GO
en-USnb-NO
Salvage logging of mountain birch after moth outbreaks

Publisert 05.12.2017

Outbreaks of defoliating geometrid moths have damaged thousands of square kilometres of mountain birch forest in northern Scandinavia during the last two decades. Salvage logging of damaged mountain birch stands has been discussed as a means of speeding up the regeneration of the forest.

Mountain birch trees that have been killed by a moth outbreak in Eastern Finnmark, northern Norway,Photo: Jacob Iglhaut
Mountain birch trees that have been killed by a moth outbreak in Eastern Finnmark, northern Norway,Photo: Jacob Iglhaut

In the present study COAT researchers, Vindstad and colleagues, in collaboration with the county governor of Finnmark and the Finnmark estate agency, provide the first experimental test of the effects of logging in damaged mountain birch forest. The study shows that logging does indeed stimulate the production of basal sprouts, with the average number of sprouts in experimental logging plots being four times higher than in untreated controls two year after logging. In one out of two experimental regions, logging also improved sprout growth, and sprouts were starting to grow into new stems only two years after logging. However, in the second experimental region, sprout growth was retarded by ungulate browsing, to the extent that stem production failed completely. The production of sprouts and stems was also limited on rich soils, dominated by single-stemmed birches that have low capacity for sprout production.

The results suggest that logging is a viable option for improving forest recovery in areas where ungulates are scarce, but is probably not worthwhile where ungulates are abundant. Also, logging should be practiced with care on rich soils, where birches have low capacity for sprouting. 

 

Further reading:

Full paper: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0378112717305194

 

An experimental plot two years after logging. The red poles mark the location of birch trees that have been cut down. Photo: Moritz Klinghardt      
 

An experimental birch stump two years after logging, showing extensive production of basal sprouts. The red pole is 50 cm high. Photo: Moritz Klinghardt   

More news

Oct08 Implementation of research infrastructure – update from COAT Svalbard
Created by Leif Einar Støvern on 10/8/2019 2:24:00 AM

COAT Svalbard has now implemented and operationalized several types of research infrastructure in t...
Read More..

Sep27 New small rodent exclosures by COAT Varanger
Created by Leif Einar Støvern on 9/27/2019 1:24:00 AM

COAT Varanger has established small rodent exclosures that distinguish between direct and indirec...
Read More..

Aug28 Deployment of CO2 sensors
Created by Leif Einar Støvern on 8/28/2019 10:24:00 AM

As a part of the project COAT-Tools we are collaborating with the department of computer science he...
Read More..

Aug02 Dispersal movement of a COAT-instrumented Arctic fox went viral
Created by Leif Einar Støvern on 8/2/2019 1:24:00 AM

Climate change is expected to impact area use and dispersal movements in Arctic animals, and this i...
Read More..

Jul26 COAT researchers in lead of pan-Arctic assessments of status of lemming and ptarmigan populations
Created by Leif Einar Støvern on 7/26/2019 2:24:00 AM

The working groups of the Arctic Council conduct periodic assessments of state of the Arctic enviro...
Read More..

Jul01 Declining tundra bird populations linked to Arctic greening
Created by Leif Einar Støvern on 7/1/2019 5:24:00 AM

Many arctic bird populations have declined substantially during the last decades. Preliminary analy...
Read More..

May23 Spring-fieldwork in Varanger
Created by Leif Einar Støvern on 5/23/2019 11:24:00 AM

In the end of April COAT Varanger conducted its spring-fieldwork. This year the spring-fieldwork co...
Read More..

May03 Winter fieldwork in Varanger, Finnmark and Svalbard
Created by Leif Einar Støvern on 5/3/2019 3:24:00 AM

Several COAT modules both in Varnger, Finnmark and in Svalbard have carried out winter fieldwork in...
Read More..

Dec19 COAT CASE STORY
Created by Leif Einar Støvern on 12/19/2018 9:24:00 AM

NEW! COAT CASE STORIES are short popular handouts from COAT. This second COAT CASE STORY about the ...
Read More..

Dec17 An uncertain future for the mountain birch forest
Created by Leif Einar Støvern on 12/17/2018 9:58:34 AM

Outbreaks by geometrid moths have caused extensive damage to mountain birch forest in northern Scan...
Read More..