Current issue: 55(3)
Under compilation: 55(4)
We used a process-based hydrological model SUSI to improve guidelines for ditch network maintenance (DNM) operations on drained peatland forests. SUSI takes daily weather data, ditch depth, strip width, peat properties, and forest stand characteristics as input and calculates daily water table depth (WTD) at different distances from ditch. The study focuses on Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) dominated stands which are the most common subjects of DNM. Based on a literature survey, and consideration of the tradeoffs between forest growth and detrimental environmental impacts, long term median July–August WTD of 0.35 m was chosen as a target WTD. The results showed that ditch depths required to reach such WTD depends strongly on climatic locations, stand volume, ditch spacing, and peat thickness and type. In typical ditch cleaning areas in Finland with parallel ditches placed about 40 m apart and tree stand volumes exceeding 45 m3 ha–1, 0.3–0.8 m deep ditches were generally sufficient to lower WTD to the targeted depth of 0.35 m. These are significantly shallower ditch depths than generally recommended in operational forestry. The main collector ditch should be naturally somewhat deeper to permit water outflow. Our study brings a firmer basis on environmentally sound forestry on drained peatlands.
Dry mass and nutrient (N, P, K, Ca, Mg, B) contents of field layer vegetation and a combination of bottom layer vegetation and litter (referred to as bottom/litter layer in the text) were studied one year before and three years after fertilization (NPK and PK) on a drained low-shrub pine bog in eastern Finland. The results of an earlier study on the tree layer were combined with those of this study in order to estimate the changes caused by fertilization in the total plant biomass and litter. Before fertilization the average dry mass of the field and bottom/litter layers was 8,400 kg ha-1 and 7,650 kg ha-1, respectively. The above-ground parts accounted for 25% of the total field layer biomass. The dry mass of the field and bottom/litter layers together was < 20% of the dry mass accumulated in the total plant biomass and litter. The corresponding figures for N, P, K, Ca, Mg and B were 44%, 38%, 30%, 38%, 31% and 17%, respectively. Fertilization did not significantly affect the dry mass of either the field layer vegetation or the bottom/litter layer. 33% of the applied P was accumulated in the total plant biomass and litter on the PK-fertilized plots, and 25% on the NPK-fertilized plots. For the other elements, the proportions on the PK-fertilized plots were K 31%, Ca 6%, Mg 11% and B 13%. On the NPK-fertilized plots, the corresponding figures were N 62%, K 32%, Ca 6%, Mg 9% and B 13%. Except for B and K, the accumulation of fertilizer nutrients in the understorey vegetation and litter was of the same magnitude or greater than the uptake by the tree layer.