Current issue: 54(2)
The carbon reservoir of ecosystems was estimated based on field measurements for forests and peatlands on an area in Finland covering 263,000 km2 and extending about 900 km across the boreal zone from south to north. More than two thirds of the reservoir was in peat, and less than ten per cent in trees. Forest ecosystems growing on mineral soils covering 144,000 km2 contained 10–11 kg C m-2 on an average, including both vegetation (3.4 kg C m-2) and soil (uppermost 75 cm; 7.2 kg C m-2). Mire ecosystems covering 65,000 km2 contained an average of 72 kg C m-2 as peat. For the landscape consisting of peatlands, closed and open forests, and inland water, excluding arable and built-up land, a reservoir of 24.6 kg C m-2 was observed. This includes the peat, forest soil and tree biomass. This is an underestimate of the true total reservoir, because there are additional unknown reservoirs in deep soil, lake sediments, woody debris, and ground vegetation. Geographic distributions of the reservoirs were described, analysed and discussed. The highest reservoir, 35–40 kg C m-2, was observed in sub-regions in central western and north western Finland. Many estimates given for the boreal carbon reservoirs have been higher than those of ours. Either the Finnish environment contains less carbon per unit area than the rest of the boreal zone, or the global boreal reservoir has earlier been overestimated. In order to reduce uncertainties of the global estimates, statistically representative measurements are needed especially on Russian and Canadian peatlands.
Relationships between bulk density and organic matter (OM) content, textural properties and depth are described for forested mineral soils from Central and Northern Finland. Core samples were taken of 0–5, 30–35 and 60–65 cm layers at 75 plots. Three measures of bulk density were calculated: the bulk density of the < 20 mm fraction (BD20), the bulk density of the < 2 mm fraction (BD2), and laboratory bulk density (BDl). BDl was determined from the mass of a fixed volume of < 2 mm soil taken in the laboratory. All three measures of bulk densities were strongly correlated with organic matter content (r ≥ -0.63). Depth and gravel (2–20 mm) content (in the case of BD2) were also important variables. BDl was sensitive to clay contents > 7% but did significantly improve the prediction of both BD2 and BD20 in coarse soils (clay contents ≤ 7%). Predictive models were derived for coarse soils.
In 1972, all Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) H. Karst.) trees of a minimum 7 cm diameter at breast height growing in the sample plots of the Sixth National Forest Inventory were examined on the main island of Aland, Finland. The soundness of standing trees was estimated by means of external characteristics and increment borer chips. The trees were then felled and measured. They were cut into lengths, and the type and extent of decay were studied.
30% of the trees examined was affected by butt rot, ca. 3% by wound decay. A comparison of the results with those of the Sixth National Forest Inventory justifies the estimate that in Aland 23% of spruce trees exceeding 7 cm in diameter at 1.3 m had butt rot.
The proportion of decayed trees in the cubic volume was 31%. Decayed wood material accounted for 5% of the volume including bark. Butt rot increased towards the mature stands. The reduction in the number of timber trees due to decay was 14.5%, in their volume 21.5%, and in the volume of sulphite pulpwood 12%. The share of sulphate pulpwood increased from 1 to 10%. The total reduction in usable wood was 6.3%. The stumpage price of the trees fell by 10.3%. As the degree of decay increased the increment percentage of the trees decreased. The most common cause of butt rot was Fomes annosus (Heterobasidion annosum) found in 46% of the number of decayed trees. Armillaria mellea was found in 16%. Bacteria were found in 50% of the decayed trees.
The PDF includes a summary in Finnish.