Current issue: 56(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.
Hybrid aspen (Populus tremula L. × P. tremuloides Michx.) is known with outstanding growth rate and some favourable wood characteristics, but models for stand management have not yet been prepared in northern Europe. This study introduces methods and models to predict tree dimensions, diameter at breast height (dbh) and tree height for a hybrid aspen plantation using data from repeatedly measured permanent sample plots established in clonal plantations in southern Finland. Dbh distributions using parameter recovery method for the Weibull function was used with Näslund’s height curve to model tree heights. According to the goodness-of-fit statistics of Kolmogorov-Smirnov and the Error Index, the arithmetic mean diameter (D) and basal area-weighted mean diameter (DG) provided more stable parameter recovery for the Weibull distribution than the median diameter (DM) and basal area-weighted median diameter (DGM), while DG showed the best overall fit. Thus, Näslund’s height curve was modelled using DG with Lorey’s height (HG), age, basal area (BA), and tree dbh (Model 1). Also, Model 2 was tested using all predictors of Model 1 with the number of trees per ha (TPH). All predictors were shown to be significant in both Models, showing slightly different behaviour. Model 1 was sensitive to the mean characteristics, DG and HG, while Model 2 was sensitive to stand density, including both BA and TPH as predictors. Model 1 was considered more reasonable to apply based on our results. Consequently, the parameter recovery method using DG and Näslund’s models were applicable for predicting tree diameter and height.
Evaluation of product attributes and the overall quality significantly affect consumer purchasing decisions. Previous studies on wooden products have mostly addressed wood product quality from technical viewpoints, while largely disregarding environmental, social, and economic aspects in the assessments. Therefore, knowledge on how sustainability aspects are evaluated as a feature of wood product quality is narrow. This study investigated consumer perceptions of different quality indicators (i.e., quality cues and attributes) of wooden interior products with a special focus on sustainability and value chain phases. In addition, the connections between consumers’ sociodemographic background and their perceptions of the quality features of wooden interior products were evaluated. The material of the study was based on data gathered in 2018 with a postal survey sent to 1000 people living in Finland with a response rate of 25.6%. As methods of analysis, exploratory factor analysis, the Mann-Whitney U test, and the Kruskall-Wallis test were utilized. The results show that the quality indicators of wooden interior products can be grouped into four factors relating to products’ environmental friendliness, fit with lifestyle and home design, visual and tactile attractiveness, and technical solidity, which are in multiple ways connected with sustainability. The sociodemographic background of the respondents was found to be linked with consumer scores for those factors. Engaging consumers in sustainable consumption choices requires providing them with information on wooden product value chains that meets their individual needs in relation to their existing knowledge of those issues and individual values.
Bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus L.) and lingonberry (V. vitis-idaea L.) can be a part of healthy diet and are important for many animals. Two approaches are described to assessing their vegetation cover and berry yield via national forest inventory (NFI) observations. The aim was to provide estimates and predictions of the abundance and yield of the species at regional and national levels in Finland and Sweden. In Finland, the model-based predictions are used in evaluating the impacts of cutting intensity on forest berries needed in forest-related decision making. In Sweden, seasonal inventory-based estimates are used to evaluate the annual national and regional berry yields, and in a forecasting system aimed at large public and berry enterprises. Based on the NFI sample plots measured between 2014 and 2018, the total annual yields are estimated to be 208 Mkg of bilberry and 246 Mkg of lingonberry on productive forest land (increment at least 1 m3 ha–1 year–1) in Finland, and 336 and 382 Mkg respectively in Sweden (average of NFI inventories in 2015–2019). The predicted development of berry yields is related to the intensity of cuttings in alternative forest management scenarios: lower removals favoured bilberry, and higher removals lingonberry. The model-based method describes the effects of stand development and management on berry yields, whereas the inventory-based method can calibrate seasonal estimates through field observations. In providing spatially and timely more accurate information concerning seasonal berry yields, an assessment of berry yields should involve the elements of both inventory-based and model-based approaches described in this study.
Thekopsora areolata (Fr.) Magnus is a serious cone pathogen that reduces seed crop of Picea abies (L.) Karst. and other Picea spp. Natural sporulation of T. areolata was investigated in nine Norway spruce seed orchards suffering from severe successive T. areolata epidemics in Finland. Habitats occupied by Vaccinium myrtillus L., V. vitis-idaea L., Empetrum nigrum L. and Calluna vulgaris (L.) Hull, and a number of other wild species belonging to ground flora were investigated for Thekopsora areolata uredinia 9–10 times in May–September 2018–2019. Occurrence of Thekopsora uredinia was estimated in current-year leaves of the plants in ca. 25 sample plots of 1 m2 in each seed orchard. A sample of plant leaves with rust uredinia or necrotic pustules were collected from each plot. No rust fruiting stages of T. areolata were found on any of the test species of ground flora. However, rust uredinia were observed regularly on leaves of V. myrtillus and V. vitis-idaea in all seed orchards between mid-July and the end of September. Rust sporulation started on V. myrtillus in July and on V. vitis-idaea in August. Based on symptoms, uredinia and spore morphology, the rust on both V. myrtillus and V. vitis-idaea was identified as blueberry rust, Naohidemyces vaccinii (Jørst.) S. Sato, Katsuya & Y. Hirats. ex Vanderwegen & Fraiture. The uredinial stage of the rust on Vaccinium spp. were described. No evidence of natural sporulation of T. areolata on wild plant species other than Prunus was observed in Finnish Norway spruce seed orchards.
Our main objective was to determine whether various genetically improved reproductive materials of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) differ in growth rhythm, autumn cold acclimation and resilience from unimproved materials. The study consisted of two successive indoor experiments with Scots pine seedlings representing four levels of genetic gain (unimproved natural stands, first-generation seed orchards, 1.5-generation seed orchards and seed orchards established with freezing-tested parents) and a wide range of geographical origins within Finland. The seedlings were assessed for terminal shoot elongation, growth cessation, bud set, freezing injuries and bud flushing over the first growth period. All the adaptive traits showed a latitudinal trend regardless of the genetic level. Seed orchard progenies and natural stand progenies did not differ significantly in the timing of growth cessation, bud set, and the flushing rate of the frost-injured seedlings, after the trait variation was adjusted to the latitude of origin. The differences in autumn frost hardiness were insignificant, too, except for the somewhat higher injury rate displayed by the first-generation seed orchard materials. The finding was not conclusive due to ambiguous results from the two experiments. Overall, we did not find evidence of alarming compromises in the adaptive performance of genetically improved materials.
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.
Spectral mixture analysis was used to estimate the contribution of woody elements to tree level reflectance from airborne hyperspectral data in boreal forest stands in Finland. Knowledge of the contribution of woody elements to tree or forest reflectance is important in the context of lea area index (LAI) estimation and, e.g., in the estimation of defoliation due to insect outbreaks, from remote sensing data. Field measurements from four Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.), five Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst.) and four birch (Betula pendula Roth and Betula pubescens Ehrh.) dominated plots, spectral measurements of needles, leaves, bark, and forest floor, airborne hyperspectral as well as airborne laser scanning data were used together with a physically-based forest reflectance model. We compared the results based on simple linear combinations of measured bark and needle/leaf spectra to those obtained by accounting for multiple scattering of radiation within the canopy using a physically-based forest reflectance model. The contribution of forest floor to reflectance was additionally considered. The resulted mean woody element contribution estimates varied from 0.140 to 0.186 for Scots pine, from 0.116 to 0.196 for birches and from 0.090 to 0.095 for Norway spruce, depending on the model used. The contribution of woody elements to tree reflectance had a weak connection to plot level forest variables.
The pulse density of airborne Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) is increasing due to technical developments. The trade-offs between pulse density, inventory costs, and forest attribute measurement accuracy are extensively studied, but the possibilities of high-density airborne LiDAR in stream extraction and soil wetness mapping are unknown. This study aimed to refine the best practices for generating a hydrologically conditioned digital elevation model (DEM) from an airborne LiDAR -derived 3D point cloud. Depressionless DEMs were processed using a stepwise breaching-filling method, and the performance of overland flow routing was studied in relation to a pulse density, an interpolation method, and a raster cell size. The study area was situated on a densely ditched forestry site in Parkano municipality, for which LiDAR data with a pulse density of 5 m–2 were available. Stream networks and a topographic wetness index (TWI) were derived from altogether 12 DEM versions. The topological database of Finland was used as a ground reference in comparison, in addition to 40 selected main flow routes within the catchment. The results show improved performance of overland flow modeling due to increased data density. In addition, commonly used triangulated irregular networks were clearly outperformed by universal kriging and inverse-distance weighting in DEM interpolation. However, the TWI proved to be more sensitive to pulse density than an interpolation method. Improved overland flow routing contributes to enhanced forest resource planning at detailed spatial scales.