In Finland, the growth of a forest from young seedlings into full-grown trees takes nearly one hundred years. The forest dynamics is affected by the tree species growing on the site, habitat and climate conditions, as well as the level of human intervention.
The knowledge accumulated about the ecology and biology of forests and tree species and the measurement data on forest growth in different conditions and circumstances collected over several decades have enabled mathematical modelling of forest growth. Modelling enables illustrating the current status of forests and predicting the future growth of the forest with or without silvicultural intervention.
The models developed by Luke’s growth and yield experts can be used to examine in detail the different stages of forest growth. The models have been drafted making extensive use of various measurement data obtained from carefully measured and controlled forest treatment experiments, as well as from forest resource statistics that cover vast forest areas.
The use of these models enables investigating the effects of different conditions and measures, as well as making comparisons and predictions. The importance of the models is highlighted when studying slow-growing forests or effects that are visible in such forests only after a long period of time. Forest growth prediction also enables, for example, the estimating of future harvesting volumes and planning of silvicultural operations and economic investments.