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Silva Fennica 1926-1997
Acta Forestalia Fennica

Articles containing the keyword 'boreal forests'

Category : Article

article id 5606, category Article
Pekka E. Kauppi, Pekka Hänninen, Helena M Henttonen, Antti Ihalainen, Eino Lappalainen, Maximilian Posch, Michael Starr, Pekka Tamminen. (1997). Carbon reservoirs in peatlands and forests in the boreal regions of Finland. Silva Fennica vol. 31 no. 1 article id 5606.
Keywords: climate change; boreal forests; peatlands; global warming; carbon reservoirs; carbon pools; global carbon cycles; biomass carbon; ecological temperature gradient
Abstract | View details | Full text in PDF | Author Info

The carbon reservoir of ecosystems was estimated based on field measurements for forests and peatlands on an area in Finland covering 263,000 km2 and extending about 900 km across the boreal zone from south to north. More than two thirds of the reservoir was in peat, and less than ten per cent in trees. Forest ecosystems growing on mineral soils covering 144,000 km2 contained 10–11 kg C m-2 on an average, including both vegetation (3.4 kg C m-2) and soil (uppermost 75 cm; 7.2 kg C m-2). Mire ecosystems covering 65,000 km2 contained an average of 72 kg C m-2 as peat. For the landscape consisting of peatlands, closed and open forests, and inland water, excluding arable and built-up land, a reservoir of 24.6 kg C m-2 was observed. This includes the peat, forest soil and tree biomass. This is an underestimate of the true total reservoir, because there are additional unknown reservoirs in deep soil, lake sediments, woody debris, and ground vegetation. Geographic distributions of the reservoirs were described, analysed and discussed. The highest reservoir, 35–40 kg C m-2, was observed in sub-regions in central western and north western Finland. Many estimates given for the boreal carbon reservoirs have been higher than those of ours. Either the Finnish environment contains less carbon per unit area than the rest of the boreal zone, or the global boreal reservoir has earlier been overestimated. In order to reduce uncertainties of the global estimates, statistically representative measurements are needed especially on Russian and Canadian peatlands.

  • Kauppi, E-mail: pk@mm.unknown (email)
  • Hänninen, E-mail: ph@mm.unknown
  • Henttonen, E-mail: hh@mm.unknown
  • Ihalainen, E-mail: ai@mm.unknown
  • Lappalainen, E-mail: el@mm.unknown
  • Posch, E-mail: mp@mm.unknown
  • Starr, E-mail: ms@mm.unknown
  • Tamminen, E-mail: pt@mm.unknown
article id 5567, category Article
Pekka Punttila, Yrjö Haila. (1996). Colonisation of a burned forest by ants in the southern Finnish boreal forest. Silva Fennica vol. 30 no. 4 article id 5567.
Keywords: boreal forests; forest fires; succession; competition; Formica rufa; Formica ruginodis; ant communities; clear-cut areas
Abstract | View details | Full text in PDF | Author Info

The colonisation of a burned clear-cut by ants in southern Finland was monitored using pitfall traps, artificial nest sites, and direct nest sampling from the ground and stumps. Clearcutting and fire seemed to have destroyed wood-ant colonies (Formica rufa group), and also other mature-forest species suffered from fire. Myrmica ruginodis Nylander was able to survive only in less severely burned moist sites, whereas it benefitted from the enhanced light conditions in a non-burned clear-cut. The fire resulted in an essentially ant-free terrain into which pioneering species immigrated. The mortality of nest-founding queens appeared to be high. The results supported the hypothesis that the pioneering species tend to be those that are capable of independent colony founding, followed by species founding nests through temporary nest parasitism. The succession of the burned clear-cut differed from that of the non-burned one, suggesting that habitat selection in immigration and priority effects, i.e. competition, introduce deterministic components in the successional pathways of boreal ant communities.

  • Punttila, E-mail: pp@mm.unknown (email)
  • Haila, E-mail: yh@mm.unknown
article id 5566, category Article
Reijo Penttilä, Heikki Kotiranta. (1996). Short-term effects of prescribed burning on wood-rotting fungi. Silva Fennica vol. 30 no. 4 article id 5566.
Keywords: boreal forests; forest fires; Picea abies; polypores; controlled burning; wood decay; wood-rotting fungi; corticoid fungi; fungal community structure
Abstract | View details | Full text in PDF | Author Info

The prefire fungal flora (polypores and corticoid fungi) of 284 dead trees, mainly fallen trunks of Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) H. Karst.), was studied in 1991 in an old, spruce-dominated mesic forest in Southern Finland. Species diversity of the prefire fungal flora was very high, including a high proportion of locally rare species and four threatened polypore species in Finland.

In 1992 part of the study area (7.3 ha) was clear-cut and a 1.7 ha forest stand in the centre of study area was left standing with a tree volume of 150 m3/ha, and later on (June 1st) in the same year the whole area was burned. Burning was very efficient and all trees in the forest stand were dead one year after the fire. Also, the ground layer burned almost completely.

In 1993 the fungal flora of the 284 sample trees was studied again. Most of the trees had burned strongly and the fungal species diversity and the evenness in community structure had decreased considerably as compared with the prefire community. Species turnover was also great, especially in corticoid fungi. Greatest losses in the species numbers occurred in moderately and strongly decayed trees, in coniferous trees and in very strongly burned trees. Fungal flora of non-decayed and slightly decayed trees, deciduous trees and slightly burned trees seemed to have survived the fire quite well, and in these groups the species numbers had increased slightly as compared with the prefire community.

Fungal species suffering from fire (anthracophobe species) were mainly growing in moderately and strongly decayed trees before the fire, whereas species favoured by fire (anthracophile species) were growing in less decayed trees. No fruitbodies of threatened polypores or other "old-forest species" of polypores were found again after fire. Some very common and effective wood-rotting fungi (e.g. Fomitopsis pinicola, Fomes fomentarius, Antrodia serialis) survived the fire quite well (anthracoxene species). Species favoured by fire were mainly ruderal species which can utilize new, competition-free resources created by fire, and species that have their optima in dry and open places also outside forest-fire areas. Some rarities, e.g. Phanerochaete raduloides and Physisporinus rivulosus, were favoured by fire.

  • Penttilä, E-mail: rp@mm.unknown (email)
  • Kotiranta, E-mail: hk@mm.unknown
article id 5604, category Article
Nigel Dudley, Jean-Paul Jeanrenaud, Adam Markham. (1996). Conservation in boreal forests under conditions of climate change. Silva Fennica vol. 30 no. 2–3 article id 5604.
Keywords: climate change; boreal forests; forest policy; forest protection; nature conservation; climate warming; WWF; World Wide Fund for Nature
Abstract | View details | Full text in PDF | Author Info

Addressing the potential impact of climate change on boreal forest ecosystems will require a range of new conservation techniques. During the early 1990s, the scope of WWF's (the World Wide Fund for Nature) forest policy work has broadened from a focus on tropical moist forests to a more general consideration of all the world's forests. Climate change is only one of a series of threats currently facing boreal forests.

Planning conservation strategies that take account of global warming is not easy when there are many computer models of climate change, sometimes predicting very different ecological effects. Climate change could result in some particularly extreme problems for the boreal forest biome. A summary of the problems and opportunities in boreal forests is presented. WWF has also been drawing up strategies for conservation on a global, regional and national level. The organization has concluded that conservation strategies aimed at combatting climate change need not be in direct conflict with other conservation planning requirements. However, proposals have emerged for ways to address the impacts of climate change that would have detrimental impacts on existing conservation plans.

  • Dudley, E-mail: nd@mm.unknown (email)
  • Jeanrenaud, E-mail: jj@mm.unknown
  • Markham, E-mail: am@mm.unknown
article id 5598, category Article
Timo Kuuluvainen, Kari Leinonen, Markku Nygren, Antti Penttinen. (1996). Statistical opportunities for comparing stand structural heterogeneity in managed and primeval forests: an example from boreal spruce forest in southern Finland. Silva Fennica vol. 30 no. 2–3 article id 5598.
Keywords: boreal forests; Norway spruce; biodiversity; Picea abies; stand structure; semivariance; spatial analysis; K-function; structural variation
Abstract | View details | Full text in PDF | Author Info

The horizontal and vertical stand structure of living trees was examined in a managed and in a primeval Norway spruce-dominated forest in Southern Finland. Tree size distributions (DBHs, tree height) were compared using frequency histograms. The vertical distribution of tree heights was illustrated as tree height plots and quantified as the tree height diversity (THD) using the Shannon-Weaver formula. The horizontal spatial pattern of trees was described with stem maps and quantified with Ripley's K-function. The spatial autocorrelation of tree sizes was examined with semivariogram analysis. In the managed forest the DBH and height distributions of trees were bimodal, indicating a two-layered vertical structure with a single dominant tree layer and abundant regeneration in the understory. The primeval forest had a much higher total number of trees which were rather evenly distributed in different diameter and tree height classes. The K-function summaries for trees taller than 15 m indicated that the primeval stand was close to complete random pattern. The managed stand was regular at small distances (up to 4 m). The semivariograms of tree sizes (DBH tree height) showed that the managed forest had a clear spatial dependence in tree sizes up to inter-tree distances of about 12 meters. In contrast, the primeval spruce forest had a variance peak at very short inter-tree distances (< 1 m) and only weak spatial autocorrelation at short inter-tree distances (1–5 m). Excluding the understory trees (h < 15 m) from the analysis drastically changed the spatial structure of the forest as revealed by semivariograms. ln general, the structure of the primeval forest was both horizontally and vertically more variable and heterogeneous compared to the managed forest. The applicability of the used methods in describing fine-scale forest structure i discussed.

  • Kuuluvainen, E-mail: tk@mm.unknown (email)
  • Leinonen, E-mail: kl@mm.unknown
  • Nygren, E-mail: mn@mm.unknown
  • Penttinen, E-mail: ap@mm.unknown
article id 5594, category Article
Anssi Niskanen, Tapio Rantala, Olli Saastamoinen. (1996). Economic impacts of carbon sequestration in reforestation: examples from boreal and moist tropical conditions. Silva Fennica vol. 30 no. 2–3 article id 5594.
Keywords: boreal forests; carbon; forestry; Finland; Philippines; profitability; tropical forests; forest plantations
Abstract | View details | Full text in PDF | Author Info

The impact of carbon sequestration on the financial profitability of four tree plantation cases in Finland and the Philippines were examined. On the basis of stem wood growth; the accumulation of carbon in forest biomass, the formation and decomposition of litter, and the carbon flow in wood-based products were assessed for each reforestation case representing boreal (Finland) and moist tropical conditions (the Philippines). Using different unit values for carbon sequestration the profitability of reforestation was estimated for a fixed 100-year period on a per hectare basis. The financial profitability of reforestation increased notably when the sequestered carbon had high positive values. For example, when the value of carbon sequestration was set to be Twenty-five United States Dollar per megagram of carbon (25 USO/Mg C), the internal rate of return (IRR) of a reforestation investment with Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) H. Karst.) in Finland increased from 3.2% to 4.1 %. Equally, the IRR of reforestation with mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla King) in the Philippines increased from 12.8% to 15.5%. The present value of carbon sequestration ranged from 39–48% and from 77–101% of the present value of the reforestation cost in Finland and the Philippines, respectively when a 25 USO/Mg C shadow price and a 5% discount rate were applied. Sequestration of one mg of carbon in reforestation in Finland and the Philippines was estimated to cost from 10.5–20.0 and from 4.0–13.6 USO, respectively.

  • Niskanen, E-mail: an@mm.unknown (email)
  • Rantala, E-mail: tr@mm.unknown
  • Saastamoinen, E-mail: os@mm.unknown
article id 5588, category Article
Vadim V. Gorshkov, Irene J. Bakkal, Natalie I. Stavrova. (1996). Postfire recovery of forest litter in Scots pine forests in two different regions of boreal zone. Silva Fennica vol. 30 no. 2–3 article id 5588.
Keywords: Pinus sylvestris; boreal forests; Scots pine; Kola peninsula; Russian Federation; fire ecology; forest litter; Western Siberia; postfire recovery
Abstract | View details | Full text in PDF | Author Info

Investigations carried out in the Kola peninsula (northern taiga) and in the South-western part of Western Siberia (southern taiga and forest-steppe) revealed identical course of the postfire restoration process of forest litter thickness in Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) forests. Despite the differences in mean annual temperature (2°C) and other climatic characteristics the recovery time for thickness of forest litter in both regions amounts to 90–100 years after fire in pine forests of lichen site type and 120–140 years – in green moss type; the thickness of forest litter therewith corresponds 3–4 cm and 7–8 cm respectively. That mean that within the natural borders of pine forests, communities of a specific type possess uniform characteristics of restoration. On the basis of empirical data, it appears that the predicted increase of mean annual temperature of earth surface by (2°C) will not bring changes into the character of postfire recovery of forest litter thickness. It was shown that during the period of the recovery, which spans about 90 years after fire in pine forests of lichen and green moss-lichen site types and 140 years in ones of green moss site types, the rate of increasing of carbon store in the forest litter averaged 0.6 t ha-1 year-1, 0.1 t ha-1 year-1 and 0.2 t ha-1 year-1, respectively.

  • Gorshkov, E-mail: vg@mm.unknown (email)
  • Bakkal, E-mail: ib@mm.unknown
  • Stavrova, E-mail: ns@mm.unknown
article id 5587, category Article
Dina I. Nazimova, N.P. Polikarpov. (1996). Forest zones of Siberia as determined by climatic zones and their possible transformation trends under global change. Silva Fennica vol. 30 no. 2–3 article id 5587.
Keywords: climate change; boreal forests; modelling; Siberia; climatic zones; Russian Federation; zonal forest types; climatic ordination
Abstract | View details | Full text in PDF | Author Info

A system of zonality in Siberia has been formed under the control of continentality, which provides the heat and humidity regimes of the forest provinces. Three sectors of continentality and four to six boreal sub-zone form a framework for the systematization of the different features of land cover in Siberia. Their climatic ordination provides the fundamental basis for the principal potential forest types (composition, productivity) forecasting the current climate. These are useful in predicting the future transformations and succession under global change.

  • Nazimova, E-mail: dn@mm.unknown (email)
  • Polikarpov, E-mail: np@mm.unknown
article id 5362, category Article
Seppo Kellomäki, Heikki Hänninen, Taneli Kolström. (1988). Model computations on the impacts of the climatic change on the productivity and silvicultural management of the forest ecosystem. Silva Fennica vol. 22 no. 4 article id 5362.
Keywords: boreal forests; adaptation; simulation; climatic change; future silviculture; changing environment; pest management
Abstract | View details | Full text in PDF | Author Info

The model computations indicate that the climatic change in the form of higher temperatures and more precipitation could increase the productivity of the forest ecosystem and lead to higher rates of regeneration and growth. More frequent and intensive thinnings are needed to avoid the mortality of trees induced by accelerated maturation and attacks of fungi and insects. The climatic change could support the dominance of deciduous tree species and necessitate an intensification of the tending of seedling stands of conifers. The rise of air temperature during autumn and winter could change also the annual growth rhythm of trees and result in dehardening and subsequent frost damages and attacks of insects and fungi. The pest management could be the greatest challenge to the future silviculture, which could be modified most in Northern Finland.

The PDF includes an abstract in Finnish.

  • Kellomäki, E-mail: sk@mm.unknown (email)
  • Hänninen, E-mail: hh@mm.unknown
  • Kolström, E-mail: tk@mm.unknown

Category : Article

article id 7606, category Article
Kari Heliövaara, Rauno Väisänen, Auli Immonen. (1991). Quantitative biogeography of the bark beetles (Coleoptera, Scolytidae) in northern Europe. Acta Forestalia Fennica no. 219 article id 7606.
Keywords: climate change; boreal forests; biodiversity; Nordic countries; multivariate methods; insect pests; biogeography; Scolytids; logistic regression models; faunal changes; Fennoscandia
Abstract | View details | Full text in PDF | Author Info

Biogeographical patterns of the Scolytidae in Fennoscandia and Denmark, based on species incidence data from the approximately 70 km x 70 km quadrats (n = 221) used by Lekander et al. (1977), were classified to environmental variables using multivariate methods (two-way indicator species analysis, detrended correspondence analysis, canonical correspondence analysis).

The distributional patterns of scolytid species composition showed similar features to earlier presented zonations based on vegetation composition. One major difference, however, was that the region was more clearly divided in an east-west direction. Temperature variables associated with the location of the quadrat had the highest canonical coefficient values on the first axis of the CCA. Although these variables were the most important determinants of the biogeographical variation in the beetle species assemblages, annual precipitation and the distribution of Picea abies also improved the fit of the species data.

Samples with the most deviant rarity and typicality indices for the scolytid species assempblages in each quadrat were concentrated in several southern Scandinavian quadrats, in some quadrats in northern Sweden, and especially on the Swedish islands (Öland, Gotland, Gotska Sandön) in the Baltic Sea. The use of rarity indices which do not take the number of species per quadrat, also resulted high values for areas near Stockholm and Helsinki with well-known faunas. Methodological tests in which the real changes in the distribution of Ips acuminatus and I. amitinus were used as indicators showed that the currently available multivariate methods are sensitive to small faunal shifts even, and thus permit analysis of the fauna in relation to environmental changes. However, this requires more detailed monitoring of the species’ distributions over longer time spans.

Distribution of seven species (Scolytus intricatus, S. laevis, Hylurgops glabratus, Crypturgus cinereus, Pityogenes salasi, Ips typographus, and Cyleborus dispar) were predicted by logistic regression models using climatic variables. In spite of the deficiencies in the data and the environmental variables selected, the models were relatively good for several but not for all species. The potential effects of climate change on bark beetles are discussed.

The PDF includes a summary in Finnish.

  • Heliövaara, E-mail: kh@mm.unknown (email)
  • Väisänen, E-mail: rv@mm.unknown
  • Immonen, E-mail: ai@mm.unknown

Category : Research article

article id 22017, category Research article
Andis Lazdiņš, Ainārs Lupiķis, Kaspars Polmanis, Arta Bārdule, Aldis Butlers, Santa Kalēja. (2024). Carbon stock changes of drained nutrient-rich organic forest soils in Latvia. Silva Fennica vol. 58 no. 1 article id 22017.
Keywords: drainage; hemiboreal forests; organic soil; peat compaction; peatland forests; subsidence of the peat layer
Highlights: In moderate nutrient-rich forest site type (Myrtillosa turf. mel.), a significant subsidence of peat layer after drainage is associated with compaction rather than decomposition of peat; In nutrient-rich forest site type (Oxalidosa turf. mel.), a contribution of soil C stock losses to subsidence of the peat layer is significant; In moderate nutrient-rich forest site type (Myrtillosa turf. mel.), type of dominant tree species has higher impact on changes in soil C stock after drainage than in nutrient-rich forest site type (Oxalidosa turf. mel.); Distribution of different forest site types involving soil nutrient status has to be taken into account when CO2 emissions from drained organic soil in forest land are estimated at national level.
Abstract | Full text in HTML | Full text in PDF | Author Info

Impact of drainage of organic soils in forest land on soil carbon (C) stock changes is of high interest not only to accurately estimate soil C stock changes, but also to provide scientifically based recommendations for forest land management in context of climate change mitigation. To improve knowledge about long-term impact of drainage on nutrient-rich organic soils in hemiboreal forests in Latvia, 50 research sites representing drained conditions (Oxalidosa turf. mel. (Kp) and Myrtillosa turf. mel. (Ks) forest site types) and undrained conditions as control areas (Caricoso-phragmitosa, Dryopterioso-caricosa and Filipendulosa forest site types) were selected. Soil C stock changes after drainage was evaluated by comparing current C stock in drained organic soils to theoretical C stock before drainage considering impact of soil subsidence. During the 53-years period after drainage, the peat subsidence was higher in nutrient-rich Kp forest site type compared to moderate nutrient-rich Ks forest site type (peat subsided by 37.0 ± 4.8 and 23.3 ± 4.8 cm, respectively). In nutrient-rich Kp forest site type, soil C stock decreased by 4.98 ± 1.58 Mg C ha-1 yr-1 after drainage, while no statistically significant changes in soil C stock (0.19 ± 1.31 Mg C ha-1 yr-1) were observed in moderate nutrient-rich soils in Ks forest site type. Thus, in Ks forest site type, the main driver of the peat subsidence was the physical compaction, while in Kp forest site type contribution of organic matter decomposition and consequent soil C losses to subsidence of the peat was significant.

  • Lazdiņš, Latvian State Forest Research Institute ‘Silava’ (LSFRI Silava), Rigas str. 111, Salaspils, LV-2169, Latvia ORCID E-mail:
  • Lupiķis, Latvian State Forest Research Institute ‘Silava’ (LSFRI Silava), Rigas str. 111, Salaspils, LV-2169, Latvia E-mail:
  • Polmanis, Latvian State Forest Research Institute ‘Silava’ (LSFRI Silava), Rigas str. 111, Salaspils, LV-2169, Latvia ORCID E-mail: (email)
  • Bārdule, Latvian State Forest Research Institute ‘Silava’ (LSFRI Silava), Rigas str. 111, Salaspils, LV-2169, Latvia ORCID E-mail:
  • Butlers, Latvian State Forest Research Institute ‘Silava’ (LSFRI Silava), Rigas str. 111, Salaspils, LV-2169, Latvia ORCID E-mail:
  • Kalēja, Latvian State Forest Research Institute ‘Silava’ (LSFRI Silava), Rigas str. 111, Salaspils, LV-2169, Latvia E-mail:
article id 22019, category Research article
Aleksi Nirhamo, Juha Pykälä, Kimmo Jääskeläinen, Jari Kouki. (2023). Habitat associations of red-listed epiphytic lichens in Finland. Silva Fennica vol. 57 no. 1 article id 22019.
Keywords: boreal forests; deciduous trees; biodiversity; conservation; threatened species
Highlights: We analyzed the habitat associations of 231 nationally red-listed epiphytic lichen species in Finland; Their habitat associations were varying, but deciduous trees, old forests and trees, and microclimates with intermediate or high light availability and humidity were particularly important; The maintenance of the habitats of many red-listed epiphytic lichens is difficult if not impossible to combine with intensive forest management.
Abstract | Full text in HTML | Full text in PDF | Author Info
The Finnish red list shows that the epiphytic lichen flora of Finnish forests is highly threatened and declining steeply. Red lists provide limited information on the habitat associations of threatened species, which could be relevant in informing management and conservation measures. We used documented empirical data and expert assessments to determine for each red-listed (IUCN categories Near Threatened, NT; Vulnerable, VU; Endangered, EN; Critically Endangered, CR; Regionally Extinct, RE) epiphytic lichen species of Finland the following key habitat associations: host tree species, substrate type, habitat type, geographical distribution, preferred microclimate, and minimum required forest and tree age. The most important host tree species were Picea abies (L.) H. Karst. and Populus tremula L. Other tree species of high importance included Sorbus aucuparia L. and Salix caprea L. One fourth of red-listed epiphytic lichens were primarily lignicolous. Most species required old-growth forests (required by 41% of species) or old trees (52%), but many species required only mature forests (36%) or trees (35%). The microclimatic preferences of most red-listed epiphytic lichens consisted of high or intermediate light availability and humidity. Most species whose status had deteriorated were dependent on deciduous trees. The continuous availability of old deciduous trees (especially Populus, Salix and Sorbus) requires special attention in both managed and protected forests. Red-listed epiphytic lichens would be aided by increased forest protection or transitioning to less intensive management regimes.
article id 1190, category Research article
Jaakko Repola, Kristina Ahnlund Ulvcrona. (2014). Modelling biomass of young and dense Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) dominated mixed forests in northern Sweden. Silva Fennica vol. 48 no. 5 article id 1190.
Keywords: boreal forests; pine; tree biomass; biomass models; unmanaged stands
Highlights: The biomass allocation to tree components is different in unmanaged and managed young stands; Higher foliage biomass and lower stem and branch biomass were detected in the unmanaged stands; Models for trees from young and dense stands provide better estimates of biomass in such stands than those based on data from managed stands.
Abstract | Full text in HTML | Full text in PDF | Author Info
Biomass models for the biomass of above-ground tree components of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.), Norway spruce (Picea abies [L.] Karst.) and birch (Betula pendula Roth and Betula pubescens Ehrh.) in young dense Scots pine dominated forest stands in northern Sweden were constructed. Destructive above-ground biomass sampling was conducted in naturally generated young, dense, Scots pine dominated mixed stands. Three sampling campaigns were undertaken, the first in 1997 and 1998. The second was six years later (2003), and the last 13 years after the first (2010). In total, 280 trees (126 Scots pine, 68 Norway spruce and 86 birches) were sampled from six different stands in northern Sweden. The sampled trees’ diameter at breast height (dbh) was in the range 1–22 cm (Scots pine), 1–21 cm (Norway spruce) and 1–11 cm (birch). Biomass predictions were tested using our models and the widely used biomass models originally constructed for managed stands. The results showed that the biomass allocation to tree components is different in unmanaged and managed young stands; higher foliage biomass and lower stem and branch biomass were detected in the unmanaged stands. The overall conclusion is that the biomass models for managed stands did not produce satisfactory biomass estimates in unthinned, dense, young stands.
  • Repola, Finnish Forest Research Institute, Rovaniemi Research Unit, P.O. Box 16, FI-96301 Rovaniemi, Finland E-mail: (email)
  • Ahnlund Ulvcrona, SLU, Forest Biomaterials and Technology, Skogsmarksgränd, SE-901 83 Umeå, Sweden E-mail:
article id 1207, category Research article
Olli-Pekka Tikkanen, Irina A. Chernyakova. (2014). Past human population history affects current forest landscape structure of Vodlozero National Park, Northwest Russia. Silva Fennica vol. 48 no. 4 article id 1207.
Keywords: boreal forests; forest fires; recovery; forest structure; landscape change
Highlights: In large scale (0–20 km), the proportion of spruce in forest stands was positively affected by distance from old villages. This relationship was non-linear with a threshold distance of 15 km; In small scale (0–5 km), old villages affected tree species composition and age structure of forests. Effect on age structure was the strongest on stands growing on mineral soils.
Abstract | Full text in HTML | Full text in PDF | Author Info
The information about location and size of past human settlements can give new insights into the analysis of landscape structures. Vodlozero National Park (NP) is one the largest strictly protected areas in Northwestern Europe. We mapped the location of historic villages, which were abandoned in 1958, and studied the effect of past human activity in the forest landscape in two different scales using forest survey data. We assessed the possible change in age, volume and tree species composition from the edge of open fields up to the distance of 5 km from villages. We made a larger landscape analysis using a grid of forest stands covering the whole northern part of the NP. The past human activity was clearly visible in the present forest landscape. Distance from villages affected age, volume and tree species composition of the forest stands. This effect was the strongest within the first two kilometers from the villages. At the level of whole northern NP, the proportion of spruce markedly increased after approximately 15 km from the nearest old village. The changes in the forests surrounding the villages were most likely the result of the intensive use of wood for different commodities needed in households and farming, in addition to short rotation slash and burn agriculture. If the occurrence of forest fires was more frequent closer to villages than in more remote areas, it can well explain the observed pattern in the abundance of spruce in the larger landscape that is less tolerant to fire than pine.
  • Tikkanen, Department of Biology, University of Eastern Finland, P.O. Box 111, FI-80101 Joensuu, Finland (Current: School of Forest Sciences, University of Eastern Finland, P.O. Box 111, FI-80101 Joensuu, Finland) & Interdisciplinary Research and Educational Center of Cross-border Communication CARELICA, Institute of History, Political and Social Sciences, Petrozavodsk State University, 33 Lenin Prospectus, 185910 Petrozavodsk, Republic of Karelia, Russia E-mail: (email)
  • Chernyakova, Interdisciplinary Research and Educational Center of Cross-border Communication CARELICA, Institute of History, Political and Social Sciences, Petrozavodsk State University, 33 Lenin Prospectus, 185910 Petrozavodsk, Republic of Karelia, Russia E-mail:
article id 31, category Research article
Jeovanna Lowe, David Pothier, Jean-Pierre L. Savard, Ghislain Rompré, Mathieu Bouchard. (2011). Snag characteristics and cavity-nesting birds in the unmanaged post-fire northeastern Canadian boreal forest. Silva Fennica vol. 45 no. 1 article id 31.
Keywords: snags; cavity nesting birds; boreal forests; old-growth; long term chronosequence; time since fire; mortality rate; basal area
Abstract | View details | Full text in PDF | Author Info
We studied the availability and characteristics of snags and their use by cavity-nesting birds in the northeastern part of the Canadian boreal forest. We built up two long-term (> 200 years) chronosequences following time since the last fire in the unmanaged boreal forest of northeastern Québec, one in the balsam fir-white birch domain (southern region) and one in the spruce-mosses domain (northern region). We then sampled and characterized snags and live trees in 30 stands from each of these two chronosequences. We also looked for nest cavities on all sampled snags, performed bird inventories by point counts, and calculated tree mortality rate from permanent sample plots. Results show that mortality rates follow a U-shaped pattern, with more snags of large diameter (> 20 cm DBH) in young (< 50 years) and in old (> 200 years) forests. In the latter, we also found more nest cavities than in any other age classes. Although abundance of primary cavity nesters (excavating species) did not vary among age classes, secondary cavity nesters (using cavities already available) tend to be more numerous in older forests. Our results highlight the capacity for young and old-growth forests to provide quality habitat for species that are dependent on large snags. Proper forest management should maintain a mosaic of different age forest stands, including snags, to promote biodiversity and provide important resources for resident bird species.
  • Lowe, Centre d’étude de la foret, Département des sciences du bois et de la foret, Pavillon Abitibi-Price, 2405 rue de la Terrasse, Université Laval, Québec, Québec, G1V 0A6, Canada E-mail: (email)
  • Pothier, Centre d’étude de la foret, Département des sciences du bois et de la foret, Pavillon Abitibi-Price, 2405 rue de la Terrasse, Université Laval, Québec, Québec, G1V 0A6, Canada E-mail:
  • Savard, Wildlife Research, Science and Technology, Québec Region, 1141 Route de l’Église, P.O. Box 10100, Québec, Québec, G1V 4H5, Canada E-mail:
  • Rompré, Centre d’étude de la foret, Département des sciences du bois et de la foret, Pavillon Abitibi-Price, 2405 rue de la Terrasse, Université Laval, Québec, Québec, G1V 0A6, Canada & Department of Biology and Health Sciences, 84 West South Street, Wilkes University, PA 18766, USA E-mail:
  • Bouchard, Ministère des Ressources naturelles et de la Faune, Direction de l’Environnement et de la Protection des Forets, 880 Chemin Ste-Foy, Quebec, Québec, G1S 4X4, Canada E-mail:
article id 123, category Research article
Staffan Jacobson, Folke Pettersson. (2010). An assessment of different fertilization regimes in three boreal coniferous stands. Silva Fennica vol. 44 no. 5 article id 123.
Keywords: Pinus sylvestris; boreal forests; Picea abies; biomass yield; carbon sequestration; fertilization regimes; foliar analysis
Abstract | View details | Full text in PDF | Author Info
In 1981–82 three field experiments were established with the aim of elucidating (i) the growth response of middle-aged coniferous stands at different fertilization intensities and, hence, the economic outcomes; and (ii) the need to add nutrients other than nitrogen (N). Nutrient additions were performed at intervals of two, four, six and eight years. The experiments were established on typical podzolized and N-limited mor-humus sites, two in Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) stands and one in a Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst.) stand, at three different locations in Sweden. The ages of the stands were 65–70 years at the time of establishment. Growth responses were calculated after a 22-year study period. The growth responses were significant in all treatments. The addition of nutrients other than N did not affect stem growth at any of the sites. The growth response tended to increase with decreasing application interval. The results also revealed that the efficiency of fertilization is reduced as the interval between fertilizations is shortened. Accordingly, the growth effect per kg of added N was negatively correlated to fertilization intensity. The least intensive fertilization regime (an eight-year interval) resulted in an average net increase in C sequestration of 35 kg per kg N added. The profitability, in terms of internal rate of return, the present net value at different interest rates and the cost of production, i.e. the cost to produce one extra m3 under the different N regimes, are presented and discussed.
  • Jacobson, Skogforsk, Uppsala Science Park, SE-75183 Uppsala, Sweden E-mail: (email)
  • Pettersson, Skogforsk, Uppsala Science Park, SE-75183 Uppsala, Sweden E-mail:
article id 339, category Research article
John W. McCarthy, Gordon Weetman. (2006). Age and size structure of gap-dynamic, old-growth boreal forest stands in Newfoundland. Silva Fennica vol. 40 no. 2 article id 339.
Keywords: boreal forests; old-growth forests; gap dynamics; age and size structure; rotated sigmoid; Newfoundland
Abstract | View details | Full text in PDF | Author Info
The age and size structure of trees in old Abies-Picea-Betula forests on Newfoundland’s Great Northern Peninsula were examined. It was hypothesized that the size and age structure of both the tree and regeneration “strata” of these stands display the complex structural heterogeneity characteristic of classic, self-regenerating, uneven-aged old-growth stands, and that the development and dynamics of such structures occur over long periods of time. With all tree species combined, dbh (diameter at breast height) and height distributions exhibited a strong reverse-J character, with well-defined, semi-logarithmic rotated sigmoid height and size frequencies. Seedling height and basal diameter frequency distributions were reverse-J in character. Live tree ages for all species, except white birch (Betula papyrifera Marsh), ranged from 25 to 269 years, and were characterized by all-age frequency distributions. Tree age and size were poorly correlated. On average, balsam fir (Abies balsamea (L.) Mill.) required 62 years to reach breast height (1.3 m), with black spruce (Picea mariana (Mill.) B.S.P.) and white spruce (Picea glauca (Moench) Voss) requiring 40 and 48 years, respectively. Total age of dead standing trees ranged from 45 to 232 years. Reverse-J age frequencies characterized the seedling bank, with balsam fir seedlings present in nearly all age classes up to 110, 120 and 85 years in three sample stands. Seedling size (height and basal diameter)-age relationships were characteristic of decades-long suppression. The combination of tree and seedling bank size and age structure provide strong evidence of quasi-equilibrium, small-scale, gap dynamic old-growth boreal forest stands.
  • McCarthy, University of British Columbia, Forest Sciences Department, 2424 Main Mall, Vancouver, B.C., Canada V6T 1Z4 E-mail: (email)
  • Weetman, University of British Columbia, Forest Sciences Department, 2424 Main Mall, Vancouver, B.C., Canada V6T 1Z4 E-mail:
article id 508, category Research article
Kai Vellak, Jaanus Paal, Jaan Liira. (2003). Diversity and distribution pattern of bryophytes and vascular plants in a boreal spruce forest. Silva Fennica vol. 37 no. 1 article id 508.
Keywords: boreal forests; correlation; general linear models; Estonia; field layer; ground layer; spatial patterns
Abstract | View details | Full text in PDF | Author Info
Small scale pattern of bryophyte communities is one of the remarkable sources of diversity in species-poor boreal forests. By means of correlation and general linear model approaches, the relationships between bryophyte vegetation and upper layers, as well as the response of ground and field layer species to several environmental factors, was analyzed in a boreal spruce forest in South-East Estonia. Of the studied factors, the strongest influence on the diversity and spatial distribution of ground and field layer species was found for ‘distance from nearest tree’. Species from different layers react differently to the proximity of trees. Species richness of bryophytes is higher further from trees, whereas more vascular plant species prefer to grow in the vicinity of tree trunks. For bryophyte species richness, the pH of the decay horizon is also important; fewer bryophyte species occur in more acid conditions.
  • Vellak, Institute of Zoology and Botany, Estonian Agricultural University, 181 Riia str., 51014 Tartu, Estonia; Institute of Botany and Ecology, University of Tartu, 40 Lai Str., 51005 Tartu, Estonia E-mail: (email)
  • Paal, Institute of Botany and Ecology, University of Tartu, 40 Lai Str., 51005 Tartu, Estonia E-mail:
  • Liira, Institute of Botany and Ecology, University of Tartu, 40 Lai Str., 51005 Tartu, Estonia E-mail:

Category : Review article

article id 411, category Review article
Arthur Groot, Sylvie Gauthier, Yves Bergeron. (2004). Stand dynamics modelling approaches for multicohort management of eastern Canadian boreal forests. Silva Fennica vol. 38 no. 4 article id 411.
Keywords: boreal forests; Canada; dynamic models; multi-cohort forest management
Abstract | View details | Full text in PDF | Author Info
The objective of this paper is to discuss approaches and issues related to modelling stand dynamics for multi-cohort forest management in eastern Canadian boreal forests. In these forests, the interval between wildfires can be rather long, and the development of natural forest stands may include the establishment, growth and mortality of several cohorts of trees. Later cohorts are characterised by increasing structural complexity, including spatial heterogeneity and irregular tree size distribution. A multi-cohort forest management framework has been proposed to maintain this complexity, and associated biodiversity, on the landscape. Multi-cohort forest management planning requires forecasts of the development of stands with complex structure in response to silvicultural treatment and to natural disturbance, but current stand dynamics models in the region are applicable mainly to even-aged mono-specific stands. Possible modelling approaches for complex stands include i) the adaptation of current whole-stand growth and yield models, ii) distance-independent, empirically-derived individual-tree models, such as the USDA Forest Service Forest Vegetation Simulator, and iii) distance-dependent, empirically-derived or process-oriented individual-tree models. We conclude that individual-tree models are needed because observational data for fitting whole-stand models are not available for the full array of silvicultural treatments and natural disturbances encompassed by multi-cohort forest management. Predictive accuracy is a concern with individual-tree models, and the incorporation of coarse-scale constraints into these models is a promising means to control error.
  • Groot, Great Lakes Forestry Centre, Canadian Forest Service, 1219 Queen St. E., Sault Ste. Marie, ON, P6A 2E5, Canada E-mail: (email)
  • Gauthier, Laurentian Forestry Centre, Canadian Forest Service, 1055 du P.E.P.S., P.O. Box 3800, Sainte-Foy, QC, G1V 4C7, Canada E-mail:
  • Bergeron, University of Quebec at Abitibi-Temiscamingue, 445 Boul de l’Université, Rouyn-Noranda, QC, J9X 5E4, Canada E-mail:
article id 551, category Review article
Anders Dahlberg. (2002). Effects of fire on ectomycorrhizal fungi in Fennoscandian boreal forests. Silva Fennica vol. 36 no. 1 article id 551.
Keywords: boreal forests; ectomycorrhizal fungi; fire; population; community
Abstract | View details | Full text in PDF | Author Info
Fire, the primary natural disturbance factor in Fennoscandian boreal forests, is considered to have exerted major selection pressure on most boreal forest organisms. However, recent studies show that few ectomycorrhizal (EM) fungi appear to have evolved post-fire adaptations, no succession of EM fungi following fire is apparent after low intensity fires, and only two EM fungal taxa exclusively fruit at post-fire conditions. In this paper I review the present knowledge of effects of forest fire on EM fungal communities in Fennscandian boreal forests, put into perspective by a comparison from other parts of the world. Characteristically, these boreal forests consist of less than a handful of tree species, e.g. Scots pine and Norway spruce, while the below ground communities of EM fungi is impressively species rich with presently more than 700 known taxa. Commonly, forest fires in Fennoscandia have been of low intensity, with a considerable portion of the trees surviving and the organic humus layer partly escaping combustion. Hence, EM fungi appear to largely have evolved under conditions characterised by a more or less continuous presence of their hosts. In fact, the composition of EM fungi within a forest appear be more variable due to spatial variation than due to wildfire. However, in areas with high intensity burns and high tree mortality, most EM fungi may locally be killed. Thus, the legacy of EM fungi following wildfire depends on the survival of trees, which determine the potential for mycorrhizal growth, and the combustion and heating of the organic soil, which directly correlate to mortality of mycorrhizas. The questions if and to what degree fires may be of significance for yet unidentified spatiotemporal dynamics of EM fungal populations and communities are discussed. Recent experiments indicate a few EM fungi are favoured by high intensity burn conditions whereas others disappear. The consequences of wildfires in temperate conifer forests differ considerably from those in boreal forests. Wildfires in temperate conifer forests are typically high intensity stand-replacing fires that cause a total combustion of organic layers. Subsequently, pre-fire EM fungal communities are largely eradicated and a succession of post-fire EM fungi is initiated.
  • Dahlberg, Department of Forest Mycology and Pathology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, P.O. Box 7026, SE-750 07 Uppsala, Sweden E-mail: (email)
article id 549, category Review article
Andrei Gromtsev. (2002). Natural disturbance dynamics in the boreal forests of European Russia: a review. Silva Fennica vol. 36 no. 1 article id 549.
Keywords: boreal forests; disturbance dynamics; European Russia; fires; windthrow
Abstract | View details | Full text in PDF | Author Info
In the European part of the Russian boreal zone the dynamics of pristine forests (taiga) has been studied by several generations of researchers. Many studies have examined the patterns and role of fire, windthrow, insect outbreaks and other natural disturbances. An attempt is made to provide a brief review of these studies. The reviewed studies show that lightning strikes were the only natural source of fires in taiga. The frequency of fires varied in various types of pristine landscape from 1–2 per century to 1–2 per millennium. Fires maintained a dynamic equilibrium between compositionally different forest communities or their certain ratio and areal occurrence. Fires favored the regeneration and recovery of pine forests and prevented the replacement of shade-intolerant species (e.g. pine) by shade-tolerant ones (e.g. spruce). Taiga forests generally displayed a mosaic pattern that varied from pioneer plant communities, growing in open burns, to climax communities that were extremely seldom affected by fire. The reviewed studies suggest that fires were a powerful ecological factor in pristine taiga, being largely responsible for the structure and spontaneous dynamics of forest communities. Windfalls were also common in pristine taiga landscapes and they regulated spontaneous dynamics in a gap-mosaic regime, which is most characteristic of spruce forests.
  • Gromtsev, Forest Research Institute, Karelian Research Centre of the Russian Academy of Sciences, P.O. Box 185610, Petrozavodsk, Pushkin st. 11, Russia E-mail: (email)

Category : Research note

article id 9899, category Research note
Linda Robalte, Diāna Jansone, Didzis Elferts, Roberts Matisons, Āris Jansons. (2018). Bilberry ramet dimensions in relation to stand age in oligotrophic conditions in Latvia. Silva Fennica vol. 52 no. 1 article id 9899.
Keywords: structural diversity; Vaccinium myrtillus; dwarf shrubs; projective cover; hemiboreal forests
Highlights: Bilberry ramet dimensions (age, diameter, height) and their structural diversity, as well as cover, increased with stand age; Active rejuvenation of ramets was observed in younger stands; The oldest bilberry ramets (>10 years of age) occurred in stands older than 70 years.
Abstract | Full text in HTML | Full text in PDF | Author Info

Dwarf shrub layer is an important component of boreal and hemiboreal forest ecosystems that has received little attention, particularly regarding its structural diversity, which, however, could serve as an additional proxy for habitat quality. Dimensions of bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus L.) ramets were assessed in two sites in Latvia covered by dry oligotrophic Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) stands 10–230 years of age. In total, 20 sampling plots (10×10 m) with 156 subplots (1×1 m) were sampled and 630 bilberry ramets analysed. The dimensions of ramets (age, diameter, and height) and cover of bilberry increased with stand age. The age of the studied ramets ranged 2–13 years; 5–6 years-old ramets were most frequent in all stands. The skewness of the distribution of the ramet dimensions shifted with stand age, leaning towards the higher values. Lower structural diversity of ramets was observed in stands 50–100 years of age. The highest diversity of ramet age structure occurred in stands younger than 150 years, whereas the oldest and largest ramets mostly occurred in the older stands (>150 years). Considering structural diversity of ramets, recovery of bilberry after stand-replacing disturbance (e.g. clearcut) was a continuous process, similarly to that observed in tree layer.

  • Robalte, Latvian State Forest Research Institute “Silava”, 111 Rigas Str., LV 2169, Salaspils, Latvia E-mail: (email)
  • Jansone, Latvian State Forest Research Institute “Silava”, 111 Rigas Str., LV 2169, Salaspils, Latvia; University of Latvia, Faculty of Biology, Jelgavas Str. 1, LV 1004, Riga, Latvia E-mail:
  • Elferts, Latvian State Forest Research Institute “Silava”, 111 Rigas Str., LV 2169, Salaspils, Latvia; University of Latvia, Faculty of Biology, Jelgavas Str. 1, LV 1004, Riga, Latvia E-mail:
  • Matisons, Latvian State Forest Research Institute “Silava”, 111 Rigas Str., LV 2169, Salaspils, Latvia E-mail:
  • Jansons, Latvian State Forest Research Institute “Silava”, 111 Rigas Str., LV 2169, Salaspils, Latvia E-mail:
article id 1321, category Research note
Sofia Bäcklund, Mari T. Jönsson, Joachim Strengbom, Göran Thor. (2015). Composition of functional groups of ground vegetation differ between planted stands of non-native Pinus contorta and native Pinus sylvestris and Picea abies in northern Sweden. Silva Fennica vol. 49 no. 2 article id 1321.
Keywords: boreal forests; bryophytes; managed forests; introduced species; exotics; lichens; vascular plants
Highlights: Differences in ground vegetation patterns can be linked to tree species, forest stand age and differences in canopy cover; Vascular plant cover was higher in stands of P. contorta than in stands of both native tree species; The overall differences and similarities between P. contorta and the two native conifers were not consistent over the different age classes.
Abstract | Full text in HTML | Full text in PDF | Author Info
Intensified forestry increases the interest in replacing native tree species with fast growing non-native species. However, consequences for native biodiversity and ecosystem functioning are poorly understood. We compared cover and composition of major functional groups of ground vegetation between planted stands of non-native Pinus contorta Dougl. var. latifolia Engelm. and native conifers Pinus sylvestris L. and Picea abies (L.) H. Karst. in northern boreal Sweden. We quantified the ground cover of lichens, bryophytes, vascular plants and ground without vegetation (bare ground) in 96 stands covering three different age classes (15, 30 and 85 years old). Our study revealed differences in ground vegetation patterns between non-native and native managed forests, and that these differences are linked to stand age and differences in canopy cover. Total vascular plant cover increased with increasing stand age for all tree species, with P. contorta stands having higher cover than both native conifers. The ground cover of lichens was, although generally low, highest in stands of Pinus sylvestris. P. abies stands had a lower cover of vascular plants, but bare ground was more common compared with P. contorta. Our results suggest that the use of P. contorta as an alternative tree species in Fennoscandian forestry will influence native ground vegetation patterns. This influence is likely to change with time and future research should consider both temporal and landscape-scale effects from shifting tree-species dominance to Pinus contorta and other non-native tree species.
  • Bäcklund, Department of Ecology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, P.O. Box 7044, SE-750 07 Uppsala, Sweden E-mail: (email)
  • Jönsson,  The Swedish Species Information Centre, P.O. Box 7007, SE-750 07 Uppsala, Sweden E-mail:
  • Strengbom, Department of Ecology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, P.O. Box 7044, SE-750 07 Uppsala, Sweden E-mail:
  • Thor, Department of Ecology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, P.O. Box 7044, SE-750 07 Uppsala, Sweden E-mail:

Category : Commentary

article id 547, category Commentary
Timo Kuuluvainen. (2002). Introduction. Disturbance dynamics in boreal forests: defining the ecological basis of restoration and management of biodiversity. Silva Fennica vol. 36 no. 1 article id 547.
Keywords: boreal forests; management; biodiversity; disturbance dynamics; restoration; ecology
View details | Full text in PDF | Author Info
  • Kuuluvainen, Department of Forest Ecology, P.O. Box 27, FIN-00014 University of Helsinki, Finland E-mail: (email)

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