Current issue: 54(5)
Under compilation: 55(1)
Modern forestry, which mainly consists of clear-cutting, is one of the most important factors influencing today’s boreal forests. In Sweden, the breaking point for modern forestry is generally considered to be around 1950. Recently, our common knowledge of the implementation of clear-cutting in Sweden has increased, and new research indicates that clear-cutting systems were already applied before the 1950s. In this case study, we used aerial photographs from the 1940s to analyze the extent of contemporaneous clear-cuts and even-aged young forests in an area in northern Sweden. Our results show that almost 40% of the study area had already been clear-cut by the end of the 1940s, but also that clear-cutting had been applied to 10% of the forest land in the early 1900s. This implies that the historical development of forestry in northern Sweden is more complex than previously thought, and that certain proportions of the forest land were already second-generation forests in the 1950s. Our results have implications for the use of concepts such as “continuity forest”, suggesting that this concept should employ a time frame of at least 100 years.
The present investigation revealed that the influence of a forest cover on the water economy of the soil is very great in Finland. Cutting of the forest gave cause to a rise of the ground water table, which, when clear-cutting is in question, reached a magnitude of 20–40 cm. The water supplies of the soil increased 40–60 mm. In the winter, too, the ground water remaind at a lower level in the forest than in opening, however, the difference is rather small. Thinnings had same kind of effect as clear-cuttings, but the influence of even heavy thinnings was still relatively small.
The water supplies of the soil after felling decreased mainly due to the decrease in the interception in the canopy. When the water table is at the same level in the forest and in opening, evapotranspiration might be greater in the forest than in openings. However, when the water level is during the growing season considerably lower in the forest than in an opening, the evapotranspiration is strongly decreased in the forest, which means that more water is evaporated and transpirated from the opening than from the forest. Because the water table is at a higher level in the opening than in the forest, runoff from clear-cut areas has exceeded that from the forest. This means that the influence of felling on the water economy of the soil is actually even greater than indicated in this work.
The results mean that the influence of the forest cover makes up that of drainage. This affects the need for maintenance of ditches. On the other hand, the final cutting will rise the ground water strongly.
The PDF includes a summary in English.
Different sampling methods (the percentage cover scale, the graphical method, two-point quadrat methods, the five-, nine- and twelve-class cover scales, and the biomass harvesting) were used in estimating abundance of ground vegetation in clear-cut areas and on an abandoned field in Southern and Central Finland. The results are examined with the help of DCA ordinations. In addition, the species numbers and diversity indices obtained by different sampling methods are compared.
There were no large differences in DCA configurations between the sampling methods. According to all the sampling methods, a complex soil fertility-moisture gradient (a forest site type) was interpreted as the main ordination gradient in the vegetation data for clear-cut areas. However, different sampling methods did not give similar estimates of species numbers and diversity indices.
The PDF includes a summary in Finnish.
The aim of this study was to assess the effect of cutting of different intensities on the hydrology of drained peatland. The study concerned with measuring changes in the ground water level, throughfall, and snow cover, and specially runoff. This study focused on the phenomena that occur during the growing season. Seven sample plots were measured in an area in Central Finland which had been drained about 50 years earlier and had Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) stand of uniform age.
To survey the hydrological effects of cuttings, 20%, 40% and 60% of the stand volume was removed in thinnings. In addition, one sample plot was clear-cut. During the first two years after cutting the interception diminished, and throughfall increased by 7% for the 20% thinning, by 8% for the 40% thinning and by 12% for the 60% thinning. Clear cutting increased the throughfall by 29%. The thinnings increased the depth of the snow cover the more the heavier the thinning.
Even the lightest thinning raised the ground water table, but the difference between 20% and 40% thinning was not marked. Cuttings increased runoff the greater the heavier the cutting. The hydrological changes of fellings were detrimental for the site. However, there was a marked change only between the 40% and 60% thinnings. Fertilization had a favourable effect on the hydrology of the peatland by increasing the depth of ground water table, and decreasing the throughfall.
The PDF includes a summary in Finnish.