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Articles containing the keyword 'litter'.

Category: Research article

article id 1211, category Research article
Xiao Chen, Deborah Page-Dumroese, Ruiheng Lv, Weiwei Wang, Guolei Li, Yong Liu. (2014). Interaction of initial litter quality and thinning intensity on litter decomposition rate, nitrogen accumulation and release in a pine plantation. Silva Fennica vol. 48 no. 4 article id 1211. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.1211
Highlights: Litter quality and thinning showed an interaction on one year litter decomposition rates, N accumulation, and net N release; N accumulated until the underlying critical acid-unhydrolyzable residue to nitrogen ratio (approximately 57–69) was met; Increased N concentration in litter and thinning intensity induced rapid litter decomposition and N cycling in coniferous plantation with a slow decomposition rate.
Thinning alters litter quality and microclimate under forests. Both of these two changes after thinning induce alterations of litter decomposition rates and nutrient cycling. However, a possible interaction between these two changes remains unclear. We placed two types of litter (LN, low N concentration litter; HN, high N concentration litter) in a Chinese pine (Pinus tabulaeformis Carrière) plantation under four thinning treatments to test the impacts of litter quality, thinning or their combination on decomposition rate and N cycling. In our study, N was accumulated to approach an underlying critical acid-unhydrolyzable residue to nitrogen ratio (approximately 57–69) in litter. Moreover, an interaction between litter quality and thinning on decomposition rates, N accumulation and net release did exist. On one hand, one year decomposition rate of LN was elevated after thinning while that of HN remained the same or even lower (under light thinning); N accumulation of LN declined with light thinning and was restored with the increase of thinning intensity whereas that of HN did not decline with thinning and increased under heavy thinning; Net N release from LN was only found in light and heavy thinning while that from HN was found in all treatments, moreover net N release from LN and HN were both elevated under heavy thinning. On the other hand, HN decomposed faster, accumulated less and released more N than LN did under all treatments. Generally, high N concentration in litter and high-intensity thinning can lead to rapid litter decomposition and N cycling in coniferous plantations.
  • Chen, Key Laboratory for Silviculture and Conservation of Ministry of Education, Beijing Forestry University, Beijing, 100083, China ORCID ID:E-mail: chenxiao_0123@126.com
  • Page-Dumroese, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, 1221 South Main Street, Moscow, ID 83843, USA ORCID ID:E-mail: ddumroese@fs.fed.us
  • Lv, College of Plant Science and Technology, Tarim University, Alar Xinjiang, 843300, China ORCID ID:E-mail: lvrh514723@126.com
  • Wang, Key Laboratory for Silviculture and Conservation of Ministry of Education, Beijing Forestry University, Beijing, 100083, China ORCID ID:E-mail: fuyuerdejia@126.com
  • Li, Key Laboratory for Silviculture and Conservation of Ministry of Education, Beijing Forestry University, Beijing, 100083, China ORCID ID:E-mail: glli226@163.com
  • Liu, Key Laboratory for Silviculture and Conservation of Ministry of Education, Beijing Forestry University, Beijing, 100083, China ORCID ID:E-mail: lyong@bjfu.edu.cn (email)
article id 1211, category Research article
Xiao Chen, Deborah Page-Dumroese, Ruiheng Lv, Weiwei Wang, Guolei Li, Yong Liu. (2014). Interaction of initial litter quality and thinning intensity on litter decomposition rate, nitrogen accumulation and release in a pine plantation. Silva Fennica vol. 48 no. 4 article id 1211. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.1211
Highlights: Litter quality and thinning showed an interaction on one year litter decomposition rates, N accumulation, and net N release; N accumulated until the underlying critical acid-unhydrolyzable residue to nitrogen ratio (approximately 57–69) was met; Increased N concentration in litter and thinning intensity induced rapid litter decomposition and N cycling in coniferous plantation with a slow decomposition rate.
Thinning alters litter quality and microclimate under forests. Both of these two changes after thinning induce alterations of litter decomposition rates and nutrient cycling. However, a possible interaction between these two changes remains unclear. We placed two types of litter (LN, low N concentration litter; HN, high N concentration litter) in a Chinese pine (Pinus tabulaeformis Carrière) plantation under four thinning treatments to test the impacts of litter quality, thinning or their combination on decomposition rate and N cycling. In our study, N was accumulated to approach an underlying critical acid-unhydrolyzable residue to nitrogen ratio (approximately 57–69) in litter. Moreover, an interaction between litter quality and thinning on decomposition rates, N accumulation and net release did exist. On one hand, one year decomposition rate of LN was elevated after thinning while that of HN remained the same or even lower (under light thinning); N accumulation of LN declined with light thinning and was restored with the increase of thinning intensity whereas that of HN did not decline with thinning and increased under heavy thinning; Net N release from LN was only found in light and heavy thinning while that from HN was found in all treatments, moreover net N release from LN and HN were both elevated under heavy thinning. On the other hand, HN decomposed faster, accumulated less and released more N than LN did under all treatments. Generally, high N concentration in litter and high-intensity thinning can lead to rapid litter decomposition and N cycling in coniferous plantations.
  • Chen, Key Laboratory for Silviculture and Conservation of Ministry of Education, Beijing Forestry University, Beijing, 100083, China ORCID ID:E-mail: chenxiao_0123@126.com
  • Page-Dumroese, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, 1221 South Main Street, Moscow, ID 83843, USA ORCID ID:E-mail: ddumroese@fs.fed.us
  • Lv, College of Plant Science and Technology, Tarim University, Alar Xinjiang, 843300, China ORCID ID:E-mail: lvrh514723@126.com
  • Wang, Key Laboratory for Silviculture and Conservation of Ministry of Education, Beijing Forestry University, Beijing, 100083, China ORCID ID:E-mail: fuyuerdejia@126.com
  • Li, Key Laboratory for Silviculture and Conservation of Ministry of Education, Beijing Forestry University, Beijing, 100083, China ORCID ID:E-mail: glli226@163.com
  • Liu, Key Laboratory for Silviculture and Conservation of Ministry of Education, Beijing Forestry University, Beijing, 100083, China ORCID ID:E-mail: lyong@bjfu.edu.cn (email)
article id 180, category Research article
Hongzhang Kang, Björn Berg, Chunjiang Liu, Carl J. Westman. (2009). Variation in mass-loss rate of foliar litter in relation to climate and litter quality in Eurasian forests: differences among functional groups of litter. Silva Fennica vol. 43 no. 4 article id 180. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.180
With a data set of litter decomposition collected by means of literature survey, our objectives are 1) to determine the differences in the variation in the first-year mass loss (%) of leaf litter with regard to climate and litter quality among different functional groups of tree species in Eurasian forests, and 2) to determine the difference in effect of mean annual temperature (°C), annual precipitation (dm), as well as concentration of nitrogen (%), and lignin (%) on first-year mass loss over a wide range in climate and litter quality. The main results are as follows. 1) The significant differences between litter types in the relationships between first-year mass loss and climatic factors plus litter quality revealed clearly different decomposition patterns over the continent. Thus, differences were found between coniferous and broadleaf litter, between deciduous broadleaf and evergreen broadleaf as well as between genera and even within a genus, viz. between deciduous and evergreen Quercus. 2) With a change in a relative unit of climate and litter quality variables, there were clear differences in effects of mean annual temperature, annual precipitation, and nitrogen on first-year mass loss for different functional groups of trees. 3) We identified some broadleaf litter species that decomposed to 100% in one year and thus did not contribute to carbon sequestration in a humus layer. Thus, the variation in pattern of foliar litter decomposition with climate and litter quality across functional groups in Eurasian forests showed different decomposition strategies for litter of different groups and genera.
  • Kang, School of Agriculture and Biology, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Dongchuan Rd. 800, Shanghai 200240, P. R. China ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Berg, Department of Forest Ecology, University of Helsinki, Latokartanonkaari 7, FIN-00014 Finland; Dipartimento Biologia Strutturale e Funzionale. Complesso Universitario, Monte S. Angelo, Via Cinthia, IT-80126 Napoli, Italy ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Liu, School of Agriculture and Biology, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Dongchuan Rd. 800, Shanghai 200240, P. R. China; Key Laboratory of Urban Agriculture (South), Ministry of Agriculture, P. R. China, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, 800 Dongchuan Rd., Shanghai 200240, P. R. China ORCID ID:E-mail: chjliu@sjtu.edu.cn (email)
  • Westman, Dipartimento Biologia Strutturale e Funzionale. Complesso Universitario, Monte S. Angelo, Via Cinthia, IT-80126 Napoli, Italy ORCID ID:E-mail:
article id 180, category Research article
Hongzhang Kang, Björn Berg, Chunjiang Liu, Carl J. Westman. (2009). Variation in mass-loss rate of foliar litter in relation to climate and litter quality in Eurasian forests: differences among functional groups of litter. Silva Fennica vol. 43 no. 4 article id 180. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.180
With a data set of litter decomposition collected by means of literature survey, our objectives are 1) to determine the differences in the variation in the first-year mass loss (%) of leaf litter with regard to climate and litter quality among different functional groups of tree species in Eurasian forests, and 2) to determine the difference in effect of mean annual temperature (°C), annual precipitation (dm), as well as concentration of nitrogen (%), and lignin (%) on first-year mass loss over a wide range in climate and litter quality. The main results are as follows. 1) The significant differences between litter types in the relationships between first-year mass loss and climatic factors plus litter quality revealed clearly different decomposition patterns over the continent. Thus, differences were found between coniferous and broadleaf litter, between deciduous broadleaf and evergreen broadleaf as well as between genera and even within a genus, viz. between deciduous and evergreen Quercus. 2) With a change in a relative unit of climate and litter quality variables, there were clear differences in effects of mean annual temperature, annual precipitation, and nitrogen on first-year mass loss for different functional groups of trees. 3) We identified some broadleaf litter species that decomposed to 100% in one year and thus did not contribute to carbon sequestration in a humus layer. Thus, the variation in pattern of foliar litter decomposition with climate and litter quality across functional groups in Eurasian forests showed different decomposition strategies for litter of different groups and genera.
  • Kang, School of Agriculture and Biology, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Dongchuan Rd. 800, Shanghai 200240, P. R. China ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Berg, Department of Forest Ecology, University of Helsinki, Latokartanonkaari 7, FIN-00014 Finland; Dipartimento Biologia Strutturale e Funzionale. Complesso Universitario, Monte S. Angelo, Via Cinthia, IT-80126 Napoli, Italy ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Liu, School of Agriculture and Biology, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Dongchuan Rd. 800, Shanghai 200240, P. R. China; Key Laboratory of Urban Agriculture (South), Ministry of Agriculture, P. R. China, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, 800 Dongchuan Rd., Shanghai 200240, P. R. China ORCID ID:E-mail: chjliu@sjtu.edu.cn (email)
  • Westman, Dipartimento Biologia Strutturale e Funzionale. Complesso Universitario, Monte S. Angelo, Via Cinthia, IT-80126 Napoli, Italy ORCID ID:E-mail:
article id 221, category Research article
Glen Murphy, Rod Brownlie, Mark Kimberley, Peter Beets. (2009). Impacts of forest harvesting related soil disturbance on end-of-rotation wood quality and quantity in a New Zealand radiata pine forest. Silva Fennica vol. 43 no. 1 article id 221. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.221
The long-term effect of soil disturbance (litter removal, topsoil removal and compaction) from forest harvesting on wood quality and quantity of second-rotation Pinus radiata growing on a clay loam soil, was assessed at the end the rotation, 26 years after planting. Relative to Control plots, average tree and stand total volume at rotation end was not significantly affected by litter removal and nil or light compaction, but was significantly reduced by 28% by litter and topsoil removal and moderate subsoil compaction, and further reduced by 38% by heavy compaction. Wood density at breast height in the inner rings of trees in the most disturbed treatments was elevated by up to 30 kg m–3. This occurred because these treatments were more N deficient as reflected by foliar N levels during the first 11 years of growth relative to the Control. However, no treatment differences in wood density were evident in outer rings, and by rotation age overall mean density did not differ significantly between treatments. Neither acoustic velocity of standing trees, nor acoustic velocity of logs, was significantly affected by soil disturbance, indicating that stiffness of lumber cut from trees in the trial was likely to be similar for all treatments. Economic impacts of soil disturbance and compaction on this soil type will therefore result largely from the considerable negative impacts on final tree size, with little or no compensation from improved wood properties.
  • Murphy, Forest Engineering, Resources and Management Department, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon, USA ORCID ID:E-mail: glen.murphy@oregonstate.edu (email)
  • Brownlie, Scion Research, Rotorua, New Zealand ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Kimberley, Scion Research, Rotorua, New Zealand ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Beets, Scion Research, Rotorua, New Zealand ORCID ID:E-mail:
article id 227, category Research article
Ola Lindroos. (2008). The effects of increased mechanization on time consumption in small-scale firewood processing. Silva Fennica vol. 42 no. 5 article id 227. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.227
Firewood, which is mainly processed by the consumer, is still an important source of energy for heating houses in industrialised countries. Possibilities to compare the mechanization’s impact on efficiency of firewood processing are limited, due to variations between working conditions in previous studies. Therefore, the objective was to compare time consumption for two small-scale firewood processing systems with different levels of mechanisation under identical conditions. The systems were tested on two classes of wood: one with a homogeneous and medium-sized diameter of logs and one with a mixture of small and large-diameter-logs. Differences in time consumption were analysed for correlations with physical workloads, deviations to routine operations, operator influences and operator perceptions. Twelve operators (60–79 years old) were studied and they showed large variation in time consumption. However, the within-operator time consumption patterns were consistent. In other words, operators all responded similarly to the different combinations of systems and wood classes, but at different absolute levels. The time required to process a unit volume of wood was 25–33% lower when the more highly mechanised system was used, and the time required was 13–22% lower for the homogeneous wood class. Physical work load, deviations and perceptions of the work varied between operators, but were weakly correlated with time consumption. The results’ implications for analyses of investments in equipment for firewood-processing for self-sufficiency purposes are discussed.
  • Lindroos, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Forest Resource Management, SE-901 83 Umeå, Sweden ORCID ID:E-mail: ola.lindroos@srh.slu.se (email)
article id 260, category Research article
Panagiotis Michopoulos, George Baloutsos, Anastassios Economou. (2008). Nitrogen cycling in a mature mountainous beech forest. Silva Fennica vol. 42 no. 1 article id 260. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.260
The nitrogen cycle in a mature, mountainous European beech (Fagus sylvatica) forest in Greece was examined for two hydrological years, 2001–2002 and 2002–2003. Bulk deposition was 1383 mm in 2001–2002 and 2392 mm in 2002–2003. Winter temperatures were mild in the first year and low in the second year. Despite these climatological differences, the inorganic N inputs to the forest floor, by means of throughfall and stemflow, were quite similar for the two years, i.e. 12.4 and 14.6 kg ha–1 yr–1. Litterfall production was significantly (p < 0.05) higher in the second year but the N amounts in litterfall did not differ. The ratio of N/P in foliar tissue did not change significantly in 2003 compared with ratio values in the last years. The N amounts used for the annual stem and branch increments are rather high preventing, in this way, some nitrogen from being recycled in the near future. The total soil N content to a depth of 80 cm amounted to more than 5000 kg ha–1, and the C/N ratio in the Oh horizon was approximately 15 but the beech forest did not appear susceptible to N leaching. The concentrations of ammonium and nitrate N in stream water did not reach high values reported in the literature, and did not differ significantly in the two hydrological years. The fluxes of inorganic N in throughfall plus stemflow were higher than those in stream water indicating N retention in soil. Another reason for N retention in the ecosystem is probably the large difference between N requirements and uptake indicating N deficiency. Despite the maturity of the beech trees, the low C/N ratio in the Oh horizon and the relatively high N content in soil, the forest can be considered to be neither saturated nor having reached a N saturation transition stage.
  • Michopoulos, Forest Research Institute of Athens, Terma Alkmanos, Athens 115 28, Greece ORCID ID:E-mail: mipa@fria.gr (email)
  • Baloutsos, Forest Research Institute of Athens, Terma Alkmanos, Athens 115 28, Greece ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Economou, Forest Research Institute of Athens, Terma Alkmanos, Athens 115 28, Greece ORCID ID:E-mail:
article id 416, category Research article
Glen Murphy, John G. Firth, Malcolm F. Skinner. (2004). Long-term impacts of forest harvesting related soil disturbance on log product yields and economic potential in a New Zealand forest. Silva Fennica vol. 38 no. 3 article id 416. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.416
The effect of soil disturbance (litter removal, topsoil removal and compaction) from forest harvesting on the productivity, log product yields and economic potential of second-rotation Pinus radiata growing on a clay loam soil, was assessed in a long-term trial 21 years after planting. The results are projected forward to the expected harvest age of 28 years. Relative to control plots, average tree volume at 21 years was reduced by 8% in the plots where the litter had been removed and the topsoil had been compacted, and by up to 42% in the plots where the topsoil had been removed and the subsoil compacted. The “degree of compaction” did not have a significant effect on average tree volume in the plots where litter had been removed but did have a significant effect where the topsoil had been removed. Per tree economic potential was reduced to a greater extent (up to 60% loss in value) than average tree volume was reduced. This was largely due to changes in log product yield distribution. Projecting tree growth forward to the end of the rotation at age 28 indicated that the impacts of soil disturbance on tree growth, economic potential and log product yields are likely to be similar in relative terms to those found at age 21.
  • Murphy, Forest Engineering Department, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331, USA ORCID ID:E-mail: glen.murphy@orst.edu (email)
  • Firth, Forest Research, Sala Street, Rotorua, New Zealand ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Skinner, Forest Research, Sala Street, Rotorua, New Zealand ORCID ID:E-mail:
article id 575, category Research article
Sylvie Mussche, Roeland Samson, Lieven Nachtergale, An De Schrijver, Raoul Lemeur, Noël Lust. (2001). A comparison of optical and direct methods for monitoring the seasonal dynamics of leaf area index in deciduous forests. Silva Fennica vol. 35 no. 4 article id 575. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.575
During the 1996 growing season the seasonal dynamics of the Leaf Area Index (LAI) were determined by 3 different methods in two forest types: a mixed oak (Quercus robur L.) – beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) stand and an ash dominated (Fraxinus excelsior L.) stand. The results obtained from the two indirect methods, i.e. hemispherical photography and LAI-2000 Plant Canopy Analyser (Li-COR), were compared with the results of the direct measurement of litter fall collected in litter trap systems. In this study the direct method is considered to be the reference, giving the most accurate LAI-values. Both the hemispherical photography and the LAI-2000 PCA introduced an underestimation of LAI when the actual canopy leaf distribution in the crown layer deviates from a random distribution of leaf area in space as is found in the mixed oak/beech stand. However, when the condition of random leaf distribution is nearly fulfilled (ash stand), the LAI-2000 PCA gave LAI-values which were close to the results obtained from the direct method. Regression curves with R2 > 0.93 could be calculated for both indirect methods.
  • Mussche, Laboratory of Forestry, Ghent University, Geraardsbergse Steenweg 267, B-9090 Melle, Belgium ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Samson, Laboratory of Plant Ecology, Ghent University, Coupure Links 653, B-9000 Gent, Belgium ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Nachtergale, Laboratory of Forestry, Ghent University, Geraardsbergse Steenweg 267, B-9090 Melle, Belgium ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • De Schrijver, Laboratory of Forestry, Ghent University, Geraardsbergse Steenweg 267, B-9090 Melle, Belgium ORCID ID:E-mail: An.Deschrijver@rug.ac.be (email)
  • Lemeur, Laboratory of Plant Ecology, Ghent University, Coupure Links 653, B-9000 Gent, Belgium ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Lust, Laboratory of Forestry, Ghent University, Geraardsbergse Steenweg 267, B-9090 Melle, Belgium ORCID ID:E-mail:
article id 599, category Research article
Chun-Jiang Liu, Carl J. Westman, Hannu Ilvesniemi. (2001). Matter and nutrient dynamics of pine (Pinus tabulaeformis) and oak (Quercus variabilis) litter in North China. Silva Fennica vol. 35 no. 1 article id 599. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.599
In the mountainous area of North China, a distinguishing feature of climate is the serious drought of spring and the humidity and high temperature of summer by which the litter production and decomposition of forest litter were strongly characterized. We investigated the dynamic and nutrient characteristics of litter in a 30-year-old mixed stand of Chinese pine (Pinus tabulaeformis Carr.) and deciduous orient oak (Quercus variabilis Bl.) and two comparable pure stands. Oak litterfall peaked in November and pine litterfall in December. The oak stand had the largest annual litterfall (347 g m–2) and the forest floor mass (950 g m–2), the mixed stand the second (236 g m–2 and 634 g m–2), and the pine stand the least (217 g m–2 and 615 g m–2). The nutrient return through litterfall and the storage in forest floor followed corresponding order between three stands. The weight loss of pine and oak foliage litter in first year was 25% and 20%. For senesced pine and oak leaves, the translocation rates of N, P and K were 56–83%. Nutrient concentrations were higher in oak leaf litter than pine needle litter, and the concentration of N and Ca appeared to rise while K concentration decreased in both decomposing litter.
  • Liu, Department of Forest Ecology, P.O. Box 27, FIN-00014 University of Helsinki, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail: cliu@silvia.helsinki.fi (email)
  • Westman, Department of Forest Ecology, P.O. Box 27, FIN-00014 University of Helsinki, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Ilvesniemi, Department of Forest Ecology, P.O. Box 27, FIN-00014 University of Helsinki, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail:

Category: Research note

article id 1024, category Research note
Petter Nilsen, Line Tau Strand. (2013). Carbon stores and fluxes in even- and uneven-aged Norway spruce stands. Silva Fennica vol. 47 no. 4 article id 1024. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.1024
Highlights: Long term (81 years) C sequestration is slightly higher in an even-aged compared to an uneven-aged spruce stand; The even-aged stand has at 81 years age a slightly lower soil C content than the uneven-aged stand; Present C fluxes indicate that the difference in long term C sequestration will increase in favour the even-aged stand if final felling is postponed.
This investigation compares present C stores, fluxes and historic tree C sequestration in an uneven-aged and an even-aged Norway spruce stand under similar high productive soil conditions in south-eastern Norway. A selection cutting system has been performed in the uneven-aged forest stand for 81 years and the even-aged stand was established after clear-cutting 81 years ago. Timber productivity has been measured in the uneven stand for 81 years and in the even-aged stand for 52 years. C storage was determined based on tree measurements, tree biomass functions, soil samples and C analyses from trees and soil. Litter fall was sampled during one year and CO2 efflux from the soil was measured during one growing season. The present tree C storage (including roots) was 210 Mg C ha-1 in the even-aged stand and 76 Mg C ha-1 in the uneven-aged stand, while the corresponding figures for C in the soil was 178 and 199 Mg C ha-1. The long term timber production in the uneven-aged stand was measured to be 95% of the even-aged stand and the difference in net C sequestration was 37 Mg ha-1 in an 81 year period in favour the even-aged stand. The highest present CO2 efflux from soil was measured in the even-aged stand. The total net C sequestered in trees during 81 years minus the present soil C-stock accounts to 16 Mg ha-1 in favour the even-aged system
  • Nilsen, The Research Council of Norway, P.O. Box 2700, St. Hanshaugen, N-0131 Oslo, Norway ORCID ID:E-mail: pn@rcn.no (email)
  • Strand, Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, P.O. Box 5003, N-1432 Ås, Norway ORCID ID:E-mail: line.strand@umb.no

Category: Article

article id 7475, category Article
Peitsa Mikola. (1958). Liberation of nitrogen from alder leaf litter. Acta Forestalia Fennica vol. 67 no. 1 article id 7475. https://doi.org/10.14214/aff.7475

Litters of different plant species vary greatly in regard to their nutrient content and other properties. The aim of the study was to compare different litters from the standpoint of their value as soil fertilizer. In an experiment Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) seedlings were grown in pot cultures in which known amounts of different litters had been mixed with the soil. The tested litters were Pinus sylvestris (L.), Larix sibirica (Ledeb.), Betula sp., Populus tremula (L.), Alnus incana (L.) Moench, A. glutinosa (L.) (Gaertn.), Sorbus aucuparia (L.), Tilia cordata (Mill.), Acer platanoides (L.), Corylus avellana (L.), Eupteris aquilina (L.), and Deschampsia flexuosa (L.) Trin.

A striking difference was found between alder (Alnus sp.) leaf litter and all the other litters tested. The difference can be seen from the second growth season on, becaus the young seedling uses mainly the nutrients included in the seed. The leaf litter has mainly unfavourable effect on the growth of the pine seedlings. Only both alder species improve the growth. This is mainly due to the nitrogen content of alder leaves. Tree leaves and other forest litter are often composted in the forest nurseries. It seems that adding nitrogen to the compost is necessary, otherwise compost added to the soil may have a harmful effect on the seedlings. Alder, on the other hand, has nitrogen binding Actinomyces growing in symbiosis in its root nodules, and is able to utilize atmospheric nitrogen.

The PDF includes a summary in Finnish.

  • Mikola, ORCID ID:E-mail:

Category: Special section

article id 288, category Special section
Björn Berg, Per Gundersen, Cecilia Akselsson, Maj-Britt Johansson, Åke Nilsson, Lars Vesterdal. (2007). Carbon sequestration rates in Swedish forest soils – a comparison of three approaches. Silva Fennica vol. 41 no. 3 article id 288. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.288

Carbon sequestration rates in forest soil can be estimated using the concept of calculable stable remains in decomposing litter. In a case study of Swedish forest land we estimated C-sequestration rates for the two dominant tree species in the forest floor on top of the mineral soil. Carbon sequestration rates were upscaled to the forested land of Sweden with 23 x 106 ha with Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) and Norway spruce (Picea abies (Karst.) L.). Two different theoretical approaches, based on limit-value for litter decomposition and N-balance for vegetation and SOM gave rates of the same magnitude. For the upscaling, using these methods, 17 000 grids of 5 x 5 km were used.

The ‘limit-value approach’ gave a sequestration of 4.8   106 tons of C, annually sequestered in the forest floor, with an average of 180 kg C ha–1 yr–1 and a range from 40 to 410 kg C ha–1 yr–1. The ‘N-balance approach’ gave an average value of c. 96 kg ha–1 yr–1 and a range from –60 to 360 kg ha–1 yr–1. A method based on direct measurements of changes in humus depth over 40 years, combined with C analyses gave an average rate that was not very different from the calculated rates, viz. c. 180 kg ha–1 yr–1 and a range from –20 to 730 kg ha–1 yr–1. These values agree with forest floor C sequestration rate based on e.g. sampling of chronsequences but differ from CO2 balance measurements.

The three approaches showed different patterns over the country and regions with high and low carbon sequestration rates that were not always directly related to climate.

  • Berg, Dept. of Forest Ecology, University of Helsinki, Finland (present address: Dipartimento Biologia Strutturale e Funzionale, Complesso Universitario, Monte S. Angelo, Napoli, Italy ORCID ID:E-mail: bjorn.berg@helsinki.fi (email)
  • Gundersen, Forest & Landscape Denmark, University of Copenhagen, Denmark ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Akselsson, Swedish Environmental Research Institute, IVL, Gothenburg, Sweden ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Johansson, Department of Forest Soils, SLU, Uppsala, Sweden ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Nilsson, Department of Forest Soils, SLU, Uppsala, Sweden ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Vesterdal, Forest & Landscape Denmark, University of Copenhagen, Denmark ORCID ID:E-mail:

Category: Article

article id 5634, category Article
Leena Finér, Mika Nieminen. (1997). Dry mass and the amounts of nutrients in understorey vegetation before and after fertilization on a drained pine bog. Silva Fennica vol. 31 no. 4 article id 5634. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.a8536

Dry mass and nutrient (N, P, K, Ca, Mg, B) contents of field layer vegetation and a combination of bottom layer vegetation and litter (referred to as bottom/litter layer in the text) were studied one year before and three years after fertilization (NPK and PK) on a drained low-shrub pine bog in eastern Finland. The results of an earlier study on the tree layer were combined with those of this study in order to estimate the changes caused by fertilization in the total plant biomass and litter. Before fertilization the average dry mass of the field and bottom/litter layers was 8,400 kg ha-1 and 7,650 kg ha-1, respectively. The above-ground parts accounted for 25% of the total field layer biomass. The dry mass of the field and bottom/litter layers together was < 20% of the dry mass accumulated in the total plant biomass and litter. The corresponding figures for N, P, K, Ca, Mg and B were 44%, 38%, 30%, 38%, 31% and 17%, respectively. Fertilization did not significantly affect the dry mass of either the field layer vegetation or the bottom/litter layer. 33% of the applied P was accumulated in the total plant biomass and litter on the PK-fertilized plots, and 25% on the NPK-fertilized plots. For the other elements, the proportions on the PK-fertilized plots were K 31%, Ca 6%, Mg 11% and B 13%. On the NPK-fertilized plots, the corresponding figures were N 62%, K 32%, Ca 6%, Mg 9% and B 13%. Except for B and K, the accumulation of fertilizer nutrients in the understorey vegetation and litter was of the same magnitude or greater than the uptake by the tree layer.

  • Finér, ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Nieminen, ORCID ID:E-mail:
article id 5588, category Article
Vadim V. Gorshkov, Irene J. Bakkal, Natalie I. Stavrova. (1996). Postfire recovery of forest litter in Scots pine forests in two different regions of boreal zone. Silva Fennica vol. 30 no. 2–3 article id 5588. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.a9233

Investigations carried out in the Kola peninsula (northern taiga) and in the South-western part of Western Siberia (southern taiga and forest-steppe) revealed identical course of the postfire restoration process of forest litter thickness in Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) forests. Despite the differences in mean annual temperature (2°C) and other climatic characteristics the recovery time for thickness of forest litter in both regions amounts to 90–100 years after fire in pine forests of lichen site type and 120–140 years – in green moss type; the thickness of forest litter therewith corresponds 3–4 cm and 7–8 cm respectively. That mean that within the natural borders of pine forests, communities of a specific type possess uniform characteristics of restoration. On the basis of empirical data, it appears that the predicted increase of mean annual temperature of earth surface by (2°C) will not bring changes into the character of postfire recovery of forest litter thickness. It was shown that during the period of the recovery, which spans about 90 years after fire in pine forests of lichen and green moss-lichen site types and 140 years in ones of green moss site types, the rate of increasing of carbon store in the forest litter averaged 0.6 t ha-1 year-1, 0.1 t ha-1 year-1 and 0.2 t ha-1 year-1, respectively.

  • Gorshkov, ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Bakkal, ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Stavrova, ORCID ID:E-mail:
article id 5471, category Article
Hannu Fritze. (1992). Effects of environmental pollution on forest soil microflora - a review. Silva Fennica vol. 26 no. 1 article id 5471. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.a15632

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. 

  • Fritze, ORCID ID:E-mail:
article id 5411, category Article
Eero Paavilainen. (1990). Effect of refertilization of pine and birch stands on a drained fertile mire. Silva Fennica vol. 24 no. 1 article id 5411. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.a15563

Refertilization with PK, about 15 years after the first fertilizer application, increased tree growth and the amount of nutrients in tree litter in Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) and birch (mainly Betula pubescens Erhr.) stands on a drained fertile mire in Northern Finland (65°34 N’, 25°42’ E). The increase in growth and nutrient contents after refertilization was greatest in the mature pine stand where the application of nitrogen and micronutrients gave an additional response compared to the PK-application.

The PDF includes an abstract in Finnish.

  • Paavilainen, ORCID ID:E-mail:
article id 7669, category Article
Leena Finér. (1991). Effect of fertilization on dry mass accumulation and nutrient cycling in Scots pine on an ombrotrophic bog. Acta Forestalia Fennica no. 223 article id 7669. https://doi.org/10.14214/aff.7669

The first three-year effects of PK(MgB) and NPK(MgB) fertilization on the dry mass accumulation and nutrient cycling were studied in a Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) stand growing on a drained low-shrub pine bog in Eastern Finland. The total dry mass of the tree stand before fertilization was 78 tn/ha, of which the above-ground compartments accounted for 69%. The annual above-ground dry mass production was 6.3 tn/ha, 51% of it accumulating in the tree stand.

The study period was too short for detecting any fertilization response in the stems. The total dry mass accumulation was not affected, because the increase in foliar and cone dry masses after both fertilization treatments, and that of the living branches after NPK fertilization, were compensated by the decrease in the dry mass of dead branches.

The nutrients studied accounted for 392 kg/ha (0.49%) of the total dry mass of the tree stand before fertilization. The amounts were as follows; N 173 kg/ha (44%), Ca 90 kg (23%), K 58 kg/ha (15%). The rest (18%) consisted of P, Mg, S and micronutrients combined. The unfertilized trees took up the following amounts of nutrients of the soil: N 15.6, Ca 12.8, K 4.1, P 1.3, MG 1.7, and S and Mn 1.5 kg/ha. The uptake of Fe and Zn was 510 and 130 g/ha and that of B and Cu less than 100 g/ha. More than 50% of the nutrient uptake, except for that of K and Fe, was released in litterfall. The results indicated very efficient cycling of K, Mn and B between the soil and trees.

The fertilized stands accumulated more N, P, K and B than the unfertilized ones during the tree-year study period. The increased accumulation corresponded to 35% (52 kg/ha) of the N applied on the NPK fertilized plots, 10% of the P, 25% of the K and 10% of the B on the PK and NPK fertilized plots. The increased amount of B released in litterfall after fertilization was equivalent to 4% of the applied B. Fertilization inhibited the uptake of Mn and Ca.

The PDF includes a summary in Finnish.

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