article id 547, category Commentary
Introduction. Disturbance dynamics in boreal forests: defining the ecological basis of restoration and management of biodiversity. Silva Fennica vol. 36 no. 1 article id 547. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.547
Category: Research article
article id 10167, category Research article
Life form dynamics of the tree layer in evergreen and deciduous broad-leaved mixed forest during 1996–2017 in Tianmu Mountains, eastern China. Silva Fennica vol. 54 no. 2 article id 10167. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.10167
Highlights: Biodiversity monitoring was performed over twenty one years in a 1 ha plot; Life form composition changed significantly between 1996 and 2017; Evergreen trees in the understory expanded upwards; Forests were currently dominated by evergreen trees.
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.
article id 10019, category Research article
Do tree cavity density and characteristics vary across topographical habitats in the tropics? A case study from Xishuangbanna, southwest China. Silva Fennica vol. 53 no. 1 article id 10019. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.10019
Highlights: Cavities were significantly more abundant in high- and low-slope than high-plateau habitats; There are more “butt hollow” cavities in high-slope habitat and they occurred at a lower height; More “crack” cavities in low-slope habitat and they had a narrower entrance diameter; Certain types of cavities are concentrated in specific habitats, which provide opportunities for forest management and biodiversity conservation.
Despite the influence of cavities on the survival and distribution of cavity-dependent fauna, the variation in the density and characteristics of tree cavities across different habitat types in tropical forests is unknown. In this study, we surveyed 26 312 living trees from 376 species and compared cavity density and characteristics (height, size, type, and orientation) across five habitat types (valley, low-slope, high-slope, high-gully, and high-plateau) in a 20-hectare tropical rainforest in southwest China. From a total of 2047 cavities, we found that cavity density was mainly driven by habitat rather than tree species richness or diameter at breast height (DBH), and the characteristics of cavities were not uniformly distributed across habitats. Cavities were significantly more abundant in high- and low-slope than high-plateau habitats. Compared with other habitats, more “butt hollow” cavity types were found in high-slope habitat and they occurred at a lower tree height, whereas more “crack” cavities were found in low-slope habitat and they had a narrower entrance diameter. Although the mean orientation of cavities faced towards the northeast, cavity orientation varied significantly across habitat types. Our results indicate that certain types of cavities are concentrated in specific habitat types, which can provide avenues for forest management and biodiversity conservation. We highlight the importance of habitat heterogeneity in providing resources for cavity nesters.
article id 10001, category Research article
Characteristics of boreal and hemiboreal herb-rich forests as habitats for polypore fungi. Silva Fennica vol. 52 no. 5 article id 10001. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.10001
Highlights: Polypore species richness and diversity were affected positively by dead-wood diversity, and negatively by increasing latitude; Red-listed species responded only to the abundance of large-diameter dead wood; Main factor determining composition of polypore assemblages was host-tree species; High proportion of deciduous dead-wood in herb-rich forests provides complementary effect on polypore assemblages in boreal forest landscapes.
Herb-rich forests are often considered biodiversity hotspots in the boreal zone but their fungal assemblages, particularly those of wood-decaying fungi, remain poorly known. We studied herb-rich forests as habitats for polypores, a distinct group of wood-decaying fungi, and assessed the importance of tree- and stand-scale variables for polypore species richness, abundance, and diversity, including red-listed species. The data include 71 herb-rich forest stands in Finland and 4797 dead wood items, on which we made 2832 observations of 101 polypore species. Dead-wood diversity was the most important variable explaining polypore species richness and diversity, whereas increasing latitude had a negative effect. Red-listed species showed a positive response to the abundance of large-diameter dead wood, which, especially birch, supported also high general abundance of polypores. The composition of polypore assemblages reflected their host-tree species. The red-listed species did not show explicit patterns in the ordination space. Compared to old-growth spruce forests, herb-rich forests seem to host lower polypore species richness and less red-listed species. However, because of high proportion of deciduous trees in the dead wood profile, herb-rich forests have a clear complementary effect on polypore assemblages in boreal forest landscapes.
article id 6986, category Research article
Effects of environmental factors on the species richness, composition and community horizontal structure of vascular plants in Scots pine forests on fixed sand dunes. Silva Fennica vol. 51 no. 3 article id 6986. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.6986
Highlights: Factors affecting the species richness, composition and horizontal structure of vascular plants are related to dune topography, resulting in the differentiation of soils and therefore complexes of different microhabitats that are populated by various vascular plant species and causing vegetation zonation.
Different environmental factors were studied to determine which factors influence the species richness, composition and structure of vascular plants in Pinus sylvestris L. forests in a fixed dune landscape in south-western Estonia. In addition to site topographic factors, different environmental parameters were investigated. Thirty-four vascular plant species were recorded in 232 quadrats. The most abundant species was Vaccinium vitis-idaea L., which was in 82.8% of quadrats, followed by Vaccinium myrtillus L. (74.1%), Melampyrum pratense L. (71.1%) and Deschampsia flexuosa (L.) Trin. (69.8%). The multiple response permutation procedure (MRPP) showed considerable differences in species composition at the bottoms of dunes compared with that on the slopes and at the tops of dunes. Indicator species analysis (ISA) determined species exhibited characteristics specific to zone: V. myrtillus had the highest indicator value at the bottoms of dunes; Calluna vulgaris L., at the tops. Soils were Haplic Podzols, and the presence of humus horizon depended on zone. Soil conditions on the dunes were variable and site specific, in general, soils at the bottoms of the dunes were more acidic and moist compared with those of the slopes and tops of the dunes, and the nutrient content decreased toward the dune tops. According to non-metric multidimensional scaling (NMDS) and linear mixed model analyses, species coverage, composition and richness were controlled by site-specific factors such as absolute height, location and aspect of the quadrat on the dune; soil nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus contents; soil pH and moisture; light conditions; and the thickness of the litter horizon.
article id 1778, category Research article
Quantifying and resolving conservation conflicts in forest landscapes via multiobjective optimization. Silva Fennica vol. 51 no. 1 article id 1778. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.1778
We introduce a compatibility index quantifying how targeting a management objective in the forest landscape affects another objective; To resolve conflicts we find compromise solutions minimizing the maximum deterioration among objectives; We apply our approach for a case study of forest management for biodiversity conservation and development; Multiple use management and careful planning can reduce biodiversity conflicts in forest ecosystems.
Environmental planning for of the maintenance of different conservation objectives should take into account multiple contrasting criteria based on alternative uses of the landscape. We develop new concepts and approaches to describe and measure conflicts among conservation objectives and for resolving them via multiobjective optimization. To measure conflicts we introduce a compatibility index that quantifies how much targeting a certain conservation objective affects the capacity of the landscape for providing another objective. To resolve such conflicts we find compromise solutions defined in terms of minimax regret, i.e. minimizing the maximum percentage of deterioration among conservation objectives. Finally, we apply our approach for a case study of management for biodiversity conservation and development in a forest landscape. We study conflicts between six different forest species, and we identify management solutions for simultaneously maintaining multiple species’ habitat while obtaining timber harvest revenues. We employ the method for resolving conflicts at a large landscape level across a long 50-years forest planning horizon. Our multiobjective approach can be an instrument for guiding hard choices in the conservation-development nexus with a perspective of developing decision support tools for land use planning. In our case study multiple use management and careful landscape level planning using our approach can reduce conflicts among biodiversity objectives and offer room for synergies in forest ecosystems.
article id 1462, category Research article
The effects of drainage and restoration of pine mires on habitat structure, vegetation and ants. Silva Fennica vol. 50 no. 2 article id 1462. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.1462
Highlights: Mire drainage shifted floristic composition and ant assemblages towards forest communities; Raising the water-table level by ditch filling and the thinning of trees affected mire communities positively already 1–3 years after the start of restoration; The extent of tree cover, the coverage of Sphagnum mosses and the water-table level were major determinants of ant assemblage structure.
Habitat loss and degradation are the main threats to biodiversity worldwide. For example, nearly 80% of peatlands in southern Finland have been drained. There is thus a need to safeguard the remaining pristine mires and to restore degraded ones. Ants play a pivotal role in many ecosystems and like many keystone plant species, shape ecosystem conditions for other biota. The effects of mire restoration and subsequent vegetation succession on ants, however, are poorly understood. We inventoried tree stands, vegetation, water-table level, and ants (with pitfall traps) in nine mires in southern Finland to explore differences in habitats, vegetation and ant assemblages among pristine, drained (30–40 years ago) and recently restored (1–3 years ago) pine mires. We expected that restoring the water-table level by ditch filling and reconstructing sparse tree stands by cuttings will recover mire vegetation and ants. We found predictable responses in habitat structure, floristic composition and ant assemblage structure both to drainage and restoration. However, for mire-specialist ants the results were variable and longer-term monitoring is needed to confirm the success of restoration since these social insects establish perennial colonies with long colony cycles. We conclude that restoring the water-table level and tree stand structure seem to recover the characteristic vegetation and ant assemblages in the short term. This recovery was likely enhanced because drained mires still had both acrotelm and catotelm, and connectedness was still reasonable for mire organisms to recolonize the restored mires either from local refugia or from populations of nearby mires.
article id 1119, category Research article
Species diversity, biomass accumulation and carbon sequestration in the understorey of post-agricultural Scots pine forests. Silva Fennica vol. 48 no. 4 article id 1119. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.1119
Highlights: Understorey plant species diversity significantly increases with the age of a Scots pine stand; Biomass of mosses decreases by a quarter, while biomass of herbs increases several times; Total understorey’s carbon stock increases over three times. The highest amount of carbon is accumulated in understorey species like Vaccinium myrtillus and Dicranum polysetum; The growing proportion of vascular plants in the understorey biomass results in an increase in the understorey C/N ratio.
The purpose of this study was to examine how the age of a stand of post-agricultural Scots pine forests affects the species composition, biomass and the carbon stock of the forest understorey. The community structure and species composition were studied in 75 plots (100 m2 in size), the amount of biomass, organic carbon and total nitrogen were analysed in 75 subplots (1/16 m2 in size). The plots were located in 21 plantations with the stand age of 41–60, 61–80 and over 80-years. Results show that the understorey species diversity increased with the increasing age of Scots pine stands, and the structure and species composition of secondary forests (although managed for timber production) became similar to the fresh pine forest of the European temperate region (Leucobryo-Pinetum community). Despite the increasing species diversity, however, only six understorey vascular and moss species played an important role in the biomass accumulation and C sequestration. Due to the differences in the dominant species composition, the total amount of understorey biomass significantly differed among the forest stands. The mean moss biomass ranged from 3046 kg ha–1 in 41–60-year-old stands, trough 2686 kg ha–1 in 61–80-year-old stands to 2273 kg ha–1 in over 80-year-old stands, and the mean understorey vascular plant biomass amounted to 2 kg ha–1, 1924 kg ha–1 and 3508 kg ha–1, respectively. The concentration of organic C varied considerably between species; it was the highest in Vaccinium myrtillus (50.6%) and in Dicranum polysetum (49.5%). The total mass of C was nearly 800 kg ha–1 in the youngest forests, in the subsequent age series it was two times higher and 3.5 times higher in the oldest ones. Differences in the species composition and in the C/N ratio in different species (generally higher for vascular plants and lower for mosses) were expressed in an increase in the understorey C/N ratio, which was 39.5, 46.6 and 48.6, respectively.
article id 47, category Research article
A comparison of residual forest following fires and harvesting in boreal forests in Quebec, Canada. Silva Fennica vol. 46 no. 3 article id 47. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.47
Residual forests are a key component of post-burned areas creating structure within burns and providing habitat and seed sources. Yet, despite their importance to biodiversity and ecosystem processes there is little information on how similar or different residuals in burned landscape are to harvested landscapes. Our goal was to examine and compare the density, size, shape, and spatial arrangement of residual forest vegetation after fire and clearcutting. We evaluated residual forest in two locations within the boreal mixedwood region of Quebec, Canada using aerial photo interpretation and ArcGIS 9.1 software. We found residual stands to be larger and more abundant in harvested zones relative to sites affected by fire. Differences with respect to shape and spatial arrangement of residual forest were also observed among disturbance types. Factors such as proximity to watercourses, watercourse shape, and physiography affected residual abundance and spatial distribution. Residual forest in harvested zones tended to be more elongated with greater edge due to rules governing forest operations. Despite greater quantity of residual forest in harvested areas than fires, managers should still be prudent as the surrounding forest matrix is reduced in many managed landscapes.
article id 86, category Research article
Logs and stumps in clearcuts support similar saproxylic beetle diversity: implications for bioenergy harvest. Silva Fennica vol. 45 no. 5 article id 86. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.86
Stumps from clear cuts are increasingly used for bioenergy. Extracting this wood will reduce the habitat available for saproxylic (wood-living) organisms. As little is known about the species assemblages that will be affected, we investigated the diversity of saproxylic beetles in stumps on clear-felled sites and as a reference, we compared it with the diversity in downed logs. Stumps and logs of aspen (Populus tremula L.), birch (Betula pubescens Ehrh. and B. verrucosa Ehrh.[syn. B. pendula Roth]), spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst.) and pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) were examined in clear cuts of two different ages: one summer old and 4–5 years old. The beetles were sampled by sieving bark (0.25 m2) peeled from the wood. The samples were taken in pairs of one log and one stump situated close together and of the same tree species, age since death and diameter. In total 3348 saproxylic beetles belonging to 124 species were found in 176 samples. The stumps had a similar number of species to the logs both as measured per sample and as an accumulated number. Exceptions were 4–5 years old wood of birch and pine where the number was significantly higher in the stumps. The number of red-listed species was also similar between stumps and logs. Species composition was more different between the stumps and logs of conifers than of deciduous trees. We conclude that clear-felled stumps have a diverse saproxylic insect fauna. This has to be taken into account if large scale extraction of logging stumps is implemented.
article id 79, category Research article
Alternative silvicultural practices in irregular boreal forests: response of beetle assemblages. Silva Fennica vol. 45 no. 5 article id 79. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.79
In the process of implementing sustainable management in the eastern Canadian boreal forest, we tested two selection cutting methods and compared them with two widely used practices in the boreal forest: clearcutting with protection of the advanced growth and soils and irregular shelterwood cutting leaving small merchantable stems. We used old-growth irregular stands as references in comparing the impact of these silvicultural treatments on the diversity and abundance of beetles. Three groups were targeted: saproxylic flying beetles, epigaeic saproxylic beetles and epigaeic non-saproxylic beetles. A sampling design including 320 pitfall traps and 80 multidirectional flight-interception traps was deployed in 2007. A total of 26 906 beetles was captured including 407 taxa distributed among 52 families. We found that clearcutting with protection of the advanced growth and soils and irregular shelterwood cutting leaving small merchantable stems had a greater impact on beetle communities than both selection cuttings. Canopy opening as well as the presence of snags and downed woody debris appear as important attributes for several saproxylic and non-saproxylic species. Beetle communities in selection cuttings remained more similar to those found in controls; these silvicultural treatments are new tools to implement ecosystemic and sustainable management in irregular boreal forests.
article id 451, category Research article
Green-tree retention and life after the beetle: stand structure and small mammals 30 years after salvage harvesting. Silva Fennica vol. 44 no. 5 article id 451. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.451
We report on a retrospective investigation of the impacts of salvage harvesting of lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta var. latifolia Engelm. ex S. Wats.), killed by an outbreak of mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae Hopk.) in the 1970s, with variable retention of Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirbel) Franco). Our inference to biodiversity was coniferous stand structure and four mammal species: the southern red-backed vole (Myodes gapperi Vigors), common shrew (Sorex cinereus Kerr), red squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus Erxleben) and northern flying squirrel (Glaucomys sabrinus Shaw). We tested hypotheses that, at 30 years after salvage harvest of beetle-killed lodgepole pine trees, (1) abundance and diversity of stand structure, and (2) abundance of mammal species, will increase with higher levels of green-tree retention (GTR). Stand structure attributes and small mammals were sampled during 2005–2008 in young pine stands, with a range of GTR seed-trees (none, dispersed, and aggregated Douglas-fir), and uncut forest in south-central British Columbia, Canada. Diameters and heights of Douglas-fir and lodgepole pine and basal area of total conifers supported hypothesis (1). Mean abundance of the red-backed vole was consistently higher (2.3 to 6.4 times) in the uncut forest than other stands. Overall mean patterns of abundance for common shrews, red squirrels, and northern flying squirrels were similar among treatment stands. Mean abundance of the red-backed vole supported hypothesis (2), but numbers of the other three species did not. There is “life after the beetle” at 30 years after salvage harvesting, and this was enhanced by GTR.
article id 238, category Research article
Forest owners' decision support in voluntary biodiversity-protection projects. Silva Fennica vol. 42 no. 4 article id 238. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.238
New forest-biodiversity-protection instruments based on temporary protection periods and non-industrial private forest owners’ voluntary participation have been recently introduced and tested in pilot areas located in Southern Finland. Thanks to their several benefits, the use of voluntary instruments is becoming more common in many other countries as well. Voluntary protection here means that forest owners voluntarily set aside tracts of forest to be protected and define their compensation fees. Depending on the objectives of the forest owners, the compensation fee reflects the forest owners’ (positive) attitude towards biodiversity, scenic beauty, recreational values and/or the existence of long-term cutting possibilities. When a forest owner decides to offer part of his/her forest holding to be temporarily protected, the owner faces a new decision problem related to definition of the compensation fee, which should be based on diverse information concerning stand- and holding-level opportunity costs as well as on the biodiversity value of the stand. This article introduces three decision-support elements for assisting forest owners in defining their compensation fees. The first element relates to the assessment of the potential stand-level loss of timber harvesting income that the temporary protection of the stand may cause. The second element sets the holding-level opportunity cost of protection by utilizing the forest owners’ holding level goals, the holdings’ production possibilities and optimization methods. The third element describes the biodiversity value of the stand by means of a multi-criteria expert model. Case study material collected from the area of Central Karelia Herb-rich Forests Network pilot project is used to illustrate the characteristics of the decision-support elements and to point out some development needs for the future use of these elements.
article id 254, category Research article
Risk of bark beetle (Coleoptera, Scolytidae) damage in a spruce forest restoration area in central Finland. Silva Fennica vol. 42 no. 2 article id 254. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.254
A beetle inventory using window traps was performed to examine the effect of forest restoration by artificial addition of dead wood on the abundance of beetles and to evaluate the risk of bark beetle damage in a forest restoration area. The number of beetle families was slightly increased, but no consistent differences were found in the abundance of families containing saproxylic Coleoptera between the restoration and control plots. The abundance and species number of bark beetles and longhorn beetles were significantly higher on the restoration plots. Ips typographus and Pityogenes chalcographus increased only slightly in abundance. In the regression models produced, the abundance of bark beetles was best explained by the volume of recently dead wood. However, the bark beetle species whose abundance increased most were secondary and the material also suggests an increase in the abundance of bark beetles’ natural enemies. The risk of bark beetle damage in the area is thus considered insignificant.
article id 250, category Research article
Microsites before and after restoration in managed Picea abies stands in southern Finland: effects of fire and partial cutting with dead wood creation. Silva Fennica vol. 42 no. 2 article id 250. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.250
Different types of microsites, e.g. CWD (coarse woody debris), mounds, and uprooting pits, are important for tree regeneration and biodiversity. However, microsite diversity is greatly reduced in managed stands. We studied how restoration treatments changed microsite distribution in mature managed Picea abies stands. Four cutting treatments were used: uncut, low-CWD (5 m3 ha–1 of down retention trees, DRT, and 50 m3 ha–1 of standing retention trees), intermediate-CWD (as previous but leaving 30 m3 ha–1 of DRT), and high-CWD (as previous but with 60 m3 ha–1 of DRT). Timber harvested from stands ranged from 108–168 m3 ha–1. Half of the stands were burned, and half remained unburned. Sampling was stratified into upland and paludified biotopes within each stand. The pre-treatment microsite distributions were dominated by level ground in both biotopes; mounds and microsites on or next to CWD or a stump were slightly more abundant in the paludified than in the upland biotopes. Microsites were more diverse after cutting, with and without fire. The cutting treatment increased the relative abundances of microsites on or next to CWD. Fire consumed small diameter dead wood and flattened mounds. Microsites were more diverse in paludified than in upland biotopes. The results demonstrate that microsite diversity can rapidly be restored to structurally impoverished managed Picea stands despite a large portion of wood volume being harvested.
article id 286, category Research article
Economic impacts on the forest sector of increasing forest biodiversity conservation in Finland. Silva Fennica vol. 41 no. 3 article id 286. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.286
In the next coming years, political decisions will be made upon future actions to safeguard forest biodiversity in Southern Finland. We address the economic consequences on the Finnish forest sector of conserving additional 0.5% to 5% of the old growth forest land in Southern Finland. The impacts on supply, demand and prices of wood and forest industry production are analysed employing a partial equilibrium model of the Finnish forest sector. An increase in conservation raises wood prices and thus the production costs of the forest industry. This makes sawnwood production fall, but does not affect paper and paperboard production. The forest owners’ aggregated wood sales income is unaffected or slightly increased, because an increase in stumpage prices offsets the decrease in the harvests. If conservation increases wood imports, negative effects on forest industry become smaller whereas aggregated forest owners’ income may decline depending on the magnitude of import substitution.
article id 383, category Research article
Biodiversity value of potential forest fertilisation stands, as assessed by red-listed and ‘signal’ bryophytes and lichens. Silva Fennica vol. 39 no. 2 article id 383. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.383
In Sweden ca. 20 000 ha forestland is fertilised each year. By using red-listed and ‘signal’ bryophytes and lichens as indicators, we investigated whether forest stands planned for fertilisation have a biodiversity value, and thus if restrictions due to conservation aspects are motivated. Species occurrences were registered in detailed line-transect analysis, with a record size of 10 x 10 m, in 74 coniferous forest stands with a mean age of 57 years in East-Central Sweden. On the 230 ha totally surveyed, 10 red-listed and 37 signal species were found. The mean number of records ha–1 of red-listed bryophytes and lichens was 0.26 ha–1, which is considerably less than previously found in mature production stands and woodland key habitats. Red-listed species were found in 31% of the stands and signal species in 95%. More than 70% of all records of red-listed species and 30% of the records of the signal species were found in moist micro-sites. If rare bryophytes and lichens are to be preserved in fertilisation stands, improved instructions regarding avoidance of important micro-sites are needed.
article id 485, category Research article
Nature conservation efforts by forest owners – intentions and practice in a Swedish case study. Silva Fennica vol. 37 no. 4 article id 485. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.485
Before a forest operation Swedish forest owners need to fill in a registration form. Since 1994, when a new Swedish Forestry Act came into force, intended nature conservation measures can also be noted on the form. I evaluate 1) if the self-reported nature conservation intentions displayed any trends from 1995 to 2000, and 2) if the intentions were implemented. All forms from these years, in one municipality, were analysed and the stand structure retention was measured on 40 clear-cuts. The intentions, noted as check-marks on the form, showed an increasing trend during these years. However, the increase may be an artefact of changes the form during the time period. The number of check-marks on the forms and the stand structure items actually present on the 40 clear-cuts showed a positive relation. The clear-cuts with ≤ 3 check-marks on the form had lower amounts of the three most common items, than those with ≥ 4 check-marks. To conclude 1) a true increase in the self-reported intentions of the forest owners could not be established; 2) the intentions were generally followed by associated practices on the clear-cuts; 3) the amounts of stand structures retained were probably not enough to reach the biodiversity goal of the Forestry Act. The registration form could be improved to become less open for interpretation and contain quantified recommendations. Self-reported intentions of the forest owners could then possibly be used as indicators of real structural retention, which could facilitate planning and allow for making predictions about the future forests.
article id 565, category Research article
Silvicultural disturbance severity and plant communities of the southern Canadian boreal forest. Silva Fennica vol. 36 no. 1 article id 565. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.565
Boreal forest ecosystems are adapted to periodic disturbance, but there is widespread concern that conventional forest practises degrade plant communities. We examined vegetation diversity and composition after clearcut logging, mechanical and chemical site preparation in eight 5- to 12-yr old studies located in southern boreal forests of British Columbia and Quebec, Canada to find useful indicators for monitoring ecosystem integrity and to provide recommendations for the development and testing of new silvicultural approaches. Community-wide and species-specific responses were measured across gradients of disturbance severity and the results were explained in terms of the intermediate disturbance hypothesis and a simple regeneration model based on plant life history strategies. Species richness was 30 to 35% higher 5 to 8 years after clearcut logging than in old forest. Total and vascular species diversity generally peaked on moderately severe site treatments, while non-vascular diversity declined with increasing disturbance severity. On more-or-less mesic sites, there was little evidence of diversity loss within the range of conventional silvicultural disturbances; however, there were important changes in plant community composition. Removing soil organic layers caused a shift from residual and resprouting understory species to ruderal species regenerating from seeds and spores. Severe treatments dramatically increased non-native species invasion. Two important challenges for the proposed natural dynamics-based silviculture will be 1) to find ways of maintaining populations of sensitive non-vascular species and forest mycoheterotrophs, and 2) to create regeneration niches for disturbance-dependent indigenous plants without accelerating non-native species invasion.
Category: Review article
article id 553, category Review article
Natural fire regime: a guide for sustainable management of the Canadian boreal forest. Silva Fennica vol. 36 no. 1 article id 553. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.553
The combination of certain features of fire disturbance, notably fire frequency, size and severity, may be used to characterize the disturbance regime in any region of the boreal forest. As some consequences of fire resemble the effects of industrial forest harvesting, conventional forest management is often considered as a disturbance that has effects similar to those of natural disturbances. Although the analogy between forest management and fire disturbance in boreal ecosystems has some merit, it is important to recognise that it also has its limitations. Short fire cycles generally described for boreal ecosystems do not appear to be universal; rather, important spatial and temporal variations have been observed in Canada. These variations in the fire cycle have an important influence on forest composition and structure at the landscape and regional levels. Size and severity of fires also show a large range of variability. In regions where the natural matrix of the boreal forest remains relatively intact, maintenance of this natural variability should be targeted by forest managers concerned with biodiversity conservation. Current forest management tends to reduce this variability: for example, fully regulated, even-aged management will tend to truncate the natural forest age distribution and eliminate over-mature and old-growth forests from the landscape. We suggest that the development of strategic-level forest management planning approaches and silvicultural techniques designed to maintain a spectrum of forest compositions and structures at different scales in the landscape is one avenue to maintain this variability. Although we use the boreal forest of Quebec for our examples, it is possible to apply the approach to those portions of the boreal forest where the fire regime favours the development of even-aged stands in burns.
article id 552, category Review article
Natural variability of forests as a reference for restoring and managing biological diversity in boreal Fennoscandia. Silva Fennica vol. 36 no. 1 article id 552. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.552
In Fennoscandia, use of the natural forest as a reference for restoration and management of forest biodiversity has been widely accepted. However, limited understanding of the structure and dynamics of the natural forest has hampered the applications of the natural variability approach. This is especially the case in areas, where the natural forests have almost totally vanished. This review was motivated by the idea that despite these difficulties the essential features of the natural forest can be reconstructed based on biological archives, historical documents, research done in adjacent natural areas, and modeling. First, a conceptual framework for analyzing the relationship between forest structure, dynamics and biodiversity is presented. Second, the current understanding of the structure and dynamics of natural forests at different spatiotemporal scales in boreal Fennoscandia is reviewed. Third, the implications of this knowledge, and gaps in knowledge, on research and on practical restoration and management methods aimed at forest biodiversity conservation are discussed. In conclusion, naturally dynamic forest landscapes are complex, multiscaled hierarchical systems. Current forest management methods create disturbance and successional dynamics that are strongly scale-limited when compared with the natural forest. To restore some of the essential characteristics of the natural forest’s multiscale heterogeneity, diversification of silvicultural and harvesting treatments, as guided by natural disturbance dynamics, is needed to produce more variation in disturbance severity, quality, extent, and repeatability.
Category: Research note
article id 92, category Research note
A comparison of avian diversity in spruce monocultures and spruce-birch polycultures in southern Sweden. Silva Fennica vol. 45 no. 5 article id 92. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.92
The replacement of some spruce monocultures with stands composed of planted Norway spruce (Picea abies) and naturally regenerated birch (Betula spp.) has a range of potential benefits, but the implications for biodiversity are generally unknown. Here we conduct a paired replicated study in southern Sweden of the avian biodiversity found within Norway spruce monocultures, and within Norway spruce stands possessing approximately 20% birch. Our research leads us to three findings. First, avian diversity was significantly higher in the spruce–birch polycultures. Second, spruce–birch polycultures exclusively attracted broadleaf-associated bird species and retained the majority of conifer-associated bird species found in the spruce monocultures. Third, avian biodiversity within the spruce–birch polycultures did not incorporate threatened taxa. We suggest that in addition to the apparent benefits for stand level diversity, widespread use of spruce–birch polycultures could provide a means of softening the matrix for broadleaved-associated species, while concurrently providing an increased broadleaf base from which future conservation actions could be implemented. Our results are relevant to multi-use forestry, and recent policy initiatives by forest certification agencies which aim to increase broadleaf-associated biodiversity within conifer-dominated production forest landscapes.
Category: Discussion article
article id 270, category Discussion article
The natural northern European boreal forests: unifying the concepts, terminologies, and their application. Silva Fennica vol. 42 no. 1 article id 270. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.270
Recent emphasis on conserving the biodiversity has stressed the value of natural ecosystems in saving the species from extinction. In the Fennoscandian region the conifer-dominated boreal forests form the largest single ecosystem. The forests have been under varying intensity of human influence for decades or centuries. Recent attempts have tried to seek the last remaining natural forests to be included in the protection programmes. However, due to long and widespread human influence, finding and defining the natural forests has proven to be extremely difficult, not only because they are so rare but also because the concept of natural forest is vague. These difficulties are partly seen through the diverse terminology used. We first review the varying terminology as seen in recent studies. Secondly, we propose the basis for defining the natural forest and show some intriguing and challenging difficulties are involved in the concept. These difficulties are at least partly related to inherent strong and long-term dynamic component in boreal forest ecosystems that is manifested over several temporal and spatial scales. Finally, we outline a more general terminology with associated indicators and measurements that might be used in the classification and terminology. Conceptual clarification is necessary, for example, to compile ecologically justified and representative global, national and regional forest statistics. Many currently applied definitions of “forest” and “natural” that are applied in the context of forest statistics overlook ecologically important components of natural forests, and thus provide quite misleading or inadequate data of existing diversity patterns in these ecosystems.
article id 572, category Discussion article
Principles of ecological restoration of boreal forested ecosystems: Finland as an example. Silva Fennica vol. 36 no. 1 article id 572. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.572
article id 571, category Discussion article
Using nature’s template to best advantage in the Canadian boreal forest. Silva Fennica vol. 36 no. 1 article id 571. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.571
article id 570, category Discussion article
Scale, the dynamic stability of forest ecosystems, and the persistence of biodiversity. Silva Fennica vol. 36 no. 1 article id 570. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.570
article id 680, category Discussion article
ESC-strategy for rational operationalization of forest biodiversity maintenance in Finland. Silva Fennica vol. 32 no. 4 article id 680. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.680
article id 5636, category Article
Integrating forest-level and compartment-level indices of species diversity with numerical forest planning. Silva Fennica vol. 31 no. 4 article id 5636. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.a8538
The study proposes a technique which enables the computation of user-defined indices for species diversity. These indices are derived from characteristics, called diversity indicators, of inventory plots, stand compartments, and the whole forest holding. The study discusses the modifications required to be made to typical forest planning systems due to this kind of biodiversity computation. A case study illustrating the use of the indices and a modified forest planning system is provided. In the case study, forest-level species diversity index was computed from the volume of dead wood, volume of broadleaved trees, area of old forest, and between-stand variety.
At the stand level, the area of old forest was replaced by stand age, and variety was described by within-stand variety. All but one of the indicators were further partitioned into two to four sub-indicators. For example, the volume of broadleaved trees was divided into volumes of birch, aspen, willow, and other tree species. The partial contribution of an indicator to the diversity index was obtained from a sub-priority function, determined separately for each indicator. The diversity index was obtained when the partial contributions were multiplied by the weights of the corresponding indicators and then were summed. The production frontiers computed for the harvested volume and diversity indices were concave, especially for the forest-level diversity index, indicating that diversity can be maintained at satisfactory level with medium harvest levels.
article id 5613, category Article
Forest insects and environmental variation in stand edges. Silva Fennica vol. 31 no. 2 article id 5613. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.a8514
Distribution and occurrence of bark beetles and other forest insects in relation to environmental variation were analysed by multivariate methods. Eight different forest edges were studied using 10 x 10 m sample plots that formed 200 m linear transects perpendicular to the forest edge. Forest edge affected the distribution of insect species only in the edges between mature, non-managed spruce stands and clear cuts or young seedling stands, but not in the pine stands. The occurrence of the selected forest insects mainly depended on variables associated with the amount and quality of suitable woody material. The most significant environmental variables were forest site type, crown canopy coverage, tree species, number of stumps, number of dead spruce trunks and amount of logging waste at site. Quantitative classification of species and sample plots showed that some specialized species (Xylechinus pilosus, Cryphalus saltuarius, Polygraphus poligraphus and P. subopacus) adapted to mature spruce forests, tended to withdraw from the forest edge to interior stand sites. By contrast many generalized species (Pityogenes chalcographus, P. quadridens, Pissodes spp., Hylurgops palliatus, Tomicus piniperda, Dryocoetes spp. and Trypodendron lineatum) benefitted from cuttings and spread over stand borders into mature forest.
article id 5603, category Article
Tasks of forest biodiversity management and monitoring deriving from international agreements. Silva Fennica vol. 30 no. 2–3 article id 5603. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.a9248
Four governmental efforts are underway to reach consensus on indicators of sustainable forestry. Through the Helsinki process, European countries have developed and reached a pan-European, binding consensus, The Montreal process includes non-European Temperate and boreal forest countries, the International Tropical Timber Organization (lTTO) have developed guidelines for the sustainable management of natural tropical forests, and the countries around the Amazon basis have developed a joint initiative for creating guidelines of sustainable forest management of the Amazonian tropical rain forests. It is estimated that as many as 15–20 distinct processes are under way in the private sector by non-profit organizations and for-profit companies, some domestic and other international in scope. Perhaps the most wide-ranging definition work of non-governmental organizations is the undertake by the Forest Stewardship Council, FSC. The paper discusses the Helsinki and Montreal processes and the tasks for research.
article id 5601, category Article
Impact of fire on Finnish forest in the past and today. Silva Fennica vol. 30 no. 2–3 article id 5601. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.a9246
Nearly every forest land in Finland has been burnt down by a wildfire at least once during the past 400–500 years. Slash and burn cultivation (1700–1920) was practised on 50–75 percent of Finland's forests, while prescribed burning (1920–1990) has been applied to 2–3 percent of the country's forests. Because of land-use changes and efficient fire prevention and control systems, the occurrence of wildfires in Finland has decreased considerably during the past few decades. Owing to the biodiversity and ecologically favourable influence of fire, the current tendency is to revive the use of controlled fire in forestry in Finland. Prescribed burning is used in forest regeneration and endeavours are being made to revert old conservation forests to the starting point of succession through forest fires.
article id 5600, category Article
North European platyphyllous forests: biodiversity dynamics and climate changes in northwest European Russia. Silva Fennica vol. 30 no. 2–3 article id 5600. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.a9245
Distribution, biodiversity and reforestation dynamics of the platyphyllous forests in the Northwest European Russia were investigated. Data assembled from 21 landscape regions (250–350 km2 each) show special features of small-leaved lime (Tilia cordata Mill., Norway maple (Acer platanoides L.), mountain elm (Ulmus glabra Mill.) and English oak (Qurecus robur L.) reforestation during the last two decades. New tendencies were found for the taiga areas with natural Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) H. Karst.) and Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) vegetation. Natural platyphyllous reforestation in cut spruce areas poses as supposed a special question for forest management policy in the relationship to global climate changes. Feasible unsustainability of the common types of succession (Norway spruce - European birch (Betula pendula Roth); Norway spruce - European aspen (Populus tremula L.)) is discussed. Biodiversity of herbs, shrubs and tree species of platyphyllous forests is high and complex and is situated in 4–15 old-growth relics in each landscape region. Low-level genotype heterogeneity of nemoral flora species of such isolated populations is presumed. Special biodiversity conservation regulations are proposed.
article id 5599, category Article
Species richness and structure variations of Scots pine forest communities during the period from 5 to 210 years after fire. Silva Fennica vol. 30 no. 2–3 article id 5599. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.a9244
Postfire recovery of species diversity (including a number of species, entropy of species relative coverage (Shannon index of species diversity) was studied in lichen and green moss site types of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) forests in the central part of the Kola Peninsula. The results obtained indicate the difference in the dynamics of characteristics of biodiversity of forest components during postfire recovery. The stabilization of separate components of forest community varies in time from 5–15 to 120–140 years after the fire. Characteristics of the dwarf shrub and herb stratum recovered and stabilized 5–15 years after fire, while the complete stabilization of characteristics of moss-lichen cover is observed in community with fire ages of 90–140 years. Species richness of tree stratum recovered 120–140 years after fire. Time of complete stabilization of species richness of the community was estimated 120–140 years after fire. The size of the area over which characteristics of the biodiversity were estimated effected the mean values and, in most cases, the character of variation of studied characteristics. Over an area of 1 x 1 m dynamics of characteristics of species diversity coincide in forests of the studied types. Regardless of forest type within the area of 100 m2 species richness recovered 30 years after the fire (i.e. 3–5 times earlier than the establishment of the complete stabilization of the forest structure). That means that floristic composition of the forest remained unchanged from 30 to 210 years after the fire.
article id 5598, category Article
Statistical opportunities for comparing stand structural heterogeneity in managed and primeval forests: an example from boreal spruce forest in southern Finland. Silva Fennica vol. 30 no. 2–3 article id 5598. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.a9243
The horizontal and vertical stand structure of living trees was examined in a managed and in a primeval Norway spruce-dominated forest in Southern Finland. Tree size distributions (DBHs, tree height) were compared using frequency histograms. The vertical distribution of tree heights was illustrated as tree height plots and quantified as the tree height diversity (THD) using the Shannon-Weaver formula. The horizontal spatial pattern of trees was described with stem maps and quantified with Ripley's K-function. The spatial autocorrelation of tree sizes was examined with semivariogram analysis. In the managed forest the DBH and height distributions of trees were bimodal, indicating a two-layered vertical structure with a single dominant tree layer and abundant regeneration in the understory. The primeval forest had a much higher total number of trees which were rather evenly distributed in different diameter and tree height classes. The K-function summaries for trees taller than 15 m indicated that the primeval stand was close to complete random pattern. The managed stand was regular at small distances (up to 4 m). The semivariograms of tree sizes (DBH tree height) showed that the managed forest had a clear spatial dependence in tree sizes up to inter-tree distances of about 12 meters. In contrast, the primeval spruce forest had a variance peak at very short inter-tree distances (< 1 m) and only weak spatial autocorrelation at short inter-tree distances (1–5 m). Excluding the understory trees (h < 15 m) from the analysis drastically changed the spatial structure of the forest as revealed by semivariograms. ln general, the structure of the primeval forest was both horizontally and vertically more variable and heterogeneous compared to the managed forest. The applicability of the used methods in describing fine-scale forest structure i discussed.
article id 5562, category Article
Impact of regeneration method on stand structure prior to first thinning. Comparative study North Karelia, Finland vs. Republic of Karelia, Russian Federation. Silva Fennica vol. 29 no. 4 article id 5562. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.a9213
Comparisons were made between artificially and naturally regenerated stands in the south-eastern part of North Karelia, Finland, and naturally regenerated stands in the western parts of the Republic of Karelia, Russian Federation. The effect of soil fertility and silvicultural operations on the stand structure was also investigated.
The results of the study show clearly that when forests are artificially regenerated the stand structure includes less variation when compared with the stands naturally regenerated. Differences between the regeneration methods are clearer the more fertile the forest site is. Within the regeneration method there is also a clear trend in stand structure, with the variation decreasing the poorer the site. The effect of silvicultural operations, i.e. the cleaning of the sapling stand, has disappeared by the time of first thinning, although it appears to have a permanent effect on the dynamics of the tree species within a stand.
The variation of the stand structure can be regarded as an essential factor for the potential biodiversity of the stand also at its young vegetation succession stage. This capacity for maintaining the forest biodiversity, developed at the young vegetation succession stage, becomes increasingly important in subsequent vegetation succession stages. Natural regeneration provides improved possibilities for the operations preserving forest biodiversity, as it generates more dense stands with a wider variation in stand structure, compared to artificial regeneration.
article id 7505, category Article
Assessment of insect occurrence in boreal forests based on satellite imagery and field measurements. Acta Forestalia Fennica no. 243 article id 7505. https://doi.org/10.14214/aff.7505
The presence/absence data of 27 forest insect taxa (Retinia resinella, Formica spp., Pissodes spp., several scolytids) and recorded environmental variation were used to investigate the applicability of modelling insect occurrence based on satellite imagery. The sampling was based on 1,800 sample plots (25 m by 25 m) placed along the sides of 30 equilateral triangles (side 1 km) in a fragmented forest area (approximately 100 km2) in Evo, Southern Finland. The triangles were overlaid on land use maps interpreted from satellite images (Landsat TM 30 m multispectral scanner imagery 1991) and digitized geological maps. Insect occurrence was explained using either environmental variables measured in the field or those interpreted from the land use and geological maps. The fit of logistic regression models carried between species, possibly because some species may be associated with characteristics of single trees while other species with stand characteristics. The occurrence of certain insect species at least, especially those associated with Scots pine, could be relatively accurately assessed indirectly on the basis of satellite imagery and geological maps. Models based on both remotely sensed and geological data better predicted the distribution of forest insects except in the case of Xylechinus pilosus, Dryocetes sp. and Trypodendron lineatum, where the differences were relatively small in favour of the models based on field measurements. The number of species was related to habitat compartment size and distance from the habitat edge calculated from the land use maps, but logistic regressions suggested that other environmental variables in general masked the effect of these variables in species occurrence at the present scale.
article id 7606, category Article
Quantitative biogeography of the bark beetles (Coleoptera, Scolytidae) in northern Europe. Acta Forestalia Fennica no. 219 article id 7606. https://doi.org/10.14214/aff.7606
Biogeographical patterns of the Scolytidae in Fennoscandia and Denmark, based on species incidence data from the approximately 70 km x 70 km quadrats (n = 221) used by Lekander et al. (1977), were classified to environmental variables using multivariate methods (two-way indicator species analysis, detrended correspondence analysis, canonical correspondence analysis).
The distributional patterns of scolytid species composition showed similar features to earlier presented zonations based on vegetation composition. One major difference, however, was that the region was more clearly divided in an east-west direction. Temperature variables associated with the location of the quadrat had the highest canonical coefficient values on the first axis of the CCA. Although these variables were the most important determinants of the biogeographical variation in the beetle species assemblages, annual precipitation and the distribution of Picea abies also improved the fit of the species data.
Samples with the most deviant rarity and typicality indices for the scolytid species assempblages in each quadrat were concentrated in several southern Scandinavian quadrats, in some quadrats in northern Sweden, and especially on the Swedish islands (Öland, Gotland, Gotska Sandön) in the Baltic Sea. The use of rarity indices which do not take the number of species per quadrat, also resulted high values for areas near Stockholm and Helsinki with well-known faunas. Methodological tests in which the real changes in the distribution of Ips acuminatus and I. amitinus were used as indicators showed that the currently available multivariate methods are sensitive to small faunal shifts even, and thus permit analysis of the fauna in relation to environmental changes. However, this requires more detailed monitoring of the species’ distributions over longer time spans.
Distribution of seven species (Scolytus intricatus, S. laevis, Hylurgops glabratus, Crypturgus cinereus, Pityogenes salasi, Ips typographus, and Cyleborus dispar) were predicted by logistic regression models using climatic variables. In spite of the deficiencies in the data and the environmental variables selected, the models were relatively good for several but not for all species. The potential effects of climate change on bark beetles are discussed.
The PDF includes a summary in Finnish.