Current issue: 53(1)
Accurate timber assortment information is required before cuttings to optimize wood allocation and logging activities. Timber assortments can be derived from diameter-height distribution that is most often predicted from the stand characteristics provided by forest inventory. The aim of this study was to assess and compare the accuracy of three different pre-harvest inventory methods in predicting the structure of mainly Scots pine-dominated, clear-cut stands. The investigated methods were an area-based approach (ABA) based on airborne laser scanning data, the smartphone-based forest inventory Trestima app and the more conventional pre-harvest inventory method called EMO. The estimates of diameter-height distributions based on each method were compared to accurate tree taper data measured and registered by the harvester’s measurement systems during the final cut. According to our results, grid-level ABA and Trestima were generally the most accurate methods for predicting diameter-height distribution. ABA provides predictions for systematic 16 m × 16 m grids from which stand-wise characteristics are aggregated. In order to enable multimodal stand-wise distributions, distributions must be predicted for each grid cell and then aggregated for the stand level, instead of predicting a distribution from the aggregated stand-level characteristics. Trestima required a sufficient sample for reliable results. EMO provided accurate results for the dominating Scots pine but, it could not capture minor admixtures. ABA seemed rather trustworthy in predicting stand characteristics and diameter distribution of standing trees prior to harvesting. Therefore, if up-to-date ABA information is available, only limited benefits can be obtained from stand-specific inventory using Trestima or EMO in mature pine or spruce-dominated forests.
There is evidence that moose are attracted to fertile growth habitats apparently due to better quality and larger quantities of food. The nutrients in mineral soils originate from the weathering of bedrock and the composition of parental bedrock affects the fertility of produced mineral soil, thus affecting also the import of nutrients into the whole food web. We surveyed the connection between moose damage in forest plantations and the composition of bedrock and surficial deposits in Finnish Lapland. We used a database of compensated moose damage in private forests in years 1997−2010. Undamaged stands in National Forest Inventories (NFI) from years 1986–2008 served as a control data and moose-damaged NFI-stands as a reference data. Bedrock and surficial depositions and the location of studied stands in relation to ancient shorelines were explored by using the digital databases of the Geological Survey of Finland. Moose-damaged stands were concentrated in southwestern and east Lapland in the areas of the Peräpohja Schist Belt and Lapland’s Greenstone Belt that are both composed of nutrient-rich rocks. The bedrock of damaged stands contained a higher proportion of mafic and alkaline rocks than did the control stands. Moose-damaged stands were pine-dominated and grew in more fertile forest sites than did control stands. Part of pine stands probably located in soils formerly occupied by spruce, which may increase the stands’ vulnerability to biotic threats. Especially, there were relatively more moose damage in pine plantations regenerated on fine-grained mineral soils derived from nutrient rich rocks than in less fertile soils.
In this study, we developed models of transfer effects for growth and survival of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) in Sweden and Finland using a general linear mixed-model approach. For model development, we used 378 provenance and progeny trials with a total of 276 unimproved genetic entries (provenances and stand seed check-lots) distributed over a wide variety of climatic conditions in both countries. In addition, we used 119 progeny trials with 3921 selected genetic entries (open- and control pollinated plus-tree families) for testing model performance. As explanatory variables, both climatic indices derived from high-resolution gridded climate datasets and geographical variables were used. For transfer, latitude (photoperiod) and, for describing the site, temperature sum were found to be main drivers for both survival and growth. In addition, interaction terms (between transfer in latitude and site altitude for survival, and transfer in latitude and temperature sum for growth) entail changed reaction patterns of the models depending on climatic conditions of the growing site. The new models behave in a way that corresponds well to previous studies and recommendations for both countries. The model performance was tested using selected plus-trees from open and control pollinated progeny tests. Results imply that the models are valid for both countries and perform well also for genetically improved material. These models are the first step in developing common deployment recommendations for genetically improved forest regeneration material in both Sweden and Finland.
Topographic complexity in mountainous ecosystems strongly influences plant growth and as such also wood formation. This wood formation can possibly be used to understand topographic variation of the main climatic drivers, e.g. by modulating frost events. Here we test the influence of different slope exposures on the spatio-temporal distribution of frost rings in Siberian spruce (Picea obovata Ledeb.) in the Southern Urals, Russia. We sampled on two opposite slopes, northeast (NE) and southwest (SW), on three elevation levels from the highest single trees to closed canopy forest and analysed frost ring occurrence and their seasonal timing. Frost ring formation at all exposure-elevation combinations was common and mainly concentrated in the early part of the growing season. The age until trees record frost rings was equally similar (until about 35 years) on both slopes and different elevational levels with the exception of the climatically harshest site, the highest elevation on the NE slope. While we could not deduce a direct, easily identifiable climatic driver for the formation of frost rings, our analysis shows high potential to disentangle the complex interplay between climate, site condition and tree growth in mountainous ecosystems.
Recent developments in on-board technology have enabled automatic collection of follow-up data on forwarder work. The objective of this study was to exploit this possibility to obtain highly representative information on time consumption of specific work elements (including overlapping crane work and driving), with one load as unit of observation, for large forwarders in final felling operations. The data used were collected by the John Deere TimberLink system as nine operators forwarded 8868 loads, in total, at sites in mid-Sweden. Load-sizes were not available. For the average and median extraction distances (219 and 174 m, respectively), Loading, Unloading, Driving empty, Driving loaded and Other time effective work (PM) accounted for ca. 45, 19, 8.5, 7.5 and 14% of total forwarding time consumption, respectively. The average and median total time consumptions were 45.8 and 42.1 minutes/load, respectively. The developed models explained large proportions of the variation of time consumption for the work elements Driving empty and Driving loaded, but minor proportions for the work elements Loading and Unloading. Based on the means, the crane was used during 74.8% of Loading PM time, the driving speed was nonzero during 31.9% of the Loading PM time, and Simultaneous crane work and driving occurred during 6.7% of the Loading PM time. Time consumption per load was more strongly associated with Loading drive distance than with extraction distance, indicating that the relevance of extraction distance as a main indicator of forwarding productivity should be re-considered.
The effects of long-term habitat fragmentations on genetic and population differentiation of Betula pendula Roth were investigated using chloroplast DNA (cpDNA) variations. Leaf samples were collected from four small remnant populations across the north of Iran. Three pairs of universal primers were used to amplify cpDNA, large single copy regions of trnC-trnD, trnK1-trnK2 and trnD-trnT. A total of 18 of the cpDNA haplotypes in the four populations were identified, however, no clear phylogeographic structuring of haplotypes could be detected. The total genetic diversity (HT) for all populations was high (0.932). Average intra-population genetic diversity was estimated as HS = 0.729 and average differentiation of populations GST = 0.218. Mantel tests of isolation by distance revealed a significant relationship between Wright’s inbreeding coefficient (Fst) and geographical distances for the four populations in Iran (r = 0.77, p < 0.05). The results of the hierarchical analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA) indicated that a 66% variation was partitioned within populations, whilst the variance amongst the four populations was only 34%. We suggest that significant genetic differentiation amongst populations can likely be attributed to reduced gene flow as a result of habitat fragmentation.
Commercial forests require early cleaning to ensure the unhindered and uniform growth of crop trees. In order to be cost effective, non-crop vegetation should be uprooted to prevent their recovery. Performing this work manually is a labour-intensive task but it can be done mechanically. We evaluated the efficiency of two uprooting devices in direct seeded Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) stands ca. 1 m tall. Productivity and quality of the uprooting work was investigated across eight stands and ca. 160 sample plots in northern Karelia, eastern Finland. Time consumption of the uprooters was analyzed through a linear regression model and the work quality through a multilevel multivariate model in terms of the number of individual Scots pine seedlings, processing units (i.e., a bunch of seedlings to be harvested in the future) and broadleaves. The productivity of the narrower modified device was significantly better in terms of time consumption than the wider original device. Work quality did not differ significantly between devices when stand characteristics, regeneration success and pre-existing damage were taken into account. Results indicate that mechanical uprooting devices may be further developed to a cost-effective alternative to motor-manual techniques for the early cleaning of direct seeded commercial Scots pine stands.
The biomass of a secondary evergreen and deciduous broad-leaved mixed forest was comprehensively inventoried in a permanent 2 ha plot in southwestern China. Biomass models, sub-sampling, soil pit method, and published data were utilized to determine the biomass of all components. Results showed that the total biomass of the forest was 158.1 Mg ha−1; the total biomass included the major aboveground (137.7 Mg ha−1) and belowground (20.3 Mg ha−1) biomass components of vascular plants as well as the minor biomass components of bryophytes (0.078 Mg ha−1) and lichens (0.043 Mg ha−1). The necromass was 17.6 Mg ha−1 and included woody debris (9.0 Mg ha−1) and litter (8.6 Mg ha−1). The spatial pattern of the aboveground biomass was determined by the spatial distribution of dominant trees with large diameter, tall height, and dense wood. The belowground biomass differed in terms of root diameter and decreased with increasing soil depth. The belowground biomass in each soil pit in local habitats was not related to the spatial distribution of woody plants and soil pit depth. The karst forest presented lower biomass compared than the nonkarst forests in the subtropical zone. Biomass carbon in the karst terrains would increase substantially if degraded karst vegetation could be successfully restored to the forest. Comprehensive site-based biomass inventory of karst vegetation will contribute not only to provide data for benchmarking global and regional vegetation and carbon models but also for regional carbon inventory and vegetation restoration.
The specific pattern of the wood of Karelian birch (Betula pendula Roth var. carelica (Merckl.) Hämet-Ahti), is created mainly by dark-coloured inclusions of parenchyma tissue. Our study revealed that the greatest density of parenchyma inclusions in Karelian birch wood is observed above branch attachments to the trunk and below forks. In the place of branch attachment, phloem flows of photoassimilates (sucrose) from the branch and along the trunk merge into one pathway, causing a rise in sucrose content in tissues there. In the area below the fork, sucrose flows from two (or more) trunk axes are combined. Many studies have demonstrated that elevated sucrose level is associated with the differentiation of parenchyma. We believe that where large phloem fluxes merge a high level of sucrose promotes mass differentiation of parenchyma cells instead of fibers and vessels. As a result, the density of the figured pattern in the wood increases. The obtained data have a practical value and can be used in developing recommendations for Karelian birch cultivation.
Given their importance as a resource for many forest organisms, tree cavities were inventoried in the managed pine forests of north-east Poland, in relation to the: 70–100, 101–130 and >130 year age-classes within the clear-cutting system. The densities at which cavities were present was found to depend on forest age, given that stands 70–100 years old were characterised by an average density of 0.62 trees ha–1, while forests older than 130 years reported 3.28 trees ha–1. Stands aged 70–100 years differed from those aged 130+ in having just 0.27 trees ha–1 of cavity trees, as compared with 2.91 trees ha–1. The total volume of cavity trees in stands up to 100 years old was 0.37 m3 ha–1 on average, as compared with 5.42 m3 ha–1 in stands over 130 years old. The cavities created by woodpeckers constituted 76% of all of those found, and included 53% excavated by great spotted woodpeckers (Dendrocopos major L.) and 23% by black woodpeckers (Dryocopus martius L.) The proportion of cavities excavated by D. major was highest in the youngest age class of stands. There, cavities made by D. martius constituted only 8% of the total, as compared with 31% in the oldest stands. The abundance of cavity trees thus differed along an age gradient, though in any event the availability of cavity trees appears to be too limited to provide for the needs of hole-nesting birds. Forest managers must thus take more account than hitherto of the need to protect cavity trees.
Growing Prunus avium L. within an agroforestry system (AFS) may result in sun damage to cambial tissues on sun-exposed bole faces. There are two periods of risk of damage caused by insolation to exposed tree boles, the summer, when cambial temperatures become too high, or during winter, when the frozen dormant cambium tissue thaws and then rapidly re-freezes, a phenomenon commonly referred to as sunscald or southwest disease. Damage on the south western bole face was observed on a number of P. avium within an AFS. Five trees were sampled to assess the period in time that damage occurred. To retrospectively investigate such damage, bark surface temperature data were collected over a two year period for a further five P. avium and analysed. It was shown that bark surface temperature on the south western bole face reached nearly 50 °C during summer and experienced a maximum range of 38 °C within a 24 hour period in spring. A specially formulated white paint was applied to two trees, thus, testing a method to reduce the risk of sun damage. Two models were constructed to predict maximum and minimum daily bark surface temperature using maximum, minimum and mean daily air temperature, daily sum of sunshine hours, cloud cover, wind speed, relative humidity, maximum solar elevation and height on the tree bole as predictor variables. The damage occurred during winter 2009/2010. The models were used to identify maximum and minimum bark surface temperatures during that winter enabling the identification of possible damage events.
European beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) forests have a long history of coppicing, but the majority of formerly managed coppices are currently under conversion to high forest. The long time required to achieve conversion requires a long-term perspective to fully understand the implication of the applied conversion practices. In this study, we showed results from a long-term (1992–2014) case-study comparing two management options (natural evolution and periodic thinning) in a beech coppice in conversion to high forest. Leaf area index, litter production, radiation transmittance and growth efficiency taken as relevant stand descriptors, were estimated using both direct and indirect optical methods. Overall, results indicated that beech coppice showed positive and prompt responses to active conversion practices based on periodic medium-heavy thinning. A growth efficiency index showed that tree growth increased as the cutting intensity increased. Results from the case study supported the effectiveness of active conversion management from an economic (timber harvesting) and ecological (higher growth efficiency) point of view.
The use of network-based business models has been brought up as a means of creating com-petitive edge in the tightening global competition. In practice, adopting network-based models has not yet become common in the wood products industry. The objective of this study is to gain better understanding of types of network-based business models using a case study of two small and medium-sized wood industry companies in Finland (for a sake of anonymity named as A and B). The network of company A is found to consist of mostly of established actors with a new-in-the-market value creation system, whereas network for company B is more stable and has an established value system aiming at growth and incremental innovations. Both networks had experienced difficulties in finding partners and lacked some strategic resources. Via this example we wish to stimulate further research interest on the sources of network-based competitive advantage in the traditional wood product industry in a need of renewal of business models.