Current issue: 53(4)
Under compilation: 54(1)
The pine weevil Hylobius abietis L. is an economically important pest insect that kills high proportions of conifer seedlings in reforestation areas. It is present in conifer forests all over Europe but weevil abundance and risk for damage varies considerably between areas. This study aimed to obtain a useful model for predicting damage risks by analyzing survey data from 292 regular forest plantations in northern Sweden. A model of pine weevil attack was constructed using various site characteristics, including both climatic factors and factors related to forest management activities. The optimal model was rather imprecise but showed that the risk of pine weevil attack can be predicted approximatively with three principal variables: 1) the proportion of seedlings expected to be planted in mineral soil rather than soil covered with duff and debris, 2) age of clear-cut at the time of planting, and 3) calculated temperature sum at the location. The model was constructed using long-run average temperature sums for epoch 2010, and so effects of climate change can be inferred from the model by adjustment to future epochs. Increased damage risks with a warmer climate are strongly indicated by the model. Effects of a warmer climate on the geographical distribution and abundance of the pine weevil are also discussed. The new tool to better estimate the risk of damage should provide a basis for foresters in their choice of countermeasures against pine weevil damage in northern Europe.
To promote the growth and survival of regenerated forests, site preparation prior to tree planting on clearcuts is necessary. This is often performed with scarifiers, either through trenching or mounding. Mounding is generally considered better in a plant survival perspective but is inefficient on obstacle-rich clearcuts. By utilising machine vision through e.g. remote sensing methods, new strategies can enable efficient mound positioning. In this paper, three realistic strategies utilizing ideal clearcut object identification through machine vision have been developed that can be used for more efficient mounding. The results show that mounding efficiency can be significantly improved with a new mound positioning strategy that employs ideal object identification, especially on obstacle-rich clearcuts.
Stump wood is a possible alternative to fossil fuel. Its harvesting, however, disturbs the ground and this has not yet been quantified at stump level. Such disturbance is likely to be dependent on stump size, type of soil and timing of stump harvesting. Therefore, we measured ground disturbance and root breakage diameter at two Norway spruce sites with sandy glacial till soil. The sites were harvested with a fork type head, 6 and 18 months after clear cutting. Measurements were made within 2 weeks of harvest. No difference was found between the two sites. The mean area of disturbed ground was 6.06 (std 3.14) m2 per stump and increased exponentially with stump size. A regression function modelling the relationship was constructed. Unexpectedly, many fine roots where extracted in the harvest. The arithmetic and basal area weighted mean root breakage diameter was 4.6 (std 2.2) and 29.5 (std 17.9) mm, respectively. There seems to be a limited increase in root breakage diameter with increased stump size. The small root breakage diameter is associated with reduced fuel quality and greater nutrient removal. It appears that much of the ground disturbance is associated with the creation of ruts rather than stump harvest per se. Stump harvesting disturbs a larger percentage of the area of a harvested site than mounding. Postponing stump harvest by one year did not decrease the ground disturbance or increase the root breakage diameter. To achieve less disturbance and larger root breakage diameter, probably new stump harvesting technology is required.
Use of fast-growing tree plantations on dedicated areas is proposed as a means of reconciling fibre production with conservation objectives. Success of this approach however requires fine-tuning silvicultural scenarios so that survival and growth are optimized while management and environmental costs are minimized. This is particularly challenging for hybrid larch (Larix × marschlinsii Coaz), a shade-intolerant species planted on fertile sites in Quebec (Canada) where legislation prevents the use of chemical herbicides. In this context, multiple motor-manual release treatments are often required, with high impacts on costs and social issues related to the scarcity of a qualified workforce. We established a split-split-plot design on a recently harvested site to assess the main and interaction effects of mechanical site preparation (MSP) intensity (five modalities of trenching or mounding), motor-manual release scenario (one or two treatments) and planting depth (0–3 cm or 3–10 cm) on hybrid larch seedling growth and survival six years after planting. Mechanical site preparation intensity and planting depth did not influence seedling growth after 6 years. The lack of significant interaction between MSP and release scenarios indicates that these operations should be planned independently. A more intensive MSP treatment cannot replace a second motor-manual release on fertile sites, as proposed to reduce costs. Our results also show the significant advantage of performing two motor-manual release treatments two years apart (the first one early in the scenario), over performing a single treatment. Our study provides silvicultural guidelines for the establishment of high-yield exotic larch plantations.
Long-term (47 years) effect of experimental whole tree harvesting (WTH) with a heavy soil scarification on ground cover vegetation was assessed in a dry nutrient-poor Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) stand in Latvia. Neighbouring conventionally managed young (10 years) and mature (119 years) stands of the same type were used for comparison. Higher species richness was observed in the WTH stand compared to conventionally managed young and mature stands (24, 18 and 16 species, respectively), likely due to the profound disturbance. The Shannon diversity index was higher in the young than in the WTH and mature stands (2.36, 1.77 and 1.63, respectively); still, the composition and structure of ground cover vegetation in WTH was more similar to the mature stand. Nevertheless, the occurrence of oligotrophic species in the WTH stand suggested decreased soil nutrient content and potential development of different plant community. Hence, such method might be considered for restoration of oligotrophic stands. Nevertheless, the period of 47 years appeared sufficient for the ground cover vegetation to recover after the WTH.