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Investigation Sites of the Swedish Coniferous Forest Project: Biological and Physiographical Features

B. Axelsson and S. Bråkenhielm
Ecological Bulletins
No. 32, Structure and Function of Northern Coniferous Forests: An Ecosystem Study (1980), pp. 25-64
Published by: Oikos Editorial Office
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20112802
Page Count: 40
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Investigation Sites of the Swedish Coniferous Forest Project: Biological and Physiographical Features
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Abstract

The two intensive research sites of the Swedish Coniferous Forest Project (SWECON) are described. The main sites, a lichen Scots pine heath on sand (Ivantjärnsheden), and a mixed mature stand of Scots pine and Norway spruce on till (Nickobacken) within Siljansfors Experimental Forest, are both situated in Central Sweden near latitude 60°50′N. Ivantjärnsheden is located just north of the border between the Boreal zone or taiga of Northern Sweden and the Boreo-nemoral zone of Southern Sweden. The basically climatic transition is narrow due to topography and geology. It contains both northern and southern plant and animal species. The research area is a level sedimentary sandy plain at 185 m above mean sea level (M.S.L.). Mean annual air temperature is 3.8°C and mean annual precipitation ca. 600 mm. The vegetation belongs to the Cladonio-Pinetum (boreale) K-L 1967 association or the lichen to lichen-dwarf-shrub forest type growing on an ordinary iron podzol. The research plots represent an age-series of pine forest stands from a clear-felled area to a 120-year-old stand. Siljansfors Experimental Forest has a slightly more continental temperature climate but is distinctly more humid. The forest is situated in a strongly undulating till area with altitudes between 210 m and 425 m above M.S.L. Mean annual air temperature is 3.6°C and annual precipitation ca. 700 mm. On the bouldery, sloping research plot the plant community belongs to a mesic to moist dwarf-shrub forest type with mosses and Vaccinium myrtillus on the ground and a tree stand comprising ca. 150-year-old pines and ca. 100-year-old spruces. The nearby Gusseltjärn drainage area is used for hydrological studies.

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