Modelling the abundance and temporal variation in the production of bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus L.) in Finnish mineral soil forests
Miina J., Hotanen J.-P., Salo K. (2009). Modelling the abundance and temporal variation in the production of bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus L.) in Finnish mineral soil forests. Silva Fennica vol. 43 no. 4 article id 181. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.181
Empirical models for the abundance and berry yield of V. myrtillus were constructed using generalized linear mixed model (GLMM) techniques. The percentage coverage of bilberry was predicted as a function of site and stand characteristics using the permanent sample plots of the National Forest Inventory (NFI) in 1995. The number of bilberries was predicted as a function of percentage coverage and stand characteristics using a sub-sample of the NFI plots in North Karelia. The between-year variation in the bilberry yield was analysed using the permanent experimental plots (MASI) established in different areas of Finland and measured in 2001–2007. The highest coverage of bilberry was found on mesic heath sites; on sub-xeric and herb-rich heath sites the values were 62% of that for mesic sites. The decreasing effect of deciduous trees (compared to spruce) was significant only on herb-rich heath sites. The coverage increased along with stand development up to certain stand ages and basal areas. The bilberry yields were higher in pine-dominated stands than in spruce-dominated ones. In spruce stands, the coverage of bilberry and stand basal area significantly affected the number of berries, whereas in pine stands only the coverage was a significant predictor. In the MASI data, the bilberry yield of pine stands was two times higher than that of spruce stands; however, the between-year variation in bilberry yield was higher in the spruce than in the pine stands. The estimated models were used to predict the bilberry coverage and yield along with stand development. On mesic heath sites in southern Finland (1200 dd.), the predicted annual yield of bilberry was about 25 kg ha–1 (95% confidence interval 9–73 kg ha–1) in a mature pine stand and about 10 kg ha–1 (3–35 kg ha–1) in a mature spruce stand. The models can be included in stand simulators, where they would facilitate the prediction of bilberry abundance and yields for silvicultural and forest planning purposes.
Received 17 November 2008 Accepted 29 June 2009 Published 31 December 2009