Current issue: 57(2)
Under compilation: 57(3)
Road transport produces 90% of greenhouse gas emissions in timber transport in Finland. It is therefore necessary to understand the factors that affect driving speed, fuel consumption, and ultimately, emissions. The objective of this study was to assess the effect of road characteristics on timber truck driving speed and fuel consumption. Data from the fleet management and transport management systems of two timber trucks were collected over a year. A sample of 104 trips was drawn, and the tracking points were overlaid on the road data in a geographical information system. Thereafter, work phases were determined for the points, and they were visually classified into road and pavement classes. Subsequently, the data of 80 trips were utilised in regression analysis to further study the effects of the visually interpreted variables on driving speed and fuel consumption. Fuel consumption was explained by the proportion of forest roads and distance travelled with a loader, and the number of crossings and season when driving without a load. When driving with a load, both asphalt and gravel pavements decreased consumption, in contrast to an unpaved road. Crossings increased fuel consumption, as did the winter and spring months, and the total laden mass of the truck. In conclusion, the study showed that the functional Finnish road and pavement classes can be used to predict driving speed and fuel consumption.
After a decades-long increasing trend, the recent results of the National Forest Inventory (NFI) reported a decline of forest growth in North Finland. The aim of this study was to assess climatic and reproduction influences behind the growth decline. We used tree-ring data that had been collected by NFI using systematic sampling. The tree-ring width series were detrended using the regional curve standardisation (RCS) removing age-related trends. The resulting tree-ring indices of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) showed decadal variations with low increment in the 1990s, and high increment in the 1980s and the early years of the current century. Thereafter, a prolonged growth reduction for pine started both on the mineral soil sites and peatlands. The tree-ring indices of Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst.) had less pronounced decadal variations and no trend-like reduction over the last 15 years. High spring and summer temperatures were found to enhance radial growth, but high winter temperatures were related to low growth for pine and spruce in the following summer. Temperature variation, accompanied by variables indicating years of drought and intensive flowering, accounted for 34% annual growth variance of pine and 21–44% for spruce. Thus, the results imply that climatic factors may have to some extent contributed to the recent growth reduction of pine. Due to its ecological and economic consequences growth decline needs to be further monitored and investigated. Moreover, analyses of stand and age structure, potentially affecting the growth decline, were beyond the scope of this paper, but also warrant further investigation.
Mechanical site preparation (MSP) is a common practice that precedes the planting of Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) H. Karst.) in Nordic forests. Mounding has become the most used method in spruce planting in recent years. This study examined the effects of different mounding treatments (spot and ditch mounding, inversion, unprepared control with or without herbicide application) and a mechanical vegetation control (MVC) treatment done 3–4 years after planting on the post-planting growth of spruce container seedlings and their development to saplings during the first 11–13 years on two forest till soils in central Finland, one on flat terrain and other on a southwest slope. On these fine-textured soils the spot and ditch mounding methods favoured spruce saplings development. Inversion and unprepared plots showed weakest growth. On the site with flat terrain, 11 years post planting, spruce saplings were 78–144 cm (38–80%) taller and their breast height diameters were 11–13 mm (60–74%) thicker for ditch or spot mounding than for inversion or herbicide treatment. On the site with sloped terrain the differences were minor between the MSP treatments. MVC improved spruce height growth on sites which did not have intensive MSP, especially on control saplings planted on unprepared soil in herbicide and inversion treatments. On the flat terrain, MVC reduced the density of resprouts to be removed later in pre-commercial thinning. As a conclusion, spot or ditch mounding favoured the growth of spruce over inversion especially on flat terrain with fine-textured soil.
Tree carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) concentrations and C:N ratio are critical for understanding the elemental compositions of forests, N use efficiency, productivity and the biogeochemical cycles. We evaluate differences in C and N allocation among biomass compartments of three N‑fixing tree species of Espinal Argentine eco-region; the scaling relationship between C and N and the C:N ratio variation among compartments and tree size. Neltuma affinis (Spreng.) C.E. Hughes & G.P. Lewis, Neltuma nigra (Griseb.) C.E. Hughes & G.P. Lewis and Vachellia caven (Molina) Seigler & Ebinger plants (n = 30 for each species) were felled, grouped by stem basal diameter-based size classes and partitioned into 3 biomass compartments: stem (st), large branches (lb) and small branches + leaves, flowers and fruits (sbl). C and N concentrations were markedly influenced by species and biomass compartments. In general, sbl compartment presented more N than the st and lb, while C concentrations in Neltuma stems were the highest. Overall, no isometric C–N scaling relationships were found in different compartments. C:N variations in compartments were positively correlated with N concentrations but did not exhibit any significant association with C concentrations. C:N ratios differed significantly among species and biomass compartments. The C:N ratio for compartments ranked in an order of st > lb > sbl. C:N ratio variability in sbl was the least. Only in N. affinis and V. caven stems C:N relationship differed among tree size. Our results provide evidence of the importance of using in situ C and N concentration per main tree species and biomass compartments, to more accurate estimates of C and N stocks.
Forest buffers beside surface water can mitigate negative effects of logging. To gain more information on buffer implementation in operational forestry, forest buffers were inventoried during 2018 on 174 harvested and site-prepared compartments traversed by or bordering streams, ditches and lakes in three regions across Sweden 2–4 years after clearcutting. Most of the inventoried stream and ditch reaches were ≤5 m wide. The water reaches were categorized as lakes (n = 16), natural streams (n = 50), modified streams (n = 21) or ditches (n = 87). Forest buffers with 100% shoreline coverage were present along all lake reaches and 55% and 10% of the natural or modified stream and ditch reaches, respectively. Buffers were absent beside 14% of the natural or modified stream reaches and 61% of the ditch reaches. Lake reaches had significantly wider buffers on average than ditch reaches and natural or modified stream reaches. The mean (SE) buffer widths beside lakes, natural or modified stream reaches and ditch reaches across all three regions and shoreline coverage classes were 12 (1.1), 6.6 (0.6) and 1.5 (0.5) m, respectively. The character of the local stream networks (natural or modified streams or ditches) containing each inventoried reach, were assessed using map information and the reaches´ field classifications. This illustrated the difficulty of judging a streams´ character based solely on field inspections of individual reaches on forest land where historic drainage activities have been performed. We recommend that also upstream and downstream conditions should be considered when planning environmental measures to protect surface water bodies.