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Articles by Ari Nikula

Category: Research article

article id 9918, category Research article
Ari Nikula, Vesa Nivala, Juho Matala, Kari Heliövaara. (2019). Modelling the effect of habitat composition and roads on the occurrence and number of moose damage at multiple scales. Silva Fennica vol. 53 no. 1 article id 9918. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.9918
Highlights: The occurrence and number of moose damage were modelled with a zero-inflated count model; An admixture of mature forests within plantations increased the number of damage; Vicinity of inhabited areas and roads reduced damage; Plantations in landscapes with a large amount of pine-dominated thinning forests had less damage in Lapland; Damage risk assessment should include characteristics specific to each region.

We modelled the effect of habitat composition and roads on the number and occurrence of moose (Alces alces L.) damage in Ostrobothnia and Lapland using a zero-inflated count model. Models were developed for 1 km2, 25 km2 and 100 km2 landscapes consisting of equilateral rectangular grid cells. Count models predict the number of damage, i.e. the number of plantations and zero models the probability of a landscape being without damage for a given habitat composition. The number of moose damage in neighboring grid cells was a significant predictor in all models. The proportion of mature forest was the most frequent significant variable, and an increasing admixture of mature forests among plantations increased the number and occurrence of damage. The amount of all types of plantations was the second most common significant variable predicting increasing damage along with increasing amount of plantations. An increase in thinning forests as an admixture also increased damage in 1 km2 landscapes in both areas, whereas an increase in pine-dominated thinning forests in Lapland reduced the number of damage in 25 km2 landscapes. An increasing amount of inhabited areas in Ostrobothnia and the length of connecting roads in Lapland reduced the number of damage in 1 and 25 km2 landscapes. Differences in model variables between areas suggest that models of moose damage risk should be adjusted according to characteristics that are specific to the study area.

  • Nikula, Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke), Bioeconomy and Environment, Ounasjoentie 6, FI-96200 Rovaniemi, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail: ari.nikula@luke.fi (email)
  • Nivala, Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke), Bioeconomy and Environment, Ounasjoentie 6, FI-96200 Rovaniemi, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail: vesa.nivala@luke.fi
  • Matala, Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke), Natural resources, Yliopistokatu 6, FI-80100 Joensuu, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail: juho.matala@luke.fi
  • Heliövaara, University of Helsinki, Department of Forest Sciences, P.O. Box 27, FI-00014 University of Helsinki, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail: kari.heliovaara@helsinki.fi
article id 1565, category Research article
Teija Ruuhola, Ari Nikula, Nivala Vesa, Seppo Nevalainen, Juho Matala. (2016). Effects of bedrock and surficial deposit composition on moose damage in young forest stands in Finnish Lapland. Silva Fennica vol. 50 no. 3 article id 1565. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.1565
Highlights: The effect of bedrock and soil on moose damage in forest plantations were examined; Moose damage were concentrated in nutrient rich bedrock areas; Bedrock of damaged stands contained a higher proportion of mafic and alkaline rocks; Pine-dominated stands on fine grained fertile forest sites had the highest damage risk.

There is evidence that moose are attracted to fertile growth habitats apparently due to better quality and larger quantities of food. The nutrients in mineral soils originate from the weathering of bedrock and the composition of parental bedrock affects the fertility of produced mineral soil, thus affecting also the import of nutrients into the whole food web. We surveyed the connection between moose damage in forest plantations and the composition of bedrock and surficial deposits in Finnish Lapland. We used a database of compensated moose damage in private forests in years 1997−2010. Undamaged stands in National Forest Inventories (NFI) from years 1986–2008 served as a control data and moose-damaged NFI-stands as a reference data. Bedrock and surficial depositions and the location of studied stands in relation to ancient shorelines were explored by using the digital databases of the Geological Survey of Finland. Moose-damaged stands were concentrated in southwestern and east Lapland in the areas of the Peräpohja Schist Belt and Lapland’s Greenstone Belt that are both composed of nutrient-rich rocks. The bedrock of damaged stands contained a higher proportion of mafic and alkaline rocks than did the control stands. Moose-damaged stands were pine-dominated and grew in more fertile forest sites than did control stands. Part of pine stands probably located in soils formerly occupied by spruce, which may increase the stands’ vulnerability to biotic threats. Especially, there were relatively more moose damage in pine plantations regenerated on fine-grained mineral soils derived from nutrient rich rocks than in less fertile soils.

  • Ruuhola, Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke), Natural Resources and Bioproduction, Yliopistokatu 6, FI-80101 Joensuu, Finland; University of Eastern Finland, Faculty of Science and Forestry, P.O. Box 111, FI-80101 Joensuu, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail: teija.ruuhola@uef.fi
  • Nikula, Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke), Economics and Society, Eteläranta 55, FI-96300 Rovaniemi, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail: ari.nikula@luke.fi (email)
  • Vesa, Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke), Economics and Society, Eteläranta 55, FI-96300 Rovaniemi, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail: vesa.nivala@luke.fi
  • Nevalainen, Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke), Natural Resources and Bioproduction, Yliopistokatu 6, FI-80101 Joensuu, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail: seppo.nevalainen@luke.fi
  • Matala, Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke), Natural Resources and Bioproduction, Yliopistokatu 6, FI-80101 Joensuu, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail: juho.matala@luke.fi
article id 1410, category Research article
Seppo Nevalainen, Juho Matala, Kari T. Korhonen, Antti Ihalainen, Ari Nikula. (2016). Moose damage in National Forest Inventories (1986–2008) in Finland. Silva Fennica vol. 50 no. 2 article id 1410. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.1410
Highlights: Almost 100 000 stands were studied; The proportion of damage doubled during the study period; Tree species mixture had a clear effect on the damage frequency; The damage was more common in mineral soils than in peatlands, in artificially than in naturally regenerated stands and in stands that needed thinning or clearing or in which soil preparation was used.

The occurrence of moose damage was studied using data from three National Forest Inventories (NFIs) accomplished between 1986 and 2008 in Finland. The combined data included a total of 97 390 young stands. The proportion of moose damage increased from 3.6% to 8.6% between the 8th NFI (1986–1994) and the 10th NFI (2004–2008). The majority (75%) of the damage occurred in Scots pine-dominated stands. The proportion of damage was higher in aspen-dominated stands than in stands dominated by any other tree species. The tree species mixture also had a clear effect on the occurrence of damage. Pure Scots pine stands had less damage than mixed Scots pine stands, and moose damage decreased linearly with the increasing proportion of Scots pine. Stands on mineral soil had more frequent moose damage than stands on peatlands. The fertility class of the site had no straightforward effect on the damage frequency. Artificially regenerated stands had more damage than naturally regenerated stands. Accomplished soil preparation measures and the need for thinning or clearing operations increased moose damage. High proportions of moose damage in young stands were found around the country. In the 10th NFI, the largest concentration of damage was found in southwestern Finland. Our study shows the temporal and spatial changes in the occurrence of moose damage and pinpoints some important silvicultural factors affecting the relative risk of young stands over a large geographical area.

  • Nevalainen, Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke), Management and Production of Renewable Resources, P.O. Box 68, FI-80101 Joensuu, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail: seppo.nevalainen@luke.fi (email)
  • Matala, Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke), Management and Production of Renewable Resources, P.O. Box 68, FI-80101 Joensuu, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail: juho.matala@luke.fi
  • Korhonen, Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke), Economics and society, P.O. Box 68, FI-80101 Joensuu, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail: kari.t.korhonen@luke.fi
  • Ihalainen, Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke), Economics and society, P.O. Box 18, FI-01301 Vantaa, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail: antti.ihalainen@luke.fi
  • Nikula, Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke), Economics and society, P.O. Box 16, FI-96301 Rovaniemi, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail: ari.nikula@luke.fi
article id 151, category Research article
Janne Miettinen, Pekka Helle, Ari Nikula, Pekka Niemelä. (2010). Capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus) habitat characteristics in north-boreal Finland. Silva Fennica vol. 44 no. 2 article id 151. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.151
This study aimed to identify tools for taking capercaillie habitats into consideration in forest management. This would provide new alternatives for ecologically more sustainable forest management. Capercaillie summer and winter locations, from wildlife monitoring counts (1998–2004) in northern Finland, and reference, non-capercaillie locations were combined with forest planning data, and the area proportions of different landscape classes in an 800-m radius circle surrounding capercaillie and reference locations were compared. Thinning stands (in summer and winter) and spruce mires (in summer) were more abundant in capercaillie habitats than in reference landscapes, whereas e.g. seedling stands, mature stands and waste land areas were less abundant. The relative habitat use was highest in mean tree diameter (DBH) classes from 10.5 to 14.5 cm in summer habitats of adult capercaillie in heath forests, whereas in peatland forests, in brood habitats and in winter habitats it peaked in diameter classes 14.5 to 18.5 cm. The tree layer density was positively associated with the relative habitat use. A trend of lower habitat use was detected in the largest diameters (17–40 cm) in comparison to middle-sized diameters (10–16 cm) in heath forests, but not in peatland forests. Relatively young managed forests (age 30–40 years or more) can form suitable capercaillie habitats in north-boreal forests. However, this suitability is not necessarily permanent. Understorey management, longer rotations and multicohort forest management are suitable tools for capercaillie habitat management, because they can increase the available cover close to the ground, canopy cover, overall forest cover at the landscape scale and bilberry cover.
  • Miettinen, Finnish Game and Fisheries Research Institute, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail: janne.miettinen@rktl.fi (email)
  • Helle, Finnish Game and Fisheries Research Institute, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Nikula, Finnish Forest Research Institute, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Niemelä, University of Turku, Dept of Biology ORCID ID:E-mail:
article id 182, category Research article
Janne Miettinen, Pekka Helle, Ari Nikula, Pekka Niemelä. (2009). Changes in landscape-scale habitat selection of capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus) in managed north-boreal forest. Silva Fennica vol. 43 no. 4 article id 182. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.182
We studied changes in habitat selection of capercaillie in northern Finnish boreal forests at two spatial scales during two time periods, 1989–1992 and 2000–2003. We studied capercaillie densities and their changes between the study periods in relation to the landscape class proportions within 3-km buffer zones around the wildlife triangle center points. Furthermore, we compared the landscape class proportions in 800-meter buffer zones around capercaillie wildlife triangle count observations and around the counted wildlife triangle transects using t-tests and compositional analysis. At the local population scale (3 km) the change in adult density between the study periods was associated positively with the proportion of young thinning stands in 2003 and reversely with the mature stand (1992 and 2003) and clear-cut (1992) proportions. Capercaillie juvenile and pooled densities during 2000–2003 were positively associated with the advanced thinning stand proportion in 2003. At the capercaillie home range scale (800 m) habitats were rich in mature stands during 1989–1992 in relation to available habitats, but not during 2000–2003 when young thinning stands were more abundant in relation to available habitats. Relatively young managed forests can be suitable for capercaillie, but mature managed forests as capercaillie habitats may have deteriorated between the study periods. Spatial planning may help to form suitable areas that are large enough for the species, but the highest potential may lay in the forest stand scale, where increased cover on the ground could promote the habitat quality.
  • Miettinen, Kankurinhaka 14, FI-90450 Kempele, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail: janne.miettinen@rktl.fi (email)
  • Helle, Finnish Game and Fisheries Research Institute, Tutkijantie 2 E, FI-90570 Oulu, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Nikula, Finnish Forest Research Institute, Rovaniemi Research Unit, Eteläranta 55, FI-99600 Rovaniemi, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Niemelä, University of Turku, Department of Biology, FI-20014 University of Turku, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail:
article id 235, category Research article
Ari Nikula, Ville Hallikainen, Risto Jalkanen, Mikko Hyppönen, Kari Mäkitalo. (2008). Modelling the factors predisposing Scots pine to moose damage in artificially regenerated sapling stands in Finnish Lapland. Silva Fennica vol. 42 no. 4 article id 235. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.235
Moose (Alces alces) damage in forest plantations have been at a high level in Finland in recent decades. Nowadays, moose is the most severe pest in Scots pine plantations also in Finnish Lapland. So far, despite the high level of damage and different bio-geographical conditions in Northern Finland, most of the moose-damage research has been carried out in Southern Finland. A number of research have also been performed to analyse factors affecting browsing but predictive models are rare. Data from 123 randomly selected and artificially regenerated pine plantations in Northern Finland were used in modelling the risk of moose browsing. The stands had been regenerated during 1984–1995. A total of 508 sample plots (range 2–8 plots per stand) were measured. Hierarchical logistic regression models with a random factor were constructed to predict the probability of leader-shoot browsing of pine on a plot. The number of planted pines and deciduous trees overtopping the pines were the most important predictors increasing the browsing probability. The results support earlier findings that deciduous trees overtopping or reaching the height of the pines should be cleaned from the immediate vicinity of the pines. Seedlings with a height ranging from 75 to 299 centimetres were more susceptible to browsing. Heavy soil scarification, such as ploughing or mounding, increased the browsing probability compared with lighter scarification methods. Soil type did not affect the browsing probability, but paludification decreased it. The within-stand variation in deciduous trees density and height should be taken into account in future moose browsing risk assessments. In Lapland, high moose damage risk areas are characterized by a low elevation and higher temperature sum.
  • Nikula, Finnish Forest Research Institute, Rovaniemi Research Unit, Eteläranta 55, FI-96300 Rovaniemi, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail: ari.nikula@metla.fi (email)
  • Hallikainen, Finnish Forest Research Institute, Rovaniemi Research Unit, Eteläranta 55, FI-96300 Rovaniemi, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Jalkanen, Finnish Forest Research Institute, Rovaniemi Research Unit, Eteläranta 55, FI-96300 Rovaniemi, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Hyppönen, Finnish Forest Research Institute, Rovaniemi Research Unit, Eteläranta 55, FI-96300 Rovaniemi, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Mäkitalo, Finnish Forest Research Institute, Rovaniemi Research Unit, Eteläranta 55, FI-96300 Rovaniemi, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail:

Category: Article

article id 5584, category Article
Tarmo Virtanen, Seppo Neuvonen, Pekka Niemelä, Ari Nikula, Martti Varama. (1996). Climate change and the risks of Neodiprion sertifer outbreaks on Scots pine. Silva Fennica vol. 30 no. 2–3 article id 5584. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.a9229

The European Pine Sawfly (Neodiprion sertifer Geoffroy) is one of the most serious defoliators of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) in northern Europe. We studied the pattern in the regional occurrence of the outbreaks of N. sertifer in Finland in years 1961-90, and made predictions about the outbreak pattern to the year 2050 after predicted winter warming. We tested whether minimum winter temperatures and forest type and soil properties could explain the observed outbreak pattern. We analysed outbreak patterns at two different spatial levels: forest board- and municipal-level.

The proportion of coniferous forests on damage-susceptible soils (dry and infertile sites) explained a significant part of the variation in outbreak frequency at small spatial scale (municipalities) but not at large spatial scale (forest boards). At the forest board level, the incidence of minimum temperatures below -36 °C (= the critical value for egg mortality) explains 33% of the variation in the outbreak pattern, and at the municipal level the incidence of cold winters was also the most significant explaining variable in northern Finland. Egg mortality due to cold winters seems to be the most parsimonious factor explaining why there have been so few N. sertifer outbreaks in northern and north-eastern Finland. We predict that climate change (increased winter temperatures) may increase the frequency of outbreaks in eastern and northern Finland in the future.

  • Virtanen, ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Neuvonen, ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Niemelä, ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Nikula, ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Varama, ORCID ID:E-mail:

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