Current issue: 56(4)
Under compilation: 57(1)
Within the European Community snow damage affects an estimated 4 million m3 of timber every year, causing significant economic losses to forest owners. In Northern Europe, for example, the occurrence of snow damage has increased over the last few decades mainly due to the increase in total growing stock. The most common form of damage is stem breakage, but trees can also be bent or uprooted. Trees suffering snow damage are also more prone to consequential damage through insect or fungal attacks.
Snow accumulation on trees is strongly dependent upon weather and climatological conditions. Temperature influences the moisture content of snow and therefore the degree to which it can accumulate on branches. Wind can cause snow to be shed, but can also lead to large accumulations of wet snow, rime or freezing rain. Wet snow is most likely in late autumn or early spring. Geographic location and topography influence the occurrence of damaging forms of snow, and coastal locations and moderate to high elevations experience large accumulations. Slope plays a less important role and the evidence on the role of aspect is contradictory. The occurrence of damaging events can vary from every winter to once every 10 years or so depending upon regional climatology. In the future, assuming global warming in northern latitudes, the risk of snow damage could increase, because the relative occurrence of snowfall near temperatures of zero could increase.
The severity of snow damage is related to tree characteristics. Stem taper and crown characteristics are the most important factors controlling the stability of trees. Slightly tapering stems, asymmetric crowns, and rigid horizontal branching are all associated with high risk. However, the evidence on species differences is less clear due to the interaction with location. Management of forests can alter risk through choice of regeneration, tending, thinning and rotation. However, quantification and comparison of the absolute effect of these measures is not yet possible. An integrated risk model is required to allow the various locational and silvicultural factors to be assessed. Plans are presented to construct such a model, and gaps in knowledge are highlighted.
The influence of different fertilization treatments and ditch spacings on the height growth of young Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) seedling stands growing under various climatic regimes were determined. Comparisons were made between naturally regenerated and planted seedling stands. The effective temperature sum had a stronger effect on the height growth of planted seedlings, and in Northern Finland the planted seedlings seemed to be influenced to a greater degree by the adverse climatic conditions. The heavier the dose of fertilizer that had been applied, the greater the difference in growth caused by macroclimate. A considerably larger proportion of natural seedlings were located on hummocks compared with that of planted seedlings, irrespective of the region. On plots with wider ditch spacings, seedlings growing on hummocks were superior in height growth to those on flat surfaces.
The PDF includes an abstract in Finnish.
The text is a presentation given on the occasion of the yearly meeting of the Finnish Academy of Science and Letters on April 10th 1922. It presents the development of the plant topographic research in Finland with the most influential research and authors and their principal work.The retrospect covers the publications between 1673 and 1917
The article presents definitions for central concepts that are commonly used in the research of plant topography. The discipline has close connections to defining and classifying forest types.
The concepts defined involve concrete and abstract concepts linked to vegetation conditions and to habitat.
There is evidence that moose are attracted to fertile growth habitats apparently due to better quality and larger quantities of food. The nutrients in mineral soils originate from the weathering of bedrock and the composition of parental bedrock affects the fertility of produced mineral soil, thus affecting also the import of nutrients into the whole food web. We surveyed the connection between moose damage in forest plantations and the composition of bedrock and surficial deposits in Finnish Lapland. We used a database of compensated moose damage in private forests in years 1997−2010. Undamaged stands in National Forest Inventories (NFI) from years 1986–2008 served as a control data and moose-damaged NFI-stands as a reference data. Bedrock and surficial depositions and the location of studied stands in relation to ancient shorelines were explored by using the digital databases of the Geological Survey of Finland. Moose-damaged stands were concentrated in southwestern and east Lapland in the areas of the Peräpohja Schist Belt and Lapland’s Greenstone Belt that are both composed of nutrient-rich rocks. The bedrock of damaged stands contained a higher proportion of mafic and alkaline rocks than did the control stands. Moose-damaged stands were pine-dominated and grew in more fertile forest sites than did control stands. Part of pine stands probably located in soils formerly occupied by spruce, which may increase the stands’ vulnerability to biotic threats. Especially, there were relatively more moose damage in pine plantations regenerated on fine-grained mineral soils derived from nutrient rich rocks than in less fertile soils.
Topographic complexity in mountainous ecosystems strongly influences plant growth and as such also wood formation. This wood formation can possibly be used to understand topographic variation of the main climatic drivers, e.g. by modulating frost events. Here we test the influence of different slope exposures on the spatio-temporal distribution of frost rings in Siberian spruce (Picea obovata Ledeb.) in the Southern Urals, Russia. We sampled on two opposite slopes, northeast (NE) and southwest (SW), on three elevation levels from the highest single trees to closed canopy forest and analysed frost ring occurrence and their seasonal timing. Frost ring formation at all exposure-elevation combinations was common and mainly concentrated in the early part of the growing season. The age until trees record frost rings was equally similar (until about 35 years) on both slopes and different elevational levels with the exception of the climatically harshest site, the highest elevation on the NE slope. While we could not deduce a direct, easily identifiable climatic driver for the formation of frost rings, our analysis shows high potential to disentangle the complex interplay between climate, site condition and tree growth in mountainous ecosystems.