Current issue: 55(2)
A simple, manually-operated and easily portable device for sampling volumetric soil cores to a depth of 100 cm with a minimum soil disturbance is described. The device consists of a sample tube, a sampler and an extension tube. A dead blow nylon mallet is used to force the sampler into the soil and a small winch attached to an aluminium tube pulls the sampler from the soil. The total weight of the equipment (sampler, mallet and winch) is 18.5 kg and may be carried in the trunk of a small car. Sampling is easily done by one person in good physical condition but four-handed operation is recommended as more efficient. The sampling device has been in heavy use during the summers of 1993–95 when several hundred soil cores have been extracted on various sites all over Finland.
Individual tree-growth models for diameter and height, and a model for the cylindrical stem form factor are presented. The aims of the study were to examine modelling methods in predicting growth response to thinning, and to develop individual-tree, distance-independent growth models for predicting the development of thinned and unthinned stands of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.). The models were constructed to be applicable in simulation systems used in practical forest management planning. The models were based on data obtained from eleven permanent thinning experiments located in even-aged Scots pine stands in Southern and Central Finland.
Two alternative models were developed to predict tree diameter growth in thinned and unthinned stands. In the first model, the effect of stand density was described using stand basal area. In the alternative model, an explicit variable was incorporated referring to the relative growth response due to thinning. The magnitude of the growth response was expressed as a function of thinning intensity. The Weibull function was employed to describe the temporal distribution of the thinning response. Both models resulted in unbiased predictions in unthinned and in moderately thinned stands. An explicit thinning variable was needed for unbiased growth prediction in heavily thinned stands, and in order to correctly predict the dynamics of the growth response.
In the height growth model, no explicit thinnning variable referring thinning was necessary for growth prediction in thinned stands. The stem form factor was predicted using the model that included tree diameter and tree height as regressor variables. According to the results obtained, the information on the changes in the diameter/height ratio following the thinning is sufficient to predict the change in stem form.
The aim of the study was to compare the behaviour of three selected provenances of Eucalyptus microtheca F. Muell. that were likely to respond differently to drought. For this purpose, we studied the effects of vapour pressure deficit and soil water content on leaf water potential in an irrigated plantation in Bura, eastern Kenya.
An international provenance trial of Eucalyptus microtheca, established as a part of Finnida-supported Bura Forestry Research Project in eastern Kenya in 1984 was used as a plant material in the study. The eastern provenance showed generally the lowest leaf water potential on a daily basis. Statistically significant differences in the daily leaf water potential fluctuations were detected. The eastern provenance exhibited the greatest and the northern one the smallest values. The minimum daily leaf water potential of the provenances responded well to changes in gravimetric soil water content, the western provenance being the most sensitive one. The relationship of the observed results and annual rainfall distribution in the geographic regions of the studied provenances is discussed.
The effects of wood ash and PK fertilization on natural regeneration and sowing of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) were studied in field experiments on nitrogen-poor (Ntot 0.87–1.26%) peat substrates. The study material was derived from three drained, nutrient-poor pine mires (64°52’ N, 25°08’ E) at Muhos, near Oulu, Finland. The experimental fields were laid out in 1985 as a split-split-plot design including the following treatments; mounding, natural regeneration and sowing and fertilization; PK (400 kg ha-1) and wood ash (5,000 kg ha-1). The seedlings were inventoried in circles in July–August 1991.
Changes in the vegetation were small and there were no statistical differences due to the fertilization treatments in the ground vegetation. PK or ash fertilization did not cause vegetation changes harmful to Scots pine regeneration on nitrogen-poor peatlands. Both sowing and fertilization significantly increased the number of pine seedlings, but not their height. Wood ash increased seedling number more than PK fertilizer. The number of seedlings varied from 7,963 (control) to 42,781 ha-1 (mounding + sowing + ash). The seedling number was adequate for successful regeneration even on non-mounded, non-fertilized naturally regenerated plots.
The number of birch seedlings varied more than that of pine (370–25,927 ha-1). Mounding especially increased the number of birches. The difference between PK fertiliser and ash was less pronounced than that for pine. In addition, to the field studies the effects of ash and PK fertilizer on the germination of Scots pine seeds was studied in a greenhouse experiment. Soaking in ash solutions strongly reduced seed germination, while the PK solution was less harmful.
One-hectare plot in a Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) forest was systemically sampled for surface soil characteristics: humus layer thickness, soil carbon and nitrogen content, pH, electrical conductivity and respiration were determined from 106 samples. The effects of large trees on the plot were mapped and their joint influences at the locations of soil sampling were described as the influence potential, derived from the ecological field theory, and were calculated based on the locations and dimensions of trees.
The range of variation of soil characteristics was from three to sevenfold; no spatial autocorrelation was detected. The calculated influence potential of trees, as determined by their size and spatial distribution, was related to the spatial variation of top soil properties. Top soil properties were also related to thickness of the humus layer but they were poorly correlated with underlying mineral soil characteristics. Humus layer thickness, with the calculated influence potential of trees, may provide a means to predict top soil characteristics in specific microenvironments in the forest floor.