Current issue: 56(4)
In Finland the increasing use of biofuel in transport presupposes a search for new raw material sources for biorefining. The aim of this study was, at the regional level, to compare the procurement costs of logging residues, stumps, delimbed stems and cereal straw for biorefining. The accumulation and procurement costs of forest chips and cereal straw were estimated within a 100-kilometre transporting distance via existing road network from an end-use-facility located in Kouvola in South-East Finland. The analyses were performed as simulated treatments in thinnings of young stands, cereal fields and regeneration fellings using existing productivity and cost functions and yield calculations based on crop statistics, the forest industry stand data and the sample plots data of the National Forest Inventory of Finland. Accumulation of raw material assortments and costs of production stages were defined per dry tonnes. Subsidies and raw material prices were excluded from consideration in the study. The results indicate that recovering logging residues requires lower costs than utilization of stumps, delimbed stems or cereal straw. Cereal straw represents an important source of biomass in Kouvola but the cost competiveness is poor compared the procurement costs of forest chips. When the annual procurement volume of biomass was 50 000 dry tonnes the cost at the plant was 49 € dry tonne –1 and biomass was comprised totally of logging residues. Procurement cost grew to 59 € dry tonne –1 when the annual procurement volume of biomass was doubled to 100 000 dry tonnes. Of that amount, the proportion of logging residues was 58.4%, stumps 24.3% and delimbed stems 17.3%. First cereal straw dry tonnes were delivered to end-use-facility, when procurement cost grew to 60 € dry tonne –1 and annual procurement volume of biomass was 110 000 dry tonnes.
Despite the numerous studies on year-to-year variation of tree growth, the physiological mechanisms controlling annual variation in growth are still not understood in detail. We studied the applicability of data-driven approach i.e. different regression models in analysing high-dimensional data set including continuous and comprehensive measurements over meteorology, ecosystem-scale water and carbon fluxes and the annual variation in the growth of app. 50-year-old Scots pine stand in southern Finland. Even though our dataset covered only 16 years, it is the most extensive collection of interactions between a Scots pine ecosystem and atmosphere. The analysis revealed that height growth was favoured by high water potential of the tree and carbon gain during the bud forming period and high water potential during the elongation period. Diameter growth seemed to be favoured by a winter with high precipitation and deep snow cover and a spring with high carbon gain. The obtained models had low generalization performance and they would require more evaluation and iterative validation to achieve credibility perhaps as a mixture of data-driven and first principle modeling approaches.
Timber production is an economically important provisioning ecosystem service in forests, but is often in conflict with the provision of other ecosystem services. In multifunctional forestry, the production of timber and non-timber ecosystem services should coexist in the same landscape. To this end, we explored the capacity of a boreal landscape to simultaneously produce collectable goods − bilberry (Vaccimium myrtillus L.), cowberry (Vaccinium vitis-idaea L.) and cep (Boletus edulis Bull.) − alongside timber revenues. We also identified optimal forest management plans to achieve this. Furthermore, we analyzed trade-offs between collectable good yields and timber production, as well as between their economic values. We ran forest growth simulations under seven alternative management regimes at a landscape level across 50-year planning horizons. Then, we used multi-objective optimization to explore trade-offs and identify optimal forest management plans. The results showed that the strongest trade-off was between bilberry and timber production, resulting in a large loss in timber revenues for a gain in bilberry production. However, the conflicts between other collectables and timber production were relatively small: it was possible to increase the provision of collectable goods 4–15% with small reductions (3−5%) from timber revenues. With careful forest planning, there is the potential to simultaneously produce high levels of collectable goods and timber revenues in the landscape.
We investigated the impact of natural enemies on the cocoon mortality of the common pine sawfly (Diprion pini L.) during a six-year period in eastern Finland. The enemies were classified into parasitoids (insect families Chalcidoidea, Ichneumonidae, and Tachinidae), and predators (birds, small mammals, and insect families Elateridae and Carabidae). The appearance of D. pini was estimated as the intensity of annual defoliation. The impact of stand characteristics on the performance of parasitoids and predators was also investigated. Influence of the natural enemy complex on cocoon mortality of D. pini was nearly stable, but defoliation intensity slowly declined towards the end of the study period. Annual cocoon mortality by natural enemies varied between 66% and 80%. Our results verified that the most significant mortality factors were ichneumonid parasitoids and small mammals. Random Forest classification indicated that stand characteristics, such as basal area, and coverage of lichen (Lichenes) and lingonberry (Vaccinium vitis-idaea L.) affected the performance of parasites and predators. We suggest that a combination of optimal stand characteristics, abiotic environmental factors and mild to moderate control by natural enemies acted as drivers, which drove the pine sawfly population to extended gradation. For future forest health management, detailed information on abiotic and biotic regulating factors, along with long-term monitoring campaigns for conifer sawflies are needed to adapt Fennoscandian forests to altered climatic and silvicultural conditions.
Extant populations growing in regions that were refugia during the last glacial period are expected to show higher genetic diversity than populations that moved from these refugia into new areas in higher latitudes. Such new populations likely faced harsher climatic conditions, being established with reduced population size and experiencing the effects of genetic bottlenecks. In this study we employed data from nuclear SSR markers for detecting molecular signatures of genetic bottlenecks, and germination experiments to evaluate reduction of populations’ fitness in natural populations of Luehea divaricata Mart. et Zucc., growing in the southern range of the species distribution (around 30°S latitude). Signatures of genetic bottlenecks and reduction of populations’ fitness were observed in all populations. Lower levels of observed heterozygosity are correlated with populations’ fitness, decreasing germination capacity and increasing the proportion of anomalous germinated plantlets. Promoting the connection among populations is proposed as a key strategy towards conservation of L. divaricata genetic resources in its southernmost distribution range. The offspring from crosses among populations would significantly increase the observed heterozygosity and fitness of multiple populations.
The amount of water in peat soil is one factor affecting its bearing capacity, which is a crucial aspect in planning peatland timber harvesting operations. We studied the influence of weather variables on the variation of drained peatland growing season water conditions, here the ground water table depth (WTD). WTD was manually monitored four times in 2014 and three times in 2015 in 10–30 sample plots located in four drained peatland forests in south-western Finland. For each peatland, precipitation and evapotranspiration were calculated from the records of the nearest Finnish Meteorological Institute field stations covering periods from one day to four weeks preceding the WTD monitoring date. A mixed linear model was constructed to investigate the impact of the weather parameters on WTD. Precipitation of the previous four–week period was the most important explanatory variable. The four-week evapotranspiration amount was interacting with the Julian day showing a greater effect in late summer. Other variables influencing WTD were stand volume within the three-metre radius sample plot and distance from nearest ditch. Our results show the potential of weather parameters, specifically that of the previous four-week precipitation and evapotranspiration, for predicting drained peatland water table depth variation and subsequently, the possibility to develop a more general empirical model to assist planning of harvesting operations on drained peatlands.
As part of a multi-year monitoring study of pollination dynamics in a second generation Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirb.) Franco) seed orchard, we estimated with the aid of eight microsatellite markers three important reproductive biology characteristics affecting the genetic worth and diversity of seed crops; namely parental reproductive success, pollen contamination, and selfing rate. The obtained results were compared to those from two previous years to gauge appropriate seed crop management practices and ultimately allow approximate generalization of seed crop genetic quality. We determined that 80% of parental gametes were produced by 52% of the parents, 13% of paternal gametes resulted from pollen contamination (i.e., gene flow), and 12% of the seed were the product of selfing. The obtained results were in line with those observed for 2005 and 2009 where 80% of gametes being produced by 37–48% of the parents, 10–18% pollen contamination, and 15–17% selfing rate. The observed reproductive biology parameters differences are attributable to the various crop management practices implemented (i.e., bloom delay and supplemental-mass-pollination) across years and calls for justification due to the observed minimal differences on seed crops genetic quality.
An understanding of the genetic variation of the beech, especially at the edge of its natural distribution, is essential because of the change in natural distribution of the species resulting from changing climatic conditions. The main aim of the study was to determine the level of genetic diversity of European beech at the north-eastern edge of its natural range. The other aim was to check the genetic variation of beech from the two centres, the north and the south of Poland, which were identified in previous findings based on pollen analyses and phenotypic traits. The research material was the progeny of twelve beech provenances. The genetic structure of the populations was determined by ten highly variable microsatellite DNA loci. The results confirmed the high genetic diversity of beech at the north-eastern edge of its natural distribution, which infers the probability of their good adaptation to the changing climate and an extension of the range. Genetic analyses confirmed the existence of two genetic centres for beech in Poland. The populations from south-eastern Poland had a slightly higher diversity than the populations from the north-western area, which may indicate that the colonisation of Poland occurred by two routes. The results are important for creating the borders of the provenance regions and for limiting the transfer of seeds and seedlings. The choice of forest reproductive material, based on the knowledge of genetic diversity, is very important for the stability of future forests.
Silver birch (Betula pendula Roth.) is one of the main pioneer tree species occupying large areas of abandoned agricultural lands under natural succession in Estonia. We estimated aboveground biomass (AGB) dynamics during 17 growing seasons, and analysed soil nitrogen (N) and carbon (C) dynamics for 10 year period in a silver birch stand growing on former arable land. Main N fluxes were estimated and nitrogen budget for 10-year-old stand was compiled. The leafless AGB and stem mass of the stand at the age of 17-years were 94 and 76 Mg ha–1 respectively. The current annual increment (CAI) of stemwood fluctuated, peaking at 10 Mg ha–1 yr–1 at the age of 15 years; the mean annual increment (MAI) fluctuated at around 4–5 Mg ha–1. The annual leaf mass of the stand stabilised at around 3 Mg ha–1 yr–1. The stand density decreased from 11600 to 2700 trees ha–1 in the 8- and 17-year-old stand, respectively. The largest fluxes in N budget were net nitrogen mineralization and gaseous N2-N emission. The estimated fluxes of N2O and N2 were 0.12 and 83 kg ha–1 yr–1, respectively; N leaching was negligible. Nitrogen retranslocation from senescing leaves was approximately 45 kg ha–1, N was mainly retranslocated into stembark. The N content in the upper 0–10 cm soil layer increased significantly (145 kg ha–1) from 2004 to 2014; soil C content remained stable. Both the woody biomass dynamics and the N cycling of the stand witness the potential for bioenergetics of such ecosystems.
Heuristic techniques have been increasingly used to address the complex forest planning problems over the last few decades. However, heuristics only can provide acceptable solutions to difficult problems, rather than guarantee that the optimal solution will be located. The strategies of neighborhood, hybrid and reversion search processes have been proved to be effective in improving the quality of heuristic results, as suggested recently in the literature. The overall aims of this paper were therefore to systematically evaluate the performances of these enhanced techniques when implemented with a simulated annealing algorithm. Five enhanced techniques were developed using different strategies for generating candidate solutions. These were then compared to the conventional search strategy that employed 1-opt moves (Strategy 1) alone. The five search strategies are classified into three categories: i) neighborhood search techniques that only used the change version of 2-opt moves (Strategy 2); ii) self-hybrid search techniques that oscillate between 1-opt moves and the change version of 2-opt moves (Strategy 3), or the exchange version of 2-opt moves (Strategy 4); iii) reversion search techniques that utilize 1-opt moves and the change version of 2-opt moves (Strategy 5) or the exchange version of 2-opt moves (Strategy 6). We found that the performances of all the enhanced search techniques of simulated annealing were systematic and often clear better than conventional search strategy, however the required computational time was significantly increased. For a minimization planning problem, Strategy 6 produced the lowest mean objective function values, which were less than 1% of the means developed using conventional search strategy. Although Strategy 6 performed very well, the other search strategies should not be neglected because they also have the potential to produce high-quality solutions.
At present, there are no means for reliably comparing the wood fiber contents of different material streams within the paper industry material chain with each other. The aim of this article is to introduce conversion factors that make it possible to quantify the volume of wood expressed in roundwood equivalent (RWE) values for different paper industry-related materials in the material chain. These conversion factors apply to wood pulp, paper, and recovered paper. European data are used in quantifying the paper industry material streams and calculating the RWE conversion factors. The introduced conversion factors can be used to estimate RWE volumes at a global scale. With assumption that paper recycling did not occur and that paper production volume remained unchanged, an additional volume of 666 million m3 RWEs would be required globally per annum to produce 167 million tons of virgin wood pulp to replace 222 million tons of recovered paper utilized by the paper industry in 2010. This volume is approximately the same as 1.6 times the total removal of wood in Europe (EU27), or the total annual removal of wood in the USA, Canada, and Brazil combined.
The availability of appropriate propagation techniques is a major constraint to the domestication of the forest trees widely used by rural communities; such as Garcinia kola (Heckel). This study tested the ability of root and stem cuttings to regenerate vegetatively when treated with indole-3-butyric acid (IBA), and set in non-mist poly-propagator within a shaded nursery. It found that G. kola is amenable to propagation by softwood stem cuttings. Attention was given to the effect of cutting age (softwood, semi hardwood) and IBA application with regard to the sprouting and rooting efficiency. Bud and leaf emergence time were also investigated, as was the coppicing ability of the stump. Results revealed that roots and branches from mature forest trees did not sprout under any culture conditions. The highest percentages of rooting (70–85%) were obtained with softwood cuttings set in non-mist poly-propagator, regardless of hormonal treatment. The mean numbers of buds (2.9 ± 0.4) and roots (2.6 ± 0.1) produced by softwood cuttings was significantly greater than those obtained in the Control. The best average emergence time of buds (25.1 days ± 9.3) and leaves (36.8days ± 8.4) was obtained with cuttings treated with IBA and set in non-mist poly-propagator against, 54.4 ± 12.5 and 72.6 ± 3.4 days respectively for the Control. In general, non-mist poly-propagator gave the best propagation results. When coppiced, the shoots emerging from stumps with one node were the most vigorous.
The aim of this study was to examine how well stem volume, above-ground biomass and dominant height can be predicted using nationwide airborne laser scanning (ALS) based regression models. The study material consisted of nine practical ALS inventory projects taken from different parts of Finland. We used field sample plots and airborne laser scanning data to create nationwide and regional models for each response variable. The final models had one or two ALS predictors, which were chosen based on the root mean square error (RMSE), and cross-validated. Finally, we tested how much predictions would improve if the nationwide models were calibrated with a small number of regional sample plots. Although forest structures differ among different parts of Finland, the nationwide volume and biomass models performed quite well (leave-inventory-area-out RMSE 22.3% to 33.8%, mean difference [MD] –13.8% to 18.7%) compared with regional models (leave-plot-out RMSE 20.2% to 26.8%). However, the nationwide dominant height model (RMSE 5.4% to 7.7%, MD –2.0% to 2.8%, with the exception of the Tornio region – RMSE 11.4%, MD –9.1%) performed nearly as well as the regional models (RMSE 5.2% to 6.7%). The results show that the nationwide volume and biomass models provided different means than real means at regional level, because forest structure and ALS device have a considerable effect on the predictions. Large MDs appeared especially in northern Finland. Local calibration decreased the MD and RMSE of volume and biomass models. However, the nationwide dominant height model did not benefit much from calibration.
Changes in the structure and development of managed Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) stands with respect to changing environmental conditions were set for the period 1979–2015. The study was conducted in conditions of natural pinewoods and pine-oak sites on five permanent research plots (0.25 ha) in Eastern Bohemia, Czech Republic (CR). Studied forest stands showed positive development of stand structural characteristics related to their diversity, number of regeneration individuals and growth characteristics. The standing volume of regularly distributed tree layer in 2015 was in the range of 320–434 m3 ha–1, which indicates an increase by 5.9–20.0% over 10 years. Correlation between pine radial increment and the amount of precipitation was generally the strongest one. Positive statistically significant correlation between diameter increment and temperature was demonstrated only for the average March temperature of the current year. Within the CR, study site can be characterised as a medium polluted area both for sulphur and nitrogen, despite this SO2 concentrations and N deposition in combination with extreme climate events caused severe defoliation in pine stands. Conversely, radial growth was positively significantly correlated with mean NOx concentrations. Drought mainly in combination with even medium environmental pollution can further worsen the health status of pine stands in lowland areas of Central Europe. Thus, formulation of silvicultural techniques able to mitigate the impact of these stress factors is needed.
We determined empirical models for estimating total aboveground as well as stem, branches, and foliage dry biomass of young (age up to 16 years) silver birch (Betula pendula Roth.) growing on the post-agricultural lands. Two sets of allometric models for trees with a height below or above 1.3 m (small and large trees respectively) were developed. Simplified models were elaborated based exclusively on appropriate tree diameter (diameter at ground level for small trees, diameter at breast height for large trees), while expanded models also included tree height. Total aboveground biomass was estimated as the sum of biomass of all tree components. To assure additivity of the developed equations, the seemingly unrelated regression approach for the final model fitting was used. Expanded models in both tree groups were characterized by a better fit to the data (R2 for total aboveground biomass for small and large trees equaled 0.8768 and 0.9752, respectively). Diameter at breast height appeared to be a better predictor than diameter at ground level – simplified models had better fit for large trees (R2 for total aboveground biomass equals 0.9611) than for small ones (R2 = 0.7516). The developed equations provide biomass predictions consistent with available Latvian, Estonian, Finnish, Swedish, and Norwegian models for silver birch.
Accurate timber assortment information is required before cuttings to optimize wood allocation and logging activities. Timber assortments can be derived from diameter-height distribution that is most often predicted from the stand characteristics provided by forest inventory. The aim of this study was to assess and compare the accuracy of three different pre-harvest inventory methods in predicting the structure of mainly Scots pine-dominated, clear-cut stands. The investigated methods were an area-based approach (ABA) based on airborne laser scanning data, the smartphone-based forest inventory Trestima app and the more conventional pre-harvest inventory method called EMO. The estimates of diameter-height distributions based on each method were compared to accurate tree taper data measured and registered by the harvester’s measurement systems during the final cut. According to our results, grid-level ABA and Trestima were generally the most accurate methods for predicting diameter-height distribution. ABA provides predictions for systematic 16 m × 16 m grids from which stand-wise characteristics are aggregated. In order to enable multimodal stand-wise distributions, distributions must be predicted for each grid cell and then aggregated for the stand level, instead of predicting a distribution from the aggregated stand-level characteristics. Trestima required a sufficient sample for reliable results. EMO provided accurate results for the dominating Scots pine but, it could not capture minor admixtures. ABA seemed rather trustworthy in predicting stand characteristics and diameter distribution of standing trees prior to harvesting. Therefore, if up-to-date ABA information is available, only limited benefits can be obtained from stand-specific inventory using Trestima or EMO in mature pine or spruce-dominated forests.
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.
In this study, we developed models of transfer effects for growth and survival of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) in Sweden and Finland using a general linear mixed-model approach. For model development, we used 378 provenance and progeny trials with a total of 276 unimproved genetic entries (provenances and stand seed check-lots) distributed over a wide variety of climatic conditions in both countries. In addition, we used 119 progeny trials with 3921 selected genetic entries (open- and control pollinated plus-tree families) for testing model performance. As explanatory variables, both climatic indices derived from high-resolution gridded climate datasets and geographical variables were used. For transfer, latitude (photoperiod) and, for describing the site, temperature sum were found to be main drivers for both survival and growth. In addition, interaction terms (between transfer in latitude and site altitude for survival, and transfer in latitude and temperature sum for growth) entail changed reaction patterns of the models depending on climatic conditions of the growing site. The new models behave in a way that corresponds well to previous studies and recommendations for both countries. The model performance was tested using selected plus-trees from open and control pollinated progeny tests. Results imply that the models are valid for both countries and perform well also for genetically improved material. These models are the first step in developing common deployment recommendations for genetically improved forest regeneration material in both Sweden and Finland.
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.
Recent developments in on-board technology have enabled automatic collection of follow-up data on forwarder work. The objective of this study was to exploit this possibility to obtain highly representative information on time consumption of specific work elements (including overlapping crane work and driving), with one load as unit of observation, for large forwarders in final felling operations. The data used were collected by the John Deere TimberLink system as nine operators forwarded 8868 loads, in total, at sites in mid-Sweden. Load-sizes were not available. For the average and median extraction distances (219 and 174 m, respectively), Loading, Unloading, Driving empty, Driving loaded and Other time effective work (PM) accounted for ca. 45, 19, 8.5, 7.5 and 14% of total forwarding time consumption, respectively. The average and median total time consumptions were 45.8 and 42.1 minutes/load, respectively. The developed models explained large proportions of the variation of time consumption for the work elements Driving empty and Driving loaded, but minor proportions for the work elements Loading and Unloading. Based on the means, the crane was used during 74.8% of Loading PM time, the driving speed was nonzero during 31.9% of the Loading PM time, and Simultaneous crane work and driving occurred during 6.7% of the Loading PM time. Time consumption per load was more strongly associated with Loading drive distance than with extraction distance, indicating that the relevance of extraction distance as a main indicator of forwarding productivity should be re-considered.
The effects of long-term habitat fragmentations on genetic and population differentiation of Betula pendula Roth were investigated using chloroplast DNA (cpDNA) variations. Leaf samples were collected from four small remnant populations across the north of Iran. Three pairs of universal primers were used to amplify cpDNA, large single copy regions of trnC-trnD, trnK1-trnK2 and trnD-trnT. A total of 18 of the cpDNA haplotypes in the four populations were identified, however, no clear phylogeographic structuring of haplotypes could be detected. The total genetic diversity (HT) for all populations was high (0.932). Average intra-population genetic diversity was estimated as HS = 0.729 and average differentiation of populations GST = 0.218. Mantel tests of isolation by distance revealed a significant relationship between Wright’s inbreeding coefficient (Fst) and geographical distances for the four populations in Iran (r = 0.77, p < 0.05). The results of the hierarchical analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA) indicated that a 66% variation was partitioned within populations, whilst the variance amongst the four populations was only 34%. We suggest that significant genetic differentiation amongst populations can likely be attributed to reduced gene flow as a result of habitat fragmentation.
Commercial forests require early cleaning to ensure the unhindered and uniform growth of crop trees. In order to be cost effective, non-crop vegetation should be uprooted to prevent their recovery. Performing this work manually is a labour-intensive task but it can be done mechanically. We evaluated the efficiency of two uprooting devices in direct seeded Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) stands ca. 1 m tall. Productivity and quality of the uprooting work was investigated across eight stands and ca. 160 sample plots in northern Karelia, eastern Finland. Time consumption of the uprooters was analyzed through a linear regression model and the work quality through a multilevel multivariate model in terms of the number of individual Scots pine seedlings, processing units (i.e., a bunch of seedlings to be harvested in the future) and broadleaves. The productivity of the narrower modified device was significantly better in terms of time consumption than the wider original device. Work quality did not differ significantly between devices when stand characteristics, regeneration success and pre-existing damage were taken into account. Results indicate that mechanical uprooting devices may be further developed to a cost-effective alternative to motor-manual techniques for the early cleaning of direct seeded commercial Scots pine stands.
The biomass of a secondary evergreen and deciduous broad-leaved mixed forest was comprehensively inventoried in a permanent 2 ha plot in southwestern China. Biomass models, sub-sampling, soil pit method, and published data were utilized to determine the biomass of all components. Results showed that the total biomass of the forest was 158.1 Mg ha−1; the total biomass included the major aboveground (137.7 Mg ha−1) and belowground (20.3 Mg ha−1) biomass components of vascular plants as well as the minor biomass components of bryophytes (0.078 Mg ha−1) and lichens (0.043 Mg ha−1). The necromass was 17.6 Mg ha−1 and included woody debris (9.0 Mg ha−1) and litter (8.6 Mg ha−1). The spatial pattern of the aboveground biomass was determined by the spatial distribution of dominant trees with large diameter, tall height, and dense wood. The belowground biomass differed in terms of root diameter and decreased with increasing soil depth. The belowground biomass in each soil pit in local habitats was not related to the spatial distribution of woody plants and soil pit depth. The karst forest presented lower biomass compared than the nonkarst forests in the subtropical zone. Biomass carbon in the karst terrains would increase substantially if degraded karst vegetation could be successfully restored to the forest. Comprehensive site-based biomass inventory of karst vegetation will contribute not only to provide data for benchmarking global and regional vegetation and carbon models but also for regional carbon inventory and vegetation restoration.
The specific pattern of the wood of Karelian birch (Betula pendula Roth var. carelica (Merckl.) Hämet-Ahti), is created mainly by dark-coloured inclusions of parenchyma tissue. Our study revealed that the greatest density of parenchyma inclusions in Karelian birch wood is observed above branch attachments to the trunk and below forks. In the place of branch attachment, phloem flows of photoassimilates (sucrose) from the branch and along the trunk merge into one pathway, causing a rise in sucrose content in tissues there. In the area below the fork, sucrose flows from two (or more) trunk axes are combined. Many studies have demonstrated that elevated sucrose level is associated with the differentiation of parenchyma. We believe that where large phloem fluxes merge a high level of sucrose promotes mass differentiation of parenchyma cells instead of fibers and vessels. As a result, the density of the figured pattern in the wood increases. The obtained data have a practical value and can be used in developing recommendations for Karelian birch cultivation.
Given their importance as a resource for many forest organisms, tree cavities were inventoried in the managed pine forests of north-east Poland, in relation to the: 70–100, 101–130 and >130 year age-classes within the clear-cutting system. The densities at which cavities were present was found to depend on forest age, given that stands 70–100 years old were characterised by an average density of 0.62 trees ha–1, while forests older than 130 years reported 3.28 trees ha–1. Stands aged 70–100 years differed from those aged 130+ in having just 0.27 trees ha–1 of cavity trees, as compared with 2.91 trees ha–1. The total volume of cavity trees in stands up to 100 years old was 0.37 m3 ha–1 on average, as compared with 5.42 m3 ha–1 in stands over 130 years old. The cavities created by woodpeckers constituted 76% of all of those found, and included 53% excavated by great spotted woodpeckers (Dendrocopos major L.) and 23% by black woodpeckers (Dryocopus martius L.) The proportion of cavities excavated by D. major was highest in the youngest age class of stands. There, cavities made by D. martius constituted only 8% of the total, as compared with 31% in the oldest stands. The abundance of cavity trees thus differed along an age gradient, though in any event the availability of cavity trees appears to be too limited to provide for the needs of hole-nesting birds. Forest managers must thus take more account than hitherto of the need to protect cavity trees.
Growing Prunus avium L. within an agroforestry system (AFS) may result in sun damage to cambial tissues on sun-exposed bole faces. There are two periods of risk of damage caused by insolation to exposed tree boles, the summer, when cambial temperatures become too high, or during winter, when the frozen dormant cambium tissue thaws and then rapidly re-freezes, a phenomenon commonly referred to as sunscald or southwest disease. Damage on the south western bole face was observed on a number of P. avium within an AFS. Five trees were sampled to assess the period in time that damage occurred. To retrospectively investigate such damage, bark surface temperature data were collected over a two year period for a further five P. avium and analysed. It was shown that bark surface temperature on the south western bole face reached nearly 50 °C during summer and experienced a maximum range of 38 °C within a 24 hour period in spring. A specially formulated white paint was applied to two trees, thus, testing a method to reduce the risk of sun damage. Two models were constructed to predict maximum and minimum daily bark surface temperature using maximum, minimum and mean daily air temperature, daily sum of sunshine hours, cloud cover, wind speed, relative humidity, maximum solar elevation and height on the tree bole as predictor variables. The damage occurred during winter 2009/2010. The models were used to identify maximum and minimum bark surface temperatures during that winter enabling the identification of possible damage events.
Combining research into forest management stand conditions and wood supply chain processes has been missing from earlier forestry studies. There is a clear need to develop more cost-efficient small-diameter wood production, harvesting and transportation methods from first thinning, which could be used for either industrial or energy wood purposes. This study considers the total cost for small-diameter wood originating from young Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) dominated stands. Pine pulpwood is the most harvested and most used roundwood assortment, use of which is expected to rise following new pulp-mill investments in Finland. In addition, utilisation of small-diameter trees directly for energy purposes has been increasing steadily in recent years. The aim of the study was to determine the cost-reduction potential of alternative forest management options and supply chains for small diameter-wood in the regional case of South Savo in eastern Finland. The total costs of three distinct scenarios were studied on the basis of forest management, first-thinning harvesting methods, and transportation: 1) industrial wood, 2) delimbed energy wood, and 3) whole trees for energy purposes. The cost-reduction potential for energy-wood supply chains from first thinning was compared to the industrial supply chain. Small-diameter delimbed wood delivered straight for energy purposes was found to be the most cost-efficient as far as the total cost of the supply chain is concerned. More cost-efficient small-diameter wood processes can be found by linking forest stand simulations with supply chain analysis.
Various environmental conditions (heat waves and drought events) strongly affect leaf and xylem phenology. Disentangling the influence of temperature, precipitation and soil moisture content (AWR) on the forest productivity remains an important research area. We analyzed the impact of climate variability on the leaf phenology (10 sample trees) and radial growth (17 sample trees) of European beech (Fagus sylvatica L.). The study was conducted on 130-year-old European beech trees growing in a temperate forest stand in the Czech Republic. Detailed 20-year phenological monitoring was performed at the study site (1992–2011). As expected, leaf phenological events were mainly driven by the growing season temperatures. Leaf unfolding was highly affected positively by spring temperatures and the top-layer (to 40 cm) AWR in March. The correlation of tree-ring width with the interpolated climate data was positive significant for the growing season AWR and precipitation signal. Furthermore, the water availability in the top soil layer was found to be an important predictor of tree growth and extremely low growth occurrence. The extended phenological growing season, which was caused by a temperature increase, was not followed by an increased tree-ring width. The examined relationships point out the significance of the water availability in the top soil layer in European beech stands.
Populations at species’ range margins are expected to show lower genetic diversity than populations at the core of the range. Yet, long-lived, widespread tree species are expected to be resistant to genetic impoverishment, thus showing comparatively high genetic diversity within populations and low differentiation among populations. Here, we study the distribution of genetic variation in the pedunculate oak (Quercus robur L.) at its range margin in Finland at two hierarchical scales using 15 microsatellite loci. At a regional scale, we compared variation within versus among three oak populations. At a landscape scale, we examined genetic structuring within one of these populations, growing on an island of ca 5 km2. As expected, we found the majority of genetic variation in Q. robur to occur within populations. Nonetheless, differentiation among populations was markedly high (FST = 0.12) compared with values reported for populations of Q. robur closer to the core of its range. At the landscape level, some spatial and temporal sub-structuring was observed, likely explained by the history of land-use on the island. Overall, Q. robur fulfils the expectation of the central-marginal hypothesis of high differentiation among marginal populations, but the notable population differentiation has most likely been influenced also by the long, ongoing fragmentation of populations. Finnish oak populations may still be adjusting to the drastic habitat changes of the past centuries. Preservation of genetic variation within the remaining stands is thus an important factor in the conservation of Q. robur at its range margin.
We investigated if coarse-resolution satellite data from the MODIS sensor can be used for regional monitoring of insect disturbances in Fennoscandia. A damage detection method based on z-scores of seasonal maximums of the 2-band Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI2) was developed. Time-series smoothing was applied and Receiver Operating Characteristics graphs were used for optimisation. The method was developed in fragmented and heavily managed forests in eastern Finland dominated by Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) (pinaceae) and with defoliation of European pine sawfly (Neodiprion sertifer Geoffr.) (Hymenoptera: Diprionidae) and common pine sawfly (Diprion pini L.) (Hymenoptera: Diprionidae). The method was also applied to subalpine mountain birch (Betula pubescens ssp. Czerepanovii N.I. Orlova) forests in northern Sweden, infested by autumnal moth (Epirrita autumnata Borkhausen) and winter moth (Operophtera brumata L.). In Finland, detection accuracies were fairly low with 50% of the damaged stands detected, and a misclassification of healthy stands of 22%. In areas with long outbreak histories the method resulted in extensive misclassification. In northern Sweden accuracies were higher, with 75% of the damage detected and a misclassification of healthy samples of 19%. Our results indicate that MODIS data may fail to detect damage in fragmented forests, particularly when the damage history is long. Therefore, regional studies based on these data may underestimate defoliation. However, the method yielded accurate results in homogeneous forest ecosystems and when long-enough periods without damage could be identified. Furthermore, the method is likely to be useful for insect disturbance detection using future medium-resolution data, e.g. from Sentinel‑2.
Stored nutrient reserves are closely correlated with survival and growth of transplanted seedlings. Previous studies have proven that combining pre-hardening fertilization (PF) with fall fertilization (FF) built seedling nutrient reserves more effectively; however, their effect on transplanting performance is poorly documented. We investigated the independent and interacting effects of 2 levels of PF and 4 levels of FF on seedling growth, nutrient acquisition and accumulation during different growth phases 1 year after transplanting of Quercus variabilis Blume in a nursery. High PF benefited nutrient reserves and subsequent transplanted seedling growth and tissue nutrient storage at the end of the rapid growth and hardening phases. Fall fertilization with 36 mg N increased stem dry mass and tissue nutrient content at the end of the hardening phase. At the conclusion of establishment, PF and FF showed a significant interaction for N and K uptake from soil. At the end of the rapid growth and hardening phases, high PF consistently increased nutrient uptake. Enhanced N and K uptake occurred following application of 36 mg N of FF at the end of the hardening phase. Distinct roles for PF and FF on 3 phases of transplanted seedlings demonstrated the necessity to evaluate fertilization in terms of nutrient reserves and subsequent transplanting performance in consecutive phases. Combining 100 mg N seedling–1 during pre-hardening with 36 mg N seedling–1 during fall yielded ideal transplanting performance for Quercus variabilis seedlings.
The quantification of the contribution of tropical forests to global carbon stocks and climate change mitigation requires availability of data and tools such as allometric equations. This study made available volume and biomass models for eighteen tree species in a semi-deciduous tropical forest in West Africa. Generic models were also developed for the forest ecosystem, and basic wood density determined for the tree species. Non-destructive sampling approach was carried out on five hundred and one sample trees to analyse stem volume and biomass. From the modelling of volume and biomass as functions of diameter at breast height (Dbh) and stem height, logarithmic models had better predictive capabilities. The model validation showed that in absence of data on height, models using Dbh only as variable was an alternative. The comparison of basic wood densities to data published in literature enabled to conclude that the non-destructive sampling was a good approach to determining reliable basic wood density. The comparative analysis of species-specific models in this study with selected generic models for tropical forests indicated low probability to identify effective generic models with good predictive ability for biomass. Given tree species richness of tropical forests, the study demonstrated the hypothesis that species-specific models are preferred to generic models, and concluded that further research should be oriented towards development of specific models to cover the full range of dominant tree species of African forests.
Habitat loss and degradation are the main threats to biodiversity worldwide. For example, nearly 80% of peatlands in southern Finland have been drained. There is thus a need to safeguard the remaining pristine mires and to restore degraded ones. Ants play a pivotal role in many ecosystems and like many keystone plant species, shape ecosystem conditions for other biota. The effects of mire restoration and subsequent vegetation succession on ants, however, are poorly understood. We inventoried tree stands, vegetation, water-table level, and ants (with pitfall traps) in nine mires in southern Finland to explore differences in habitats, vegetation and ant assemblages among pristine, drained (30–40 years ago) and recently restored (1–3 years ago) pine mires. We expected that restoring the water-table level by ditch filling and reconstructing sparse tree stands by cuttings will recover mire vegetation and ants. We found predictable responses in habitat structure, floristic composition and ant assemblage structure both to drainage and restoration. However, for mire-specialist ants the results were variable and longer-term monitoring is needed to confirm the success of restoration since these social insects establish perennial colonies with long colony cycles. We conclude that restoring the water-table level and tree stand structure seem to recover the characteristic vegetation and ant assemblages in the short term. This recovery was likely enhanced because drained mires still had both acrotelm and catotelm, and connectedness was still reasonable for mire organisms to recolonize the restored mires either from local refugia or from populations of nearby mires.
A time study was conducted to determine whether stem crowding had any impact on harvester productivity in Eucalyptus grandis stands. This represents an important element when trying to balance the advantages and disadvantages of coppice management in fast growing plantations designated for mechanized harvesting (i.e. machine felling, delimbing, debarking and cross-cutting). The study material consisted of 446 coppice stems, half of which grew as single stems per stool and half as double stems per stool as a result of different coppice reduction strategies. The dataset was balanced and randomized, with both subsets replicating exactly the same stem size distribution and the single and double stems alternating randomly. Harvester productivity ranged between 6 and 50 m3 under bark per productive machine hour, following the variation of tree diameter from 10 to 40 cm at breast height (1.37 m according to South African standards). Regression analysis indicated that both tree size and stem crowding (e.g. one or two stems per stool) had a significant effect on harvester productivity, which increased with stem size and decreased with stem crowding. However, operator experience may overcome the effect of stem crowding, which was not significant when the harvester was manned by a highly experienced operator. In any case, the effect of stem size was much greater than that of stem crowding, which resulted in a cost difference of less than 10%. However, this figure excludes the possible effects of stem crowding on volume recovery and stem development, which should be addressed in the future.
A new sampling design, the local pivotal method (LPM), was combined with the micro stand approach and compared with the traditional systematic sampling design for estimation of forest stand variables. The LPM uses the distance between units in an auxiliary space – in this case airborne laser scanning (ALS) data – to obtain a well-spread sample. Two sets of reference plots were acquired by the two sampling designs and used for imputing data to evaluation plots. The first set of reference plots, acquired by LPM, made up four imputation alternatives (varying number of reference plots) and the second set of reference plots, acquired by systematic sampling design, made up two alternatives (varying plot radius). The forest variables in these alternatives were estimated using the nonparametric method of most similar neighbor imputation, with the ALS data used as auxiliary data. The relative root mean square error (RelRMSE), stem diameter distribution error index and suboptimal loss were calculated for each alternative, but the results showed that neither sampling design, i.e. LPM vs. systematic, offered clear advantages over the other. It is likely that the obtained results were a consequence of the small evaluation dataset used in the study (n = 30). Nevertheless, the LPM sampling design combined with the micro stand approach showed potential for improvement and might be a competitive method when considering the cost efficiency.
The occurrence of moose damage was studied using data from three National Forest Inventories (NFIs) accomplished between 1986 and 2008 in Finland. The combined data included a total of 97 390 young stands. The proportion of moose damage increased from 3.6% to 8.6% between the 8th NFI (1986–1994) and the 10th NFI (2004–2008). The majority (75%) of the damage occurred in Scots pine-dominated stands. The proportion of damage was higher in aspen-dominated stands than in stands dominated by any other tree species. The tree species mixture also had a clear effect on the occurrence of damage. Pure Scots pine stands had less damage than mixed Scots pine stands, and moose damage decreased linearly with the increasing proportion of Scots pine. Stands on mineral soil had more frequent moose damage than stands on peatlands. The fertility class of the site had no straightforward effect on the damage frequency. Artificially regenerated stands had more damage than naturally regenerated stands. Accomplished soil preparation measures and the need for thinning or clearing operations increased moose damage. High proportions of moose damage in young stands were found around the country. In the 10th NFI, the largest concentration of damage was found in southwestern Finland. Our study shows the temporal and spatial changes in the occurrence of moose damage and pinpoints some important silvicultural factors affecting the relative risk of young stands over a large geographical area.
To promote the growth and survival of regenerated forests, site preparation prior to tree planting on clearcuts is necessary. This is often performed with scarifiers, either through trenching or mounding. Mounding is generally considered better in a plant survival perspective but is inefficient on obstacle-rich clearcuts. By utilising machine vision through e.g. remote sensing methods, new strategies can enable efficient mound positioning. In this paper, three realistic strategies utilizing ideal clearcut object identification through machine vision have been developed that can be used for more efficient mounding. The results show that mounding efficiency can be significantly improved with a new mound positioning strategy that employs ideal object identification, especially on obstacle-rich clearcuts.
The aim of the study was to update the information pertaining to mechanized tree-planting activity in Finland in 2013 and its success factors. All businesses providing a mechanized tree-planting service were interviewed and asked to describe their equipment and activities, identify critical success factors (CSFs), and suggest areas for improvement. In 2013, 31 planting machines (18 Bracke P11.a, 11 M-Planter and 2 Risutec) operated by 22 businesses planted approximately 4.7 million seedlings on 2663 hectares. CSFs included expertise of planting machine operators, high quality planting, adequate amount of work, stoniness, and removal of slash. Based on the survey, some recommendations for improving mechanized planting work can be made. Firstly, improving the cost-efficiency of mechanized planting is necessary to enhance businesses’ profitability. Secondly, worksite selection is crucial as stoniness, stumps and slash debris diminish productivity. Lastly, the popularity of mechanized planting in the future will benefit from more marketing. Many businesses were unwilling to increase the area of service, invest in new equipment, or increase the volume of planting work but they believed that mechanized planting will become more popular in the near future.
Fast-growing hybrids of Populus L. have an increasing importance as a source of renewable energy and as industrial wood. Nevertheless, the long-term sensitivity of Populus hybrids to weather conditions and hence to possible climatic hazards in Northern Europe have been insufficiently studied, likely due to the limited age of the trees (short rotation). In this study, the climatic sensitivity of ca. 65-year-old hybrid poplars (Populus balsamifera L. × P. laurifolia Ledeb.), growing at two sites in the western part of Latvia, and ca. 55-year-old hybrid aspens (Populus tremuloides Michx. × P. tremula L.), growing in the eastern part of Latvia, have been studied using classical dendrochronological techniques. The high-frequency variation of tree-ring width (TRW) of hybrid poplar from both sites was similar, but it differed from hybrid aspen due to the diverse parental species and geographic location of the stands. Nevertheless, some common tendencies in TRW were observed for both hybrids. Climatic factors influencing TRW were generally similar for both hybrids, but their composition differed. The strength of climate-TRW relationships was similar, but the hybrid poplar was affected by a higher number of climatic factors. Hybrid poplar was sensitive to factors related to water deficit in late summer in the previous and current years. Hybrid aspen was sensitive to conditions in the year of formation of tree-ring. Both hybrids also displayed a reaction to temperature during the dormant period. The observed climate-growth relationships suggest that increasing temperatures might burden the radial growth of the studied hybrids of Populus.
Early thinnings are laborious and costly. Thus forest companies are searching for cost and time efficient ways to carry out this task. The study’s purpose was to determine the productivity of the EF28 accumulating energy wood harvesting head in harvesting small-diameter hornbeam (Carpinus betulus L.) undergrowth trees and evaluate the effect of its multi-tree handling (MTH) capacity on time consumption. The harvester was a wheeled, three-axle Komatsu 911. A time study of 7.1 hours on 19 plots, with a total area of 0.76 ha was conducted. On average, the harvested tree volume was 8 dm³ and the stand density was 2666 trees/ha. The productivity was modelled with MTH conduction, mean diameter at breast height and the number of trees handled per cycle as independent variables. On average, MTH took 27% longer per cycle, increased extracted volume per cycle by 33% and consequently increased productivity with 5.0%. In 71.9% of the cycles more than one tree was handled and if so, dimensions were smaller than in single-tree handling (5.8 cm vs. 12.0 cm). Maximum felling diameter of 23 cm was about 15% smaller than in softwood (according to the manufacturer’s specifications) and the driver didn’t exploit the EF28’s theoretical potential in terms of trees handled per cycle. It can be concluded that the head could significantly improve productivity in small-diameter wood procurement.
We introduce a general procedure to match a stochastic functional-structural tree model (here LIGNUM augmented with stochastic rules) with real tree structures depicted by quantitative structure models (QSMs) based on terrestrial laser scanning. The matching is done by iteratively finding the maximum correspondence between the measured tree structure and the stochastic choices of the algorithm. First, we analyze the match to synthetic data (generated by the model itself), where the target values of the parameters to be estimated are known in advance, and show that the algorithm converges properly. We then carry out the procedure on real data obtaining a realistic model. We thus conclude that the proposed stochastic structure model (SSM) approach is a viable solution for formulating realistic plant models based on data and accounting for the stochastic influences.
Growth and yield tables are constrained by a standard production regime and the stand-level dynamic models are an attractive alternative for the even-aged monospecific stands. The objective of this study is to derive a parsimonious and biologically sound whole-stand dynamic growth model and to validate its consistency and relevance for prediction of stand growth and yield. The state-space modelling approach was employed, introducing several novelties in comparison with its current usage. The model consists of a three-dimensional state vector, defined by dominant stand height, number of trees per hectare and mean stem volume, and three transition functions. A site index model was incorporated for height growth projection and transition functions for stand density and mean stem volume with respect to dominant height increase were derived from simple allometries and biological rationale. The model was examined with data from 79 permanent sample plots in Scots pine plantations. Nonlinear Seemingly Unrelated Regression was used to account for cross-equation correlations, and the Base-Height-Invariant dummy variable method was employed to estimate dynamic-form equations. Model consistency was validated in terms of accuracy of predictions and applicability to both thinned and unthinned stands. The new dynamic growth model is a parsimonious biometric whole-stand model that simulates the expected stand development for a broad spectrum of potential management alternatives and can be incorporated in a computer program for further use. It may be especially useful for application when a scarcity of longitudinal data prevents the use of more complicated modelling approaches.
We designed a streamlined timber growth and quality model that aims at the effect of stand management on the efficiency of wood resource use. Applying the R based module toolbox to experimental plots of Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii [Mirb.] Franco) we analysed essential model features for reflecting the influence of planting density on board strength. The current version realistically predicted a significant increase of centre board bending strength at tree age 40 with initial stand density. Model performance gained clear advantage from a) parameterisation of height to diameter allometry as dependent on planting density b) consideration of cambial age and cross‑sectional knot area in board strength computation. Crown shape was less decisive. The model produced a significant effect of planting density even after a whole rotation period of 70 years as well as a realistic spectrum of board bending strength.
Forestry in Malå, northern Sweden, coexists with other land uses. Reindeer husbandry is in the area for centuries and requires large areas of grazing land. Competing land uses may threaten the Malå Sami village. The aim of the study was to evaluate increased consideration in forest management towards 1) reindeer husbandry, 2) nature and 3) a combination of the two. These scenarios were compared with forest management as it was in 2009. Results indicate that all three scenarios lead to a decrease in annual harvesting volumes of 0.2 to 0.4 million m3. Forest industry dominated the economic viability in the area. Forest management adapted to the needs of reindeer husbandry resulted in less potential for yearly harvest, employment and profits from forest industry. On the other hand, it led to an increase in growing stock and consequently the potential for carbon sequestration over time. Indeed the increased sequestration would compensate for all fossil emissions of carbon from the Forest Wood Chain (FWC). The nature scenario had minor effects on economic result and on the emissions of fossil carbon. The combined scenario gave a reduced economic performance for the FWC. A scenario based on forest management accommodating the needs of reindeer husbandry gave the best economic result for the reindeer chain, due to high survival rate of the reindeer. However the economic importance of reindeer husbandry in the region was small compared to the FWC. Results from scenario analysis could serve as a platform for mutual understanding between stakeholders.
The paper aimed at testing the potential of refining tree rot diagnostics carried out by means of electrical impedance tomography (EIT). Examined was the use of EIT datasets with electrical resistance values and sapwood proportion determined on the basis of tomograms. Making use of datasets with resistance values in EIT rot diagnostics is not a default method, although datasets stay unaffected by a fixed colour scale and subsequent subjective evaluation unlike tomograms. Tomography measurement was carried out for 27 individuals of Norway spruce (Picea abies [L.] Karst.) in two stands north-east of Brno, Czech Republic. Once felled down, radial cut-outs were sampled at the measurement site and used for localising rot and determining the extent of the area of decay. The results were subsequently compared with tomograms. EIT datasets containing values of electrical resistance found by measuring were statistically processed and compared with the extent of rot area identified within the cuts. Sapwood proportion values were also detected using the tomograms. The baseline assumption that sapwood proportion decreases as the rot area in the radial cut expands was confirmed. In trees with rot percentage to 35% approximately, sapwood proportion was exceeding 30% except one tree. In trees with rot percentage exceeding 35%, sapwood proportion was below 30%. On the basis of interpreted datasets, the trees can be split into three characteristic groups that correspond to the occurrence, extent and nature of the rot.
The Nordic and Baltic countries are in the frontline of replacing fossil fuel with renewables. An important question is how forest management of the productive parts of this region can support a sustainable development of our societies in reaching low or carbon neutral conditions by 2050. This may involve a 70% increased consumption of biomass and waste to meet the goals. The present review concludes that a 50–100% increase of forest growth at the stand scale, relative to today’s common level of forest productivity, is a realistic estimate within a stand rotation (~70 years). Change of tree species, including the use of non-native species, tree breeding, introduction of high-productive systems with the opportunity to use nurse crops, fertilization and afforestation are powerful elements in an implementation and utilization of the potential. The productive forests of the Nordic and Baltic countries cover in total 63 million hectares, which corresponds to an average 51% land cover. The annual growth is 287 million m3 and the annual average harvest is 189 million m3 (65% of the growth). A short-term increase of wood-based bioenergy by utilizing more of the growth is estimated to be between 236 and 416 TWh depending on legislative and operational restrictions. Balanced priorities of forest functions and management aims such as nature conservation, biodiversity, recreation, game management, ground water protection etc. all need consideration. We believe that these aims may be combined at the landscape level in ways that do not conflict with the goals of reaching higher forest productivity and biomass production.
At sites with either peat or mineral soils in large areas of boreal forests, high soil-water contents hamper tree growth and drainage can significantly increase growth. Hence, areas covering about 15 × 106 ha of northern peatlands and wet mineral soils have been drained for forestry purposes. Usually ditches gradually deteriorate, thus reducing their functionality as drains, and ditch-network maintenance (DNM) might be needed to maintain stand growth rates enabled by the original ditching. This article reviews current knowledge on establishing the need for DNM in boreal forest stands, subsequent growth responses, and the financial outcome of the activity. The issues covered in the review are: (i) ditching, changes in ditches over time and the need for DNM; (ii) interactions between soil water and both stand properties and stand management; (iii) ground-water level (GWL) and tree growth responses to DNM; and (iv) financial viability of DNM. Conclusions about the current understanding of issues related to DNM are drawn and implications for DNM in practice are summarized. Finally, gaps in knowledge are identified and research needs are suggested.
Multiplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR) allows amplification of two or more pair of primers in parallel for amplification of multiple target sequences in a single reaction tube. In this study, we combined existing simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers (nuclear microsatellites) in the novel combination of multiplex PCR to study the population genetics of common walnut from Croatia. From twenty one tested SSR markers, eleven produced satisfactory results in one multiplex PCR. Population genetic results achieved from 15 samples of Croatian common walnut showed moderate genetic variability (average value: He 0.473; Ho 0.568). Our multiplex PCR allowed cost effective work concerning chemicals, plastic ware, device, and working time producing optimal results. The optimized multiplex PCR represented the best combination of eleven SSR primers for genotyping common walnut in a single PCR reaction.
Long-term (47 years) effect of experimental whole tree harvesting (WTH) with a heavy soil scarification on ground cover vegetation was assessed in a dry nutrient-poor Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) stand in Latvia. Neighbouring conventionally managed young (10 years) and mature (119 years) stands of the same type were used for comparison. Higher species richness was observed in the WTH stand compared to conventionally managed young and mature stands (24, 18 and 16 species, respectively), likely due to the profound disturbance. The Shannon diversity index was higher in the young than in the WTH and mature stands (2.36, 1.77 and 1.63, respectively); still, the composition and structure of ground cover vegetation in WTH was more similar to the mature stand. Nevertheless, the occurrence of oligotrophic species in the WTH stand suggested decreased soil nutrient content and potential development of different plant community. Hence, such method might be considered for restoration of oligotrophic stands. Nevertheless, the period of 47 years appeared sufficient for the ground cover vegetation to recover after the WTH.
The projections of vegetation zones suggest increasing growth potential of European beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) in Northern Europe. Such changes usually are most apparent in the marginal populations. In this study, survival of young beech growing in an experimental plantation under canopy of a mixed coniferous stand in the central part of Latvia was assessed after 33 years since the establishment. The planting material originated from an older experimental stand in the western part of Latvia. Although, at present, the studied plantation could be considered as the northeasternmost beech stand in Europe, a good survival was observed – ca. 80% of the seedlings have survived, despite several cold spells of ca. –30 °C that occurred during the recent three decades. Additionally, some self-regeneration i.e. branch sprouting was observed. The saplings were rather low, as their mean height was ca. 4 m. Still, some individuals, which were growing under canopy openings, reached considerable dimensions; their height and stem diameter exceeded 10 m and 9 cm, respectively. The distribution of sapling dimensions had the reverse-J shape that is typical for shade tolerant species, indicating normal development of the beech regrowth. The crowns of saplings were narrow and the stems were spindly, suggesting that trees with a good stem quality might be bred. Hence, our results suggest that environmental conditions in the central part of Latvia have been satisfactory for beech, thus encouraging establishment of more extensive trials within the region.
The coverage of bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus L.) was modelled as a function of site and stand characteristics using the permanent sample plots of the National Forest Inventory (NFI) (Model 1). The sample sites consisted of mineral soil forests as well as fells and peatland sites. Annual variation in the bilberry yield (Model 2) was analysed based on measurements over 2001–2014 in the permanent sample plots (so-called MASI plots) in various areas of Finland. We derived annual bilberry yield indices from the year effects of Model 2 and investigated whether these indices could be used to estimate annual variation in bilberry crops in Finland. The highest bilberry coverage was found in mesic heath forests and fell forests. On peatlands the coverage was, on average, lower than on mineral soil sites; the peatland sites with most bilberry coverage were meso-oligotrophic and oligotrophic spruce mires and oligotrophic pine mires. Our bilberry yield indices showed similar variation to those derived from the mean annual berry yields reported and calculated earlier using the MASI plots; the correlation between the indices was 0.795. This approach to calculating annual berry yield indices is a promising way for estimating total annual bilberry yields over a given period of time. Models 1 and 2 can be used in conjunction with the Miina et al.’s (2009) bilberry yield model when bilberry coverage, average annual yield and annual variation in the yield are to be predicted in forest planning.
European beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) forests have a long history of coppicing, but the majority of formerly managed coppices are currently under conversion to high forest. The long time required to achieve conversion requires a long-term perspective to fully understand the implication of the applied conversion practices. In this study, we showed results from a long-term (1992–2014) case-study comparing two management options (natural evolution and periodic thinning) in a beech coppice in conversion to high forest. Leaf area index, litter production, radiation transmittance and growth efficiency taken as relevant stand descriptors, were estimated using both direct and indirect optical methods. Overall, results indicated that beech coppice showed positive and prompt responses to active conversion practices based on periodic medium-heavy thinning. A growth efficiency index showed that tree growth increased as the cutting intensity increased. Results from the case study supported the effectiveness of active conversion management from an economic (timber harvesting) and ecological (higher growth efficiency) point of view.
The use of network-based business models has been brought up as a means of creating com-petitive edge in the tightening global competition. In practice, adopting network-based models has not yet become common in the wood products industry. The objective of this study is to gain better understanding of types of network-based business models using a case study of two small and medium-sized wood industry companies in Finland (for a sake of anonymity named as A and B). The network of company A is found to consist of mostly of established actors with a new-in-the-market value creation system, whereas network for company B is more stable and has an established value system aiming at growth and incremental innovations. Both networks had experienced difficulties in finding partners and lacked some strategic resources. Via this example we wish to stimulate further research interest on the sources of network-based competitive advantage in the traditional wood product industry in a need of renewal of business models.
Fast and accurate estimates of canopy cover are central for a wide range of forestry studies. As direct measurements are impractical, indirect optical methods have often been used in forestry to estimate canopy cover. In this paper the accuracy of canopy cover estimates from two widely used canopy photographic methods, hemispherical photography (DHP) and cover photography (DCP) was evaluated. Canopy cover was approximated in DHP as the complement of gap fraction data at narrow viewing zenith angle range (0°–15°), which was comparable with that of DCP. The methodology was tested using artificial images with known canopy cover; this allowed exploring the influence of actual canopy cover and mean gap size on canopy cover estimation from photography. DCP provided robust estimates of canopy cover, whose accuracy was not influenced by variation in actual canopy cover and mean gap size, based on comparison with artificial images; by contrast, the accuracy of cover estimates from DHP was influenced by both actual canopy cover and mean gap size, because of the lower ability of DHP to detect small gaps within crown. The results were replicated in both DHP and DCP images collected in real forest canopies. Finally, the influence of canopy cover on foliage clumping index and leaf area index was evaluated using a theoretical gap fraction model. The main findings indicate that DCP can overcome the limits of indirect techniques for obtaining unbiased and precise estimates of canopy cover, which are comparable to those obtainable from direct, more labour-intensive techniques, being therefore highly suitable for routine monitoring and inventory purposes.
The objective of the study is to derive a method by which one can analyze how the probability of damage made by pine weevils on seedlings treated with insecticides depends on the probability of damage on untreated control seedlings, called feeding pressure. Because the probabilities vary from stand to stand and from block to block, the analysis is done using a generalized linear mixed model. The dependency of probability of damage on the feeding pressure cannot be properly analyzed using observed relative frequency of damage of control seedlings as a covariate, but it can be analyzed using a bivariate model. One equation describes damage of control seedlings and another equation damage of treated seedlings. The random stand and block effects of different equations are correlated. For a given probability of stand level control seedling damage, the random stand effect for control seedlings can be computed using a link function, then random stand effects for treated seedlings can be predicted using the best linear predictor from the random effect for control seedlings. Using an inverse link the prediction can again be presented in the probability scale which is of interest to the user. Using these three steps the probability of damage of treated seedlings can be predicted from the control damage probability. The probability of damage of treated seedlings can also be predicted from the observed relative frequency of damaged control seedlings using simulation. The complementary log-log link was used for control seedlings and the log-log link for treated seedlings.
The effect of cutting the root connection by detaching the shoot from the root system on dormancy release and vegetative bud burst was examined in 2-year-old seedlings of Norway spruce (Picea abies [L.] Karst.). Seedlings were transferred at 1–4 week intervals between October and January from outdoor conditions to experimental forcing in a heated greenhouse. Before forcing, half of the seedlings were cut above ground line, and the detached shoots were forced with their cut ends placed in water. The intact seedlings were forced with their root system remaining intact in the pots. Vegetative bud burst was observed visually. Cutting the root connection slightly increased days to bud burst in the forcing conditions, however, no consistent effect on bud burst percentage was found. Our preliminary seedling data suggest that using detached tree material in dormancy release experiments may have a small effect on bud burst date but it will evidently not lead to drastically erroneous conclusions. Further studies, using different seed lots, are needed to assess the effect of detaching on the dormancy release and bud burst, especially in adult trees.
Initial fertilisation, when the fertilizer is supplied during the plantation, is applied to improve the competitive ability of the seedlings and hence to increase their growth and productivity; however, fertilization could also alter wood properties and timber quality. In this study, the dimensions and tree-ring parameters – width, proportion of latewood, maximum and mean density, mean earlywood and latewood density – of initially fertilized (by 14, 6 and 11 g of N, P and K per seedling, respectively) Norway spruce (Picea abies Karst.) growing in an experimental plantation in Kalsnava, Latvia (temperate climate region) were assessed. The fertilization significantly increased the dimensions of trees in long-term (ca. 17% increase of stemwood volume). The analysis of tree-ring width suggested that the duration of the effect was ca. 15 years. The maximum and latewood density were higher for the fertilized trees only in a few years. The mean and earlywood density of tree-rings were mainly similar for both treatments. Altogether, considering the one-time application of a limited amount of fertilizer, such treatment had notable and lasting effect on Norway spruce.