Current issue: 53(2)
Under compilation: 53(3)
Dilution plate method was used in studying the density and composition of the microfungal populations of the organic layer of Scots pine forests, and the soil-plate method in studying the part of these populations decomposing cellulose. The media used were rose bengal agar (Martin’s medium for fungi) and cellulose medium.
The microfungal density depended to a considerable extent on the moisture content and temperature of the organic layer. Only the combination of relatively high moisture content and temperature, but neither of these factors alone, influenced considerably the microfungal population density. The correlation of the populations to the changes in this combined factor was stronger than the correlation to the seasonal variations of spring, summer and autumn.
The microfungal population consisted of only a few species. Mucor, Mortierella and Penicillium were the most common genera isolated from the rose bengal agar. The first and the last of these comprised almost 90% of the total population. For the Mucor fungi, increases in the moisture content up to the maximum values found (75%) were favourable; the Penicillium fungi, on the contrary, were intolerant of high moisture content.
Among the cellulose decomposing microfungi grown on cellulose medium, Trichoderma sp. was the most common; also, it formed the most colonies, tolerated the lowest temperatures, and was most efficient. The others were of the genera Pullularia, Verticillium, Scopulariopsis and Penicillium. In addition, there were some unidentified Phycomycetes fungi. Only the two first-mentioned caused observable changes in cellulose.
The purpose of this investigation was to obtain a preliminary picture of the composition of the microbial population in some virgin soils on forest land in Finland. Four different forest types were studied, Oxalis-Myrtillus type birch (Betula sp.) stand, Oxalis-Myrtillus type Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst.) stand, Vaccinium type Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) stand, and drained pine bog. In addition, a flood meadow was selected as a comparison.
The methods used captured only part of the fungi growing in the soil. Rapidly growing types, especially Mucor and Penicillium species, were mainly isolated. In addition, fungi showing activity of decomposition, such as Fusarium, Monosporium and Spicaria, as well as an ascomycete of the genius Ascobolus, were isolated. Autochthonous bacteria were most abundant in the soils of Oxalis-Myrtillus type forests and in the flood meadow. In the birch stand 90% of the autochthonous bacterial flora were gram-negative bacteria, in the Oxallis-Myrtillus spruce and Vaccinium type pine stand 60% were gram-negative, while the share was only 25% in the pine bog. Nitrogen-fixing bacteria of the type Clostridium pasteurianum were found in all soils. Actinomycetes were found in all sites. The numbers of protozoa were highest in the soils of Oxalis-Myrtillus type forests.
There were no big differences between the forest soils and the flood meadow. Some groups of micro-organisms seem to be absent from the forest soils, which is probably due to the more favourable pH in the meadow. The occurrence of myxobacteria is interesting since no earlier data exist of this organism in Finnish soils.
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The article presents three studies about different aspects of the bio-chemical functions of forest soil. The three studies are i) research on microflora and microfauna of forest soils; ii) study on carbon nutrition of forests in relation to microbial functions of soil and effecting site factors and iii) study on nitrogen metabolism of forest soil. The results of the studies are summarized by every study.
The article discusses the meaning of the results for forest management in practice. The good biological and physiological condition of forest soil is important for the forest growth and it needs to be taken care in regeneration and other forest management. The natural regeneration seems to be better for soil functions. Favoring broadleaved trees as undergrowth enhances the biological processes of forest soil.
The volume 34 of Acta Forestalia Fennica is a jubileum publication of professor Aimo Kaarlo Cajander.
Fresh and herb-rich upland forest sites in the north-western part of the central boreal vegetation zone in Finland were studied with respect to vegetation structure and vegetation-environment relationships (soil, stand characteristics). Two fresh heath vegetation data sets, one from the northern boreal zone and the other from the central boreal zone, were compared with the data of this study using multivariate methods.
The variation in heath forest vegetation within the climatically uniform area was mainly determined by the fertility of the soil (primarily Ca and Mg) and the stage of stand development. N, P and K content of the humus layer varied little between the vegetation classes. Fertile site types occurred, in general, on coarse-textured soils than infertile site types, may be due to the fact that the sample plots were located in various bedrock and glacial till areas, i.e. to sampling effects.
The place of the vegetational units of the study area in the Finnish forest site type system is discussed. The vegetation of the area has features in common with the northern boreal zone as well as the southern part of the central boreal vegetation zone. The results lend some support to the occurrence of a northern Myrtillus type or at least that intermediate form of fresh and herb-rich mineral soil sites commonly occur in the studied area. It is argued that the older name Dryopteris-Myrtillus type is more suitable than Geranium-Oxalis-Myrtillus type for herb-rich heath sites in the study area.
Forest ecosystems may accumulate large amounts of nitrogen in the biomass and in the soil organic matter. However, there is increasing concern that deposition of inorganic nitrogen compounds from the atmosphere will lead to nitrogen saturation; excess nitrogen input does not increase production. The aim of this study was to determine the long-term changes caused by nitrogen input on accumulation of nitrogen in forest soils and in ground vegetation.
The fertilization experiments used in this study were established during 1958–1962. They were situated on 36- to 63-year-old Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) and Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst.) stands of different levels of fertility. The experiments received nitrogen fertilization 5–7 times over a 30-year period, and the total input of nitrogen was 596–926 kg/ha.
Nitrogen input increased the amount of organic matter in the humus layer and the nitrogen concentration in the organic matter. Furthermore, the total amount of nutrients (N, P, K, Ca and Mg) bound by the humus layer increased due to the increase in the amount of organic matter. However, nitrogen input decreased the biomass of ground vegetation. The nitrogen concentration of the plant material on the nitrogen-fertilized plots was higher than on the control plots, but the amount of nutrients bound by ground vegetation decreased owing to the drastic decrease in the biomass of mosses. Ground vegetation does not have the potential to accumulate nitrogen, because vegetation is dominated by slow-growing mosses and dwarf shrubs which do not benefit from nitrogen input.
It was examined whether the present site classification method, and especially its applicability to site productivity estimation, could be improved in upland Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) forests in Southern Finland by developing a classification key based on Two-way Indicator Species Analysis (TWINSPAN), and/or by inclusion of soil texture, stoniness and the humus layer depth more closely in the classification method. TWINSPAN clusters (TW) explained 71%, and forest site types (FST) 64% of the variation in site index (SI) (H100). When soil texture (TEXT) was added to the regression model, the explanatory power increased to 82% (SI = TW + TW * TEXT) and to 80% (SI = FST + FST * TEXT), respectively. Soil texture alone explained 69% of the variation in site index. The influence of stoniness on site index was significant (P <0.05) on sorted medium sand soils and on medium and fine sand moraine soils. The thickness of the humus layer (2–6 cm) was not significantly (P=0.1) related to site index.
It is suggested that the proposed TWINSPAN classification cannot replace the present forest site type system in Scots pine stands in Southern Finland. However, the TWINSPAN key may be used to aid the identification of forest types. The observation of dominant soil texture within each forest type is recommended.
The PDF includes an abstract in Finnish.
The article is a literature review focusing on the reaction of soil respiration, litter decomposition and microflora of forest soils to various pollutants like acidic deposition, heavy metals and unusual high amounts of basic cations. There is a great deal of evidence indicating that environmental pollution affects soil microbial activity and community structure. Much of the data originates from experimental designs where high levels of pollutants were applied to the soil under field or laboratory conditions. Furthermore, many were short-term experiments designed to look for large effects. These experiments have an indicative value, but it has to be kept in mind that environmental pollution is a combination of many pollutants, mostly at low concentrations, acting over long periods of time. There is therefore consequently a demand for research performed in natural forest environments polluted with anthropogenic compounds.
The paper studies the relationship of settlements to the forest types and forest soil. The observations have been done and data collected in southern Finland, around lakes Päijänne and Saimaa during summer 1917. Because of the shortcomings in the data, the results in the paper can be seen only as indicative.
The settlements have spread out firstly to areas of grove alike soils and herb-rich forests. The human settlements are still on these days concentrated on those areas. When more land is needed for agricultural purposes, the more fertile areas were introduced first. With forest type classification this means moving from herb-rich Oxalis-Myrtillus-type to Pyrola-type and to some extent Myrtillus-type. The more barren types are used as fields only very seldom. The differences in the fertility of the soils affects strongly the welfare and development of the people and the communes.
The study shows that when considering the soil and vegetation, preconditions for agriculture are very different in different part of Finland. Also the climate and the geographical characters vary. To win more agricultural land, the fertile peatlands should be considered.
The article tries to develop the method for defining the requirements of fertilizers for soil. The chemical soil analysis is also seen as the requirement for exact site classification based on height over age. The study is based on 1500 soil samples, one half of them from forest soils, the other half from arable land soils.
The productivity of different forest types and the results of soil analyses are in line with each other. The most important growth factors are discerned. Some shortcomings of the method are discussed. Combining the soil analysis and the plant analyses of the sample plots seems to give the most accurate about the amount of nutrients that are available for the plants.
The effect of soil compaction on transpiration and height increment of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) seedlings following planting out were investigated in a small-scale pot experiment. Compacted and loosely-packed fine sand and fine-sand moraine were used as the planting substrates. The compacted soils used corresponded to the normal type of soil to be found in tilled forest soils in Finland. The effect of soil compaction on seedling transpiration during water stress was also studied in a separate experiment.
Seedlings planted in compact soil had a higher rate of transpiration than those in loosely-packed soil. The recovery in transpiration, which started halfway through the growing season, was faster, however, in the seedlings planted in loosely-packed soil. Under conditions of water stress, the seedlings planted in compact fine-sand moraine started to reduce the transpiration rate at higher soil moisture values than those planted in loosely-packed soil. No corresponding difference was observed for fine sand. Compaction was not found to affect the overall height growth, but it did at certain time during the growing season.
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The particle size distribution affects several properties of the soil, thus, the ability to define the texture type of the soil as accurately as possible in field conditions is essential. The soil particle size classification devised by Atterberg (1912) is used in Finnish forestry. The study is based on a small laboratory material. The correlation between some characteristics of the soil particle size distribution, field capacity and cation exchange capacity were determined.
The particle size characteristics such as the relative proportion of different particle sizes, average particle size (Md) and parameters depicting the degree of sorting were determined. The relative proportion of soil particles below 0.06 mm correlated best with both field capacity and cation exchange capacity. Similarly, the average particle size and the degree of sorting correlated well with the field capacity and the cation exchange capacity.
The use of sorting characteristics is not well-suited to the type of soil sample material containing a high proportion of particles of varying size as was used in this material. Such characteristics are probably more easily applicable to the fine sand and sand sediments which are predominant in Finnish forest soils. The most useful particle size distribution characteristics in soils having a great variation in particle sizes were the average particle size and the relative proportion of silt and clay. Thus, the nutrient and water status of the soil can be predicted to some extent by examining the percentage of silt and clay, average particle size and the degree of sorting.
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The use and problems of the sucrose inversion method for the study of forest humus and soil are discussed. The method is based on the temperature dependence of sucrose inversion, changes in rotation angle being determined with a circle polarimeter. Average temperatures and thermal sums for forest humus in different forests in Finland were measured, using this method, for a period of ca. 100 days. The results are not considered definitive but are regarded rather as examples. Average temperatures were somewhat higher in the humus of dry and poor heath forests than in that of moist and herb-rich forests, with exceptions that could be explicable by topographic position.
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The data has been collected in the dry heathy forests in Harjavalta commune in south-west Finland and in Sodankylä commune in Lapland in summer time 1918 and 1919. The aim to the study was to find out how does the water consumption of the trees affect the moisture conditions of the soil and how they are linked to the regeneration of the forest.
Trees in one age class have a certain spatial distribution: the greater the distance between trees the older the trees and the smaller the distance, the younger the trees. This seem to rather be due to the development of the root system and the nutrition intake of a tree than the competition for light. The moisture content of the upper soil layers is higher in the open areas than in the closed canopy stands. Hence there are more seedlings growing in open areas. However, it is not clear whether the results apply for other forest site types as well, and more research is needed.
The article presents a survey on distribution of fertile lands, soil types and site classes in Savo and Karelia in the central and eastern parts of Finland. The survey was based both in existing publications and statistics, a line survey, and visual observations during field trips. The site quality classification is based on the vegetation and occurrence of indicator plant species. The article lists distribution of indicator species in different forest site types on maps of the area. In addition, a review of history of land use and agriculture give indications of the location of the fertile lands in the area. A map of the forest site types in different parts of the area illustrate the data collected from the different sources.
The PDF includes a summary in German.
During the summer and fall of 1966 changes brought about by urea, calcium ammonium nitrate, nitrate of lime, and ammonium sulphate were observed. Application of the fertilizers corresponded to 100 kg/N per hectare.
The effect of urea was immediate. The pH rose and the bacterial density increased to 20–30 times more than determined in the spring, while the microfungal density decreased to one third of the spring density. In the ammonium sulphate plot opposite changes occurred almost as rapidly as in the previous case. A gradually increasing biological activity observed after application of calcium ammonium nitrate and of lime fertilizers seemed almost the same for bacteria and microfungi. Both microbe groups displayed consistent quantitative growth. pH 4.3 was the limit of acidity below which the bacteria showed a tendency to decline and the microfungi to increase, while the opposite was true above this limit.
The PDF includes a summary in Finnish.
This study elucidates the composition of the microfungal populations of the humus layer of tree forest types – Vaccinium type with Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.), Myrtillus type with Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) H. Karst.) and Oxalis-Myrtillus type with birch (Betula sp.). The results indicate that the microfungi encountered in these sites bear close resemblances. The number of species increased but little towards the more fertile sites from VT to OMT. The main difference was limited to the quantitative relationships between the species.
The microfungal density in the humus layer was greatest in VT, and only slightly less in MT and OMT, in this order. In all the sampling areas, occurrence of the microfungi reached a maximum in the middle of summer, at a time when the maximum temperatures were registered in the humus. The quantitative abundance during the early autumn bears a relation to the yield of litter.
The microfungi most commonly encountered in all sampling areas were those of rapid growth, Mucor, Morierella and Penicillium species, along with Trichoderma, a little slower in growth, and actively decomposing cellulose. Mucor fungi, favouring moisture, were most abundant in the early summer and in the autumn. The Mortierella and Penicillium species, which survive dryness, were most abundant in the middle of the summer. The former is twice as common in MT and OMT than in VT, and the latter twice as common in VT as in OMT.
Scopulariopsis and Verticillium species were found regularly in MT and OMT. One Acremonium species was found almost exclusively in VT, and some Aspergillus and Mycogene in OMT alone. Sterilia mycelia was relatively abundant in MT and OMT in particular. Different kinds of yeast fungi were encountered generally in MT and OMT.
The PDF includes a summary in Finnish.