Category: Research article
article id 10462, category Research article
Comparing the characteristics of boom-corridor and selectively thinned stands of Scots pine and birch. Silva Fennica vol. 55 no. 3 article id 10462. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.10462
Highlights: After boom-corridor thinning (BCT), the number of stems per hectare was higher than that after selective thinning. The number of future crop trees was at the same level; The removal of the simulated intermediate thinnings and clearcutting in BCT treatments was 10–18% higher than in selective thinning. The saw log volumes were at the same level in both treatments.
Young, dense forest in Finland and Sweden urgently need to receive first thinning. In such stands, conventional selective thinning methods make the harvester work time consuming and, thus, costly. To make small-sized trees economically competitive as raw material for bioenergy and biorefining, new harvesting technologies and/or thinning methods need to be developed. A potential solution is boom-corridor thinning (BCT), rendering effective cutting work. The aim of this study was to describe and compare the stand structure of two Scots pine stands (Pinus sylvestris L.) and one birch-dominated (Betula pendula Roth with natural downy birch, B. pubescens Ehrh.) stand after BCT and selective thinning at the first thinning phase. Furthermore, simulations were conducted to predict the future stand development after the first thinning treatments. The density of the growing stock was 16–46% higher after BCT treatment than after selective thinning because BCT stands included more small and supressed trees with a dbh < 100 mm. However, the numbers of future crop trees with a dbh > 140 mm per hectare were at the same level in both treatments. The stem volume removal per hectare did not differ between treatments. However, simulation of stand development and intermediate thinning and clearcutting revealed that the total removal volume was 10–18% higher in BCT stands compared to selectively thinned ones. The saw log volumes harvested did, however, not differ between treatments. This study shows that BCT generates stands with higher biodiversity compared to conventional thinning as higher levels of biomass removal can be reached throughout stand rotations.
article id 10196, category Research article
Low cost prediction of time consumption for pre-commercial thinning in Finland. Silva Fennica vol. 54 no. 1 article id 10196. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.10196
Highlights: Time consumption (TC) in pre-commercial thinning (PCT) can be predicted by variables describing site and stands conditions and previous silvicultural management; Applying variables available in forest resources data the field-assessment of worksite difficulty factors is not needed; The TC model could facilitate the predictions of the labour costs of PCT in forest information systems.
The time consumption (TC) of pre-commercial thinning (PCT) varies greatly among sites, stands and forest workers. The TC in PCT is usually estimated by field-assessed work difficulty factors. In this study, a linear mixed model for the TC in PCT was prepared by utilizing forest resources data (FRD). The modelling data included 11 848 and validation data included 3035 worksites with TC information recorded by forest workers within the period of 2008–2018. The worksites represented a range of site and stand conditions across a broad geographical area in Finland. Site and stand characteristics and previous management logically explained the TC in PCT. The more fertile the site, the more working time was needed in PCT. On sites of medium fertility, TC in the initial PCT increased with stand age by 0.5 h ha–1 yr–1. Site wetness increased the TC. PCT in summer was more time consuming than in spring. Small areas were more time consuming to PCT per hectare than larger ones. The between-forest worker variation involved in the TC was as high as 35% of the variation unexplained by the TC model. The coefficient of determination in validation data was 19.3%, RMSE 4.75 h ha–1 and bias –1.6%. The TC model based on FRD was slightly less precise than the one based on field-assessed work difficulty factors (removal quantity and type and terrain difficulty): RMSE 4.9 h ha–1 vs. 4.1 h ha–1 (52% vs. 43%). The TC model could be connected to forest information systems where it would facilitate the predictions of the labour costs of PCT without field-assessing work difficulty factors.
article id 9933, category Research article
Quality of spot mounding performed by continuously advancing mounders. Silva Fennica vol. 52 no. 2 article id 9933. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.9933
Highlights: The number and quality of mounds varied considerably according to the operating conditions;The main factors reducing the quality of spot mounding were steep terrain, a thick humus layer, fresh logging residues, stoniness and soil texture;With careful selection of timing and conditions for mounding, the quality obtained by continuously advancing mounders can be improved.
Operating conditions affecting the quality of spot mounding by Bracke continuously advancing mounders were investigated on 66 regeneration areas (124 ha) in eastern Finland. The quality of mounds was classified as suitable (good or acceptable after additional compression) or unsuitable for planting. Models were constructed for the number of suitable planting spots obtained per hectare (good and acceptable mounds), the probability of successful mounding (≥1600 planting spots ha–1) and the probability of creating a suitable mound as a function of terrain, site and soil characteristics, as well as slash conditions (removed, fresh or dry logging residues). The average number of mounds created was 1892 ± 290 mounds ha–1, of which 1398 ± 325 mounds ha–1 (74%) were classified as suitable for planting. The quality of spot mounding was reduced by steep terrain, a thick humus layer and fresh logging residues. Stoniness and soil texture also affected the number of planting spots created. Mounding after logging residues had dried increased the number of planting spots by 191 spots ha–1 compared with mounding in the presence of fresh residues. Removing residues did not significantly increase the number of planting spots compared with mounding amongst dry residues. A thick humus layer, very stony soil, steep slopes and valley terrain decreased the number of planting spots by 150–450 spots ha–1. The number and quality of mounds varied considerably according to the operating conditions, but with careful selection of timing and sites the quality obtained by a continuously advancing mounder can be improved.
article id 1005, category Research article
Empirical prediction models for the coverage and yields of cowberry in Finland. Silva Fennica vol. 47 no. 3 article id 1005. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.1005
Highlights: The site fertility significantly affected the abundance of cowberry on mineral soils, spruce mires and pine mires; The stand basal area and dominant tree species were among the most important forest structural predictors in the model for the coverage; In the cowberry yield model developed for mineral soil sites, the stand basal area and coverage of cowberry plants were statistically significant predictors.
Empirical models for the coverage and berry yield of cowberry (Vaccinium vitis-idaea L.) were developed using generalized linear mixed models (GLMMs). The percentage coverage of cowberry was predicted as a function of site and stand characteristics using data from the Finnish National Forest Inventory (NFI) in 1995. The average annual yield, including the between-year variation in the yield, was predicted as a function of percentage coverage and stand characteristics using permanent experimental plots (MASI) established in different areas of Finland and measured in 2001-2012. The model for cowberry yields (Model 2) was developed for mineral soil forests. The model for the coverage (Model 1) was constructed so that it considers both mineral soil sites and also many other sites where cowberry occurs in the field layer. According to Model 1, the site fertility significantly affected the abundance of cowberry on mineral soils, spruce mires and pine mires. The stand basal area and dominant tree species were among the most important forest structural predictors in Model 1. The site fertility was not a significant predictor in the cowberry yield model. Instead, the stand basal area and coverage of cowberry plants were found to be statistically significant predictors in Model 2. The estimated models were used to predict the cowberry coverage, average annual yield and its 95 % confidence interval along with stand development. The models of this study can be used for multi-objective forest planning purposes.
article id 181, category Research article
Modelling the abundance and temporal variation in the production of bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus L.) in Finnish mineral soil forests. Silva Fennica vol. 43 no. 4 article id 181. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.181
Empirical models for the abundance and berry yield of V. myrtillus were constructed using generalized linear mixed model (GLMM) techniques. The percentage coverage of bilberry was predicted as a function of site and stand characteristics using the permanent sample plots of the National Forest Inventory (NFI) in 1995. The number of bilberries was predicted as a function of percentage coverage and stand characteristics using a sub-sample of the NFI plots in North Karelia. The between-year variation in the bilberry yield was analysed using the permanent experimental plots (MASI) established in different areas of Finland and measured in 2001–2007. The highest coverage of bilberry was found on mesic heath sites; on sub-xeric and herb-rich heath sites the values were 62% of that for mesic sites. The decreasing effect of deciduous trees (compared to spruce) was significant only on herb-rich heath sites. The coverage increased along with stand development up to certain stand ages and basal areas. The bilberry yields were higher in pine-dominated stands than in spruce-dominated ones. In spruce stands, the coverage of bilberry and stand basal area significantly affected the number of berries, whereas in pine stands only the coverage was a significant predictor. In the MASI data, the bilberry yield of pine stands was two times higher than that of spruce stands; however, the between-year variation in bilberry yield was higher in the spruce than in the pine stands. The estimated models were used to predict the bilberry coverage and yield along with stand development. On mesic heath sites in southern Finland (1200 dd.), the predicted annual yield of bilberry was about 25 kg ha–1 (95% confidence interval 9–73 kg ha–1) in a mature pine stand and about 10 kg ha–1 (3–35 kg ha–1) in a mature spruce stand. The models can be included in stand simulators, where they would facilitate the prediction of bilberry abundance and yields for silvicultural and forest planning purposes.
article id 274, category Research article
Cleaning methods in planted Scots pine stands in southern Finland: 4-year results on survival, growth and whipping damage of pines. Silva Fennica vol. 41 no. 4 article id 274. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.274
The effects of four cleaning treatments on the survival, growth of, and whipping damage to Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) main stems were studied in young planted pine stands in southern Finland. Treatments were: no cleaning, point-cleaning of broadleaves (mainly birch, Betula pendula Roth and B. pubescens Ehrh.) within a radius of 1 m from the pine, topping of competing broadleaves, and total cleaning of broadleaves. A randomised complete block design with three replicates was established in five sapling stands: the mean height of the pines was 1.5 m in the three younger stands (6 or 7 years old), and 3 m in the two older stands (9 years old). Measurements taken four growing seasons later showed that in the younger stands, all cleaning treatments significantly (P < 0.05) decreased the mortality and increased the diameter increment of the pines. The height increment of the pines on point-cleaned and topped plots was significantly greater than on totally cleaned plots. In the older stands, the effects of cleaning treatments on the mortality and increment of pines were non-significant. In the younger and older stands, point-cleaning and total cleaning significantly reduced the whipping damage to pines, whereas the topping of competing broadleaves did not. The preliminary results support the use of point-cleaning in planted Scots pine stands when the mean height of the pines is about 1.5 m.
article id 364, category Research article
Optimising the management of a heterogeneous stand. Silva Fennica vol. 39 no. 4 article id 364. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.364
The study presents a method for taking the heterogeneity of the stand into account in the optimisation of stand management. Heterogeneity refers to within-stand variation in stand density and/or other characteristics. A set of plots, corresponding to different sub-areas of the stand, represents the stand in calculations. Cuttings and other treatments of the plots are done simultaneously. The method was used to analyse how the optimal management depends on the heterogeneity of a Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst.) and Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) stand. The results supported the hypothesis that the heterogeneity of a stand decreases its optimal prior-thinning density. Also the remaining stand basal areas were lower in heterogeneous stands, especially in spruce. The effect of stand heterogeneity prior to the first commercial thinning still affected the timing of the second thinning, which had to be conducted earlier and at lower prior-thinning basal areas in heterogeneous stands. This happened despite the fact that the first thinning greatly decreased the within-stand variation in stand basal area. In addition, heterogeneity decreased the soil expectation value, net income and timber harvests.
article id 524, category Research article
Thinning response and thinning bias in a young Scots pine stand. Silva Fennica vol. 36 no. 4 article id 524. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.524
The study analyses the annual post-thinning response and thinning bias of a young Scots pine stand as a function of tree size, competition faced by the tree, and competition that is removed around the tree in the thinning treatment. The thinning response of a tree was defined as the change of tree growth due to a thinning treatment. The thinning bias was defined as the difference between the true growth and model prediction. A distance-dependent (spatial) and a distance-independent (non-spatial) growth model were used in the calculations. The empirical data were measured from a thinning experiment consisting of ten plots, each 40 x 30 m in size, which were thinned to different stand densities. The ten-year post-thinning growth of every remaining tree was measured. The results indicated that the highest thinning response is among medium-sized and co-dominant trees. The thinning response is quite small, and even negative for some trees, for two years after thinning but it becomes clearly positive from the third year onwards. The spatial model underestimated the growth of small trees (which usually face high competition) while the non-spatial model overestimated the growth of trees that are small or face much competition. The spatial model used in this study overemphasized the effect of competition while the non-spatial model underestimated this effect. Both growth models overestimated the growth of trees in heavily thinned places, but this bias disappeared in two years. The negative bias was more pronounced with a spatial growth model because the tendency of the non-spatial model to underestimate the growth of trees facing little competition partly compensated for the negative bias.
article id 523, category Research article
Effect of early thinning on the diameter growth distribution along the stem of Scots pine. Silva Fennica vol. 36 no. 4 article id 523. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.523
The absolute and relative effects of the first thinning on the diameter growth distribution along the stems were studied in 98 Scots pines (Pinus sylvestris L.) at heights of 1.3, 4, 6 and 8 m. The data cover one 3-year pre-thinning period and four 3-year post-thinning periods in plots with densities varying from 575 to 3400 stems ha–1. A shift in the point of maximum diameter growth down the bole was found during the first 3 years after thinning, with a shift back up the stem later. The thinning response over the whole 12-year post-thinning period was strongest the nearer the stem base and the heavier the thinning. The largest trees had the highest diameter growth after thinning in absolute terms, and the growth was greater the heavier the thinning. The absolute thinning response over the 12-year post-thinning period was highest in the medium tree size and in the largest trees, especially on the heavily thinned and lightly thinned plots. Whereas in the moderately thinned stand the smaller and larger trees responded more than did those of medium size on average. In relative sense, however, the small trees on heavily or moderately thinned plots responded more rapidly and more strongly than the medium-sized or large trees over the whole stem. The small trees on the lightly thinned plots responded only slightly to thinning. The results suggest that it is possible to affect the uniformity of wood properties (such as ring width) both within and between trees by thinning.
article id 671, category Research article
Optimizing thinnings and rotation of Scots pine and Norway spruce mixtures. Silva Fennica vol. 33 no. 1 article id 671. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.671
The study describes a simulation-optimization system which uses spatial models for diameter and height growth, crown ratio and tree mortality for Scots pine and Norway spruce mixtures. The optimal one- and two-thinning regimes of six initial stands with varing species composition were solved by using nonlinear optimization. The soil expectation value (SEV) at 3% interest rate was used as a management objective. The regimes are determined by taking into account the stand basal areas before the thinnings, the removal percentages for small, medium-sized and large pines and spruces, and the stand basal area before the final felling. The greatest SEV (8900 FIM ha–1) was attained with the initial stand where the proportion of pines was 65% of the number of the stems. In the two-thinning regime, the first thinning was conducted at the age of 39 years when the stand basal area was 37 m2 ha–1 and the dominant height was about 15 m. After the thinning, the basal area was 27 m2 ha–1. Spruces were thinned from below, but both small and large pines were removed. The second thinning was 8 years later and much heavier: the stand basal area was decreased from 35 m2 ha–1 to 18 m2 ha–1 by removing both small and large pines and spruces. When the optimal two-thinning regime was compared to the regime presented by Forest Centre Tapio, the loss of SEV was about 30% (6070 FIM ha–1) in the case of thinnings from below, and about 20% (7250 FIM ha–1) in the case of thinnings from above.
Category: Research note
article id 1573, category Research note
Modelling the coverage and annual variation in bilberry yield in Finland. Silva Fennica vol. 50 no. 4 article id 1573. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.1573
Highlights: 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 approach introduced in this study to calculating annual berry yield indices is a promising way for estimating total annual bilberry yields over a given period of time.
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.
article id 403, category Research note
Multilevel modelling of height growth in young Norway spruce plantations in southern Finland. Silva Fennica vol. 39 no. 1 article id 403. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.403
Height development of Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst.) transplants was studied on 22 sites prepared by disc trenching or mounding. At the age of 4–9 years the plantations were surveyed using a multistage sampling design. For every planted spruce on a plot, the past annual height increments were measured as far into the past as possible. Multilevel mixed linear modelling was used to analyse the variation in growth at different levels (year, stand, cluster, plot, tree) and the effects of climatic and site characteristics on height growth. The within-plantation variation in height growth was higher on mounded sites than on disc-trenched sites. The mean temperature and the precipitation sum of the summer months affected height growth positively. Soil characteristics measured from undisturbed soil did not explain the height growth of seedlings on mounded sites, whereas on disc-trenched sites, the depth of the organic layer and the soil temperature had a positive effect and the depth of the eluvial horizon a negative effect. The modelling approach used proved to be a useful method for examining the sources of variation in development of young plantations.
article id 5525, category Article
Spatial growth model for Scots pine on drained peatland. Silva Fennica vol. 28 no. 1 article id 5525. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.a9159
A spatial growth model is presented for Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) on a dwarf-shrub pine mire drained 14 years earlier. The growth model accounts for the variation in tree diameter growth owing to the competition between trees, the distance between tree and ditch, and the time passed since drainage. The model was used to study the effect of tree arrangement on the post-drainage growth of a pine stand. Clustering of trees decreased the volume growth by 9–20% as compared to a regular spatial distribution. Stand volume growth, for a given number of stems, was at its maximum and variation in diameter growth at its minimum when the stand density on the ditch border was 1.5–5 higher than midway between two adjacent ditches.