Category: Research article
article id 239, category Research article
Antecedents and barriers to product innovation – a comparison between innovating and non-innovating strategic business units in the wood industry. Silva Fennica vol. 42 no. 4 article id 239. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.239
Increased competitive pressure from low-cost economies and substituting materials has raised the need for new strategies focusing on product differentiation in the Nordic wood industry. With the aim to identify factors that can facilitate increased product innovation activity, this study compared organizational characteristics and perceived barriers to product development among innovating and non-innovating strategic business units (SBUs) in the Swedish and Finnish wood industry. Multivariate analysis of data from a cross-sectional sample of 110 SBUs suggested that organizational size and educational level among white-collar workers are significant antecedents of product innovation activity. Furthermore, the difficulty of giving practical priority to development work in the everyday stress was identified as the most important perceived barrier to product development among managers in both innovating and non-innovating SBUs. A low competence level among the personnel and a low need to innovate was perceived to be the second most important barriers to product development among managers in, respectively, innovating and non-innovating SBUs. Practitioners who wish to increase product innovation activity in the wood industry are advised to promote an increased educational level in wood industry companies. They are further encouraged to seek ways to reduce the perceived barriers to product innovation identified in this study.
article id 238, category Research article
Forest owners' decision support in voluntary biodiversity-protection projects. Silva Fennica vol. 42 no. 4 article id 238. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.238
New forest-biodiversity-protection instruments based on temporary protection periods and non-industrial private forest owners’ voluntary participation have been recently introduced and tested in pilot areas located in Southern Finland. Thanks to their several benefits, the use of voluntary instruments is becoming more common in many other countries as well. Voluntary protection here means that forest owners voluntarily set aside tracts of forest to be protected and define their compensation fees. Depending on the objectives of the forest owners, the compensation fee reflects the forest owners’ (positive) attitude towards biodiversity, scenic beauty, recreational values and/or the existence of long-term cutting possibilities. When a forest owner decides to offer part of his/her forest holding to be temporarily protected, the owner faces a new decision problem related to definition of the compensation fee, which should be based on diverse information concerning stand- and holding-level opportunity costs as well as on the biodiversity value of the stand. This article introduces three decision-support elements for assisting forest owners in defining their compensation fees. The first element relates to the assessment of the potential stand-level loss of timber harvesting income that the temporary protection of the stand may cause. The second element sets the holding-level opportunity cost of protection by utilizing the forest owners’ holding level goals, the holdings’ production possibilities and optimization methods. The third element describes the biodiversity value of the stand by means of a multi-criteria expert model. Case study material collected from the area of Central Karelia Herb-rich Forests Network pilot project is used to illustrate the characteristics of the decision-support elements and to point out some development needs for the future use of these elements.
article id 237, category Research article
Estimating species-specific diameter distributions and saw log recoveries of boreal forests from airborne laser scanning data and aerial photographs: a distribution-based approach. Silva Fennica vol. 42 no. 4 article id 237. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.237
The low-density airborne laser scanning (ALS) data based estimation methods have been shown to produce accurate estimates of mean forest characteristics and diameter distributions, according to several studies. The used estimation methods have been based on the laser canopy height distribution approach, where various laser pulse height distribution -derived predictors are related to the stand characteristics of interest. This approach requires very delicate selection methods for selecting the suitable predictor variables. In this study, we introduce a new nearest neighbor search method that requires no complicated selection algorithm for choosing the predictor variables and can be utilized in multipurpose situations. The proposed search method is based on Minkowski distances between the distributions extracted from low density ALS data and aerial photographs. Apart from the introduction of a new search method, the aims of this study were: 1) to produce accurate species-specific diameter distributions and 2) to estimate factual saw log recovery, using the estimated height-diameter distributions and a stem data bank. The results indicate that the proposed method is suitable for producing species-specific diameter distributions and volumes at the stand level. However, it is proposed, that the utilization of more extensive and locally emphasized reference data and auxiliary variables could yield more accurate saw log recoveries.
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 235, category Research article
Modelling the factors predisposing Scots pine to moose damage in artificially regenerated sapling stands in Finnish Lapland. Silva Fennica vol. 42 no. 4 article id 235. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.235
Moose (Alces alces) damage in forest plantations have been at a high level in Finland in recent decades. Nowadays, moose is the most severe pest in Scots pine plantations also in Finnish Lapland. So far, despite the high level of damage and different bio-geographical conditions in Northern Finland, most of the moose-damage research has been carried out in Southern Finland. A number of research have also been performed to analyse factors affecting browsing but predictive models are rare. Data from 123 randomly selected and artificially regenerated pine plantations in Northern Finland were used in modelling the risk of moose browsing. The stands had been regenerated during 1984–1995. A total of 508 sample plots (range 2–8 plots per stand) were measured. Hierarchical logistic regression models with a random factor were constructed to predict the probability of leader-shoot browsing of pine on a plot. The number of planted pines and deciduous trees overtopping the pines were the most important predictors increasing the browsing probability. The results support earlier findings that deciduous trees overtopping or reaching the height of the pines should be cleaned from the immediate vicinity of the pines. Seedlings with a height ranging from 75 to 299 centimetres were more susceptible to browsing. Heavy soil scarification, such as ploughing or mounding, increased the browsing probability compared with lighter scarification methods. Soil type did not affect the browsing probability, but paludification decreased it. The within-stand variation in deciduous trees density and height should be taken into account in future moose browsing risk assessments. In Lapland, high moose damage risk areas are characterized by a low elevation and higher temperature sum.
article id 234, category Research article
Variation of ectomycorrhizal colonisation in Norway spruce seedlings in Finnish forest nurseries. Silva Fennica vol. 42 no. 4 article id 234. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.234
Ectomycorrhizal (ECM) colonisation patterns and seedling growth of containerised spruce seedlings were studied in five typical Finnish forest nurseries by morphotyping and molecular characterisation. ECM colonisation degree of 1-year-old spruce seedlings was below 20% in all studied Finnish forest nurseries. In 2-year-old spruce seedlings the ECM colonisation degree was ca. 50–60% in three of the nurseries, but negligible in others. The ECM fungal species richness varied from 0.1 to 3.8 types per seedling. Altogether seven ECM morphotypes were distinguished. The clearest factors associated with ECM colonisation patterns were nitrogen and phosphorus fertilisation. Particularly fertilisation in the early stage of seedling development appeared to diminish the degree of colonisation and species richness of ECM fungi. Root/shoot ratio was positively correlated with high colonisation degree and species richness of ECM fungi. Higher fertilisation inputs in these overall fertilisation levels did not increase the size of the seedlings. According to these results moderate fertilisation levels particularly in the beginning of seedling cultivation are critical for generating higher root/shoot ratios and sufficient ECM colonisation degree of the roots.
article id 233, category Research article
Macroscale variation in peat element concentrations in drained boreal peatland forests. Silva Fennica vol. 42 no. 4 article id 233. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.233
Information on the variation in soil element concentrations at different spatial scales is needed for, e.g., designing efficient sampling strategies, upscaling the processes related to carbon cycling, and planning land use and management. In spite of intensive land use, such information concerning peat soils is still scarce. We analyzed the variation in peat mineral element concentrations in boreal peatland forests drained 50–60 years earlier. We wanted to quantify the proportions of variation deriving from differences between regions and peatland basins and from within-peatland heterogeneity, and to model the variation using relatively easily measurable site and soil characteristics. We utilized 878 peat samples representing the 0–20 cm layer and collected from 289 sites in 79 peatland basins. The sites represented three different drained peatland forest site types. The two strongest gradients in the element composition captured by principal component analysis were correlated with both the North-South gradient and the site type variation, and the East-West gradient. In general, most of the variation in the element concentrations was contributed by differences among peatland basins, and variation within the floristically determined sites. Most of the element concentrations were best modeled when either the bulk density or the ash content of the peat, or both, were used in addition to site type and geographical location. The explanatory power remained modest for most element concentrations. As for the P concentrations in soil, however, our models provide means for estimating a large part of the variation among drained pine mire sites.
article id 232, category Research article
Effect of the aggregation of multi-cohort mixed stands on modeling forest ecosystem carbon stocks. Silva Fennica vol. 42 no. 4 article id 232. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.232
Studies of the carbon sink of forest ecosystems often stratify the studied stands by the dominating species and thereby abstract from differences in the mixed-species, multi-cohort structure of many forests. This case study infers whether the aggregation of forestry data introduces a bias in the estimates of carbon stocks and their changes at the scale of individual stands and the scale of a forest district. The empirical TreeGrOSS-C model was applied to 1616 plots of a forest district in Central Germany to simulate carbon dynamics in biomass, woody debris, and soil. In a first approach each stand was explicitly simulated with all cohorts. In three other approaches the forest inventory data were aggregated in several ways, including a stratification of the stands to 110 classes according to the dominating species, age class, and site conditions. A small but significant bias was confirmed. At stand scale the initial ecosystem carbon stocks by the aggregated approach differed from that of the detailed approach by 2.3%, but at the district scale only by 0.05%. The differences in age between interspersed and dominant cohorts as well as differences in litter production were important for the differences in initial carbon stocks. The amounts of wood extracted by thinning operations were important for the differences in the projection of the carbon stocks over 100 years. Because of the smallness of bias, this case study collects evidence that the approaches, that represent stands or stratums by a single cohort, are valid at the scale of a forest district or larger.
article id 231, category Research article
Temporal and spatial occurrence of strong winds and large snow load amounts in Finland during 1961-2000. Silva Fennica vol. 42 no. 4 article id 231. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.231
Information on the temporal and spatial occurrence of strong winds and snow loads on trees is important for the risk management of wind- and snow-induced damage. Meteorological measurements made at 19 locations across Finland during 1961–2000 are used to understand the temporal and spatial occurrence of strong winds and large snow loads. A Kriging interpolation method was used to produce a spatial analysis of wind-speed events above 11 m s–1, 14 m s–1, and greater or equal to 17 m s–1 and snowfall accumulation above 20 kg m–2 and 30 kg m–2. According to the analysis, wind speeds exceeded 14 m s–1 at least 155 times and reached 17 m s–1 only 5 times at inland locations during the 40 years. Large snowfall accumulations were more frequent in the higher-elevation inland areas than along the coast. The snow load on trees exceeded 20 kg m–2 about 65 times a year when averaged over all 40 years, but was as high as 150 times a year during the mild 1990s. The maximum number of heavy snow-load events occurred in 1994 in northern Finland, consistent with a forest inventory by the Finnish Forest Research Institute in 1992–1994. The findings of this study imply that the risk of wind-induced damage is highest in the late autumn when trees do not have the additional support of frozen soil. In contrast, the risk of snow-induced damage is highest at higher-elevations inland, especially in northern Finland.
* Erratum (23 Oct 2012): The authors have requested inclusion of an additional author. Author information should thus be as follows: Hilppa Gregow, Ulla Puranen, Ari Venäläinen, Heli Peltola, Seppo Kellomäki & David Schultz
article id 230, category Research article
Past pollen production reconstructed from needle production in Pinus sylvestris at the northern timberline: a tool for evaluating palaeoclimate reconstructions. Silva Fennica vol. 42 no. 4 article id 230. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.230
Annual needle production (PROD) of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) and pine pollen accumulation rates (PAR) are compared along a 5-site transect from the Arctic Circle to the northern timberline. PROD is calculated using the Needle Trace Method (NTM). PAR is monitored by two series of pollen traps, located in the centres of mires and within forests, respectively. There is a strong year-to-year agreement in PAR and PROD between the sites for the common 19-year period for which both proxies are available. Mean July temperature of the previous year (TJUL–1) correlates statistically significantly with PROD at all five sites and with PAR in the four northernmost sites. There is also a significant relationship between TJUN–1 and PROD at all sites, and TJUN and PAR at the two northernmost sites. PROD and PAR correlate most strongly in the three near tree line sites, where PROD explains up to 51% of the variation in PAR. On the basis of the calibration between PROD, PAR and TJUL–1, PROD and TJUL–1 are used to reconstruct past PAR. That such a reconstruction is realistic is supported by its agreement with the pollen record for 1982–2000 and with records of male flowering for the period 1956–1973. The use of PROD in reconstructing past PAR can help in interpreting the fossil pollen signal in terms of climate rather than vegetation change and in evaluating the high-resolution dating of peat profiles and calculations of the rate of peat accumulation.
article id 229, category Research article
Genetic diversity and structure of the endangered Betula pendula subsp. fontqueri populations in the south of Spain. Silva Fennica vol. 42 no. 4 article id 229. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.229
Betula pendula subsp. fontqueri, present in the south of Spain, has been considered in danger of extinction and, for this reason, some regional governments in Spain have included their populations in conservation programmes. In order to establish the genetic structure of the Betula pendula subsp. fontqueri populations, a random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) analysis was carried out. Two B. pubescens populations were included in the study as taxonomic controls. B. pendula subsp. fontqueri populations were clearly differentiated through UPGMA, and showed significant pairwise genetic distance (ΦST) values between all pairs of populations obtained by AMOVA. Genetic diversity found between populations was not correlated to geographical distances. The significant differences among populations must be due to progressive isolation of Betula populations along their paleogeographical history, and more recently to the drastic fragmentation and reduction of some of these populations. The results obtained in this work show clear genetic differences which could be considered in the management of conservation strategies for Betula pendula subsp. fontqueri in its Iberian meridional distribution.