Current issue: 53(3)
Under compilation: 53(4)
The present investigation revealed that the influence of a forest cover on the water economy of the soil is very great in Finland. Cutting of the forest gave cause to a rise of the ground water table, which, when clear-cutting is in question, reached a magnitude of 20–40 cm. The water supplies of the soil increased 40–60 mm. In the winter, too, the ground water remaind at a lower level in the forest than in opening, however, the difference is rather small. Thinnings had same kind of effect as clear-cuttings, but the influence of even heavy thinnings was still relatively small.
The water supplies of the soil after felling decreased mainly due to the decrease in the interception in the canopy. When the water table is at the same level in the forest and in opening, evapotranspiration might be greater in the forest than in openings. However, when the water level is during the growing season considerably lower in the forest than in an opening, the evapotranspiration is strongly decreased in the forest, which means that more water is evaporated and transpirated from the opening than from the forest. Because the water table is at a higher level in the opening than in the forest, runoff from clear-cut areas has exceeded that from the forest. This means that the influence of felling on the water economy of the soil is actually even greater than indicated in this work.
The results mean that the influence of the forest cover makes up that of drainage. This affects the need for maintenance of ditches. On the other hand, the final cutting will rise the ground water strongly.
The PDF includes a summary in English.
The tree canopy adsorbs part of the rainfall falling on a forest, therefore only part of it reaches the soil. This report presents results concerning interception of precipitation and groundwater level in forests of varying canopy cover. The study belongs to a larger survey on afforestation of drained treeless bogs. The rainfall was measured daily in the open fields and in the adjacent forests. The forests, mainly Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst.) dominated, were divided by the canopy cover into five classes from over dense to sparsely stocked.
The results show that in a dense, tall Norway spruce stand, light rainfall can almost entirely be adsorbed by the canopy. The heavier the rainfall, the larger proportion of it reaches the ground. Only 30% of a 5 mm rainfall reaches the ground, while 80% of a 20 mm rainfall reaches the ground. Interception of precipitation decreases gradually when the density of the forest decreases. Canopy of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) and birch (Betula sp.) stands of corresponding density adsorb less rainfall than Norway spruce canopy. Groundwater level was higher in treeless areas than in areas covered with forest. Widescale clear cuttings should, therefore, be considered carefully in forest areas that are prone to become peaty.
A close relationship between photosynthetic capacity and nitrogen concentration of leaves is known to exist. In conifers, nitrogen also affects the pattern of mutual shading within a shoot, which is a basic unit used in studying photosynthesis of coniferous trees. These effects of needle nitrogen concentration on photosynthetic capacity and mutual shading of needles were analysed for Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) shoots taken from five young stands growing on sites of different fertility. The effect of nitrogen concentration on needle photosynthesis was studied based on measurements of the photosynthetic radiation response of shoots from which two thirds of the needles were removed in order to eliminate the effect of within shading.
An increase of one percentage unit in nitrogen concentration of needles increased the photosynthetic capacity of needles by 25 mg CO2 dm-2h-1. The effect of nitrogen on within-shoot shading was quantified in terms of the silhouette area to total needle area ratio of a shoot (STAR), which determines the relative interception rate per unit of needle area on the shoot. Although nitrogen promoted needle growth, an increase in nitrogen concentration decreased the within-shoot shading. This effect resulted from a decrease in needle density on the shoot and an increased needle angle with increasing nitrogen content.
The PDF includes an abstract in Finnish.
The utilization of direct radiation was studied in five model stands of Poisson-type tree distribution and cone-shaped crowns. The radiation extinction depended on the self-shading of the crown and the shading caused by other trees. The results indicate that at low sun elevation a stand populated by very narrow-crowned trees is most effective in light interception and photosynthesis. At high sun elevation a broad-crowned canopy is best illuminated and most favourable for photosynthesis. A stand with a two-storey canopy is effective in all latitudes when the crowns are moderately narrow. In two-storey canopies the foliage of the lower storey can be better illuminated than in the lower parts of the upper storey, because of the smaller self-shading in the small crowns of the lower storey. A canopy where the crown volume is concentrated on few big crowns is less effective than a canopy consisting of many small crowns.
The PDF includes an abstract in Finnish.