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Enhancing forest growth using improved forest regeneration material (MEKANEN)

Projects of the National Forest Strategy
Projects of the Catch the Carbon -programme


Natural Resource Institute Finland


Duration: 2020-2022

Climate change will probably affect growth, health and species composition of Finnish forests in the near future. Health and tree species diversity are, in turn, key elements in assuring growth and carbon sequestration of forest in changing climate. However, during the past twenty years, tree species diversity in terms of their share of area in artificial forest regeneration has decreased. Especially the use of Norway spruce has increased and the use of silver birch decreased.

Given that the forests remain healthy, growth and carbon sequestration can even be increased by
increasing the use of improved regeneration material. For example, growth of Scots pine can be
increased by 15–25% using improved seed instead of stand seed. However, in direct seeding, high seed consumption due to low seedling establishment restricts increasing the share of improved seed on some areas, especially in central and northern Finland.

The aim of this project is to increase knowledge for diversifying tree species composition of forests, secure the existence of rare native broadleaved trees (e.g. elm) for the future needs in forestry, and reduce the seed consumption (i.e. increase seedling establishment) in direct seeding of Scots pine, and thus enable increasing the share of improved seed used in direct seeding. Reduced seed consumption increases also the profitability of forestry.

Further Information

Project page (Natural Resources Institute Finland)