Current issue: 53(3)
In this paper, different approaches and results concerning forest tax design are reviewed. In particular, comparisons are made between Scandinavian approaches, which rely on the two-period model, and North American approaches, which largely rely on the Faustmann model. Existing work is critically evaluated according to several stylized facts that are common among forest taxation problems. These include the second-best forest policy environment, joint production of public and private forest goods, the dynamic nature of forest capital, public and private ownership, competition between forest and non-forest sectors, and global policy constraints on taxation design. The gaps in addressing stylized facts are used to motivate new research directions. Problems and appropriate public finance literature are identified for investigating forest tax policy under government budget constraints, fiscal federalism, dynamic forest tax design, open economy forest tax policy, and econometric studies of reform. One conclusion reached from discussing future research is that two period and dynamic models will continue to prove useful in analysing taxation design from the government's perspective.
The purpose of this article was to collate the literature on fungal diseases that occur on seedlings in forest nurseries. It describes the symptoms of the diseases, the infection pattern of each fungus and the possibilities of controlling the diseases. As background a short introduction is given on forests and nursery practices in Finland.
The purpose of this study was to test the benefits of a forest site quality map, when applying satellite image-based forest inventory. By combining field sample plot data from national forest inventories with satellite imagery and forest site quality data, it is possible to estimate forest stand characteristics with higher accuracy for smaller areas. The reliability of the estimates was evaluated using the data from a stand-wise survey for area sizes ranging from 0.06 ha to 300 ha. When the mean volume was estimated, a relative error of 14 per cent was obtained for areas of 50 ha; for areas of 30 ha the corresponding figure was below 20 per cent. The relative gain in interpretation accuracy, when including the forest site quality information, ranged between 1 and 6 per cent. The advantage increased according to the size of the target area. The forest site quality map had the effect of decreasing the relative error in Norway spruce (Picea abies) volume estimations, but it did not contribute to Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) volume estimation procedure.
The purpose of this study was to compare the Weibull distributions estimated for the entire growing stock of a stand and separately for Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) and Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) H. Karst.) in describing the basal area diameter distributions in mixed stands. The material for this study was obtained by measuring 553 stands located in eastern Finland. The parameters of the Weibull distribution were estimated using the method of maximum likelihood. The models for these parameters were derived using regression analysis. Also, some parameter models from previous studies were compared with the measured distribution. The obtained distributions were compared using the diameter sums of the entire growing stock, diameter sums by tree species and of the sawtimber part of the growing stock. The results showed that far more accurate results were obtained when the distributions were formed using parameter models separately for the different tree species than when using parameter models for the entire growing stock. This was already true when considering the entire growing stock of the stand and especially when the results were examined by tree species. When the models for the entire growing stock were applied by tree species in relation to basal areas, the results obtained were overestimates for Norway spruce and underestimates for Scots pine. The models from earlier studies, where parameter models were estimated separately for tree species from the National Forest Inventory data, showed good fits also in regard to the data of this study.
Possibilities of distance-independent and -dependent competition indices to describe the competition stress of an individual tree was studied in Southern Finland. Five half-sib open-pollinated families and one check lot of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) was used as study material in order to analyse competitive interactions of crown form and stand density variation. Almost all competition indices correlated strongly with radial increment. Thus distance-independent indices were adequate to describe competition in young row plantations, where distance effects between trees were implicitly eliminated. Correlations between indices and height increment were not significant. Along with the increase in competition, the width and length of the crown and the diameter increment of the stem of some narrow-crowned families decreased slowly compared to wide-crowned families.
This paper reports on the possibility and difficulties in building growth models from past Forest Administration records on cut and growth in the Italian Alps. As a case study, a matrix model was calibrated for uneven-aged forests in the Valsugana valley of the Trentino province. The model gave reliable predictions over 30 years, and plausible long-term forest dynamics, including steady-states that are similar to virgin forests. The results support the view that the current forests are deeply altered as to composition, relative to what would obtain from natural growth. They also support the concept of long cyclic changes in natural stands, gradually approaching a climax state. Shortcomings of the data are that they do not come from an experimental design, they are not always accurate, and they must be supplemented with other information, especially concerning mortality. Still, these cheap and available data can lead to workable models adapted to local conditions, with many management applications.
The carbon reservoir of ecosystems was estimated based on field measurements for forests and peatlands on an area in Finland covering 263,000 km2 and extending about 900 km across the boreal zone from south to north. More than two thirds of the reservoir was in peat, and less than ten per cent in trees. Forest ecosystems growing on mineral soils covering 144,000 km2 contained 10–11 kg C m-2 on an average, including both vegetation (3.4 kg C m-2) and soil (uppermost 75 cm; 7.2 kg C m-2). Mire ecosystems covering 65,000 km2 contained an average of 72 kg C m-2 as peat. For the landscape consisting of peatlands, closed and open forests, and inland water, excluding arable and built-up land, a reservoir of 24.6 kg C m-2 was observed. This includes the peat, forest soil and tree biomass. This is an underestimate of the true total reservoir, because there are additional unknown reservoirs in deep soil, lake sediments, woody debris, and ground vegetation. Geographic distributions of the reservoirs were described, analysed and discussed. The highest reservoir, 35–40 kg C m-2, was observed in sub-regions in central western and north western Finland. Many estimates given for the boreal carbon reservoirs have been higher than those of ours. Either the Finnish environment contains less carbon per unit area than the rest of the boreal zone, or the global boreal reservoir has earlier been overestimated. In order to reduce uncertainties of the global estimates, statistically representative measurements are needed especially on Russian and Canadian peatlands.
Estimates of individual heritability and genetic correlation are presented for a set of 10 growth and quality traits based on data from 16 Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) progeny trials in Finland. Seven of the traits (tree height, stem diameter, crown width, Pilodyn value, branch diameter, branch angle and branch number) were objectively measured, whereas three traits (stem straightness, branching score and overall score) were assessed visually. The genetic correlations were mostly moderate or low, and favourable from the tree breeder's point of view. All variables related to tree size correlated relatively strongly and positively. Tree height exhibited a more favourable genetic relationship with the crown form traits than diameter, the latter showing positive correlation with branch diameter. Except for the slight negative correlation between branch angle and branch diameter, the branching traits were not notably correlated. The pilodyn value was positively correlated with stem diameter, reflecting negative correlation between diameter growth and wood density. The highest genetic correlations occurred among the two visually evaluated quality scores and branch diameter. All of the heritabilities were less than 0.4. Overall score, Pilodyn, branch angle, branching score and tree height showed the highest heritability.