Current issue: 56(4)
Time studies and an ergonomic assessment were carried out in logging operations for three logging machines based on backhoe loader chassis. The time studies were completed with a follow-up study of one backhoe loader-based single-grip harvester. The studies indicated a productivity at the same level as that of specialized Nordic logging machines. Ergonomics also proved to be good. Mean ground pressure exerted by the backhoe loader-based logging machines was little higher than for some of the conventional Nordic single-grip harvesters to which it was compared. The ability of the machines to operate in the terrain was also good, even in rough terrain.
These machines can also be used for other jobs, such as ditch digging, road building and road maintenance. The machines then function more as carriers for attachments rather than custom-built backhoe loaders. By more careful planning of operations, the machines can be used to a higher degree and more effectively. The relatively low investment cost compared to many custom-built Nordic logging machines also contributes to a reduction of operating costs.
The use of random parameter models in forestry has been proposed as one method of incorporating different levels of information into prediction equations. By explicitly considering the variance-covariance structure of observations and considering some model parameters as random rather than fixed, one can incorporate more complex error structures in analysing data.
Competition indices and variance component techniques were applied to 92 Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) -dominated permanent sample plots on drained peatlands in Northern Finland. By quantifying stand, plot, and tree level variation, it was possible to identify the level (stand, plot or tree) at which the explanatory variables contributed to the model. The replication of plots within stands revealed little variation among plots within a single stand but significant variation occurred at stand and tree levels. Positive and negative effects of inter-tree competition are identified by examining simple correlation statistics and the random parameter model.
Comparisons were made between artificially and naturally regenerated stands in the south-eastern part of North Karelia, Finland, and naturally regenerated stands in the western parts of the Republic of Karelia, Russian Federation. The effect of soil fertility and silvicultural operations on the stand structure was also investigated.
The results of the study show clearly that when forests are artificially regenerated the stand structure includes less variation when compared with the stands naturally regenerated. Differences between the regeneration methods are clearer the more fertile the forest site is. Within the regeneration method there is also a clear trend in stand structure, with the variation decreasing the poorer the site. The effect of silvicultural operations, i.e. the cleaning of the sapling stand, has disappeared by the time of first thinning, although it appears to have a permanent effect on the dynamics of the tree species within a stand.
The variation of the stand structure can be regarded as an essential factor for the potential biodiversity of the stand also at its young vegetation succession stage. This capacity for maintaining the forest biodiversity, developed at the young vegetation succession stage, becomes increasingly important in subsequent vegetation succession stages. Natural regeneration provides improved possibilities for the operations preserving forest biodiversity, as it generates more dense stands with a wider variation in stand structure, compared to artificial regeneration.
Spatial variation in the density of soil organic carbon (kg/m2) and the thickness of soil horizons (F/H, E) were investigated in a 6 m x 8 m area in Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) stand in Southern Finland for designing an effective sampling for the C density and studying the effect of trees on the variation. The horizon thickness of the podzolized soil were measured on a total of 126 soil cores (50 cm deep) and the C density of the organic F/H and 0–10 cm, 10–20 cm and 20–40 cm mineral soil layers was analysed.
The C density varied 3–5 fold within the layers and the coefficients of variation ranged from 22 % to 40%. Considering the gain in confidence per sample, 8–10 samples were suggested for estimating the mean C density in the F/H and 0–40 cm layers, although about 30 samples are needed for 10% confidence in the mean. The C densities and horizon thicknesses were spatially dependent within the distances of 1–8 m, the spatial dependence accounting for 43–86% of the total variance. The F/H layer was thicker and contained more C within 1–3 m radius from trees. In the 10–20 cm and 20–40 cm layers (B horizon) the C density also increased towards the trees, but more pronouncedly in the immediate vicinity of the stems. Because the spatial patterning of the E horizon thickness was similar, the increase was attributed to stemflow and precipitation of organic compounds in the podzol B horizon.