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Ilkka Vanha-Majamaa, Raili Suominen, Tiina Tonteri, Eeva-Stiina Tuittila

Seedling establishment after prescribed burning of a clear-cut and a partially cut mesic boreal forest in southern Finland.

Vanha-Majamaa I., Suominen R., Tonteri T., Tuittila E.-S. (1996). Seedling establishment after prescribed burning of a clear-cut and a partially cut mesic boreal forest in southern Finland. Silva Fennica vol. 30 no. 1 article id 5573. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.a9218

Abstract

The prescribed burning of a 7.3 ha clear-cut and a 1.7 ha partially cut forest (volume 150 m3/ha) was carried out in Evo (61 °12'N, 25°07'E) on 1 June 1992. The forest was a mesic Myrtillus site type forest dominated by Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) H. Karst.). Practically all the trees and the above-ground parts of the understorey vegetation died in the fire, while the mor layer was thinned by an average of 1.5 cm.

A study was made on the change of germinated seedling population in time and their dependence on environmental factors. Seedlings of Norway spruce, Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.), silver birch (Betula pendula Roth), pubescent birch (B. pubescens Ehrh.) and rowan (Sorbus aucuparia L.) were inventoried in 1993 and in 1994 on permanent plots, four times per growing season. Autoregression models were used to compare regeneration of tree species in the burned forest with regeneration in the burnt clear-cut area, and to study the effect of distance from nearest seed source to regeneration.

The average number of seedlings germinating in 1993 was higher than in 1994, probably because of differences between these consecutive years in regard to the amount of seed rain and weather conditions. The number of Norway spruce and rowan seedling was higher inside the forest area than in the clear-cut area. The distance to the bordering forest and to the closest seed tree did not explain the result. It is suggested that the more stable microclimatic conditions under the shade of dead tree promote germination and seedling establishment in the forest area. As rowan is a bird-dispersed species, it is likely that dead trees help the dispersal of rowan seed by providing birds place to sit and defecate. The shade provided by dead trees may influence the further succession of the tree stand and vegetation composition and diversity.

Keywords
controlled burning; prescribed burning; mesic forest; seed dispersal; seed rain; seedling establishment; autoregression model; GLM; Pinus sylvestris; Picea abies; Betula pendula; Betula pubescens; Sorbus aucuparia; natural regeneration

Published in 1996

Available at https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.a9218 | Download PDF

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