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Silva Fennica vol. 52 no. 1 | 2018

Category: Research article

article id 9923, category Research article
Annika Kangas, Terje Gobakken, Stefano Puliti, Marius Hauglin, Erik Naesset. (2018). Value of airborne laser scanning and digital aerial photogrammetry data in forest decision making. Silva Fennica vol. 52 no. 1 article id 9923. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.9923
Highlights: Airborne laser scanning (ALS) and digital aerial photogrammetry (DAP) are nearly equally valuable for harvest scheduling decisions even though ALS data is more precise; Large underestimates of stand volume are most dangerous errors for forest owner because of missed cutting probabilities; Relative RMSE of stand volume and the mean volume in a test area explain 77% of the variation between the expected losses due to errors in the data in the published studies; Increasing the relative RMSE of volume by 1 unit, increased the losses in average by 4.4 € ha–1.

Airborne laser scanning (ALS) has been the main method for acquiring data for forest management planning in Finland and Norway in the last decade. Recently, digital aerial photogrammetry (DAP) has provided an interesting alternative, as the accuracy of stand-based estimates has been quite close to that of ALS while the costs are markedly smaller. Thus, it is important to know if the better accuracy of ALS is worth the higher costs for forest owners. In many recent studies, the value of forest inventory information in the harvest scheduling has been examined, for instance through cost-plus-loss analysis. Cost-plus-loss means that the quality of the data is accounted for in monetary terms through calculating the losses due to errors in the data in the forest management planning context. These costs are added to the inventory costs. In the current study, we compared the losses of ALS and DAP at plot level. According to the results, the data produced using DAP are as good as data produced using ALS from a decision making point of view, even though ALS is slightly more accurate. ALS is better than DAP only if the data will be used for more than 15 years before acquiring new data, and even then the difference is quite small. Thus, the increased errors in DAP do not significantly affect the results from a decision making point of view, and ALS and DAP data can be equally well recommended to the forest owners for management planning. The decision of which data to acquire, can thus be made based on the availability of the data on first hand and the costs of acquiring it on the second hand.

  • Kangas, Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke), Bioeconomy and environment, P.O. Box 68, FI-80170 Joensuu, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail: annika.kangas@luke.fi (email)
  • Gobakken, Faculty of Environmental Sciences and Natural Resource Management, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, P.O. Box 5003, NO-1432 Ås, Norway ORCID ID:E-mail: terje.gobakken@nmbu.no
  • Puliti, Faculty of Environmental Sciences and Natural Resource Management, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, P.O. Box 5003, NO-1432 Ås, Norway ORCID ID:E-mail: stefano.puliti@nibio.no
  • Hauglin, Faculty of Environmental Sciences and Natural Resource Management, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, P.O. Box 5003, NO-1432 Ås, Norway ORCID ID:E-mail: marius.hauglin@nmbu.no
  • Naesset, Faculty of Environmental Sciences and Natural Resource Management, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, P.O. Box 5003, NO-1432 Ås, Norway ORCID ID:E-mail: erik.naesset@nmbu.no
article id 7822, category Research article
Mulualem Tigabu, Annika M. Felton. (2018). Multivariate calibration of near infrared spectra for predicting nutrient concentrations of solid moose rumen contents. Silva Fennica vol. 52 no. 1 article id 7822. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.7822
Highlights: Multivariate calibrations were established for predicting nutrient concentrations of solid moose rumen contents by near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS); Crude protein, available protein and ash contents were accurately predicted; Prediction of microbial nitrogen, ash, acid-detergent fiber, neutral detergent fiber and lignin were satisfactory; The results demonstrate that NIRS offers quick and inexpensive procedure to quantify nutrient concentrations of solid rumen contents.

This study aimed at establishing calibrations to predict nutrient concentrations of solid moose (Alces alces L.) rumen content using near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS), as an alternative to expensive chemical analyses. NIR reflectance spectra of 148 dry pulverized samples were recorded. The scanned samples were then analyzed for crude protein, available protein, microbial nitrogen (N), ash, acid-detergent fiber (ADF), neutral detergent fiber (NDF) and lignin contents following standard chemical analysis procedures. The calibration models were derived by Orthogonal Projection to Latent Structure (OPLS) and validated using external prediction sets. The calibration models accurately predicted crude protein, available protein and ash contents (R2 = 0.99, 0.96, and 0.92, prediction error = 0.39, 0.72 and 0.53% dry matter, respectively) while NDF (R2 = 0.92; prediction error = 2.23% dry matter) and ADF (R2 = 0.89; prediction error = 1.94% dry matter) were predicted with sufficient accuracy and that of microbial-N (R2 = 0.81; prediction error = 1.25 mg yeast-RNA g–1 dry matter) and lignin (R2 = 0.84; prediction error = 1.05% dry matter) were acceptable. The ratio of performance to deviation values were > 3.0 for crude protein and available protein, between 3.0 and 2.5 for ADF, NDF and lignin, and 2.32 for microbial-N; attesting the robustness of the calibration models. It can be concluded that NIR spectroscopy offers a quick and inexpensive procedure for prediction of nutrient concentrations of solid rumen contents in wild herbivores.

  • Tigabu, Southern Swedish Forest Research Centre, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Box 49, SE-230 53 Alnarp, Sweden ORCID ID: http://orcid.org/0000-0003-2471-1168 E-mail: mulualem.tigabu@slu.se (email)
  • Felton, Southern Swedish Forest Research Centre, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Box 49, SE-230 53 Alnarp, Sweden ORCID ID:E-mail: annika.felton@slu.se
article id 7803, category Research article
Lingbo Dong, Pete Bettinger, Huiyan Qin, Zhaogang Liu. (2018). Reflections on the number of independent solutions for forest spatial harvest scheduling problems: a case of simulated annealing. Silva Fennica vol. 52 no. 1 article id 7803. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.7803
Highlights: No one particular neighborhood search technique of simulated annealing was found to be universally acceptable; The optimal number of independent solutions necessary for addressing the area restriction harvest scheduling model was described with a negative logarithmic function that was related with the problem size. However, optimal number of independent solutions necessary was not sensitive to the problem size for non-spatial and unit restriction harvest scheduling model problems, which should be somewhat above 250 independent runs; The types of adjacency constraints have moderate effects on the number of independent solutions, but these effects are not significant.

To assess the quality of results obtained from heuristics through statistical procedures, a number of independently generated solutions to the same problem are required, however the knowledge of how many solutions are necessary for this purpose using a specific heuristic is still not clear. Therefore, the overall aims of this paper are to quantitatively evaluate the effects of the number of independent solutions generated on the forest planning objectives and on the performance of different neighborhood search techniques of simulated annealing (SA) in three increasing difficult forest spatial harvest scheduling problems, namely non-spatial model, area restriction model (ARM) and unit restriction model (URM). The tested neighborhood search techniques included the standard version of SA using the conventional 1-opt moves, SA using the combined strategy that oscillates between the conventional 1-opt moves and the exchange version of 2-opt moves, and SA using the change version of 2-opt moves. The obtained results indicated that the number of independent solutions generated had clear effects on the conclusions of the performances of different neighborhood search techniques of SA, which indicated that no one particular neighborhood search technique of SA was universally acceptable. The optimal number of independent solutions generated for all alternative neighborhood search techniques of SA for ARM problems could be estimated using a negative logarithmic function based on the problem size, however the relationships were not sensitive (i.e., 0.13 < p < 0.78) to the problem size for non-spatial and URM harvest scheduling problems, which should be somewhat above 250 independent runs. The types of adjacency constraints did moderately affect the number of independent solutions necessary, but not significantly. Therefore, determining an optimal number of independent solutions generated is a necessary process prior to employing heuristics in forest management planning practices.

  • Dong, College of Forestry, Northeast Forestry University, Harbin 150040, China ORCID ID:E-mail: farrell0503@126.com
  • Bettinger, Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources, University of Georgia, Athens 30602, GA, USA ORCID ID:E-mail: pbettinger@warnell.uga.edu
  • Qin, College of Economic and Management, Northeast Forestry University, Harbin 150040, China ORCID ID:E-mail: huiyanqin@hotmail.com
  • Liu, College of Forestry, Northeast Forestry University, Harbin 150040, China ORCID ID:E-mail: lzg19700602@163.com (email)
article id 7791, category Research article
Tadeusz B. Splawinski, Sylvie Gauthier, Nicole J. Fenton, Daniel Houle, Yves Bergeron. (2018). The colonization of young fire initiated stands by the crustose lichen Trapeliopsis granulosa and its potential effect on conifer establishment and stand succession. Silva Fennica vol. 52 no. 1 article id 7791. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.7791
Highlights: T. granulosa is a poor seedbed for jack pine establishment; The presence of extensive T. granulosa cover can limit ongoing tree recruitment, thereby maintaining open lichen woodland; Dry open conditions favor the establishment of T. granulosa; Stands with significant T. granulosa cover may be good candidates for afforestation initiatives due to lower evaporation potential and decreased water stress.

The resilience of closed-crown coniferous stands within the boreal forest of North America is highly dependent on successful re-establishment of tree species following fire. A shift from closed-crown forest to open lichen woodland is possible following poor natural regeneration during the initial establishment phase, followed by the development of extensive lichen cover, which may hinder ongoing recruitment. We examined the development of the crustose lichen Trapeliopsis granulosa (Hoffm.) 18 to 21 years following fire within six sites in the boreal forest of northwestern Quebec, and explored its potential to affect ongoing recruitment during early successional stages of stand development. Germination and survivorship trials were conducted within the laboratory to determine the establishment rate of Pinus banksiana Lamb. (jack pine) on T. granulosa, mineral soil, and burnt duff under two separate watering frequencies (observed and drought). Survival and establishment rates of jack pine were highest on burnt duff, and poor on both T. granulosa and mineral soil. Under the drought treatment, no seedlings survived on any substrates. In the field, T. granulosa cover had a positive relationship with mineral soil cover, and negative relationships with duff cover, ericaceous shrub cover, organic layer depth, other lichen cover, and Sphagnum moss cover. No discernable relationship was found between T. granulosa and tree density, rock cover, dead wood cover or other moss cover. The development of extensive T. granulosa cover in fire-initiated stands can impede ongoing recruitment of conifer species due to its poor seedbed quality, thereby maintaining open forests.

  • Splawinski, Institut de recherche sur les forêts, Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue, 445, boul. de l’Université, Rouyn-Noranda, QC, J9X 5E4, Canada ORCID ID:E-mail: tsplawinski@gmail.com (email)
  • Gauthier, Natural Resources Canada, Canadian Forest Service, Laurentian Forestry Centre, 1055 rue du PEPS, P.O. Box 10380, Stn Sainte Foy, QC, G1V 4C7, Canada ORCID ID:E-mail: sylvie.gauthier@rncan-nrcan.gc.ca
  • Fenton, Institut de recherche sur les forêts (IRF), Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue, 445 boul. de l’Université, Rouyn-Noranda, QC, J9X 5E4, Canada ORCID ID:E-mail: nicole.fenton@uqat.ca
  • Houle, Ministère des Forêts, de la Faune et des Parcs, Direction de la recherché forestière, Québec, QC, G1P 3W8, Canada; Ouranos Climate Change Consortium, Montréal, QC, H3A 1B9, Canada ORCID ID:E-mail: daniel.houle@mffp.gouv.qc.ca
  • Bergeron, Centre d’étude sur la forêt and Chaire industrielle en aménagement forestier durable, Université du Québec à Montréal, CP 8888 Succursale A, Montréal, QC, H3C 3P8, Canada ORCID ID:E-mail: bergeron.yves@uqam.ca
article id 7003, category Research article
Poje Anton, Raffaele Spinelli, Natascia Magagnotti, Matevz Mihelic. (2018). The effect of feedstock, knife wear and work station on the exposure to noise and vibrations in wood chipping operations. Silva Fennica vol. 52 no. 1 article id 7003. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.7003
Highlights: Exposure to noise and vibration is higher when chipping branches rather than logs; Noise levels are higher in the separate cab, especially at some frequencies; Vibration is higher for the Z axis in the separate cab, for the X axis in the truck; Noise is higher when working with blunt knives, rather than new knives; Knife wear has no significant effect on exposure to whole-body vibration.

Industrial chipping is becoming increasingly popular, as the result of a growing demand for woody biomass. Industrial chippers are large, powerful machines that generate much noise and vibration. This study explored some factors that may affect exposure to noise and vibration, namely: feedstock type (branches vs. logs), work station characteristics (truck cab vs. separate cab) and knife wear (new knives vs. blunt knives). Exposure to noise was significantly affected by all three factors, and it was higher for branch feedstock, separate cabs and blunt knives. The higher exposure levels recorded for the separate cab were especially insidious, because they were below and above the hearing threshold and would elude immediate perception. Exposure to whole-body vibration (WBV) was significantly higher for branch feedstock and for the separate cab. Knife wear seemed to determine an increase in WBV, but this effect had no statistical significance and the result could not be taken as conclusive. Among the three factors studied, work station characteristics had the strongest effect. Further studies may extend the comparison to a wider range of options, as well as explore the use of exposure variation for machine diagnostics.

  • Anton, University of Ljubljana, Dept. of Forestry and Renewable Resources, Večna pot 83, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia ORCID ID:E-mail: anton.poje@bf.uni-lj.si
  • Spinelli, CNR IVALSA, Via Madonna del Piano 10, I-50019 Sesto Fiorentino, Italy; AFORA, University of the Sunshine Coast, Locked Bag 4, Maroochydore DC, Queensland, 4558 Australia ORCID ID: http://orcid.org/0000-0001-9545-1004 E-mail: spinelli@ivalsa.cnr.it (email)
  • Magagnotti, CNR IVALSA, Via Madonna del Piano 10, I-50019 Sesto Fiorentino, Italy; AFORA, University of the Sunshine Coast, Locked Bag 4, Maroochydore DC, Queensland, 4558 Australia ORCID ID:E-mail: magagnotti@ivalsa.cnr.it
  • Mihelic, University of Ljubljana, Dept. of Forestry and Renewable Resources, Večna pot 83, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia ORCID ID:E-mail: matevz.mihelic@bf.uni-lj.si
article id 6999, category Research article
Virginia Morales Olmos, Jacek P. Siry. (2018). The Law of One Price in global coniferous sawlog markets. Silva Fennica vol. 52 no. 1 article id 6999. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.6999
Highlights: The Law of One Price did not hold for North American, European and South American sawlog markets between 1995–2012; There are long-term relationships between some of the analyzed sawlog prices in these markets; The Law of One Price may hold between sawlogs traded in Sweden and Norway, Norway and Finland, and Canada West and US Northwest.

With progressing globalization of forest production, roundwood prices in different countries may follow similar trends. The Law of One Price (LOP) postulates that the price of a similar product should be the same in different markets when expressed in the same currency. The objectives of this research were (1) to test the LOP in selected coniferous sawlog markets, and (2) to analyze whether a common market – the European Union – leads to the existence of a single sawlog market. The analysis included Brazil, Chile, Finland, Germany, Norway, Poland, Russia Northwest, Sweden, the US South, the US Northwest, Canada East, and Canada West. The results suggest that some of the coniferous sawlog markets were cointegrated which means that they shared a long-term relationship even if in the short-term they do not necessarily adjust to each other. The LOP may hold between coniferous sawlog markets in Sweden and Norway from 1995 through 2012 when sawlog prices were expressed in USD, and in Norway and Finland for 2001–2012 for prices in EUR. Furthermore, the LOP may hold for North American markets in the West for 2004–2012.

  • Morales Olmos, Universidad de la República-Sede Tacuarembó, Ruta 5. km, 386.200, Tacuarembó, CP 45000, Uruguay ORCID ID:E-mail: vmolmos@gmail.com (email)
  • Siry, Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources, University of Georgia, 180 E. Green Street, Athens, GA 30602-2152, USA ORCID ID:E-mail: jsiry@uga.edu
article id 1665, category Research article
Lauri Haataja, Ville Kankaanhuhta, Timo Saksa. (2018). Reliability of self-control method in the management of non-industrial private forests. Silva Fennica vol. 52 no. 1 article id 1665. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.1665
Highlights: Self-control method was found reliable at the main stages of the forest regeneration process; Only slight overestimation was found in self-control results of soil preparation and planting and small underestimation in self-control of young stand management; Diverse utilizing of self-control data is possible in support of service providers operations.
This study seeks to determine the extent to which self-control data can be relied upon in the management of private forests. Self-control (SC) requires the forest workers to evaluate their own work quality to ensure the clients’ needs are met in terms of soil preparation, planting and young stand management. Self-control data were compared to an independent evaluation of the same worksites. Each dataset had a hierarchical structure (e.g., sample plot, regeneration area and contractor), and key quality indicators (i.e., number of prepared mounds, planted seedlings or crop trees) were measured for each plot.  Self-control and independent-assessments (IA) were analyzed by fitting a multi-level multivariate model containing explanatory variables. No significant differences were observed in terms of soil preparation (number of mounds) or young stand management (number of crop trees) between self-control and independent-assessments. However, the self-control planting data included a slight but significant overestimation of the number of planted seedlings. Discrepancies are discussed in terms of sampling error and other explanatory factors. According to overall results, self-control methods are reliable at every stage of the forest regeneration process. As such, the diverse utilizing of self-control data is possible in support of service providers operations.
  • Haataja, Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke), Natural resources, Juntintie 154, FI-77600 Suonenjoki, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail: lauritapiohaataja@gmail.com (email)
  • Kankaanhuhta, Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke), Natural resources, Juntintie 154, FI-77600 Suonenjoki, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail: ville.kankaanhuhta@luke.fi
  • Saksa, Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke), Natural resources, Juntintie 154, FI-77600 Suonenjoki, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail: timo.saksa@luke.fi

Category: Research note

article id 9911, category Research note
Tālis Gaitnieks, Indulis Brauners, Kristīne Kenigsvalde, Astra Zaļuma, Lauma Brūna, Jurģis Jansons, Natālija Burņeviča, Andis Lazdiņš, Rimvydas Vasaitis. (2018). Infection of pre-commercially cut stumps of Picea abies and Pinus sylvestris by Heterobasidion spp. – a comparative study. Silva Fennica vol. 52 no. 1 article id 9911. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.9911
Highlights: In pre-commercial thinnings both Heterobasidion infection frequency and the extent of surface colonization correlated positively with stump diameter of both Norway spruce and Scots pine; Spruce stumps were significantly more often subjected to primary infections than pine stumps; The pathogen exhibited more extensive surface colonization of spruce stumps than of pine stumps.

The aim was to investigate relative susceptibility of stumps of spruce and pine to airborne infections by Heterobasidion following pre-commercial thinnings. The proportions of infected stumps and colonized stump surface areas were analysed in 16 forest stands. In total, 746 spruce and 1063 pine stumps were sampled, and 184 and 105 infected stumps, respectively, were analysed. In conclusion, the present study demonstrated that in the investigated area: i) both Heterobasidion infection frequency and the extent of surface colonization correlated positively with stump diameter of both spruce and pine; ii) spruce stumps were significantly more often subjected to primary infections than pine stumps; iii) the pathogen exhibited more extensive surface colonization of spruce stumps than of pine stumps.

  • Gaitnieks, Latvian State Forest Research Institute “Silava”, 111 Rigas str., Salaspils, LV-2169, Latvia ORCID ID:E-mail: talis.gaitnieks@silava.lv (email)
  • Brauners, JSC “Latvia’s State Forests”, 1 Vainodes str., Riga, LV-1004, Latvia ORCID ID:E-mail: i.brauners@lvm.lv
  • Kenigsvalde, Latvian State Forest Research Institute “Silava”, 111 Rigas str., Salaspils, LV-2169, Latvia ORCID ID:E-mail: kristine.kenigsvalde@silava.lv
  • Zaļuma, Latvian State Forest Research Institute “Silava”, 111 Rigas str., Salaspils, LV-2169, Latvia ORCID ID:E-mail: astra.zaluma@silava.lv
  • Brūna, Latvian State Forest Research Institute “Silava”, 111 Rigas str., Salaspils, LV-2169, Latvia ORCID ID:E-mail: lauma.bruna@silava.lv
  • Jansons, Latvian State Forest Research Institute “Silava”, 111 Rigas str., Salaspils, LV-2169, Latvia ORCID ID:E-mail: jurgis.jansons@silava.lv
  • Burņeviča, Latvian State Forest Research Institute “Silava”, 111 Rigas str., Salaspils, LV-2169, Latvia ORCID ID:E-mail: natalija.arhipova@silava.lv
  • Lazdiņš, Latvian State Forest Research Institute “Silava”, 111 Rigas str., Salaspils, LV-2169, Latvia ORCID ID:E-mail: andis.lazdins@silava.lv
  • Vasaitis, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), P.O. Box 7026, SE-75007 Uppsala, Sweden ORCID ID:E-mail: Rimvys.Vasaitis@slu.se
article id 9901, category Research note
Ilze Matisone, Roberts Matisons, Māris Laiviņš, Tālis Gaitnieks. (2018). Statistics of ash dieback in Latvia. Silva Fennica vol. 52 no. 1 article id 9901. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.9901
Highlights: Dynamics of ash dieback during 2005–2015 were summarized; The area of ash dominated stands decreased twofold; The number of mature ash trees and their standing volume decreased by 53.1 and 69.9%, compared to 2005, respectively; The mortality of trees was higher during the first part of the survey, the decrease of standing volume culminated later.

Dieback of the common ash (Fraxinus excelsior L.) has been spreading throughout Europe since the 1990s, causing severe ecological and economical consequences; however, detailed statistics on its dynamics have been published rarely. This paper presents the dynamics of mature ash-dominated stands in Latvia for the period 2005–2015. Data from the national forest inventory and a permanent sampling plot network were summarised. According to the official statistics, the dieback has caused a twofold decrease in area of the ash stands (from 21 891 to 13 011 ha, which respectively comprised ca. 0.8 to ca. 0.4% of the total forest area). The official statistics on standing volume appeared biased, as they did not account for increased mortality. According to the permanent sampling plots, standing volume and stand density have been affected even more, having decreased by 53.1 and 69.9%, respectively, compared to 2005 (the stand density and standing volume of ash in 2015 was 77 individuals ha–1 and 151 m3 ha–1, respectively). The mortality of the trees has not been stable. Stand density decreased faster during 2005–2009 compared to 2010–2015, with mortality rates of 9.6 and 8.2% year–1, respectively. In contrast, the decrease in standing volume in 2005–2009 was slower than in 2010–2015 (mortality rates were 4.7 and 7.7% year–1, respectively) because trees with smaller dimensions were more susceptible to the dieback. Nevertheless, the observed mortality rates clearly indicate negative prospects for ash stands in Latvia.

  • Matisone, Latvian State Forest Research Institute (LSFRI) Silava, Rigas str. 111, Salaspils, Latvia, LV2169 ORCID ID:E-mail: ilze.matisone@silava.lv (email)
  • Matisons, Latvian State Forest Research Institute (LSFRI) Silava, Rigas str. 111, Salaspils, Latvia, LV2169 ORCID ID:E-mail: robism@inbox.lv
  • Laiviņš, Latvian State Forest Research Institute (LSFRI) Silava, Rigas str. 111, Salaspils, Latvia, LV2169 ORCID ID:E-mail: maris.laivins@silava.lv
  • Gaitnieks, Latvian State Forest Research Institute (LSFRI) Silava, Rigas str. 111, Salaspils, Latvia, LV2169 ORCID ID:E-mail: talis.gaitnieks@silava.lv
article id 9899, category Research note
Linda Robalte, Diāna Jansone, Didzis Elferts, Roberts Matisons, Āris Jansons. (2018). Bilberry ramet dimensions in relation to stand age in oligotrophic conditions in Latvia. Silva Fennica vol. 52 no. 1 article id 9899. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.9899
Highlights: Bilberry ramet dimensions (age, diameter, height) and their structural diversity, as well as cover, increased with stand age; Active rejuvenation of ramets was observed in younger stands; The oldest bilberry ramets (>10 years of age) occurred in stands older than 70 years.

Dwarf shrub layer is an important component of boreal and hemiboreal forest ecosystems that has received little attention, particularly regarding its structural diversity, which, however, could serve as an additional proxy for habitat quality. Dimensions of bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus L.) ramets were assessed in two sites in Latvia covered by dry oligotrophic Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) stands 10–230 years of age. In total, 20 sampling plots (10×10 m) with 156 subplots (1×1 m) were sampled and 630 bilberry ramets analysed. The dimensions of ramets (age, diameter, and height) and cover of bilberry increased with stand age. The age of the studied ramets ranged 2–13 years; 5–6 years-old ramets were most frequent in all stands. The skewness of the distribution of the ramet dimensions shifted with stand age, leaning towards the higher values. Lower structural diversity of ramets was observed in stands 50–100 years of age. The highest diversity of ramet age structure occurred in stands younger than 150 years, whereas the oldest and largest ramets mostly occurred in the older stands (>150 years). Considering structural diversity of ramets, recovery of bilberry after stand-replacing disturbance (e.g. clearcut) was a continuous process, similarly to that observed in tree layer.

  • Robalte, Latvian State Forest Research Institute “Silava”, 111 Rigas Str., LV 2169, Salaspils, Latvia ORCID ID:E-mail: robalte.l@gmail.com (email)
  • Jansone, Latvian State Forest Research Institute “Silava”, 111 Rigas Str., LV 2169, Salaspils, Latvia; University of Latvia, Faculty of Biology, Jelgavas Str. 1, LV 1004, Riga, Latvia ORCID ID:E-mail: diana.jansone13@gmail.com
  • Elferts, Latvian State Forest Research Institute “Silava”, 111 Rigas Str., LV 2169, Salaspils, Latvia; University of Latvia, Faculty of Biology, Jelgavas Str. 1, LV 1004, Riga, Latvia ORCID ID:E-mail: didzis.elferts@lu.lv
  • Matisons, Latvian State Forest Research Institute “Silava”, 111 Rigas Str., LV 2169, Salaspils, Latvia ORCID ID:E-mail: roberts.matisons@silava.lv
  • Jansons, Latvian State Forest Research Institute “Silava”, 111 Rigas Str., LV 2169, Salaspils, Latvia ORCID ID:E-mail: aris.jansons@silava.lv
article id 7818, category Research note
Roberts Matisons, Guntars Šņepsts, Līga Puriņa, Jānis Donis, Āris Janosns. (2018). Dominant height growth of European beech at the northeasternmost stands in Europe. Silva Fennica vol. 52 no. 1 article id 7818. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.7818
Highlights: The dominant height growth of the introduced European beech was modelled using the generalised algebraic difference approach; The Chapman-Richards and Sloboda models showed the best fit to the data; Height growth of the second generation trees exceeded the first generation trees; In the western part of Latvia, height growth of beech exceeded that in southern Sweden.

The height growth of trees influences the productivity of stands and the competitiveness of species, shaping the range of their distribution. Dominant height growth was assessed for European beech (Fagus sylvatica L.), growing outside of its natural distribution range in the western part of Latvia. In 10 neighbouring experimental stands, 20 dominant trees were felled for stem analysis. Height growth was modelled using the generalised algebraic difference approach, applying several non-linear equations and mixed procedures. The Chapman-Richards and Sloboda models showed the best fit to the data. Height growth of the second generation (younger) trees exceeded that of the first generation, and followed curve for a higher site index, suggesting sufficient adaptation and improving conditions. Height growth of the studied beech exceeded predictions for beech in southern Sweden, which is considered to be the northern limit of the species range, yet the growth pattern differed. In Latvia, slower height growth was estimated for site indices < 32 m (in 100 years) during the first 60 years, yet larger maximal height was predicted, suggesting a longer establishment period. Nevertheless, the improving height growth indicated increasing potential for the application of the species in commercial forestry, and an expansion of the species within the region even during the 21th century.

  • Matisons, Latvian State Forest Research Institute “Silava”, Rīgas str. 111, Salaspils, Latvia, LV2169 ORCID ID:E-mail: robism@inbox.lv (email)
  • Šņepsts, Latvian State Forest Research Institute “Silava”, Rīgas str. 111, Salaspils, Latvia, LV2169 ORCID ID:E-mail: guntars.snepsts@silava.lv
  • Puriņa, Latvian State Forest Research Institute “Silava”, Rīgas str. 111, Salaspils, Latvia, LV2169 ORCID ID:E-mail: liga.purina@silava.lv
  • Donis, Latvian State Forest Research Institute “Silava”, Rīgas str. 111, Salaspils, Latvia, LV2169 ORCID ID:E-mail: janis.donis@silava.lv
  • Janosns, Latvian State Forest Research Institute “Silava”, Rīgas str. 111, Salaspils, Latvia, LV2169 ORCID ID:E-mail: aris.jansons@silava.lv
article id 7771, category Research note
Mara Kitenberga, Roberts Matisons, Aris Jansons, Janis Donis. (2018). Teleconnection between the Atlantic sea surface temperature and forest fires in Latvia and Estonia. Silva Fennica vol. 52 no. 1 article id 7771. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.7771
Highlights: Forest fire activity in Latvia and Estonia was related to conditions in the Atlantic; Teleconnections differed regionally; Negative correlation between number of fires in Estonia and SST in the North Atlantic was detected; Area of forest fires in Estonia and activity of fires in Latvia were positively correlated with SST in the Baltic, North and Mediterranean Seas in summer.

Forest fire is one of the natural disturbances, which have important ecological and socioeconomical effect. Although fire activity is driven by weather conditions, during past two centuries forest fires have been strongly anthropogenically controlled. In this study, teleconnection between sea surface temperature (SST) in the Atlantic, which influences climate in Europe, and forest fire activity in Latvia and Estonia was assessed using “Climate explorer” web-tool. Factors affecting number and area of forest fires in Latvia and Estonia differed, suggesting regional specifics. In Estonia, the number of fires correlated with the SST in the North Atlantic in spring and summer, which affects the inflow of cool and dry air masses from the Arctic, hence the aridity and burnability. The area of fires in Estonia and in Latvia was associated with increased SST in Baltic Sea and near the European coast in summer, which likely were consequences of occurrence of warm high-pressure systems in summer, causing hot and dry conditions. Nevertheless, the observed teleconnections could be used to predict activity of forest fires in Latvia and Estonia.

  • Kitenberga, Latvian State Forest Research Institute ‘Silava’, Rigas st. 111, Salaspils, Latvia, LV2169 ORCID ID:E-mail: mara.kitenberga@gmail.com (email)
  • Matisons, Latvian State Forest Research Institute ‘Silava’, Rigas st. 111, Salaspils, Latvia, LV2169 ORCID ID:E-mail: robism@inbox.lv
  • Jansons, Latvian State Forest Research Institute ‘Silava’, Rigas st. 111, Salaspils, Latvia, LV2169 ORCID ID:E-mail: aris.jansons@silava.lv
  • Donis, Latvian State Forest Research Institute ‘Silava’, Rigas st. 111, Salaspils, Latvia, LV2169 ORCID ID:E-mail: janis.donis@silava.lv

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