Category: Research article
article id 10528, category Research article
Comparison of the planting success and risks of pine weevil damage on mineral soil and drained peatland sites three years after planting. Silva Fennica vol. 55 no. 4 article id 10528. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.10528
Highlights: The planting success was poorer on peatland sites than on mineral soil; Dense ground vegetation cover is more probable on peatland than on mineral soil; No differences in pine weevil feeding damage on mineral soil and peatland were found; Cultivated mineral soil reduced the vegetation cover, feeding damage and seedling mortality.
Over 20% of regeneration operations will be on drained peatland in the next decade in Finland. There are only a few studies comparing the planting success and the risk of pine weevil (Hylobius abetis (L.) feeding damage on mineral soil and drained peatland. Thirty sites planted with Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) H. Karst.) container seedlings in 2009 in Southern and Central Finland were inventoried three growing seasons after planting. Prediction models for the probability of survival, pine weevil damage and the presence of ground vegetation cover were done separately for peatland and mineral soil sites. The planting success was 17% lower on peatland sites (1379 surviving seedlings ha–1) than on mineral soil (1654 seedlings ha–1). The factors explaining the survival were the ground vegetation cover and type of the planting spot on the peatland, and the ground vegetation cover on mineral soil. On mineral soil, 76% of the planting spots were on cultivated mineral soil while on peatland only 28% of the seedlings were planted on similar spots. There were also fewer seedlings that were surrounded by dense ground vegetation on mineral soil (4%) than on peatland (14%). Pine weevil feeding damage did not differ significantly on peatland (23%) or mineral soil (18%). The more time there was from clear-cutting, the more the probability of pine weevil feeding damage was reduced on both soil classes. Additionally, cover vegetation in the vicinity of the seedlings increased on mineral soil. Cultivated planting spots, especially those covered by mineral soil, prevented pine weevil feeding and reduced the harmful effects of vegetation on the seedlings both on mineral soil and peatland.
article id 10369, category Research article
Effects of spot mounding and inverting on growth of conifers, exposed mineral soil and natural birch regeneration. Silva Fennica vol. 54 no. 5 article id 10369. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.10369
Highlights: There were 21% fewer naturally regenerated birches ha–1 in inverted areas (22 951) compared to spot mounded areas (29 086); Spot mounding exposed slightly, but not statistically significantly, larger area of mineral soil than inverting; There was no difference in seedling mortality or growth between the site preparation methods.
In Nordic forests, consistent evidence about better seedling survival rate and increased growth due to site preparation have been obtained in numerous studies. Proper site preparation method can reduce costs of the whole regeneration chain through its effects on survival of planted seedlings, abundance of natural regeneration and competition in early stand development. This study compared the natural regeneration of birches (silver birch (Betula pendula Roth) and downy birch (B. pubescens Ehrh.)), amount of exposed mineral soil, and growth of planted seedlings between spot mounding and inverting site preparation methods. Present study was conducted in eight forest stands established in 2012 or 2015. Even though difference was not statistically significant, inverting exposed less mineral soil than spot mounding and thus reduced the natural regeneration of birch seedlings by 6135 seedlings ha–1 compared to spot mounding. However, the variation between regeneration areas was remarkable. There was no difference in seedling mortality or growth between the site preparation methods. In order to achieve high growth of conifers, moderate amount of exposed mineral soil and thus less naturally regenerated birch, inverting should be favored over spot mounding.
article id 10036, category Research article
The demand of hybrid aspen (Populus tremula × P. tremuloides) on site conditions for a successful establishment on forest land. Silva Fennica vol. 52 no. 5 article id 10036. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.10036
Highlights: Low pH (below 3.5) reduced growth, but not survival, in a greenhouse study; Site preparation methods did not affect survival in field, but differences were found for growth; Mounding had generally the best effect on growth; Clonal differences were found that could be useful for improving establishment and growth.
Hybrid aspen (Populus tremula L. × P. tremuloides Michx.) is a deciduous tree species suitable for producing large amounts of renewable biomass during short rotations. Its potential under North European conditions could be largely extended if not only agricultural land but also forest land was used for cultivation. Unfortunately, the knowledge of appropriate forest site conditions and effects of site preparation methods on hybrid aspen establishment is limited. In this paper, two studies that explore these questions are presented. In the first study, the sensitivity to acid soils was tested under greenhouse conditions in two type of soils: a) peat soil limed to certain pH levels (3.4–5.7) and b) collected forest soils where pH varied from 3.9 to 5.3. The lowest pH level resulted in reduced growth, elsewhere no significant differences were found. The second study was applied in the field and investigated the effect of four site preparation methods on survival and growth. The methods were: 1) control with no site preparation, 2) patch scarification, 3) mounding and 4) soil inversion. While no differences were found for survival, mounding was generally the method with the highest growth and patch scarification was least successful. The result was probably an effect of good soil aeration and less competition from vegetation after mounding. The field study also revealed clonal differences in growth performance, which stresses the importance of clone selection prior to planting. The results of these studies indicate that hybrid aspen is less sensitive to variation in pH and site preparation methods compared with other poplar species, as have been found in similar studies.
article id 1386, category Research article
Simulated continuous mounding improvements through ideal machine vision and control. Silva Fennica vol. 50 no. 2 article id 1386. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.1386
Highlights: Different strategies for how to utilise machine vision to streamline the mounding head movements were developed and evaluated; The theoretical minimum rate of encountered obstacles while utilising machine vision in continuous mounding is presented, provided that an optimal continuous mounding has been performed; The needed minimum resolution of a machine vision system at work on a clearcut area was found.
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.
article id 903, category Research article
The contradictory role of understory vegetation on the success of Scots pine regeneration. Silva Fennica vol. 47 no. 1 article id 903. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.903
In North-East Finland, severe problems have been encountered in the natural regeneration of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) on sites where regeneration through site preparation usually is quite successful. We hypothesized that in that area understory vegetation, especially heather (Calluna vulgaris), crowberry (Empetrum hermaphroditum), mosses and lichens, could play a key role in this pattern. We found that in general, ground- and field-layer vegetation tends to be in a negative relationship with the establishment, growth and survival of pine seedlings. Some positive relationships were also observed. Lingonberry (Vaccinium vitis-idea) tended to improve seedling height growth. Heather, instead, seemed to have a contradictory role. It was positively related to seedling establishment but negatively to seedling growth. This dual role raises further questions about the primary reasons for the regeneration problems in North-East Finland. All in all, our results suggest that conventional methods of forest regeneration in these kinds of areas are not always effective enough and additional measures are needed. These might include severe prescribed burning along with site preparation in order to decrease the impact of the dominant ground- and field-layer vegetation on the success of Scots pine regeneration.
article id 920, category Research article
Seedling establishment on small cutting areas with or without site preparation in a drained spruce mire – a case study in northern Finland. Silva Fennica vol. 46 no. 5 article id 920. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.920
A large proportion of drained spruce mire stands is currently approaching regeneration maturity in Finland. We studied the effect of cutting – small canopy openings (78, 177, and 314 m2) and small clear-cuts (0.25–0.37 ha) – with or without site preparation (scalping) on the establishment of natural Norway spruce seedlings in one experimental drained spruce mire stand in northern Finland. The cuttings were made in winter 2004–2005 and site preparation with scalping in early June 2005. The experimental design was composed of four blocks with altogether four clear-cuts and 33 canopy openings. The seedling establishment was surveyed annually (2006, 2008–2010) from five circular sample plots (one 10 m2 and four 5 m2 plots in size) located within the canopy openings and from 18 circular 5 m2 sample plots systematically located in the scalped and untreated halves of the clear-cuts. Site preparation was found unnecessary, because it resulted in a clearly lower number of seedlings in the openings. A slight negative effect was also found in the clear-cuts. In the two years following the cuttings, the number of seedlings increased quickly in the canopy openings, but more gradually in the clear-cut areas. In 2010, on average 15 500 new seedlings were observed in the canopy openings and 6700 in the clear-cut areas, of which 5050 and 1200, respectively, were >0.1 m tall spruces. The proportion of birch increased in the last two years, being ca. 22% in the openings and 45% in the clear-cuts in 2010. The spatial distribution of seedlings was more uneven in the clear-cuts than in the openings, with 41% and 20% of survey plots empty, respectively.
article id 66, category Research article
Soil CO2 flux during the first years after stump harvesting in two Swedish forests. Silva Fennica vol. 46 no. 1 article id 66. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.66
One way of increasing the supply of renewable energy, thereby decreasing the use of fossil fuels, is to extract the stumps that remain after final stem harvesting. However, little is known about the environmental consequences of stump harvesting, and how ecosystem services, such as carbon sequestration, are affected by the practice. In the present paper, the effects on the soil carbon pool during the first months and years after stump harvesting in former Norway spruce stands are presented. The study was performed at two sites in mid- and southern Sweden. At both sites, the soil CO2 flux was measured on several occasions with a portable respiration system, to compare plots on which stump harvesting had occurred, with reference plots. At one of the sites, CO2 exchange was also followed continuously by means of eddy-covariance measurements before and after stump harvesting. Since there was no vegetation at the beginning of the study, almost all emitted CO2 could be assumed to come from heterotrophic sources, and the soil CO2 flux was measured. This study shows that the effect of stump harvesting on CO2 flux or soil decomposition processes is small or absent compared to site preparation such as mounding in a short-term perspective of months and years. The long-term consequences of stump harvesting are, however, still uncertain.
article id 263, category Research article
Time consumption of planting after partial harvests. Silva Fennica vol. 42 no. 1 article id 263. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.263
Partial harvesting combined with underplanting may be a means to reduce the risk of regeneration failure when e.g. unfavourable microclimatic conditions or severe damage by bark-feeding insects may be expected after clear-cutting, and to maintain or establish certain stand structures or tree species mixture. In this study, we performed time studies of manual planting with and without prior site preparation (patch scarification, inverting) in partially harvested stands of Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst.). The harvest treatments included basal area removals of approx. 35, 45, and 55%, and a patch clear-cut treatment that was assumed to provide the same conditions for planting as conventional clear-cutting. Site preparation had a much larger influence on time consumption plant–1 (main time) than the harvest treatment. The lowest time consumption was found with inverting and the highest without site preparation. The time spent on walking between planting spots increased with decreasing harvest intensity, reflecting a lower density of planted seedlings in the partially harvested stands. A corresponding increase in main time per plant only occurred after site preparation, since the time spent on clearing the planting spot (removal of logging residue and humus) on untreated plots was higher at the higher harvest strengths. The variation in time consumption attributed to the six replicate stands was large and mainly due to the difference among stands planted by different workers.
article id 509, category Research article
Early establishment of Pinus sylvestris and Picea abies sown on soil freshly prepared and after stabilisation. Silva Fennica vol. 37 no. 1 article id 509. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.509
The aim of this study is to investigate the early establishment of Pinus sylvestris L. (Scots pine) and Picea abies (L.) Karst. (Norway spruce) seedlings on soil freshly prepared and soil left to stabilise for one year after preparation. Three site preparation treatments were studied: exposed C horizon, mound (broken O/E/B horizon piled upside down over undisturbed forest floor), and exposed E/B horizon. The years investigated were different in terms of weather, one being rainy and the other one dry. As such, emergence was very low in the dry year. Content of fine silt particles, bulk density, water retention, air-filled porosity, loss-on-ignition, and near saturated hydraulic conductivity did not differ statistically between fresh and stabilised soil. Nevertheless, early establishment of P. sylvestris seedlings was improved on exposed C and E/B horizon after one year of soil stabilisation. In contrast, early establishment of P. sylvestris on mounds, and that of P. abies on all types of site preparation treatments were not improved by soil stabilisation. In addition, mortality due to frost heaving did not differ significantly between freshly prepared and stabilised soil. Considering the fact that growing season climate had a great influence on the sowing outcome, and that early establishment is also affected by other factors that vary yearly, such as predation, seedbed receptivity, and competition from vegetation, it may not be advantageous to wait for soil to stabilise before regenerating from seeds.
article id 565, category Research article
Silvicultural disturbance severity and plant communities of the southern Canadian boreal forest. Silva Fennica vol. 36 no. 1 article id 565. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.565
Boreal forest ecosystems are adapted to periodic disturbance, but there is widespread concern that conventional forest practises degrade plant communities. We examined vegetation diversity and composition after clearcut logging, mechanical and chemical site preparation in eight 5- to 12-yr old studies located in southern boreal forests of British Columbia and Quebec, Canada to find useful indicators for monitoring ecosystem integrity and to provide recommendations for the development and testing of new silvicultural approaches. Community-wide and species-specific responses were measured across gradients of disturbance severity and the results were explained in terms of the intermediate disturbance hypothesis and a simple regeneration model based on plant life history strategies. Species richness was 30 to 35% higher 5 to 8 years after clearcut logging than in old forest. Total and vascular species diversity generally peaked on moderately severe site treatments, while non-vascular diversity declined with increasing disturbance severity. On more-or-less mesic sites, there was little evidence of diversity loss within the range of conventional silvicultural disturbances; however, there were important changes in plant community composition. Removing soil organic layers caused a shift from residual and resprouting understory species to ruderal species regenerating from seeds and spores. Severe treatments dramatically increased non-native species invasion. Two important challenges for the proposed natural dynamics-based silviculture will be 1) to find ways of maintaining populations of sensitive non-vascular species and forest mycoheterotrophs, and 2) to create regeneration niches for disturbance-dependent indigenous plants without accelerating non-native species invasion.
article id 683, category Research article
An analysis of successful natural regeneration of downy and silver birch on abandoned farmland in Sweden. Silva Fennica vol. 32 no. 3 article id 683. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.683
To improve our understanding of factors influencing the success of natural regeneration with downy birch (Betula pubescens Ehrh.) and silver birch (Betula pendula Roth) on abandoned farmlands, a survey was conducted to analyse the effects of site conditions and site preparation characteristics. The study was based on a sample plot inventory conducted in one northern and one southern district of Sweden, in which 29 successfully established, naturally regenerated stands, about to be cleaned or thinned, were assessed. Radical site preparation increased stand density and uniformity of established regeneration, and gave faster initial development, than establishment without site preparation on former leys or meadows. Large proportions of the total sample area were classified as moist, and soils consisting of sand–fine sand or peat were frequent. The frequency of birch stems was highest in mesic sites, and on soils consisting of sand, sand–fine sand or peat. Distances to seed-trees were generally shorter than 80 m, and downy birch was the dominant species in most stands.
Category: Research note
article id 915, category Research note
Comparison of two stump-lifting heads in final felling Norway spruce stand. Silva Fennica vol. 46 no. 4 article id 915. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.915
The use of stump and root wood chips has increased very rapidly in the 21st century in Finland: in the year 2000, the total consumption of stump wood chips for energy generation was 10 GWh, while in 2010 it was approximately 2 TWh. Metsäteho Oy and TTS Research evaluated two stump-lifting devices for the lifting of Norway spruce (Picea abies) stumps. The productivity and costs of stump lifting were determined. There was one base machine with one operator in the time study. When lifting stumps with a diameter of 30 cm, the effective hour productivity of stump lifting was 11.2 m3 solid over bark (sob)/E0 (4.8 tonD/E0) without site preparation using a Väkevä Stump Processor, and when lifting spruce stumps with a diameter of 40 cm, the productivity was 14.9 m3 sob/E0 (6.5 tonD/E0). When the site preparation (mounding) was integrated into lifting work, the stump-lifting productivity decreased 21–27%. The stump-lifting productivity of the other lifting head (Järvinen) was lower than that of the Väkevä Stump Processor. Some development suggestions for the Järvinen lifting head were presented and discussed. The cost calculations showed that stump-lifting costs are extremely high when stump diameter is less than 20 cm. Therefore, the study recommended a change in the current stump-harvesting guidelines of Finland: The study suggested that all the stumps with a diameter less than 20 cm should be left on the harvesting site.
article id 5429, category Article
Maan vesitalous ja ilmatila metsäaurausalueilla. Silva Fennica vol. 24 no. 3 article id 5429. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.a15583
English title: (1990). Soil water conditions and air-filled porosity on ploughed reforestation areas.
Five ploughed research areas from Finnish Norther Karelia were selected for comparison studies of plough ridges and untouched soil. Measurements were made at a depth of 10 cm in sample plots on both mineral and paludified mineral soil and peatland parts of these areas. In summer 1987 daily soil water matric potential was measured using tensiometers, and volumetric soil moisture content and density were determined from soil samples at two dates during the summer. Water characteristics of the core samples were also determined. On paludified mineral and peat soils the water table depth from the soil surface was measured.
The results indicated that in plough ridges matric potential was lowest. Plough ridges were also seen to dry and wet faster and to a greater degree than untouched soils. In untouched soils, soil water relations and aeration were not affected by the distance to the furrow. The effect of the plough ridge was smallest on peatland, where there was a good capillary connection from plough ridge to the ground water, if the ditches were not very effective. The soil in the ridges did not dry too much to restrict seedling growth. The untouched surface soil in poorly drained peat and paludified minear soil was, at least in a rainy growing season, often and also for long times so wet that 10% minimum air space required for good seedling root growth was not available.
The PDF includes an abstract in English.
article id 5407, category Article
Lumi-, routa- ja lämpöolot eri tavoin muokatussa metsämaassa Kuusamossa. Silva Fennica vol. 24 no. 1 article id 5407. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.a15559
English title: (1990). The effect of site preparation on snow, soil frost and temperature conditions at a site near Kuusamo.
The winter 1986–87 was unusually cold; the snow cover remained thin and consequently the soil froze to a considerable depth. In spite of the severe frost, the lowest temperatures measured at the ground surface was -10.3°C and in the soil at the depth of 10 cm -5.8°C. The temperature sum of the following summer was unusually small and the soil frost melted more slowly than usual. The winter frosts did not have a decisive influence on the survival of planted seedlings.
The PDF includes an abstract in English.