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Articles containing the keyword 'tree growth'.

Category: Research article

article id 10055, category Research article
Jaakko Repola, Hannu Hökkä, Hannu Salminen. (2018). Models for diameter and height growth of Scots pine, Norway spruce and pubescent birch in drained peatland sites in Finland. Silva Fennica vol. 52 no. 5 article id 10055. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.10055
Highlights: Tree growth strongly correlated with site drainage status; Between-tree competition had a higher impact on tree diameter growth than on height growth; Growth predicted by the constructed models were calibrated using NFI11 data to ensure generally applicable growth predictions level in whole country.

The aim of this study was to develop individual-tree diameter and height growth models for Scots pine, Norway spruce, and pubescent birch growing in drained peatlands in Finland. Trees growing in peatland sites have growth patterns that deviate from that of trees growing in mineral soil sites. Five-year growth was explained by tree diameter, different tree and stand level competition measures, management operations and site characteristics. The drainage status of the site was influencing growth directly or in interaction with other variables. Site quality had a direct impact but was also commonly related to current site drainage status (need for ditch maintenance). Recent thinning increased growth of all species and former PK fertilization increased growth of pine and birch. Temperature sum was a significant predictor in all models and altitude for spruce and birch. The data were a subsample of the 7th National Forest Inventory (NFI) sample plots representing northern and southern Finland and followed by repeated measurements for 15–20 yrs. Growth levels predicted by the models were calibrated using NFI11 data to remove bias originating from the sample of the modelling data. The mixed linear models technique was used in model estimation. The models will be incorporated into the MOTTI stand simulator to replace the current peatlands growth models.

  • Repola, Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke), Natural resources, Eteläranta 55, FI-96300 Rovaniemi, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail: jaakko.repola@luke.fi (email)
  • Hökkä, Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke), Natural resources, Paavo Havaksen tie 3, FI-90014 University OF Oulu, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail: hannu.hokka@luke.fi
  • Salminen, Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke), Natural resources, Eteläranta 55, FI-96300 Rovaniemi, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail: hannu.salminen@luke.fi
article id 9980, category Research article
Eino Levkoev, Lauri Mehtätalo, Katri Luostarinen, Pertti Pulkkinen, Anatoly Zhigunov, Heli Peltola. (2018). Development of height growth and frost hardiness for one-year-old Norway spruce seedlings in greenhouse conditions in response to elevated temperature and atmospheric CO2 concentration. Silva Fennica vol. 52 no. 3 article id 9980. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.9980
Highlights: Elevated temperature resulted in increased height growth, delayed onset and shortened duration of autumn frost hardiness development in Norway spruce seedlings; Elevated temperature increased variation between genotypes in height growth and frost hardiness development; Elevated atmospheric CO2 concentration had no effect on the development of height or autumn frost hardiness in Norway spruce seedlings.

The mean temperature during the potential growing season (April–September) may increase by 1 °C by 2030, and by 4 °C, or even more, by 2100, accompanied by an increase in atmospheric CO2 concentrations of 536–807 ppm, compared to the current climate of 1981–2010, in which atmospheric CO2 is at about 350 ppm. This may affect both the growth and frost hardiness of boreal trees. In this work, we studied the responses of height and autumn frost hardiness development in 22 half-sib genotypes of one-year-old Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst.) seedlings to elevated temperatures and atmospheric CO2 concentration under greenhouse conditions. The three climate treatments used were: T+1 °C above ambient and ambient CO2; T+4 °C above ambient and ambient CO2; and T+4 °C above ambient and elevated CO2 (700 ppm). The height growth rate and final height were both higher under T+4 °C compared to T+1 °C. Temperature increase also delayed the onset, and shortened the duration, of autumn frost hardiness development. Elevated CO2 did not affect the development of height or frost hardiness, when compared to the results without CO2 elevation under the same temperature treatment. Higher temperatures resulted in greater variation in height and frost hardiness development among genotypes. Three genotypes with different genetic backgrounds showed superior height growth, regardless of climate treatment; however, none showed a superior development of autumn frost hardiness. In future studies, clonal or full-sib genetic material should be used to study the details of autumn frost hardiness development among different genotypes.

  • Levkoev, University of Eastern Finland, Faculty of Science and Forestry, School of Forest Sciences, P.O. Box 111, FI-80101 Joensuu, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail: eino.levkoev@uef.fi (email)
  • Mehtätalo, University of Eastern Finland, Faculty of Science and Forestry, School of Computing, P.O. Box 111, FI-80101 Joensuu, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail: lauri.mehtatalo@uef.fi
  • Luostarinen, University of Eastern Finland, Faculty of Science and Forestry, School of Forest Sciences, P.O. Box 111, FI-80101 Joensuu, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail: katri.luostarinen@uef.fi
  • Pulkkinen,  Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke), Production systems, Haapastensyrjä Breeding Station, FI-16200 Läyliäinen, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail: pertti.pulkkinen@luke.fi
  • Zhigunov, Saint-Petersburg State Forest Technical University, Forestry Faculty, RU-194021, Institutskiy per. 5, Saint-Petersburg, Russia ORCID ID:E-mail: a.zhigunov@bk.ru
  • Peltola, University of Eastern Finland, Faculty of Science and Forestry, School of Forest Sciences, P.O. Box 111, FI-80101 Joensuu, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail: heli.peltola@uef.fi
article id 5662, category Research article
Samuel Egbäck, Urban Nilsson, Kenneth Nyström, Karl-Anders Högberg, Nils Fahlvik. (2017). Modeling early height growth in trials of genetically improved Norway spruce and Scots pine in southern Sweden. Silva Fennica vol. 51 no. 3 article id 5662. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.5662
Highlights: The developed height growth model based on unimproved material predicted the development relatively well for genetically improved Norway spruce; For genetically improved Scots pine, however, the model needed to be modified; By incorporating a genetic component into the Scots pine model, the prediction errors were reduced.

Genetically improved Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst.) and Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) are used extensively in operational Swedish forestry plantations to increase production. Depending on the genetic status of the plant material, the current estimated genetic gain in growth is in the range 10–20% for these species and this is expected to increase further in the near future. However, growth models derived solely from data relating to genetically improved material in Sweden are still lacking. In this study we investigated whether an individual tree growth model based on data from unimproved material could be used to predict the height increment in young trials of genetically improved Norway spruce and Scots pine. Data from 11 genetic experiments with large genetic variation, ranging from offspring of plus-trees selected in the late 1940s to highly improved clonal materials selected from well performing provenances were used. The data set included initial heights at the age of 7–15 years and 5-year increments for almost 2000 genetic entries and more than 20 000 trees. The evaluation indicated that the model based on unimproved trees predicted height development relatively well for genetically improved Norway spruce and there was no need to incorporate a genetic component. However, for Scots pine, the model needed to be modified. A genetic component was developed based on the genetic difference recorded within each trial, using mixed linear models and methods from quantitative genetics. By incorporating the genetic component, the prediction errors were significantly reduced for Scots pine. This study provides the first step to incorporate genetic gains into Swedish growth models and forest management planning systems.

  • Egbäck, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Southern Swedish Forest Research Centre, P.O. Box 49, 230 53 Alnarp, Sweden ORCID ID:E-mail: samuel.egback@slu.se (email)
  • Nilsson, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Southern Swedish Forest Research Centre, P.O. Box 49, 230 53 Alnarp, Sweden ORCID ID:E-mail: urban.nilsson@slu.se
  • Nyström, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Forest Resource Management, Skogsmarksgränd, 901 83 Umeå, Sweden ORCID ID:E-mail: kenneth.nystrom@slu.se
  • Högberg, Skogforsk, Ekebo, 268 90 Svalöv, Sweden ORCID ID:E-mail: karl-anders.hogberg@skogforsk.se
  • Fahlvik, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Southern Swedish Forest Research Centre, P.O. Box 49, 230 53 Alnarp, Sweden ORCID ID:E-mail: nils.fahlvik@slu.se
article id 1124, category Research article
Āris Jansons, Mārtiņš Zeps, Juris Rieksts-Riekstiņš, Roberts Matisons, Oskars Krišāns. (2014). Height increment of hybrid aspen Populus tremuloides x P. tremula as a function of weather conditions in central part of Latvia. Silva Fennica vol. 48 no. 5 article id 1124. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.1124
Highlights: Intra-annual height growth of hybrid aspen was monitored; Clones with early leaf flushing dates showed faster height growth; Height growth was generally controlled by temperature; Fast-growing hybrids were more robust to weather conditions than slow-growing ones; Potential evapotranspiration (moisture regime) negatively affected height growth of clones with delayed phenology.
Height growth of young hybrid aspen (Populus tremula L. × P. tremuloides Michx.) was studied in relation to weather conditions. Height of clones with different leaf flushing phenology (early, intermediate and late) was monitored during the growing periods of 2010 and 2011 in a plantation established on former agricultural land. Mean daily height increment (HI) was calculated. Multiple linear regression was used to determine which weather factors (variables) had significant effect on HI. Mean seasonal height growth (mean seasonal HI) between clones (groups) was compared by ANOVA. In both years, HI was significantly higher for clones with early and intermediate leaf flushing compared to clones with late leaf flushing. The effect of weather factors also differed between clones according to their leaf flushing phenology; it was the weakest for HI of clones with early leaf flushing compared to clones with intermediate and late leaf flushing. Mean temperature was the main factor, which positively affected HI of all clones, suggesting that warmer climate might be beneficial for height growth of young hybrid aspen in Latvia. Nevertheless, significant negative relationship between HI and potential evapotranspiration (PET) was observed for clones with delayed leaf flushing, suggesting negative effect of increasing variability of precipitation on growth. Thus, the differences in height growth intensity might be related to growth sensitivity to weather conditions. On the other hand, such differences in height growth between clones might be caused by competition (i.e. with herbs), as trees with early leaf flushing might conquer more resources and become more robust against the environmental fluctuation.
  • Jansons, LSFRI „SILAVA”, Rigas Str. 111, Salaspils, Latvia, LV2169 ORCID ID:E-mail: aris.jansons@silava.lv
  • Zeps, LSFRI „SILAVA”, Rigas Str. 111, Salaspils, Latvia, LV2169 ORCID ID:E-mail: martins.zeps@silava.lv
  • Rieksts-Riekstiņš, LSFRI „SILAVA”, Rigas Str. 111, Salaspils, Latvia, LV2169 ORCID ID:E-mail: Juris.Riekstins@silava.lv
  • Matisons, LSFRI „SILAVA”, Rigas Str. 111, Salaspils, Latvia, LV2169 ORCID ID:E-mail: robism@inbox.lv (email)
  • Krišāns, LSFRI „SILAVA”, Rigas Str. 111, Salaspils, Latvia, LV2169 ORCID ID:E-mail: oskars.krisans@silava.lv
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 307, category Research article
Jacqueline C. Bolli, Andreas Rigling, Harald Bugmann. (2007). The influence of changes in climate and land-use on regeneration dynamics of Norway spruce at the treeline in the Swiss Alps. Silva Fennica vol. 41 no. 1 article id 307. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.307
Recent changes of climate and land-use are often regarded to affect the European Alpine region substantially and to trigger an increase in the elevation of the upper treeline. The patterns of tree invasion on a subalpine meadow at 1900 m a.s.l. in Sedrun, Canton Grisons, Switzerland, were studied in order 1) to reconstruct the process of tree establishment and tree–growth dynamics in space and time, and 2) to evaluate the influence of site properties, land-use change and climate on these processes. Dendroecological analysis of 105 Norway spruce combined with an assessment of 48 vegetation plots and 17 soil profiles revealed that the trees were established in one main period (1965–1980s), starting 15 years after the abandonment of the agricultural use of the meadow, and that there is a pronounced environmental gradient along the forest-meadow ecotone. Tree establishment and height growth were favoured close to the former forest edge, but all saplings irrespective of their distance to the forest edge and their age showed increased radial growth since 1990, coinciding with a period of higher summer temperatures in the region. Therefore, we conclude that the observed tree-line dynamics in Sedrun are the result of both land-use and climate change: Tree establishment was triggered by the abandonment of the agricultural use of the meadow, and strongly favoured by particularly good growing conditions in a warm decade, which illustrates the sensitivity of conifers near the alpine tree-line to temperature fluctuations.
  • Bolli, Swiss Federal Research Institute, Zürcherstrasse 111, CH-8903 Birmensdorf, Switzerland ORCID ID:E-mail: jacqueline.bolli@wsl.ch (email)
  • Rigling, Swiss Federal Research Institute, Zürcherstrasse 111, CH-8903 Birmensdorf, Switzerland ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Bugmann, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zürich, Universitätstrasse 16, CH-8092 Zürich, Switzerland 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 413, category Research article
Mika Nieminen, Timo Penttilä. (2004). Inorganic and organic phosphorus fractions in peat from drained mires in northern Finland. Silva Fennica vol. 38 no. 3 article id 413. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.413
Soil samples from 15 eutrophic, 26 herb-rich, 15 tall-sedge, and 11 low-sedge drained peatland sites were analysed for easily soluble and aluminum, iron, and calcium bound phosphorus (P) using the Chang and Jackson sequential fractionation method. Compared to earlier investigations, where only total and easily soluble P contents (e.g. NH4OAc or dilute H2SO4 extractable P) in peat have been analysed, significantly higher differences between sites were observed. The eutrophic sites were characterized by four to six-fold greater Ca-bound organic P and two to three-fold greater Ca-bound inorganic P contents than on the other three site type groups, whereas the average Al-bound inorganic P content of the eutrophic sites was only one-third of that at the other site types. Substantial differences between sites were also observed for Fe-bound inorganic P, i.e. two to four-fold greater Fe-P contents were measured at the herb-rich sites compared with the other three site type groups. The stand volume growth in the 67 studied drained peatland sites correlated significantly with Al-bound organic P and Fe-bound inorganic and organic P. The study showed that a detailed fractionation and discrimination of different forms of soil P is important in increasing the understanding of the relationship between P availability and vegetation community types and stand growth on drained peatlands.
  • Nieminen, Finnish Forest Research Institute, Vantaa Research Centre, P.O. Box 18, FI-01301 Vantaa, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail: mika.nieminen@metla.fi (email)
  • Penttilä, Finnish Forest Research Institute, Vantaa Research Centre, P.O. Box 18, FI-01301 Vantaa, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail:
article id 510, category Research article
Helge Dzierzon, Risto Sievänen, Winfried Kurth, Jari Perttunen, Branislav Sloboda. (2003). Enhanced possibilities for analyzing tree structure as provided by an interface between different modelling systems. Silva Fennica vol. 37 no. 1 article id 510. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.510
In recent years, many different advanced mathematical models and simulation systems for tree and forest growth have been developed. We show a possibility to extend analysis tools for measured and simulated plants using a data interface between the simulation model LIGNUM and the multifunctional software system GROGRA. Both systems were developed by different teams. To demonstrate the enhanced possibilities for analyzing a LIGNUM tree, several examples are given. In these examples three different approaches for analysis are applied to measured and simulated trees: Fractal dimension, deduction of tapering laws, and water potential patterns obtained from simulation of waterflow by the specialized software HYDRA. Conclusions for the interfacing and comparison of different modelling tools are drawn.
  • Dzierzon, Institut für Forstliche Biometrie und Informatik, Universität Göttingen, Büsgenweg 4, D-37077 Göttingen, Germany ORCID ID:E-mail: hdzierz@gwdg.de (email)
  • Sievänen, The Finnish Forest Research Institute, Vantaa Research Centre, P.O. Box 18, FIN-01301 Vantaa, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Kurth, Institut für Informatik, Brandenburgische Technische Universität Cottbus, P.O. Box 101344, D-03013 Cottbus, Germany ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Perttunen, The Finnish Forest Research Institute, Vantaa Research Centre, P.O. Box 18, FIN-01301 Vantaa, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Sloboda, Institut für Forstliche Biometrie und Informatik, Universität Göttingen, Büsgenweg 4, D-37077 Göttingen, Germany ORCID ID:E-mail:
article id 566, category Research article
Philip J. Burton. (2002). Effects of clearcut edges on trees in the sub-boreal spruce zone of Northwest-Central British Columbia. Silva Fennica vol. 36 no. 1 article id 566. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.566
Clearcut-forest boundaries were evaluated for their effects on mature and regenerating trees in the northern interior of British Columbia, Canada. Two hundred and eighteen rectangular plots measuring 200 m2 each were arrayed in transects across 12 cutblock edges created 9 to 21 years earlier, with the wall of standing timber facing either north or south. The density of canopy trees on the inner edge was found to be reduced by 19% (on north-facing edges) to 46% (on south-facing edges) from average densities found in forest interiors. This reduction was primarily due to windthrow after logging, which was elevated by 27% (over interior background levels) at north-facing edges, and by 216% at south-facing edges. Of the trees situated within 10 m of south-facing cutblock edges, 11% of the Pinus contorta, 18% of the Abies lasiocarpa, and 42% of the Picea engelmannii x glauca trees have apparently collapsed, primarily those having height-to-dbh ratios greater than 71:1. As a result, irradiance in the forest understory was elevated (over interior levels) at south-facing edges to distances of approximately 65 to 70 m into the forest. Increased irradiance from adjacent cutblocks enhanced the understory growth of Picea for approximately 60 m into the inner edge of forests, 75 m for Abies. Mature Pinus trees on south-facing edges showed an unexplained 48% decrease in radial growth compared to average growth rates in forest interiors, an effect that was detectable up to 45 m into the forest. Elevated densities of conifer seedlings were evident for up to approximately 70 m into clearcuts from north-facing forest edges. Seedling growth in clearcuts was largely unaffected by shade from stand edges. Though the extent of edge effects varies considerably with the statistical techniques used to detect them, it appears that opening effects on trees can extend between 40 and 120 m into this forest type, while canopy effects reach shorter distances into clearcuts.
  • Burton, Symbios Research and Restoration, P.O. Box 3398, 3868 13th Avenue, Smithers, British Columbia, Canada V0J 2N0 ORCID ID:E-mail: symbios@bulkley.net (email)
article id 580, category Research article
Susanna Sironen, Annika Kangas, Matti Maltamo, Jyrki Kangas. (2001). Estimating individual tree growth with the k-nearest neighbour and k-Most Similar Neighbour methods. Silva Fennica vol. 35 no. 4 article id 580. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.580
The purpose of this study was to examine the use of non-parametric methods in estimating tree level growth models. In non-parametric methods the growth of a tree is predicted as a weighted average of the values of neighbouring observations. The selection of the nearest neighbours is based on the differences between tree and stand level characteristics of the target tree and the neighbours. The data for the models were collected from the areas owned by Kuusamo Common Forest in Northeast Finland. The whole data consisted of 4051 tally trees and 1308 Scots pines (Pinus sylvestris L.) and 367 Norway spruces (Picea abies Karst.). Models for 5-year diameter growth and bark thickness at the end of the growing period were constructed with two different non-parametric methods: the k-nearest neighbour regression and k-Most Similar Neighbour method. Diameter at breast height, tree height, mean age of the stand and basal area of the trees larger than the subject tree were found to predict the diameter growth most accurately. The non-parametric methods were compared to traditional regression growth models and were found to be quite competitive and reliable growth estimators.
  • Sironen, University of Joensuu, Faculty of Forestry, P.O. Box 111, FIN-80101 Joensuu, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail: susanna.sironen@forest.joensuu.fi (email)
  • Kangas, Finnish Forest Research Institute, Kannus Research Station, P.O. Box 44, FIN-69101 Kannus, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Maltamo, University of Joensuu, Faculty of Forestry, P.O. Box 111, FIN-80101 Joensuu, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Kangas, Finnish Forest Research Institute, Kannus Research Station, P.O. Box 44, FIN-69101 Kannus, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail:

Category: Review article

article id 1416, category Review article
Ulf Sikström, Hannu Hökkä. (2016). Interactions between soil water conditions and forest stands in boreal forests with implications for ditch network maintenance. Silva Fennica vol. 50 no. 1 article id 1416. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.1416
Highlights: Ditch network maintenance (DNM) may influence soil water conditions less than initial ditching due to reduced hydraulic conductivity of the peat; Stand stocking and management substantially influence soil-water conditions; DNM can lower the GWL and increase tree growth; DNM growth responses of 0.5–1.8 m3 ha–1 yr–1 during 15–20-years in Scots pine peatland stands reported; Greatest need for DNM in the early phase of a stand rotation; Need for better understanding of the link between soil water and tree growth.

At sites with either peat or mineral soils in large areas of boreal forests, high soil-water contents hamper tree growth and drainage can significantly increase growth. Hence, areas covering about 15 × 106 ha of northern peatlands and wet mineral soils have been drained for forestry purposes. Usually ditches gradually deteriorate, thus reducing their functionality as drains, and ditch-network maintenance (DNM) might be needed to maintain stand growth rates enabled by the original ditching. This article reviews current knowledge on establishing the need for DNM in boreal forest stands, subsequent growth responses, and the financial outcome of the activity. The issues covered in the review are: (i) ditching, changes in ditches over time and the need for DNM; (ii) interactions between soil water and both stand properties and stand management; (iii) ground-water level (GWL) and tree growth responses to DNM; and (iv) financial viability of DNM. Conclusions about the current understanding of issues related to DNM are drawn and implications for DNM in practice are summarized. Finally, gaps in knowledge are identified and research needs are suggested.

  • Sikström, The Forestry Research Institute of Sweden (Skogforsk), Uppsala Science Park, SE-751 83 Uppsala, Sweden ORCID ID:E-mail: ulf.sikstrom@skogforsk.se (email)
  • Hökkä, Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke), Management and Production of Renewable Resources, P.O. Box 16, FI-96301 Rovaniemi, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail: hannu.hokka@luke.fi

Category: Article

article id 7302, category Article
M. Lappi-Seppälä. (1934). Karsimisesta ja sen metsänhoidollisesta merkityksestä. Acta Forestalia Fennica vol. 40 no. 25 article id 7302. https://doi.org/10.14214/aff.7302
English title: The silvicultural influences of pruning.

Pruning growing trees influences tree growth and value of the wood and yield of timber of the stand. Pruning living branches create open wounds on the stems that can risk the growth of tree species that are vulnerable to injuries. For instance, pruning has been shown to cause decay in Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) H. Karst.), while Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) can quickly heal over the branch scars. Pruning of living branches reduces the crown, the effect of which remains small if only the lowest branches are pruned. Pruning of dry branches has little effect on the health of the tree. The main objective of pruning is to improve the quality of timber. Knottiness decreases strength and appearance of timber. Pruning increases the yield of knot-free sapwood, which is especially valuable in veneer timber. Pruning is, therefore, at present most suitable for birch and aspen which are used in veneer industry. In both species pruning should be directed mainly to dry branches.

The PDF includes a summary in German.

  • Lappi-Seppälä, ORCID ID:E-mail:
article id 5626, category Article
Winfried Kurth, Branislav Sloboda. (1997). Growth grammars simulating trees – an extension of L-systems incorporating local variables and sensitivity. Silva Fennica vol. 31 no. 3 article id 5626. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.a8527

The rule-based formal language of "stochastic sensitive growth grammars" was designed to describe algorithmically the changing morphology of forest trees during their lifetime under the impact of endogenous and exogenous factors, and to generate 3-D simulations of tree structures in a systematic manner. The description in the form of grammars allows the precise specification of structural models with functional components. These grammars (extended L-systems) can be interpreted by the software GROGRA (Growth grammar interpreter) yielding time series of attributed 3-D structures representing plants. With some recent extensions of the growth-grammar language (sensitive functions, local variables) it is possible to model environmental control of shoot growth and some simple allocation strategies, and to obtain typical competition effects in tree stands qualitatively in the model.

  • Kurth, ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Sloboda, ORCID ID:E-mail:
article id 5622, category Article
Christine Deleuze, François Houllier. (1997). A transport model for tree ring width. Silva Fennica vol. 31 no. 3 article id 5622. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.a8523

Process-based tree growth models are recognized to be flexible tools which are valuable for investigating tree growth in relation to changing environment or silvicultural treatments. In the context of forestry, we address two key modelling problems: allocation of growth which determines total wood production, and distribution of wood along the stem which determines stem form and wood quality. Growth allocation and distribution are the outcome of carbon translocation, which may be described by the Munch theory. We propose a simpler gradient process to describe the carbon distribution in the phloem of conifers. This model is a reformulation of a carbon diffusion-like process proposed by Thornley in 1972. By taking into account the continuity of the cambium along the stem, we obtain a one-dimensional reaction-diffusion model which describes both growth allocation between foliage, stem and roots, and growth distribution along the stem. Distribution of wood along the stem is then regarded as an allocation process at a smaller scale. A preliminary sensitivity analysis is presented. The model predicts a strong relationship between morphology and foliage-root allocation. It also suggests how empirical data, such as stem analysis, could be used to calibrate and validate allocation rules in process-based growth models.

  • Deleuze, ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Houllier, ORCID ID:E-mail:
article id 5306, category Article
Timo Pukkala, Taneli Kolström. (1987). Competition indices and the prediction of radial growth in Scots pine. Silva Fennica vol. 21 no. 1 article id 5306. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.a15463

The effect of competition on the radial growth of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) was studied in three naturally regenerated stands located in North Karelia, Finland. The competition situation of an individual tree was described with various competition indices which depended on the sizes and distances from the neighbouring trees. One competition index explained about 50% of the variation in 5-year radial growth in one stand. If all stands were combined, one index explained 43.5%, two indices 48.9% and three indices 51.2% of the variation. In one stand, the best competition indices accounted for about 20% of that variation which could not be explained by tree diameter. If all three stands were combined, the best index explained 11% of the residual variation. About 40% of the variation in 5-year radial growth could not be explained by the diameter and competition indices.
The PDF includes an abstract in Finnish.

  • Pukkala, ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Kolström, ORCID ID:E-mail:
article id 5233, category Article
Leo Heikurainen. (1985). Verhopuuston vaikutus kuusitaimikon kehitykseen. Silva Fennica vol. 19 no. 1 article id 5233. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.a15412
English title: The influence of birch nurse crop (Betula pubescens) on the growth of Norway spruce (Picea abies) seedling stands on drained peatlands.

Young Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) H. Karst.) are susceptible to early summer frost damage. Birch (Betula pubescens Ehrh.) naturally colonize rich or fairly rich drained peatlands after clear cutting, and can provide protection for developing seedlings. The report describes the development of spruce stands after various types of handing of the birch nurse crops.

Different proportions of birch and spruces did not have any influence on the spruce stand production. In cases where the nurse crop stand is removed when the spruce stand age was 20 years and height 4 m the spruce suffered badly but recovered with time, reaching the spruce stand growing under a nurse stand within the next 20 years. The height growth of spruce depends on the density of the nurse stand, especially on fertile sites. The development of diameter growth also depends on the density of the nurse trees. Removal of the nurse stand in spruce stands on the sites concerned should be done when the spruce stand is 20 years old and at the height of 4 m.

The PDF includes a summary in English.

  • Heikurainen, ORCID ID:E-mail:
article id 5140, category Article
Lars Westman. (1981). Monitoring of coniferous forest ecosystems in Sweden. Silva Fennica vol. 15 no. 4 article id 5140. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.a15367

A monitoring program is planned for the terrestrial environment around industries in Sweden, which emit acid compounds and heavy metals. Directions for the County Government Boards are being prepared. The paper deals with the present pollution situation in Sweden, based on recent scientific results, the justifications for local monitoring, and the organizing of the monitoring including the parameters suggested.

Four examples from a case study at an oil power station illustrate reporting of the data and the difficulties in interpreting the results. The examples are the distribution of a lichen indicator, heavy metal content and phosphatase activity in the moor layer, soil respiration and tree growth.

  • Westman, ORCID ID:E-mail:
article id 7041, category Article
Yrjö Ilvessalo. (1920). Tutkimuksia metsätyyppien taksatoorisesta merkityksestä nojautuen etupäässä kotimaiseen kasvutaulujen laatimistyöhön. Acta Forestalia Fennica vol. 15 no. 3 article id 7041. https://doi.org/10.14214/aff.7041
English title: Studies on mensurational significance of forest site types as part of preparation of Finnish growth and yield tables.

New growth and yield tables were prepared for Southern Finland. To finalize the tables, it had to be determined whether the forest site types developed by Cajanus could be used in mensurational research.

Comparative study was performed in 1916-1919 to study the growth of the trees in different forest site types. Total of 467 sample sites were measured in Southern and Central Finland. All the forest site types were found to have a distinctive vegetation typical to the site. It can be concluded that the ground vegetation can be used to determine the forest site type. The growth of trees was different in different forest site types, yet similar within each site type. The forest site types are uniform, natural and easy to determine, and can thus be used to classify the forest stands and used in mensurational research and a basis to growth and yield tables.

The PDF includes a summary in German.

  • Ilvessalo, ORCID ID:E-mail:
article id 5052, category Article
Markku Nylund, Antti Haapanen, Seppo Kellomäki, Liisa Nylund. (1979). Deterioration of forest ground vegetation and decrease of radial growth of trees on camping sites. Silva Fennica vol. 13 no. 4 article id 5052. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.a14909

The ground cover vegetation and tree growth at several camping sites in Southern Finland were investigated. The deterioration of ground vegetation appeared to be unavoidable in these areas, and only a few grass species were tolerant to heavy trampling. Only moderate deterioration was, however, detected when the trampling level was lower than 10,00015,000 user days. On the other hand, the ground cover was completely destroyed when the trampling level exceeded 100,000 user days. A considerable decrease in radial growth appeared to be associated with destruction of the ground vegetation. The decrease was abrupt and was found to continue throughout the whole period of use. After ten years’ use the growth in the trampled areas was 35% lower than that that of the untrampled areas. A further decrease in radial growth is expected in the future. 

The PDF includes a summary in Finnish. 

  • Nylund, ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Haapanen, ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Kellomäki, ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Nylund, ORCID ID:E-mail:
article id 4836, category Article
Erkki Lähde. (1971). Anaerobisten olosuhteiden ja aerobisuusrajan esiintymisestä erilaisilla luonnontilaisilla turvemailla ja merkityksestä suotyypin kuvaajana. Silva Fennica vol. 5 no. 1 article id 4836. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.a14625
English title: Anaerobic conditions in various virgin peat soils and the significance of the aerobic limit as an indicator of site quality.

The aim of the present study was to increase the knowledge of the anaerobic conditions prevailing in virgin peat soils of different kinds, and on the fluctuation of the aerobic limit. Silver rod method was used to indicate anaerobic conditions and to locate the aerobic limit. The material included 18 peatland sample plots on treeless bogs, in pine bogs and in spruce swamps in Southern Finland. Observations of the discoloration of the silver rods and measurements of ground water level were made from 8 June to 13 August 1968.

The results show that the location of the aerobic limit is dependent of the depth of the ground water table, and usually lies 5–15 cm above the ground water table. Down to 10–20 cm below the aerobic limit, where it reaches maximum, the rate of decomposition of sulfurous organic matter is positively correlated with the distance from the aerobic limit. Deeper it gradually decreases, and in the depth of 25–35 cm no hydrogen sulphide seems to be released.

In the forested peatland types the volume of the growing stock and the increment were dependent on the depth of the aerobic limit only when nutrient content and pH of the peat was more or less constant. Where the aerobic limit was close to the ground surface but the nutrient contents were relatively high, the volume of the growing stock may be comparatively high. Birch (Betula sp.), better than the conifers, is able to stand conditions poor in oxygen. The growing stock was poor in sites where the aerobic limit was near the ground surface, but the nitrogen and phosphorus contents were high, or vice versa. Consequently, aerobic limit is of great importance as an indicator of site quality.

The PDF includes a summary in English.

  • Lähde, ORCID ID:E-mail:
article id 4672, category Article
Leo Heikurainen. (1957). Lettoräme ja sen metsäojituskelpoisuus. Silva Fennica no. 93 article id 4672. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.a9119
English title: Eutrophic pine bogs and their suitability for draining.

There are about 155,000 ha of fen-like pine swamps (eutrophic pine bogs) in Finland, major part of which are situated in Northern Finland. In the classification system for drainability of peatlands, this type of peatlands had been placed in the first class. The study presents a new evaluation for the peatland type, based on vegetation and tree growth.

According to a previous study, the vegetation of fen-like pine swamps can be characterised by distinctive plant communities that seem to reflect the fertility and high pH of the underlying soil. In this study, the fen-like pine swamps were divided in two subtypes based on the vegetation: proper fen-like pine swamps and fen-like pine swamps with ericaceous shrubs. Both have distinctive vegetation, which is described in the article. The distribution of the subtypes seems to be different: fen-like pine swamps with ericaceous shrubs are more common in eastern parts of Northern Finland. The two subtypes could be divided in different drainability classes according to tree growth, proper fen-like pine swamps belonging to class 1 and fen-like pine swamps with ericaceous shrubs to class 4.

The article includes a summary in English.

  • Heikurainen, ORCID ID:E-mail:

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