Current issue: 54(2)
Pollen analysis has given information on development of the tree species composition after the ice age, but this kind of studies have not been published in Finland. In this study, pollen analysis was performed in five peatlands in the southwest Finland. According to the analysis, the forests of the area have had similar tree species composition for many thousands of years. Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) has been the dominant species as long as there has been Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) H. Karst.) in the area. Norway spruce seems to have arrived about 4,500 years ago. It increased slowly in the beginning, and after reaching a maximum has been slowly decreasing. Before spruce arrived, Betula sp. was more abundant, and seemed to be the dominant tree species in some places. Traces of fire in the peat layers indicate that forest fires have been common before people arrived in the area, and may have beneficial to birch. Like Betula sp., also Alnus sp. were more common before spruce arrived. Also pollen of other broadleaved species, for example, Tilia sp., Ulmus sp. and Corylus could be found. However, Quercus pollen was not found. The paludification of the peatlands had begun at different times which indicates that there has not been a common cause for the development of the peatlands in the area.
The PDF includes a summary in German.
The study deals with the distribution of above-ground biomass of Vaccinium myrtillus L. along the vegetation continuum segregated by using phytosociological classification method composite clustering. The qualitative characteristics of forest sites corresponding to different vegetational clusters were defined on the basis of indirect gradient analysis of vegetation data and description of tree stand properties in stands in 160 sample areas in Southern Finland.
Six vegetation types differing from each other mainly in abundance of the most constant and dominant plant species were formed. Sample areas with rich grass-herb vegetation, as well as sample areas representing comparatively dry, barren site type were clearly separated from other groups of sample areas. Stand characteristics, particularly the proportional distribution of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) and Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) H. Karst.) seems to be another important factor affecting the vegetation composition.
The lowest biomass values of blueberry were connected with herb-rich vegetation and shady spruce-dominated stands. Comparatively low values were connected to also other spruce-dominated sample areas. Pine-dominant or mixed pine-spruce stands the biomass values were significantly higher. Even if the site quality is essentially equal, the abundance relationships between Vaccinium myrtillus and other components of the ground vegetation may vary in wide ranges and cause difficulties in practical site classification.
The PDF includes a summary in English.
A strip survey was made to define the forest and peatland site class distribution and the condition of the forests in Savo and Karelia in central and eastern parts of Finland. According to the survey, 24% of the forested lands are peatlands. Fresh mineral soil sites (26%) were the most common mineral soil site type. Intermediately dry forest soil sites covered 22% of the area, forest sites with grass-herb vegetation 12,79%, rich grass-herb forest soil sites 3,16% and dry forest soil sites 9,59% of the forested area. The most common tree species were Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.), 39%, Betula sp., 26%, Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) H. Karst.), 18%, and grey alder (Alnus incana (L.) Moench), 10% of the forest land. The article includes a review about the wood harvesting in the forests, and their present silvicultural state. According to the study, about 30% of the forested lands (not including peatlands) were unproductive; mostly mixed alder and birch stands of poor quality or open lands.
The PDF includes a summary in German.
The article is a review on shifting cultivation, its methods and use in Finland, and its effect on the condition of forests. Shifting cultivation decreases forest reserves not only by burning large amounts of wood. Of the area used for shifting cultivation, 10-50% can be open land. The older age classes of forests are often missing, and range of tree species shift towards deciduous trees. This causes lack of large timber. The shorter the rotation, the less well the most valuable trees survive on the area. One reason is lack of seed trees. Of the coniferous trees, Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) is able to survive in the burnt-over lands better than Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) H. Karst.), because it can produce seeds at a relatively young age. Betula sp. and especially grey alder (Alnus incana (L.) Moench) regenerate well on burnt-over lands. Also the frequency of good seed years determine which tree species become the dominant species on a burnt-over site.
When shifting cultivation is abandoned, deciduous trees keep their advantage over coniferous trees, because the wood of coniferous trees is used more in the surrounding villages. Pine and spruce spread to the burnt-over areas from the poorer sites that often had remained unburned. In densely populated areas in some counties in Savo in eastern Finland, where shifting cultivation was practiced intensively, Norway spruce became rare. Dominant tree species in the burnt-over areas became birch and pine.The article is divided in two parts. A German summary is included in a separate PDF