Reforestation challenges in Scandinavia

Reforestation challenges in Scandinavia


  • Anders Mattsson Dalarna University Department of energy, forests and built environments



Scandinavia, Reforestation Challenges, Deforestation, Degradation, Erosion, Pine Weevils, Lifting, Field Storage, Alternative Species, Climate Change


In the keynote, major reforestation challenges in Scandinavia will be highlighted. The following countries make up Scandinavia: Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Denmark. For Iceland, with only a forest cover of 2%, a major reforestation challenge is the deforestation and overgrazing in combination with land degradation and extensive soil erosion. The challenges include the conflicts with livestock farmers. For centuries the commons were used for sheep and horse grazing. However, more and more of farmer grazing land have been fenced up, allowing the regeneration of birch and plantations of other species to increase. With a forest cover of 37% and 69% respectively, for decades a major reforestation challenge in Norway and Sweden has been the risk of seedling damages from the pine weevil. Unprotected seedlings can have a survival rate of less than 25% after being planted. Pine weevils feed on the bark of planted young seedlings at regeneration sites. If the seedling is girdled, it will not survive. In Sweden, and soon in Norway, pesticides have been forbidden. In the keynote, new methods and technology will be presented based on non-chemical protection. In Finland, with a forest cover of 75%, a major reforestation challenge is linked to the forest structure. The structure of Finnish forestry includes many private forests in combination with small regeneration sites. This implies a situation where logistics and methods for lifting and field storage provide a major challenge in order to preserve seedling quality until the planting date. Due to this situation, new logistic systems and technologies are being developed in Finland, including new seedling cultivation programs (including cultivation under Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs)) to match the access of fresh planting stock to different planting dates. In Denmark, with a forest cover of 13%, a major reforestation challenge is the possibility of future plantations based on a wide range of relevant species. For this to become a realistic option, new methods and technology have to be developed in reforestation activities that support this possibility. These methods and technology should make it possible to not be limited to certain species due to problems and restrictions during field establishment. This due to the prospect of establishing stable, healthy, and productive stands of various forest species that can be adapted to future climate change.


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How to Cite

Mattsson, Anders. “Reforestation Challenges in Scandinavia”. REFORESTA 1, no. 1 (June 5, 2016): 67–85. Accessed June 12, 2024.

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