State of Forest Genetic Resources in Norway
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Forests and wooded land cover 39 % of the land area of Norway and productive forest amounts to 8.3 million hectares. Two conifer species, Picea abies and Pinus sylvestris, dominate the forest area; they cover 71 % of the forest area and 84 % of total volume. The annual harvest is at present less than 50 % of the annual increment. Forestry and the wood industry have great financial importance in Norway, and timber and wood products have a gross value of 5 % of the total gross domestic product. Forestry is characterized by small-scale properties which to a large extent are privately owned. The main objective of the forest policy is to promote sustainable forest management with a view to promote active, local and economic development, and to secure biological diversity, considerations for the landscape, outdoor recreation and the cultural values associated with the forest. Forest management plans are important instruments to obtain these goals. Three targeted programmes have high priority in the present forest policy: forests and climate, increased use of wood and bioenergy. Active use of the forest genetic resources may contribute to the success of these programmes. Species composition and distribution of forest trees in Norway is largely determined by the following factors: the invasion of tree species after the Ice Age, subsequent climatic changes and human activities ....