Current issue: 53(4)
Harvesting residues collected from the final cuttings of boreal forests are an important source of solid biofuel for energy production in Finland and Sweden. In the Finnish supply chain, the measurement of residues is performed by scales integrated in forwarders. The mass of residues is converted to volume by conversion factors. In this study, weather based models for defining the moisture content of residues were developed and validated. Models were also compared with the currently used fixed tables of conversion factors. The change of the moisture content of residues is complex, and an exact estimation was challenging. However, the model predicting moisture change for three hour periods was found to be the most accurate. The main improvement compared to fixed tables was the lack of a systematic error. It can be assumed that weather based models will give more reliable estimates for the moisture in varying climate conditions and the further development of models should be focused on obtaining more appropriate data from varying drying conditions in different geographical and microclimatological locations.
To project the changes in wood production of Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) H. Karst.) and Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) in Finland as a result of climate change, two separate studies were made. The first study, at the Faculty of Forestry, University of Joensuu, based its projections on mathematical models; the second one, at the Finnish Forest Research Institute, based projections on measurements of wood production in two series of aged provenance experiments. The results of the two studies were similar for both species: after a 4°C increase of the annual mean temperature a drastic increase in wood production in northern Finland, but little effect, or even some decrease in the southern part of the country. However, the assumptions used in the two studies differed. One important difference was that in the models the temperature is assumed to be increasing gradually over the years, whereas in the provenance experiments, climate changed immediately when the seedlings were transferred to the planting sites. Another problem with the provenance experiments is that when material is moved in a north-south direction in Finland, not only temperature but also photoperiod changes markedly. To compare these two studies, site factors (e.g. soil type, temperature, precipitation) and silvicultural factors (e.g. plant spacing, survival, time of thinning, thinning intensity) from the provenance experiments were included a variable in the mathematical models.
Model computations on the management of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) at the seedling stage showed that a rising temperature due to the suggested climate change could increase the competition capacity of birch species (Betula pendula) more than Scots pine, whose growth could even decline during the course of a rise in temperature. A temperature rise could, thus, bring the time of removal of birches forward when aiming at Scots pine timber stands composed of these tree species. The increasing proportion of birches makes the removal of birches even more urgent and emphasizes the need for careful management of Scots pine stands under rising temperatures. The first thinning of Scots pine is generally brought forward; this is particularly the case when wide spacing is applied in planting. A furthrer rise in temperature magnifies the above patterns by reducing further the competitive capacity of Scots pine in relation to birches.
The PDF includes an abstract in Finnish.