Current issue: 52(3)
In Finland the increasing use of biofuel in transport presupposes a search for new raw material sources for biorefining. The aim of this study was, at the regional level, to compare the procurement costs of logging residues, stumps, delimbed stems and cereal straw for biorefining. The accumulation and procurement costs of forest chips and cereal straw were estimated within a 100-kilometre transporting distance via existing road network from an end-use-facility located in Kouvola in South-East Finland. The analyses were performed as simulated treatments in thinnings of young stands, cereal fields and regeneration fellings using existing productivity and cost functions and yield calculations based on crop statistics, the forest industry stand data and the sample plots data of the National Forest Inventory of Finland. Accumulation of raw material assortments and costs of production stages were defined per dry tonnes. Subsidies and raw material prices were excluded from consideration in the study. The results indicate that recovering logging residues requires lower costs than utilization of stumps, delimbed stems or cereal straw. Cereal straw represents an important source of biomass in Kouvola but the cost competiveness is poor compared the procurement costs of forest chips. When the annual procurement volume of biomass was 50 000 dry tonnes the cost at the plant was 49 € dry tonne –1 and biomass was comprised totally of logging residues. Procurement cost grew to 59 € dry tonne –1 when the annual procurement volume of biomass was doubled to 100 000 dry tonnes. Of that amount, the proportion of logging residues was 58.4%, stumps 24.3% and delimbed stems 17.3%. First cereal straw dry tonnes were delivered to end-use-facility, when procurement cost grew to 60 € dry tonne –1 and annual procurement volume of biomass was 110 000 dry tonnes.
Despite the numerous studies on year-to-year variation of tree growth, the physiological mechanisms controlling annual variation in growth are still not understood in detail. We studied the applicability of data-driven approach i.e. different regression models in analysing high-dimensional data set including continuous and comprehensive measurements over meteorology, ecosystem-scale water and carbon fluxes and the annual variation in the growth of app. 50-year-old Scots pine stand in southern Finland. Even though our dataset covered only 16 years, it is the most extensive collection of interactions between a Scots pine ecosystem and atmosphere. The analysis revealed that height growth was favoured by high water potential of the tree and carbon gain during the bud forming period and high water potential during the elongation period. Diameter growth seemed to be favoured by a winter with high precipitation and deep snow cover and a spring with high carbon gain. The obtained models had low generalization performance and they would require more evaluation and iterative validation to achieve credibility perhaps as a mixture of data-driven and first principle modeling approaches.
Timber production is an economically important provisioning ecosystem service in forests, but is often in conflict with the provision of other ecosystem services. In multifunctional forestry, the production of timber and non-timber ecosystem services should coexist in the same landscape. To this end, we explored the capacity of a boreal landscape to simultaneously produce collectable goods − bilberry (Vaccimium myrtillus L.), cowberry (Vaccinium vitis-idaea L.) and cep (Boletus edulis Bull.) − alongside timber revenues. We also identified optimal forest management plans to achieve this. Furthermore, we analyzed trade-offs between collectable good yields and timber production, as well as between their economic values. We ran forest growth simulations under seven alternative management regimes at a landscape level across 50-year planning horizons. Then, we used multi-objective optimization to explore trade-offs and identify optimal forest management plans. The results showed that the strongest trade-off was between bilberry and timber production, resulting in a large loss in timber revenues for a gain in bilberry production. However, the conflicts between other collectables and timber production were relatively small: it was possible to increase the provision of collectable goods 4–15% with small reductions (3−5%) from timber revenues. With careful forest planning, there is the potential to simultaneously produce high levels of collectable goods and timber revenues in the landscape.
We investigated the impact of natural enemies on the cocoon mortality of the common pine sawfly (Diprion pini L.) during a six-year period in eastern Finland. The enemies were classified into parasitoids (insect families Chalcidoidea, Ichneumonidae, and Tachinidae), and predators (birds, small mammals, and insect families Elateridae and Carabidae). The appearance of D. pini was estimated as the intensity of annual defoliation. The impact of stand characteristics on the performance of parasitoids and predators was also investigated. Influence of the natural enemy complex on cocoon mortality of D. pini was nearly stable, but defoliation intensity slowly declined towards the end of the study period. Annual cocoon mortality by natural enemies varied between 66% and 80%. Our results verified that the most significant mortality factors were ichneumonid parasitoids and small mammals. Random Forest classification indicated that stand characteristics, such as basal area, and coverage of lichen (Lichenes) and lingonberry (Vaccinium vitis-idaea L.) affected the performance of parasites and predators. We suggest that a combination of optimal stand characteristics, abiotic environmental factors and mild to moderate control by natural enemies acted as drivers, which drove the pine sawfly population to extended gradation. For future forest health management, detailed information on abiotic and biotic regulating factors, along with long-term monitoring campaigns for conifer sawflies are needed to adapt Fennoscandian forests to altered climatic and silvicultural conditions.
Extant populations growing in regions that were refugia during the last glacial period are expected to show higher genetic diversity than populations that moved from these refugia into new areas in higher latitudes. Such new populations likely faced harsher climatic conditions, being established with reduced population size and experiencing the effects of genetic bottlenecks. In this study we employed data from nuclear SSR markers for detecting molecular signatures of genetic bottlenecks, and germination experiments to evaluate reduction of populations’ fitness in natural populations of Luehea divaricata Mart. et Zucc., growing in the southern range of the species distribution (around 30°S latitude). Signatures of genetic bottlenecks and reduction of populations’ fitness were observed in all populations. Lower levels of observed heterozygosity are correlated with populations’ fitness, decreasing germination capacity and increasing the proportion of anomalous germinated plantlets. Promoting the connection among populations is proposed as a key strategy towards conservation of L. divaricata genetic resources in its southernmost distribution range. The offspring from crosses among populations would significantly increase the observed heterozygosity and fitness of multiple populations.
The Nordic and Baltic countries are in the frontline of replacing fossil fuel with renewables. An important question is how forest management of the productive parts of this region can support a sustainable development of our societies in reaching low or carbon neutral conditions by 2050. This may involve a 70% increased consumption of biomass and waste to meet the goals. The present review concludes that a 50–100% increase of forest growth at the stand scale, relative to today’s common level of forest productivity, is a realistic estimate within a stand rotation (~70 years). Change of tree species, including the use of non-native species, tree breeding, introduction of high-productive systems with the opportunity to use nurse crops, fertilization and afforestation are powerful elements in an implementation and utilization of the potential. The productive forests of the Nordic and Baltic countries cover in total 63 million hectares, which corresponds to an average 51% land cover. The annual growth is 287 million m3 and the annual average harvest is 189 million m3 (65% of the growth). A short-term increase of wood-based bioenergy by utilizing more of the growth is estimated to be between 236 and 416 TWh depending on legislative and operational restrictions. Balanced priorities of forest functions and management aims such as nature conservation, biodiversity, recreation, game management, ground water protection etc. all need consideration. We believe that these aims may be combined at the landscape level in ways that do not conflict with the goals of reaching higher forest productivity and biomass production.
Multiplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR) allows amplification of two or more pair of primers in parallel for amplification of multiple target sequences in a single reaction tube. In this study, we combined existing simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers (nuclear microsatellites) in the novel combination of multiplex PCR to study the population genetics of common walnut from Croatia. From twenty one tested SSR markers, eleven produced satisfactory results in one multiplex PCR. Population genetic results achieved from 15 samples of Croatian common walnut showed moderate genetic variability (average value: He 0.473; Ho 0.568). Our multiplex PCR allowed cost effective work concerning chemicals, plastic ware, device, and working time producing optimal results. The optimized multiplex PCR represented the best combination of eleven SSR primers for genotyping common walnut in a single PCR reaction.
Long-term (47 years) effect of experimental whole tree harvesting (WTH) with a heavy soil scarification on ground cover vegetation was assessed in a dry nutrient-poor Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) stand in Latvia. Neighbouring conventionally managed young (10 years) and mature (119 years) stands of the same type were used for comparison. Higher species richness was observed in the WTH stand compared to conventionally managed young and mature stands (24, 18 and 16 species, respectively), likely due to the profound disturbance. The Shannon diversity index was higher in the young than in the WTH and mature stands (2.36, 1.77 and 1.63, respectively); still, the composition and structure of ground cover vegetation in WTH was more similar to the mature stand. Nevertheless, the occurrence of oligotrophic species in the WTH stand suggested decreased soil nutrient content and potential development of different plant community. Hence, such method might be considered for restoration of oligotrophic stands. Nevertheless, the period of 47 years appeared sufficient for the ground cover vegetation to recover after the WTH.