Assessment of the main natural disturbances on Norwegian forest based on 20 years of national inventory
Mola Yudego, Blas
González-Olabarria, José Ramón
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The re-measurement of permanent forest inventories offers a unique opportunity to assess the occurrence and impact of forest disturbances. The present study aims at exploring the main forest damages in Norway based on the extensive data of several consecutive national forest inventories during the period 1995–2014. Five of the most common disturbance agents in Norway are selected for analysis: wind, snow, browsing, fungus and insect damage. The analyses focuses on the frequency and variation along time, the average damage at stand level and the spatial patterns of damage occurrence, resulting in a characterization of the damage produced by disturbances in Norway. The highest damage occurrences by disturbance agent are due to browsing, snow and wind. Snow presents a decreasing temporally trend in damage frequency in the studied period. By forest type, mature and intermediate birch forest are found to be more affected by snow damage, whereas mature spruce forest is by wind damage. The results from this study provide support to the hypothesis that damages by autumnal moth (Epirrita autumnata) on birch are more common in mature stands. No major attacks from bark beetle (Ips typographus) are found, probably related to the lack of major storm damages in the period. Forest types susceptibility to fungus has no apparent variation over time except in the last years, as increased occurrence is observed on mature spruce stands probably correlated with warmer than average periods. Browsing damage causes the most severe losses, as expected, in young stands, and is allocated mainly on the most productive forests. Although some of the disturbances present locally moderate effects, the results show no major disturbances threatening Norwegian forests in the studied period. Finally, the Norwegian national forest inventory demonstrates its reliability as a basis to understand the occurrence and effects of major natural disturbances.
Is part ofPLoS ONE, 2016, vol. 11, núm. 8, e0161361
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