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Mortality of Trees after a Birch Cutting with Preservation of Spruce in Southern Taiga in the Centre of the Russian Plain

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M.V. Rubtsov, A.A. Deryugin

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Long-term observations on the permanent experimental surfaces have been established trends of trees mortality in initial period (10 years) and after 20…30 years since clearcutting of 45…75 years old birch forests with preservation of spruce with preliminary generation. Cuttings were held in high productive southern-taiga birch forests of oxalidosum-myrtillosum group. Trees renewal occurs mainly on skidding tracks between lots of spruce of preliminary generation. Aspen abundantly restores by root suckers after a cutting and soon dies (85 %) because of natural thinning and repeated damages by elks. Regeneration of small-lieved trees in 20…30 years after cutting accounts and mostly is represented by birch. In this generation, there is a high mortality rate (85 %) due to shading by upper trees. Spruce renewal mainly occurs on skidding tracks. Over 20 years after cutting the amount of spruces (higher than 0.1 m) has changed from 2.0 to 11.3 thsnd. pcs. ha-1. In next 10 years mortali-ty of spruce averaged 55 %. The main reason of death was shading by upper trees. In initial period after birch cutting a mortality among them did not exceed 20 % (mainly spruce, una-ble to adapt to new conditions and damaged). Later, mortality increases till 30…45 % due to the competition for light resource: tree feels deficiency of light more heavily than it lower within canopy. Weakened, stunted spruce, mainly with relative length of crown – not more than 0.5, dies. Quantity of died spruces directly depends on the canopy density of spruce of preliminary generation. Spruces left after cutting of birch stands play the main role in for-mation of the future forests.


M.V. Rubtsov, Doctor of Agriculture, Professor 
A.A. Deryugin, Candidate of Agriculture, Senior Research Officer

Authors job

Institute of Forest Science, Russian Academy of Sciences, Sovetskaya, str. 21, Uspenskoe, Moscow Region, 143030, Russia; e-mail:


southern taiga, birch forest, cutting with preservation of spruce, trees mortality, main inputs.


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Received on April 21, 2015

Mortality of Trees after a Birch Cutting with Preservation of Spruce in Southern Taiga in the Centre of the Russian Plain