Current issue: 56(2)
Under compilation: 56(3)
Bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus L.) and lingonberry (V. vitis-idaea L.) can be a part of healthy diet and are important for many animals. Two approaches are described to assessing their vegetation cover and berry yield via national forest inventory (NFI) observations. The aim was to provide estimates and predictions of the abundance and yield of the species at regional and national levels in Finland and Sweden. In Finland, the model-based predictions are used in evaluating the impacts of cutting intensity on forest berries needed in forest-related decision making. In Sweden, seasonal inventory-based estimates are used to evaluate the annual national and regional berry yields, and in a forecasting system aimed at large public and berry enterprises. Based on the NFI sample plots measured between 2014 and 2018, the total annual yields are estimated to be 208 Mkg of bilberry and 246 Mkg of lingonberry on productive forest land (increment at least 1 m3 ha–1 year–1) in Finland, and 336 and 382 Mkg respectively in Sweden (average of NFI inventories in 2015–2019). The predicted development of berry yields is related to the intensity of cuttings in alternative forest management scenarios: lower removals favoured bilberry, and higher removals lingonberry. The model-based method describes the effects of stand development and management on berry yields, whereas the inventory-based method can calibrate seasonal estimates through field observations. In providing spatially and timely more accurate information concerning seasonal berry yields, an assessment of berry yields should involve the elements of both inventory-based and model-based approaches described in this study.
Traditional timber production may have negative effects on other ecosystem services. Therefore, new forest management guidelines have been developed in order to enhance a habitat suitable for wildlife. In Finland, a recent example of this is grouse-friendly forest management (GFFM) which emphasises the preservation of grouse species (Tetronidae) habitats. This study aimed to analyse the economic effects of these guidelines. An analysis was made on how the application of GFFM affected the Net Present Value (NPV) in a 30-year simulation of forest management of four large forest holdings located from south to north in Finland. In the simulations, traditional forest management practices were compared to two levels of GFFM. Five levels of interest rate were used, namely 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5%. In most of the simulations, the NPV was reduced by about 1% or less due to the application of GFFM in comparison to the traditional reference forest management. Only in one case with more intensive GFFM, was the reduction of NPV more than 5%. The interest rates had an impact on the differences between the management approaches. For example, a low interest rate resulted in a higher thinning intensity in GFFM in comparison to traditional forest management, which lead to a higher NPV in GFFM. To sum up, it seems that it would be possible to manage forest holdings in a grouse-friendly manner with minor effects on the economics.