Current issue: 55(2)
Leaf reflectance and transmittance spectra are essential information in many applications such as developing remote sensing methods, computing shortwave energy balance (albedo) of forest canopies, and monitoring health or stress of trees. Measurement of coniferous needle spectra has usually been carried out with single integrating spheres, which has involved a lot of tedious manual work. A small double integrating sphere would make the measurements considerably faster, because of its ease of operation and small sample sizes required. Here we applied a compact double integrating sphere setup, used previously for measurement of broad leaves, for measurement of coniferous needles. Test measurements with the double integrating sphere showed relative underestimation of needle albedo by 5–39% compared to a well-established single integrating sphere setup. A small part of the bias can be explained by the bias of the single sphere. Yet the observed bias is quite significant if absolute accuracy of measurements is required. For relative measurements, e.g. for monitoring development of needle spectra over time, the double sphere system provides notable improvement. Furthermore, it might be possible to reduce the bias by building an optimized measurement setup that minimizes absorption losses in the sample port. Our study indicates that double spheres, after some technical improvement, may provide a new and fast way to collect extensive spectral libraries of tree species.
The effects of wood ash fertilisation on tree nutrition and growth on forested peatlands has been studied using loose ash, but in practice, ash fertilisation is done almost exclusively with granulated ash. In this study, the effects of granulated ash and loose ash (both 5 Mg ha–1) on the growth and nutrition of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) stands were compared between a nitrogen-poor and a nitrogen-rich site over 15 years. On the nitrogen-rich site, wood ash application was also compared with commercial PK fertilisation. On the nitrogen-rich site, mean stand volume growth increase over unfertilised control treatment during the 15 year study period using granulated ash and commercial PK fertiliser was of the same magnitude (on average, 2.2–2.3 m3 ha–1 a–1). However, when loose ash was used growth increase over control was higher (3.7 m3 ha–1 a–1). On the nitrogen-poor site, the mean growth increase gained by loose or granulated ash (1.4–1.5 m3 ha–1 a–1) over the unfertilised control treatment was not significant. Fertilisation with loose ash or PK increased foliar P, K and B concentrations already in the first or second growing season, following fertilisation on both sites. Granulated ash increased foliar P concentrations on the nitrogen-rich site less than loose ash. After an initial increase, foliar P, K and B concentrations decreased at the end of study period. On the nitrogen-poor site, foliar P concentrations were below the deficiency limit by the end of the study period.
Growing demand for wood products, combined with efforts to conserve natural forests, have supported a steady increase in the global extent of planted forests. Here, a two-phase sampling strategy for large-scale assessment of the total area and the total wood volume of fast-growing forest tree crops within agricultural land is presented. The first phase is performed using tessellation stratified sampling on high-resolution remotely sensed imagery and is sufficient for estimating the total area of plantations by means of a Monte Carlo integration estimator. The second phase is performed using stratified sampling of the plantations selected in the first phase and is aimed at estimating total wood volume by means of an approximation of the first-phase Horvitz-Thompson estimator. Vegetation indices from Sentinel-2 are exploited as freely available auxiliary information in a linear regression estimator to improve the design-based precision of the estimator based on the sole sample data. Estimators of the totals and of the design-based variances of total estimators are presented. A simulation study is developed in order to check the design-based performance of the two alternative estimators under several artificial distributions supposed for poplar plantations (random, clustered, spatially trended). An application in Northern Italy is also reported. The regression estimator turns out to be invariably better than that based on the sole sample information. Possible integrations of the proposed sampling scheme with conventional national forest inventories adopting tessellation stratified sampling in the first phase are discussed.
Genetic parameters of growth and stem quality traits were estimated for open-pollinated silver birch Betula pendula Roth progenies in Latvia at the age of 10 and 14 years. Tree height and stem volume were found to be under strong genetic control at both inventories (narrow-sense heritabilities varied from 0.41 to 0.66). Mainly low heritabilities were found for stem defects, yet genetic control of branch diameter, stem straightness and overall stem quality varied from low to high depending on study site. High additive genetic coefficient of variation was found for stem volume (25.3–32.5%). Genetic correlations among growth traits were strong and positive (0.90–0.99). Mainly weak genetic correlations between growth and quality traits implied simultaneous improvement. Still, strong negative correlations between branch angle and stem straightness might result in enlarged knot size for straighter logs. The genetic age-age correlations were strong. Weak genotype by environment interaction and stability of best genotypes over different sites was indicated by strong genetic correlations between trials. Each growth or quality trait alone showed substantial improvement in terms of estimated genetic gain (up to 62% over trial mean for stem volume). Therefore, selection index combining both growth and stem quality may be developed.
Cable yarding is a general solution for load handling on sites not accessible to ground-based machinery, and is typically associated with steep terrain. On flat terrain, such conditions can primarily be found on soft or wet soils, most frequently encountered in Central and Northern European countries. Today, changed environmental and market conditions may offer an unprecedented opportunity to the actual implementation of cable yarding on flat terrain in commercial operations. The study goal was to collect cable yarder manufacturers experience regarding the use and adaption of cable yarding technology on flat terrain. European manufacturers of cable yarding technology were interviewed about customer experience, particular challenges, adaptation potential, future potential and main hurdles for the expansion of cable yarding on flat terrain. Almost all manufacturers have received requests for flat-terrain yarding technology solutions, primarily from Germany. Temporal or permanent inaccessibility, regulatory or environmental reasons were the most frequent motivation for considering cable yarding technology. Installation was considered particularly challenging (clearance, stable anchoring). Potential adaptations included higher towers, artificial anchors, mechanized bunching before extraction and un-guyed yarder-systems. An artificial, highly mobile, self-anchoring tail spar was considered the most useful adaptation. While concerned about limited profitability and qualified labour shortage, most manufacturers demonstrated a positive or neutral view concerning the expansion of cable yarding on flat terrain. However, cable yarding is not considered to be cost-competitive wherever ground-based systems can be employed and cable yarding is not subsidized.
In the forest areas of eastern China, there is a change from forest dominated by deciduous broad-leaved trees to forest dominated by evergreen broad-leaved trees as the latitude or altitude decreases. Different life forms have different survival strategies to deal with climate change, and studying the life form dynamics of the tree layers in the mixed forest in eastern China, with increasing temperature, can help us understand how the forest responds. This study was performed in a 1 ha plot in evergreen and deciduous broad-leaved mixed forest in Tianmu Mountain National Nature Reserve. Based on the data from two surveys (1996 and 2017), the changes in life form composition and biodiversity over the past 21 years were analyzed. We obtained the following results: (1) The proportion of evergreen trees increased from 55.0% in 1996 to 67.5% in 2017, and the dominance of evergreen species was enhanced. (2) The diversity of both life forms increased, and the tree species were more abundant. (3) The average annual recruitment rate of the evergreen species was 2.1% greater than their mortality rate, and the average annual recruitment rate of the deciduous species was 0.5% less than their mortality rate. (4) The competition among the trees in the small-diameter class (10 cm ≤ DBH < 20 cm) was fierce for many tree species. The proportion of the evergreen species in the small-diameter class was high. The life forms making up the mixed climax forest community has changed over the past 21 years, with the proportion and dominance of evergreen trees increasing significantly.
This study proposes an original method for tree species classification by satellite remote sensing. The method uses multitemporal multispectral (Landsat OLI) and hyperspectral (Resurs-P) data acquired from determined vegetation periods. The method is based on an original database of spectral features taking into account seasonal variations of tree species spectra. Changes in the spectral signatures of forest classes are analyzed and new spectral–temporal features are created for the classification. Study sites are located in the Czech Republic and northwest (NW) Russia. The differences in spectral reflectance between tree species are shown as statistically significant in the sub-seasons of spring, first half of summer, and main autumn for both study sites. Most of the errors are related to the classification of deciduous species and misclassification of birch as pine (NW Russia site), pine as mixture of pine and spruce, and pine as mixture of spruce and beech (Czech site). Forest species are mapped with accuracy as high as 80% (NW Russia site) and 81% (Czech site). The classification using multitemporal multispectral data has a kappa coefficient 1.7 times higher than does that of classification using a single multispectral image and 1.3 times greater than that of the classification using single hyperspectral images. Potentially, classification accuracy can be improved by the method when applying multitemporal satellite hyperspectral data, such as in using new, near-future products EnMap and/or HyspIRI with high revisit time.
In the Nordic countries Finland, Norway and Sweden, the most common regeneration method is planting after clearcutting and, often, mechanical site preparation (MSP). The main focus of this study is to review quantitative effects that have been reported for the five main MSP methods in terms of survival and growth of manually planted coniferous seedlings of Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst.), Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) and lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta var. latifolia Engelm.) in clearcuts in these three countries. Meta analyses are used to compare the effects of MSP methods to control areas where there was no MSP and identify any relationships with temperature sum and number of years after planting. In addition, the area of disturbed soil surface and the emergence of naturally regenerated seedlings are evaluated. The MSP methods considered are patch scarification, disc trenching, mounding, soil inversion and ploughing. Studies performed at sites with predominately mineral soils (with an organic topsoil no thicker than 0.30 m), in boreal, nemo-boreal and nemoral vegetation zones in the three Fenno-Scandinavian countries are included in the review. Data from 26 experimental and five survey studies in total were compiled and evaluated. The results show that survival rates of planted conifers at sites where seedlings are not strongly affected by pine weevil (Hylobius abietis L.) are generally 80–90% after MSP, and 15–20 percent units higher than after planting in non-prepared sites. The experimental data indicated that soil inversion and potentially ploughing (few studies) give marginally greater rates than the other methods in this respect. The effects of MSP on survival seem to be independent of the temperature sum. Below 800 degree days, however, the reported survival rates are more variable. MSP generally results in trees 10–25% taller 10–15 years after planting compared to no MSP. The strength of the growth effect appears to be inversely related to the temperature sum. The compiled data may assist in the design, evaluation and comparison of possible regeneration chains, i.e. analyses of the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of multiple combinations of reforestation measures.