Category: Research article
article id 10055, category Research article
Models for diameter and height growth of Scots pine, Norway spruce and pubescent birch in drained peatland sites in Finland. Silva Fennica vol. 52 no. 5 article id 10055. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.10055
Highlights: Tree growth strongly correlated with site drainage status; Between-tree competition had a higher impact on tree diameter growth than on height growth; Growth predicted by the constructed models were calibrated using NFI11 data to ensure generally applicable growth predictions level in whole country.
The aim of this study was to develop individual-tree diameter and height growth models for Scots pine, Norway spruce, and pubescent birch growing in drained peatlands in Finland. Trees growing in peatland sites have growth patterns that deviate from that of trees growing in mineral soil sites. Five-year growth was explained by tree diameter, different tree and stand level competition measures, management operations and site characteristics. The drainage status of the site was influencing growth directly or in interaction with other variables. Site quality had a direct impact but was also commonly related to current site drainage status (need for ditch maintenance). Recent thinning increased growth of all species and former PK fertilization increased growth of pine and birch. Temperature sum was a significant predictor in all models and altitude for spruce and birch. The data were a subsample of the 7th National Forest Inventory (NFI) sample plots representing northern and southern Finland and followed by repeated measurements for 15–20 yrs. Growth levels predicted by the models were calibrated using NFI11 data to remove bias originating from the sample of the modelling data. The mixed linear models technique was used in model estimation. The models will be incorporated into the MOTTI stand simulator to replace the current peatlands growth models.
article id 1687, category Research article
Performance of weather parameters in predicting growing season water table depth variations on drained forested peatlands – a case study from southern Finland. Silva Fennica vol. 50 no. 4 article id 1687. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.1687
Highlights: Four-week precipitation and evapotranspiration explain much of drained peatland water table depth variation during a growing season.
The amount of water in peat soil is one factor affecting its bearing capacity, which is a crucial aspect in planning peatland timber harvesting operations. We studied the influence of weather variables on the variation of drained peatland growing season water conditions, here the ground water table depth (WTD). WTD was manually monitored four times in 2014 and three times in 2015 in 10–30 sample plots located in four drained peatland forests in south-western Finland. For each peatland, precipitation and evapotranspiration were calculated from the records of the nearest Finnish Meteorological Institute field stations covering periods from one day to four weeks preceding the WTD monitoring date. A mixed linear model was constructed to investigate the impact of the weather parameters on WTD. Precipitation of the previous four–week period was the most important explanatory variable. The four-week evapotranspiration amount was interacting with the Julian day showing a greater effect in late summer. Other variables influencing WTD were stand volume within the three-metre radius sample plot and distance from nearest ditch. Our results show the potential of weather parameters, specifically that of the previous four-week precipitation and evapotranspiration, for predicting drained peatland water table depth variation and subsequently, the possibility to develop a more general empirical model to assist planning of harvesting operations on drained peatlands.
article id 1301, category Research article
Fertilization increased growth of Scots pine and financial performance of forest management in a drained peatland in Finland. Silva Fennica vol. 49 no. 3 article id 1301. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.1301
Highlights: All fertilizers containing phosphorus and potassium improved the P and K status and the stem growth of Scots pine still 26 years from application; Wood ash, containing more nutrients than other fertilizers, gave the strongest stand growth response and the highest net present value; Ash fertilizer treatment outperformed other fertilizer treatments and control in net present value, regardless of the applied discount rate, 3%, 4% or 5%.
The long-term effects of fertilization on the needle nutrient concentrations, growth and financial performance of a Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) stand was examined in a thick-peated drained peatland forest located in Central Finland. At the trial establishment in 1985, the trees were suffering from P and K deficiencies, but their N status was good. The fertilizer treatments were Control, PK (rock phosphate + potassium chloride), ApaBio (apatite phosphorus + biotite) and wood ash, applied both with and without N and replicated six times. All treatments containing phosphorus and potassium increased foliar P and K concentrations above the deficiency limits up to the end of the study period of 26 years. The effect of the fertilization on stand volume growth of Scots pine was strong and continued still at the end of the study period. The trees on ApaBio and PK plots grew nearly two-fold and those on Ash plots over two-fold compared with the control plots. In a thinning made at the end of the study period the total logging removal on fertilized plots was 1.5–2.2 times greater and included more saw logs than on the control plots. Ash fertilizer treatment outperformed other fertilizer treatments as well as the control. With a 5% discounted equivalent annual income (EAI) of Ash fertilizer treatment was statistically significantly (p=0.009) almost three times higher than that of control. As a conclusion, fertilization (either using PK fertilizers or Ash) in N-rich drained peatlands is a financially feasible method of management.
article id 1192, category Research article
Post-harvest height growth of Norway spruce seedlings in northern Finland peatland forest canopy gaps and comparison to partial and complete canopy removals and plantations. Silva Fennica vol. 48 no. 5 article id 1192. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.1192
Highlights: Norway spruce seedlings’ height growth recovered within four years after the cutting of canopy gaps; Growth was linearly related to tree height, being highest for tallest seedlings; Seedlings in the 20 m diameter gap and in the central and northern parts in the 15 m diameter gap showed the best growth; In gaps early height growth was 60% of that in peatland spruce plantations but 2–3 times higher than in uneven-aged cut forests.
Recent studies have shown the establishment of Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst.) to be successful in small canopy gaps cut in drained spruce mire stands in northern Finland. The aim of this study was to quantify seedling height growth in gaps and compare it to that observed in other canopy cuttings and plantations. We sampled spruce crop seedlings (maximum density ca. 3000 ha–1) in the spring of 2013 in a field experiment in which canopy gaps of 10, 15 and 20 m in diameter had been cut in winter 2004. The total seedling height in 2013 and the length of annual shoots over the past five years (2012–2008) were recorded in the survey. Seedling height varied from 20 cm to 2.7 m, with an average of 65 cm. The average annual height growth was 7.1 cm. A mixed linear model analysis was carried out to investigate seedling height growth variation. Seedling height was linearly and positively related to growth. Height growth started to increase in the fifth growing season after cutting. Seedling height growth in the 20 m gap was slightly better than in the smaller ones. In the 15 m gap, both the centrally located seedlings and those located at the northern edge grew best. In the 20 m gap, southerly located seedlings grew more slowly than seedlings in all other locations. The average seedling height growth in this study was about 60% of that in peatland plantations, but comparable to that in mineral soil gaps, and 2–3 times higher than in uneven-age cut stands.
article id 920, category Research article
Seedling establishment on small cutting areas with or without site preparation in a drained spruce mire – a case study in northern Finland. Silva Fennica vol. 46 no. 5 article id 920. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.920
A large proportion of drained spruce mire stands is currently approaching regeneration maturity in Finland. We studied the effect of cutting – small canopy openings (78, 177, and 314 m2) and small clear-cuts (0.25–0.37 ha) – with or without site preparation (scalping) on the establishment of natural Norway spruce seedlings in one experimental drained spruce mire stand in northern Finland. The cuttings were made in winter 2004–2005 and site preparation with scalping in early June 2005. The experimental design was composed of four blocks with altogether four clear-cuts and 33 canopy openings. The seedling establishment was surveyed annually (2006, 2008–2010) from five circular sample plots (one 10 m2 and four 5 m2 plots in size) located within the canopy openings and from 18 circular 5 m2 sample plots systematically located in the scalped and untreated halves of the clear-cuts. Site preparation was found unnecessary, because it resulted in a clearly lower number of seedlings in the openings. A slight negative effect was also found in the clear-cuts. In the two years following the cuttings, the number of seedlings increased quickly in the canopy openings, but more gradually in the clear-cut areas. In 2010, on average 15 500 new seedlings were observed in the canopy openings and 6700 in the clear-cut areas, of which 5050 and 1200, respectively, were >0.1 m tall spruces. The proportion of birch increased in the last two years, being ca. 22% in the openings and 45% in the clear-cuts in 2010. The spatial distribution of seedlings was more uneven in the clear-cuts than in the openings, with 41% and 20% of survey plots empty, respectively.
article id 97, category Research article
Seedling survival and establishment in small canopy openings in drained spruce mires in Northern Finland. Silva Fennica vol. 45 no. 4 article id 97. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.97
A large proportion of drained spruce mire stands is currently approaching regeneration maturity in Finland. Traditional regeneration methods with effective site preparation and planting generally result in satisfactory seedling stands also in spruce mires. However, natural regeneration methods may be more appropriate in protecting watercourses and minimizing regeneration costs. We studied the survival of advance growth and establishment of new seedlings in small canopy openings that were cut at three different diameters in two experimental drained spruce mire stands in Northern Finland (Tervola and Oulu) in 2004. The number of seedlings was repeatedly surveyed from five small circular plots (one 10 m2 and four 5 m2 plots in size) located within the opening. Advance growth which survived the cutting and new seedlings were separated in the surveys. The density of advance growth was on average 9000 ha–1 after cutting, and it decreased by 30% during the five-year monitoring period (2006–2010) due to natural mortality. The number of new seedlings increased rapidly within the three years after cutting the openings. In 2010, 11 000–26 000 new seedlings ha–1 in Tervola and 12 000–16 000 ha–1 in Oulu on average were observed. The size of the opening had no clear effect on the regeneration result. The proportion of birch of the new seedlings increased with time and opening size in Tervola. The results show that Norway spruce regenerates naturally in small canopy openings cut in mature drained spruce mire stands.
article id 106, category Research article
Effect of peak runoff control method on growth of Scots pine stands on drained peatlands in central Finland. Silva Fennica vol. 45 no. 3 article id 106. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.106
In drained peatland forests ditch networks need regular maintenance operations in order to sustain their drainage capacity. These operations however have a significant impact on the quality of the runoff water from the ditched areas. Peak runoff control (PRC) method has been proposed as a possible method to diminish the load to water courses through retention of the runoff temporarily in the ditch network during maximum runoff events using dams with a plastic control pipe. However, blocking water into the ditched area for periods of varying length during the growing season may have a negative impact on the growth of the tree stands. In this study past stand growth was investigated in Central Finland in altogether 10 sample Scots pine thinning stands in which the PRC method has been applied 5 growing seasons earlier. In each stand, a pair of sample plots was established: one plot next to the dam within the influence of periodic flooding and the other one outside the effect of periodic flooding. For determining stand growth, field measurements were made in August 2009. Stand growth near the dam was on average 0.54 m3 ha-1 a-1 lower than farther away from the dam but the analysis of covariance showed that the dam effect was not significant. The results of this study suggest that the PCR method does not decrease Scots pine stand growth during the first five year growth period after ditch cleaning.
article id 353, category Research article
Thinning intensity and growth of mixed spruce-birch stands on drained peatlands in Finland. Silva Fennica vol. 40 no. 1 article id 353. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.353
The impacts of thinning at various intensities on the growth and mortality of mixed spruce-birch stands were investigated in thinning experiments on spruce swamps in northern and south-eastern Finland. At the time of establishment, three of the stands had recently reached the first commercial thinning stage and four were more advanced. The monitoring period was mainly 15 years, and the thinning intensity varied from heavy thinning (ca. 46 per cent of the basal area removed) to no thinning. Basal area removals of light and moderate thinning were ca. 22% and 39%, respectively. Unthinned plots had the highest volume increment. Light and moderate thinning slightly decreased the 15-year volume increment by, on an average, 1% and 8%, respectively. Heavy thinning led to a greater reduction (22%) in volume increment. The growth response to thinning intensity was evident as a higher relative volume and mean diameter increment of the living trees with decreasing stand density. Part of the volume increment on the unthinned plots was lost through natural mortality. Even light thinning significantly decreased natural mortality.
article id 408, category Research article
Natural development of stand structure in peatland Scots pine following drainage: results based on long-term monitoring of permanent sample plots. Silva Fennica vol. 38 no. 4 article id 408. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.408
We studied the dynamics of stand structure on drained peatland sites in Scots pine dominated stands untreated with thinnings. The data consisted of consecutive stand measurements in 10 permanent sample plots where the monitoring periods varied from 29 to 66 years. We assumed that the stand’s structural development was driven by the natural processes of regeneration, growth, and mortality, all related to inter-tree competition within the stand. The DBH distributions of live and dead trees at different times of post-drainage stand development – smoothed by Weibull function – were analysed to characterise the change in stand structure. The initial uneven-sized structure of the natural, widely-spaced stands became more uneven during the first decades following drainage due to enhanced regeneration. Later, as stand density and mean tree size continuously increased, the DBH distributions approached bell-shaped distributions. Accordingly, the suppressed trees showed their highest mortality rate during the first decades, but the peak of the mortality distribution shifted to larger trees along stand succession. The change in structure was faster in southern Finland than in northern Finland. We assumed the changes in stand dynamics reflected increased inter-tree competition, initiated by enhanced site productivity and increased stand stocking resulting from the ditching operation.
article id 504, category Research article
Modeling mortality of individual trees in drained peatland sites in Finland. Silva Fennica vol. 37 no. 2 article id 504. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.504
Multilevel logistic regression models were constructed to predict the 5-year mortality of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) and pubescent birch (Betula pubescens Ehrh.) growing in drained peatland stands in northern and central Finland. Data concerning tree mortality were obtained from two successive measurements of the National Forest Inventory-based permanent sample plot data base covering pure and mixed stands of Scots pine and pubescent birch. In the modeling data, Scots pine showed an average observed mortality of 2.73% compared to 2.98% for pubescent birch. In the model construction, stepwise logistic regression and multilevel models methods were applied, the latter making it possible to address the hierarchical data, thus obtaining unbiased estimates for model parameters. For both species, mortality was explained by tree size, competitive position, stand density, species admixture, and site quality. The expected need for ditch network maintenance or re-paludification did not influence mortality. The multilevel models showed the lowest bias in the modeling data. The models were further validated against independent test data and by embedding them in a stand simulator. In 100-year simulations with different initial stand conditions, the models resulted in a 72% and 66% higher total mortality rate for the stem numbers of pine and birch, respectively, compared to previously used mortality models. The developed models are expected to improve the accuracy of stand forecasts in drained peatland sites.
article id 603, category Research article
Tree stand development and carbon sequestration in drained peatland stands in Finland – a simulation study. Silva Fennica vol. 35 no. 1 article id 603. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.603
Drained peatland forests form an important timber resource in Finland. They also form a sink for atmospheric carbon (C) because of the increased growth and C sequestration rates following drainage. These rates have, however, been poorly quantified. We simulated the tree stand dynamics for drained peatland stands with and without cuttings over two stand rotations. Simulations were done on four peatland site types and two regions in Finland with different climatic conditions, using recently published peatland tree growth models applied in a stand simulator. We then calculated the amount of C stored in the stands on the basis of previously published tree-level biomass and C content models. Finally, we developed regression models to estimate C stores in the tree stands using stand stem volume as the predictor variable. In the managed stands, the mean growth (annual volume increment) ranged from 2 to 9 m3 ha–1 a–1, depending on the rotation (first/second), site type and region. Total yield during one rotation varied from 250 to 920 m3 ha–1. The maximum stand volumes varied from 220 to 520 m3 ha–1 in the managed stands and from 360 to 770 m3 ha–1 in the unmanaged. By the end of the first post-drainage rotation the total C store in the managed stands had increased by 6–12 kg C m–2 (i.e. 45–140 g C m–2 a–1) compared to that in the undrained situation. Averaged over two rotations, the increase in the total C store was 3–6 kg C m–2. In the corresponding unmanaged stands the C stores increased by 8–15 kg m–2 over the same periods. At stand level, the C stores were almost linearly related to the stem volume and the developed regression equations could explain the variation in the simulated C stores almost entirely.
article id 636, category Research article
The role of peatlands in Finnish wood production – an analysis based on large-scale forest scenario modelling. Silva Fennica vol. 34 no. 2 article id 636. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.636
Using the Finnish MELA model, a set of scenarios were produced and used to map the possibilities and risks surrounding the utilisation of peatlands in wood production in Finland. One of the scenarios was an estimate of allowable-cut calculated by maximising the net present value of the future revenues using a four per cent interest rate subject to non-decreasing flow of wood, saw logs and net income over a 50-year period, and net present value after the 50 year period greater or equal than in the beginning. The estimate for maximum regionally sustained removal in 1996–2005 was 68 million m3 per year – approaching 74 million m3 during the next decades. In this scenario, 14 per cent of all cuttings during the period 1996–2005 would be made on peatlands, which comprise ca. 31 per cent of the total area of forestry land. By the year 2025, the proportion of peatland cuttings would increase to over 20 per cent. The increase in future cutting possibilities on peatlands compensated for a temporary decrease in cuttings and growing stock on mineral soils. The allowable-cut effect was especially pronounced in northern Finland, where peatlands play an important role in wood production. In addition, the sensitivity of cutting possibilities for assumptions related to growth and price were analysed. The estimate of maximum sustainable yield as defined here seems to be fairly robust on the whole, except in northern Finland where the cutting scenarios were sensitive to the changes in the price of birch pulpwood. The proportion of peatland stands that are profitable for timber production depends on the interest rate: the higher the rate of interest the less peatland stands are thinned. The effect of cutting profile on future logging conditions and resulting costs were analysed in two forestry centres. If clear cuttings on mineral soils are to be cut first, an increase in future logging costs is inevitable.
article id 668, category Research article
Modelling the dynamics of wood productivity on drained peatland sites in Finland. Silva Fennica vol. 33 no. 1 article id 668. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.668
The dynamics of wood productivity on drained peatland sites was analyzed from the covariance structure generated by stand yield data of repeatedly measured permanent sample plots in 81 Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) or Norway spruce (Picea abies Karst. (L.)) stands with admixtures of birch (Betula pubescens Ehrh.). The site production potential, considered a latent variable, was assumed to follow an autoregressive process over time elapsed since drainage. As a measure of the latent variable, a relative growth rate (RGR) index was determined for all stands at the time of drainage and at four successive measurement time points following drainage (on average 16, 23, 30, and 41 years). The index was calculated as the site index of an upland conifer stand with the ratio of periodic volume growth and standing volume and adjusted by changes in stand stocking and thinning. The observed covariance structure was described by fitting a structural equation model to the data of RGR indices. When only the post-drainage measurement times were included, a quasi-simplex model with equal error variances and equal structural parameters at different measurement times fit the data well indicating a permanent covariance structure among the different measurements. Including the measurement at the time of drainage resulted in a non-permanent structure. The stand parameters at the time of drainage were poorly correlated with post-drainage growth. A considerable increase in the wood productivity of the sites was observed, being greatest during twenty years after drainage and continuing up to 40 years since drainage. This was concluded to be due to changes in site properties rather than stand structure although the effects of the single factors could not be analytically separated from one another. Our modelling approach appeared to improve long-term site productivity estimates based merely on botanical site indices.
Category: Review article
article id 1416, category Review article
Interactions between soil water conditions and forest stands in boreal forests with implications for ditch network maintenance. Silva Fennica vol. 50 no. 1 article id 1416. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.1416
Highlights: Ditch network maintenance (DNM) may influence soil water conditions less than initial ditching due to reduced hydraulic conductivity of the peat; Stand stocking and management substantially influence soil-water conditions; DNM can lower the GWL and increase tree growth; DNM growth responses of 0.5–1.8 m3 ha–1 yr–1 during 15–20-years in Scots pine peatland stands reported; Greatest need for DNM in the early phase of a stand rotation; Need for better understanding of the link between soil water and tree growth.
At sites with either peat or mineral soils in large areas of boreal forests, high soil-water contents hamper tree growth and drainage can significantly increase growth. Hence, areas covering about 15 × 106 ha of northern peatlands and wet mineral soils have been drained for forestry purposes. Usually ditches gradually deteriorate, thus reducing their functionality as drains, and ditch-network maintenance (DNM) might be needed to maintain stand growth rates enabled by the original ditching. This article reviews current knowledge on establishing the need for DNM in boreal forest stands, subsequent growth responses, and the financial outcome of the activity. The issues covered in the review are: (i) ditching, changes in ditches over time and the need for DNM; (ii) interactions between soil water and both stand properties and stand management; (iii) ground-water level (GWL) and tree growth responses to DNM; and (iv) financial viability of DNM. Conclusions about the current understanding of issues related to DNM are drawn and implications for DNM in practice are summarized. Finally, gaps in knowledge are identified and research needs are suggested.
article id 5616, category Article
Individual-tree basal area growth models for Scots pine, pubescent birch and Norway spruce on drained peatlands in Finland. Silva Fennica vol. 31 no. 2 article id 5616. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.a8517
Models for individual-tree basal area growth were constructed for Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.), pubescent birch (Betula pubescens Ehrh.) and Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst.) growing in drained peatland stands. The data consisted of two separate sets of permanent sample plots forming a large sample of drained peatland stands in Finland. The dependent variable in all models was the 5-year basal area growth of a tree. The independent tree-level variables were tree dbh, tree basal area, and the sum of the basal area of trees larger than the target tree. Independent stand-level variables were stand basal area, the diameter of the tree of median basal area, and temperature sum. Categorical variables describing the site quality, as well as the condition and age of drainage, were used. Differences in tree growth were used as criteria in reclassifying the a priori site types into new yield classes by tree species. All models were constructed as mixed linear models with a random stand effect. The models were tested against the modelling data and against independent data sets.
article id 5563, category Article
A method for using random parameters in analyzing permanent sample plots. Silva Fennica vol. 29 no. 4 article id 5563. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.a9214
The use of random parameter models in forestry has been proposed as one method of incorporating different levels of information into prediction equations. By explicitly considering the variance-covariance structure of observations and considering some model parameters as random rather than fixed, one can incorporate more complex error structures in analysing data.
Competition indices and variance component techniques were applied to 92 Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) -dominated permanent sample plots on drained peatlands in Northern Finland. By quantifying stand, plot, and tree level variation, it was possible to identify the level (stand, plot or tree) at which the explanatory variables contributed to the model. The replication of plots within stands revealed little variation among plots within a single stand but significant variation occurred at stand and tree levels. Positive and negative effects of inter-tree competition are identified by examining simple correlation statistics and the random parameter model.
article id 5341, category Article
Suopuustojen rakenteen kehitys ojituksen jälkeen. Silva Fennica vol. 22 no. 1 article id 5341. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.a15498
English title: (1988). Post-drainage development of structural characteristics in peatland forest stands.
The effect of drainage on structure of tree stands is analysed by comparing the average structural characteristics (e.g. diameter distribution) of stands in the data for different drainage age classes and selected site types. The material consists of ca. 4,400 relascope sample plots, which are part of a large drainage area inventory project. The uneven-aged structure of the virgin peatland forest is preserved for several decades after drainage. This is enhanced by the post-drainage increase of small-diameter trees, especially birch. The number of trees per hectare increased during a period of ca. 30 years and levelled off thereafter. The increase in the number of saw log stems is clearly related to the fertility of the site and its geographical location.
The PDF includes a summary in English.