Current issue: 56(4)
Time studies and an ergonomic assessment were carried out in logging operations for three logging machines based on backhoe loader chassis. The time studies were completed with a follow-up study of one backhoe loader-based single-grip harvester. The studies indicated a productivity at the same level as that of specialized Nordic logging machines. Ergonomics also proved to be good. Mean ground pressure exerted by the backhoe loader-based logging machines was little higher than for some of the conventional Nordic single-grip harvesters to which it was compared. The ability of the machines to operate in the terrain was also good, even in rough terrain.
These machines can also be used for other jobs, such as ditch digging, road building and road maintenance. The machines then function more as carriers for attachments rather than custom-built backhoe loaders. By more careful planning of operations, the machines can be used to a higher degree and more effectively. The relatively low investment cost compared to many custom-built Nordic logging machines also contributes to a reduction of operating costs.
The use of random parameter models in forestry has been proposed as one method of incorporating different levels of information into prediction equations. By explicitly considering the variance-covariance structure of observations and considering some model parameters as random rather than fixed, one can incorporate more complex error structures in analysing data.
Competition indices and variance component techniques were applied to 92 Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) -dominated permanent sample plots on drained peatlands in Northern Finland. By quantifying stand, plot, and tree level variation, it was possible to identify the level (stand, plot or tree) at which the explanatory variables contributed to the model. The replication of plots within stands revealed little variation among plots within a single stand but significant variation occurred at stand and tree levels. Positive and negative effects of inter-tree competition are identified by examining simple correlation statistics and the random parameter model.
Comparisons were made between artificially and naturally regenerated stands in the south-eastern part of North Karelia, Finland, and naturally regenerated stands in the western parts of the Republic of Karelia, Russian Federation. The effect of soil fertility and silvicultural operations on the stand structure was also investigated.
The results of the study show clearly that when forests are artificially regenerated the stand structure includes less variation when compared with the stands naturally regenerated. Differences between the regeneration methods are clearer the more fertile the forest site is. Within the regeneration method there is also a clear trend in stand structure, with the variation decreasing the poorer the site. The effect of silvicultural operations, i.e. the cleaning of the sapling stand, has disappeared by the time of first thinning, although it appears to have a permanent effect on the dynamics of the tree species within a stand.
The variation of the stand structure can be regarded as an essential factor for the potential biodiversity of the stand also at its young vegetation succession stage. This capacity for maintaining the forest biodiversity, developed at the young vegetation succession stage, becomes increasingly important in subsequent vegetation succession stages. Natural regeneration provides improved possibilities for the operations preserving forest biodiversity, as it generates more dense stands with a wider variation in stand structure, compared to artificial regeneration.
Spatial variation in the density of soil organic carbon (kg/m2) and the thickness of soil horizons (F/H, E) were investigated in a 6 m x 8 m area in Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) stand in Southern Finland for designing an effective sampling for the C density and studying the effect of trees on the variation. The horizon thickness of the podzolized soil were measured on a total of 126 soil cores (50 cm deep) and the C density of the organic F/H and 0–10 cm, 10–20 cm and 20–40 cm mineral soil layers was analysed.
The C density varied 3–5 fold within the layers and the coefficients of variation ranged from 22 % to 40%. Considering the gain in confidence per sample, 8–10 samples were suggested for estimating the mean C density in the F/H and 0–40 cm layers, although about 30 samples are needed for 10% confidence in the mean. The C densities and horizon thicknesses were spatially dependent within the distances of 1–8 m, the spatial dependence accounting for 43–86% of the total variance. The F/H layer was thicker and contained more C within 1–3 m radius from trees. In the 10–20 cm and 20–40 cm layers (B horizon) the C density also increased towards the trees, but more pronouncedly in the immediate vicinity of the stems. Because the spatial patterning of the E horizon thickness was similar, the increase was attributed to stemflow and precipitation of organic compounds in the podzol B horizon.
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.
In this study, logistic regression and neural networks were used to predict non-industrial private forests (NIPF) landowners’ choice of forest taxation basis. The main frame of reference of the study was the Finnish capital taxation reform of 1993. As a consequence of the reform, landowners were required to choose whether to be taxed according to site-productivity or realized-income during the coming transition period of thirteen years.
The most important factor affecting the landowners’ choice of taxation basis was the harvest rate during the transition period, i.e. the chosen timber management strategy. Furthermore, the estimated personal marginal tax rate and the intention to cut timber during next three years affected the choice. The descriptive landowner variables did not have any marked effect on the choice of forest taxation basis.
On average, logistic regression predicted 71% of the choices correctly; the corresponding figure for neural networks was 63%. In both methods, the choice of site-productivity taxation was predicted more accurately than the choice of realized-income taxation. An increase in the number of model variable did not significantly improve the results of neural networks and logistic regression.
A calculation procedure is presented for calculating and analysing remeasured permanent sample plots. Data for eight different fixed and variable size plot types were simulated on the basis of two stands whose trees were mapped and measured in 1982 and 1986. The accuracy and efficiency of the plot types were assessed and compared.
The calculation procedure is based on tree-wise expansion factors and the division of tree sampled into state/measurement classes. Nine classes were required for variable size plots and six for fixed size plots. A relascope plot with basal-area factor 1 (m2/ha) proved to be most efficient for estimating basal-area at a given time and a fixed size circular plot with radius 10 m for estimating basal-area increment over a given time period.
The main problems were related to the estimation of non-measurable variables, e.g., the initial diameters of ingrowth trees, i.e., trees having passed the threshold size during the measurement period. Most problematic were cut trees belonging to the ingrowth or sample enlargement classes. It is nevertheless thought that the system is appropriate for monitoring forest changes and making sensitivity analyses with permanent sample plots.
Semiparametric models, ordinary regression models and mixed models were compared for modelling stem volume in National Forest Inventory data. MSE was lowest for the mixed model. Examination of spatial distribution of residuals showed that spatial correlation of residuals is lower for semiparametric and mixed models than for parametric models with fixed regressors. Mixed models and semiparametric models can both be used for describing the effect of geographic location on stem form.
Fill planting is a common procedure following reforestation in Finland. In 1990, 13% of the total of seedlings planted was used for fill planting. The objective of this study is (i) to survey the survival of fill-in seedlings and (ii) to estimate the spatial pattern of stands to evaluate the importance of fill-in seedlings in constituting the stocking of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) stands in Central and Northern Finland.
A survey of 63 artificially regenerated Scots pine stands was conducted in 1990. Stand densities varied from 950 to 3,925 seedlings/ha. The mean densities of originally planted, fill planted and naturally regenerated seedlings were 863, 639 and 791/ha, respectively. The survival of originally planted seedlings was 36% and that of fill-in seedlings 48%. Death rate of fill-in seedlings of Scots pine increased with longer times between original and fill planting. The survival rate of Norway spruce (Picea abies) seedlings was correlated with temperature sum. Height of the fill-in seedlings was less than that of the originally planted ones. Most stands had an even spatial distribution with the exception of sparsely populated stands, which were somewhat clustered. This indicates that dying of seedlings is not randomly spread. Because of poor survival, fill planting seems to be a risky business in most cases.
The biomass production and nutrient uptake of silver birch (Betula pendula Roth), downy birch (Betula pubescens Erhr.), grey alder (Alnus incana (L.) Moench), native willows Salix triandra L. and S. phylicifolia L. and exotic willows S. x dasyclados and S. ’Aquatica’ growing on a clay mineral soil field (Sukeva) and on two cut-away peatland areas (Piipsanneva, Valkeasuo) were investigated.
Biomass production of downy birch was greater than that of silver birch, and the biomass production of the native willows greater than that of the exotic ones. The performance of S. phylicifolia was the best of the studied willow species. Exotic willows were susceptible to frost damage and their winter hardiness was poor. The production of all species was lower on the clay mineral soil field than on the cut-away peatland areas. Fertilization of birches and alder – on the double dose given to the willows – increased biomass production. After 6 growing seasons the leafless biomass production of fertilized silver birch at Piipsanneca was 21 t ha-1 (at Valkeasuo 34 t ha-1) and of grey alder 24 t ha-1, and that of S. triandra after five growing seasons 31 t ha-1, S. phylicifolia 38 t ha-1 and of S. x dasyclados 16 t ha-1.
6-year-old stands of silver birch bound more nutrients per unit biomass than downy birch stands. Grey alder bound more N, Ca and Co but less Mn and Zn per unit biomass than silver and downy birch. On the field more P was bound in grey alder per unit biomass compared to downy birch. The willows had more K per unit biomass than the other tree species, and the exotic willow species more N than the native ones. Less N, K and Mg were bound per unit biomass of S. phylicifolia compared to the other tree species.
The effects of repeated fertilizer treatment on biomass production and nutrient status of willow (Salix ’Aquatica’) plantations established on two cut-away peatland areas in western Finland were studied over a rotation period of three years. Comparisons were made between single fertilizer applications and repeated annual fertilization.
The annually repeated fertilizer application increased the amounts of acid ammonium acetate extractable phosphorus and potassium in the soil as well as the concentrations of foliar nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium compared to single application. Depending on the fertilizer treatment and application rate, annual fertilizer application resulted in over two times higher biomass production when compared to single fertilizer application over a three-year rotation period. The effect of phosphorus fertilizer application lasted longer than that of nitrogen. The optimum fertilization regime for biomass production requires that nitrogen fertilizer should be applied annually, but the effect of phosphorus can last at least over a rotation of three years. Potassium fertilizer treatment did not increase the yield in any of the experiments during the first three years. The leafless, above-ground yield of three-year-old, annually NP-fertilized willow plantations was 9.5 t ha-1 and the total biomass, including stems, leaves, roots and the stump, averaged 17 t ha-1.
A multi-factor experimental approach and proportional odds model were used to study interactions between five environmental factors significant to Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) H. Karst.) seed germination: prechilling (at +4.5°C), suboptimal temperatures (+12 and +16°C), osmotically induced water stress (0.3 Mpa and 0 Mpa), prolonged white light, and short-period of far-red light. Temperature and osmotic stress interacted with one another in the germination of seeds; the effect off osmotic stress being stronger at +16°C than at +12°C. In natural conditions, this interaction may prevent germination early in the summer when soil dries and temperature increases. Prolonged white light prevented germination at low temperature and low osmotic potential. Inhibitory effect was less at higher temperatures and higher osmotic potential, as well as after prechilling. Short-period far-red light did not prevent germination of unchilled seeds in darkness. Prechilling tended to make seeds sensitive to short pulses of far-red light, an effect which depended on temperature: at +12°C the effect on germination was promotive, but at +16°C, inhibitory and partly reversible by white light. It seems that Norway spruce seeds may have adapted to germinate in canopy shade light rich in far-red. The seeds may also have evolved mechanisms to inhibit germination in prolonged light.
The first aim of this study was to develop a simulation model describing the flow of different timber qualities to different firms. The second aim was to study preliminary the factors which affect timber distributions. In addition, we tested the hypothesis that in a small sawmill firm the traditional way of organizing timber procurement does not direct effectively good quality logs to the special production. The game theoretic approaching and the principles of Monte-Carlo simulation were applied in development of the simulation model. The most important factors of the model were tried to find for further studies with sensitive analysis. Empirical validation brought forth promising results in the area of one municipality. The buyer’s awareness of a marked stand, the seller’s willingness to sell a marked stand, the buyer’s ability to pay for wood and the proportion of first quality pine logs in a marked stand affected the distribution of pine logs. The results also supported the hypothesis that the traditional system, in which sawmills or their own forest departments procure themselves all timber needed, is not the most effective way to direct enough good quality timber to the special production.
Much of forestry data is characterized by a longitudinal or repeated measures structure where multiple observations taken on some units of interest are correlated. Such dependencies are often ignored in favour of an apparently simpler analysis at the cost of invalid inferences. The last decade has brought to light many new statistical techniques that enable one to successfully deal with dependent observations. Although apparently distinct at first, the theory of Estimating Functions provides a natural extension of classical estimation that encompasses many of these new approaches. This contribution introduces Estimating Function Theory as a principle with potential for unification and presents examples covering a variety of modelling issues to demonstrate its applicability.
The following treatments were compared in three Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) reforestation areas on a scarified moist mineral-soil site in southern Finland, planted with 1+1 bareroot stock in spring 1987: (a) no weed control treatment; (b) mulching with a fibre slurry produced by mixing wastepaper with water and applied 1 cm deep to an area of 60 cm in diameter around the seedling soon after planting; (c) glyphosate (at 2 kg ha-1) sprayed on a 1 m2 spot around the seedling in early August 1987; (d) terbuthylazine (at 10 kg ha-1) applied as (c). Monitoring of the trials over a 4-year period between 1987–90 showed that none of the treatments reduced surface vegetation to an extent that would have benefited pine. The percentage cover development of the vegetation, dominated by Agrostis capillaris, Calamagrostis arundinaceae, Deschampsia flexuosa, Festuca ovina, Epilobioum angustifolium and Pteridium aquillinum, followed much the same pattern in all treatments, with (c) slightly favouring forbs. Survival of pine at the end of the study period was about 90%, with non-significant differences between treatments. Mulching and terbuthylazine treatment slightly reduced seedling height growth in the second year. Growth was better in glyphosate treatment than in terbuthylazine treatment in the lowest (<30%) and the highest (>60%) pre-treatment weed cover classes, and in the latter also better than in untreated control. Mulching gave variable results; at its best it provided also good control of weeds for several years, without, however, improving the initial development of pine in these trials.
The effects of fertilized treatment on the soil nutrient concentrations, biomass production and nutrient consumption of Salix x dasyclados and Salix ’Aquatica’ were studied in five experiments on three cut-away peatland sites in western and eastern Finland during three years. Factorial experiments with all combinations of N (100 kg ha-1 a-1), P (30 kg ha-1 a-1) and K (80 kg ha-1 a-1) were conducted.
The application of P and K fertilizers increased the concentrations of corresponding extractable nutrients in the soil as well as in willow foliage. N-fertilization increased foliar nitrogen concentration. An increase in age usually led to decreases in bark and wood N, P and K concentrations and increases in bark Ca concentrations. N-fertilization increased the three-year biomass yield 1.5–2.7 times when compared to control plots. P-fertilization increased the yield only in those experimental fields whose substrates had the lowest phosphorus concentration. K-fertilization did not increase the yield in any of the experimental fields. The highest total biomass yield of NPK-fertilized willow after three growing seasons, 23 t ha-1, was distributed in the following way: wood 42%, bark 19%, foliage 17%, stumps 6% and roots 16%. As the yield and stand age increased, more biomass was allocated in above-ground wood. Three-year-old stands (above-ground biomass 18 t ha-1) contained as much as 196 kg N ha-1, 26 kg P ha-1, 101 kg K ha-1, 74 kg Ca ha-1 and 37 kg Mg ha -1. By far the highest proportion of nutrients accumulated in the foliage. The bark and wood contained relatively high proportions of calcium and phosphorus. With an increase in age and size, the amount of nitrogen and potassium bound in one dry-mass ton of willow biomass decreased while that of phosphorus remained unchanged.
Tree height data from 33 progeny trials of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) were used to determine the effect of within-plot subsampling on the magnitude of statistically detectable differences between families, family heritability and correlation of family means based on different sample sizes. The results indicated that in trials established with a standard plot configuration of 25 trees per plot, measuring only 10–15 trees gives nearly the same precision as with assessment of all the plot trees. Even as few as 4–6 trees assessed per plot may constitute a sufficient sample if families or parental trees of extreme performance are being selected. Trials established with non-contiguous plots were found to be more efficient than those established using multiple-tree contiguous plots.
Growth, crown structure, flowering and seed production of silver birch (Betula pendula Roth) seedlings, grafts and micropropagated plants was compared during four years in a polythene greenhouse experiment. The growth of the seedlings was clearly the most vigorous and that of the grafts the weakest, the micropropagated plants being intermediate. The seedlings had the highest and the grafts the lowest number of branches before cutting the tops of the plants, but the differences between the material types were no more significant after cutting the tops. The grafts had significantly shorter and thinner branches than the seedlings and the micropropagated plants, whereas the differences in branch length and branch thickness between the latter two groups were not significant. The grafts started flowering at the age of two years, one year earlier than the other two types of material. At the age of four years the micropropagated plants had abundant seed production, about 75% of that of the seedlings and about two times higher than that of the grafts. Thus, the micropropagated plants can be used instead of grafts when establishing polythene greenhouse seed orchards of birch.