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Silva Fennica 1926-1997
Acta Forestalia Fennica

Articles containing the keyword 'understorey'.

Category: Research article

article id 1119, category Research article
Beata Woziwoda, Agnieszka Parzych, Dominik Kopeć. (2014). Species diversity, biomass accumulation and carbon sequestration in the understorey of post-agricultural Scots pine forests. Silva Fennica vol. 48 no. 4 article id 1119.
Highlights: Understorey plant species diversity significantly increases with the age of a Scots pine stand; Biomass of mosses decreases by a quarter, while biomass of herbs increases several times; Total understorey’s carbon stock increases over three times. The highest amount of carbon is accumulated in understorey species like Vaccinium myrtillus and Dicranum polysetum; The growing proportion of vascular plants in the understorey biomass results in an increase in the understorey C/N ratio.
The purpose of this study was to examine how the age of a stand of post-agricultural Scots pine forests affects the species composition, biomass and the carbon stock of the forest understorey. The community structure and species composition were studied in 75 plots (100 m2 in size), the amount of biomass, organic carbon and total nitrogen were analysed in 75 subplots (1/16 m2 in size). The plots were located in 21 plantations with the stand age of 41–60, 61–80 and over 80-years. Results show that the understorey species diversity increased with the increasing age of Scots pine stands, and the structure and species composition of secondary forests (although managed for timber production) became similar to the fresh pine forest of the European temperate region (Leucobryo-Pinetum community). Despite the increasing species diversity, however, only six understorey vascular and moss species played an important role in the biomass accumulation and C sequestration. Due to the differences in the dominant species composition, the total amount of understorey biomass significantly differed among the forest stands. The mean moss biomass ranged from 3046 kg ha–1 in 41–60-year-old stands, trough 2686 kg ha–1 in 61–80-year-old stands to 2273 kg ha–1 in over 80-year-old stands, and the mean understorey vascular plant biomass amounted to 2 kg ha–1, 1924 kg ha–1 and 3508 kg ha–1, respectively. The concentration of organic C varied considerably between species; it was the highest in Vaccinium myrtillus (50.6%) and in Dicranum polysetum (49.5%). The total mass of C was nearly 800 kg ha–1 in the youngest forests, in the subsequent age series it was two times higher and 3.5 times higher in the oldest ones. Differences in the species composition and in the C/N ratio in different species (generally higher for vascular plants and lower for mosses) were expressed in an increase in the understorey C/N ratio, which was 39.5, 46.6 and 48.6, respectively.
  • Woziwoda, Department of Geobotany and Plant Ecology, Faculty of Biology and Environmental Protection, University of Lodz, Banacha 12/16, 90-237 Lodz, Poland ORCID ID:E-mail: (email)
  • Parzych, Environmental Chemistry Research Unit, Institute of Biology and Environmental Protection, Pomeranian University in Słupsk, Arciszewskiego 22b, 76-200 Słupsk, Poland ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Kopeć, Department of Geobotany and Plant Ecology, Faculty of Biology and Environmental Protection, University of Lodz, Banacha 12/16, 90-237 Lodz, Poland ORCID ID:E-mail:
article id 306, category Research article
Niina Tanskanen, Hannu Ilvesniemi. (2007). Spatial distribution of fine roots at ploughed Norway spruce forest sites. Silva Fennica vol. 41 no. 1 article id 306.
We examined the spatial distribution of fine roots at two forest sites that were ploughed 20 (site K1) and 33 years (site K2) before sampling and planted with Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst.) seedlings. Soil core samples were taken from the tilt and beneath the tilt, the furrow and the intermediate undisturbed soil to a depth of 0.4 m for fine root biomass, length and necromass determinations. Norway spruce fine roots were found throughout the ploughed forest sites. The fine roots were, however, unevenly distributed: the fine root biomass was highest in the tilt (624 and 452 g m–2 at sites K1 and K2, respectively) and lowest in the undisturbed soil at site K1 (79 g m–2) and in the furrow at site K2 (145 g m–2). The estimated average fine root biomass at the ploughed forest sites (268 and 248 g m–2 at sites K1 and K2, respectively) was, however, similar to those presented in other studies concerning sites that had not been ploughed. In the tilt, a substantial proportion of the fine roots was in the inverted mineral soil horizons and in the new organic horizon above the tilt. Consistent with the fine root biomass findings, the Norway spruce necromass was highest in the tilt but the vertical distribution of the dead roots was different: the necromass was highest in the buried OBT horizon. The results of this study suggest that at the ploughed forest sites, a substantial part of Norway spruce nutrient and water uptake occured in the tilt during the first 20 or 33 years after plantation.
  • Tanskanen, Department of Forest Ecology, P.O. Box 27, FI-00014 University of Helsinki, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail: (email)
  • Ilvesniemi, Finnish Forest Research Institute, P.O. Box 18, FI-01301 Vantaa, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail:
article id 423, category Research article
Olle Rosenberg, Staffan Jacobson. (2004). Effects of repeated slash removal in thinned stands on soil chemistry and understorey vegetation. Silva Fennica vol. 38 no. 2 article id 423.
The increased interest in harvesting logging residues as a source of bio-energy has led to concerns about the potentially adverse long-term impact of the practice on site productivity. The aim of this study was to examine the effects on soil chemistry (pH, C, N and AL-extractable P, K, Ca and Mg) in three different soil layers (FH, 0–5 cm and 5–10 cm mineral soil) and understorey vegetation after the second removal of logging residues in whole-tree thinned stands. The study was performed at four different sites, established in the period 1984–87, representing a range of different climatic and soil conditions: a very fertile Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst.) site in south-western Sweden and three Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) sites located in south, south-central and central Sweden. The effects of whole-tree thinning on soil chemistry and understorey vegetation were generally minor and variable. Across all sites the concentrations of Ca and Mg were significantly lower when slash was removed.
  • Rosenberg, Skogforsk – The Forestry Research Institute of Sweden, Uppsala Science Park, SE-751 83 Uppsala, Sweden ORCID ID:E-mail: (email)
  • Jacobson, Skogforsk – The Forestry Research Institute of Sweden, Uppsala Science Park, SE-751 83 Uppsala, Sweden ORCID ID:E-mail:

Category: Article

article id 7470, category Article
Juhani Sarasto. (1957). Metsän kasvattamiseksi ojitettujen soiden aluskasvillisuudenrakenteesta ja kehityksestä Suomen eteläpuoliskossa. Acta Forestalia Fennica vol. 65 no. 7 article id 7470.
English title: Understorey vegetation and its development in drained peatlands in the southern half of Finland.

According to studies following the development of vegetation of drained peatlands, it seems that they have transformed to a relatively stable plant communities during the succession. In earlier studies it was assumed that after drainage a mire type would develop to a corresponding forest site. This investigation studies what kinds of plant communities are formed during succession of different mire types on peatlands drained for forestry in the southern half of Finland. Understorey vegetation was studied in 18 sample plots established by Forest Research Institute on drained peatlands. In addition, sample plots were studied on peatlands in natural state.

The results suggest that understorey vegetation on peatlands drained for forestry have developed into plant communities, the most advanced of which are the so-called dry plant communities. They represent transformed site types, which are the following: drained peatlands with upland herb-rich vegetation, drained peatlands with upland grass-herb vegetation, drained peatlands with upland Myrtillus site type vegetation, drained peatlands with upland Vaccinium site type vegetation, and drained peatlands with upland Calluna site type vegetation. Drained peatlands with upland Cladonia site type vegetation seem to be a temporary type caused by incomplete drainage. The transition between Myrtillus and Vaccinium dominated dry plant communities is not clear, but especially the pure Vaccinium vitis-ideae communities justify its place as an independent plant community. The dry drwarf shrub plant communities are also stable.

The PDF includes a summary in German.

  • Sarasto, ORCID ID:E-mail:
article id 7638, category Article
Jussi Kuusipalo. (1985). An ecological study of upland forest site classification in southern Finland. Acta Forestalia Fennica no. 192 article id 7638.

The vegetation and number of physical and chemical soil properties were studied on a random sample of closed upland forest stands in Southern Finland. The material consists of a total of 410 sample plots. Two-way indicator species analysis (TWINSPAN) was carried out in order to produce a hierarchical clustering of samples on the basis of the vegetation data. Discriminant analysis and analysis of variance were applied in order to find environmental correlations of the vegetation clustering.

The vegetation was found to indicate the nutrient regime of the humus layer well, but to a less extent the properties of the sub-soil. The understorey vegetation was found to be jointly dependent on the site fertility and on the properties of the tree stand, especially on the tree species composition. Although the forest vegetation appears to be distributed rather continuously along an axis of increasing site fertility, relatively unambiguous classification can be based on the appearance of indicator species and species groups.

The results of the study were interpreted as indication that operational site classification done using the vegetation is rather good method for classification in closed forest stands. Different methods produce relatively consistent, natural and ecologically interpretable classifications. The results also imply that the vegetation cover and the humus layer develop concurrently during the development of the ecosystem, but the differentiation of the site type is regulated simultaneously by a number of interacting factors ranging from mineralogical properties of the parent material to the topographical exposition of the site. As the plant cover depicts all these primary factors simultaneously, only a relatively rough ecological site classification can be based on the vegetation.

The PDF includes a summary in Finnish.

  • Kuusipalo, ORCID ID:E-mail:

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