Current issue: 55(2)
Mechanical site preparation methods that used tools mounted on lightweight excavators and that provided localised intensive preparation were tested in eight experimental sites across France where the vegetation was dominated either by Molinia caerulea (L.) Moench or Pteridium aquilinum (L.) Kuhn. Two lightweight tools (Deep Scarifier: DS; Deep Scarifier followed by Multifunction Subsoiler: DS+MS) were tested in pine (Pinus sylvestris L., Pinus nigra var. corsicana (Loudon) Hyl. or Pinus pinaster Aiton) and oak (Quercus petraea (Matt.) Liebl. or Quercus robur L.) plantations. Regional methods commonly used locally (herbicide, disk harrow, mouldboard plow) and experimental methods (repeated herbicide application; untreated control) were used as references in the experiments. Neighbouring vegetation cover, seedling survival, height and basal diameter were assessed over three to five years after plantation. For pines growing in M. caerulea, seedling diameter after four years was 37% and 98% greater in DS and DS+MS, respectively, than in the untreated control. For pines growing in P. aquilinum, it was 62% and 107% greater in the same treatments. For oak, diameter was only 4% and 15% greater in M. caerulea, and 13% and 25% greater in P. aquilinum, in the same treatments. For pines, the survival rate after four years was 26% and 32% higher in M. caerulea and 64% and 70% higher in P. aquilinum, in the same treatments. For oak, it was 3% and 29% higher in M. caerulea and 37% and 31% higher in P. aquilinum. Herbicide, when applied for three or four years after planting, provided the best growth performances for pines growing in M. caerulea and P. aquilinum and for oaks growing in P. aquilinum. For these species and site combinations, DS+MS and DS treatments reduced the neighbouring vegetation cover for one to four years following site preparation.
In the boreal forest of eastern Canada, a large proportion of black spruce (Picea mariana [Mill.] Britton, Sterns & Poggenb.) stands are affected by paludification. Edaphic conditions that are created by paludification processes, including an abundance of microsites with high moisture and low nutrient contents, hinder forest regeneration. Disturbance of paludified sites by mechanical soil preparation (MSP) reduces organic layer thickness, while generating a range of substrates for regeneration establishment. Yet, little information is available regarding the effects of these substrates on tree growth. Our objective was to determine the effect of organic, mineral and organo-mineral substrates that are created following MSP of a paludified site on the growth and root development of black spruce seedlings in a semi-controlled environment. We demonstrated that substrate exerted a significant effect on seedling growth and foliar concentrations of N, P and K. Increase in height and diameter were respectively greatest on clay (mineral) and mesic substrates. Substrate effects did not affect total biomass increases or final root biomass. Foliar nutrients (N, P, K) were relatively high in seedlings that were established on mesic substrates and relatively low for those established on clay substrates. To ensure successful seedling establishment, we recommend the application of MSP techniques that expose organic-mesic substrates on sites that are susceptible to paludification.
In the Nordic countries Finland, Norway and Sweden, the most common regeneration method is planting after clearcutting and, often, mechanical site preparation (MSP). The main focus of this study is to review quantitative effects that have been reported for the five main MSP methods in terms of survival and growth of manually planted coniferous seedlings of Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst.), Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) and lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta var. latifolia Engelm.) in clearcuts in these three countries. Meta analyses are used to compare the effects of MSP methods to control areas where there was no MSP and identify any relationships with temperature sum and number of years after planting. In addition, the area of disturbed soil surface and the emergence of naturally regenerated seedlings are evaluated. The MSP methods considered are patch scarification, disc trenching, mounding, soil inversion and ploughing. Studies performed at sites with predominately mineral soils (with an organic topsoil no thicker than 0.30 m), in boreal, nemo-boreal and nemoral vegetation zones in the three Fenno-Scandinavian countries are included in the review. Data from 26 experimental and five survey studies in total were compiled and evaluated. The results show that survival rates of planted conifers at sites where seedlings are not strongly affected by pine weevil (Hylobius abietis L.) are generally 80–90% after MSP, and 15–20 percent units higher than after planting in non-prepared sites. The experimental data indicated that soil inversion and potentially ploughing (few studies) give marginally greater rates than the other methods in this respect. The effects of MSP on survival seem to be independent of the temperature sum. Below 800 degree days, however, the reported survival rates are more variable. MSP generally results in trees 10–25% taller 10–15 years after planting compared to no MSP. The strength of the growth effect appears to be inversely related to the temperature sum. The compiled data may assist in the design, evaluation and comparison of possible regeneration chains, i.e. analyses of the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of multiple combinations of reforestation measures.
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.
The potential alleopathic inhibitive effects of aqueous extracts of 13 peatland plant species on germination, radicle and seedling growth of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.), silver and downy birch (Betula pendula Roth., B. pubescens Ehrh.) were studied. Freshly cut plant parts were finely ground, mixed with distilled water and agitated. The proportions of fresh plant mass in the mass-based extracts varied within the range of 1, 5, 10 and 20% (w/w). The seeds were germinated in petri dishes moistened with the plant extracts. In a separate experiment growth of birch seedlings irrigated with the extracts was studied.
Ledum palustre, Vaccinium uliginosum and Empetrum nigrum extracts, and in certain experiments extracts of other species, inhibited the germination of Scots pine and birch seeds. Results from the different experiments were not, however, fully consistent. None of the low (1% w/w) extract concentrations had any effect on germination. Strong extract concentrations (20% w/w) inhibited germination of pine seedlings significantly. The extracts affected only slightly the growth of potted birch seedlings.
The PDF includes an abstract in Finnish.
The effect of root exposure on the shoot and root development of Pinus sylvestris (L.) seedlings was studied at two soil temperatures. Roots of bare-rooted three-year-old seedlings were exposed to the temperature of 32°C at relative humidity of 50–40% for 85, 155 and 270 minutes which corresponds to accumulated water pressure deficit of 24, 47 and 91 mbar·h, respectively. Thereafter, seedlings were grown for 65 days at the soil temperatures of 12 and 23°C. Drought exposures inhibited new root initiation, delayed shoot elongation, and reduced shoot and needle growth. The stronger the exposure the larger the proportion of needles from the lower part of current shoot that remained undeveloped. Low soil temperature increased the effect of exposures so that needle elongation and initiation of new root tips of seedlings in cold soil with the longest exposure were inhibited totally. Root growth assessments made in warm soil may overestimate the acclimation potential of planted seedlings.
The PDF includes an abstract in English.