the introduction of industrial forestry to the area. Present old stands in the ecopark are, with only one exception, the result of "neglected management". In the ecoparks managed by Sveaskog at least half of the productive forest land is reserved for nature conservation. In the areas of the ecopark where forestry is practiced, ecological and cultural values take precedence over economic values. This presents a unique opportunity for the ecological and cultural values of the area to influence the forest management. My opinion is that the forest management should strive to recreate a forest state which is similar to the preindustrial forest structure. Practically this means that the amount of woody debris and the area of old forest must increase. The previous fire dynamics must also be recreated. If biological diversity is to be ensured over time, forest protection can not only encompass present old stands; young stands must also be managed to form future old growth forests. The preindustrial landscape was characterized by a mosaic of different biotopes in various stages of succession, but with a dominance of older multistoried stands. The aims of the forest management should be to strive towards a similar landscape.

Item Type: Thesis (Other)
Keywords: kulturspår i träd, skogshistoria, kronopark, skogsstruktur, skogsskötsel
Subject (faculty): Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science > Dept. of Forest Ecology and Management
Divisions: SLU > Faculty of Forest Sciences
Depositing User: Ann-Kathrin Persson
Date Deposited: 06 May 2008
Last Modified: 18 Aug 2015 10:02
URI: http://ex-epsilon.slu.se/id/eprint/2447

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