Category: Research article
article id 10539, category Research article
Pulpwood green density prediction models and sampling-based calibration. Silva Fennica vol. 55 no. 4 article id 10539. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.10539
Highlights: The developed models provided a realistic description of the observed seasonal variation in pulpwood green density; The model predictions were more reliable than those obtained with current practices.
Pulpwood arriving at the mills is mainly measured by weighing. In the loading phase of forwarding and trucking, timber is weighed using scales mounted in the grapple loader. The measured weight of timber is converted into volume using a conversion factor defined as green density (kg m–3). At the mill, the green density factor is determined by sampling measurements, while in connection with weighing with grapple-mounted scales during transportation, fixed green density factors are used. In this study, we developed predictive regression models for the green density of pulpwood. The models were constructed separately by pulpwood assortments: pine (contains mainly Pinus sylvestris L); spruce (mainly Picea abies (L.) Karst.); decayed spruce; birch (mainly Betula pubescens Ehrh. and Betula pendula Roth); and aspen (mainly Populus tremula L.). Study material was composed of the sampling-based measurements at the mills between 2013–2019. The models were specified as linear mixed models with both fixed and random parameters. The fixed effect produced the expected value of green density as a function of delivery week, storage time, and meteorological conditions during storage. The random effects allowed the model calibration by utilizing the previous sampling weight measurements. The model validation showed that the model predictions faithfully reproduced the observed seasonal variation in green density. They were more reliable than those obtained with the current practices. Even the uncalibrated (fixed) predictions had lower relative root mean squared prediction errors than those obtained with the current practices.
article id 10179, category Research article
Transferability and calibration of airborne laser scanning based mixed-effects models to estimate the attributes of sawlog-sized Scots pines. Silva Fennica vol. 53 no. 3 article id 10179. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.10179
Highlights: Attributes of individual sawlog-sized pines estimated by transferring ALS-based models between sites; Mixed effects models were more accurate than k-NN imputation tested earlier; Calibration with a small number of field measured trees improved the accuracy.
Airborne laser scanning (ALS) data is nowadays often available for forest inventory purposes, but adequate field data for constructing new forest attribute models for each area may be lacking. Thus there is a need to study the transferability of existing ALS-based models among different inventory areas. The objective of our study was to apply ALS-based mixed models to estimate the diameter, height and crown base height of individual sawlog sized Scots pines (Pinus sylvestris L.) at three different inventory sites in eastern Finland. Different ALS sensors and acquisition parameters were used at each site. Multivariate mixed-effects models were fitted at one site and the models were validated at two independent test sites. Validation was carried out by applying the fixed parts of the mixed models as such, and by calibrating them using 1–3 sample trees per plot. The results showed that the relative RMSEs of the predictions were 1.2–6.5 percent points larger at the test sites compared to the training site. Systematic errors of 2.4–6.2 percent points also emerged at the test sites. However, both the RMSEs and the systematic errors decreased with calibration. The results showed that mixed-effects models of individual tree attributes can be successfully transferred and calibrated to other ALS inventory areas in a level of accuracy that appears suitable for practical applications.
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 10006, category Research article
Incorporating tree- and stand-level information on crown base height into multivariate forest management inventories based on airborne laser scanning. Silva Fennica vol. 52 no. 3 article id 10006. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.10006
Highlights: The most accurate tree-level alternative is to include crown base height (CBH) to nearest neighbour imputation; Also mixed-effects models can be applied to predict CBH using tree attributes and airborne laser scanning (ALS) metrics; CBH prediction can be included with an accuracy of 1–1.5 m to forest management inventory applications.
This study examines the alternatives to include crown base height (CBH) predictions in operational forest inventories based on airborne laser scanning (ALS) data. We studied 265 field sample plots in a strongly pine-dominated area in northeastern Finland. The CBH prediction alternatives used area-based metrics of sparse ALS data to produce this attribute by means of: 1) Tree-level imputation based on the k-nearest neighbor (k-nn) method and full field-measured tree lists including CBH observations as reference data; 2) Tree-level mixed-effects model (LME) prediction based on tree diameter (DBH) and height and ALS metrics as predictors of the models; 3) Plot-level prediction based on analyzing the computational geometry and topology of the ALS point clouds; and 4) Plot-level regression analysis using average CBH observations of the plots for model fitting. The results showed that all of the methods predicted CBH with an accuracy of 1–1.5 m. The plot-level regression model was the most accurate alternative, although alternatives producing tree-level information may be more interesting for inventories aiming at forest management planning. For this purpose, k-nn approach is promising and it only requires that field measurements of CBH is added to the tree lists used as reference data. Alternatively, the LME-approach produced good results especially in the case of dominant trees.
article id 5659, category Research article
Pre-feasibility study of supply systems based on artificial drying of delimbed stem forest chips. Silva Fennica vol. 51 no. 4 article id 5659. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.5659
Highlights: With artificial drying and quick delivery, avoiding dry material losses of harvested timber, it could be possible to reduce the current costs of the prevailing procurement system based on natural drying of stored timber at roadside landings; The maximum cost for the prospective drying process of fresh chips corresponds to, e.g., organization costs or stumpage price of delimbed stems.
This study was aimed at determining the maximum cost level of artificial drying required for cost-efficient operation. This was done using a system analysis approach, in which the harvesting potential and procurement cost of alternative fuel chip production systems were compared at the stand and regional level. The accumulation and procurement cost of chipped delimbed stems from young forests were estimated within a 100 km transport distance from a hypothetical end use facility located in northern Finland. Logging and transportation costs, stumpage prices, tied up capital, dry matter losses and moisture content of harvested timber were considered in the study. Moisture content of artificially dried fuel chips made of fresh timber (55%) was set to 20%, 30% and 40% in the comparisons. Moisture content of fuel chips based on natural drying during storing was 40%. Transporting costs were calculated according to new higher permissible dimensions and weight limits for truck-trailers. The procurement cost calculations indicated that with artificial drying and by avoiding dry material losses of timber, it could be possible to reduce current costs of the prevailing procurement system based on natural drying of timber at roadside landings. The maximum cost level of artificial drying ranged between 1.2–3.2 € MWh–1 depending on the supply chain, moisture content and procurement volume of fuel chips. This cost margin corresponds to, e.g., organization, forwarding and transportation costs or stumpage price of delimbed stems.
article id 1190, category Research article
Modelling biomass of young and dense Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) dominated mixed forests in northern Sweden. Silva Fennica vol. 48 no. 5 article id 1190. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.1190
Highlights: The biomass allocation to tree components is different in unmanaged and managed young stands; Higher foliage biomass and lower stem and branch biomass were detected in the unmanaged stands; Models for trees from young and dense stands provide better estimates of biomass in such stands than those based on data from managed stands.
Biomass models for the biomass of above-ground tree components of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.), Norway spruce (Picea abies [L.] Karst.) and birch (Betula pendula Roth and Betula pubescens Ehrh.) in young dense Scots pine dominated forest stands in northern Sweden were constructed. Destructive above-ground biomass sampling was conducted in naturally generated young, dense, Scots pine dominated mixed stands. Three sampling campaigns were undertaken, the first in 1997 and 1998. The second was six years later (2003), and the last 13 years after the first (2010). In total, 280 trees (126 Scots pine, 68 Norway spruce and 86 birches) were sampled from six different stands in northern Sweden. The sampled trees’ diameter at breast height (dbh) was in the range 1–22 cm (Scots pine), 1–21 cm (Norway spruce) and 1–11 cm (birch). Biomass predictions were tested using our models and the widely used biomass models originally constructed for managed stands. The results showed that the biomass allocation to tree components is different in unmanaged and managed young stands; higher foliage biomass and lower stem and branch biomass were detected in the unmanaged stands. The overall conclusion is that the biomass models for managed stands did not produce satisfactory biomass estimates in unthinned, dense, young 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 184, category Research article
Biomass equations for Scots pine and Norway spruce in Finland. Silva Fennica vol. 43 no. 4 article id 184. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.184
In this study, biomass equations for the above- and below-ground tree components of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) and Norway spruce (Picea abies [L.] Karst.) were developed. The models were based on 908 pine trees and 613 spruce trees collected in 77 stands located on mineral soil, and represented a wide range of stand and site conditions in Finland. The whole data set consisted of three sub data sets: 33 temporary sample plots, five thinning experiments, and the control plots of 39 fertilization experiments. The biomass equations were estimated for the individual tree components: stem wood, stem bark, living and dead branches, needles, stump, and roots. In the data analysis, a multivariate procedure was applied in order to take into account the statistical dependence among the equations. Three multivariate models for above-ground biomass and one for below-ground biomass were constructed. The multivariate model (1) was mainly based on tree diameter and height, and additional commonly measured tree variables were used in the multivariate models (2) and (3). Despite the unbalanced data in terms of the response variables, the statistical method generated equations that enable more flexible application of the equations, and ensure better biomass additivity compared to the independently estimated equations. The equations provided logical biomass predictions for a number of tree components, and were comparable with other functions used in Finland and Sweden even though the study material was not an objective, representative sample of the tree stands in Finland.
article id 236, category Research article
Biomass equations for birch in Finland. Silva Fennica vol. 42 no. 4 article id 236. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.236
Biomass equations were compiled for the above- and below-ground tree components of birch (Betula pendula Roth and Betula pubescens Ehrh.). The equations were based on 127 sample trees in 24 birch stands located on mineral soil sites. The study material consisted of 20 temporary plots and ten plots from four thinning experiments with different thinning intensities (unthinned, moderately and heavily thinned plots). The equations were estimated for the following individual tree components: stem wood, stem bark, living and dead branches, foliage, stump, and roots. In the data analysis, a multivariate procedure was applied in order to take into account the statistical dependency among the equations. Three multivariate variance component models were constructed for the above-ground biomass components, and one for the below-ground biomass components. The multivariate model (1) was mainly based on tree diameter and height, and in the multivariate models (2) and (3) additional commonly measured tree variables were used. The equations provided logical biomass predictions for a number of tree components, and were comparable with other functions used in Finland and Sweden. The applied statistical method generated equations that gave more reliable biomass estimates than the equations presented earlier. Furthermore, the structure of the multivariate models enables more flexible application of the equations, especially for research purposes.
article id 322, category Research article
Models for vertical wood density of Scots pine, Norway spruce and birch stems, and their application to determine average wood density. Silva Fennica vol. 40 no. 4 article id 322. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.322
The purpose of this study was to investigate the vertical dependence of the basic density of Scots pine, Norway spruce, and birch stems, and how such dependence could be applied for determining the average stem wood density. The study material consisted of 38 Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris), 39 Norway spruce (Picea abies [L.] Karst.) and 15 birch (Betula pendula and Betula pubescens) stands located on mineral soil sites in southern Finland. The stem material mainly represented thinning removal from stands at different stages of development. The linear mixed model technique, with both fixed and random effects, was used to estimate the model. According to the fixed part of the model, wood density was dependent on the vertical location along the stem in all three tree species. Wood density in pine decreased from the butt to the top, and the gradient in wood density was steep at the butt but decreased in the upper part of the stem. The vertical dependence was similar in birch, but the density gradient was much smaller. For spruce the vertical dependence of the basic density was moderate. The model can be calibrated for a tree stem when one or more sample disks are measured at freely selected heights. Using treewise calibrated predictions of the vertical density dependence and measured stem diameters, almost unbiased estimates, and lower prediction errors than with traditional methods, were obtained for the average stem wood density. The advantages of the method were greater for pine with a strong vertical dependence in basic density, than for spruce and birch.
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.