Seedling survival and establishment in small canopy openings in drained spruce mires in Northern Finland
Hökkä H., Repola J., Moilanen M., Saarinen M. (2011). Seedling survival and establishment in small canopy openings in drained spruce mires in Northern Finland. Silva Fennica vol. 45 no. 4 article id 97. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.97
A large proportion of drained spruce mire stands is currently approaching regeneration maturity in Finland. Traditional regeneration methods with effective site preparation and planting generally result in satisfactory seedling stands also in spruce mires. However, natural regeneration methods may be more appropriate in protecting watercourses and minimizing regeneration costs. We studied the survival of advance growth and establishment of new seedlings in small canopy openings that were cut at three different diameters in two experimental drained spruce mire stands in Northern Finland (Tervola and Oulu) in 2004. The number of seedlings was repeatedly surveyed from five small circular plots (one 10 m2 and four 5 m2 plots in size) located within the opening. Advance growth which survived the cutting and new seedlings were separated in the surveys. The density of advance growth was on average 9000 ha–1 after cutting, and it decreased by 30% during the five-year monitoring period (2006–2010) due to natural mortality. The number of new seedlings increased rapidly within the three years after cutting the openings. In 2010, 11 000–26 000 new seedlings ha–1 in Tervola and 12 000–16 000 ha–1 in Oulu on average were observed. The size of the opening had no clear effect on the regeneration result. The proportion of birch of the new seedlings increased with time and opening size in Tervola. The results show that Norway spruce regenerates naturally in small canopy openings cut in mature drained spruce mire stands.
Received 31 March 2011 Accepted 20 September 2011 Published 31 December 2011