The Nordic countries have the highest forest coverage in Europe. In southern Sweden, human interventions started to have a significant impact on broadleaved forests around 2000 years ago, where the first evidence of extensive agriculture has been found. Recent studies describe a long-term process of borealization in south-central Sweden starting at the beginning of the Holocene where oak and alder seemingly started to decline around 2000 years ago due to a decrease in temperature.
At the same time, the Norway spruce (Picea abies) started to emigrate from the north, and the European beech (Fagus sylvatica) emigrated from the south of Europe. Though, as a primary result of production forest management in the middle of the twentieth century, P. abies and Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) covers together around 75% of southern Sweden actual standing tree volume. Reforestation projects in Scandinavia are therefore mainly oriented at restoring biodiversity.
Scandinavia has a very homogeneous boreal forest area. (image by Science Direct)