Category: Research article
article id 478, category Research article
Stratified estimation of forest inventory variables using spatially summarized stratifications. Silva Fennica vol. 39 no. 4 article id 478. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.478
Large area natural resource inventory programs typically report estimates for selected geographic areas such as states or provinces, counties, and municipalities. To increase the precision of estimates, inventory programs may use stratified estimation, with classified satellite imagery having been found to be an efficient and effective basis for stratification. For the benefit of users who desire additional analyses, the inventory programs often make data and estimation procedures available via the Internet. For their own analyses, users frequently request access to stratifications used by the inventory programs. When data analysis is via the Internet and stratifications are based on classifications of even medium resolution satellite imagery, the memory requirements for storing the stratifications and the online time for processing them may be excessive. One solution is to summarize the stratifications at coarser spatial scales, thus reducing both storage requirements and processing time. If the bias and loss of precision resulting from using summaries of stratifications is acceptably small, then this approach is viable. Methods were investigated for using summaries of stratifications that do not require storing and processing the entire pixel-level stratifications. Methods that summarized satellite image-based 30 m x 30 m pixel stratifications at spatial scales up to 2400 ha produced stratified estimates of the mean that were generally within 5-percent of estimates for the same areas obtained using the pixel stratifications. In addition, stratified estimates of variances using summarized stratifications realized nearly all the gain in precision that was obtained with the underlying pixel stratifications.
article id 368, category Research article
Generating a raster map presentation of a forest resource by solving a transportation problem. Silva Fennica vol. 39 no. 4 article id 368. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.368
Necessary tools for raster map generation, for the approach based on the calibration estimator, were developed and implemented. The allocation of the area weight of each pixel to sample plots was formulated as a transportation problem, using a spectral distance measure as a transportation cost, and solved using the transportation simplex algorithm. Pixel level accuracy was calculated for the methods based on the calibration estimator so that the results could be compared with the results of the nearest neighbour estimation, the reference sample plot method (RSP) at pixel level. Local averaging in a 3 x 3 window was performed for each generated raster map as a postprocessing phase to smooth the map. Test plot results were calculated both for the unfiltered raster map and the filtered raster map. RSP produced the smallest RMSE in the pooled test data. Local averaging with a 3 x 3 filter decreased the pixel level error – and the bias – and the differences between the methods are smaller. Without local averaging, the pixel level errors of the methods based on solving the transportation problem were high. Raster map generation using the methods of this study forms an optional part – followed possibly by the classification of the pixel level results – of the whole computation task, when the area weight computation is based on the calibration estimation. For larger areas than in the present study, such as municipalities, the efficiency of the method based on the transportation model must be improved before it is a usable tool, in practice, for raster map generation. For nearest neighbour methods, the area size is not such a problem, because the inventory area is processed pixel by pixel.
article id 367, category Research article
Landsat TM imagery and high altitude aerial photographs in estimation of forest characteristics. Silva Fennica vol. 39 no. 4 article id 367. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.367
Satellite sensor data have traditionally been used in multi-source forest inventory for estimating forest characteristics. Their advantages generally are large geographic coverage and large spectral range. Another remote sensing data source for forest inventories offering a large geographic coverage is high altitude aerial photography. In high altitude aerial photographs the spectral range is very narrow but the spatial resolution is high. This allows the extraction of texture features for forest inventory purposes. In this study we utilized a Landsat 7 ETM satellite image, a photo mosaic composed of high altitude panchromatic aerial photographs, and a combination of the aforementioned in estimating forest attributes for an area covering approximately 281 000 ha in Forestry Centre Häme-Uusimaa in Southern Finland. Sample plots of 9th National Forest Inventory (NFI9) were used as field data. In the estimation, 6 Landsat 7 ETM image channels were used. For aerial photographs, 4 image channels were composed from the spectral averages and texture features. In combining both data sources, 6 Landsat channels and 3 aerial image texture channels were selected for the analysis. The accuracy of forest estimates based on the Landsat image was better than that of estimates based on high altitude aerial photographs. On the other hand, using the combination of Landsat ETM spectral features and textural features on high altitude aerial photographs improved the estimation accuracy of most forest attributes.
article id 366, category Research article
Effects of forwarder tyre pressure on rut formation and soil compaction. Silva Fennica vol. 39 no. 4 article id 366. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.366
In Swedish forestry, final felling is usually done by a harvester and a forwarder. These machines are heavy and the risk for rutting and soil compaction can be considerable under unfavourable soil conditions. The aim of this study was to evaluate effects of forwarder tyre inflation pressure on rutting and soil compaction after final felling. Three levels of forwarder tyre pressure were studied, 300, 450 and 600 kPa, after 2 and 5 machine passages. The first passage was driven with a 19.7 Mg harvester, and the second to fifth passages with a fully loaded forwarder totalling 37.8 Mg. Rut depths were not significant affected by tyre pressures but increased significantly with the number of machine passages. Soil density was significantly increased by 0.075 Mg m–3 by the harvester passage. Soil density increased significantly with increasing number of forwarder passages, and tyre pressure did not significantly influence this increase but the interaction between number of forwarder passages and tyre pressure was almost significant. Data suggest that density increases occur earlier in the 600 kPa treatment than in the other treatments. Only parts of an area harvested are trafficked in a normal harvesting operation. Outside the research area approximately 12.5 per cent of the area harvested was covered with ruts. On primary strip roads, which are heavily trafficked, soil compaction cannot be avoided by reducing the tyre pressure. On secondary strip roads, not passed more than once by the forwarder, a low forwarder tyre pressure may reduce soil compaction.
article id 365, category Research article
Harvesting and transport of root biomass from fast-growing poplar plantations. Silva Fennica vol. 39 no. 4 article id 365. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.365
Recovery of tree root biomass can be attractive, since the stump-root system represents a substantial portion of the tree mass and its removal may prove instrumental to re-cultivation. Most available studies concern Nordic technologies, particularly suited to mature conifer stands. Unlike spruce, plantation poplar develops a deep taproot, whose extraction requires completely different methods. The aim of the study was to investigate poplar root recovery operations in plantations with time studies, and to determine the productivity and delivery costs of the operations. Seven operation systems developed to work with poplar plantations in Italian conditions were studied. Extraction and cleaning units were based on general-purpose prime movers. Under favourable conditions extraction and cleaning units achieved a very high productivity: 150 stumps per hour for the extraction unit and 170 for the cleaning unit. Delivered cost varied widely, ranging from 28 to 66 Euros Mg–1. Transportation was the most expensive single work task. It accounted for about 40% of the total recovery cost. Extraction and cleaning contributed approximately 25% each to the total cost, and loading 9%. Guidelines to recovery system improvement and efficient operation are provided.
article id 364, category Research article
Optimising the management of a heterogeneous stand. Silva Fennica vol. 39 no. 4 article id 364. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.364
The study presents a method for taking the heterogeneity of the stand into account in the optimisation of stand management. Heterogeneity refers to within-stand variation in stand density and/or other characteristics. A set of plots, corresponding to different sub-areas of the stand, represents the stand in calculations. Cuttings and other treatments of the plots are done simultaneously. The method was used to analyse how the optimal management depends on the heterogeneity of a Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst.) and Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) stand. The results supported the hypothesis that the heterogeneity of a stand decreases its optimal prior-thinning density. Also the remaining stand basal areas were lower in heterogeneous stands, especially in spruce. The effect of stand heterogeneity prior to the first commercial thinning still affected the timing of the second thinning, which had to be conducted earlier and at lower prior-thinning basal areas in heterogeneous stands. This happened despite the fact that the first thinning greatly decreased the within-stand variation in stand basal area. In addition, heterogeneity decreased the soil expectation value, net income and timber harvests.
article id 363, category Research article
Comparison of human and computer-based selective cleaning. Silva Fennica vol. 39 no. 4 article id 363. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.363
In silvicultural tending operations like cleaning (pre-commercial thinning), the results are irreversible, so it is important for the decisions to be consistent with the aims for the stand. To enable operational automatic stem selections, a decision support system (DSS) is needed. A previously presented DSS seems to render acceptable cleaning results, but needs further analysis. The aims of the study were to compare the cleaning results of experienced cleaners and DSS simulations when “similar” instructions were given, and to assess the usefulness and robustness of the DSS. Twelve experienced cleaners were engaged to “clean” (mark main stems) six areas; each cleaner “cleaned” two areas. The DSS was used to generate two computer-based cleanings (simulations) of these areas. Four laymen also “cleaned” one of the areas following the DSS. The density results were significantly affected by the areas’ location, whereas the proportions of deciduous stems and damaged stems were significantly affected by both the areas’ location and method, i.e. manual “cleaning” and general or adjusted simulation. The study showed that the DSS can be adjusted so that the results are comparable with the cleaners’ results. Thus, the DSS seems to be useful and flexible. The laymen’s results were close to the results of the “general” simulation, implying that the DSS is robust and could be used as a training tool for inexperienced cleaners. The DSS was also acceptable on a single-tree level, as more than 80% of the main-stems selected in the simulations were also selected by at least one cleaner.
article id 362, category Research article
Modelling the effect of temperature on height increment of Scots pine at high latitudes. Silva Fennica vol. 39 no. 4 article id 362. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.362
The effect of temperature and precipitation on the height increment of Pinus sylvestris (L.) was modelled using data gathered from a total of 49 felled sample trees from five stands of Scots pine located along a latitudinal transect from the Arctic Circle up to the northern timberline in Finland. A multilevel mixed effects model and cross-correlation analysis of prewhitened time series was used to analyse the dependence between height increment and monthly meteorological observations. The effect of the mean July temperature of the previous year on height increment proved to be very strong at high latitudes (r > 0.7). The mean November temperature of the year before the previous affected statistically significantly on height increment in the three northernmost stands. There was no correlation between height increment and precipitation in any of the sites. The final height increment model based on all stands included tree age, long-term mean temperature sum of site, and the mean July temperature of the previous year as independent variables. According to the model, one degree’s change in July temperature results on average in 1.8 cm change in the next year’s height increment. There was a modest but significant polynomial age-effect. The proportion of explained variance (at the year level) was 74%. The July temperature dependence on height increment was shown to be very strong, suggesting a high value of height increment in climate modelling at the tree line.
article id 361, category Research article
Extending the planting period of dormant and growing Norway spruce container seedlings to early summer. Silva Fennica vol. 39 no. 4 article id 361. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.361
In order to make mechanized planting economically viable, the present spring planting period for Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst.) seedlings in Scandinavia needs to be extended. To evaluate the possibilities to extend the planting period, six field experiments were established in four years during which frozen-stored, dormant seedlings and actively growing seedlings targeted for spring planting were planted regularly from mid-May to mid-July or the end of August. The survival of actively growing seedlings did not differ between planting dates from mid-May to mid-July. For dormant seedlings, however, the later in summer they were planted the lower was the survival. Oversized seedlings grown in the nursery in containers of too small volume, which were usually planted after mid-June, resulted in reduced growth of seedlings after planting. Root egress (growth of roots from root plugs into the surrounding soil) was most rapid in July and early August and slowest in May and September. Results showed that with dormant seedlings the planting period can be extended from May to mid-June without increasing mortality or reducing growth. The planting period for seedlings stored outdoors and those seedlings that were already growing in June for the purpose of spring plantings can be extended even longer, but it must be kept in mind that the risk of mechanical damage and reduced growth increase due to brittleness of the shoot and increased height. Further research is needed to evaluate the risks in practical scale plantings and with seedlings that are specially targeted for planting after mid-June.
article id 360, category Research article
Defoliation by the common pine sawfly (Diprion pini) and subsequent growth reduction in Scots pine: a retrospective approach. Silva Fennica vol. 39 no. 4 article id 360. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.360
The foliage status in the main stem of Scots pines (Pinus sylvestris) was studied retrospectively using the needle trace method (NTM) on a stand, seriously defoliated by the pine sawfly (Diprion pini) in the 1980s. Needle density increased abruptly in the seasons following the defoliation. The strongest reduction in annual needle production occurred one year later. As a consequence of lower needle production, the annual number of attached needles decreased three to five years after the defoliation. Needle retention and the average age of attached needles tended to increase after defoliation. In analyses of covariance with the NTM variables, needle density (logarithmic transformed values) and average age of attached needles, had the highest, significant, negative relationship with radial and height increments both in the period prior to the defoliation and in the time when the trees were suffering from defoliation. The relationships between height increment and the number of needles and needle loss were positive and significant. Also radial increment had a positive relationship with the number of needles but not with needle loss. Interestingly, an abrupt increase in the needle density gave a good indication of the effects of a sudden defoliation in pines.
Category: Review article
article id 369, category Review article
Applying geostatistics for investigations of forest ecosystems using remote sensing imagery. Silva Fennica vol. 39 no. 4 article id 369. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.369
Geostatistically based methods that utilize textural information are frequently used to analyze remote sensing (RS) images. The role of these methods in analyzing forested areas increased rapidly during the last several years following advancements in high-resolution RS technology. The results of numerous applications of geostatistical methods for processing RS forest images are encouraging. This paper summarizes such results. Three closely related topics are reviewed: 1) specific properties of geostatistical measures of spatial variability calculated from digital images of forested areas, 2) determination of biophysical forest parameters using semivariograms and characterization of forest ecosystem structure at the stand level, and 3) forest classification methods based on spatial information.