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Restoration of Spruce Forests: Theory, National Practice and Problem Solving

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N.N. Terinov, Е.M. Andreeva, S.V. Zalesov, N.A. Lyganskiy, A.G. Magasumova

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Detailed analysis of standard and scientific literature on the problem of restoration of primary dark coniferous forests through the species succession is made for a long-term period. The forest formation theory developed by Professor B.P. Kolesnikov is behind the problem solution. According this theory the restoration of spruce forests occurs through the formation stage of short-term and long-term secondary soft-leaved plantations. The shortterm plantations are the most promising as they have the highest regeneration potential. It has been suggested that during the growth process of secondary soft-leaved forest stands on the site of primary spruce forests the plantation restores its structure and energy balance that were changed as a result of cuttings. Over this period accumulation of organic matter and nutrients, which had been removed from the ecosystem with cut trees, occurs in the soil. We shell underline that substantial improvement of water-physical properties, chemical composition of soil and its achievement of initial level of fertility is possible only after 40–60 years when secondary soft-leaved stands will grow in the place of pure spruce forests. It was concluded that succession of dark coniferous species to soft-leaved ones after clear cuttings is a massive and objective phenomenon; and from the point of view of improvement the forest site conditions it is positive. In this case it should be considered not only as a stage of restoration, but, perhaps, as a mechanism of preservation of primary dark coniferous forest plantations. The growing period of soft-leaved plantations is proposed to use in the forestry system as a restoration stage for the formation of productive dark coniferous plantations. A new method named transformation cutting was developed and patented specifically for spruce forests in order to solve this issue. Its essence lies in the fact that care of young generations of dark coniferous species is taken in the early stages of the secondary softleaved stand development. The entire process of formation of dark coniferous young growth or middle-aged forest stand finishes with cutting of upper soft-leaved storey at the tree age of 45–55 years, i.e. before they reach the cutting age of mature soft-leaved stands. The inclusion of this method in the system of forestry would require some changes and additions in inventory of forest fund, preparation of project documents, as well as technical and engineering support of the prescribed measures. For instance, it is necessary to start the valuation of secondary soft-leaved forest plantations with the middle-aged stand and determine the full valuation description of the stand by generations indicating the composition, age, height and number of tree species. The use of the developed method for dark coniferous forest plantations in forestry will allow to slow down the process of species succession and later on to balance deciduous and coniferous forests based on the ecological value of forest stands, forest site conditions and prospects for the development of a specific area.


N.N. Terinov1, Doctor of Agriculture, Prof.; ResearcherID: N-2884-2019,
Е.M. Andreeva2, Candidate of Biology, Senior Research Scientist; ResearcherID: AAD-3340-2020,
S.V. Zalesov1, Doctor of Agriculture, Prof.; ResearcherID:H-2605-2019,
N.A. Lyganskiy1 , Doctor of Agriculture, Prof.; ORCID:
A.G. Magasumova1, Candidate of Agriculture, Assoc. Prof.; ResearcherID: H-1607-2019


1Ural State Forest Engineering University, Sibirskiy trakt, 37, Yekaterinburg, 620100, Russian Federation; e-mail:,
2Botanical Garden of the Ural Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, ul. 8 Marta, 202a, Yekaterinburg, 620144, Russian Federation; е-mail:


succession of species, soft-leaved plantations, transformation cutting, forming of spruce stands

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Terinov N.N., Andreeva Е.M, Zalesov S.V., Lyganskiy N.A., Magasumova A.G. Restoration of Spruce Forests: Theory, National Practice and Problem Solving. Lesnoy Zhurnal [Russian Forestry Journal], 2020, no. 3, pp. 9–23. DOI: 10.37482/0536-1036-2020-3-9-23


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