Current issue: 52(3)
The amount of water in peat soil is one factor affecting its bearing capacity, which is a crucial aspect in planning peatland timber harvesting operations. We studied the influence of weather variables on the variation of drained peatland growing season water conditions, here the ground water table depth (WTD). WTD was manually monitored four times in 2014 and three times in 2015 in 10–30 sample plots located in four drained peatland forests in south-western Finland. For each peatland, precipitation and evapotranspiration were calculated from the records of the nearest Finnish Meteorological Institute field stations covering periods from one day to four weeks preceding the WTD monitoring date. A mixed linear model was constructed to investigate the impact of the weather parameters on WTD. Precipitation of the previous four–week period was the most important explanatory variable. The four-week evapotranspiration amount was interacting with the Julian day showing a greater effect in late summer. Other variables influencing WTD were stand volume within the three-metre radius sample plot and distance from nearest ditch. Our results show the potential of weather parameters, specifically that of the previous four-week precipitation and evapotranspiration, for predicting drained peatland water table depth variation and subsequently, the possibility to develop a more general empirical model to assist planning of harvesting operations on drained peatlands.
As part of a multi-year monitoring study of pollination dynamics in a second generation Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirb.) Franco) seed orchard, we estimated with the aid of eight microsatellite markers three important reproductive biology characteristics affecting the genetic worth and diversity of seed crops; namely parental reproductive success, pollen contamination, and selfing rate. The obtained results were compared to those from two previous years to gauge appropriate seed crop management practices and ultimately allow approximate generalization of seed crop genetic quality. We determined that 80% of parental gametes were produced by 52% of the parents, 13% of paternal gametes resulted from pollen contamination (i.e., gene flow), and 12% of the seed were the product of selfing. The obtained results were in line with those observed for 2005 and 2009 where 80% of gametes being produced by 37–48% of the parents, 10–18% pollen contamination, and 15–17% selfing rate. The observed reproductive biology parameters differences are attributable to the various crop management practices implemented (i.e., bloom delay and supplemental-mass-pollination) across years and calls for justification due to the observed minimal differences on seed crops genetic quality.
An understanding of the genetic variation of the beech, especially at the edge of its natural distribution, is essential because of the change in natural distribution of the species resulting from changing climatic conditions. The main aim of the study was to determine the level of genetic diversity of European beech at the north-eastern edge of its natural range. The other aim was to check the genetic variation of beech from the two centres, the north and the south of Poland, which were identified in previous findings based on pollen analyses and phenotypic traits. The research material was the progeny of twelve beech provenances. The genetic structure of the populations was determined by ten highly variable microsatellite DNA loci. The results confirmed the high genetic diversity of beech at the north-eastern edge of its natural distribution, which infers the probability of their good adaptation to the changing climate and an extension of the range. Genetic analyses confirmed the existence of two genetic centres for beech in Poland. The populations from south-eastern Poland had a slightly higher diversity than the populations from the north-western area, which may indicate that the colonisation of Poland occurred by two routes. The results are important for creating the borders of the provenance regions and for limiting the transfer of seeds and seedlings. The choice of forest reproductive material, based on the knowledge of genetic diversity, is very important for the stability of future forests.
Silver birch (Betula pendula Roth.) is one of the main pioneer tree species occupying large areas of abandoned agricultural lands under natural succession in Estonia. We estimated aboveground biomass (AGB) dynamics during 17 growing seasons, and analysed soil nitrogen (N) and carbon (C) dynamics for 10 year period in a silver birch stand growing on former arable land. Main N fluxes were estimated and nitrogen budget for 10-year-old stand was compiled. The leafless AGB and stem mass of the stand at the age of 17-years were 94 and 76 Mg ha–1 respectively. The current annual increment (CAI) of stemwood fluctuated, peaking at 10 Mg ha–1 yr–1 at the age of 15 years; the mean annual increment (MAI) fluctuated at around 4–5 Mg ha–1. The annual leaf mass of the stand stabilised at around 3 Mg ha–1 yr–1. The stand density decreased from 11600 to 2700 trees ha–1 in the 8- and 17-year-old stand, respectively. The largest fluxes in N budget were net nitrogen mineralization and gaseous N2-N emission. The estimated fluxes of N2O and N2 were 0.12 and 83 kg ha–1 yr–1, respectively; N leaching was negligible. Nitrogen retranslocation from senescing leaves was approximately 45 kg ha–1, N was mainly retranslocated into stembark. The N content in the upper 0–10 cm soil layer increased significantly (145 kg ha–1) from 2004 to 2014; soil C content remained stable. Both the woody biomass dynamics and the N cycling of the stand witness the potential for bioenergetics of such ecosystems.
Heuristic techniques have been increasingly used to address the complex forest planning problems over the last few decades. However, heuristics only can provide acceptable solutions to difficult problems, rather than guarantee that the optimal solution will be located. The strategies of neighborhood, hybrid and reversion search processes have been proved to be effective in improving the quality of heuristic results, as suggested recently in the literature. The overall aims of this paper were therefore to systematically evaluate the performances of these enhanced techniques when implemented with a simulated annealing algorithm. Five enhanced techniques were developed using different strategies for generating candidate solutions. These were then compared to the conventional search strategy that employed 1-opt moves (Strategy 1) alone. The five search strategies are classified into three categories: i) neighborhood search techniques that only used the change version of 2-opt moves (Strategy 2); ii) self-hybrid search techniques that oscillate between 1-opt moves and the change version of 2-opt moves (Strategy 3), or the exchange version of 2-opt moves (Strategy 4); iii) reversion search techniques that utilize 1-opt moves and the change version of 2-opt moves (Strategy 5) or the exchange version of 2-opt moves (Strategy 6). We found that the performances of all the enhanced search techniques of simulated annealing were systematic and often clear better than conventional search strategy, however the required computational time was significantly increased. For a minimization planning problem, Strategy 6 produced the lowest mean objective function values, which were less than 1% of the means developed using conventional search strategy. Although Strategy 6 performed very well, the other search strategies should not be neglected because they also have the potential to produce high-quality solutions.
At present, there are no means for reliably comparing the wood fiber contents of different material streams within the paper industry material chain with each other. The aim of this article is to introduce conversion factors that make it possible to quantify the volume of wood expressed in roundwood equivalent (RWE) values for different paper industry-related materials in the material chain. These conversion factors apply to wood pulp, paper, and recovered paper. European data are used in quantifying the paper industry material streams and calculating the RWE conversion factors. The introduced conversion factors can be used to estimate RWE volumes at a global scale. With assumption that paper recycling did not occur and that paper production volume remained unchanged, an additional volume of 666 million m3 RWEs would be required globally per annum to produce 167 million tons of virgin wood pulp to replace 222 million tons of recovered paper utilized by the paper industry in 2010. This volume is approximately the same as 1.6 times the total removal of wood in Europe (EU27), or the total annual removal of wood in the USA, Canada, and Brazil combined.
The availability of appropriate propagation techniques is a major constraint to the domestication of the forest trees widely used by rural communities; such as Garcinia kola (Heckel). This study tested the ability of root and stem cuttings to regenerate vegetatively when treated with indole-3-butyric acid (IBA), and set in non-mist poly-propagator within a shaded nursery. It found that G. kola is amenable to propagation by softwood stem cuttings. Attention was given to the effect of cutting age (softwood, semi hardwood) and IBA application with regard to the sprouting and rooting efficiency. Bud and leaf emergence time were also investigated, as was the coppicing ability of the stump. Results revealed that roots and branches from mature forest trees did not sprout under any culture conditions. The highest percentages of rooting (70–85%) were obtained with softwood cuttings set in non-mist poly-propagator, regardless of hormonal treatment. The mean numbers of buds (2.9 ± 0.4) and roots (2.6 ± 0.1) produced by softwood cuttings was significantly greater than those obtained in the Control. The best average emergence time of buds (25.1 days ± 9.3) and leaves (36.8days ± 8.4) was obtained with cuttings treated with IBA and set in non-mist poly-propagator against, 54.4 ± 12.5 and 72.6 ± 3.4 days respectively for the Control. In general, non-mist poly-propagator gave the best propagation results. When coppiced, the shoots emerging from stumps with one node were the most vigorous.
The aim of this study was to examine how well stem volume, above-ground biomass and dominant height can be predicted using nationwide airborne laser scanning (ALS) based regression models. The study material consisted of nine practical ALS inventory projects taken from different parts of Finland. We used field sample plots and airborne laser scanning data to create nationwide and regional models for each response variable. The final models had one or two ALS predictors, which were chosen based on the root mean square error (RMSE), and cross-validated. Finally, we tested how much predictions would improve if the nationwide models were calibrated with a small number of regional sample plots. Although forest structures differ among different parts of Finland, the nationwide volume and biomass models performed quite well (leave-inventory-area-out RMSE 22.3% to 33.8%, mean difference [MD] –13.8% to 18.7%) compared with regional models (leave-plot-out RMSE 20.2% to 26.8%). However, the nationwide dominant height model (RMSE 5.4% to 7.7%, MD –2.0% to 2.8%, with the exception of the Tornio region – RMSE 11.4%, MD –9.1%) performed nearly as well as the regional models (RMSE 5.2% to 6.7%). The results show that the nationwide volume and biomass models provided different means than real means at regional level, because forest structure and ALS device have a considerable effect on the predictions. Large MDs appeared especially in northern Finland. Local calibration decreased the MD and RMSE of volume and biomass models. However, the nationwide dominant height model did not benefit much from calibration.
Changes in the structure and development of managed Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) stands with respect to changing environmental conditions were set for the period 1979–2015. The study was conducted in conditions of natural pinewoods and pine-oak sites on five permanent research plots (0.25 ha) in Eastern Bohemia, Czech Republic (CR). Studied forest stands showed positive development of stand structural characteristics related to their diversity, number of regeneration individuals and growth characteristics. The standing volume of regularly distributed tree layer in 2015 was in the range of 320–434 m3 ha–1, which indicates an increase by 5.9–20.0% over 10 years. Correlation between pine radial increment and the amount of precipitation was generally the strongest one. Positive statistically significant correlation between diameter increment and temperature was demonstrated only for the average March temperature of the current year. Within the CR, study site can be characterised as a medium polluted area both for sulphur and nitrogen, despite this SO2 concentrations and N deposition in combination with extreme climate events caused severe defoliation in pine stands. Conversely, radial growth was positively significantly correlated with mean NOx concentrations. Drought mainly in combination with even medium environmental pollution can further worsen the health status of pine stands in lowland areas of Central Europe. Thus, formulation of silvicultural techniques able to mitigate the impact of these stress factors is needed.
We determined empirical models for estimating total aboveground as well as stem, branches, and foliage dry biomass of young (age up to 16 years) silver birch (Betula pendula Roth.) growing on the post-agricultural lands. Two sets of allometric models for trees with a height below or above 1.3 m (small and large trees respectively) were developed. Simplified models were elaborated based exclusively on appropriate tree diameter (diameter at ground level for small trees, diameter at breast height for large trees), while expanded models also included tree height. Total aboveground biomass was estimated as the sum of biomass of all tree components. To assure additivity of the developed equations, the seemingly unrelated regression approach for the final model fitting was used. Expanded models in both tree groups were characterized by a better fit to the data (R2 for total aboveground biomass for small and large trees equaled 0.8768 and 0.9752, respectively). Diameter at breast height appeared to be a better predictor than diameter at ground level – simplified models had better fit for large trees (R2 for total aboveground biomass equals 0.9611) than for small ones (R2 = 0.7516). The developed equations provide biomass predictions consistent with available Latvian, Estonian, Finnish, Swedish, and Norwegian models for silver birch.
The projections of vegetation zones suggest increasing growth potential of European beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) in Northern Europe. Such changes usually are most apparent in the marginal populations. In this study, survival of young beech growing in an experimental plantation under canopy of a mixed coniferous stand in the central part of Latvia was assessed after 33 years since the establishment. The planting material originated from an older experimental stand in the western part of Latvia. Although, at present, the studied plantation could be considered as the northeasternmost beech stand in Europe, a good survival was observed – ca. 80% of the seedlings have survived, despite several cold spells of ca. –30 °C that occurred during the recent three decades. Additionally, some self-regeneration i.e. branch sprouting was observed. The saplings were rather low, as their mean height was ca. 4 m. Still, some individuals, which were growing under canopy openings, reached considerable dimensions; their height and stem diameter exceeded 10 m and 9 cm, respectively. The distribution of sapling dimensions had the reverse-J shape that is typical for shade tolerant species, indicating normal development of the beech regrowth. The crowns of saplings were narrow and the stems were spindly, suggesting that trees with a good stem quality might be bred. Hence, our results suggest that environmental conditions in the central part of Latvia have been satisfactory for beech, thus encouraging establishment of more extensive trials within the region.
The coverage of bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus L.) was modelled as a function of site and stand characteristics using the permanent sample plots of the National Forest Inventory (NFI) (Model 1). The sample sites consisted of mineral soil forests as well as fells and peatland sites. Annual variation in the bilberry yield (Model 2) was analysed based on measurements over 2001–2014 in the permanent sample plots (so-called MASI plots) in various areas of Finland. We derived annual bilberry yield indices from the year effects of Model 2 and investigated whether these indices could be used to estimate annual variation in bilberry crops in Finland. The highest bilberry coverage was found in mesic heath forests and fell forests. On peatlands the coverage was, on average, lower than on mineral soil sites; the peatland sites with most bilberry coverage were meso-oligotrophic and oligotrophic spruce mires and oligotrophic pine mires. Our bilberry yield indices showed similar variation to those derived from the mean annual berry yields reported and calculated earlier using the MASI plots; the correlation between the indices was 0.795. This approach to calculating annual berry yield indices is a promising way for estimating total annual bilberry yields over a given period of time. Models 1 and 2 can be used in conjunction with the Miina et al.’s (2009) bilberry yield model when bilberry coverage, average annual yield and annual variation in the yield are to be predicted in forest planning.