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Articles by Carl Johan Westman

Category: Research article

article id 180, category Research article
Hongzhang Kang, Björn Berg, Chunjiang Liu, Carl J. Westman. (2009). Variation in mass-loss rate of foliar litter in relation to climate and litter quality in Eurasian forests: differences among functional groups of litter. Silva Fennica vol. 43 no. 4 article id 180. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.180
With a data set of litter decomposition collected by means of literature survey, our objectives are 1) to determine the differences in the variation in the first-year mass loss (%) of leaf litter with regard to climate and litter quality among different functional groups of tree species in Eurasian forests, and 2) to determine the difference in effect of mean annual temperature (°C), annual precipitation (dm), as well as concentration of nitrogen (%), and lignin (%) on first-year mass loss over a wide range in climate and litter quality. The main results are as follows. 1) The significant differences between litter types in the relationships between first-year mass loss and climatic factors plus litter quality revealed clearly different decomposition patterns over the continent. Thus, differences were found between coniferous and broadleaf litter, between deciduous broadleaf and evergreen broadleaf as well as between genera and even within a genus, viz. between deciduous and evergreen Quercus. 2) With a change in a relative unit of climate and litter quality variables, there were clear differences in effects of mean annual temperature, annual precipitation, and nitrogen on first-year mass loss for different functional groups of trees. 3) We identified some broadleaf litter species that decomposed to 100% in one year and thus did not contribute to carbon sequestration in a humus layer. Thus, the variation in pattern of foliar litter decomposition with climate and litter quality across functional groups in Eurasian forests showed different decomposition strategies for litter of different groups and genera.
  • Kang, School of Agriculture and Biology, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Dongchuan Rd. 800, Shanghai 200240, P. R. China ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Berg, Department of Forest Ecology, University of Helsinki, Latokartanonkaari 7, FIN-00014 Finland; Dipartimento Biologia Strutturale e Funzionale. Complesso Universitario, Monte S. Angelo, Via Cinthia, IT-80126 Napoli, Italy ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Liu, School of Agriculture and Biology, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Dongchuan Rd. 800, Shanghai 200240, P. R. China; Key Laboratory of Urban Agriculture (South), Ministry of Agriculture, P. R. China, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, 800 Dongchuan Rd., Shanghai 200240, P. R. China ORCID ID:E-mail: chjliu@sjtu.edu.cn (email)
  • Westman, Dipartimento Biologia Strutturale e Funzionale. Complesso Universitario, Monte S. Angelo, Via Cinthia, IT-80126 Napoli, Italy ORCID ID:E-mail:
article id 502, category Research article
Janne Levula, Hannu Ilvesniemi, Carl Johan Westman. (2003). Relation between soil properties and tree species composition in a Scots pine–Norway spruce stand in southern Finland. Silva Fennica vol. 37 no. 2 article id 502. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.502
It is commonly known in Finland that Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) is a tree of dry soils and Norway spruce (Picea abies (L) Karst.) is a tree of fresh soils. However, the concepts of dry and fresh soils still lack a precise definition. Consequently, the discussion on which soil/site is a pine or spruce habitat has continued over several decades. Moreover, in forest regeneration, the practice of tree species selection between the pine and the spruce has varied. We investigated the relationship between soil properties and pine–spruce species composition in a mature, naturally regenerated stand in southern Finland. We applied spatial analysis to divide the stand area up into 3–7 classes based on selected soil properties and then investigated the variations in species composition among those classes. The pine–spruce basal area ratio (BA of pines / BA of spruces) increased along with increasing mean particle size and proportion of coarse sand and gravel particle size fraction (0.6–20 mm) of mineral soil, and was lowest in classes, with the highest proportions of fine texture fractions. The results suggest that in southern Finland on sorted soils, pine is more competitive in regeneration and growth than spruce when mean particle size is above 0.44 mm or percentage of coarse sand and gravel is higher than 50%.
  • Levula, University of Helsinki, Department of Forest Ecology, FIN-00014 University of Helsinki, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail: janne.levula@helsinki.fi (email)
  • Ilvesniemi, University of Helsinki, Department of Forest Ecology, FIN-00014 University of Helsinki, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Westman, University of Helsinki, Department of Forest Ecology, FIN-00014 University of Helsinki, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail:
article id 509, category Research article
Michelle de Chantal, Laura Eskola, Hannu Ilvesniemi, Kari Leinonen, Carl Johan Westman. (2003). Early establishment of Pinus sylvestris and Picea abies sown on soil freshly prepared and after stabilisation. Silva Fennica vol. 37 no. 1 article id 509. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.509
The aim of this study is to investigate the early establishment of Pinus sylvestris L. (Scots pine) and Picea abies (L.) Karst. (Norway spruce) seedlings on soil freshly prepared and soil left to stabilise for one year after preparation. Three site preparation treatments were studied: exposed C horizon, mound (broken O/E/B horizon piled upside down over undisturbed forest floor), and exposed E/B horizon. The years investigated were different in terms of weather, one being rainy and the other one dry. As such, emergence was very low in the dry year. Content of fine silt particles, bulk density, water retention, air-filled porosity, loss-on-ignition, and near saturated hydraulic conductivity did not differ statistically between fresh and stabilised soil. Nevertheless, early establishment of P. sylvestris seedlings was improved on exposed C and E/B horizon after one year of soil stabilisation. In contrast, early establishment of P. sylvestris on mounds, and that of P. abies on all types of site preparation treatments were not improved by soil stabilisation. In addition, mortality due to frost heaving did not differ significantly between freshly prepared and stabilised soil. Considering the fact that growing season climate had a great influence on the sowing outcome, and that early establishment is also affected by other factors that vary yearly, such as predation, seedbed receptivity, and competition from vegetation, it may not be advantageous to wait for soil to stabilise before regenerating from seeds.
  • Chantal, University of Helsinki, Dept. of Forest Ecology, P.O. Box 27, FIN-00014 University of Helsinki, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail: michelle.dechantal@helsinki.fi (email)
  • Eskola, University of Helsinki, Dept. of Forest Ecology, P.O. Box 27, FIN-00014 University of Helsinki, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Ilvesniemi, University of Helsinki, Dept. of Forest Ecology, P.O. Box 27, FIN-00014 University of Helsinki, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Leinonen, University of Helsinki, Dept. of Forest Ecology, P.O. Box 27, FIN-00014 University of Helsinki, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Westman, University of Helsinki, Dept. of Forest Ecology, P.O. Box 27, FIN-00014 University of Helsinki, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail:
article id 599, category Research article
Chun-Jiang Liu, Carl J. Westman, Hannu Ilvesniemi. (2001). Matter and nutrient dynamics of pine (Pinus tabulaeformis) and oak (Quercus variabilis) litter in North China. Silva Fennica vol. 35 no. 1 article id 599. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.599
In the mountainous area of North China, a distinguishing feature of climate is the serious drought of spring and the humidity and high temperature of summer by which the litter production and decomposition of forest litter were strongly characterized. We investigated the dynamic and nutrient characteristics of litter in a 30-year-old mixed stand of Chinese pine (Pinus tabulaeformis Carr.) and deciduous orient oak (Quercus variabilis Bl.) and two comparable pure stands. Oak litterfall peaked in November and pine litterfall in December. The oak stand had the largest annual litterfall (347 g m–2) and the forest floor mass (950 g m–2), the mixed stand the second (236 g m–2 and 634 g m–2), and the pine stand the least (217 g m–2 and 615 g m–2). The nutrient return through litterfall and the storage in forest floor followed corresponding order between three stands. The weight loss of pine and oak foliage litter in first year was 25% and 20%. For senesced pine and oak leaves, the translocation rates of N, P and K were 56–83%. Nutrient concentrations were higher in oak leaf litter than pine needle litter, and the concentration of N and Ca appeared to rise while K concentration decreased in both decomposing litter.
  • Liu, Department of Forest Ecology, P.O. Box 27, FIN-00014 University of Helsinki, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail: cliu@silvia.helsinki.fi (email)
  • Westman, Department of Forest Ecology, P.O. Box 27, FIN-00014 University of Helsinki, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Ilvesniemi, Department of Forest Ecology, P.O. Box 27, FIN-00014 University of Helsinki, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail:

Category: Article

article id 5560, category Article
Carl Johan Westman. (1995). A simple device for sampling of volumetric forest soil cores. Silva Fennica vol. 29 no. 3 article id 5560. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.a9211

A simple, manually-operated and easily portable device for sampling volumetric soil cores to a depth of 100 cm with a minimum soil disturbance is described. The device consists of a sample tube, a sampler and an extension tube. A dead blow nylon mallet is used to force the sampler into the soil and a small winch attached to an aluminium tube pulls the sampler from the soil. The total weight of the equipment (sampler, mallet and winch) is 18.5 kg and may be carried in the trunk of a small car. Sampling is easily done by one person in good physical condition but four-handed operation is recommended as more efficient. The sampling device has been in heavy use during the summers of 1993–95 when several hundred soil cores have been extracted on various sites all over Finland.

  • Westman, ORCID ID:E-mail:
article id 5416, category Article
Carl Johan Westman. (1990). Metsämaan fysikaaliset ja fysikaalis-kemialliset ominaisuudet CT-OMaT kasvupaikkasarjassa. Silva Fennica vol. 24 no. 1 article id 5416. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.a15568
English title: Soil physical and physio-chemical properties of Finnish upland forest sites.
English keywords: site factors; fertility; podzols; porosity; CEC; pH

In soil profiles from a series of uplands of different site types bulk density, density of solids and porosity of soil were clearly related to soil organic matter content and its distribution in the soil profile. Soil organic matter contents were also strongly correlated to effective cation exchange capacity (CEC) and soil acidity. Site fertility was primarily related to the fine fraction (ø<0.06 mm) content in the C horizon and related properties (i.e. CEC). In the humus layer, the content of exchangeable bases and base saturation most strongly related to site fertility.

The PDF includes an abstract in English.

  • Westman, ORCID ID:E-mail:
article id 5253, category Article
Carl Johan Westman, Matti Leikola, Tapio Nummi. (1985). Käytännön typpilannoituksen vaikutus varttuneiden kuusikoiden kasvuun ja tuotokseen. Silva Fennica vol. 19 no. 4 article id 5253. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.a15432
English title: The effect of large-scale nitrogen fertilization on growth and yield of mature Norway spruce stands in south-western Finland.

A method for calculation of the effect of practical fertilization for economic evaluation is presented and discussed. 55 Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) H. Karst.) dominated stands on Oxalis-Myrtillus type sites were surveyed five to eight years after fertilization with nitrogen (90-170 kg/ha). The relationships between the fertilization effect and various stand characteristics were discussed. Fertilization increased the growth of the stands on an average by 2.2 m3/ha/year. In total the increase of tree growth during the research period was 17.5 m3/ha. This corresponds to a yield of 525–659 FIM/ha.

The PDF includes a summary in English.

  • Westman, ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Leikola, ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Nummi, ORCID ID:E-mail:
article id 5232, category Article
Carl Johan Westman, Jukka Laine, Michael Starr. (1985). A comparison of gravimetric and volumetric soil properties in peatland and upland sites. Silva Fennica vol. 19 no. 1 article id 5232. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.a15411

Transects from upland to peatland sites were laid out so as to encounter a wide range of nutritional and hydrological conditions and volumetric soil samples were taken at 20 m intervals. For organic material, in particular peats, the correlation of ignition loss with CEC and total N were clearly higher when the variables were expressed volumetrically. The volumetric expression of variables made comparison of soils with varying organic matter contents possible. In preliminary analyses of the relationships between soil variables and dominant height of the tree stand on mineral soil sites volumetric exchangeable bases, pH and C/N -ratio in the raw humus layer showed a significant correlation.

The PDF includes a summary in Finnish.

  • Westman, ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Laine, ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Starr, ORCID ID:E-mail:
article id 5169, category Article
Seppo Kellomäki, Pasi Puttonen, Heikki Tamminen, Carl Johan Westman. (1982). Effect of nitrogen fertilization on photosynthesis and growth in young Scots pines. Preliminary results. Silva Fennica vol. 16 no. 4 article id 5169. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.a15084

Application of nitrogen at levels of 200, 400 and 600 kg ha-1 resulted in increases of 35, 18 and 12% in the photosynthetic rate in young Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.). The number of buds, degree of branching, and needle size were positively related to the amount of nitrogen applied. A 10–40% increase in the average needle area was found. A positive correlation was found between total photosynthesis and stem growth.

The PDF includes a summary in Finnish.

  • Kellomäki, ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Puttonen, ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Tamminen, ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Westman, ORCID ID:E-mail:
article id 4990, category Article
Michael Starr, Carl Johan Westman. (1978). Easily extractable nutrients in the surface peat layer of virgin sedge-pine swamps. Silva Fennica vol. 12 no. 2 article id 4990. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.a14844

The paper deals with the nutrient status of surface peat layer from virgin sedge-pine swamps and its relationship to peatland types. When the nutrients are expressed in mg/100 g peat, only easily extractable Ca and Mg correspond to the productivity status of the peatland type. N, P, and K levels in the herb rich sedge-pine swamp are generally lower than in the small sedge-pine swamps, which are the least productive ones. The differences between the site types in all the five nutrients become much clearer when the results are expressed in kg/ha. P, K, and Ca are significantly different between the site types, and correspond to the productivity of the site type. For N and Mg the same tendency can be seen. The organically bound nutrients N, and to a lesser extent, P appear to comply with the hypothesis of an increase in nutrient availability in Southern Finland.

The PDF includes a summary in Finnish.

  • Starr, ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Westman, ORCID ID:E-mail:
article id 4954, category Article
Carl Johan Westman. (1976). Förrådsgödsling av rotande tallplantor med olika kvävegödselmedel. Silva Fennica vol. 10 no. 4 article id 4954. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.a14800
English title: Fertilization of Scots pine seedlings with different nitrogen fertilizer.

The paper describes an attempt to determine whether ammonium, nitrate and urea nitrogen are bound in peat used as a filling material in containerized seedling production, what is the effect of the nutrients on certain chemical properties in the peat, and what is the effect of the nitrogen fertilizers on the primary growth of containerized (paper-pot VH 608) Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) seedlings in connection with planting out. The seedlings were fertilized with ammonium sulphate, potassium nitrate and urea.

The results show that none of the fertilizers used were bound in the peat. The nitrogen content in the above ground part of the seedlings increased clearly. Fertilization with ammonium sulphate resulted in the greatest increment and this increase appears to be permanent. The wintering process was somewhat delayed by the fertilization. The seedling mortality rate for all the treatments has been quite appreciable. However, fertilization particularly with ammonium sulphate on the poorer of the two sites studied has had a positive effect on seedling survival. Furthermore, it appears that fertilizer treatments have decreased growth after planting, but in the case of ammonium sulphate this decrease has changed into a clear growth increment.

The PDF includes a summary in English.

  • Westman, ORCID ID:E-mail:
article id 4952, category Article
Irja Lehtonen, Seppo Kellomäki, Carl Johan Westman. (1976). Ravinteiden kierto eräässä männikössä. Silva Fennica vol. 10 no. 4 article id 4952. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.a14798
English title: Nutrient cycle in a Scots pine stand. II. Amount and quality of precipitation in a Scots pine stand at the pole stage.

This study forms part of a project designed to elucidate the total nutrient budget of a Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) stand in Central Finland during the 1974 growing period. Precipitation has been divided up into precipitation, throughfall and stemflow.

The acidity of the rainwater was found to increase in the order – Precipitation, throughfall and stemflow. The electrolyte content of the rain water from throughfall and stemflow was higher than that of precipitation. The nutrient contents of precipitation were rather low. Throughfall and stemflow were found to leach some nutrient from the trees. This was most clear in the case of potassium. The total amounts of nutrients reaching the ground in throughfall were found to be smaller than those in precipitation. On the other hand, the amounts of potassium, calcium and magnesium in stemflow were clearly greater than those in precipitation.

The PDF includes a summary in English.

  • Lehtonen, ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Kellomäki, ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Westman, ORCID ID:E-mail:
article id 4902, category Article
Carl Johan Westman. (1974). Urealannoituksen vaikutus metsämaan kasveille käyttökelpoiseen typpimäärään. Silva Fennica vol. 8 no. 2 article id 4902. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.a14746
English title: Effect of urea application on nitrogen available for plants in forest soil.

The paper describes a preliminary attempt to assess the long-term effect of urea application on the quantity of nitrogen available for plants in forest soil. The soil samples required for the study were collected from an experimental area which had been set up for investigations into both the single and joint effect on tree growth of two levels of each of urea and phosphorus application. The stand was a mixed forest of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) and Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) H. Karst.) on Myrtillus type site with an average volume of 217.5 m3/ha.

According to the results, the nitrogen available for plants of the humus layer was significantly higher in fertilized than in unfertilized plots as late as four years after application. In terms of absolute values, the quantities were extremely small, only 3–4% of the amounts applied. In comparison with these results it was interesting to notice that urea application seemed to increase the C/N ratio.

The PDF includes a summary in English.

  • Westman, ORCID ID:E-mail:
article id 7644, category Article
Carl Johan Westman. (1987). Site classification in estimation of fertilization effects on drained mires. Acta Forestalia Fennica no. 198 article id 7644. https://doi.org/10.14214/aff.7644

Multivariate methods are used to classify pine mires on the basis of edaphic properties into fertility groups in order to estimate the effect of fertilization in relation to site fertility. The data is based on two field inventories of NPK fertilization experiment in which 2,624 sample trees on 164 sample plots from 19 experimental fields were measured on Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) dominated stands. The edaphic properties (total contents of nutrients and related properties) are based on 1,350 volumetric sub-samples of fertilized and non-fertilized control plots.

In a DECORANA ordination, based on standardised volumetric soil variables N-P and acid-base gradients jointly describing trophic status were distinguished. Mainly on the basis of these two gradients a TWINSPAN analysis divided the material into five edaphic groups. To independently allocate sample plots into fertility groups, discriminating multiple regressions were formed using the TS edaphic groups as class variable.

The effect of N, P, K, NP, NK, PK, and NPK treatments on tree growth was estimated on the basis of change in relative basal area increment during two growth periods. During five-year period immediately after fertilization N and P treatments evoked the strongest increase in growth. On the nutrient poor sites, the effect was almost double that on the fertile sites. The effect of N was short lasting while the P treatment still affected growth after 5–11 years. Although K treatment had little influence on tree growth needle samples collected 11 years after fertilization indicated increased K uptake on fertilized plots.

Generally, the effect of fertilization on absolute stand volume growth was small. During the 11-year study period the total increase in growth gained with NPK was some 3–4 m3/ha. Despite strong relative response of individual sample trees, due to low stand volume fertilization (and drainage) had practically no effect on volume growth on the sites of lowest fertility.

The PDF includes a summary in Finnish.

  • Westman, ORCID ID:E-mail:
article id 7631, category Article
Carl Johan Westman. (1983). Taimitarhamaiden fysikaalisia ja kemiallisia ominaisuuksia sekä niiden suhde orgaanisen aineksen määrään. Acta Forestalia Fennica no. 184 article id 7631. https://doi.org/10.14214/aff.7631
English title: Physical and physio-chemical properties of forest tree nursery soils and their relation to the amount of organic matter.

The aims of the present study were to determine physical and physio-chemical properties of some Finnish forest tree nursery soils, and to examine relationships between these properties and the amount of organic matter in the soil.

The following soil tillage layer properties of 33 fields belonging to 8 forest tree nurseries were determined: soil particle size distribution, organic matter content, bulk density and density of solids, total pore space, soil water volume at potentials pF 2.0 and 4.2, available water content and air space at potential pF 2.0, active acidity, electrical conductivity index and cation exchange capacities at pH 4.5 and 8.0. The soil texture class of the tillage layer parent material was sand, only in a few cases did higher percentage of silt and clay indicate a morainic nature of parent material. The amount of organic material in the soils varied within wide limits, reflecting differences in amelioration policy between the single nurseries.

Relationships between the physical properties of the soil parent material and those related to fertility were in most cases strongly influenced by the amount of soil organic matter. Soil density values decreased as the organic matter content increased from 2 to 25%, giving rise to the increase in the total pore space. However, the amount of water held at potential pF 2.0 and the available water content did not increase with increasing organic matter content. This was due to the absence of the particle fraction in the sand. Nursery soil amelioration, involving in most cases a mixture of Sphagnum peat with sand, thus gives rise to an increase in the content of drainable water.

Cation exchange capacities were positively correlated with the organic matter content. However, the absolute number of exchange sites expressed as equivalents in the tillage layer did not increase in accordance with the increase in organic matter content due to the influence of the organic matter content upon the ratio of solids in the voids.

The PDF includes a summary in English.

  • Westman, ORCID ID:E-mail:
article id 7619, category Article
Carl Johan Westman. (1981). Fertility of surface peat in relation to the site type and potential stand growth. Acta Forestalia Fennica no. 172 article id 7619. https://doi.org/10.14214/aff.7619

Fertility of surface peat from sedge pine mires was studied by measuring several edaphic growth factors: bulk density, volume weight of organic matter, ash content, acidity, electric conductivity, effective cation exchange capacity, degree of base saturation, and total contents of N, P, K, Ca and Mg. The 168 temporal sample plots were situated on virgin sedge mires in different parts of Finland, and the 30 permanent sample plots on two uniform sedge mires.

The results showed that peat bulk density and volume weight of organic matter tend to increase with increasing site quality. Ash content increased gradually in the site series from small sedge mire to the herb-rich sedge mire. The relationship between the total content of macronutrients in peat and the site quality is clear. The importance of bulk density in evaluating the site quality is further emphasized when taking into account its significant correlation to contents of N and P. The soil variables follow the accepted quality gradient of the site series. Consequently, the plant sociologically based site classification seems to reflect satisfactorily the average soil properties. However, the within site variation was significant.

  • Westman, ORCID ID:E-mail:

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