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Boreal Coniferous Forests

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The southern coniferous forest region (boreo-nemoral region) is bounded by the oak's natural distribution limit in the north, limes norrlandicus, and the spruce's natural distribution limit in the south.

Southern coniferous forest region
Southern coniferous forest region

Today, conifers also dominate in the southern coniferous forest region. In the past, noble deciduous trees, mainly oak, elm and linden, have had a significant distribution in the region. The book is now naturally found mainly in the southwestern part of the region and the oak has its strongest foothold in the southeastern part. The pioneer deciduous trees birch, aspen and stickleback are otherwise common throughout the region.

Mälardalen's strongly culturally influenced areas, the cultivated plains in Östergötland and Västergötland and the Småland highlands with their bog lands are other areas that give the region its character.

Characteristic Habitat Types In The Southern Coniferous Forest Region

COPYRIGHT_WI: Published on https://washingtonindependent.com/ebv/boreal-coniferous-forests/ by Paolo Reyna on 2021-03-10T01:32:39.926Z

As in the northern coniferous forest region, there are mostly mixed forests and with a mixed history. Tree-pure forests are found on special site types but also in the many plantations of spruce on old cultivated land.

Pine Forests

Tallskog, Lunsen, Uppsala
Tallskog, Lunsen, Uppsala

The pine forests in the southern coniferous forest region are, in the same way as in the northern coniferous forest region, dependent on fire. Due to the long cultural impact, mining, grazing, and recently organized forestry, there are even fewer natural pine forests and old pines left in the southern coniferous forest region.

The fire impact has been even stronger in the southern than in the northern coniferous forest region due to the pronounced early summer drought in south-eastern Sweden. It is therefore logical that Kalmar County has a very strong concentration of fire-dependent species. The absence of fires is a major management problem in the southern coniferous forest region, not least in the reserve with pine natural forest.

In Halland, game grazing is so strong that pine forest on land is almost threatened as an ecosystem.

Spruce Forests

Mossy spruce forest, Uppland
Mossy spruce forest, Uppland

As in Norrland, there are characteristics in the spruce forest that characterize internal dynamics when the forest has been left untouched for a number of decades. This becomes clearest when the forest is protected and has access to moisture through streams, marshes, springs, acid rain, or sea contacts.

Western Sweden's relatively humid climate benefits the spruce forest and i.a. in Värmland there are distinct old spruce forests. Nearly all of these forests, however, have astonishingly many traces of fires.

Pioneer Deciduous Forests

Stickball, Multistemmed
Stickball, Multistemmed

Real deciduous trees are very rare, but deciduous forests that have arisen as a result of no or failed planting can have great similarities with deciduous trees. Especially if there are pines, oaks or other stands left. As in the northern coniferous forest region, much of the natural values ​​are linked to when deciduous trees begin to die away and the spruce seriously begins to penetrate.

Klibbal forests are usually small, but common, and make up less than one percent of the timber stock. Compared to other deciduous trees, the stickleback plants are very difficult to germinate and establish themselves on anything other than completely bare ground with even moisture. Klibbalen is therefore referred to as erosion lands such as brook beaches, land uplift beaches, old gravel, and clay quarries, and other lands with sharp changes in land use.

The stems of the stickleback are often so dense that all seed regeneration is excluded, but the stickleback is a master at shooting stump shoots. If the stump shoots are to grow, they must have full light. The management of stickleback forests, therefore, requires heavy felling. The typical plinth formation is partly due to felling, partly to the trees' ability to drain the soil. The drainage causes the soil to be oxygenated and then it also collapses.

Oak Forests

Old oak, Hasseludden, Knivsta
Old oak, Hasseludden, Knivsta

Like pine, oak is an extremely adaptable species, but it does not withstand the competition from the spruce on the good and medium-quality soils. The oak is therefore often referred to lean, preferably grassy forests, where it thrives biologically. As the oak is basically a fire-rejuvenated and light-demanding pioneer tree, gradual and rather severe disturbances are required to rejuvenate the oak forest.

It is rare to see vegetative young oaks among coarser oaks. Significantly more common is to see the oaks heavily crowded with growing spruces or bent and heavily game-grazed. The majority of the larger oaks we see today are remnants from the time when the land was owned; usually meadows or meadow slopes. The oak garden is a special environment because the oak cannot rejuvenate there. The pasture means that in the long run, it is instead spruce, eel, and alder that benefit.

Kvilleken in Rumskulla is probably Sweden's oldest oak. A respectable old man worth a visit, as long as he manages to stay alive!

Mixed Deciduous Forests

Deciduous forest, Kärrstorp, Kalmar
Deciduous forest, Kärrstorp, Kalmar

Mixed forests with oak, linden, ash, elm, and maple are very rare today but occur on calcareous soils and in overgrown cultural soils. Apart from oak, these deciduous trees are shade-resistant and rejuvenate best with seeds or vegetatively. The mixed deciduous forests are in a class of their own when it comes to species richness. The deciduous trees have nutrient-rich bark with a high pH that makes the moss and lichen flora rich in old trees. The spruce usually penetrates among the deciduous trees, but with the exception of the oak, they usually withstand the intrusion well.

Brow Against The Cultural Landscape

Bryn with slånbuskage, Alasjön, Uppland
Bryn with slånbuskage, Alasjön, Uppland

The transition between forest and cultivated land has for a long time been quite diffuse in the southern coniferous forest region. The degree of human activity gradually decreased with the distance from the buildings. As domestic animal grazing in the forest has ceased, the transition between forest and cultivated land has become sharper. At the edge, the forest's and cultivated land's animals and plants meet. Brynen serves as a retreat for those species that have difficulty adapting to the methods of modern agriculture and forestry.

In the brows, there are bearing trees and shrubs such as bird berries, chrysanthemums, rowan, willow, sloe, and rosehips. Both the climate and the availability of protection and food are good at the edge. Both the number of species and the richness of the individual are often high in the brow zones. Birds, butterflies, and stingrays, as well as small mammals all, thrive in brown environments. One or two trees can be plucked from the brows, but retain width, layering, and richness of variation.

Worth Protecting In The Southern Coniferous Forest Region

This is what more is needed in the southern coniferous forest region:

Open, Multi-layered Pine Forests

By far the biggest lack of natural value in the southern coniferous forest region is the lack of multi-layered pine forests. In parts of the region, there is no shortage of pine forests on land at all. Both pine and oak forests are naturally quite open, which rhymes poorly with forestry's desire for dense and well-stocked forests. Transparency is not only good for mosses, lichens, insects, and other small insects, on the living trees, but also for the many species that use the deadwood.

Mixed Forests With Several Tree Species

Before forestry left its mark on the forest, mixed forests were much more common. More pine mixed forests and oak mixed forests with elements of different deciduous trees would be valuable. Aging pioneer tree forests of e.g. birch and aspen are also needed more.

Old, Rough Trees And Deadwood

The trees become more valuable to the forest species the older and coarser they are. This also applies to dead trees and deadwood. The amount of trees and deadwood left in various forms is steadily increasing in the forest as a result of increased consideration for nature. But there is still a shortage of really old and rough trees in the southern coniferous forest region. Free-standing old oaks are especially valuable.

Care That Preserves The Qualities Of The Cultural Landscape

The surrounding areas of the cultural landscape, which have grown back for a long time, need to be managed with recurring clearing or grazing so that openness is maintained and small trees and shrubs benefit. The increased demand for biofuels can be both a threat and an opportunity for nature conservation. Used properly, biofuel extraction can also serve the purposes of conservation.

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About The Authors

Paolo Reyna

Paolo Reyna - Paolo is a senior at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, majoring in International Studies with a Latin American emphasis. During the fall semester of 2012, he had the opportunity to study abroad in Peru, which piqued his interest in international growth. He learned about the disparities that impact indigenous peoples, got a taste of Peruvian culture, and improved his Spanish skills. Mitchel interned with the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, conducting research on food security in Latin America, after being inspired by his foreign experience. He wants to work in international development and for a government department, writing legislation. He loves playing intramural basketball and practicing for the Chicago marathon when he is not thinking about current events in Latin America.

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