Current issue: 53(1)
Under compilation: 53(2)
In this study, the prospects for future forest management in Republic of Karelia, Russia were analyzed. Forestry has an important role in the economy of Karelia. However, productivity and profitability in the forestry sector are extremely low, forest stand structure and quality are weak, the commercial forest land of coniferous species has declined and the wood processing industry struggles with a deficit of raw materials. The situation is typical to many forest regions in Russia with extensive forest management cited as one reason for the current situation. In contrast, the Nordic countries have significant experience in intensive and sustainable forest management and the results have been to a large extent positive. The transfer of Nordic intensive forest management solutions (NIFMS) could improve forestry in Karelia. SWOT analysis, combined with the multi-criteria decision support (MCDS) method was used to identify local operational environments and to assign priorities. Major threats included unprepared regulations, poor road infrastructure, insecure investments, low forestry productivity, forest degradation, high investment costs and a negative attitude to intensive forestry. The main opportunities are high forest resource potential in Karelia, favorable authority development programs, proven Nordic expertise, wood-based energy development and availability of new technology. Results also showed that the main weaknesses that might influence the NIFMS in Karelia are slow return on investments, low market demand for energy wood, high costs associated with young forest thinnings, high demand for skilled specialists and a lack of investment in research and development.
Finnish wood harvesting contractors have been working in Russia since the 1990s and new entrepreneurs are still interested in starting operations there, even though Russia is not an easy business environment. This study identifies the most significant risks in contracting in Russia. Risks were identified through expert evaluation and a risk analysis was conducted by using a risk matrix. Possible preventative measures were assessed for the identified risks. Some risks were found to be common in Russia and Finland, for example a limited number of clients, dependency on a few clients, and weak negotiating positions. A stable amount of work, i.e. the availability of stands for harvesting, was also a challenge on the both sides of border. Typical problems in Russia were breaches of contract, especially disagreements on wood measurement and payment delays, potentially causing serious economic losses. Specific to Russia were problems related to machine service and spare parts, as well as security issues. The professional skills of machine operators, as well as changing work motivation were risks in Russia. Cultural differences lead to more challenging supervision and management of staff. Among the external factors, the most challenging in Russia were unhealthy competition in the marketplace and non-transparent and the unpredictable procedures of the authorities. In Russia problems caused by seasonality are amplified by the sparse road network and longer downtime. The revealed specific features of the Russian business environment can help Finnish wood harvesting companies to plan a risk management process for operations in Russia.
A presentation based on the historical development of Russia is given in the form of an overview of the development of Russian forest resources, of the wood, non-wood, and biological aspects of the forest ecosystem. The list of non-wood forest resources includes resin, saps, oils, berries, wild nuts, mushrooms, hay harvesting, game animals, etc. The dynamics of the system are presented in the light of the data of the Forest State Account (FSA) of Russia for the period 1956–1993. The most significant changes in the dynamics of Russia's forest resources are related to concentrated, large-scale wood harvesting operations. The dynamics of non-wood resources follow the process of the economic recession in all parts of the forest sector of Russia, the said recession having begun in the mid-1980s. The forests of Russia are considered to be of immense social and cultural value and a globally significant factor contributing to the sustainable development of forest resources.
Postfire recovery of species diversity (including a number of species, entropy of species relative coverage (Shannon index of species diversity) was studied in lichen and green moss site types of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) forests in the central part of the Kola Peninsula. The results obtained indicate the difference in the dynamics of characteristics of biodiversity of forest components during postfire recovery. The stabilization of separate components of forest community varies in time from 5–15 to 120–140 years after the fire. Characteristics of the dwarf shrub and herb stratum recovered and stabilized 5–15 years after fire, while the complete stabilization of characteristics of moss-lichen cover is observed in community with fire ages of 90–140 years. Species richness of tree stratum recovered 120–140 years after fire. Time of complete stabilization of species richness of the community was estimated 120–140 years after fire. The size of the area over which characteristics of the biodiversity were estimated effected the mean values and, in most cases, the character of variation of studied characteristics. Over an area of 1 x 1 m dynamics of characteristics of species diversity coincide in forests of the studied types. Regardless of forest type within the area of 100 m2 species richness recovered 30 years after the fire (i.e. 3–5 times earlier than the establishment of the complete stabilization of the forest structure). That means that floristic composition of the forest remained unchanged from 30 to 210 years after the fire.
Investigations carried out in the Kola peninsula (northern taiga) and in the South-western part of Western Siberia (southern taiga and forest-steppe) revealed identical course of the postfire restoration process of forest litter thickness in Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) forests. Despite the differences in mean annual temperature (2°C) and other climatic characteristics the recovery time for thickness of forest litter in both regions amounts to 90–100 years after fire in pine forests of lichen site type and 120–140 years – in green moss type; the thickness of forest litter therewith corresponds 3–4 cm and 7–8 cm respectively. That mean that within the natural borders of pine forests, communities of a specific type possess uniform characteristics of restoration. On the basis of empirical data, it appears that the predicted increase of mean annual temperature of earth surface by (2°C) will not bring changes into the character of postfire recovery of forest litter thickness. It was shown that during the period of the recovery, which spans about 90 years after fire in pine forests of lichen and green moss-lichen site types and 140 years in ones of green moss site types, the rate of increasing of carbon store in the forest litter averaged 0.6 t ha-1 year-1, 0.1 t ha-1 year-1 and 0.2 t ha-1 year-1, respectively.
A system of zonality in Siberia has been formed under the control of continentality, which provides the heat and humidity regimes of the forest provinces. Three sectors of continentality and four to six boreal sub-zone form a framework for the systematization of the different features of land cover in Siberia. Their climatic ordination provides the fundamental basis for the principal potential forest types (composition, productivity) forecasting the current climate. These are useful in predicting the future transformations and succession under global change.