Current issue: 57(2)
Under compilation: 57(3)
BOREAS is a four-year, regional-scale experiment to study the forested continental interior of Canada. It aims at improving our understanding of the interaction between the earths' climate system and the boreal forests at short and intermediate time scales, in order to clarify their role in global change.
During the winter, spring and summer of 1994, five field campaigns were conducted. About 85 investigation teams including nearly 300 scientists participated, including forest ecologists and ecophysiologists, atmospheric physicists, boundary-layer meteorologists, hydrologists, biochemists, atmospheric chemists and remote sensing specialists.
The findings so far have been significant in terms of their implication for global change. The boreal ecosystem, occupying roughly 17 percent of the vegetated land surface and thus an important driver of global weather and climate, absorbs much more solar energy than is assumed by operational numerical weather prediction models. Albedo measurement show that this forest absorbs nearly 91% of the sun's incident energy. Additionally, while it is known that much of the boreal ecosystems consists of forested wetlands, lakes, bogs and fens, the measurements show that the atmosphere above was extremely dry; humidity and deep boundary layer convection (3,000 m) mimicked conditions found only over deserts. Physiological measurements of the trees show that this atmospheric desiccation was a result of the forests' strong biological control limiting surface evaporation. This tight control was linked to the low soil temperature and subsequently reduced rates of photosynthesis. BOREAS measurement also focused on net ecosystem carbon exchange. Data acquired during the late spring and summer, showed the boreal forests to be a net carbon sink. However, no measurements were taken in the early spring following thaw, and in the late fall, where the balance between photosynthesis and respiration is poorly understood. During 1996 additional data will be acquired to resolve the annual carbon budget and how it might depend on interannual climate differences.
During the past 30 years, genetics research has accumulated much information on black spruce (Picea mariana). The adoption of less intensive and faster plustree selection, establishment of seedling seed orchards and family selection significantly increased the rate of progress in improvement of the species. In New Brunswick this approach made it possible to obtain substantial quantities of seeds 10 years after the initiation of the program, and now all the seeds used in reforestation are derived from seed orchards.
Fourteen years after beginning the black spruce breeding program, second generation breeding is underway. The possibility of implementing alternative breeding strategies using ”breeding – cloning” procedures are explored for the advanced generation. Until somatic embryogenesis techniques become fully operational, ”backward selection” schemes and crossing in breeding halls followed by vegetative multiplication using serial rooted cuttings can be adopted. Larger genetic gains than those from conventional breeding are expected not only from the utilization of both additive and non-additive variances, but also from the elimination of inefficiencies of large conventional seed orchards.
In order to understand the present forest policies for the small woodlot of Quebec, it is essential to understand the history of settlement of Quebec. Following this brief description, the author introduces the various forest policies (programs) which have been initiated in Quebec by various levels of governments in order to deal with the management of these lands.
A study to determine the effectiveness of private forestry assistance programs in Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia in Canada was conducted among three complementary groups of individuals concerned with the private forest resource. Rural residents, members of woodlot owner associations and extension foresters in the four provinces were surveyed using three different, bilingual questionnaires. The majority of rural residences do not use forestry assistance programs. 45% of the woodlot association members responding used one or more of the several available programs. 54% of these users had a high regard for the assistance provided. Extension foresters felt that the objectives of their respective assistance programs were being met with available resources but performance could be bettered with more staff, increased budgets and an improvement in communications. This was a first attempt to evaluate private forestry assistance programs in a Canadian context
The article includes observations on forest site types in Canada and the United States, with special emphasis on forests of lodgepole pine (Pinus murrayana, now Pinus contorta Douglas ex Loudon) which the author considers a species that can become a favourite exotic tree species in Finland. Some notes are made also about Jack pine (Pinus banksiana Lamb.) and Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirb.) Franco) forests. The author was not able to make a systematic forest type investigation, because the journey was made on another purpose. The article describes the vegetation and climate of the visited areas, and divides the forest site types in three groups: Dry forest site types, moist forest site types and grass-herb site types. The vegetation and plant species on several subtypes are described in detail.
The volume 34 of Acta Forestalia Fennica is a jubileum publication of professor Aimo Kaarlo Cajander.
Two methods of pre-harvest inventory were designed and tested on three cutting sites containing a total of 197,500 m3 of wood. These sites were located on flat-ground boreal forest in north-western Quebec, Canada. Both methods studied involved scaling of trees harvested to clear the road path one year (or more) prior to harvest of adjacent cutblocks.
The first method (ROAD) considers the total road right-of-way volume divided by the total road area cleared. The resulting volume per hectare is then multiplied by the total cut-block area scheduled for harvest during the following year to obtain the total estimated cutting volume. The second method (STRATIFIED) also involves scaling of trees cleared from the road. A volume per hectare is calculated for each stretch of road that crosses a single forest stand. This volume per hectare is then multiplied by the remaining area of the same forest stand scheduled for harvest one year later. The sum of all resulting estimated volumes per stand gives the total estimated cutting-volume for all cut-blocks adjacent to the studied road. A third method (MNR) represent the actual existing technique for estimating cutting volume in the province of Quebec. It involves summing the cut volume for all forest stands. The cut volume is estimated by multiplying the area of each stand by its estimated volume per hectare obtained from standard stock tables.
When the resulting total estimated volume per cut-block for all three methods was compared with the actual measured cut-block volume (MEASURED), the analysis showed that MNR volume estimate was 30% higher than MEASURED. However, no significant difference from MEASURED was observed for volume estimates for ROAD and STRATIFIED methods, which respectively estimated cutting volumes 19% and 5% lower than MEASURED.