Current issue: 54(2)
We studied the spatial decomposition rates of standardised organic substrates in soils (burned boreal pine-dominated sub-xeric forests in eastern Finland), with respect to charred and non-charred coarse woody debris (CWD). Decomposition rates of rooibos plant litter inside teabags (C:N = 42.870 ± 1.841) and pressed-sheet Nordic hardwood pulp (consisting of mainly alpha-cellulose) were measured at 0.2 m distance from 20 charred (LC0.2) and 40 non-charred logs (LNC0.2). We also measured decomposition at 60 plots located 3–10 m away from downed logs (L3,10). The rooibos decomposition rate constant ‘k’ was 8.4% greater at the LNC0.2 logs than at the L3,10 or LC0.2 logs. Cellulose decomposed more completely in 1 micron mesh bags at LNC0.2 (44% of buried bags had leftover material) than at LC0.2 (76%) or L3,10 (70%). Decomposition of cellulose material was rapid but varied greatly between sampling plots. Our results indicate that decomposition of the standardised organic matter was more rapid close to CWD pieces than further away. However, only the plots located near non-charred logs (LNC0.2) exhibited high decomposition rates, with no corresponding increase observed at the charred logs (LC0.2). This suggests a possible noteworthy indirect effect of forest burning on soil organic matter (SOM) decomposition rates close to charred CWD after forest fires. We urge for more studies on this tentative observation as it may affect the estimates on how fires affect carbon cycling in forests.
The objective of this project was to determine the amount of gas exchange in peat samples collected from several swamps, using the Warburg method in the laboratory measurements. Special attention was directed on the influence of the lowering of the ground water level through drainage, on oxidation-reduction conditions in the samples from both forested and treeless peatlands, by measuring oxygen uptake and CO2 release. The biological activity in situ was determined by the cellulose decomposition rate in the sample plots. The six areas examined were both in drained peatlands and peatlands in natural condition.
The results show that in the sample plots in open swamps there was no consistent differences in the CO2 release rate in peat samples taken from different depths. However, in the sample plots on forested swamps rapid decrease is seen with increasing depth. The decreased biological activity of peat is caused by the oxidation-reduction conditions. The CO2 release rate may also be due to the respiration of tree roots, which are very shallow in peatlands.
The rate of in situ cellulose decomposition experiment and CO2 release indicated by the Warburg measurements appear to be correlated. The results indicate improved conditions for cellulose-decomposing microbes after draining. It is also possible that the biological activity of peat after draining increases to a considerable depth until the decrease of easily decomposable substances limit the activity in an old drainage area. The cellulose decomposition rate would still increase as the oxidation-reduction conditions improve.
Sales of cellulose have been handled in Finland since 1918 on a central marketing system through the Finnish Cellulose Union (Suomen Selluloosayhdistys), which is a joint sales company formed by the enterprises. First part of the paper constitutes the questions of the channels and functions of marketing. The most focal problem is related to the interests of individual producers. The second part concentrates on the brand policy of central marketing.
The small number of producer companies and – for 40 years ago – the existence of relatively few categories and grades on the market have contributed to the birth of central marketing of cellulose in Finland. Central marketing is probably more advantageous for smaller firms and companies less well placed than the biggest concerns. It levels out the status held by the best and the weakest firm in individual marketing and consequently perhaps does not give a top brand the standing it would have in relation to the other brands in individual marketing. Central marketing may have advantages also in regards of general price level and marketing costs.
The marketing system is dependent on the conditions in which it is to be carried out. An example of this is that Scandinavian cellulose producers have fairly good opportunities under the individual marketing system of using the service factor, owing to the good and far-ranging scheduled shipping facilities of the countries. It is probably the different conditions in this country that have made Finland’s cellulose marketing system essentially different from that of the Scandinavian countries.
The PDF includes a summary in Finnish.
The aim of this project was to investigate the cellulose decomposition rate in the soil on the ecological conditions created by different tree species, particularly birch (Betula sp.) and Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) H. Karst.). Therefore, comparable sample plots were established in adjoining birch and spruce stands. Data on the stands, the vegetation, and the soil in the sample plots were collected. The experiment was carried out in the Ruotsinkylä Experimental Forest near Helsinki in Southern Finland.
Five pieces (3x5x0.15 cm) of cellulose (bleached sulphite pulp) were dried, weighed, and fastened in a row into a nylon bag. The bags were placed into the soil at a slant so that the upmost piece of cellulose was in the depth of 0–1.5 cm and the bottom one 6–7.5 cm. The weight losses of the pieces were measured after periods ranging from 6 to 12 months.
The results show that even within the same forest type, decomposition is much more rapid in birch stands than in spruce stands. In all the stands the decomposition rate decreased rapidly with increasing depth. The difference between birch and spruce stand, as well as the decrease with increasing depth, was probably mainly due to different thermal conditions.
The PDF includes a summary in English.