Category: Research article
article id 10167, category Research article
Life form dynamics of the tree layer in evergreen and deciduous broad-leaved mixed forest during 1996–2017 in Tianmu Mountains, eastern China. Silva Fennica vol. 54 no. 2 article id 10167. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.10167
Highlights: Biodiversity monitoring was performed over twenty one years in a 1 ha plot; Life form composition changed significantly between 1996 and 2017; Evergreen trees in the understory expanded upwards; Forests were currently dominated by evergreen trees.
In the forest areas of eastern China, there is a change from forest dominated by deciduous broad-leaved trees to forest dominated by evergreen broad-leaved trees as the latitude or altitude decreases. Different life forms have different survival strategies to deal with climate change, and studying the life form dynamics of the tree layers in the mixed forest in eastern China, with increasing temperature, can help us understand how the forest responds. This study was performed in a 1 ha plot in evergreen and deciduous broad-leaved mixed forest in Tianmu Mountain National Nature Reserve. Based on the data from two surveys (1996 and 2017), the changes in life form composition and biodiversity over the past 21 years were analyzed. We obtained the following results: (1) The proportion of evergreen trees increased from 55.0% in 1996 to 67.5% in 2017, and the dominance of evergreen species was enhanced. (2) The diversity of both life forms increased, and the tree species were more abundant. (3) The average annual recruitment rate of the evergreen species was 2.1% greater than their mortality rate, and the average annual recruitment rate of the deciduous species was 0.5% less than their mortality rate. (4) The competition among the trees in the small-diameter class (10 cm ≤ DBH < 20 cm) was fierce for many tree species. The proportion of the evergreen species in the small-diameter class was high. The life forms making up the mixed climax forest community has changed over the past 21 years, with the proportion and dominance of evergreen trees increasing significantly.
article id 10040, category Research article
Longitudinal differences in Scots pine shoot elongation. Silva Fennica vol. 52 no. 5 article id 10040. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.10040
Highlights: More northerly Scots pine origins exhibit earlier onset and cessation of shoot growth; Continental origins show more northern phenological behaviour; Heat accumulation requirements for onset are not fixed and may be lower when accumulating slower; Scots pine may suffer from spring frost due to earlier growth onset in a warming climate; Phenological traits show potential to adapt to new climate conditions by breeding.
Phenology can have a profound effect on growth and climatic adaptability of long-lived, northern tree species such as Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.), where the onset of growth in the spring is triggered mainly by accumulated heat, while cessation of growth is related to the joint effect of photoperiod and temperature. In this study, the objectives were: (1) to compare shoot phenology of genetic material from Scandinavia (maritime climate origin) and northern Russia (continental climate origin) sources, under field conditions in both Scandinavia and Russia (maritime and continental growth conditions); and (2) to estimate the heritabilities of phenological parameters. The material used was part of a larger provenance test series involving Scots pine populations and open-pollinated plus-tree families from Russia, Sweden and Finland. Terminal shoot elongation was measured on multiple occasions during the seventh growing season from seed at a trial near Bäcksjön (Sweden) and Syktyvkar (northern Russia). We calculated the regression of relative shoot elongation over accumulated heat sum above +5 °C using an exponential expression. Seedlings of Swedish and Russian provenance had similar heat-sum requirements for growth onset and cessation in both trials. More northern provenances started onset and cessation at a lower temperature sum, but heat accumulation requirements for onset were not fixed. Scots pine may suffer from spring frost due to earlier growth onset in a warming climate. Variation and heritability of phenological traits show potential to adapt Scots pine to new climate conditions by breeding.
article id 9980, category Research article
Development of height growth and frost hardiness for one-year-old Norway spruce seedlings in greenhouse conditions in response to elevated temperature and atmospheric CO2 concentration. Silva Fennica vol. 52 no. 3 article id 9980. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.9980
Highlights: Elevated temperature resulted in increased height growth, delayed onset and shortened duration of autumn frost hardiness development in Norway spruce seedlings; Elevated temperature increased variation between genotypes in height growth and frost hardiness development; Elevated atmospheric CO2 concentration had no effect on the development of height or autumn frost hardiness in Norway spruce seedlings.
The mean temperature during the potential growing season (April–September) may increase by 1 °C by 2030, and by 4 °C, or even more, by 2100, accompanied by an increase in atmospheric CO2 concentrations of 536–807 ppm, compared to the current climate of 1981–2010, in which atmospheric CO2 is at about 350 ppm. This may affect both the growth and frost hardiness of boreal trees. In this work, we studied the responses of height and autumn frost hardiness development in 22 half-sib genotypes of one-year-old Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst.) seedlings to elevated temperatures and atmospheric CO2 concentration under greenhouse conditions. The three climate treatments used were: T+1 °C above ambient and ambient CO2; T+4 °C above ambient and ambient CO2; and T+4 °C above ambient and elevated CO2 (700 ppm). The height growth rate and final height were both higher under T+4 °C compared to T+1 °C. Temperature increase also delayed the onset, and shortened the duration, of autumn frost hardiness development. Elevated CO2 did not affect the development of height or frost hardiness, when compared to the results without CO2 elevation under the same temperature treatment. Higher temperatures resulted in greater variation in height and frost hardiness development among genotypes. Three genotypes with different genetic backgrounds showed superior height growth, regardless of climate treatment; however, none showed a superior development of autumn frost hardiness. In future studies, clonal or full-sib genetic material should be used to study the details of autumn frost hardiness development among different genotypes.
article id 1266, category Research article
Using thermal time models to predict germination of five provenances of silver birch (Betula pendula Roth) in southern England. Silva Fennica vol. 49 no. 2 article id 1266. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.1266
Highlights: Using cumulative germination data, thermal time models were developed for Betula pendula; Models indicated varying degrees of dormancy and pre-chill requirements among provenances; Thermal time parameters were used with climatic data to predict germination times under mild and cold winters in southern England; Predictions suggest that pre-chilled French seeds would germinate about six weeks later than the fastest germinating provenance.
Climate predictions indicate that growing conditions may become unfavourable for certain tree species in parts of Britain. Guidelines suggest some planting of seed sources from regions between 2° and 5° south of those currently used as part of a climate change adaptation strategy. However, there has been little research on the benefits and risks associated with the use of planting stock from more southerly seed sources. Seeds of five provenances of the ‘relatively’ dormant Betula pendula were germinated over a range of temperatures both with and without a pre-chill. Subsequently, a thermal time model was used to predict the impact of migrating these provenances to southern England. Results identified geographical differences in germination response; those from higher latitude were more sensitive to pre-chill.
article id 1220, category Research article
On the hidden significance of differing micro-sites on tree-ring based climate reconstructions. Silva Fennica vol. 49 no. 1 article id 1220. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.1220
Highlights: Pines and spruces show growth level differences in wet and dry micro-sites with higher growth rates in the dry sites; Spruces show a robust climate-growth relationship with June-July temperatures; Application of collective detrending methods can bias long-term trends in climate reconstructions, if relict and recent samples originate from different micro-sites.
Tree-ring chronologies are commonly extended back in time by combining samples from living trees with relict material preserved in man-made structures or natural archives (e.g. lakes). Although spatially close, these natural archives and living-tree-sites often comprise different micro-climates. Inhomogeneous growth conditions among these habitats, which may yield offsets in growth-rates, require caution in data processing. Here we assess species-specific growth dynamics in two micro-habitats and their potential effects on long chronologies by combining tree-ring data from different living-tree-sites with an “artificial” subfossil dataset. Well replicated (n > 80) Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst.) and Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) chronologies from northern Fennoscandia, sampled directly at the lakeshore (wet) and several meters beyond the lakeshore (dry) reveal high coherence of the variance between micro-sites (rspruce = 0.59, rpine = 0.68). Significant differences of the Regional Curves (RC) indicate faster growth of both species at the drier site though. Growth differences are more pronounced between the spruce micro-sites. The combination of recent dry and wet spruce data with artificial relict data results in two long chronologies covering the last 800 years with substantially different trends, although they consist of the same relict material and the micro-site chronologies correlate significantly over the past two centuries. The combination of spruce samples from dry inland micro-sites with subfossil samples originating from the wet lake shore can result in an underestimation of past temperatures prior to the 19th century. Such effects, hidden in the composition of long chronologies (living trees + subfossil samples) can bias long-term trends in climate reconstructions.
article id 1107, category Research article
Increasing air humidity – a climate trend predicted for northern latitudes – alters the chemical composition of stemwood in silver birch and hybrid aspen. Silva Fennica vol. 48 no. 4 article id 1107. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.1107
Highlights: Hybrid aspen and silver birch trees grew more slowly under increased air humidity conditions and had higher concentrations of N and P and a lower K to N ratio in stemwood; Minor species-specific changes were detected in stemwood concentrations of cellulose and hemicellulose; Density, calorific value and concentrations of lignin and ash in stemwood were not affected by elevated humidity.
We studied the physicochemical properties of stemwood in saplings of silver birch (Betula pendula Roth) and hybrid aspen (Populus tremula L. × P. tremuloides Michx.), grown for four years under artificially elevated relative air humidity (on average by 7%) in field conditions, using the Free Air Humidity Manipulation (FAHM) research facility in Estonia. Altogether 91 sample trees from three experimental plots with manipulated air humidity and from three control plots were cut in the dormant season and sampled for the analysis of cellulose, hemicellulose, acid detergent lignin, macronutrients (N, P, K), ash content, density, and calorific value of wood. The analysed trees grew significantly more slowly under elevated humidity conditions, with a more pronounced effect on aspens. Significantly higher concentrations of N and P were observed in the stemwood of both aspens and birches grown under elevated humidity. This could be the result of a change in the content of living parenchyma cells and/or enhanced retranslocation of nutrients into wood parenchyma. Additionally, humidification resulted in a significantly higher concentration of cellulose and a lower concentration of hemicellulose in aspen stemwood, and in significantly lower concentrations of cellulose and K in birch stemwood. Elevated humidity did not affect lignin concentration, ash content, basic density and calorific value of stemwood. Results from the FAHM experiment suggest that the increasing air humidity accompanying global warming at northern latitudes will affect the growth and functioning of deciduous trees and forests, with obvious consequences also for forest management and industry.
article id 63, category Research article
The effect of temperature on seed quality and quantity in crosses between European (Populus tremula) and hybrid aspens (P. tremula x P. tremuloides). Silva Fennica vol. 46 no. 1 article id 63. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.63
Hybrid aspen (Populus tremula L. Populus tremuloides Michx.) plantations are expanding in Fennoscandia and the Baltic countries; however, the possible effects of plantations on the native European aspen (P. tremula) and the level of gene flow between European and hybrid aspen have not been investigated. We studied seed quantity and quality in intraspecific and interspecific crosses of the European and hybrid aspens over a two year period. In order to study whether elevated temperatures due to climate change would benefit the species differently, we performed the crosses in different temperatures. In both years, interspecific crosses produced more seeds with higher quality than intraspecific crosses. This result was most distinct in crosses between female hybrid aspen and male European aspen. In higher temperatures, relative germination difference between hybrid aspen seeds and seeds from P. tremula P. tremula crosses seems to increase. These results suggest that hybrid aspen may have a significant genetic impact on the European aspen, and this effect may be strengthened by climate warming.
article id 41, category Research article
Morphological mechanism of growth response in treeline species Minjiang fir to elevated CO2 and temperature. Silva Fennica vol. 45 no. 2 article id 41. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.41
To test whether and how morphological traits are linked with growth responses of plants to temperature and CO2 is important for understanding the mechanism underlying how plant growth will respond to global warming. In this study, using closed-top chambers to mimic future elevated CO2 and temperature, the growth response, morphological traits of Minjiang fir (Abies faxoniana Rehd.et Wils.) and the relationship of the two were investigated after two years of exposure to the single and combined elevation of CO2 and temperature. The results showed that biomass of Minjiang fir was 21%, 31%, and 35% greater than the control in elevated CO2, elevated temperature and the combination of elevated CO2 and temperature treatments, respectively. Elevated CO2 and temperature significantly affected the morphology of Minjiang fir, and a few morphological traits were highly correlated with growth responses. Larger branch angles at the upper layer, crown volume, and relative crown length contributed to positive growth responses to elevated CO2, while decreased specific leaf area (SLA) constricted any further growth response. Leaf morphological traits were more closely correlated with the response ratio than crown did in the elevated temperature, while in the combination of elevated CO2 and temperature, crown was more correlated with the response ratio than the leaf morphological traits. Thus, our results indicate that morphological traits may contribute differently to growth responses under different experimental conditions.
article id 30, category Research article
Combined occurrence of wind, snow loading and soil frost with implications for risks to forestry in Finland under the current and changing climatic conditions. Silva Fennica vol. 45 no. 1 article id 30. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.30
This work focuses on the combined occurrence of wind, snow loading and soil frost with implications for risks to forestry in Finland under the current and changing climatic conditions. For this purpose, we employ meteorological datasets, available for the period of 1971–2009 and global climate model (GCM) simulations for the current climate 1971–2000, and periods 2046–65 and 2081–2100 applying the A1B-climate change scenario. Based on our results, the wind and snow induced risks to Finnish forests are projected to increase in the future although the change in the occurrence of strong winds is small. This is because soil frost depths that support tree anchorage from late autumn to early spring in Finland are projected to nearly disappear in the southern and central parts of the country. Heavy snow loads > 30 kg m–2 are becoming more common in southern and eastern Finland despite that the average cumulative 5-day snow loads decrease in these areas by 18 to 50%, respectively. As a result of the changes in the combined occurrence of wind, snow loading and soil frost, the risk of climatic conditions making conifers liable to uprooting are projected to increase in southern, central and eastern Finland. In the north, the risk of stem breakage is becoming more pronounced under snow loading > 20 kg m–2. Despite some uncertainties related to this work, we assume that the findings can serve as valuable support for the risk assessment of wind and snow induced damages to Finnish forests and for forestry, in general.
article id 455, category Research article
Model computations on the climate change effects on snow cover, soil moisture and soil frost in the boreal conditions over Finland. Silva Fennica vol. 44 no. 2 article id 455. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.455
This study considered how climate change affects the accumulation of snow, the soil moisture and soil frost at sites without tree cover in boreal conditions in Finland (60°–70°N). An increase of 4.5 °C in annual mean temperature and 20 % in annual precipitation were assumed for Finland by the year 2100 according to A2 emission scenario. Along with climate, the soil type of the permanent inventory plots of the Finnish National Forest Inventory was used. Soil and climate data were combined by using a process-based ecosystem model. Calculations were done for four periods: current climate (1971–2000), near future (2001–2020), mid-term future (2021–2050) and long-term future (2071–2100). According to our simulations, the average monthly duration and depth of snow decreased over the simulation period. However, the increasing precipitation may locally increase the snow depths in the mid-term calculations. In the autumn and winter, the average volumetric soil moisture content slightly increased in southern Finland during the near future, but decreased towards the end of the century, but still remained on a higher level than presently. In northern Finland, the soil moisture in the autumn and winter increased by the end of this century. In the summertime soil moisture decreased slightly regardless of the region. Throughout Finland, the length and the depth of soil frost decreased by the end of the century. In the south, the reduction in the depth was largest in the autumn and spring, while in the mid-winter it remained relatively deep in the middle of the century. In the north, the depth tended to increase during the first two calculation periods, in some areas, even during the third calculation period (2071–2100) due to reduced insulation effects of snow during cold spells. The wintertime increase in soil moisture and reduced soil frost may be reflected to reduced carrying capacity of soil for timber harvesting.
article id 243, category Research article
Does conversion of even-aged, secondary coniferous forests affect carbon sequestration? A simulation study under changing environmental conditions. Silva Fennica vol. 42 no. 3 article id 243. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.243
To circumvent problems associated with even-aged, pure coniferous stands propagated outside their natural range alternative management strategies and conversion programs are currently discussed in Central Europe. However, a mainstreaming of such adapted silvicultural systems with climate change mitigation objectives is missing to date. In this study the objective was to assess in situ C storage under conditions of climate change in a secondary Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst.) forest management unit in Austria. Four management strategies (Norway spruce age class forestry, transition to continuous cover forestry with Norway spruce, conversion to mixed conifer/broadleaved stands, no management) were investigated under current climate and two transient climate change scenarios in a simulation study. By comparing the results of two independent forest ecosystem models (PICUS v1.41, 4C) applied under identical forcings and boundary conditions we aimed at addressing uncertainties in model-based projections. A transition to continuous cover forestry increased C storage in all climate scenarios (+45.4 tC·ha–1 to +74.0 tC·ha–1 over the 100 year analysis period) compared to the approximately balanced C budget under the age class system. For the mixed conifer/broadleaved management variant predictions of the two models diverged significantly (+29.4 tC·ha–1 and –10.6 tC·ha–1 in PICUS and 4C respectively, current climate). With regard to climate change impacts both models agreed on distinct effects on productivity but lower sensitivity of C stocks due to compensation from respiration and adaptive harvest levels. In conclusion, considering the potential effects of silvicultural decisions on C stocks climate change mitigation should be addressed explicitly in programs advocating targeted change in management paradigms.
article id 259, category Research article
Carbon reservoirs in wood products-in-use in Finland: current sinks and scenarios until 2050. Silva Fennica vol. 42 no. 2 article id 259. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.259
This study addresses the question of how much carbon will be sequestered in wood products during the coming decades in Finland. Using sawnwood and other wood material consumption data since the 1950s and inventory data of carbon reservoirs of wood products in the Finnish construction and civil engineering sector, we first derive estimates for the carbon reservoirs in wood products-in-use in that sector. We then extend the estimate to include all wood products-in-use. We find that the carbon pool of wood products in the Finnish construction and civil engineering sector grew by about 12% since an inventory for 2000, and that the overall estimate for carbon reservoirs of Finnish wood products in 2004 was 26.6 million tons of carbon. In building the scenarios until 2050, econometric time series models accounting for the relationship between wood material consumption and the development of GDP were used. The results indicate that the range of carbon reservoirs of wood products in Finland will be 39.6–64.2 million tons of carbon in the year 2050. The impacts of different forms of the decay function on the time-path of a carbon sink and its value in wood products were also studied. When a logistic decay pattern is used, the discounted value of the predicted carbon sink of wood products in Finland is between EUR850 and EUR1380 million – at the price level of EUR15/CO2 ton – as opposed to 440–900 million euros, if a geometric decay pattern is used.
article id 499, category Research article
Drought is more stressful for northern populations of Scots pine than low summer temperatures. Silva Fennica vol. 37 no. 2 article id 499. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.499
Needle fluctuating asymmetry, which is a non-specific stress indicator, was used to evaluate responses of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) to annual climatic variation in the Kola Peninsula, NW Russia, during 1992–1999. Although the 30 trees surveyed for this study demonstrated individualistic responses to the temperature and precipitation of the growth seasons, at the population level we found no effect of temperature and a significant increase in fluctuating asymmetry with a decline in precipitation during the previous August. This finding suggests that the vitality of Scots pine populations at the northern tree limit is controlled by late summer precipitation rather than by temperatures of the growth season.
article id 635, category Research article
The sensitivity of central European mountain forests to scenarios of climatic change: methodological frame for a large-scale risk assessment. Silva Fennica vol. 34 no. 2 article id 635. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.635
The methodological framework of a large-scale risk assessment for Austrian forests under scenarios of climatic change is presented. A recently developed 3D-patch model is initialized with ground-true soil and vegetation data from sample plots of the Austrian Forest Inventory (AFI). Temperature and precipitation data of the current climate are interpolated from a network of more than 600 weather stations to the sample plots of the AFI. Vegetation development is simulated under current climate (‘control run’) and under climate change scenarios starting from today's forest composition and structure. Similarity of species composition and accumulated biomass between these two runs at various points in time were used as assessment criteria. An additive preference function which is based on Saaty’s AHP is employed to synthesize these criteria to an overall index of the adaptation potential of current forests to a changing climate. The presented methodology is demonstrated for a small sample from the Austrian Forest Inventory. The forest model successfully simulated equilibrium species composition under current climatic conditions spatially explicit in a heterogenous landscape based on ground-true data. At none of the simulated sites an abrupt forest dieback did occur due to climate change impacts. However, substantial changes occured with regard to species composition of the potential natural vegetation (PNV).
article id 634, category Research article
Alternative forest management strategies under climatic change – prospects for gap model applications in risk analyses. Silva Fennica vol. 34 no. 2 article id 634. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.634
The projected global climate change will influence growth and productivity of natural and managed forests. Since the characteristics of the future regional climate are still uncertain and the response of our forests to changes in the atmospheric and climatic conditions may be both positive or negative, decision making in managed forests should consider the new risks and uncertainties arising from climatic change, especially if the rotation periods are long. An extended version of the forest gap model FORSKA was applied to simulate the forest development at 488 forest inventory plots in the federal state of Brandenburg, Germany, under two climate and three management scenarios. The transient growth dynamics from 1990 to 2100 were investigated at four sites in different parts of the state, representing the variability of environmental and forest conditions within Brandenburg. The alternative management strategies led to distinct differences in forest composition after 110 years of simulation. The projected climate change affected both forest productivity and species composition. The impacts of alternative management scenarios are discussed. It is concluded that the extended forest gap model can be a valuable tool to support decision making in forest management under global change.
article id 691, category Research article
Adaptation to changing environment in Scots pine populations across a latitudinal gradient. Silva Fennica vol. 32 no. 2 article id 691. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.691
In several growth chamber and field experiments we examined the growth response of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) populations from a wide latitudinal range to temperature and photoperiod. The duration of the shoot elongation period of one-year-old seedlings was affected by temperature and photoperiod. In contrasting temperatures, 23/20 °C, 20/17 °C, and 17/14 °C (day/night), shoot elongation period for all populations was shortest in the high and longest in the low temperature treatments. The northern populations from 61–57°N ceased height growth earlier than the other populations in the southern 50°N photoperiod. The order of growth cessation among populations at 50°N in the chamber experiment and at 52°N in the field experiment was similar and related to observed population differences in terminal leader growth and total tree height. Since the length of growing season is under strong environmentally-mediated genetic control in Scots pine, potential climatic changes such as increasing temperature will probably alter the length and timing of growth in aboveground tree parts, but likely in the opposite direction (a shorter growing season) than has been often hypothesized (a longer growing season). Tree-ring analyses of a provenance experiment established in 1912 indicate that the main climatic factors that limited ring-width growth in Scots pine were air temperatures in the winter months of December through March. Low winter temperatures were followed by the formation of narrow rings over the next summer. Based on responses to temperature, Scots pine populations from the continuous European range can be divided in several geographic groups along a latitudinal gradient. Our results suggest that in developing new models to predict the response of Scots pine to changing environmental conditions, it is necessary to include intraspecific differentiation in acclimation and adaptation to environmental factors.
Category: Review article
article id 1650, category Review article
Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN) in drylands and beyond – where has it come from and where does it go. Silva Fennica vol. 51 no. 1B article id 1650. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.1650
Highlights: LDN, a mechanism for offsetting new losses of land’s productivity by restoring productivity of already degraded lands, would maintain the balance of productive lands; As target of Sustainable Development Goal LDN highlights the significance of land whose biological productivity is critical to human survival; Commissioning UNCCD to oversee the implementation of LDN empowers the UNCCD and its impact on sustainability.
The paper first reviews the desertification/land degradation syndrome, the shortcomings of attempts to control it and the consequences of this failure, including to climate change and biodiversity. It then examines the experience gained by carbon and biodiversity offsets that helped adapting the offsetting principle to the context of land degradation, by emphasizing the restoration of the many already degraded lands on earth, as major component of the Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN) mechanism. LDN is a new voluntary and aspirational target of a Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) under the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, aimed at neutralizing the rate of lands coming under degrading use of their productivity. This by balancing the ongoing added degradation with similar rate of restoring equivalent lands whose productivity had been already degraded. If extensively implemented, LDN would stabilize the global amount of productive land by 2030. This would increase global food security and reduce poverty of land users, thus contributing to global sustainability. This review maintains that the failure of United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) to reduce desertification triggered the emergence of LDN as a mechanism for addressing land degradation globally, rather than just desertification in the drylands. LDN accepted as target of a Sustainable Development Goal also legitimized UNCCD to lead and oversee the aspired process of achieving land degradation neutral world. This paper reviews the development of the LDN concept expressed in scientific deliberations and political advocacy, throughout the five years from inception in 2011 at the UNCCD Secretariat, to early 2016. It notes the fast and increasing acceptance of LDN, expressed in the initiation of implementation already in April 2015 by an increasing number of countries, and in the growing interest and engagement of scientists and policy-makers. But the paper also express concern regarding potential misuse of the concept.
Category: Research note
article id 10262, category Research note
From a rare inhabitant into a potential pest – status of the nun moth in Finland based on pheromone trapping. Silva Fennica vol. 54 no. 1 article id 10262. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.10262
Highlights: The nun moth is a significant defoliator of coniferous forests in Central-Europe; In Finland, the populations have grown and expanded northwards; Pheromone trapping confirmed the species’ presence throughout central- and southern Finland; The risk of the nun moth becoming a pest for Finland is real as the area offers endless habitats, and climatic conditions are becoming more favourable; This note describes the results from the first nun moth surveys conducted in 2018 and 2019.
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.
article id 960, category Research note
An improved open-top chamber warming system for global change research. Silva Fennica vol. 47 no. 2 article id 960. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.960
This study is an assessment of an improved temperature warming system developed to enhance global warming research-based forest ecosystem and soil ecophysiological experiments. The architecture couples a standard open-top chamber (OTC) with a heating cable. A 16 m wire cable with an 18 W m-1 and 288 W h-1 power rating was coiled around a polyvinyl chloride (PVC) pipe 2.5 m in length and 3.5 cm in diameter. The pipe was reshaped into a circle and fixed inside the OTC at a height of 15 cm. PVC pipe distance to plants was 10 to 15 cm while distance to OTC inner walls was 15 cm. The cable was constructed from a heating source with an alloy resistance wire, an aluminum foil and copper wire shielded layer, a crosslinking polyethylene inner insulator, a PVC coating, and a tinned copper grounding wire. After the cable is powered up, air and soil inside the OTC-cable system is heated by conductivity. Temperature is manipulated according to the voltage and resistance of the cable. The OTC-cable system was developed to examine plant reaction to an increase in air and soil temperatures by 2.84 °C and 1.83 °C, respectively. Temperature values are adjustable by changing cable and PVC pipe length. It offers a new, affordable, low energy consumption and low running cost method by which to study climate change effects on forest ecosystems. This method is especially useful for application in forest ecosystems of many developing countries or in many remote areas of developed countries where the feasibility in supplying sufficient power from local power grids is questionable.
article id 5606, category Article
Carbon reservoirs in peatlands and forests in the boreal regions of Finland. Silva Fennica vol. 31 no. 1 article id 5606. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.a8507
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.
article id 5604, category Article
Conservation in boreal forests under conditions of climate change. Silva Fennica vol. 30 no. 2–3 article id 5604. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.a9249
Addressing the potential impact of climate change on boreal forest ecosystems will require a range of new conservation techniques. During the early 1990s, the scope of WWF's (the World Wide Fund for Nature) forest policy work has broadened from a focus on tropical moist forests to a more general consideration of all the world's forests. Climate change is only one of a series of threats currently facing boreal forests.
Planning conservation strategies that take account of global warming is not easy when there are many computer models of climate change, sometimes predicting very different ecological effects. Climate change could result in some particularly extreme problems for the boreal forest biome. A summary of the problems and opportunities in boreal forests is presented. WWF has also been drawing up strategies for conservation on a global, regional and national level. The organization has concluded that conservation strategies aimed at combatting climate change need not be in direct conflict with other conservation planning requirements. However, proposals have emerged for ways to address the impacts of climate change that would have detrimental impacts on existing conservation plans.
article id 5596, category Article
Need for integrated policy oriented national research programmes: the second phase (1995–2001) of the Dutch National Research Programme on Global Air Pollution and Climate Change NRP. Silva Fennica vol. 30 no. 2–3 article id 5596. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.a9241
As a follow-up on acid rain programmes many countries, e.g. Finland, the Netherlands, Sweden, launched national research programmes on Climate Change by the end of the eighties. Other countries centred new programmes on Global Change, such as Belgium, United Kingdom, Germany, Canada. Also, the European Community included the climate issue in the research programme 'Environment & Climate'. The conclusion of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) shifted in the successive assessment reports from possible climate change to actual climate change. The paper describes the first and second phase of the Dutch Climate Change Research Programme, and discusses the future of the programme.
article id 5595, category Article
A mechanistic perspective of possible influences of climate change on defoliating insects in North America's boreal forests. Silva Fennica vol. 30 no. 2–3 article id 5595. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.a9240
There is no doubt that tree survival, growth, and reproduction in North America's boreal forests would be directly influenced by the projected changes in climate if they occur. The indirect effects of climate change may be of even greater importance, however, because of their potential for altering the intensity, frequency, and perhaps even the very nature of the disturbance regimes which drive boreal forest dynamics. Insect defoliator populations are one of the dominating disturbance factors in North America's boreal forests and during outbreaks trees are often killed over vast forest areas. If the predicted shifts in climate occur, the damage patterns caused by insects may be considerably changed, particularly those of insects whose temporal and spatial distributions are singularly dependent on climatic factors. The ensuing uncertainties directly affect depletion forecasts, pest hazard rating procedures, and long-term planning for pest control requirements. Because the potential for wildfire often increases in stands after insect attack, uncertainties in future insect damage patterns also lead to uncertainties in fire regimes. In addition, because the rates of processes key to biogeochemical and nutrient recycling are influenced by insect damage, potential changes in damage patterns can indirectly affect ecosystem resilience and the sustainability of the multiple uses of the forest resource.
In this paper, a mechanistic perspective is developed based on available information describing how defoliating forest insects might respond to climate warming. Because of its prevalence and long history of study, the spruce budworm, Choristoneura fumiferana Clem. (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae), is used for illustrative purposes in developing this perspective. The scenarios that follow outline the potential importance of threshold behaviour, historical conditions, phenological relationships, infrequent but extreme weather, complex feedbacks, and natural selection. The urgency of such considerations is emphasized by reference to research suggesting that climate warming may already be influencing some insect lifecycles.
article id 5593, category Article
Assessment of CO2 fluxes and effects of possible climate changes on forests in Estonia. Silva Fennica vol. 30 no. 2–3 article id 5593. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.a9238
The present study is the first attempt to carry out an inventory of greenhouse gas (GHG) fluxes in the forests of Estonia. The emission and uptake of CO2 as a result of forest management, forest conversion and abandonment of cultivated lands in Estonia was estimated. The removal of GHG by Estonian forests in 1990 exceeded the release about 3.3 times. Changes in the species composition and productivity of forest sites under various simulated climate change scenarios have been predicted by using the Forest Gap Model for the central and coastal areas of Estonia. The computational examples showed that the changes in forest community would be essential.
article id 5592, category Article
Regional predictions concerning the effects of climate change on forests in southern Finland. Silva Fennica vol. 30 no. 2–3 article id 5592. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.a9237
A gap-model was used with forest inventory data in taking ground-true site, soil and tree characteristics into account in predicting the effects of climate change on forests. A total of 910 permanent sample plots established in the course of national forest inventory (NFI) in Finland and located on mineral soil sites in southern Finland were selected as the input data. The climatological input used in the simulations consisted of interpolated means of and deviations from long-term local temperature and precipitation records. The policy-oriented climate scenarios of SILMU (Finnish Research Programme on Climate Change) were used to describe the climate change. The temperature changes in the climate scenarios were increases of ca. +1.1 °C (low), +4.4 °C (medium) and +6.6 °C (high) compared to the current climate in 110 years. The simulation period was 110 years covering the time years 1990–2100.
Southern Finland, divided into fifteen forestry board districts, was used as the study region. Regional development of stand volume, cutting yield, and total wood production of forests under different climate scenarios were examined. The annual average growth in simulations under current climate was close to that observed in NFL Forests benefited from a modest temperature increase (Scenario 2), but under Scenario 1 the growing stock remained at a lower level than under the current climate in all parts of the study region. In wood production and cutting yield there were regional differences. In the southern part of the study regional wood production under Scenario 1 was ca. 10% lower than under the current climate, but in the eastern and western parts wood production was 5–15% higher under Scenario 1 than under the current climate. The relative values of total wood production and cutting yield indicated that the response of forests to climate change varied by geographical location and the magnitude of climate change. This may be a consequence of not just varying climatic (e.g. temperature and precipitation) and site conditions, but of varying responses by different kind of forests (e.g. forests differing in tree species composition and age).
article id 5591, category Article
Changes in wood production of Picea abies and Pinus sylvestris under a warmer climate: comparison of field measurements and results of a mathematical model. Silva Fennica vol. 30 no. 2–3 article id 5591. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.a9236
To project the changes in wood production of Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) H. Karst.) and Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) in Finland as a result of climate change, two separate studies were made. The first study, at the Faculty of Forestry, University of Joensuu, based its projections on mathematical models; the second one, at the Finnish Forest Research Institute, based projections on measurements of wood production in two series of aged provenance experiments. The results of the two studies were similar for both species: after a 4°C increase of the annual mean temperature a drastic increase in wood production in northern Finland, but little effect, or even some decrease in the southern part of the country. However, the assumptions used in the two studies differed. One important difference was that in the models the temperature is assumed to be increasing gradually over the years, whereas in the provenance experiments, climate changed immediately when the seedlings were transferred to the planting sites. Another problem with the provenance experiments is that when material is moved in a north-south direction in Finland, not only temperature but also photoperiod changes markedly. To compare these two studies, site factors (e.g. soil type, temperature, precipitation) and silvicultural factors (e.g. plant spacing, survival, time of thinning, thinning intensity) from the provenance experiments were included a variable in the mathematical models.
article id 5590, category Article
Overwintering and productivity of Scots pine in a changing climate. Silva Fennica vol. 30 no. 2–3 article id 5590. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.a9235
The productivity of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) under changing climatic conditions in the southern part of Finland was studied by scenario analysis with a gap-type forest ecosystem model. Standard simulations with the model predicted an increased rate of growth and hence increased productivity as a result of climatic warming. The gap-type model was refined by introducing an overwintering sub-model describing the annual growth cycle, frost hardiness, and frost damage of the trees. Simulations with the refined gap-type model produced results conflicting with those of the standard simulation, i.e., drastically decreased productivity caused by mortality and growth-reducing damage due to premature dehardening in the changing climate. The overwintering sub-model was tested with frost hardiness data from Scots pine saplings growing at their natural site 1) under natural conditions and 2) under elevated temperature condition, both in open-top chambers. The model predicted the frost hardiness dynamics quite accurately for the natural conditions while underestimating the frost hardiness of the saplings for the elevated temperature conditions. These findings show that 1) the overwintering sub-model requires further development, and 2) the possible reduction of productivity caused by frost damage in a changing climate is less drastic than predicted in the scenario analysis. The results as a whole demonstrated the need to consider the overwintering of trees in scenario analysis carried out with ecosystem model for boreal conditions. More generally, the results revealed a problem that exists in scenario analysis with ecological models: the accuracy of a model in predicting the ecosystem functioning under present climatic condition does not guarantee the realism of the model, nor for this reason the accuracy for predicting the ecosystem functioning under changing climatic conditions. This finding calls for the continuous rigorous experimental testing of ecological models used for assessing the ecological implications of climatic change.
article id 5587, category Article
Forest zones of Siberia as determined by climatic zones and their possible transformation trends under global change. Silva Fennica vol. 30 no. 2–3 article id 5587. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.a9232
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.
article id 5586, category Article
Change in Siberian phytomass predicted for global warming. Silva Fennica vol. 30 no. 2–3 article id 5586. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.a9231
An equilibrium model driven by climatic parameters, the Siberian Vegetation Model, was used to estimate changes in the phytomass of Siberian vegetation under climate change scenarios (CO2 doubling) from four general circulation models (GCM's) of the atmosphere. Ecosystems were classified using a three-dimensional climatic ordination of growing degree days (above a 5 °C threshold), Budyko's dryness index (based on radiation balance and annual precipitation), and Conrad's continentality index. Phytomass density was estimated using published data of Bazilevich covering all vegetation zones in Siberia. Under current climate, total phytomass of Siberia is estimated to be 74.1 ± 2.0 Pg (petagram = 1,015 g). Note that this estimate is based on the current forested percentage in each vegetation class compiled from forest inventory data.
Moderate warming associated with the GISS (Goddard Institute for Space Studies) and OSU (Oregon State Univ.) projections resulted in a 23–26 % increase in phytomass (to 91.3 ± 2.1 Pg and 93.6 ± 2.4 Pg, respectively), primarily due to an increase in the productive Southern Taiga and Sub-taiga classes. Greater warming associated with the GFDL (General Fluid Dynamics Laboratory) and UKMO (United Kingdom Meteorological Office) projections resulted in a small 3–7 % increase in phytomass (to 76.6 ± 1.3 Pg and 79.6 ± 1.2 Pg, respectively). A major component of predicted change using GFDL and UKMO is the introduction of a vast Temperate Forest-Steppe class covering nearly 40% of the area of Siberia, at the expense of Taiga; with current climate, this vegetation class is nearly non-existent in Siberia. In addition, Sub-boreal Forest-Steppe phytomass double with all GCM predictions. In all four climate change scenarios, the predicted phytomass stock of all colder, northern classes is reduced considerably (viz., Tundra, Fore Tundra, northern Taiga, and Middle Taiga). Phytomass in Sub-taiga increases greatly with all scenarios, from a doubling with GFDL to quadrupling with OSU and GISS. Overall, phytomass of the Taiga biome (Northern, Middle, Southern and Sub-taiga) increased 15% in the moderate OSU and GISS scenarios and decreased by a third in the warmer UKMO and GFDL projections. In addition, a sensitivity analysis found that the percentage of a vegetation class that is forested is a major factor determining phytomass distribution. From 25 to 50% more phytomass is predicted under climate change if the forested proportion corresponding to potential rather than current vegetation is assumed.
article id 5584, category Article
Climate change and the risks of Neodiprion sertifer outbreaks on Scots pine. Silva Fennica vol. 30 no. 2–3 article id 5584. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.a9229
The European Pine Sawfly (Neodiprion sertifer Geoffroy) is one of the most serious defoliators of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) in northern Europe. We studied the pattern in the regional occurrence of the outbreaks of N. sertifer in Finland in years 1961-90, and made predictions about the outbreak pattern to the year 2050 after predicted winter warming. We tested whether minimum winter temperatures and forest type and soil properties could explain the observed outbreak pattern. We analysed outbreak patterns at two different spatial levels: forest board- and municipal-level.
The proportion of coniferous forests on damage-susceptible soils (dry and infertile sites) explained a significant part of the variation in outbreak frequency at small spatial scale (municipalities) but not at large spatial scale (forest boards). At the forest board level, the incidence of minimum temperatures below -36 °C (= the critical value for egg mortality) explains 33% of the variation in the outbreak pattern, and at the municipal level the incidence of cold winters was also the most significant explaining variable in northern Finland. Egg mortality due to cold winters seems to be the most parsimonious factor explaining why there have been so few N. sertifer outbreaks in northern and north-eastern Finland. We predict that climate change (increased winter temperatures) may increase the frequency of outbreaks in eastern and northern Finland in the future.
article id 5583, category Article
Testing of frost hardiness models for Pinus sylvestris in natural conditions and in elevated temperature. Silva Fennica vol. 30 no. 2–3 article id 5583. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.a9228
Two dynamic models predicting the development of frost hardiness of Finnish Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) were tested with frost hardiness data obtained from trees growing in the natural conditions of Finland and from an experiment simulating the predicted climatic warming. The input variables were temperature in the first model, and temperature and night length in the second. The model parameters were fixed on the basis of previous independent studies. The results suggested that the model which included temperature and photoperiod as input variables was more accurate than the model using temperature as the only input variable to predict the development of frost hardiness in different environmental conditions. Further requirements for developing the frost hardiness models are discussed.
article id 5580, category Article
First-year results on the effects of elevated atmospheric CO2 and O3 concentrations on needle ultrastructure and gas exchange responses of Scots pine saplings. Silva Fennica vol. 30 no. 2–3 article id 5580. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.a9225
The effects of realistically elevated O3 and CO2 concentrations on the needle ultrastructure and photosynthesis of ca. 20-year-old Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) saplings were studied during one growth period in open-top field chambers situated on a natural pine heath at Mekrijärvi, in eastern Finland. The experiment included six different treatments: chamberless control, filtered air, ambient air and elevated O3, CO2 and O3 + CO2. Significant increases in the size of chloroplast and starch grains were recorded in the current-year needles of the saplings exposed to elevated CO2 These responses were especially clear in the saplings exposed to elevated O3 + CO2 concentrations. These treatments also delayed the winter hardening process in cells. In the shoots treated with O3, CO2 and combined O3 + CO2 the Pmax was decreased on average by 50% (ambient CO2) and 40% (700 ppm CO2). Photosynthetic efficiency was decreased by 60% in all the treated shoots measured under ambient condition and by 30% in the CO2 and O3 + CO2 treated shoots under 700 ppm. The effect of all the treatments on photosynthesis was depressive which was probably related to evident accumulation of starch in the chloroplasts of the pines treated with CO2 and combined O3 + CO2. But in O3 treated pines, which did not accumulate starch in comparison to pines subjected to ambient air conditions, some injuries may be already present in the photosynthetic machinery.
article id 5579, category Article
Initial results from the boreal ecosystem-atmosphere experiment, BOREAS. Silva Fennica vol. 30 no. 2–3 article id 5579. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.a9224
BOREAS is a four-year, regional-scale experiment to study the forested continental interior of Canada. It aims at improving our understanding of the interaction between the earths' climate system and the boreal forests at short and intermediate time scales, in order to clarify their role in global change.
During the winter, spring and summer of 1994, five field campaigns were conducted. About 85 investigation teams including nearly 300 scientists participated, including forest ecologists and ecophysiologists, atmospheric physicists, boundary-layer meteorologists, hydrologists, biochemists, atmospheric chemists and remote sensing specialists.
The findings so far have been significant in terms of their implication for global change. The boreal ecosystem, occupying roughly 17 percent of the vegetated land surface and thus an important driver of global weather and climate, absorbs much more solar energy than is assumed by operational numerical weather prediction models. Albedo measurement show that this forest absorbs nearly 91% of the sun's incident energy. Additionally, while it is known that much of the boreal ecosystems consists of forested wetlands, lakes, bogs and fens, the measurements show that the atmosphere above was extremely dry; humidity and deep boundary layer convection (3,000 m) mimicked conditions found only over deserts. Physiological measurements of the trees show that this atmospheric desiccation was a result of the forests' strong biological control limiting surface evaporation. This tight control was linked to the low soil temperature and subsequently reduced rates of photosynthesis. BOREAS measurement also focused on net ecosystem carbon exchange. Data acquired during the late spring and summer, showed the boreal forests to be a net carbon sink. However, no measurements were taken in the early spring following thaw, and in the late fall, where the balance between photosynthesis and respiration is poorly understood. During 1996 additional data will be acquired to resolve the annual carbon budget and how it might depend on interannual climate differences.
article id 7606, category Article
Quantitative biogeography of the bark beetles (Coleoptera, Scolytidae) in northern Europe. Acta Forestalia Fennica no. 219 article id 7606. https://doi.org/10.14214/aff.7606
Biogeographical patterns of the Scolytidae in Fennoscandia and Denmark, based on species incidence data from the approximately 70 km x 70 km quadrats (n = 221) used by Lekander et al. (1977), were classified to environmental variables using multivariate methods (two-way indicator species analysis, detrended correspondence analysis, canonical correspondence analysis).
The distributional patterns of scolytid species composition showed similar features to earlier presented zonations based on vegetation composition. One major difference, however, was that the region was more clearly divided in an east-west direction. Temperature variables associated with the location of the quadrat had the highest canonical coefficient values on the first axis of the CCA. Although these variables were the most important determinants of the biogeographical variation in the beetle species assemblages, annual precipitation and the distribution of Picea abies also improved the fit of the species data.
Samples with the most deviant rarity and typicality indices for the scolytid species assempblages in each quadrat were concentrated in several southern Scandinavian quadrats, in some quadrats in northern Sweden, and especially on the Swedish islands (Öland, Gotland, Gotska Sandön) in the Baltic Sea. The use of rarity indices which do not take the number of species per quadrat, also resulted high values for areas near Stockholm and Helsinki with well-known faunas. Methodological tests in which the real changes in the distribution of Ips acuminatus and I. amitinus were used as indicators showed that the currently available multivariate methods are sensitive to small faunal shifts even, and thus permit analysis of the fauna in relation to environmental changes. However, this requires more detailed monitoring of the species’ distributions over longer time spans.
Distribution of seven species (Scolytus intricatus, S. laevis, Hylurgops glabratus, Crypturgus cinereus, Pityogenes salasi, Ips typographus, and Cyleborus dispar) were predicted by logistic regression models using climatic variables. In spite of the deficiencies in the data and the environmental variables selected, the models were relatively good for several but not for all species. The potential effects of climate change on bark beetles are discussed.
The PDF includes a summary in Finnish.