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Lifespan and mortality of old oaks - combining empirical and modelling approaches to support their management in Southern Sweden

  • Igor Drobyshev
  • Mats Niklasson
  • Hans Linderson
  • Kerstin Sonesson
  • Matts Karlsson
  • Sven Nilsson
  • Jan Lanner
Publishing year: 2008
Language: English
Pages: 401-401
Publication/Series: Annals of Forest Science
Volume: 65
Issue: 4
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: Springer

Abstract english

Old oaks (Quercus robur L.) play an important role in the southern Scandinavian landscape by providing habitat for a wide range of species, a large proportion of them being currently on the National Redlists. To provide support for the management of these trees, we review data on oak mortality and formulate a mortality-driven stochastic model analysing interactions between mortality rate, oak recruitment rate into 100-150 age class, and amount of oaks older than 200 years. Empirical annual mortality rates varied between 0 and 13% with average 1.68%. Trees older 200 years had an average mortality rate of 1.1%. Oaks in the high density forests showed higher mortality (3.2%) as compared to the trees growing in the low density forests (1.2%). A 400-year long modelling exercises indicated that under current mortality rates (regular mortality being centred around 1% annually; and irregular mortality 7% with average return time of 13 years) the long-term maintenance of 20 trees older than 200 years per ha would require an input rate of 1 to 5 trees x year(-1) x ha(-1) into the 100-150 years old class. The modelling highlighted the importance of initial oak abundance affecting amount of old trees at the end of shorter (100 years) simulation period.


  • Geology
  • Ecology
  • disturbance
  • dynamics
  • population
  • dendrochronology
  • European hardwoods
  • conservation


  • ISSN: 1286-4560
Hans Linderson
E-mail: hans [dot] linderson [at] geol [dot] lu [dot] se

Research engineer

Quaternary Sciences

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