Current issue: 56(2)
So far, consumer housing values have not been addressed as factors affecting the market diffusion potential of multi-storey wood building (MSWB). To fill the void, this study addresses different types of consumer housing values in Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden (i.e., Nordic region), and whether they affect the likelihood of prejudices against building with wood in the housing markets. The data collected in 2018 from 2191 consumers in the Nordic region were analyzed with exploratory factor analysis and logistic binary regression analysis. According to the results, consumers’ perceptions on ecological sustainability, material usage and urban lifestyle were similar in all countries, while country-specific differences were detected for perceptions on aesthetics and natural milieus. In all countries, appreciating urban lifestyle and living in attractive neighborhoods with good reputation increased the likelihood of prejudices against wood building, while appreciation of aesthetics and natural milieus decreased the likelihood of prejudices. In strengthening the demand for MSWB and sustainable urbanization through actions in businesses (e.g., branding) and via public policy support (e.g., land zoning), few messages derive from the results. In all, abreast with the already existing knowledge on the supply side factors (e.g., wood building innovations), more customized information is needed on the consumer-driven issues affecting the demand potential of MSWB in the housing markets. This would enable, e.g., both enhancing the supply of wooden homes for consumers appreciating urban lifestyle and neighborhoods and fortifying positive image of wood among consumers especially appreciating good architecture and pleasant environmental milieus.
Ageing and competition reduce trees’ ability to capture resources, which predisposes them to death. In this study, the effect of senescence on the survival probability of Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst.) was analysed by fitting alternative survival probability models. Different model formulations were compared in the dataset, which comprised managed and unmanaged plots in long-term forest experiments in Finland and Norway, as well as old-growth stands in Finland. Stand total age ranged from 19 to 290 years. Two models were formulated without an age variable, such that the negative coefficient for the squared stem diameter described a decreasing survival probability for the largest trees. One of the models included stand age as a separate independent variable, and three models included an interaction term between stem diameter and stand age. According to the model including stand age and its interaction with stem diameter, the survival probability curves could intersect each other in stands with a similar structure but a different mean age. Models that did not include stand age underestimated the survival rate of the largest trees in the managed stands and overestimated their survival rate in the old-growth stands. Models that included stand age produced more plausible predictions, especially for the largest trees. The results supported the hypothesis that the stand age and senescence of trees decreases the survival probability of trees, and that the ageing effect improves survival probability models for Norway spruce.
Strong wind is the major natural disturbance in European forests, that periodically causes tremendous damages to forestry. Yet, factors that affect the probability of wind damage for birch (Betula pendula Roth and B. pubescens Ehrh.), the most common deciduous tree species in hemiboreal forests, are studied scarcely. This study aimed to assess the effects of several tree- and stand-scale variables on the probability of wind damage to birch using data from the Latvian National Forest Inventory (2004–2018), and determine individual tree characteristics that affect the height of the stem breakage. The data analysis was done using the Bayesian binary logistic generalized linear mixed-effects model and a linear mixed-effects model. The probability of wind damage significantly increased by stand age, basal area, and slenderness ratio. Trees with prior damage had a significantly higher probability (odds ratio 4.32) for wind damage. For wind-damaged trees, the snapping height was significantly decreased by an increase in the slenderness ratio (p = 0.03) and prior damage (p = 0.003). Previously damaged trees were more frequently (73%) snapped in the lowest 40% of tree height than trees without prior damage (54%). The probability of wind damage is largely set by factors related to the selection of site, species composition, and rotation. The damage probability could be decreased by management measures that lower competition within the stand with particular regard to preserving intact remaining trees during these manipulations. Factors that reduce the probability of the damage simultaneously increase the snapping height, emphasizing their relevance for mitigation of the wind damages.
In Germany, management restrictions for Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) H. Karst.) due to climate change lead to increasing interest in Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirb.) Franco) as a potential substituting species. However, Douglas fir requires cost-intensive silvicultural treatments, such as periodic thinnings and, in particular, pruning. In order to improve the efficiency of such treatments, a new tending system with an adapted two-step work system was analyzed. The new system, using electric pruning shears and the backpack clearing saw Husqvarna 535FBX ‘Spacer’, was compared to the conventional three-step work system, using handsaw and chainsaw and characterized by tree selection previously conducted as an independent work step. Time and motion studies to determine productivity and costs, as well as ergonomic analysis through heart rate measurements and posture analysis were conducted. Overall, the new system was found to be more productive and to have lower costs, with 8.9 trees per scheduled system hour (4.17 € tree–1), compared to the conventional system with 8.1 trees per scheduled system hour (4.44 € tree–1). Ergonomic improvements with the new system could be mainly observed during the felling of competing trees, when the level of heart rate reserve was reduced by 9.3 percent points, compared to the conventional system. However, significant advantages in reducing unfavorable body postures expected for the ‘Spacer’ could not be confirmed. Since time savings within the new system were mainly attributed to the adaptation of workflow and the use of the electric shears during pruning, it should be considered to replace the ‘Spacer’ within the new system by light chainsaws for best results under the conditions investigated.
The alternate host range of cherry-spruce rust is poorly studied although such information could be important in protecting spruce seed orchards from infections. Pathogenicity of cherry-spruce rust, Thekopsora areolata (Fr.) Magnus, was investigated on potential alternate host species in a greenhouse and in a laboratory in Finland. Five common species of Ericaceae, Vaccinium myrtillus L., V. uliginosum L., V. vitis-idaea L., Empetrum nigrum L. and Arctostaphylos uva-ursi (L.) Spreng, were inoculated in the greenhouse using aeciospores from seven Norway spruce [Picea abies (L.) H. Karst.] seed orchards suffering from T. areolata in 2018. In addition, young detached leaves of Vaccinium spp. and 17 other plant species of ground vegetation from eight Norway spruce seed orchards were inoculated with aeciospores from six seed orchards in the laboratory in 2019. Also, young leaves of Prunus padus L. trees growing within the seed orchards or close to them were inoculated as controls. None of the inoculated leaves of the potential alternate hosts formed uredinia either in the greenhouse or in the laboratory. In contrast, leaves of P. padus from the seed orchards were infected by the six spore sources from six seed orchards and produced uredinia. As T. areolata spores were able to infect only P. padus, but not the other tested species belonging to ground flora, it was concluded that T. areolata disperses only via Prunus spp. in Finnish seed orchards.
Tree height-diameter allometry reflects the response of specific species to above and belowground resource allocation patterns. However, traditional methods (e.g. stepwise regression (SR)) may ignore model uncertainty during the variable selection process. In this study, 450 trees of Chinese fir (Cunninghamia lanceolata (Lamb.) Hook.) grown at five spacings were used. We explored the height-diameter allometry in relation to stand and climate variables through Bayesian model averaging (BMA) and identifying the contributions of these variables to the allometry, as well as comparing with the SR method. Results showed the SR model was equal to the model with the third highest posterior probability of the BMA models. Although parameter estimates from the SR method were similar to BMA, BMA produced estimates with slightly narrower 95% intervals. Heights increased with increasing planting density, dominant height, and mean annual temperature, but decreased with increasing stand basal area and summer mean maximum temperature. The results indicated that temperature was the dominant climate variable shaping the height-diameter allometry for Chinese fir plantations. While the SR model included the mean coldest month temperature and winter mean minimum temperature, these variables were excluded in BMA, which indicated that redundant variables can be removed through BMA.
Mechanical site preparation methods that used tools mounted on lightweight excavators and that provided localised intensive preparation were tested in eight experimental sites across France where the vegetation was dominated either by Molinia caerulea (L.) Moench or Pteridium aquilinum (L.) Kuhn. Two lightweight tools (Deep Scarifier: DS; Deep Scarifier followed by Multifunction Subsoiler: DS+MS) were tested in pine (Pinus sylvestris L., Pinus nigra var. corsicana (Loudon) Hyl. or Pinus pinaster Aiton) and oak (Quercus petraea (Matt.) Liebl. or Quercus robur L.) plantations. Regional methods commonly used locally (herbicide, disk harrow, mouldboard plow) and experimental methods (repeated herbicide application; untreated control) were used as references in the experiments. Neighbouring vegetation cover, seedling survival, height and basal diameter were assessed over three to five years after plantation. For pines growing in M. caerulea, seedling diameter after four years was 37% and 98% greater in DS and DS+MS, respectively, than in the untreated control. For pines growing in P. aquilinum, it was 62% and 107% greater in the same treatments. For oak, diameter was only 4% and 15% greater in M. caerulea, and 13% and 25% greater in P. aquilinum, in the same treatments. For pines, the survival rate after four years was 26% and 32% higher in M. caerulea and 64% and 70% higher in P. aquilinum, in the same treatments. For oak, it was 3% and 29% higher in M. caerulea and 37% and 31% higher in P. aquilinum. Herbicide, when applied for three or four years after planting, provided the best growth performances for pines growing in M. caerulea and P. aquilinum and for oaks growing in P. aquilinum. For these species and site combinations, DS+MS and DS treatments reduced the neighbouring vegetation cover for one to four years following site preparation.
Populations of tree species with a wide geographic range, such as silver birch (Betula pendula Roth), show genetic specialization to native environments, while maintaining high phenotypical plasticity. Accordingly, assessment of local specialization is essential for adaptive management. The aim of the study was to detect geographic patterns of local adaptation of growth and stem quality based on two open-pollinated progeny trials in Latvia testing local material. Two provenance regions differing by continentality were distinguished, which also differed in genetic control of growth traits, likely originating from the post-glacial recolonization of vegetation and subsequent natural adaptation. Heritability of the traits was estimated for each of the distinguished regions, indicating differing patterns of genetic adaptation and potential for future selection. Trees from the more continental inland showed superior growth and possessed higher heritability. The coastal provenance region showed slower growth and intermediate heritability of the respective traits. Moderate to high heritability for stem quality traits was estimated irrespectively of region. Overall, better growth and higher heritability suggests that anthropogenic selection within the best inland provenances may constitute better performing and adaptable breeding population compared to the coastal one. Still, overlapping phenotypical variation and heritability of quality traits implies improved stemwood quality for plywood regardless of the provenance region. High adaptive capacity of silver birch genotypes suggests ability to cope with climatic changes, highlighting its potential for climate-smart forestry.