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Hedström, Ida (2005) Skogsbristen i Smålands bruksskogar. Other thesis, SLU.

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Abstract

The forest in the county of Småland has been utilised for a long time. One of the most important forms of utilisation of wood has been charcoaling for the benefit of the iron industry. Shortage of forest in relation to the iron industry, was discussed already in the 17th century in Sweden. The aim of this study was to analyse the purchase and consumption of charcoal at Storebro Bruk, an ironwork in Småland, during the period 1793-1850, as well as analyse the shortage of forest at the time. To determine the utilisation of the forest in the area, I have used historical sources from Storebro Bruksarkiv. To describe the history and the development of the ironworks, I used general documents, which includes licences, certificates of registrations, contracts of sale and other documents describing the activities in the ironworks. To determine the extent and the source of the charcoal deliveries, I used the financial books from 1793-1850. In the study, I made a selection of 16 villages to analyse how the charcoal deliveries varied between the villages, also how these deliveries changed over time. From 1793 to 1850 the farmers around the ironworks, in average, delivered 94 100 hectolitres of charcoal per year to the ironworks, which corresponds to an annual felling of 11 292 m3. A forest estimate, made by forest officer Sjögren from the forest district of Tjust, showed the condition of the forest after the studied time period, in 1874. The average wood resource in the villages and farms, that were included in the forest estimate, was about 50 m3 wood/ha. The proportions between timber (timber trees and expected timber trees) and charcoal- and fire wood were 36/64. Consequently, the largest part of the total volume of wood was in forests of age under 50 years. By combining the different parts of my study, I venture to say that Storebro Bruk, with its need of primary products, have a strong influence in the surrounding environment. During the studied period a "charcoal wood-frontier" gradually moved from the vicinity of the ironwork to its periphery. This process made distinct gradients in the forest landscape. I consider the villages near the ironworks, which principally were owned by the ironworks, were having a local shortage of forest, mainly charcoal wood, from around 1830. The forest estimate from 1874, after the studied period, showed that the charcoal wood was the dominating and the share of timber was lesser. Consequently, the shortage of charcoal wood around 1830 became a shortage of timber wood around 1870. Historical sources, in the way I used them, gives a detailed account of how people have utilised the forest under a certain time, but also how the forest was influenced by the utilisation of the human. As a result of this, we can improve our decisions; how to manage the forest to preserve biological, cultural and social values.

Item Type: Thesis (Other)
Keywords: skogsbrist, skogshistoria, järnbruk, skogsskötsel
Subject (faculty): Faculty of Forest Sciences > Dept. of Forest Vegetation Ecology
Divisions: SLU > Faculty of Forest Sciences
Depositing User: Kristina Johansson
Date Deposited: 12 Dec 2005
Last Modified: 18 Aug 2015 09:36
URI: http://ex-epsilon.slu.se/id/eprint/717

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