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Overview

Brief Summary

Picea abies, Norway or European spruce, is a large evergreen coniferous tree in the Pinaceae (pine family) native to montane and boreal European forests, ranging from the European Alps to the Balkan and Carpathian Mountains, and extending north into Scandinavia and northern Russia. It is the most important timber species in Central Europe. It was introduced into the British Isles in the 1500s and is naturalized throughout. It is the most widely cultivated spruce species in North America, often planted as an ornamental and landscape tree in parks and cemeteries for its graceful, drooping form; dozens of cultivars have been developed, including dwarf, shrub, and creeping forms. Norway spruce has escaped cultivation and naturalized throughout the northeastern U.S. and Canada, from Maine to Minnesota, from northern Quebec to southern Virginia and North Carolina, as well as in the Rocky Mountain and Pacific Northwest states.

Norway spruce grows to 35-55 m (115-180 ft) tall and with a trunk diameter of up to 1-1.5 m; it is fast-growing when young, and can grow up to 1 meter per year for 25 years. Leaves are needle-like, 1.2-2.4 cm (1/2 to 1 inch) long, quadrangular in cross-section (not flattened), and dark green on all four sides with inconspicuous white stomatal lines. Cones are 9-17 cm long (the longest of any spruce), and have bluntly to sharply triangular-pointed scale tips. There is extensive variation in characters across the range, with some botanists recognizing subspecies, along with hybridization with closely related species (see details below, in full entry).

Norway spruce is one of the most economically important coniferous species in Europe, where it is used in forestry for timber and timber products (such as glued laminated timber), and paper production, and is esteemed as a source of tonewood for musical instruments. It is also widely planted for use as a Christmas tree. A clonal clump (vegetative resprouts from a trunk of an initial stem that grew from seed but has since died back) of Norway spruce in the mountains in western Sweden is estimated to 9,550 years old—one of the world's oldest known living clones (as described in this Scientific American podcast).

(Barnes and Wagner 2004, FNA 2011, Gymnosperm Database 2011, Sullivan 1994, USDA Plants 2011, Wikipedia 2011)

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Comprehensive Description

Comments

The wood of Norway Spruce is used to make furniture, musical instruments (pianos & violins), pulp, and in general construction. It is light-colored, light-weight, rather soft, and reasonably strong. Norway Spruce has the longest seed cones of any spruce (Picea sp.) in Illinois; they exceed 4" in length, while the seed cones of other spruces within the state (which are largely cultivated) are less than 4" in length. Spruces resemble firs (Abies spp.), but their mature seed cones hang downward from their branches. In contrast, the mature seed cones of firs are erect. Spruces produce their leaves individually along their twigs and branches, while pines (Pinus spp.) produce their leaves in clusters (typically 2-5 leaves per cluster). Thus, spruces are fairly easy to distinguish from firs and pines. Like Norway Spruce, other spruces in Illinois are rarely observed in the wild. The coniferous trees in this group are more typical of boreal regions or mountainous areas where the climate is more cool and damp.
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© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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Description

This coniferous tree is 50-120' tall, forming an unbranched straight bole and a crown that is conical to oblongoid in shape. Toward the base of a mature tree, the trunk is 1½-3' across. The trunk bark is gray and rough-textured, becoming scaly with age. Both crustose lichens and algae often colonize its bark. Numerous lateral branches originate along the entire length of the bole. These lateral branches are slightly incurved and ascending. Along the length of each lateral branch, there are several drooping branchlets that divide into divergently branched twigs. The bark of these branches and branchlets is slightly rough and gray, while the twigs are pale yellow to reddish brown. Along the smaller branches, branchlets, and twigs are short needle-like leaves about ½-1" long. These needle-like leaves are medium to dark green, 4-angular, and slightly flattened with blunt tips; they are stiff-textured and curve slightly toward the tips of each branch or twig. Along the sides of each leaf, there are pairs of faint white lines that are formed by rows of stomata (air pores). At the base of each leaf, there is a short peg-like extension of the twig from which the leaf breaks off when it turns brown from age. Individual leaves are evergreen, persisting on a tree for 3-7 years. They have a pine-like fragrance. Norway Spruce is monoecious, forming separate male and female cones on the same tree during mid- to late spring. Male pollen cones are produced from the axils of the needle-like leaves; they are ½-1" in length, oblongoid-ovoid in shape, and purplish red to whitish pink. Female seed cones are produced from the tips of twigs; they are initially pink to reddish pink and oblongoid-ovoid in shape, but change color and become longer after the blooming period. At this stage, both male and female cones are more or less erect. Afterwards, fertile seed cones become green and hang downward; they are covered with overlapping appressed scales. At maturity, these seed cones become brown to gray-brown and slightly woody from their thin scales; they are 4-7" in length and cylindrical in shape. Individual scales are about ¾-1" in length and ½-¾" across; they are obovate-rhombic in shape, glabrous, and irregularly toothed to toothless along their outer margins. Hidden behind each scale, is a pair of winged seeds (not always fully developed). Each seed body is 3-5 mm. in length, while its membranous wing is 10-15 mm. in length. The winged seeds are distributed by the wind. The root system consists of shallow lateral roots. This tree can reproduce vegetatively by "layering" when its lower branches become inserted in moist soil.
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© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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Distribution

Range and Habitat in Illinois

The non-native Norway Spruce has naturalized only in the NW corner of Illinois in Jo Daviess County, where it is rare. It was introduced into North America from Europe, where it is native.  In Illinois, this tree has naturalized in a woods (Mohlenbrock, 2002), where it is apparently successfully reproducing. Norway Spruce is far more common in cultivation, where it used as a landscape tree, a windbreak tree, and a plantation tree (for Christmas trees and other commercial markets).
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National Distribution

Canada

Origin: Exotic

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

United States

Origin: Exotic

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Unknown/Undetermined

Confidence: Confident

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Norway spruce is native to the European Alps, the Balkan mountains, and
the Carpathians, its range extending north to Scandinavia and merging
with Siberian spruce (Picea obovata) in northern Russia [50]. It was
introduced to the British Isles as early as 1500 AD, and is widely
planted in North America, particularly in the northeastern United
States, southeastern Canada, the Pacific Coast states, and the Rocky
Mountain states [47,50]. Naturalized populations are known from
Connecticut to Michigan and probably occur elsewhere [47].
  • 47. Little, Elbert L., Jr. 1979. Checklist of United States trees (native and naturalized). Agric. Handb. 541. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 375 p. [2952]
  • 50. Mitchell, Alan F. 1972. Conifers in the British Isles: A descriptive handbook. Forestry Commission Booklet No. 33. London: Her Majesty's Stationery Office. 322 p. [20571]

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Occurrence in North America

CT HI IL IN ME MA MI NY PA

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Physical Description

Morphology

Description

More info for the term: tree

Norway spruce is an introduced evergreen tree. In central Europe,
heights of up to 203 feet (61 m) have been reported [42]; the range is
usually between 100 and 200 feet (30-61 m) [87]. The bole is usually
straight and symmetrical, with no tendency to fork [42]. The bark of
young trees has pale fine shreds [50]. The bark of older trees is
usually heavy with algae and has shallow rounded scales that are easily
shed [17,50]. The crown of young trees is narrowly conic, that of older
trees becoming broadly columnar [50]. Secondary branchlets are
characteristically drooping or pendulous [2]. Norway spruce cones are
conspicuously large (4 to 7 inches [10-18 cm] long) [17]. The root
system is typically shallow, with several lateral roots and no taproot.
On rocky sites the roots spread widely, twining over the rocks. On bog
soils, Norway spruce tends to form plate-like roots [42]. In Finland, a
140-year-old Norway spruce forest in a Vaccinium-Myrtillus vegetation
type had a root zone extending only 12 inches (30 cm) into mineral soil [43].

Early growth of Norway spruce is slow, increasing to maximal rates from
20 to 60 years of age [42,50]. Within its native range, Norway spruce
remains healthy up to 200 years, and lives up to 300 to 400 years at the
northern limits of its range [42]. Senescence occurs at less than 200
years of age in the British Isles and North America [50].
  • 2. Barrett, John W.; Ketchledge, Edwin H.; Satterlund, Donald R., eds. 1961. Forestry in the Adirondacks. Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University, State University College of Forestry. 139 p. [21405]
  • 17. Collingwood, G. H.; Brush, Warren D.; [revised and edited by Butcher, Devereux]
  • 42. Kostler, Josef. 1956. Silviculture. Edinburgh: Oliver and Boyd. 416 p. [22369]
  • 43. Kubin, Eero. 1977. The effect of clear cutting upon the nutrient status of a spruce forest in northern Finland. Acta Forestalia Fennica. 155: 1-40. [20961]
  • 50. Mitchell, Alan F. 1972. Conifers in the British Isles: A descriptive handbook. Forestry Commission Booklet No. 33. London: Her Majesty's Stationery Office. 322 p. [20571]
  • 87. Safford, L. O. 1974. Picea A. Dietr. spruce. In: Schopmeyer, C. S., ed. Seeds of woody plants in the United States. Agric. Handb. 450. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 587-597. [7728]

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Physical Description

Tree, Evergreen, Monoecious, Habit erect, Trees without or rarely having knees, Tree with bark rough or scaly, Young shoots 3-dimensional, Buds resinous, Buds not resinous, Leaves needle-like, Leaves alternate, Needle-like leaf margins entire (use magnification), Leaf apex obtuse, Leaves < 5 cm long, Leaves < 10 cm long, Leaves not blue-green, Needle-like leaves 4-angled, Needle-like leaves not twisted, Needle-like leaf habit erect, Needle-like leaf habit drooping, Needle-like leaves per fascicle mostly 1, Needle-like leaf sheath early deciduous, Needle-like leaf sheath persistent, Twigs glabrous, Twigs viscid, Twigs not viscid, Twigs with peg-like projections or large fascicles after needles fall, Berry-like cones orange, Woody seed cones < 5 cm long, Bracts of seed cone included, Seeds brown, Seeds winged, Seeds unequally winged, Seed wings prominent, Seed wings equal to or broader than body.
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Stephen C. Meyers

Source: USDA NRCS PLANTS Database

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Description

Trees to 60 m tall; trunk to 6 m d.b.h. in native range; bark furrowed into small scales; branchlets usually pendulous, reddish brown or orange when young, glabrous or slightly pubescent; winter buds conical, scales reflexed, reddish brown. Leaves ascending or directed forward on upper side of branchlets, spreading on lower side, quadrangular-linear, straight or curved, 1.2-2.5 cm, stomatal lines along each surface. Seed cones brown when mature, cylindric, 10-15(-18.5) cm. Seed scales rhombic-obovate or -ovate, distal margin denticulate, apex truncate or emarginate. Seeds ca. 4 mm; wing ca. 1.6 cm.
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Description

Trees to 30m; trunk to 2m diam.; crown conic. Bark gray-brown, scaly. Branches short and stout, the upper ascending, the lower drooping; twigs stout, reddish brown, usually glabrous. Buds reddish brown, 5--7mm, apex acute. Leaves 1--2.5cm, 4-angled in cross section, rigid, light to dark green, bearing stomates on all surfaces, apex blunt-tipped. Seed cones (10--)12--16cm; scales diamond-shaped, widest near middle, 18--30 ´ 15--20mm, thin and flexuous, margin at apex erose to toothed, apex extending 6--10mm beyond seed-wing impression. 2 n =24.
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Diagnostic Description

Synonym

Pinus abies Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 2: 1002. 1753; P. excelsa Lamarck (1778), not Wallich ex D. Don (1828); Picea excelsa (Lamarck) Link.
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Synonym

Pinus abies Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 2: 1002. 1753
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Ecology

Habitat

Range and Habitat in Illinois

The non-native Norway Spruce has naturalized only in the NW corner of Illinois in Jo Daviess County, where it is rare. It was introduced into North America from Europe, where it is native.  In Illinois, this tree has naturalized in a woods (Mohlenbrock, 2002), where it is apparently successfully reproducing. Norway Spruce is far more common in cultivation, where it used as a landscape tree, a windbreak tree, and a plantation tree (for Christmas trees and other commercial markets).
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Comments: Grow best in shady or partially shaded locations in deep, rich, moist soil (Elias, 1980).

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Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
Picea abies is widespread and dominant in Boreal conifer forests of N and NE Europe, where it replaces Pinus sylvestris on wetter sites because Picea abies can avoid the water table with a very shallow root system. Ocurs from sea level up to 2,000 m. The natural distribution shows continental tendencies but in the western mountains of Central Europe an ecotype has evolved that is adapted to sub-Atlantic weather conditions with heavy 'wet' snowfall in early winter. Its inability to compete with more shade tolerant Abies alba and Fagus sylvatica as well as historical factors have limited its natural expansion into W Europe. In the Alps Picea abies occupies the montane to subalpine zones (dependent on local climate) especially on moist sites and in cold air pockets. Although it can occur on most substrates, acidic soils are most common and widespread as is testified by the undergrowth, if present, of ericaceous shrubs and sub-shrubs. Commonly growing with Picea abies in the Boreal forests are Betula sp. and Populus tremula, with willows (Salix) alongside streams and lakes. In the Alps Picea abies occurs with Larix decidua, Pinus cembra, and P. sylvestris or P. nigra, if not in pure stands. In E Europe, Picea abies is a constituent of mixed conifer-broad-leaved woodland from the Bialowiecza Forest in the north to the valleys of the eastern Alps and the Carpatians.

Systems
  • Terrestrial
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Habitat characteristics

Norway spruce grows best in cool, humid climates on rich soils [2,17].
Preferred soils include well-drained sandy loams [2,17,42]. It also
grows well on almost all other types of soils. Permanently waterlogged
soils inhibit Norway spruce growth, but Norway spruce does occur on
poorly drained soils and in bogs [42]. Growth rates increase with
increased soil organic material and are positively correlated to the
nitrogen content of the soil. In southern Finland, soil pH under 34- to
38-year-old plantations of Norway spruce ranged from 3.7 to 4.4. Norway
spruce is also found on podzolized soils [45].

Norway spruce occurs at elevations up to 6,560 feet (2,000 m) in the
Bavarian Alps, to 4,920 feet (1,500 m) in the Black Forest, and to 3,450
feet (1,051 m) in the Fichtel Mountains [42]. In Switzerland, the
'hilly zone' up to 1,800 feet (550 m) is occupied by mixed hardwoods
with scattered conifers (European silver fir, Norway spruce and Scot's
pine); the 'mountain zone' from 1,800 feet to 3,800 feet (550-1,160 m)
is cooler and more humid and is dominated by European beech, European
silver fir and increasing amounts of Norway spruce; the subalpine zone
from 3,800 feet to 6,600 feet (1,160-2,000 m) is divided into two
subzones: 'subalpine spruce' up to 5,500 feet (1,670 m) consisting of
pure Norway spruce and mixed Norway spruce and European silver fir; and
the 'Arolla pine (Swiss stone pine [Pinus cembra])- (European) larch
(Larix decidua) zone' from 5,500 feet (1,670 m) to timberline [24].
This distribution is generally applicable to most of central Europe [42].
  • 2. Barrett, John W.; Ketchledge, Edwin H.; Satterlund, Donald R., eds. 1961. Forestry in the Adirondacks. Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University, State University College of Forestry. 139 p. [21405]
  • 17. Collingwood, G. H.; Brush, Warren D.; [revised and edited by Butcher, Devereux]
  • 24. Fischer, F. 1960. Switzerland and its forests. Corvallis, OR: The College Press, Oregon State College. 56 p. [22370]
  • 42. Kostler, Josef. 1956. Silviculture. Edinburgh: Oliver and Boyd. 416 p. [22369]
  • 45. Leaf, Albert L. 1956. Growth of forest plantations on different soils of Finland. Forest Science. 2(2): 121-126. [20125]

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Key Plant Community Associations

In its native range, Norway spruce occurs in pure stands, transitional
stands mixed with Scotch pine (Pinus sylvestris), or mixed stands with
European beech (Fagus sylvatica) and European silver fir (Abies alba).
Scattered Norway spruce occurs in seral stands of European aspen
(Populus tremula) or hairy birch (Betula pubescens). Classification
systems for Scandinavian forests where Norway spruce and/or Scotch pine
are the major species are based on ground vegetation [11]. Common
groundlayer species include bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus), lingonberry
(V. vitis-idaea), heather (Calluna vulgaris), and woodsorrel (Oxalis
spp.) [5]. Good sites for Norway spruce occur on Oxalis-Myrtillus
types and fair sites are indicated by Myrtillus. Vaccinium types are
usually rather barren and not suited for good spruce growth [79].
Understory species most often associated with Norway spruce in Poland
include raspberry (Rubus idaeus) and European mountain-ash (Sorbus
aucuparia). Mature Norway spruce forests typically have very little
groundlayer vegetation [5].
  • 5. Borowski, Stanislaw; Dzieciolowski, Ryszard. 1980. Browse supply in lowland forests of eastern Poland. Holarctic Ecology. 3: 202-213. [19884]
  • 11. Cajander, A. K. 1949. Forest types and their significance. Acta Forestalia Fennica. 56: 1-105. [22657]
  • 79. Viro, P. J. 1974. Effects of forest fire on soil. In: Kozlowski, T. T.; Ahlgren, C. E., eds. Fire and ecosystems. New York: Academic Press: 7-45. [18305]

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Habitat: Plant Associations

More info on this topic.

This species is known to occur in association with the following plant community types (as classified by Küchler 1964):

K096 Northeastern spruce - fir forest
K104 Appalachian oak forest
K106 Northern hardwoods
K107 Northern hardwoods - fir forest
K108 Northern hardwoods - spruce forest
K109 Transition between K104 and K106

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Habitat: Ecosystem

More info on this topic.

This species is known to occur in the following ecosystem types (as named by the U.S. Forest Service in their Forest and Range Ecosystem [FRES] Type classification):

FRES11 Spruce - fir
FRES15 Oak - hickory
FRES18 Maple - beech - birch
FRES19 Aspen - birch

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Habitat & Distribution

Cultivated. Beijing Shi, Jiangxi (Lu Shan), Shandong (Qingdao Shi) [native to Europe]
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Associations

Faunal Associations

A number of insects feed on the foliage, bore through bark, or suck plant juices from Norway Spruce and other spruce trees (Picea spp.).  These insects include the caterpillars of such moths as Choristoneura fumiferana (Spruce Budworm), Elaphria versicolor (Variegated Midget), Endothenia albolineana (Spruce Needle Miner), and Feralia comstocki (Comstock's Sallow); see the Moth Table for a more complete listing of these species. Another group of insect feeders include the wood-boring larvae of such long-horned beetles as Monochamus marmorator (Balsam Fir Sawyer), Monochamus titillator (Southern Pine Sawyer), and Semanotus litigiosus (Fir Tree Borer); see the Long-Horned Beetle Table for a more complete listing of these species. Other miscellaneous insect feeders include Adelges abietis (Eastern Spruce Gall Adelgid), Chionaspis pinifoliae (Pine Needle Scale), Physokermes piceae (Spruce Bud Scale), the aphids Cinara pinicola and Cinara pruinosa, the plant bug Psallovius piceicola, the weevils Hylobius pales (Pales Weevil) and Pissodes approximatus (Northern Pine Weevil), and the root-feeding larvae of Strigoderma arboricola (False Japanese Beetle). An arachnid invertebrate species, Oligonychus ununguis (Spruce Spider Mite), also feeds on these trees. Among vertebrate animals, the seeds of spruces are eaten by such birds as the Red Crossbill, White-Winged Crossbill, Red-Breasted Nuthatch, Slate-Colored Junco, and Pine Siskin; the Red Squirrel also consumes the seeds. Norway Spruce is one one of the least preferred sources of food of White-Tailed Deer, although Cottontail Rabbits occasionally browse on seedlings of this tree during the winter. Because of their dense branching structure and evergreen foliage, spruce trees are used as nesting habitat by such birds as the Golden-Crowned Kinglet, Blackburnian Warbler, and Blackpoll Warbler; this generally occurs in boreal areas to the north or northeast of Illinois. Some birds like to roost in spruces, particularly during the winter, because of the protective cover that they provide.
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Foodplant / gall
gallicola nymph of Adelges abietis causes gall of live branch tip of Picea abies
Remarks: season: summer

In Great Britain and/or Ireland:
Plant / epiphyte
fruitbody of Aleurodiscus aurantius grows on dead stem of Picea abies
Other: minor host/prey

Foodplant / saprobe
fruitbody of Armillaria borealis is saprobic on dead wood of Picea abies

Foodplant / pathogen
Armillaria mellea s.l. infects and damages Picea abies

Foodplant / pathogen
pycnidium of Ascochyta coelomycetous anamorph of Ascochyta piniperda infects and damages defoliated shoot of Picea abies

Foodplant / saprobe
fruitbody of Athelia bombacina is saprobic on fallen twig of Picea abies

Plant / associate
fruitbody of Bankera violascens is associated with needle litter of Picea abies

Foodplant / mycorrhiza / ectomycorrhiza
fruitbody of Boletus calopus is ectomycorrhizal with live root of Picea abies
Remarks: Other: uncertain
Other: unusual host/prey

Plant / associate
fruitbody of Buchwaldoboletus lignicola is associated with rotting wood of Picea abies
Other: major host/prey

Foodplant / saprobe
effuse colony of Ceratosporella dematiaceous anamorph of Ceratosporella novae-zelandiae is saprobic on dead bark of Picea abies

Foodplant / saprobe
colony of Chalara dematiaceous anamorph of Chalara cylindrica is saprobic on dry scale of Picea abies

Foodplant / parasite
hypophyllous telium of Chrysomyxa abietis parasitises live needle of Picea abies
Remarks: season: 3-5
Other: major host/prey

Foodplant / parasite
amphigenous aecium of Chrysomyxa ledi var. rhododendri parasitises live needle of Picea abies
Remarks: season: 7-9
Other: major host/prey

Foodplant / parasite
aecium of Chrysomyxa pirolata parasitises cone scale of Picea abies

Foodplant / saprobe
apothecium of Colpoma crispum is saprobic on dead, corticate branch of Picea abies
Remarks: season: 6

Foodplant / mycorrhiza / ectomycorrhiza
fruitbody of Cortinarius callisteus is ectomycorrhizal with live root of Picea abies
Remarks: Other: uncertain

Foodplant / mycorrhiza / ectomycorrhiza
fruitbody of Cortinarius cinnamomeoluteus is ectomycorrhizal with live root of Picea abies
Remarks: Other: uncertain

Foodplant / mycorrhiza / ectomycorrhiza
fruitbody of Cortinarius cinnamomeus is ectomycorrhizal with live root of Picea abies

Foodplant / mycorrhiza / ectomycorrhiza
fruitbody of Cortinarius collinitus is ectomycorrhizal with live root of Picea abies
Remarks: Other: uncertain

Foodplant / mycorrhiza / ectomycorrhiza
fruitbody of Cortinarius imbutus is ectomycorrhizal with live root of Picea abies
Remarks: Other: uncertain

Foodplant / mycorrhiza / ectomycorrhiza
fruitbody of Cortinarius malicorius is ectomycorrhizal with live root of Picea abies
Remarks: Other: uncertain
Other: major host/prey

Foodplant / mycorrhiza / ectomycorrhiza
fruitbody of Cortinarius sanguineus is ectomycorrhizal with live root of Picea abies

Foodplant / mycorrhiza / ectomycorrhiza
fruitbody of Cortinarius semisanguineus is ectomycorrhizal with live root of Picea abies

Foodplant / false gall
crowded pseudothecium of Cucurbitaria piceae causes swelling of characteristically twisted, swollen bud of Picea abies
Remarks: season: 6-12

Foodplant / saprobe
erumpent, rather crowded, in irregular lines, oblong, 1-6 chambered, black, pycnidial stroma of Amphorula coelomycetous anamorph of Cytotriplospora pini is saprobic on dead cone-scale of Picea abies
Remarks: season: 1-5

Foodplant / saprobe
colony of Dactylaria anamorph of Dactylaria lepida is saprobic on dead, fallen needle of Picea abies

Foodplant / saprobe
erumpent pycnidium of Phomopsis coelomycetous anamorph of Diaporthe eres is saprobic on dead stem of Picea abies

Foodplant / saprobe
pycnidium of Dothiorella coelomycetous anamorph of Dothiorella pithya is saprobic on fallen cone of Picea abies

Foodplant / sap sucker
Elatobium abietinum sucks sap of live, yellowed then shed needle of Picea abies
Remarks: season: (1-)3-5(-12)
Other: major host/prey

Foodplant / saprobe
gregarious stroma of Fusicoccum coelomycetous anamorph of Fusicoccum pini is saprobic on dead cone of Picea abies
Remarks: season: 6

Foodplant / saprobe
fruitbody of Ganoderma lucidum is saprobic on dead stump of Picea abies
Other: minor host/prey

Plant / hibernates / within
adult of Gastrodes abietum hibernates inside old cone of Picea abies

Foodplant / sap sucker
adult of Gastrodes grossipes sucks sap of Picea abies

Foodplant / open feeder
larva of Gilpinia hercyniae grazes on needle of Picea abies
Other: sole host/prey

Foodplant / mycorrhiza / ectomycorrhiza
fruitbody of Gomphidius glutinosus is ectomycorrhizal with live root of Picea abies
Remarks: Other: uncertain

Foodplant / saprobe
fruitbody of Hyphoderma cremeoalbum is saprobic on dead, decayed wood of Picea abies

Foodplant / saprobe
fruitbody of Hyphodontia barba-jovis is saprobic on dead, decayed wood of Picea abies
Other: minor host/prey

Foodplant / saprobe
fruitbody of Hyphodontia crustosa is saprobic on dead, decayed wood of Picea abies
Other: minor host/prey

Foodplant / saprobe
fruitbody of Hyphodontia detritica is saprobic on dead, fallen, decayed woody debris of Picea abies
Other: minor host/prey

Foodplant / saprobe
fruitbody of Leucocoprinus birnbaumii is saprobic on decayed, fermenting woodchip of Picea abies

Foodplant / saprobe
apothecium of Lirula macrospora is saprobic on dead needle of Picea abies

Foodplant / saprobe
fruitbody of Luellia cystidiata is saprobic on dead, decayed wood of Picea abies

Foodplant / feeds on
immersed pycnidium of Macrophoma coelomycetous anamorph of Macrophoma parca feeds on leaf of Picea abies
Remarks: season: 1

Foodplant / internal feeder
larva of Monochamus sartor feeds within dead, fallen branch of Picea abies
Other: major host/prey

Foodplant / saprobe
stromatic, in large groups perithecium of Nectria fuckeliana is saprobic on dead twig of Picea abies
Remarks: season: 3-8
Other: major host/prey

Foodplant / saprobe
fruitbody of Nodotia lyndoniae is saprobic on rotting, brashed branch of Picea abies

Foodplant / mycorrhiza / ectomycorrhiza
fruitbody of Paxillus involutus is ectomycorrhizal with live root of Picea abies

Foodplant / saprobe
stalked apothecium of Pezizella subtilis is saprobic on dead, fallen needle of Picea abies
Remarks: season: 10-11

Foodplant / saprobe
fruitbody of Phanerochaete radicata is saprobic on dead, decayed wood of Picea abies
Other: major host/prey

Foodplant / saprobe
fruitbody of Phanerochaete sordida is saprobic on dead, decayed wood of Picea abies
Other: unusual host/prey

Foodplant / parasite
stalked apothecium of Phialea strobilina parasitises fallen cone of Picea abies

Foodplant / saprobe
fruitbody of Phlebia tremellosa is saprobic on dead, fallen, decayed trunk (large) of Picea abies
Other: unusual host/prey

Foodplant / saprobe
fruitbody of Phlebiella christiansenii is saprobic on dead, decayed wood of Picea abies

Foodplant / saprobe
fruitbody of Phlebiella pseudotsugae is saprobic on dead, decayed wood of Picea abies
Other: major host/prey

Foodplant / saprobe
fruitbody of Phlebiella sulphurea is saprobic on dead, decayed wood of Picea abies
Other: minor host/prey

Foodplant / saprobe
fruitbody of Phlebiopsis gigantea is saprobic on dead, decayed trunk (cut end) of Picea abies
Other: major host/prey

Foodplant / parasite
pycnium of Pucciniastrum areolatum parasitises live cone scale of Picea abies

Foodplant / saprobe
superficial, clustered, hypophyllous pycnidium of Rhizosphaera coelomycetous anamorph of Rhizosphaera kalkhoffii is saprobic on dead needle of Picea abies
Remarks: season: late winter to early spring

Foodplant / mycorrhiza / ectomycorrhiza
fruitbody of Russula nauseosa is ectomycorrhizal with live root of Picea abies
Remarks: Other: uncertain
Other: major host/prey

Foodplant / mycorrhiza / ectomycorrhiza
fruitbody of Russula queletii is ectomycorrhizal with live root of Picea abies
Remarks: Other: uncertain

Foodplant / mycorrhiza / ectomycorrhiza
mycelium of Sebacina incrustans is ectomycorrhizal with live root of Picea abies

Foodplant / saprobe
fruitbody of Sistotrema citriforme is saprobic on dead, decayed wood of Picea abies

Foodplant / saprobe
fruitbody of Skeletocutis kuehneri is saprobic on dead, decayed wood of Picea abies
Other: unusual host/prey

Foodplant / saprobe
fruitbody of Skeletocutis vulgaris is saprobic on dead, fallen, decayed branch (large) of Picea abies
Other: minor host/prey

Foodplant / saprobe
erumpent, shortly stalked apothecium of Tryblidiopsis pinastri is saprobic on dead, attached twig of Picea abies
Remarks: season: 5-7

Foodplant / internal feeder
larva of Trypodendron lineatum feeds within bark of Picea abies

Foodplant / saprobe
Tubulicrinis sororius is saprobic on dead, decayed wood of Picea abies
Other: major host/prey

Foodplant / mycorrhiza / ectomycorrhiza
fruitbody of Tylopilus felleus is ectomycorrhizal with live root of Picea abies

Foodplant / saprobe
fruitbody of Tylospora fibrillosa is saprobic on dead, fallen litter of Picea abies
Other: major host/prey

Foodplant / saprobe
convex, pluriloculate stroma of Cytospora coelomycetous anamorph of Valsa abietis is saprobic on dead twig of Picea abies

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General Ecology

Fire Management Considerations

More info for the terms: cover, litter, natural, prescribed fire, swale

Prescribed fire has been used as a tool for forest regeneration in
Norway, primarily to prepare the ground for natural regeneration from
seed trees, usually Scotch pine. Management of Norway spruce in Norway
is often based on information from other countries where Norway spruce
and Scot's pine are the dominant conifers. After World War II, prescribed
fires were used to prepare sites for artificial regeneration, either for
sowing Scot's pine seeds or for planting Norway spruce nursery stock.
It is often difficult to conduct prescribed fires in Norway; the weather
is changeable and conditions are often too moist for burning. These
facts, coupled with increasing costs of burning, have led to a
preference for site scarification by mechanical means instead of fire
[6]. Prescribed fires are not used much in Finland today either, due to
high costs and variable weather [78]. The average size of individual
wildfires is usually greatest in mixed stands of Scot's pine and Norway
spruce [61].

Norway spruce is known as a nutrient-demanding species; this has led to
concern that prescribed fire for site preparation burns too much of the
humus and results in soils that are not favorable for good Norway spruce
growth. In Norway, Norway spruce seedlings showed good 12-year survival
on both burned (83 percent survival) and unburned (78 percent survival)
sites. Overall height growth on unburned sites was slightly better at
12 years than on burned sites, although early growth on burned sites was
better [6]. In Sweden, sites that were clearcut and burned, then seeded
with Norway spruce were compared with similar sites that had not been
burned. The unburned sites had thicker humus layers after 43 years of
growth. The authors estimate that it takes 70 to 80 years from the time
of the fire for burned humus layers to be rebuilt to prefire levels [37].

Prescribing fire for site preparation in Scandinavia depends on the
vegetation type. Types that are characterized by thick, raw humus
layers benefit from fire, which releases nutrients and activates the
humus [6,74]. After fire passes over humus, ashes and carbonized plants
form a thin cover over the otherwise undamaged humus layers [74].
Prescribed fires used for site preparation must be conducted with care
to prevent destruction of humus and excessive heating of upper mineral
soil. Fires temperatures of 662 degrees Fahrenheit (350 deg C) or less
at the soil surface will release nutrients stored in litter and allow
them to condense in the humus and upper mineral soils [28]. Fires that
burn quickly enough to leave humus may be acceptable. Decomposition
rates in northern Norway spruce forests are very slow. In Finland, 56
years after logging, even very thin branches are left intact in slash
and litter [54]. Prescribed fires can release some of this organic
matter, and increase the pH of the soil. Some nutrients are lost to the
atmosphere [78]. Types with thin humus layers are better unburned,
since the humus would be destroyed by fire [66,79]. Norway spruce is
unsuited for such sites, since its shallow roots render it less able to
exploit the mineral soil for nutrients than Scotch pine [37].
Prescribed burning is usually not necessary on most fertile soils, but
may be useful on sites that have experienced swale cultivation [79].

Fire suppression in Sweden since the nineteenth century has resulted in
an over-representation of aging Norway spruce forests, and it has been
recommended that prescribed fires for stand rejuvenation are necessary
in Swedish National Parks and nature reserves to improve stand health by
reestablishing a mosaic of seral stands [84].
  • 6. Braathe, Peder. 1974. Prescribed burning in Norway--effects on soil and regeneration. In: Proceedings, annual Tall Timbers fire ecology conference; 1973 March 22-23; Tallahassee, FL. No. 13. Tallahassee, FL: 211-222. [18976]
  • 28. Graham, Russell T.; Harvey, Alan E.; Jurgensen, Martin F. 1989. Site preparation strategies for artificial regeneration: can prescribed burning fill the bill?. In: Baumgartner, David M.; Breuer, David W.; Zamora, Benjamin A.; [and others]
  • 37. Kardell, Lars; Laestadius, Lars. 1987. Granens produktion efter 1943 ars hygges--branning pa Ovrahygget i Angermanland. Longterm yield of Norway spruce (Picea abies L.) after prescribed burning-- an example from mid-Sweden. Sveriges Skogsvardsforbunds Tidskrift. 3: 19-31. [English summary]
  • 54. Nyyssonen, A. 1956. Summary: Estimation of the cut from stumps. Commun. Inst. For. Fenn. 45(5): 1-68. [23647]
  • 61. Saari, Eino. 1923. Forest fires in Finland: with special reference to the state forests. Acta For. Fenn. 26: 143-155. [22495]
  • 66. Skelly, John M.; Ke, Jing; Karasevicz, Diane. 1988. A preliminary report on observations of the health of Norway spruce in three northeastern states. In: Proceedings of the US/FRG research symposium: Effects of atmospheric pollutants on the spruce-fir forests of the eastern United States and the Federal Republic of Germany; 1987 October 19-23; Burlington, VT. Gen. Tech. Rep. NE-120. Broomall, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Forest Experiment Station: 257-261. [10600]
  • 74. Uggla, Evald. 1959. Ecological effects of fire on north Swedish forests. [Place of publication unknown]
  • 78. Vasander, Harri; Lindholm, Tapio. 1985. Fire intensities and surface temperatures during prescribed burning. Silva Fennica. 19(1): 1-15. [19227]
  • 79. Viro, P. J. 1974. Effects of forest fire on soil. In: Kozlowski, T. T.; Ahlgren, C. E., eds. Fire and ecosystems. New York: Academic Press: 7-45. [18305]
  • 84. Zackrisson, O. 1977. Influence of forest fires on the north Swedish boreal forest. Oikos. 29(1): 22-32. [17839]

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Immediate Effect of Fire

Norway spruce is easily damaged or killed by fire [74]. The crown
canopy of Norway spruce is often totally destroyed by even minor surface
fires [64,76]. However, there are almost always scattered survivors
even following crown fires; in most cases survival is due to local
topography which prevents fire spread [82]. In Finland, forest fire
damage is greatest in Norway spruce forests (compared with mixed or pure
Scotch pine stands) [61]. In the United States, grass fires are
reported to cause severe damage to Norway spruce plantations [17].

Norway spruce seeds buried in humus at 1.2 inch (3 cm), 1.9 inch (5 cm),
and 3.9 inch (10 cm) depths were undamaged by the heat of a prescribed
fire that measured 820 degrees Fahrenheit (438 deg C) at the soil
surface. The humus provided excellent insulation; the temperature at
1.2 inches (3 cm) was only 80 degrees Fahrenheit (26.5 deg C) [74].

In a laboratory study in which heated air was applied to stem sections
and to whole tops of dormant 3- and 4-year-old Norway spruce seedlings,
Norway spruce was found to be more tolerant of heat than European larch
or Japanese larch (Larix leptolepis). Active Norway spruce seedlings
were more heat tolerant than European and Japanese larch, eastern white
pine (Pinus strobus), Scotch pine, or American beech (Fagus
grandifolia), but none were very tolerant. In this experiment, no
seedlings were killed by the heat treatment, but dormant Norway spruce
seedlings were almost completely defoliated [39].
  • 17. Collingwood, G. H.; Brush, Warren D.; [revised and edited by Butcher, Devereux]
  • 39. Kayll, A. J. 1968. Heat tolerance of tree seedlings. In: Proceedings, annual Tall Timbers fire ecology conference; 1968 March 14-15; Tallahassee, FL. No. 8. Tallahassee, FL: Tall Timbers Research Station: 89-105. [17849]
  • 61. Saari, Eino. 1923. Forest fires in Finland: with special reference to the state forests. Acta For. Fenn. 26: 143-155. [22495]
  • 64. Siitonen, P. 1976. Kulojen esiintiminen ja vaikutukset ulvinsalon luonnonpuistossa. Kelsingin yliopisto, Ympariston-suujelun laitos. [Volume unknon]
  • 74. Uggla, Evald. 1959. Ecological effects of fire on north Swedish forests. [Place of publication unknown]
  • 76. Vakurov, A. D. 1975. Forest fires in the North. Izdatjel stvo Navka Laboratorija Lesovedenija. 98 p. [23650]
  • 82. Wretlind, J. E. 1934. Naturbetingel serna for de nordsvenska jarnpodsolerade moranmarkernas tall hedar och mossrika skogssamhallen. Svenska Skogs For. Tedskr. 32: 329-396. [23651]

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Post-fire Regeneration

Tree without adventitious-bud root crown

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Fire Ecology

More info for the terms: basal area, bog, density, fire severity, fire suppression, frequency, severity, succession, taiga, tree

Norway spruce is not well adapted to survive fire. Fire in mature
stands of Norway spruce is usually of high intensity and destroys all
standing trees [15]. Fire severity usually depends on a number of
factors, primarily soil moisture [74]. In taiga forests over
permafrost, low-severity fires leaving standing live trees may
eventually result in complete stand destruction since windfall of the
remaining trees may occur when increased insolation on blackened soil
thaws the permafrost. There is little regeneration in stagnant stands
of Norway spruce; the next generation of trees is only produced after a
fire [15]. Norway spruce is easily killed by fire and is not an early
colonizer in postfire succession; stand-destroying fires usually result
in replacement by Scot's pine. Norway spruce develops as the understory
in Scot's pine stands on suitable sites, and will eventually replace
Scot's pine to complete the successional cycle [7,15,70].

Fire history in Norway: Fire was used extensively for agricultural
clearing in southeastern Norway 300 to 400 years ago. After a short
period of cultivation, depleted soils were left to natural
reforestation, forming mixtures of conifers and broadleaf trees, mostly
birch (Betula pubescens or B. verrucosa) [6]. In the pollen record,
Norway spruce pollen increased during periods of lower disturbance and
fewer fires. In the last 200 years, since agricultural burning has
virtually ceased, Norway spruce stands have formed closed canopies with
very little groundlayer vegetation [7].

Fire history in Finland: Fire frequencies have been estimated to range
from 31 to 81 years for different historical periods. Human activity
has played a large role in fire history; a large amount of burning
occurred during the Iron Age and medieval periods, mostly due to slash
and burn agriculture, from about 1 AD to 1750 AD [72]. Prior to the
appearance of cereal pollens, charcoal analysis of bog soils indicates
that, an average of one fire every 84 years occurred between 3000 and
2000 BP. There is an inverse relationship between the amount of Picea
pollen and the amount and frequency of charcoal particles; when fire
frequency is high, Norway spruce densities are low [73].

Fire history in Sweden: In northern Sweden, the mean fire rotation (the
amount of time equivalent to the area studied divided by the area of
sample plot burned annually) was approximately 100 years for mixed
stands of Norway spruce and Scotch pine from the end of the medieval
period up to the end of the nineteenth century. Since fire suppression,
the estimated fire rotation is on the order of 3,500 years. The
presuppression fire rotation created a mosaic of even-aged stands at
different successional stages. Norway spruce often forms the
undergrowth in Scotch pine stands that survive or are regenerated after
fire; Scotch pine often survives as an overstory tree and can reach very
old ages. In Norway spruce forests on wet sites fires have been rare;
fire-free intervals of up to 500 years have been reported for such sites
[21,84,85]. The mean number of years between fires and the amount of
time since the last fire were positively correlated to basal area of
Norway spruce; Norway spruce density increases when fires occur at long
intervals and shorter intervals favor Scotch pine [21].

Fire history in northern European Russia: Estimates from fire scar data
indicate fire frequencies on the order of 130 to 200 years in spruce
forests (including Siberian spruce and Norway spruce) [76].
  • 6. Braathe, Peder. 1974. Prescribed burning in Norway--effects on soil and regeneration. In: Proceedings, annual Tall Timbers fire ecology conference; 1973 March 22-23; Tallahassee, FL. No. 13. Tallahassee, FL: 211-222. [18976]
  • 7. Bradshaw, Richard; Hannon, Gina. 1992. Climatic change, human influence and disturbance regime in the control of vegetation dynamics within Fiby Forest, Sweden. Journal of Ecology. 80: 625-632. [21222]
  • 15. Chandler, Craig; Cheney, Phillip; Thomas, Philip; [and others}. 1983. Fire in forestry: Vol. I. Forest fire behavior and effects. New York: John Wiley & Sons. 450 p. [12241]
  • 21. Engelmark, Ola. 1987. Fire history correlations to forest type and topography in northern Sweden. Annales Botanici Fennici. 24(4): 317-324. [6688]
  • 70. Steijlen, Ingeborg; Zackrisson, Olle. 1987. Long-term regeneration dynamics and successional trends in a northern Swedish coniferous forest. Canadian Journal of Botany. 65: 839-848. [16463]
  • 72. Tolonen, Kimmo. 1983. The post-glacial fire record. In: Wein, Ross W.; MacLean, David A., eds. The role of fire in northern circumpolar ecosystems. Scope 18. New York: John Wiley & Sons: 21-44. [18503]
  • 73. Tolonen, Mirjami. 1985. Paleoecological record of local fire history from a peat deposit in southwest Finland. Ann. Bot. Fennici. 22: 15-29. [20254]
  • 74. Uggla, Evald. 1959. Ecological effects of fire on north Swedish forests. [Place of publication unknown]
  • 76. Vakurov, A. D. 1975. Forest fires in the North. Izdatjel stvo Navka Laboratorija Lesovedenija. 98 p. [23650]
  • 84. Zackrisson, O. 1977. Influence of forest fires on the north Swedish boreal forest. Oikos. 29(1): 22-32. [17839]
  • 85. Zackrisson, Olle. 1980. Forest fire history: ecological significance and dating problems in the north Swedish boreal forest. In: Stokes, Marvin A.; Dieterich, John H., technical coordinators. Proceedings of the fire history workshop; 1980 October 20-24; Tucson, AZ. Gen. Tech. Rep. RM-81. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station: 120-125. [16052]

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Successional Status

More info on this topic.

More info for the terms: climax, natural, succession

Obligate Climax Species

Norway spruce is tolerant of shade. Norway spruce stands form the
climax forest of Scandinavia but stagnate with age [79]. Seeds of
Norway spruce are probably not long lived in the soil, although under
good storage conditions remain viable for up to 7 years [87]. The soil
seedbank under a 100-year-old Norway spruce forest in Russia contained a
large number of viable seeds of mostly early successional species. It
was not representative of the aboveground flora and apparently did not
contain many Norway spruce seeds [38].

Disturbance events such as windfalls, snow damage, disease and insect
attack create small-scale gaps in the mature canopy. Norway spruce
depends largely on advance regeneration (seedling banks) to capture such
canopy gaps [56]. Norway spruce is the most common gapmaker and it is
also the most common seedling in gaps. Seedlings survive in an
extremely stunted condition for many years. This reservoir of seedlings
functions in a way analogous to soil seedbanks [29]. Suppressed Norway
spruce saplings can persist for several decades, retaining the ability
to respond to canopy gaps with increased growth [35]. In Sweden,
suppressed Norway spruce trees less than 8.2 feet (2.5 m) tall and 100
to 220 years old exhibited new growth during gap-phase replacement [70].
In Bavarian Norway spruce stands, storm-caused windfall disturbances
were followed by new Norway spruce stands that were older than than the
windfall event (indicating advance regeneration). Sites that had been
cleaned (removal of dead trees and broken stems) had a birch-dominated
regeneration layer that originated after the windfall event. Spruce
seedlings were probably damaged by the cleaning operation [23]. In
northern Sweden, Norway spruce-hairy birch forests consist of all-aged
(up to 330 years) Norway spruce (largely as a result of gap-capture
replacement) [35].

Norway spruce first occurred in Scandinavia approximately 2,500 years
ago; its immigration from Europe is attributed to colder Scandinavian
winters coupled with increased precipitation and storm events which
allowed Norway spruce to colonize areas that were formerly too dry [7].
It survived in Scandinavia in low densities due to frequent disturbances
until climatic changes coupled with a decrease in human-caused
disturbances (mainly fire) allowed natural succession to proceed,
resulting in the current widespread distribution of dense Norway
spruce-dominated forests [8].
  • 7. Bradshaw, Richard; Hannon, Gina. 1992. Climatic change, human influence and disturbance regime in the control of vegetation dynamics within Fiby Forest, Sweden. Journal of Ecology. 80: 625-632. [21222]
  • 8. Bradshaw, Richard H. W.: Zackrisson, Olle. 1990. A two thousand year history of a northern Swedish boreal forest stand. Journal of Vegetation Science. 1(4): 519-528. [12762]
  • 23. Fischer, Anton. 1992. Long term vegetation development in Bavarian Mountain forest ecosystems following natural destruction. Vegetatui. 103: 93-104. [21272]
  • 29. Grime, J. P. 1979. Plant strategies & vegetation proceses. Chichester, England: John Wiley & Sons. 222 p. [2896]
  • 35. Jonsson, Bengt Gunnar; Esseen, Per-Anders. 1990. Treefall disturbance maintains high bryophyte diversity in a boreal spruce forest. Journal of Ecology. 78: 924-936. [14217]
  • 38. Karpov, V. G. 1960. On the species composition of the viable seed supply in the soil of spruce-VACMYR vegetation. Trudy mosk. Obsch. ispyt. Prir. 3: 131-140. [23652]
  • 56. Qinghong, Liu; Hytteborn, Hakan. 1991. Gap structure, disturbance and regeneration in a primeval Picea abies forest. Journal of Vegetation Science. 2: 391-402. [22301]
  • 70. Steijlen, Ingeborg; Zackrisson, Olle. 1987. Long-term regeneration dynamics and successional trends in a northern Swedish coniferous forest. Canadian Journal of Botany. 65: 839-848. [16463]
  • 79. Viro, P. J. 1974. Effects of forest fire on soil. In: Kozlowski, T. T.; Ahlgren, C. E., eds. Fire and ecosystems. New York: Academic Press: 7-45. [18305]
  • 87. Safford, L. O. 1974. Picea A. Dietr. spruce. In: Schopmeyer, C. S., ed. Seeds of woody plants in the United States. Agric. Handb. 450. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 587-597. [7728]

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Regeneration Processes

More info for the terms: layering, natural, tree

Sexual reproduction: Norway spruce usually first reproduces at 30 to 40
years of age. Good seed crops are produced every 3 to 4 years in
Britain, 8 to 10 years in Norway, and 12 to 13 years in Finland [42,87].
Most of the seeds are produced in the crowns of dominant stems; seed
yield is lower in smaller stems in stands of the same age. Norway
spruce seeds are wind dispersed, but do not usually travel much farther
than the height of the parent tree [42]. Movement after dispersal,
however, can be considerable when seeds are dispersed onto crusted snow
and are pushed along on the surface by wind [34,74]. Seeds of Norway
spruce germinate promptly and do not require pretreatment or exacting
light regimes. Moist chilling of some spruce (Picea spp.) seeds removes
the requirement for light [87]. Optimum germination temperature for
Norway spruce seeds is around 73 degrees Fahrenheit (23 deg C) but
germination will occur up to about 91 degrees Fahrenheit (33 deg C)
[42]. Seedling growth is best at constant low temperature (48 degrees
Fahrenheit [9 deg C]), rather than with fluctuating temperatures or
steady high temperatures [36]. The seedlings are sensitive to drought
and/or overheating, particularly when the soil surface is exposed to
direct insolation [42]. In Utah, nursery-grown seedlings inclined to
the south (to shade the soil directly under the seedling and keep the
roots cooler and wetter) averaged 6 percent mortality from heat damage,
whereas seedlings inclined to the north averaged 30 percent mortality
from the same cause [41]. Other studies support the hypothesis that
shading improves early seedling survival [33,77]. Thin humus (as
opposed to thick humus) hinders Norway spruce establishment since it
dries out more quickly and contributes to drought stress of the
seedlings [70].

Vegetative reproduction: Under natural conditions, particularly in
areas of high humidity and high soil moisture, Norway spruce reproduces
by layering [42]. It does not sprout from stumps or roots [65].

Norway spruce can be propagated by cuttings and micropropagation
techniques [30].
  • 30. Haggman, Hely. 1992. Application of biotechnology to forest tree breeding. Siva Fennica. 25(4): 270-279. [19619]
  • 33. Helgerson, Ole T. 1990. Heat damage in tree seedlings and its prevention. New Forests. 3: 333-358. [14771]
  • 34. Johnson, E. A.; Fryer, G. I. 1992. Physical characterization of seed microsites--movement on the ground. Journal of Ecology. 80: 823-836. [21223]
  • 36. Junttila, Olavi; Skaret, Gisle. 1990. Growth and survival of seedlings of various Picea species under northern climatic conditions. Scandinavian Journal of Forest Research. 5: 69-81. [14211]
  • 41. Korstian, C. F.; Fetherolf, N. J. 1921. Control of stem girdle of spruce transplants caused by excessive heat. Phytopathology. 11: 485-490. [22494]
  • 42. Kostler, Josef. 1956. Silviculture. Edinburgh: Oliver and Boyd. 416 p. [22369]
  • 65. Simpfendorfer, K. J. 1989. Trees, farms and fires. Land and Forests Bulletin No. 30. Victoria, Australia: Department of Conservation, Forests and Lands, Lands and Forests Division. 55 p. [10649]
  • 70. Steijlen, Ingeborg; Zackrisson, Olle. 1987. Long-term regeneration dynamics and successional trends in a northern Swedish coniferous forest. Canadian Journal of Botany. 65: 839-848. [16463]
  • 74. Uggla, Evald. 1959. Ecological effects of fire on north Swedish forests. [Place of publication unknown]
  • 77. Van Haverbeke, David F. 1984. Survival and height growth of Norway spruce in a southcentral Nebraska provenance trial. Res. Note RM-439. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. 3 p. [22492]
  • 87. Safford, L. O. 1974. Picea A. Dietr. spruce. In: Schopmeyer, C. S., ed. Seeds of woody plants in the United States. Agric. Handb. 450. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 587-597. [7728]

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Growth Form (according to Raunkiær Life-form classification)

More info on this topic.

More info for the term: phanerophyte

Phanerophyte

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Life Form

More info for the term: tree

Tree

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Plant Response to Fire

Norway spruce seedlings are not usually present on burned areas; the
soils are usually too dry and hot to support good seedling establishment [74].
  • 74. Uggla, Evald. 1959. Ecological effects of fire on north Swedish forests. [Place of publication unknown]

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Life History and Behavior

Cyclicity

Phenology

More info on this topic.

Norway spruce cones open from May to June. Seeds ripen in late autumn
the same year. They are released on warm days in late autumn and
winter, but are sometimes retained until spring [42].
  • 42. Kostler, Josef. 1956. Silviculture. Edinburgh: Oliver and Boyd. 416 p. [22369]

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Picea abies

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Picea abies

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 14
Specimens with Barcodes: 27
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

Canada

Rounded National Status Rank: NNA - Not Applicable

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: NNA - Not Applicable

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure

Reasons: Abundant in northern Europe (planted and occasionally established elsewhere, e.g. in North America).

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IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2013

Assessor/s
Farjon, A.

Reviewer/s
Thomas, P. & Luscombe, D

Contributor/s

Justification
Picea abies is the most abundant, if not widespread conifer in Europe. As such, it is assessed as Least Concern.
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Population

Population
The population is thought to be stable.

Population Trend
Stable
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Threats

Major Threats
No specific range wide threats have been identified for this species or either of its varieties.
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
Norway Spruce is present in numerous protected areas throughout its range.
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Management considerations

More info for the terms: litter, natural, selection, tree

Norway spruce is the most intensively studied spruce in the world. A
number of geographic races have been identified, and numerous genetic
improvement programs are underway, mostly in Europe and Scandinavia
[87]. In Europe, Norway spruce is the focus of increasing concern about
forest decline. It is exhibiting a specific set of symptoms
("Waldsterben") which are also showing up in forest trees in the United
States (including red spruce [Picea rubens] and Norway spruce)
[40,46,55,66]. These symptoms include needle chlorosis combined with
magnesium deficiency and thinning of the crown [46]. Explanations
usually center on air pollution (ozone, acid deposition, or toxic metals
contamination) coupled with acidified, depleted soils that cause, among
other problems, foliar magnesium deficiency [12,46,55,58,66].

Soils under Norway spruce stands are often more acidic than soils under
other species. Soil acidity appears to increase with stand age as soil
buffering capacity decreases with age [4].

Norway spruce is not windfirm and is also subject to snowbreak [42].

Artificial Reforestation: Norway spruce has been widely planted in
reforestation programs in the eastern United States [2]. In Ontario,
expected rotation of Norway spruce ranges from 60 to 70 years. Sites
are prepared by plowing, and Norway spruce seedlings are planted with 5 x
5 foot spacing (1.5 x 1.5 m) [19].

Silviculture: In Europe, Norway spruce is usually managed with
selection systems in mixtures with European beech and European silver
fir, particularly on private holdings. Such mixtures require frequent
thinning to maintain European silver fir, which would otherwise be
eliminated by the beech and Norway spruce [67]. Norway spruce is also
managed with even-aged systems such as patch clearcutting and
strip-cutting [49]. In Sweden, single-tree selection has been of
limited use, but a recent report suggests that it is possible to obtain
abundant regeneration and high ingrowth rates in selection stands with
high levels of standing volume [48]. Scotch pine can be planted as a
nurse tree for Norway spruce; such mixtures result in a net gain in
production over monocultures of either species [10]. During dry
summers, spruce litter buildup can create manganese concentrations that
prevent regeneration of Norway spruce. As a consequence, land managers
in France alternate rotations of Norway spruce and hardwoods, or destroy
the toxic manganese in litter by scarification [20].

Norway spruce is resistant to mistblown glyphosate used to kill
competing hardwoods [81].

Fertilization of Norway spruce can promote frost damage by prolonging
the growing season, and delaying cuticularization of the epidermis [68].

Whole-tree harvesting in Sweden is deleterious to soil fertility and
lowers soil pH [53].

In Belgium, Norway spruce was excluded from heathlands (Calluna
vulgaris) created by burn-beating cultivation (cutting, piling and
burning humus layers to fertilize fields), mowing, and sheep grazing.
Norway spruce has been planted on these former heathlands, and
burn-beating agriculture is no longer practiced. Since burn-beating
removes the humus layer these Norway spruce plantations are growing on
severely depleted soils. Depleted soils may be contributing to
Waldsterben in these plantations, and may also present problems for
future rotations [25].

In Finland, 15- to 20-year-old natural stands of Norway spruce were
frost hardy (defined as the temperature at which 50 percent mortality of
bud occurs) to 24.8 degrees Fahrenheit (-4 deg C) in mid-summer, and
frost hardy to -54.4 degrees Fahrenheit (-48 deg C) in January.
Hardening occurs over a short period in September, and is lost over a
short period in early May [59].

Insect Pests: In North America, Norway spruce is host to western spruce
budworm [13] and mountain pine beetle [32].
  • 2. Barrett, John W.; Ketchledge, Edwin H.; Satterlund, Donald R., eds. 1961. Forestry in the Adirondacks. Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University, State University College of Forestry. 139 p. [21405]
  • 4. Binkley, Dan; Valentine, David. 1991. Fifty-year biogeochemical effects of green ash, white pine, and Norway spruce in a replicated experiment. Forest Ecology and Management. 40: 13-25. [15696]
  • 10. Brown, H. H. F. 1992. Functioning of mixed-species stands at Gisburn, N.W. England. In: The ecology of mixed species stands of trees. Special Publications. British Ecological Society. 11: 125-150. [22302]
  • 12. Cape, J. Neil; Freer-Smith, Peter H.; Paterson, Ian S.; [and others]
  • 13. Carlson, Clinton E.; Fellin, David G.; Schmidt, Wyman C. 1983. The western spruce budworm in northern Rocky Mountain forests: a review of ecology, past insecticidal treatments and silvicultural practices. In: O'Loughlin, Jennifer; Pfister, Robert D., eds. Management of second-growth forests: The state of knowledge and research needs: Proceedings of a symposium; 1982 May 14; Missoula, MT. Missoula, MT: University of Montana, School of Forestry, Montana Forest and Conservation Experiment Station: 76-103. [7097]
  • 19. Day, R. J.; Bell, F. W. 1988. Development of crop plans for hardwood and conifer stands on boreal mixedwood sites. In: Samoil, J. K., ed. Management and utilization of northern mixedwoods: Proceedings of a symposium; 1988 April 11-14; Edmonton, AB. Inf. Rep. NOR-X-296. Edmonton, AB: Canadian Forestry Service, Northern Forestrty Centre: 87-98. [13050]
  • 20. Duchaufour, Ph.; Rousseau, L.-Z. 1959. Phenomena of poisoning of conifer seedlings by manganese in forest humus. Revue Forestiere Franciose. 11(4): 835-847. [French]
  • 25. Froment, A. 1981. Conservation of Calluno-Vaccinietum heathland in the Belgian Ardennes, an experimental approach. Vegetatio. 47: 193-200. [18858]
  • 32. Heinrichs, Jay. 1983. The lodgepole killer. Journal of Forestry. May: 289-292. [16459]
  • 40. Kelty, Matthew J.; Kyker-Snowman, Thomas. 1988. Forest decline symptoms in a Norway spruce plantation in Massachusetts. In: Proceedings of the US/FRG research symposium: Effects of atmospheric pollutants on the spruce-fir forests of the eastern United States and the Federal Republic of Germany; 1987 October 19-23; Burlington, VT. Gen. Tech. Rep. NE-120. Broomall, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Forest Experiment Station: 237-244. [10597]
  • 42. Kostler, Josef. 1956. Silviculture. Edinburgh: Oliver and Boyd. 416 p. [22369]
  • 46. Liedeker, Heiko. 1988. Fichtensterben and spruce decline--a diagnostic comparison in Europe and North America. In: Proceedings of the US/FRG research symposium: Effects of atmospheric pollutants on the spruce-fir forests of the eastern United States and the Federal Republic of Germany; 1987 October 19-23; Burlington, VT. Gen. Tech. Rep. NE-120. Broomall, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Forest Experiment Station: 245-255. [10599]
  • 48. Lundqvist, Lars. 1991. Some notes on the regeneration of Norway spruce on six permanent plots managed with single-tree selection. Forest Ecology and Management. 46(1-2): 49-57. [17694]
  • 49. Matthews, J. D. 1989. Silvicultural systems. Oxford: Clavendon Press. 284 p. [22372]
  • 53. Nykvist, N.; Rosen, K. 1985. Effect of clear-felling and slash removal on the acidity of northern coniferous soils. Forest Ecology and Management. 11(3): 157-169. [19883]
  • 55. Prinz, Bernhard. 1988. Forest decline in the Federal Republic of Germany. In: Proceedings of the US/FRG research symposium: effects of atmospheric pollutants on the spruce-fir forests of the eastern United States and the Federal Republic of Germany; 1987 October 19-23; Burlington, VT. Broomall, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Forest Experiment Station: 89-95. [10467]
  • 58. Raynal, D. J.; Joslin, J. D.; Thornton, F. C.; [and others]
  • 59. Repo, T. 1992. Seasonal changes of frost hardiness in Picea abies and Pinus sylvestris in Finland. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 22: 1949-1957. [20445]
  • 66. Skelly, John M.; Ke, Jing; Karasevicz, Diane. 1988. A preliminary report on observations of the health of Norway spruce in three northeastern states. In: Proceedings of the US/FRG research symposium: Effects of atmospheric pollutants on the spruce-fir forests of the eastern United States and the Federal Republic of Germany; 1987 October 19-23; Burlington, VT. Gen. Tech. Rep. NE-120. Broomall, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Forest Experiment Station: 257-261. [10600]
  • 67. Smith, David M. 1986. The practice of silviculture. 8th ed. New York: John Wylie and Sons. 527 p. [22374]
  • 68. Soikkeli, S.; Karenlampi, L. 1984. The effects of nitrogen fertilization on the ultrastructure of mesophyll cells of conifer needles in northern Finland. European Journal of Forest Pathology. [Volume unknown]
  • 81. Wendel, G. W.; Kochenderfer, J. N. 1982. Glyphosate controls hardwoods in West Virginia. Res. Pap. NE-497. Upper Darby, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Forest Experiment Station. 7 p. [9869]
  • 87. Safford, L. O. 1974. Picea A. Dietr. spruce. In: Schopmeyer, C. S., ed. Seeds of woody plants in the United States. Agric. Handb. 450. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 587-597. [7728]

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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Cultivation

The preference is partial to full sun, well-drained moist conditions, and an acidic fertile soil consisting of sandy loam or other soil types. A cool, moist, and humid climate is also preferred, although this tree can tolerate a temperate climate that is more warm and dry.  Growth is relatively fast for a conifer during the early stages of development.. Under favorable conditions in North America, this tree will live 100-200 years, if not longer. Where the soil has a low pH, it is vulnerable to acid rain.
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Other uses and values

Norway spruce has been planted for windbreaks and shelterbelts in
western prairies, although it grows better in more humid environments
[17]. It is recommended for shelterbelt plantings in humid,
severe-winter regions [2]. Norway spruce is widely planted for
Christmas trees and as an ornamental [17].

Norway spruce roots can be used as grafting stock for white spruce
(Picea glauca) [52].

Norway spruce resin has been used to make Burgundy pitch, and the twigs
used to make Swiss turpentine. The twigs and needles were used to make
antiscorbutic and diuretic beverages [87].
  • 2. Barrett, John W.; Ketchledge, Edwin H.; Satterlund, Donald R., eds. 1961. Forestry in the Adirondacks. Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University, State University College of Forestry. 139 p. [21405]
  • 17. Collingwood, G. H.; Brush, Warren D.; [revised and edited by Butcher, Devereux]
  • 52. Nienstaedt, Hans; Teich, Abraham. 1972. Genetics of white spruce. Res. Pap. WO-15. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 24 p. [8753]
  • 87. Safford, L. O. 1974. Picea A. Dietr. spruce. In: Schopmeyer, C. S., ed. Seeds of woody plants in the United States. Agric. Handb. 450. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 587-597. [7728]

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Palatability

Norway spruce nursery stock is of extremely low preference to
white-tailed deer when compared with other ornamental species, including
both conifers and hardwoods [18].
  • 18. Conover, M. R.; Kania, G. S. 1988. Browsing preference of white-tailed deer for different ornamental species. Wildlife Society Bulletin. 16: 175-179. [8933]

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Importance to Livestock and Wildlife

More info for the term: cover

Norway spruce seedlings are highly preferred winter browse for snowshoe
hares in Quebec. Browsing of seedlings and saplings in plantations can
be intense, as young plantations form ideal winter habitat for snowshoe
hares [3]. Norway spruce is not a preferred browse for moose in
Scandinavia; young and middle-aged stands of Scotch pine form habitat
preferred by moose over mature Scotch pine-Norway spruce forests and
bogs [14]. In Europe, red deer strip the bark of Norway spruce [60].
Other animals browse spruce foliage but it is not a highly preferred
food source for either wildlife or domestic animals [87]. Norway spruce
provides important winter cover for a number of species of wildlife
[80]. Grouse eat spruce leaves and the seeds are consumed by a number
of birds and small mammals [86,87].
  • 3. Bergeron, Jean-Marie; Tardif, Josee. 1988. Winter browsing preferences of snowshoe hares for coniferous seedlings and its implication in large-scale reforestation programs. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 18: 280-282. [8659]
  • 14. Cederlund, Goran N.; Okarma, Henryk. 1988. Home range and habitat use of adult female moose. Journal of Wildlife Management. 52(2): 336-343. [13905]
  • 60. Roeder, A. 1971. Surprising experimental results of the effects of red deer peeling damage to spruce. Allg. Forstzeitschr. 26: 907-909. [23648]
  • 80. Vogel, Willis G. 1981. A guide for revegetating coal minesoils in the eastern United States. Gen. Tech. Rep. NE-68. Broomall, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Forest Experiment Station. 190 p. [15575]
  • 86. Martin, Alexander C.; Zim, Herbert S.; Nelson, Arnold L. 1951. American wildlife and plants. New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc. 500 p. [4021]
  • 87. Safford, L. O. 1974. Picea A. Dietr. spruce. In: Schopmeyer, C. S., ed. Seeds of woody plants in the United States. Agric. Handb. 450. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 587-597. [7728]

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Wood Products Value

Norway spruce wood is strong, soft, straight- and fine-grained, and
easily worked [17,87]. It is not durable in contact with soil. It is
widely used for construction, pulp, furniture, and musical instruments
[17,80]. Norway spruce is one of the most common and economically
important coniferous species in Europe and Scandinavia [46]. In Maine,
thinned material and standing dead Norway spruce produced pulp of good
strength as reported in a study of the pulp potential of seven softwoods [16].
  • 17. Collingwood, G. H.; Brush, Warren D.; [revised and edited by Butcher, Devereux]
  • 46. Liedeker, Heiko. 1988. Fichtensterben and spruce decline--a diagnostic comparison in Europe and North America. In: Proceedings of the US/FRG research symposium: Effects of atmospheric pollutants on the spruce-fir forests of the eastern United States and the Federal Republic of Germany; 1987 October 19-23; Burlington, VT. Gen. Tech. Rep. NE-120. Broomall, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Forest Experiment Station: 245-255. [10599]
  • 80. Vogel, Willis G. 1981. A guide for revegetating coal minesoils in the eastern United States. Gen. Tech. Rep. NE-68. Broomall, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Forest Experiment Station. 190 p. [15575]
  • 87. Safford, L. O. 1974. Picea A. Dietr. spruce. In: Schopmeyer, C. S., ed. Seeds of woody plants in the United States. Agric. Handb. 450. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 587-597. [7728]
  • 16. Chase, Andrew J.; Young, Harold E. 1976. The potential of softwood thinnings and standing dead softwoods as a source of wood pulp. Tech. Bull. 82. Orono, ME: University of Maine, Life Sciences and Agriculture Experiment Station. 25 p. [20748]

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Value for rehabilitation of disturbed sites

Norway spruce was planted on surface mine spoils in Indiana from 1928 to
the 1960's [9]. It tolerates acidic soils but is not well suited for
dry or nutrient deficient soils [80].
  • 9. Brothers, Timothy S. 1988. Indiana surface-mine forests: historical development and composition of a human-created vegetation complex. Southeastern Geographer. 28(1): 19-33. [8787]
  • 80. Vogel, Willis G. 1981. A guide for revegetating coal minesoils in the eastern United States. Gen. Tech. Rep. NE-68. Broomall, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Forest Experiment Station. 190 p. [15575]

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Wikipedia

Picea abies

The Norway spruce (Picea abies) is a species of spruce native to Europe. It is also commonly referred to as the European spruce.

Description[edit]

Norway spruce shoot.
Cross-section of a Norway spruce needle
Young conifers of Norway spruce (Chornohora, Ukrainian Carpathians)
A pineapple gall 'pseudocone' caused by Adelges abietis on a Norway spruce.
Dissected pineapple 'pseudocone' galls.

It is a large, fast-growing evergreen coniferous tree growing 35–55 m (115–180 ft) tall and with a trunk diameter of 1 to 1.5 m. It can grow fast when young, up to 1 m (3 ft) per year for the first 25 years under good conditions, but becomes slower once over 20 m (66 ft) tall.[1] The shoots are orange-brown and glabrous (hairless). The leaves are needle-like, 12–24 mm long, quadrangular in cross-section (not flattened), and dark green on all four sides with inconspicuous stomatal lines. The cones are 9–17 cm long (the longest of any spruce), and have bluntly to sharply triangular-pointed scale tips. They are green or reddish, maturing brown 5–7 months after pollination. The seeds are black, 4–5 mm long, with a pale brown 15 mm wing.[2][3][4][5][6]

The tallest measured Norway spruce, 63 m (207 ft) tall, is in Perucica Virgin Forest, Sutjeska National Park, Bosnia-Herzegovina.[citation needed]

Variation[edit]

Populations in southeast Europe tend to have on average longer cones with more pointed scales; these are sometimes distinguished as Picea abies var. acuminata (Beck) Dallim. & A.B. Jacks., but there is extensive overlap in variation with trees from other parts of the range.[2][3][4]

Some botanists treat Siberian spruce as a subspecies of Norway spruce, though in their typical forms, they are very distinct, the Siberian spruce having cones only 5–10 cm long, with smoothly rounded scales, and pubescent (hairy) shoots.[2][3][4] Genetically Norway and Siberian spruces have turned out to be extremely similar and may be considered as two closely related subspecies of P. abies.[7]

Another spruce with smoothly rounded cone scales and hairy shoots occurs rarely in the central Alps in eastern Switzerland. It is also distinct in having thicker, blue-green leaves. Many texts treat this as a variant of Norway spruce, but it is as distinct as many other spruces, and appears to be more closely related to Siberian spruce (Picea obovata), Schrenk's spruce (Picea schrenkiana) from central Asia and Morinda spruce (Picea smithiana) in the Himalaya. Treated as a distinct species, it takes the name Alpine spruce (Picea alpestris (Brügger) Stein). As with Siberian spruce, it hybridises extensively with Norway spruce; pure specimens are rare. Hybrids are commonly known as Norwegian spruce, which should not be confused with the pure species Norway spruce.[2][3][4]

Range[edit]

Norway spruce grows throughout Europe from Norway in the northwest and Poland eastward, and also in the mountains of central Europe, southwest to the western end of the Alps, and southeast in the Carpathians and Balkans to the extreme north of Greece. The northern limit is in the arctic, just north of 70°N in Norway. Its eastern limit in Russia is hard to define, due to extensive hybridisation and intergradation with the Siberian spruce, but is usually given as the Ural Mountains. However, trees showing some Siberian spruce characters extend as far west as much of northern Finland, with a few records in northeast Norway. The hybrid is known as Picea × fennica (or P. abies subsp. fennica, if the two taxa are considered subspecies), and can be distinguished by a tendency towards having hairy shoots and cones with smoothly rounded scales.[2][3][4]

Cultivation[edit]

The Norway spruce is one of the most widely planted spruces, both in and outside of its native range, and one of the most economically important coniferous species in Europe.[8] It is used as an ornamental tree in parks and gardens. It is also widely planted for use as a Christmas tree. Every Christmas, the Norwegian capital city, Oslo, provides the cities of New York, London (the Trafalgar Square Christmas tree), Edinburgh and Washington D.C. with a Norway spruce, which is placed at the most central square of each city. This is mainly a sign of gratitude for the aid these countries gave during the Second World War.

In North America, Norway spruce is widely planted, specifically in the northeastern, Pacific Coast, and Rocky Mountain states, as well as in southeastern Canada. It is naturalised in some parts of North America. There are naturalised populations occurring from Connecticut to Michigan, and it is probable that they occur elsewhere.[8] Norway spruces are more tolerant of hot, humid weather than many conifers which do not thrive except in cool-summer areas and they will grow up to USDA Growing Zone 8.

In the northern US and Canada, Norway Spruce is reported as invasive in some locations, however it does not pose a problem in Zones 6 and up as the seeds have a significantly reduced germination rate in areas with hot, humid summers.

The Norway spruce tolerates acidic soils well, but does not do well on dry or deficient soils. From 1928 until the 1960s it was planted on surface mine spoils in Indiana.[8]

Cultivars[edit]

Several cultivars have been selected for garden use; they are occasionally traded under the obsolete scientific name Picea excelsa (an illegitimate name). The following cultivars have gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit:

Other uses[edit]

The Norway spruce is used in forestry for timber and paper production.

The tree is the source of spruce beer, which was once used to prevent and even cure scurvy.[11]

It is esteemed as a source of tonewood by stringed-instrument makers.[12]

Picea abies shoot tips have been used in the traditional Austrian medicine internally (as syrup or tea) and externally (as baths, for inhalation, as ointments, as resin application or as tea) for treatment of disorders of the respiratory tract, skin, locomotor system, gastrointestinal tract and infections.[13]

Ecology[edit]

See also List of Lepidoptera that feed on spruces

Norway spruce cone scales are used as food by the caterpillars of the tortrix moth Cydia illutana, while C. duplicana feeds on the bark around injuries or canker.

Genetics[edit]

The Norway spruce genome was sequenced in 2013, the first gymnosperm genome to be completely sequenced.[14] The genome contains approximately 20 billion base pairs and is about six times the size of the human genome, despite possessing a similar number of genes. A large proportion of the spruce genome consists of repetitive DNA sequences, including long terminal repeat transposable elements. Despite recent advances in massively parallel DNA sequencing, the assembly of such a large and repetitive genome is a particularly challenging task, mainly from a computational perspective.[15]

World's "oldest clone"[edit]

A press release from Umeå University says that a Norway spruce clone named Old Tjikko, carbon dated as 9,550 years old, is the "oldest living tree".[16]

However, Pando, a stand of 47,000 Quaking Aspen clones, is estimated to be between 80,000 and one million years old.[17][18][19]

The stress is on the difference between the singular "oldest tree" and the multiple "oldest trees", and between "oldest clone" and "oldest non-clone". The oldest known individual tree (that has not taken advantage of vegetative cloning) is a Great Basin Bristlecone Pine over 5,000 years old (germination in 3051 BC).[20]

Chemistry[edit]

p-Hydroxybenzoic acid glucoside, picein, piceatannol and its glucoside (astringin), isorhapontin (the isorhapontigenin glucoside), catechin and ferulic acid are phenolic compounds found in mycorrhizal and non-mycorrhizal roots of Norway spruces.[21] Piceol[22] and astringin[23] are also found in P. abies.

Synonyms[edit]

Picea abies (L.) H. Karst is the accepted name of this species. The infraspecific taxon Picea abies var. acuminata (Beck) Dallim. & A.B. Jacks is also an accepted name. More than 150 synonyms of Picea abies are recognized.[24]

Homotypic synonyms of Picea abies are:[25]

Some heterotypic synonyms of Picea abies are:

  • Abies alpestris Brügger
  • Abies carpatica (Loudon) Ravenscr.
  • Abies cinerea Borkh.
  • Abies clambrasiliana Lavallée
  • Abies clanbrassiliana P. Lawson
  • Abies coerulescens K. Koch
  • Abies conica Lavallée
  • Abies elegans Sm. ex J.Knight
  • Abies eremita K.Koch
  • Abies erythrocarpa (Purk.) Nyman
  • Abies excelsa (Lam.) Poir.
  • Abies extrema Th.Fr.
  • Abies finedonensis Gordon
  • Abies gigantea Sm. ex Carrière
  • Abies gregoryana H. Low. ex Gordon
  • Abies inverta R. Sm. ex Gordon
  • Abies lemoniana Booth ex Gordon
  • Abies medioxima C.Lawson
  • Abies minuta Poir.
  • Abies montana Nyman
  • Abies parvula Knight
  • Abies subarctica (Schur) Nyman
  • Abies viminalis Wahlenb.
  • Picea alpestris (Brügger) Stein
  • Picea cranstonii Beissn.
  • Picea elegantissima Beissn.
  • Picea excelsa (Lam.) Link
  • Picea finedonensis Beissn.
  • Picea gregoryana Beissn.
  • Picea integrisquamis (Carrière) Chiov.
  • Picea maxwellii Beissn.
  • Picea montana Schur
  • Picea remontii Beissn.
  • Picea rubra A. Dietr.
  • Picea subarctica Schur
  • Picea velebitica Simonk. ex Kümmerle
  • Picea viminalis (Alstr.) Beissn.
  • Picea vulgaris Link
  • Pinus excelsa Lam.
  • Pinus sativa Lam.
  • Pinus viminalis Alstr.


Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Mitchell, A. F. (1974). A Field Guide to the Trees of Britain and Northern Europe. Collins ISBN 0-00-212035-6
  2. ^ a b c d e Farjon, A. (1990). Pinaceae. Drawings and Descriptions of the Genera. Koeltz Scientific Books ISBN 3-87429-298-3.
  3. ^ a b c d e Rushforth, K. (1987). Conifers. Helm ISBN 0-7470-2801-X.
  4. ^ a b c d e Gymnosperm Database: Picea abies
  5. ^ Conifer Specialist Group (1998). Picea abies. 2006. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN 2006. www.iucnredlist.org. Retrieved on 12 May 2006.
  6. ^ Den Virtuella Floran: Picea abies distribution (in Swedish, with maps)
  7. ^ Krutovskii, KV; Bergmann, F (1995). "Introgressive hybridization and phylogenetic relationships between Norway, Picea abies (L.) Karst., and Siberian, P. obovata Ledeb., spruce species studied by isozyme loci". Heredity 74 (5): 464–480. doi:10.1038/hdy.1995.67. 
  8. ^ a b c Sullivan, Janet (1994). "Picea Abies". Fire Effects Information System. United States Forest Service. Retrieved 18 November 2009. 
  9. ^ "RHS Plant Selector – Picea abies 'Little Gem'". Retrieved 26 May 2013. 
  10. ^ "RHS Plant Selector – Picea abies 'Nidiformis'". Retrieved 26 May 2013. 
  11. ^ Karellp. "New Beer – Spruce Beer". The Black Creek Growler. Retrieved 30 September 2012. 
  12. ^ Here is more than you perhaps ever cared to know about European spruce...
  13. ^ Vogl S; Picker P; Mihaly-Bison J; Fakhrudin N; Atanasov AG; Heiss EH; Wawrosch C; Reznicek G; Dirsch VM; Saukel J; Kopp B. (7 October 2013). "Ethnopharmacological in vitro studies on Austria's folk medicine – an unexplored lore. In vitro anti-inflammatory activities of 71 Austrian traditional herbal drugs". Journal of Ethnopharmacology 149 (3): 750–771. doi:10.1016/j.jep.2013.06.007. PMC 3791396. PMID 23770053. 
  14. ^ Nystedt, B; Street, NR; Wetterbom, A; Zuccolo, A; Lin, YC; Scofield, DG; Vezzi, F; Delhomme, N; Giacomello, S; Alexeyenko, A et al. (30 May 2013). "The Norway spruce genome sequence and conifer genome evolution". Nature 497 (7451): 579–584. doi:10.1038/nature12211. 
  15. ^ Birol I; Raymond A; Jackman SD; Pleasance S; Coope R; Taylor GA; Yuen MM; Keeling CI; Brand D; Vandervalk BP et al. (Jun 15, 2013). "Assembling the 20 Gb white spruce (Picea glauca) genome from whole-genome shotgun sequencing data". Bioinformatics 29 (12): 1492–97. doi:10.1093/bioinformatics/btt178. PMC 3673215. PMID 23698863. 
  16. ^ "World's oldest living tree discovered in Sweden". Umeå University. April 16, 2008. Retrieved 26 May 2013. 
  17. ^ Quaking Aspen by the Bryce Canyon National Park Service
  18. ^ Mitton, JB; Grant, MC (1996). "Genetic Variation and the Natural History of Quaking Aspen". BioScience 46 (1): 25–31. JSTOR 1312652. 
  19. ^ Swedish Spruce Is World's Oldest Tree: Scientific American Podcast
  20. ^ "Old List". Rocky Mountain Tree-Ring Research. Retrieved 16 August 2013. 
  21. ^ Münzenberger, B; Heilemann, J; Strack, D; Kottke, I; Oberwinkler, F (1990). "Phenolics of mycorrhizas and non-mycorrhizal roots of Norway spruce". Planta 182 (1): 142–148. doi:10.1007/BF00239996. 
  22. ^ Løkke, Hans (June 1990). "Picein and piceol concentrations in Norway spruce". Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety 19 (3): 301–309. doi:10.1016/0147-6513(90)90032-Z. PMID 2364913. 
  23. ^ Lindberg, M; Lundgren, L; Gref, R; Johansson, M (1 May 1992). "Stilbenes and resin acids in relation to the penetration of Heterobasidion annosum through the bark of Picea abies". Forest Pathology 22 (2): 95–106. doi:10.1111/j.1439-0329.1992.tb01436.x. 
  24. ^ "Picea abies (L.) H. Karst". The Plant List. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and Missouri Botanical Garden. Retrieved 14 March 2014. 
  25. ^ "Picea abies (L.) H.Karst., Deut. Fl.: 325 (1881). Homotypic Synonyms.". World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. Retrieved 14 March 2014. 
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Norway spruce, native to Europe, has become locally naturalized, at least in north central United States (and adjacent Canada). The species is the most widely cultivated spruce in North America; many cultivars exist, including dwarf shrubs.
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Names and Taxonomy

Taxonomy

Common Names

Norway spruce
European spruce

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The currently accepted scientific name of Norway spruce is Picea abies
(L.) Karst. [47]. There are no currently accepted infrataxa, although a
number of cultivars exist [50].
  • 47. Little, Elbert L., Jr. 1979. Checklist of United States trees (native and naturalized). Agric. Handb. 541. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 375 p. [2952]
  • 50. Mitchell, Alan F. 1972. Conifers in the British Isles: A descriptive handbook. Forestry Commission Booklet No. 33. London: Her Majesty's Stationery Office. 322 p. [20571]

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Synonyms

Picea excelsa Link [47,50]
  • 47. Little, Elbert L., Jr. 1979. Checklist of United States trees (native and naturalized). Agric. Handb. 541. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 375 p. [2952]
  • 50. Mitchell, Alan F. 1972. Conifers in the British Isles: A descriptive handbook. Forestry Commission Booklet No. 33. London: Her Majesty's Stationery Office. 322 p. [20571]

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