Anders Bekeken

100 Places To Remember: Dalarna Svealand, Sweden

Geschreven op 23-4-2010 - Erik van Erne. Geplaatst in Natuur Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

100places to rememberThe Oldest Tree in the World. Scientists made a fascinating discovery in the mountain tundra of Dalarna in south-central Sweden recently the oldest living tree in the world. The roots of this ancient spruce tree are 9,550 years old, dating all the way back to the end of the last ice age, when Sweden was covered in ice.

Forest covers almost 60% of modern Swedens total landmass, corresponding to 1% of the worlds total forest cover. Majestic spruces dominate, making up 42% of the total. Apart from being used as Christmas trees, the spruce also serves as the basis for one of Swedens most important industries, the paper and timber industry.

A distinctive feature of Swedish forestry is that nearly 355,000 private individuals, many of them smallholders and family businesses who pass their plot from one generation to the next, own half of all the nations trees.

The spruce is tolerant of severe cold and, to a certain extent, drought, and grows best in regions with cold winters. Its hardiness and longevity are partly due to its ability to clone itself as soon as one trunk dies, another emerges from the same rootstock.

The 9,550-year-old find is now shedding new light on the origins of the Swedish spruce. Climate change means the spruce forests face an uncertain future, however. It is projected that higher temperatures and declining summer precipitation will cut the number of spruce in southern Sweden.

The spruce bark beetle constitutes a further threat to the species. Frequent storms and warm summers have caused an explosion in the number of beetles. Global warming is likely to increase their number yet again, which would pose a serious threat to the ancient Swedish spruce.

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