Current issue: 52(4)
Under compilation: 52(5)
Since Finnish professor A.K. Cajander published his theory on forest types, there have been discussion and contradictory studies on certain forest types. This paper is a litterature review on the thick-moss type in Northern Finland and its parallel types in Kainuu and Southern Finland. First, the principles of Cajander’s theory on forest types is described and discussed. It is concluded that Cajander has described forest site types as their common, genuine variants. Borderline variants have been excluded from the description.
Second, the North Finnish thick-moss type (Hylocomnium-Myrtillus type, HMT) and its position in Cajander’s system is discussed. Concepts of this forest type have varied considerably, and it has been argued that the type does not fit Cajander’s system very well, as it arises as a result of the invasion of other forest types by Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst.) with consequent degeneration of the site.
The writer concludes findings of the results of the previous studies about MHT and its relations to the Myrtillus type. Cajander in his system included the thick-moss type in the moist upland forests as a type whose vegetation is less exacting than that of the Myrtillus type. This position seems to be the right one. Some factors point out the moist nature of HMT: the ability of Norway spruce to compete, a relatively high persipitation, the humidity of the climate in general and the rather poor water percolation capacity of the moraine soil. The HMT sites are relatively poor. It is stated that the opinion that the thick-moss type is secondary state of development of the Myrtillus type has no plant sociological, ecological, mensurational or silvicultural foundation. The type is probably Finland's most dynamic forest type, but in the natural forest its dynamics are confined to such changes as are permitted within the same forest type. HMT must be described as three series of plant association types, which differ from another to some extent.
The PDF includes a summary in English.