Current issue: 56(4)
Under compilation: 57(1)
The carbon reservoir of ecosystems was estimated based on field measurements for forests and peatlands on an area in Finland covering 263,000 km2 and extending about 900 km across the boreal zone from south to north. More than two thirds of the reservoir was in peat, and less than ten per cent in trees. Forest ecosystems growing on mineral soils covering 144,000 km2 contained 10–11 kg C m-2 on an average, including both vegetation (3.4 kg C m-2) and soil (uppermost 75 cm; 7.2 kg C m-2). Mire ecosystems covering 65,000 km2 contained an average of 72 kg C m-2 as peat. For the landscape consisting of peatlands, closed and open forests, and inland water, excluding arable and built-up land, a reservoir of 24.6 kg C m-2 was observed. This includes the peat, forest soil and tree biomass. This is an underestimate of the true total reservoir, because there are additional unknown reservoirs in deep soil, lake sediments, woody debris, and ground vegetation. Geographic distributions of the reservoirs were described, analysed and discussed. The highest reservoir, 35–40 kg C m-2, was observed in sub-regions in central western and north western Finland. Many estimates given for the boreal carbon reservoirs have been higher than those of ours. Either the Finnish environment contains less carbon per unit area than the rest of the boreal zone, or the global boreal reservoir has earlier been overestimated. In order to reduce uncertainties of the global estimates, statistically representative measurements are needed especially on Russian and Canadian peatlands.
We describe the methodology applied in the 12th national forest inventory of Finland (NFI12) and describe the state of Finland’s forests as well as the development of some key parameters since 1920s. According to the NFI12, the area of forestry land (consisting of productive and poorly productive forest, unproductive land, and other forestry land) is 26.2 M ha. The area of forestry land has decreased from 1920s to 1960s due to expansion of agriculture and built-up land. 20% of the forestry land is not available for wood supply and 13% is only partly available for wood supply. The area of peatlands is 8.8 M ha, which is one third of the forestry land. 53% of the current area of peatlands is drained. The volume of growing stock, 2500 M m3, is 1.7 times the volume estimated in NFI1 in the 1920s for the current territory of Finland. The estimated annual volume increment is 107.8 M m3. The increment estimate has doubled since the estimate of NFI2 implemented in late 1930s. The annual mortality is estimated to 7 M m3, which is 0.5 M m3 more than according to the previous inventory. Serious or complete damage was observed on 2% of the productive forest available for wood supply. The amount of dead wood is on average 5.8 m3 ha–1 in productive forests. Since the NFI9 (1996–2003) the amount of dead wood has increased in South Finland and decreased in North Finland both in protected forests and forests available for wood supply (FAWS). The area of natural or almost natural forests on productive forest is 380 000 ha, out of this, 42 000 ha are in FAWS and 340 000 ha in protected forests.
The occurrence of moose damage was studied using data from three National Forest Inventories (NFIs) accomplished between 1986 and 2008 in Finland. The combined data included a total of 97 390 young stands. The proportion of moose damage increased from 3.6% to 8.6% between the 8th NFI (1986–1994) and the 10th NFI (2004–2008). The majority (75%) of the damage occurred in Scots pine-dominated stands. The proportion of damage was higher in aspen-dominated stands than in stands dominated by any other tree species. The tree species mixture also had a clear effect on the occurrence of damage. Pure Scots pine stands had less damage than mixed Scots pine stands, and moose damage decreased linearly with the increasing proportion of Scots pine. Stands on mineral soil had more frequent moose damage than stands on peatlands. The fertility class of the site had no straightforward effect on the damage frequency. Artificially regenerated stands had more damage than naturally regenerated stands. Accomplished soil preparation measures and the need for thinning or clearing operations increased moose damage. High proportions of moose damage in young stands were found around the country. In the 10th NFI, the largest concentration of damage was found in southwestern Finland. Our study shows the temporal and spatial changes in the occurrence of moose damage and pinpoints some important silvicultural factors affecting the relative risk of young stands over a large geographical area.