Current issue: 57(1)
Under compilation: 57(2)
We describe the methodology applied in the 12th national forest inventory of Finland (NFI12) and describe the state of Finland’s forests as well as the development of some key parameters since 1920s. According to the NFI12, the area of forestry land (consisting of productive and poorly productive forest, unproductive land, and other forestry land) is 26.2 M ha. The area of forestry land has decreased from 1920s to 1960s due to expansion of agriculture and built-up land. 20% of the forestry land is not available for wood supply and 13% is only partly available for wood supply. The area of peatlands is 8.8 M ha, which is one third of the forestry land. 53% of the current area of peatlands is drained. The volume of growing stock, 2500 M m3, is 1.7 times the volume estimated in NFI1 in the 1920s for the current territory of Finland. The estimated annual volume increment is 107.8 M m3. The increment estimate has doubled since the estimate of NFI2 implemented in late 1930s. The annual mortality is estimated to 7 M m3, which is 0.5 M m3 more than according to the previous inventory. Serious or complete damage was observed on 2% of the productive forest available for wood supply. The amount of dead wood is on average 5.8 m3 ha–1 in productive forests. Since the NFI9 (1996–2003) the amount of dead wood has increased in South Finland and decreased in North Finland both in protected forests and forests available for wood supply (FAWS). The area of natural or almost natural forests on productive forest is 380 000 ha, out of this, 42 000 ha are in FAWS and 340 000 ha in protected forests.
Bark beetles are amongst the most aggressive pest agents of coniferous forests. Due to this, many boreal countries have designated laws aiming to lower the risk of bark beetle epidemics. Finland’s forest legislation has pre-emptive measures targeted against bark beetles, and for Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.), the law concerns pine shoot beetles (Tomicus spp.). This study used data collected around 25 piles of Scots pine roundwood that were harvested in the winter but left in the forest until the following November. Thus, the pine shoot beetles were able to use the piles for breeding. We assessed the number of emerged insects from the piles and the cascading damage they caused in the surrounding forests. All roundwood piles, regardless of their volume, were used by the beetles for breeding. Highest densities of beetle exit holes were found from the parts of the log with thick and intact bark. If the bark of the log was damaged by the harvester head, the number of beetles decreased significantly. Depending on the volume of the roundwood pile, the cascading damage (fallen shoots) was noticeable up to ca. 40–60 m from the roundwood pile. Storing of piles smaller than 50 m3 did not cause excess damage. The number of fallen shoots per tree was generally below the known thresholds for when growth losses can occur. However, the study was conducted in mature forests, and it can be assumed that the recorded damage levels would severely affect the growth of young pines, raising the question of where to store the roundwood. As with other bark beetles, the role of Tomicus beetles as damage agents may change in the future, but based on this as well as past studies, the species can be viewed as a notable damage agents only around long-term wood storage sites in the current northern conditions.
Traditional timber production may have negative effects on other ecosystem services. Therefore, new forest management guidelines have been developed in order to enhance a habitat suitable for wildlife. In Finland, a recent example of this is grouse-friendly forest management (GFFM) which emphasises the preservation of grouse species (Tetronidae) habitats. This study aimed to analyse the economic effects of these guidelines. An analysis was made on how the application of GFFM affected the Net Present Value (NPV) in a 30-year simulation of forest management of four large forest holdings located from south to north in Finland. In the simulations, traditional forest management practices were compared to two levels of GFFM. Five levels of interest rate were used, namely 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5%. In most of the simulations, the NPV was reduced by about 1% or less due to the application of GFFM in comparison to the traditional reference forest management. Only in one case with more intensive GFFM, was the reduction of NPV more than 5%. The interest rates had an impact on the differences between the management approaches. For example, a low interest rate resulted in a higher thinning intensity in GFFM in comparison to traditional forest management, which lead to a higher NPV in GFFM. To sum up, it seems that it would be possible to manage forest holdings in a grouse-friendly manner with minor effects on the economics.
Forests are affected by climate change in various ways. This includes abiotic factors such as droughts, but also biotic damage by pest insects. There are numerous examples from cases where pest insects have benefitted from longer growing seasons or from warmer summers. Similarly, new pest insects have been able to expand their range due to climatic conditions that have changed from hostile to tolerable. Such seems to be the case with the nun moth (Lymantria monacha), an important defoliator of coniferous trees in Europe. For centuries, the species has had massive outbreaks across Central-Europe, while it has been a rare inhabitant in Northern Europe. Recently, the nun moth population in Finland has not only expanded in range, but also grown more abundant. This research note describes the results from the first years (2018–2019) of a monitoring program that is being conducted with pheromone traps across central and southern Finland. So far, the northernmost individuals were trapped near the 64 N degrees. However, there were more southern locations where no moths were trapped. The species was present in every trapping site below the latitude of 62 N degrees. More importantly, at some sites the abundance of the nun moth suggested that local forest damage may already occur. Given the current climatic scenarios for Fennoscandia, it is likely that the nun moth populations will continue to grow, which is why systematic surveys on their abundance and range expansions will be topical.