Category: Research article
article id 1073, category Research article
Genetic structure of Tetraclinis articulata, an endangered conifer of the western Mediterranean basin. Silva Fennica vol. 47 no. 5 article id 1073. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.1073
Highlights: The employment of ISSR molecular markers has shown moderate genetic diversity and high genetic differentiation in Tetraclinis articulata; Genetic structure of populations seems to be influenced by the anthropogenic use of this species since historical times, or alternatively, by the complex palaeogeographic history of the Mediterranean basin; Results could be used to propose management policies for conservation of populations.
Tetraclinis articulata (Vahl) Masters is a tree distributed throughout the western Mediterranean basin. It is included in the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) red list, and protected by law in several of the countries where it grows. In this study we examined the genetic diversity and genetic structure of 14 populations of T. articulata in its whole geographic range using ISSR (inter simple sequence repeat) markers. T. articulata showed moderate genetic diversity at intrapopulation level and high genetic differentiation. The distribution of genetic diversity among populations did not exhibit a linear pattern related to geographic distances, since all analyses (principal coordinate analysis, Unweighted pair group method with arithmetic mean dendrogram and Bayesian structure analysis) revealed that spanish population grouped with Malta and Tunisia populations. Although it is possible that T. articulata earlier was natural in Southeast Spain, results suggest that the current population has been reintroduced into the Iberian Peninsula in historical times, due to its utility in mining and building. In addition, results could be used to propose management guidelines for the conservation of T. articulata.
article id 1071, category Research article
A new approach to assessing tree stem quality characteristics using terrestrial laser scans. Silva Fennica vol. 47 no. 5 article id 1071. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.1071
Highlights: Minimal deviations of the bark surface can be detected and visualized based on terrestrial laser scan data; Additionally the geometrical properties of bark scars and branched knots can be assessed; Two methods using two different approaches are presented: (1) a method using intensity data and (2) a method using bark surface models.
This paper presents an approach to assess and measure bark characteristics as indicators of wood quality using terrestrial laser scan data. In addition to the detection and measurement by use of the intensity information of the scan data a new approach was established. Bark surface models are calculated for each tree. They offer the representation of the bark as a height model. The reference is the tree stem approximated by a chain of cylinders. Minimal deviations of the bark surface can be detected and visualized and the geometrical properties of bark scars and branched knots can be assessed. Results of the measurement of 18 scars are presented using the two approaches: (1) a method using intensity data or (2) using bark surface models. The selection of the adequate approach depends on the stem characteristics. In a next step, methods for automatic measurement of bark scars will be developed.
article id 984, category Research article
Vibration and noise assessment of tractor-trailer and truck-mounted chippers. Silva Fennica vol. 47 no. 5 article id 984. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.984
Highlights: Truck-mounted chippers were associated with higher vibration values, while tractor-trailer chippers had higher noise level; Chipping hardwood produced higher vibration magnitudes than softwood; Vibration and noise values in most cases did not exceed the exposure limit values set by the European Union.
During chipping, machine operators are exposed to whole-body vibration and noise bearing a risk to health. Vibration on the operator’s seat and noise inside the chipper cab was measured and analyzed. The factorial design considered two setup variants (tractor-trailer and truck-mounted) of two chipper models from different manufacturers during chipping of softwood and hardwood tree species. Furthermore, exposure to noise was measured during chipping of hardwood. Vibration and noise during chipping, driving between wood piles, and operational delays were measured separately. The results associated truck-mounted chippers with higher vibration values and tractor-trailer chippers with higher noise levels. The highest vibration levels were recorded while driving on the forest road from one log pile to another and the second highest during chipping. On the contrary, the lowest vibration levels were measured during operational delays with the chipper in idling condition. Chipping hardwood produced higher vibration magnitudes than softwood. Exposure to noise was significantly higher during chipping compared to driving and operational delays. Vibration and noise data were combined with time studies data, for the calculation of eight-hour energy equivalent total values, both for vibration and noise. In all cases, the exposure limit values set by the European Union were not exceeded, with the exception of truck-mounted chippers, which are likely to exceed the exposure action value for vibration.
article id 943, category Research article
Laser-assisted selection of field plots for an area-based forest inventory. Silva Fennica vol. 47 no. 5 article id 943. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.943
Highlights: Using laser data as auxiliary information in the selection of field plot locations helps to decrease costs in forest inventories based on airborne laser scanning; Two independent, differently selected sets of field plots were used for model fitting, and third for validation; Using partial instead of ordinary least squares had no major influence on the results; Forty well placed plots produced fairly reliable volume estimates.
Field measurements conducted on sample plots are a major cost component in airborne laser scanning (ALS) based forest inventories, as field data is needed to obtain reference variables for the statistical models. The ALS data also provides an excellent source of prior information that may be used in the design phase of the field survey to reduce the size of the field data set. In the current study, we acquired two independent modeling data sets: one with ALS-assisted and another with random plot selection. A third data set was used for validation. One canopy height and one canopy density variable were used as a basis for the ALS-assisted selection. Ordinary and partial least squares regressions for stem volume were fitted for four different strata using the two data sets separately. The results show that the ALS-assisted plot selection helped to decrease the root mean square error (RMSE) of the predicted volume. Although the differences in RMSE were relatively small, models based on random plot selection showed larger mean differences from the reference in the independent validation data. Furthermore, a sub-sampling experiment showed that 40 well placed plots should be enough for fairly reliable predictions.
article id 937, category Research article
Stochastic simulation and optimization of mobile chipping economics in processing and transport of forest biomass from residues. Silva Fennica vol. 47 no. 5 article id 937. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.937
Highlights: A stochastic simulation model is proposed to analyze forest biomass operations; The cost of chipper and truck waiting times was estimated in forest biomass recovery operations; The economic effect of truck-machine interactions under uncertainty was analyzed; Road characteristics and processing location have an economic impact in truck and chipper waiting times
We analyzed the economics of mobile chipping and transport of biomass from forest residues for energy purposes under uncertainty. A discrete-event simulation model was developed and utilized to quantify the impacts of controllable and environmental variables on productivity in order to determine the most cost effective transportation options under steep terrain conditions. Truck-chipper interactions were analyzed to show their effect on truck and chipper standing time. A costing model was developed to account for operating and standing time cost (for the chipper and trucks). The model used information from time studies of each activity in the productive cycle and spatial-temporal information obtained from geographic information system (GIS) devices, and tracking analysis of machine and truck movements. The model was validated in field operations, and proved to be accurate in providing the expected productivity. A cost distribution was elaborated to support operational decisions of forest managers, landowners and risk-averse contractors. Different scenarios were developed to illustrate the economic effects due to changes in road characteristics such as in-highway transport distance, in-forest internal road distance and pile to trailer chipper traveling distances.
article id 1057, category Research article
Parameter recovery vs. parameter prediction for the Weibull distribution validated for Scots pine stands in Finland. Silva Fennica vol. 47 no. 4 article id 1057. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.1057
Highlights: A parameter recovery method (PRM) was developed for forest stand inventories and compared with previously developed parameter prediction methods (PPM) in Finland; PRM for the 2-parameter Weibull function provided compatibility for the main stand characteristics: stem number, basal area and one of the four optional mean characteristics; PRM provided comparable and at its best, superior accuracy in volume characteristics compared with PPM.
The moment-based parameter recovery method (PRM) has not been applied in Finland since the 1930s, even after a continuation of forest stand structure modelling in the 1980s. This paper presents a general overview of PRM and some useful applications. Applied PRM provided compatibility for the included stand characteristics of stem number (N) and basal area (G) with either mean (D), basal area-weighted mean (DG), median (DM) or basal area-median (DGM) diameter at breast height (dbh). A two-parameter Weibull function was used to describe the dbh-frequency distribution of Scots pine stands in Finland. In the validation, PRM was compared with existing parameter prediction models (PPMs). In addition, existing models for stand characteristics were used for the prediction of unknown characteristics. Validation consisted of examining the performance of the predicted distributions with respect to variation in stand density and accuracy of the localised distributions, as well as accuracy in terms of bias and the RMSE in stand characteristics in the independent test data set. The validation data consisted of 467 randomly selected stands from the National Forest Inventory based plots. PRM demonstrated excellent accuracy if G and N were both known. At its best, PRM provided accuracy that was superior to any existing model in Finland – especially in young stands (mean height < 9 m), where the RMSE in total and pulp wood volumes, 3.6 and 5.7%, respectively, was reduced by one-half of the values obtained using the best performing existing PPM (8.7–11.3%). The unweighted Weibull distribution solved by PRM was found to be competitive with weighted existing PPMs for advanced stands. Therefore, using PRM, the need for a basal area weighted distribution proved unnecessary, contrary to common belief. Models for G and N were shown to be unreliable and need to be improved to obtain more reliable distributions using PRM.
article id 1047, category Research article
Cost-efficiency of intermodal container supply chain for forest chips. Silva Fennica vol. 47 no. 4 article id 1047. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.1047
Highlights: The combined availability and simulation study method obtains more realistic results for use in practical decision-making in supply chain management; The total costs of forest chips with intermodal composite container supply chains were lower than traditional options in all scenarios; The most advantageous way to expand the procurement area for forest chips is either to use composite container trucks or start using train transportation instead of trucks for procurement from longer distances.
Cost-efficient solutions of supply chains for energy wood are required as part of endeavors to reach targets for renewable energy utilization. Long-distance railway transportation is an interesting area of research, especially for high-volume sites where the forest-to-site distance is considerable and rail facilities already exist. The aim of the study was to compare the cost-efficiency of an intermodal container supply chain and traditional multi-modal supply chain with corresponding direct truck logistics for long-distance transportation of forest chips. In the study, site-dependent information for forest biomass transport was integrated into a simulation model to calculate the cost-efficiency of logistic operations related to forest chips transportation in central Finland. The model was tested with several truck and railway transportation scenarios for varying demand of forest chips at the case power plant. The total costs of traditional supply chains were found to be 5–19% more expensive than container supply chain scenarios. The total unit costs of forest chips varied between 15.3 and 20.0 €/MWh depending on the scenario. It is concluded on the basis of the scenario study that intermodal light-structure container logistics and railway transportation could be developed as a viable option for large-scale supply of forest chips.
article id 1046, category Research article
Evaluating continuous cover forestry based on the forest owner’s objectives by combining scenario analysis and multiple criteria decision analysis. Silva Fennica vol. 47 no. 4 article id 1046. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.1046
Highlights: Scenario analysis and multiple criteria decision analysis were combined to evaluate alternative forest management strategies for Linköping municipality, Sweden; Continuous cover forestry (CCF) promoted ecological and social objectives better than even-aged forestry but was worse for economic objectives; Ecological and social objectives were important to the municipality and thus, in summary, CCF seemed to be a suitable strategy.
Forests are increasingly managed both to provide a sustainable yield of timber and for supplying a range of ecosystem services in line with the concept of sustainable forest management. Several incommensurable interests must then be considered, and it is necessary to strike a balance between different objectives. In evaluation of trade-offs to be made, both objective factors and subjective values need to be taken into account. In recent years, continuous cover forestry (CCF) has been put forward as an alternative to even-aged forestry. The aim of this study was to use scenario analysis in combination with multi criteria decision analysis (MCDA) to evaluate whether CCF is a suitable strategy based on the decision makers’ objectives and preferences for sustainable forest management in a specific landscape. This approach was applied to a planning case on the forest estate of the Linköping municipality in southwestern Sweden. The scenario analyses provided insights into relevant quantitative factors, while the MCDA evaluation helped in clarifying the objectives of the forest management and in assessing the relative importance of various objectives. The scenario analyses showed that in this case CCF is a good management strategy in ecological and social terms but yields worse economic outcomes than conventional even-aged forestry. In the Linköping case, there was a relatively strong emphasis on ecological and social aspects and thus, in summary, CCF seemed to be the most suitable option.
article id 1043, category Research article
Contribution of poplar plantations to bird conservation in riparian landscapes. Silva Fennica vol. 47 no. 4 article id 1043. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.1043
Highlights: Poplar plantations should not be used as surrogate habitat for native riparian forests with the aim of preserving bird species diversity; Native riparian forests should be preserved or restored as far as possible; Bird communities occurring in poplar plantations can still accommodate rich communities of forest bird species, providing that suitable management is applied at local and landscape levels.
In Mediterranean areas, riparian zones are particularly important for maintaining biodiversity. Nevertheless, the native vegetation in these zones has been modified or lost at an alarming rate during the last decades. The main objective of this study was to investigate the influence of poplar plantations on bird diversity in riparian zones, in order to estimate the ecological implications of a substantial expansion of poplar plantations. Breeding birds were sampled by the point-count method in twenty-four poplar plantations of I-214 clone, according to a factorial design combining stand age and understory management. Furthermore, the three native riparian forests remaining in the study area were also surveyed. Explanatory variables included (1) dendrometric, (2) understory and (3) landscape variables within six different radii of circular buffers. The species richness and abundance index were higher in riparian forests than in poplar plantations. Landscape variables (percentage of poplar plantations in the surrounding landscape) strongly influenced bird diversity in poplar plantations. Furthermore, at the local scale, understory cover was also a key factor in shaping bird assemblages. This suggests that poplar plantations should not be used as surrogates for native forests. Nevertheless, poplar plantations can still accommodate rich communities of forest bird species, providing that suitable management is applied at local and landscape levels.
article id 1030, category Research article
Effects of the number of assortments and log concentration on time consumption for forwarding. Silva Fennica vol. 47 no. 4 article id 1030. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.1030
Highlights: We analysed the effects of total and forwarded log concentrations (m3 (100 m)–1) and the number of loaded assortments on forwarding; The combination of the number of loaded assortments and their abundance (i.e. forwarded log concentration) affected time consumption most; This knowledge enables improved efficiency by optimizing number and assortment proportions in the various loads required to forward a stand.
Forwarding has been carried out for 50 years, but much is still unknown about this work. Its complexity comes from both stand features and essential decision-making. Forwarding time consumption is influenced by e.g. log concentrations and number of assortments. Traditionally, focus has been on the total log concentration (TLC), referring to all logs at the harvesting site. However, we focused on forwarded log concentration (FLC), the load-specific log concentration which depends on the assortment distribution at harvesting site and the load-specific number of assortments. To evaluate the effects of TLC, number of assortments in a load and FLC on the loading and unloading times, a standardized field experiment was carried out. Pile and load sizes were constant, while TLC and FLC were manipulated by varying the pile distribution on the test path. For all work elements, the time consumption per m3 was significantly affected by the number of assortments that were loaded, but only the “driving while loading” work element was also significantly influenced by TLC. However, when untangling the intercorrelation between tested factors, it was found that the time consumption for driving while loading significantly decreased as a function of FLC and was unaffected by the number of assortments in a load. That FLC influences the forwarding time consumption highlights the need to study the effects of combining various assortment proportions in a load. Such knowledge will enable analysis of the most efficient number and assortment proportions to combine in the various loads required to forward a given stand.
article id 1022, category Research article
Estimating the bioenergy potential of forest chips from final fellings in Central Finland based on biomass maps and spatially explicit constraints. Silva Fennica vol. 47 no. 4 article id 1022. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.1022
The technical potential of forest chips from final fellings in Central Finland was estimated using a method based on biomass maps derived from a multi-source forest inventory technique. Image segmentation techniques were applied to a satellite image mosaic to detect stand boundaries. The technical potential of forest chips was computed based on primary forestry residues, i.e. logging residues and stumps from final fellings. Harvesting level definitions for final fellings were established using realized statistics for roundwood at the municipality level as well as larger area statistics. The sensitivity of the potential to ecological and technical constraints in the model was also examined. The technical recovery rate of stump harvesting according to biomass harvesting guidelines was evaluated separately. The critical prerequisites for using the advanced, spatially explicit approach to analysing forest energy potentials may lie in the existence of spatially explicit forest inventory data and the biometric models for tree biomass assortments. The method applied was capable of taking into account the constraints that rely upon map data, such the actual forwarding distance or steepness of the slope in the terrain. The calculation results can be used for strategic decision making in the field of forest bioenergy production.
article id 1016, category Research article
Effects of pre-harvest fertilization and subsequent soil scarification on the growth of planted Pinus sylvestris seedlings and ground vegetation after clear-felling. Silva Fennica vol. 47 no. 4 article id 1016. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.1016
Highlights: Pre-harvest N fertilization had no significant effect on seedling growth and ground vegetation biomass; Scarification improved seedling survival and growth and reduced the amount of ground vegetation; Without scarification, pre-harvest fertilization increased the amount of damaged seedlings.
Fertilization and scarification are both performed to increase tree production at different stages of forest rotation periods. In this study, the effects of previous nitrogen fertilizations and scarification after clear felling on planted Pinus sylvestris L. seedlings and ground vegetation were investigated. Two fertilization experiments established around 1980 were harvested in 2006, after which the plots were scarified by disc trenching and re-planted. The plots had been repeatedly fertilized over a 20-year period before harvesting, with total N doses of 0, 450, 900 or 1800 kg N ha-1. After five growing seasons, the growth, survival and nutrient contents of the seedlings were measured, and ground vegetation was collected to estimate its biomass and nutrient content. Pre-harvest fertilization alone had only minor effects on the results, but scarification increased both the survival and growth of the planted seedlings. However, without scarification, seedling mortality increased with increasing fertilization intensity. The ground vegetation biomass was higher in plots without scarification, but the total biomass of seedlings and ground vegetation was similar in all treatments. Scarification thus favored seedling growth at the expense of ground vegetation. Only a few effects on nutrient content were found, but there were no signs of nutrient imbalance in any of the treatments. At higher levels of fertilization, the K:N ratio in the seedlings decreased while the K content in the ground vegetation increased. Overall, scarification had a greater impact than pre-harvest fertilization on the planted seedlings and the ground vegetation.
article id 1002, category Research article
Effect of growing density on biomass and stem volume growth of downy birch stands on peatland in Western and Northern Finland. Silva Fennica vol. 47 no. 4 article id 1002. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.1002
Highlights: The thinning response in young downy birch stands was low and the mortality of merchantable stems was tolerable even in dense unthinned thickets during the rotation of 50 years; The production of above-ground woody biomass and stem volume or even the production of pulpwood increased with stand density, with these values being greatest for unthinned or very lightly thinned plots.
The objective of the study was to ascertain the relationship of thinning intensity of downy birch (Betula pubescens Ehrh.) stands with height, crown, and diameter development as well as pulpwood, stem volume, and biomass increment using long-term (20−30 years) field experiments. Diameter growth of birches increased with thinning intensity during the first 15 years from thinning in all development phases, though after that it did so only for the youngest stands. The thinning response was low. Thinning intensity had no influence on increase in height. In terms of stem volume with bark, the mortality in unthinned stands during the study period was 30–45 m3 ha-1. The mean stem number in unthinned birch thickets fell from 25 000 ha-1 at a dominant height of 7 m to 3000 ha-1 at 18 m. The stem volume increment over the first 15 years was highest (5–6 m3 ha-1 a-1) on the very lightly thinned or unthinned plots, but later there was no significant difference between initial thinning intensities. The maximum above-ground leafless biomass (over 100 Mg ha-1) was achieved on very lightly thinned plots. Also, the total production (including thinning removal) of biomass or stem volume or even the production of pulpwood increased with stand density, with these values being greatest for very lightly thinned or unthinned plots. During 50-year rotation, the highest leafless above-ground biomass production was 2.5 Mg ha-1 a-1 as a mean value from the experiments. The highest mean annual production of pulpwood (d > 6.5 cm) was 3.2 m3 ha-1 a-1, and, in practice, no saw timber or veneer timber was produced, because of the small size and low quality of the stems. A thinning in downy birch stands increased slightly the size of stems to be removed in future cuttings, but with exception for very light thinning it decreased the production of biomass and merchantable wood.
article id 938, category Research article
Influence of silvicultural regimes on the volume and proportion of juvenile and mature wood in boreal Scots pine. Silva Fennica vol. 47 no. 4 article id 938. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.938
Highlights: Initial stand densities have a large impact on the proportion of mature wood within trees throughout most of their life cycle; The difference between regimes in volume of long fibres in crop trees could be substantial; Long-term silvicultural strategies implemented at juvenile stand ages can be important tools in order to produce wood raw material suited for specific end-uses.
Trees from 48 to 78 years old, exposed to three different long-term silvicultural regimes, were examined for transition ages between juvenile (JW), transition (TW) and mature wood (MW), total wood volume and proportions of the same wood types, as defined by fibre length. Twenty one sample trees were collected at sites with similar growing conditions within the same geographical area. Stem discs and fibre samples from breast height (BRH), 20% of tree height, green crown height and 70% of tree height were analysed. Trees growing in an environment with few neighboring trees (Sparse regime) started to produce MW, on average, five years later at BRH and six to nine years later at 20% of total tree height than trees in stands with high stem numbers (Dense regime) and trees growing in stands where the stem number had been heavily reduced after an initial high stand density (Dense/Sparse regime). For all regimes, the greatest mean fibre length was found below the green crown and high initial stem numbers were found to positively influence fibre length. The proportion of MW in the whole stem was 34% at Sparse regime sites, 57–69% at Dense/Sparse sites and 63–64% in sites where there was a Dense regime. The proportion of MW was significantly lower for trees from the Sparse regime on each stem section compared. In conclusion, the results suggest that the initial condition a tree faces affects the stem wood properties and quality output at the end of the rotation period.
article id 1009, category Research article
Timing and duration of short-day treatment influence morphology and second bud flush in Picea abies seedlings. Silva Fennica vol. 47 no. 3 article id 1009. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.1009
Highlights: The duration of short-day treatment, calculated as number of days, influenced the root collar diameter growth more than the timing of the treatment; If short-day treatment starts early in summer, a longer duration of the treatment is recommended to avoid second bud flush.
A slower reaction of diameter growth cessation compared to that of height growth in response to short day (SD) treatment is well documented in Picea abies (L.) Karst. seedlings, suggesting that the height/diameter ratio of seedlings could be controlled through appropriate timing and/or duration of SD treatment is forest nurseries. Here, we applied specific combinations of timing (starting date 20 and 27 June, 4 or 11 July) and duration (7, 10, 14 or 17 days) of SD treatment to assess the possibility of obtaining more sturdy seedlings. We observed a rapid and uniform height growth cessation following SD treatment compared with the delayed cessation of diameter growth. Height growth responded significantly only to starting date of SD treatment, resulting in taller seedlings for later starting dates. Diameter growth responded to the duration of SD treatment, with significantly less diameter growth in seedlings exposed to 14 or 17 days of SD treatment than in seedlings exposed to 7 or 10 days of SD treatment. Also starting date influenced diameter growth, resulting in significantly more diameter growth with the earliest starting date compared with the two latest starting dates of the SD treatment. A second bud flush occurred only in seedlings exposed to SD treatment starting on 20 or 27 of June and only following 7-14 days of duration. This implies a need of longer duration if the SD treatment starts early. This will be at the expense of sustained diameter growth, thus compromising the objective of obtaining more sturdy seedlings.
article id 1006, category Research article
The box assignment problem in log yards. Silva Fennica vol. 47 no. 3 article id 1006. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.1006
Highlights: Logistic approach for the optimization of log yard in terms of arrangement of storage boxes and ejection boxes reduced transportation time by 16 percent compared with the original solution.
This paper presents an optimization approach to minimizing log yard round wood transportation time for a medium sized hardwood sawmill. The log yard, which has to ensure a smooth raw material supply to the entire production process, is the first processing step in a sawmill. The log yard also serves as an internal round wood sorting and storing capacity. Thus, an optimal assignment of ejection boxes, storage boxes and feeding carriages is required to minimize transportation time at a log yard. The main contribution of this paper is to present an integrated approach which simultaneously takes into account log transportation time, storage capacity and yard crane deployment. The approach is based on two steps: a) defining storage spaces per batch and calculating distances and b) determining optimum box assignments in the log yard in order to minimize overall transportation distance. The solution in step b) is compared with the results obtained by random box assignment as well as a spreadsheet based planning method. We have been able to show that our approach is much more flexible and results are more than 16 percent better than the corresponding real life solution.
article id 1005, category Research article
Empirical prediction models for the coverage and yields of cowberry in Finland. Silva Fennica vol. 47 no. 3 article id 1005. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.1005
Highlights: The site fertility significantly affected the abundance of cowberry on mineral soils, spruce mires and pine mires; The stand basal area and dominant tree species were among the most important forest structural predictors in the model for the coverage; In the cowberry yield model developed for mineral soil sites, the stand basal area and coverage of cowberry plants were statistically significant predictors.
Empirical models for the coverage and berry yield of cowberry (Vaccinium vitis-idaea L.) were developed using generalized linear mixed models (GLMMs). The percentage coverage of cowberry was predicted as a function of site and stand characteristics using data from the Finnish National Forest Inventory (NFI) in 1995. The average annual yield, including the between-year variation in the yield, was predicted as a function of percentage coverage and stand characteristics using permanent experimental plots (MASI) established in different areas of Finland and measured in 2001-2012. The model for cowberry yields (Model 2) was developed for mineral soil forests. The model for the coverage (Model 1) was constructed so that it considers both mineral soil sites and also many other sites where cowberry occurs in the field layer. According to Model 1, the site fertility significantly affected the abundance of cowberry on mineral soils, spruce mires and pine mires. The stand basal area and dominant tree species were among the most important forest structural predictors in Model 1. The site fertility was not a significant predictor in the cowberry yield model. Instead, the stand basal area and coverage of cowberry plants were found to be statistically significant predictors in Model 2. The estimated models were used to predict the cowberry coverage, average annual yield and its 95 % confidence interval along with stand development. The models of this study can be used for multi-objective forest planning purposes.
article id 1000, category Research article
On the possibility to monitor and assess forest damage within large scale monitoring programmes – a simulation study. Silva Fennica vol. 47 no. 3 article id 1000. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.1000
There is a growing demand for information on forest health due to fears that climate change may cause new kinds of damage that have not previously been encountered. In many cases, forest damage monitoring is conducted exclusively within sparse large-scale grids of sample plots and it is doubtful whether these are capable of providing relevant information to support mitigation programmes or other actions required to reduce economic losses due to damage outbreaks. In this study, we used simulated sampling to assess the precision of estimators related to forest state and changes in the damage sustained by trees within an area corresponding to the Swedish region Götaland, assuming a sampling design corresponding to that used in the Swedish National Forest Inventory (NFI) under different damage scenarios. Large and uniformly distributed damage outbreaks were well captured by an NFI-type inventory, but scattered damage outbreaks produced estimates with poor precision. As a consequence, we propose that there might be a need to revise current forest damage monitoring programmes to make them more useful for monitoring the kinds of damage that are likely to arise as a consequence of climate change.
article id 993, category Research article
The significance of above-ground biomass, moisture content and mechanical properties of peat layer on the bearing capacity of ditched pine bogs. Silva Fennica vol. 47 no. 3 article id 993. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.993
Intensive utilisation of peatland forests calls for logging activities to be increasingly carried out in conditions other than those in harsh winter. The low bearing capacity of peatlands forms a severe obstacle for the prevailing harvesting machinery. The aim of this study was to clarify and quantify the significance of above-ground biomass, brash mat, moisture content and mechanical properties of peat layer on the bearing capacity of pine bogs. In-situ driving tests were conducted in Western Finland on a pine bog covering a large variation of growing stock. Portable tools were tested for measuring strength properties of the top layer of peat. According to the results, shear modulus of top layer of peat, volume of trees and the existence of cutting debris are the most important factors affecting bearing capacity. Spiked shear vane was shown to be a promising tool in predicting the strength properties of peat soil.
article id 973, category Research article
Spatially explicit structure of natural stands dominated by black spruce. Silva Fennica vol. 47 no. 3 article id 973. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.973
Black spruce [Picea mariana (Mill.) BSP] regeneration emerges in clusters near the pre-existing boles within a few years after the passage of fire. This paper tested the hypothesis that black spruce forests still maintain the spatial structure deriving from postfire stand initiation. Trees and saplings were monitored during 2000-2007 and the horizontal and vertical structure of the stands were investigated on four permanent plots in the boreal forest of Quebec, Canada. Plots showed 1300-2150 trees ha-1, and were composed of trees with homogeneous sizes and a very small proportion of saplings. These characteristics identify single cohorts generated by complete, or almost-complete, stand replacement by fire. Ripley’s L(r) functions showed that the spatial pattern of trees and saplings ranged from random to aggregated, thus demonstrating that the clustering distribution of the individuals in black spruce forests can be maintained even after 80-120 years from stand initiation. These findings could results from incomplete self-thinning or from an environment with heterogeneous distribution of resources. The practices of ecosystem management recently developed in Eastern Canada should take into account both the horizontal and vertical structure to better modulate the competition among individuals during partial harvesting.
article id 972, category Research article
Effects of picking methods on the berry production of bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus), lingonberry (V. vitis-idaea) and crowberry (Empetrum nigrum ssp. hermaphroditum) in Northern Finland. Silva Fennica vol. 47 no. 3 article id 972. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.972
Highlights: Berry production of bilberry, lingonberry and crowberry was studied after picking the berries by plastic hand rake, long-handed metal rake, and powerful picking by long-handed metal rake; Berry production was not affected by the damage caused by any of the picking method; Current commercial picking methods do not endanger the berry production of the berry species at least in short-term.
The effect of commercial wild berry picking on berry yields is under a strong public debate in Finland. Especially high concern has been arisen over damages caused by metal rakes used in commercial picking to subsequent berry production. We studied the berry production of bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus L.), lingonberry (V. vitis-idaea L.) and crowberry (E. nigrum ssp. hermaphroditum (Hagerup) Böcher) after picking the berries by 1) plastic hand rake, 2) long-handed metal rake and 3) powerful picking by long-handed metal rake, in northern Finland during 2010–2012. In the powerful long-handed metal rake treatment the aboveground vegetation was raked twice to the moss layer after berry picking. Biomass, which was removed from the vegetation by rakes was collected and used as a measure of the damage. We assumed that picking by plastic hand rake would result in lowest, long-handed metal rake intermediate and powerful picking by long-handed metal rake highest biomass loss from vegetation. The amount of biomass loss should in turn be reversely reflected into berry production. However, only the powerful picking by long-handed metal rake removed higher amount of biomass than other picking methods in bilberry and lingonberry. In crowberry, the amount of biomass removed by rakes increased from treatment to treatment. Contrary to our assumption, berry production of bilberry, lingonberry and crowberry was not affected by the damage caused by any of the picking method. We conclude that long-handed metal rake used in commercial picking is comparable to hand rake in terms of berry production.
article id 970, category Research article
Fine root distribution, characteristics and rhizosphere soil properties in a mixed stand of Robinia pseudoacacia and Fraxinus velutina in a saline soil. Silva Fennica vol. 47 no. 3 article id 970. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.970
The spatial distribution and characteristics of fine roots (< 2 mm in diameter), and rhizosphere soil properties were studied in a mixed planted forest of black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia L.) and velvet ash (Fraxinus velutina Torr.) 27 years after planting in a coastal saline soil of the Yellow River delta, China. The results of fine root analysis showed that the fine roots of both black locust and velvet ash were mainly distributed in the soil layer at 0–20 cm depth and 50–150 cm from trees. The fine root distribution of both species suggests a strategy of avoiding salinity rather than salt –tolerance. The horizontal spread distance of fine roots of velvet ash was evidently longer than that of black locust. The fine root biomass, specific root length, specific root area, specific root volume and root activity were significantly higher for velvet ash in comparison with black locust. The results of soil analysis showed that rhizosphere soil pH of black locust and velvet ash were significantly lower compared with non-rhizosphere soil. The available N content in rhizosphere soil of black locust was higher than that of velvet ash. However, the contents of soluble salt, organic matter, available P and available K in rhizosphere soil of velvet ash were higher than those of black locust. The above results indicated that the differences between black locust and velvet ash in fine root distribution, characteristics and rhizosphere soil properties were the major reasons for that velvet ash showed stronger acclimation responses than black locust to the coastal saline soil.
article id 964, category Research article
Interactive effects of defoliation and climate change on compensatory growth of silver birch seedlings. Silva Fennica vol. 47 no. 3 article id 964. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.964
Highlights: The main components affecting growth compensation in silver birch seedlings are the timing and severity of foliage damage; The ability to compensate growth is also dependent upon the limits of temperature and nutrient availability; The responses of birches imply that folivory does not necessarily lead to reduced net productivity under changing climate
Atmospheric warming increases the abundance of insect herbivores and intensifies the risk of defoliation, especially in high latitude forests. At the same time, the effects of increasing temperature and CO2 on plant responses to foliage damage are poorly understood. We examined if previous-year defoliation, varying between 0 and 75% of total leaf area, and different combinations of elevated temperature, CO2 and nutrient availability alter the growth of two-year old silver birch (Betula pendula Roth) seedlings. We measured the greatest height growth in seedlings that were fertilized and defoliated twice at the level of 50% of total leaf area, and subjected to elevated temperature with ambient CO2. The lowest growth was recorded in unfertilized seedlings that were defoliated twice at the level of 25% of total leaf area, and grew under ambient temperature with ambient CO2. The total biomass increased in all seedlings that were fertilized or grew under elevated temperature. The root: shoot ratios were low in defoliated seedlings, or seedlings subjected to fertilization or temperature elevation. Our conclusion is that ability of birches to compensate height growth is highly dependent upon the magnitude and frequency of defoliation on the limits of temperature and nutrient availability. These responses imply that folivory does not necessarily lead to reduced net productivity of trees under changing climate.
article id 963, category Research article
Estimating coarse roots biomass in young silver birch stands on post-agricultural lands in central Poland. Silva Fennica vol. 47 no. 2 article id 963. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.963
Highlights: Age and size of the tree are the most important factors that influence the amount of belowground biomass; Allocation of the biomass to the coarse roots also depends on age and size of the tree
Study analyses coarse (d>2 mm of diameter) roots biomass dynamics in young succession stands of silver birch (Betula pendula Roth) growing on abandoned farmlands in central Poland. Research material based on 181 sample trees, which were gathered in 20 pure silver birch stands in 5 locations. The age of the trees varied from 1 to 16 years. Coarse roots biomass of the investigated trees ranged from 0.7 to 4305.5 g/tree (422.6 g/tree on average) showing great variability (coefficient of variation equals 185%). A clear dependence of belowground biomass on the age and size of a tree was observed. Root-to-shoot ratio values vary from 0.1 to 1.0 with evidence of a tendency to decrease with increasing age, diameter at the breast height and height of analysed trees. An allometric equation was elaborated for the estimation of belowground biomass based on height or diameter at breast height of young silver birches. The suitability of this formula should be considered for the estimation of biomass accumulation and carbon sequestration by young successional silver birch stands growing on abandoned agricultural lands.
article id 958, category Research article
Simulated productivity of one- and two-armed tree planting machines. Silva Fennica vol. 47 no. 2 article id 958. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.958
Highlights: Using discrete-event simulation and detailed terrain and machine models, the productivities of excavator-based one- and two-armed tree planting machines were simulated; The machines’ arms were equipped with one-and two-headed planting devices; Two planting heads per arm rather than two arms per base machine is better for increasing the productivity of intermittently advancing planting machines on Nordic clearcuts.
To increase mechanized planting, planting machine productivity must increase in order to improve cost-efficiency. To determine if excavators with two crane arms could potentially help to increase planting machine productivity under Nordic clearcut conditions, we modelled one-armed and semi-automated two-armed excavators with one- and two-headed planting devices. Using a recently developed tool for discrete-event simulation, these machine models then mounded and planted seedlings on terrain models with moraine soil having various frequencies of obstacles (stumps, roots and stones). Compared to if the two heads were mounted pairwise on only one arm, the results showed that productivity did not increase if two planting heads were attached individually to two separate crane arms. But productivity did increase if the planting machine had four planting heads mounted pairwise on two separate arms. However, despite assuming automated mounding and crane motion between planting spots, the two-armed, four-headed model never achieved high enough productivity levels to make it more cost-efficient than one-armed machines. The simulations illustrate that our terrain models generate realistic root architecture and boulder content distributions in moraine soil, while our machine models functionally describe mechanized planting work. Based on our assumptions, we conclude that further development work on two-armed excavator-based planting machines for Nordic clearcut conditions is not warranted. Our simulations reveal that increasing the number of planting heads per crane arm rather than number of crane arms per base machine offers the greatest potential to raise the productivity of intermittently advancing planting machines.
article id 956, category Research article
Evaluation of the double normal distribution for tree diameter distribution modeling. Silva Fennica vol. 47 no. 2 article id 956. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.956
The double normal distribution consists of two normal distributions truncated at their means and then combined in such a way, that points of truncation now become the overall distribution mode. So far, parameters of the double normal distribution have been estimated exclusively using the method of moments. This study evaluates the maximum likelihood method for the estimation of the double normal distribution parameters in Scots pine stands in Poland, and compares it to the results of the method of moments and the two-parameter Weibull distribution fitted using the maximum likelihood method and the method of moments. Presented results show that it is not recommended to use the maximum likelihood method of parameter fitting with Nelder-Mead and quasi-Newton optimization algorithms for the double normal distribution for small samples. However, it can be used for large samples, giving the fit comparable to the two-parameter Weibull distribution and providing parameters having sound practical and biological meaning. In the case of smaller samples for the double normal distribution it is recommended to apply the maximum likelihood method with the alternative simulated annealing optimization algorithm, use the method of moments or substitute the described distribution with more the flexible and robust Weibull distribution. For the smaller samples, the method of moments was superior to the maximum likelihood method.
article id 954, category Research article
Effects of restoration fire on dead wood heterogeneity and availability in three Pinus sylvestris forests in Sweden. Silva Fennica vol. 47 no. 2 article id 954. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.954
Restoration fires are increasingly used as a conservation tool in Sweden to recreate forests with characteristics of previous forests that were periodically disturbed by fires and promote fire-dependent species. Restoration fires can result in large inputs of fresh dead wood, but there are risks of losing some of the existing, pre-fire dead wood. To assess these counteracting effects we studied the heterogeneity and availability of dead wood before and after three restoration fires in boreal Scots pine forests. Specifically, we studied volumes of stumps, high stumps, snags and logs. The fires decreased the total volume of pre-fire dead wood (23-41%) and consumed logs in late decay stages (26-54%) to a higher extent than logs in earlier stages. The input of new fresh dead wood after the fires exceeded losses of pre-fire dead wood and resulted in a net increase of dead wood in all three sites. The added dead wood consisted of fresh snags killed by the fires. Fire also affected log characteristics: reducing their vegetation coverage (60-98%), decreasing their ground contact (4-50%) and increasing their surface area of charred wood (>50%). Such changes have important consequences for the micro environmental conditions inside logs, but have been rarely studied in relation to restoration fires. Our results show that restoration fire causes changes in dead wood availability and characteristics of logs. The results imply that ideally stands with low abundance of rare and heavily decayed wood substrates should be burned to optimize dead wood values. Alternatively, management practices should include protection of these substrates during restoration fires.
article id 952, category Research article
Detection of the need for seedling stand tending using high-resolution remote sensing data. Silva Fennica vol. 47 no. 2 article id 952. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.952
Seedling stands are problematic in airborne laser scanning (ALS) based stand level forest management inventories, as the stem density and species proportions are difficult to estimate accurately using only remotely sensed data. Thus the seedling stands must still be checked in the field, which results in an increase in costs. In this study we tested an approach where ALS data and aerial images are used to directly classify the seedling stands into two categories: those that involve tending within the next five years and those which involve no tending. Standard ALS-based height and density features, together with texture and spectral features calculated from aerial images, were used as inputs to two classifiers: logistic regression and the support vector machine (SVM). The classifiers were trained using 208 seedling plots whose tending need was estimated by a local forestry expert. The classification was validated on 68 separate seedling stands. In the training data, the logistic model’s kappa coefficient was 0.55 and overall accuracy (OA) 77%. The SVM did slightly better with a kappa = 0.71 and an OA = 86%. In the stand level validation data, the performance decreased for both the logistic model (kappa = 0.38, OA = 71%) and the SVM (kappa = 0.37, OA = 72%). Thus our approach cannot totally replace the field checks. However, in considering the stands where the logistic model predictions had high reliability, the number of misclassifications reduced drastically. The SVM however, was not as good at recognizing reliable cases.
article id 935, category Research article
Tree biomass and soil carbon stocks in indigenous forests in comparison to plantations of exotic species in the Taita Hills of Kenya. Silva Fennica vol. 47 no. 2 article id 935. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.935
Carbon (C) densities of the tree biomass and soil (0–50 cm) in indigenous forest and plantations of eucalyptus, cypress and pine in the Taita Hills, Kenya were determined and compared. The cypress and pine plantations were about 30-years-old and eucalyptus plantations about 50-years-old. Biomass C densities were estimated from breast height diameter and wood density using allometric functions developed for tropical species and an assumed C content of 50%. Belowground biomass C densities were estimated using root:shoot biomass ratios. Soil organic C (SOC) densities were calculated from measured organic carbon contents (0–20 and 20–50 cm layers) and modelled bulk density values. Mean total biomass C and SOC densities for indigenous forest were greater than those of the plantations, and the difference was significant (p < 0.05) in the cases of cypress and pine biomass and pine SOC. The correlation between biomass C and SOC densities was nearly significant in the case of indigenous forest, but negative. Biomass C densities were not significantly correlated with mean annual precipitation, mean annual temperature or potential evapotranspiration, but pine biomass C densities were significantly correlated to actual evapotranspiration. SOC densities were more strongly correlated to mean annual precipitation than biomass C densities, but only significantly so in the case of pine. Neither biomass C nor SOC densities were correlated to plant available water capacity of the soil. Indigenous forest SOC densities were significantly correlated to soil clay contents, but negatively. Indigenous forests sequester more C in biomass and soil than do 30 to 50-year-old plantations of exotics, but it remains unclear if this is an intrinsic difference between indigenous forest and plantations of exotics or because of insufficient time for SOC levels in plantations to recover after clearance of original indigenous forest.
article id 933, category Research article
Effects of clear-cutting and slash removal on soil water chemistry and forest-floor vegetation in a nutrient optimised Norway spruce stand. Silva Fennica vol. 47 no. 2 article id 933. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.933
Fertilisation with nutrient optimisation has in Sweden resulted in large increases in volume growth in young stands of Norway spruce. There are, however, environmental concerns about repeated fertilisation and one is the risk of nutrient leakage to ground water resources and aquatic ecosystems after clear-cutting of such forests. The present study followed soil-water chemistry in optimised fertilised stands after clear-cutting, as well as effects of harvest of slash on nutrient leakage. Parts of a 30-year-old stand of Norway spruce, which had been subject to a nutrient optimisation experiment for 17 years, were clear-cut. A split-plot design with whole-tree harvesting as the sub-plot treatment was applied. Lysimeters were installed and soil-water sampled at nine occasions during the following four years. No significant effects of fertilisation on nitrate leaching were found, while harvest of slash reduced the concentration of Ca, DOC, DON, K, Mg, ammonium and nitrate, as well as pH in the soil solution. While no effects of fertilisation could be seen on the soil water concentration of N, the results indicate an interaction between fertilisation and harvest of slash on the concentration of nitrate in the soil solution. The results indicate that forest-floor vegetation plays an important role in the retention of N after clear-cutting of fertilised forests.
article id 932, category Research article
Tetraploid production through zygotic chromosome doubling in Populus. Silva Fennica vol. 47 no. 2 article id 932. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.932
The most direct approach in breeding triploid Populus is crossing allotetraploids with diploids. However, the lack of allotetraploid Populus restricts application of this approach. In this investigation, zygotic chromosome doubling was induced with colchicine and high temperatures to produce ((Populus pseudo-simonii × P. nigra ‘Zheyin3#’) × (P. × beijingensis)) allotetraploids. We screened 6 and 25 tetraploid individual offspring from the colchicine and high-temperature treatments respectively, indicating that both colchicine and high temperature are effective for tetraploid production by zygotic chromosome doubling of Populus. Developmental characteristics of seed hairs in the ovaries were temporally associated with zygotic development, which was used to successfully guide the colchicine and high-temperature treatments. During certain stages of hair development, the efficiency of tetraploid production was significantly high. However, efficiency of production was not significantly influenced by other factors, i.e. colchicine concentration, temperature or duration of high-temperature treatment. Size and frequency of leaf stomata between tetraploid and diploid plants were significantly different, suggesting that this character can be altered via genomic increase in material. The allotetraploids produced in this investigation, having different genotypes, provide important parental germplasms for further triploid breeding.
article id 930, category Research article
Comparing the efficiency of drum and disc chippers. Silva Fennica vol. 47 no. 2 article id 930. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.930
The study compared the effect of chipper type on productivity, power demand, fuel consumption and product quality. Tests were conducted on two commercial chipper models, a disc and a drum chipper. Both chippers had the same diameter capacity, were applied to the same tractor and fed with the same feedstock types. Fifteen replications were conducted per machine and for each of four different feedstock types, reaching a total of 120 tests. The disc chipper had a higher energy efficiency and used 19% less fuel per unit product, possibly due to its simpler design, integrating comminuting and discharge system in one synergic device. In contrast, the drum chipper was 8% more productive, since it cut with the same energy all along the length of its knives. The drum chipper produced smaller chips, with a higher incidence of fines. Feedstock type had a strong effect on productivity, energy efficiency and product quality. The effect of feedstock type was mainly related to piece size, and may be stronger than the effect of chipper type. Further studies should determine the effect of blade wear on the relative performance of the two chipper types.
article id 928, category Research article
Optimal regeneration method – Planting vs. natural regeneration of Scots pine in northern Sweden. Silva Fennica vol. 47 no. 2 article id 928. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.928
Highlights: Two regeneration methods were modelled on stand level and optimised numerically to maximise present value for a range of site indexes and locations; Natural regeneration was optimal in most cases; Planting was optimal for high site indexes, low rate of seedling mortality and for low discount rates; Using genetically improved plant material greatly shifts the preference towards planting
In this study the profitability of regenerating Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) was examined for two methods; planting and natural regeneration with seed trees. The methods were modelled on stand level and optimised numerically using nonlinear optimisation. The analysis includes 7 site indexes, 16 to 28 expressed as dominant height in meters at an age of 100 years; and 8 localities in northern Sweden distributed on two latitudes, 60°N and 64°N and four altitudes, 100 to 400 m.a.s.l. Furthermore, two scenarios of genetically improved planting material were examined. The results show that the optimal choice of regeneration method depends on the location, site index and discount rate. Considering the same genetic regeneration material, natural regeneration was the optimal method for most of the evaluated sites. Planting was optimal only for stands of high site index and low rate of seedling mortality, which is associated with localities on low altitudes. The break even site index, where the two methods yielded the same net present value, was 27 on average (25 to 28). The choice between the two regeneration methods was found to be more economically important when the discount rate was low and for low site indexes. The option of using genetically improved plant material shift the preference towards planting. Thus, the two levels of genetic gain of +4% and +10% to maximum mean annual increment resulted in an average break even site index of 25 and 21 respectively.
article id 925, category Research article
An assessment of three variance estimators for the k-nearest neighbour technique. Silva Fennica vol. 47 no. 1 article id 925. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.925
A jackknife (JK), a bootstrap (BOOT), and an empirical difference estimator (EDE) of totals and variance were assessed in simulated sampling from three artificial but realistic complex multivariate populations (N = 8000 elements) organized in clusters of four elements. Intra-cluster correlations of the target variables (Y) varied from 0.03 to 0.26. Time-saving implementations of JK and BOOT are detailed. In simple random sampling (SRS), bias in totals was ≤ 0.4% for the two largest sample sizes (n = 200, 300), but slightly larger for n = 50, and 100. In cluster sampling (CLU) bias was typically 0.1% higher and more variable. The lowest overall bias was in EDE. In both SRS and CLU, JK estimates of standard error were slightly (3%) too high, while the bootstrap estimates in both SRS and CLU were too low (8%). Estimates of error suggested a trend in EDE toward an overestimation with increasing sample size. Calculated 95% confidence intervals achieved a coverage that in most cases was fairly close (± 2%) to the nominal level. For estimation of a population total the EDE estimator appears to be slightly better than the JK estimator.
article id 904, category Research article
Productivity and profitability of harvesting power line corridors for bioenergy. Silva Fennica vol. 47 no. 1 article id 904. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.904
Trees growing under the wires and around the pylons carrying power lines (PL) represent a significant threat to the power supply because they can cause power outages and damage. The vegetation in these PL corridors is cleared motor-manually on a regular basis, which represents about 50% of the PL maintenance costs. In Sweden, PL corridors account for 140 000 ha of productive forest land, with an estimated bioenergy potential of 3 TWh/year. The aim of this study was to measure the productivity of a harvester (with an accumulating felling head) and a forwarder, performing PL corridor clearing (with the collection of whole trees for energy use) and to calculate how the cost and economic profitability is dependent on tree height, biomass removal, harvested area, forwarding distance and wood fuel price. The study also compared the economic profitability of the mechanized harvesting system with motor-manual clearing. Experimental units were inventoried along a PL corridor in central Sweden and a time study of one harvester and one forwarder (with a single operator per machine), working in those units, was carried out. The results showed that if the tree height was greater than about 6 m, the mechanized harvesting system became a more cost-efficient alternative, when compared to motor-manual clearing, but it was also found that mechanized clearing is not always the most cost-effective option. Nevertheless, mechanization of PL clearing has a huge potential for expansion, requiring further research in the combined management of the PL corridors and side areas.
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 902, category Research article
Estimation of forest biomass by means of genetic algorithm-based optimization of airborne laser scanning and digital aerial photograph features. Silva Fennica vol. 47 no. 1 article id 902. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.902
Information on forest biomass is required for several purposes, including estimation of forest bioenergy resources and forest carbon stocks. Airborne laser scanning is today considered the most accurate remote sensing method for forest inventory. The three-dimensional nature of laser scanning data enables estimation of the volumes of the tree canopies. The dimensions of the tree canopies show high correlation with the amount of forest biomass. Optical aerial photographs are often used to complement laser data, for improved distinction between tree species. The paper reports on a study testing the estimation of forest biomass variables in two study areas in Southern Finland. The biomass variables were derived on the basis of tree-level field measurements, with biomass models used for pine, spruce, and birch. The sample-plot-level biomass components were derived on the basis of tree-level data and used as reference data for airborne-laser- and aerial‑photograph-based estimation. Results were slightly better for total biomass (RMSE 22.5% and 23.6% for the two study areas) than total volume (RMSE: 23.4% and 26.1%). Species-specific estimation errors were large in general but varied between the study areas, because of differences in their forest structures.
article id 901, category Research article
Building deployment portfolios for genotypes under performance instability. Silva Fennica vol. 47 no. 1 article id 901. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.901
We used portfolio theory to analyze the tradeoffs between returns and performance instability of deployment units for Pinus radiata D. Don. We considered three groups of 34 trees each grown to produce appearance lumber, structural lumber, or both. Risk was based on the variability of tree returns in scenarios of changing volume, wood stiffness and presence of resin defects due to genotype by environment interaction inducing both changes of scale and differential tree response to environmental scenarios. The return of structural trees was highly variable with a mean of 3.11 NZ $/stem/year, followed by appearance-structural trees (3.48 NZ $/stem/year). In contrast, appearance trees had the lowest returns (1.99 NZ $/stem/year) and variability. The portfolio model selected structural trees in high-risk scenarios, but selection was apportioned between structural and appearance-structural trees as the risk decreased. The model selected only appearance trees for high-risk aversion. The analysis also considered silvicultural regimes, where the appearance-structural regime was selected under high variability. As risk decreased the appearance grades regime was also selected. The structural regime was rarely selected due to the variability of stiffness between trees. Using genotypes improved for stiffness could increase the expected value and reduce variability for structural purposes, making the structural regime more appealing.
article id 899, category Research article
Monitoring the chipping and transportation of wood fuels with a fleet management system. Silva Fennica vol. 47 no. 1 article id 899. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.899
Controlling and organizing the complex forest-to-consumer supply chain of wood fuels is a challenging task, especially for the chipping and transport processes. Truck mounted chippers and transport trailer-trucks must be scheduled to minimize delay to be profitable. Job management within the supply chain, including machine activity based controlling, offers a new way to increase efficiency and productivity. However, detailed data are required to detect and analyze potential gaps and improve forest fuel supply. Generally, data regarding the wood fuel supply chain process are obtained from extensive time studies that are based on a specific process step. Although time studies can detect details during the production of forest fuels, they only describe certain time frames. Long-term data that are recorded during the entire year could encompass seasonal and short term effects. This study aims to monitor the forest fuel supply processes (semi-automated), specifically regarding time and fuel consumption. Large data sets were automatically and efficiently gathered with little effort by drivers and operators. Data were recorded with fleet management equipment for more than 14 months. Vehicle data, including GPS data, were logged at an interval of one minute. Data management was conducted in a pre-configured database that contained pre-defined reports and were run by the Institute of Forest Engineering, Vienna. Work step assignments were implemented with Structured Query Language (SQL)-routines by using the raw machine activities data and GPS. The chipping and transport activities of more than 240 loads were analyzed by focusing on fuel consumption, time needed and traffic. The average distance between chipping sites and plants was approximately 54 kilometers. Fuel consumption from transport reached 50 l/100 km. The chipping unit reached a productivity of 12.8 odt/PSH15 and had a fuel consumption of 58 liters per operating hour.
article id 894, category Research article
Do forest owners share the public’s values? An application of Schwartz’s value theory. Silva Fennica vol. 47 no. 1 article id 894. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.894
The purpose of this study is to investigate the differences in value priorities between Finnish forest owners and the general public. A conclusion is drawn whether and to what extent value changes in society are reflected in forest owners’ values and objectives, and, finally, in their actual forestry behavior. In addition, the study highlights the differences in value priorities among forest owners in various demographic groups. The data set used in this study was based on a nationwide mail survey on Finnish non-industrial private forest owners conducted in 2009 and consisting of 2116 observations of forest owners. Schwartz’s value theory was a good fit for testing the value priorities of forest owners. The three most important values were benevolence, security and conformity, both among the forest owners and the public. Tradition was ranked the fourth most important value by the forest owners, but very low by the public. The forest owners ranked universalism slightly lower than the public in general. This difference was clearly greater when the female forest owners were compared to women in the whole population. The probability of a forest owner belonging to the Softies (high emphasis on universalism and benevolence) increased with age and was higher for the female owners and the owners with recreational or multiple objectives compared to the indifferent owners. The multiobjective owners and recreationists had relatively similar value profiles. The previous literature suggests that multiobjective owners are the most active forest owner group and that recreationists and indifferent owners are the most passive groups in their timber supply behavior. The relationship between values and forestry behavior thus remains ambiguous.
article id 893, category Research article
Soil preparation method affects outplanting success of Norway spruce container seedlings on till soils susceptible to frost heave. Silva Fennica vol. 47 no. 1 article id 893. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.893
Soil preparation is a common practice that precedes outplanting of Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst.) in Finland as it enhances the survival and early growth of seedlings. Mounding in particular has become more common with Norway spruce planting in recent years. However, on fine-grained soils, the postplanting performance of seedlings has been poorer than on coarser soils even with mounding. This study examined the effects of different soil preparation treatments (spot and ditch mounding with varying mound height, inverting, unprepared control with or without a herbicide) on the postplanting performance of Norway spruce container seedlings on till soil susceptible to frost heave in two outplanting forest sites in central Finland. The results indicate higher soil temperature and lower soil water content especially in the highest mounds. Mounds, however, subsided gradually during the study years. Seedling mortality was higher and the proportion of vigorous seedlings was lower in the unprepared treatments, mainly due to increased pine weevil (Hylobius abietis L.) damage. Frost heave was present mainly on ditch mounded and inverted spots. Glyphosate herbicide treatment showed no benefit compared to the untreated control in two years. Consequently, seedling damage and conditions in the planting spots were reflected in seedling growth which was enhanced in the mounded spots. However, varying mound height or thickness of mineral capping showed no clear difference in seedling growth. The results therefore suggest that ditch or spot mounding should be used on frost heave susceptible forest soils to promote plantation establishment. Inverting or having no soil preparation with or without herbicide is not recommended.
article id 892, category Research article
Micropropagation of threatened black alder. Silva Fennica vol. 47 no. 1 article id 892. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.892
Micropropagation techniques are valuable tools for propagating, conserving and restoring trees. An efficient micropropagation method involving axillary shoot proliferation of material obtained from mature European alder (Alnus glutinosa (L.) Gaertn.) trees was developed. Branch segments from trees aged 20–30 years were forced to flush, and explants derived from new shoots were cultured on Woody Plant Medium supplemented with 8.88 µM benzyladenine and 2.85µM indole-3-acetic-acid. In vitro establishment was achieved in all five genotypes evaluated. Shoot cultures were maintained by sequential subculture of explants on the same medium supplemented with 0.88–0.44 µM benzyladenine and 2.85 µM indole-3-acetic acid. Transfer to fresh medium every 3 weeks during a 9-week multiplication period and the inclusion of 2.28 µM zeatin during the last 3 weeks of culture improved the multiplication rate and shoot quality. Use of 2% glucose as the carbohydrate source produced better results than 3% sucrose for shoot proliferation. In vitro rooting of shoots was achieved with 2% glucose and 0.49 µM indole-3-butyric acid for 7 days, followed by in vitro culture on auxin-free medium for 21 days. Rooted plantlets were acclimatized to the greenhouse and were viable for reintroduction into the natural habitat.
Category: Research note
article id 1026, category Research note
Ergonomic aspects and productivity of different pruning tools for a first pruning lift of Eucalyptus grandis Hill ex Maiden. Silva Fennica vol. 47 no. 4 article id 1026. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.1026
Highlights: Pruning of hardwoods coming from forest plantations is becoming more and more important in Brazil to replace scarce wood from tropical forests; Evaluating productivity of different pruning tools is essential for the economic output of plantations managed for high quality wood; Pruning activities of forest workers can be classified as “hard” or “very hard work”. Depending on the tools used physical long-term damages may be prevented.
For the substitution of wood from tropical rainforests pruning of Eucalyptus for producing valuable hardwoods in short rotation plantations has become important. Existing tools and ergonomic aspects of pruning were not yet well analysed under these conditions. The objective of the study is to evaluate the productivity and ergonomics of three different pruning tools in a pruning lift up to 3 m in height. The trees used in the study came from an 18-month-old clonal Eucalyptus grandis stand planted in a 5.0 x 2.8 m spacing. Two manual pruning tools and an electric shear were tested for productivity by using time studies. Ergonomic aspects were evaluated by two test persons using pulse meter equipment. The highest productivity could be shown for the electric shear (236 trees per working day), followed by the manual shear (196 trees/day) and the handsaw (180 trees/day). The heartbeat rate of the two test persons ranged from a level of “very hard work” for the manual tools to “middle hard” and “hard work” for the electric shear. The workload level to achieve the productivity currently reached in practice using purely manual tools is extremely high, exceeding the permanent working capacity of the operators and leading to physical degradation on the long run.
article id 1024, category Research note
Carbon stores and fluxes in even- and uneven-aged Norway spruce stands. Silva Fennica vol. 47 no. 4 article id 1024. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.1024
Highlights: Long term (81 years) C sequestration is slightly higher in an even-aged compared to an uneven-aged spruce stand; The even-aged stand has at 81 years age a slightly lower soil C content than the uneven-aged stand; Present C fluxes indicate that the difference in long term C sequestration will increase in favour the even-aged stand if final felling is postponed.
This investigation compares present C stores, fluxes and historic tree C sequestration in an uneven-aged and an even-aged Norway spruce stand under similar high productive soil conditions in south-eastern Norway. A selection cutting system has been performed in the uneven-aged forest stand for 81 years and the even-aged stand was established after clear-cutting 81 years ago. Timber productivity has been measured in the uneven stand for 81 years and in the even-aged stand for 52 years. C storage was determined based on tree measurements, tree biomass functions, soil samples and C analyses from trees and soil. Litter fall was sampled during one year and CO2 efflux from the soil was measured during one growing season. The present tree C storage (including roots) was 210 Mg C ha-1 in the even-aged stand and 76 Mg C ha-1 in the uneven-aged stand, while the corresponding figures for C in the soil was 178 and 199 Mg C ha-1. The long term timber production in the uneven-aged stand was measured to be 95% of the even-aged stand and the difference in net C sequestration was 37 Mg ha-1 in an 81 year period in favour the even-aged stand. The highest present CO2 efflux from soil was measured in the even-aged stand. The total net C sequestered in trees during 81 years minus the present soil C-stock accounts to 16 Mg ha-1 in favour the even-aged system
article id 1017, category Research note
A forest machine bogie with a bearing capacity dependent contact area: acceleration and angular orientation when passing obstacles and drawbar pull force and free rolling resistance on firm ground. Silva Fennica vol. 47 no. 3 article id 1017. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.1017
Highlights: The Long Tracked Bogie principle (LTB) has low contact area on firm ground with low load, it increases when higher traction force is needed and on softer soil; Free rolling resistance on firm ground was 60% of the value for a conventional bogie; LTB appears to pass wider ditches/cavities, more smoothly with lower pitch angle, than a conventional bogie.
The Long Tracked Bogie with contact area dependent on bearing capacity was compared to a conventional bogie. Two unloaded Vimek 608 forwarders with different bogies and with the traction from the front wheel removed were compared. Two high obstacles, 0.1 and 0.2 m high, respectively and 0.15 m in width, and two deep obstacles/ditches with a depth of 0.2 m and a width 1 and 1.5 m were used for tests. Towing tests on flat ground were done by connecting the machines to each other with a load cell in between. There were no or small differences in acceleration when passing obstacles between the two types of bogie. LTB passed wider ditches/cavities with lower pitch angles (one bogie/side passing) and 0.2 m obstacles with higher roll angles than a conventional bogie. On firm ground, free rolling resistance of the LTB was about 60% of the resistance of the conventional bogie. The drawbar pull force for the LTB was indicated to be a few percentage units higher than for the conventional bogie when it was driving with a towed machine acting as a braking force. The LTB principle might yield opportunities to improve the way we construct bogies for forest machines. Even if the contact area is low on firm ground when the machine is running with low load, it increases when higher traction force is needed and on softer soil. Further field tests are needed to evaluate the LTB when used on soft ground and with higher load as well.
article id 974, category Research note
Comparison of silvicultural regimes of lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta) in Sweden 5 years after precommercial thinning. Silva Fennica vol. 47 no. 3 article id 974. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.974
Highlights: Management regimes can serve different purposes such as biomass production, pulp and timber production or a combination of those; 30 tons biomass or 38–45 m3 stem volume ha–1 could be derived by schematic corridor thinning (70%) at year 20; Producing large amounts of biomass early in the rotation period does not exclude a conversion into pulp and timber production.
Early effects (stem volume, mean diameter at breast height weighted against basal area (Dgv) (Dgv), biomass and damage frequency) of different silvicultural regimes 18-19 years after direct seeding of lodgepole pine in northern Sweden were analysed. A Conventional regime, (i) precommercial thinning (PCT) to 2200 stems ha-1, was compared to: (ii) High biomass production (15 300 stems ha-1, no PCT) with and without corridor thinning at year 20, (iii) production of Large dimension trees (PCT to 1700 stems ha-1), (iv), Combined high biomass production and production of conventional round wood (PCT to 4500 stems ha-1). PCT was done 15 yrs after direct seeding for all PCT treatments. Local biomass functions showed that the regimes aiming at High biomass production displayed ca 144-157% more biomass and 134-143% more stem volume than the Conventional and Large dimension regimes (ca 21 tons and 31 m3 ha-1). Dgv for the 1000 (9.2 cm) and 2000 (8.3 cm) largest trees ha-1 appeared unaffected by regime. By schematic corridor thinning (70% of the total area) at year 20 in the High biomass regime, 27-32 tons of biomass ha-1 and 38-45 m3 ha-1 could be derived while still having a Dgv of the 1000 largest trees ha-1 of about 8 cm. Therefore, this study indicates that it is possible to produce and harvest large amounts of biomass and stem volume early in the rotation period without excluding later pulp and timber production. This initial regime comparison should be continued over time.
article id 960, category Research note
An improved open-top chamber warming system for global change research. Silva Fennica vol. 47 no. 2 article id 960. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.960
This study is an assessment of an improved temperature warming system developed to enhance global warming research-based forest ecosystem and soil ecophysiological experiments. The architecture couples a standard open-top chamber (OTC) with a heating cable. A 16 m wire cable with an 18 W m-1 and 288 W h-1 power rating was coiled around a polyvinyl chloride (PVC) pipe 2.5 m in length and 3.5 cm in diameter. The pipe was reshaped into a circle and fixed inside the OTC at a height of 15 cm. PVC pipe distance to plants was 10 to 15 cm while distance to OTC inner walls was 15 cm. The cable was constructed from a heating source with an alloy resistance wire, an aluminum foil and copper wire shielded layer, a crosslinking polyethylene inner insulator, a PVC coating, and a tinned copper grounding wire. After the cable is powered up, air and soil inside the OTC-cable system is heated by conductivity. Temperature is manipulated according to the voltage and resistance of the cable. The OTC-cable system was developed to examine plant reaction to an increase in air and soil temperatures by 2.84 °C and 1.83 °C, respectively. Temperature values are adjustable by changing cable and PVC pipe length. It offers a new, affordable, low energy consumption and low running cost method by which to study climate change effects on forest ecosystems. This method is especially useful for application in forest ecosystems of many developing countries or in many remote areas of developed countries where the feasibility in supplying sufficient power from local power grids is questionable.
article id 897, category Research note
Volume production in different silvicultural systems for 85 years in a mixed Picea abies–Pinus sylvestris forest in central Sweden. Silva Fennica vol. 47 no. 1 article id 897. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.897
A long-term comparison of different silvicultural systems was established in 1923 in central Sweden, in an uneven-aged mixed Norway spruce–Scots pine forest (Picea abies (L.) Karst. – Pinus sylvestris L.) with about 85% spruce and 15% pine. The five treatments consisted of two examples of even-aged management 1) clear-cutting followed by planting, and 2) seed tree regeneration, one uneven-aged management 3) selection system, one exploiting treatment 4) diameter limit cut, and 5) one untreated control plot. Each treatment plot was 1 ha, 100 m × 100 m. The plots were measured and managed at irregular intervals, ranging from 7 to 15 years. In 2007–2008 the even-aged treatments and the diameter limit cut were repeated and a new rotation started. Mean annual volume increment during the whole observation period differed widely between the treatments, partly because of differences in species composition over time, with treatment clear-cutting followed by planting at the top, and the control at the bottom. Treatment selection system gave only about 60% of planting, but this was probably largely an effect of too small growing stock during the first roughly 50 years. When the growing stock was increased, periodic annual volume increment increased to about 80% of the mean annual volume increment in the even-aged, planted plot.