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POTENTIAL OF HYBRID LARCH (LARIX X EUROLEPIS) IN FOREST REGENERATION IN LATVIA

B. Jansone, K. Skrastins, R. Kapostins, E. Racenis, L. Jansone
Wednesday 19 December 2018 by Libadmin2018

ABSTRACT

Hybrid larch is fast growing and more wind-resistant than Norway spruce; thus, it might be a suitable alternative to reduce (diversify) the forest management risks in context of climate changes. However, interest to use this species in forest regeneration, recently higher than before, is still limited. In part it is related to lack of experience and information on its growth. Therefore aim of our study was to characterize growth of Larix x eurolepis young stands in Latvia. Sample plots were placed in 7 stands of the first age class (3-19 years) growing on fertile mineral soils. Intensive growth of hybrid larch starts already at the age of 4 years and does not decrease during the first age class – ring width is 5-9 mm; annual height increment 48-79 cm. Parameters are significantly affected by forest type. At the end of first age class height of larch significantly and notably (by 2.2-3.6 m) exceeded that of Norway spruce, the same was true also about basal area and, consequently, yield. Results indicate the potential gain in productivity, while using larch instead of Norway spruce, might be achieved; however, other factors (like timber market and resistance against damages) might be more important when deciding selecting tree species in forest regeneration.

Keywords: fast growing trees, biomass production, coniferous plantations


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