Current issue: 53(4)
Under compilation: 54(1)
In Nordic countries, tree planting of seedlings is mainly performed during spring and early summer. Interest has increased in extending the planting window throughout the unfrozen growing season. This study compared the success of one-year-old spring, summer and autumn plantings in practical forestry in Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst.) and Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) in southern and central Finland. Planting success was based on the number of viable seedlings per hectare relative to a species-specific target density. The influence of different factors to poor planting results were determined, including quality of site preparation and planting, and sources of natural damage. Overall, in Norway spruce, 85, 69 and 84% and in Scots pine 53, 55 and 40% of spring, summer and autumn plantings succeeded. In Norway spruce, the planting results were consistent between the southern and central regions, whereas in Scots pine, the success was slightly lower in the south. The poor work quality and a low density of appropriate planting spots, contributed to poor planting results, regardless of planting season, region or tree species. Considering different damages, especially mammal damage contributed to the failure of Scots pine spring plantings, whereas in summer plantings, corresponding single failure reason could not be identified. Based on our findings, extending the planting season of Norway spruce could be recommended in both regions. For Scots pine, there is still significant uncertainty about the success of summer and autumn plantings, partially due to the limited number of plantings available for analyses.
Diameter at breast height (DBH) and height (H) of trees are two important variables used in forest management plans. However, collecting the measurements of H is time-consuming and costly. Instead, the H-DBH relationship is modeled and used to estimate H. But, ignoring the effects of slope, aspect and tree competition on the H-DBH relationship often impedes the improvement of H predictions. In this study, to improve predictions of Cyclobalanopsis glauca (Thunb.) Oerst. tree H in mixed forests, we compared eleven H-DBH models and examined the influence of slope and aspect on the H-DBH relationship using 426 trees. We then improved Hegyi competition index and explored its effect on the H predictions by including it in the selected models. Results showed 1) There were statistically significant effects of slope and aspect on the H-DBH relationship; 2) The log transformation and exponential model performed best for sunny- and shady-steep, respectively, and the Gompertz’s model was optimal for both sunny- and shady-gentle; 3) Compared with the whole dataset, the division of the data into the slope and aspect sub-datasets significantly reduced the RMSE of H predictions; 4) Compared with the selected models without competition index, adding the original Hegyi and improved Hegyi_I into the models improved the H predictions but only the models containing the improved Hegyi_I significantly increased the prediction accuracy at the significant level of 0.1. This study implied that modeling the H-DBH relationship under different slopes and aspects and including the improved Hegyi_I provided the great potential to improve the H predictions.
Accurate estimates of aboveground biomass (AGB) strongly depend on the suitability and precision of allometric models. Diospyros mespiliformis Hochst. ex A. DC. is a key component of most sub-Sahara agroforestry systems and, one of the most economically important trees in Africa. Despite its importance, very few scientific information exists regarding its biomass and carbon storage potential. In this study direct method was used to develop site-specific biomass models for D. mespiliformis tree components in Burkina Faso. Allometric models were developed for stem, branch and leaf biomass using data from 39 tree harvested in Sudanian savannas of Burkina Faso. Diameter at breast height (DBH), tree height, crown diameter (CD) and basal diameter (D20) were regressed on biomass component using non-linear models with DBH alone, and DBH in combination with height and/or CD as predictor variables. Carbon content was estimated for each tree component using the ash method. Allometric models differed between the experimental sites, except for branch biomass models. Site-specific models developed in this study exhibited good model fit and performance, with explained variance of 81–98%. Using models developed from other areas would have underestimated or overestimated biomass by between –72% and +98%. Carbon content in aboveground components of D. mespiliformis in Tiogo, Boulon and Tapoa-Boopo was 55.40% ± 1.50, 55.52% ± 1.06 and 55.63% ± 1.00, respectively, and did not vary significantly (P-value = 0.909). Site-specific models developed in this study are useful tool for estimating carbon stocks and can be used to accurately estimate tree components biomass in vegetation growing under similar conditions.
We studied the spatial decomposition rates of standardised organic substrates in soils (burned boreal pine-dominated sub-xeric forests in eastern Finland), with respect to charred and non-charred coarse woody debris (CWD). Decomposition rates of rooibos plant litter inside teabags (C:N = 42.870 ± 1.841) and pressed-sheet Nordic hardwood pulp (consisting of mainly alpha-cellulose) were measured at 0.2 m distance from 20 charred (LC0.2) and 40 non-charred logs (LNC0.2). We also measured decomposition at 60 plots located 3–10 m away from downed logs (L3,10). The rooibos decomposition rate constant ‘k’ was 8.4% greater at the LNC0.2 logs than at the L3,10 or LC0.2 logs. Cellulose decomposed more completely in 1 micron mesh bags at LNC0.2 (44% of buried bags had leftover material) than at LC0.2 (76%) or L3,10 (70%). Decomposition of cellulose material was rapid but varied greatly between sampling plots. Our results indicate that decomposition of the standardised organic matter was more rapid close to CWD pieces than further away. However, only the plots located near non-charred logs (LNC0.2) exhibited high decomposition rates, with no corresponding increase observed at the charred logs (LC0.2). This suggests a possible noteworthy indirect effect of forest burning on soil organic matter (SOM) decomposition rates close to charred CWD after forest fires. We urge for more studies on this tentative observation as it may affect the estimates on how fires affect carbon cycling in forests.
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.