Current issue: 55(2)
Considering the increasing use of wood biomass for energy and the related intensification of forest management, the impacts of different intensities of biomass harvesting on nutrient leaching risks must be better understood. Different nitrogen forms in the soil solution were monitored for 3 to 6 years after harvesting in hemiboreal forests in Latvia to evaluate the impacts of different biomass harvesting regimes on local nitrogen leaching risks, which potentially increase eutrophication in surface waters. In forestland dominated by Scots pine Pinus sylvestris L. or Norway spruce Picea abies L. (Karst.), the soil solution was sampled in: (i) stem-only harvesting (SOH), (ii) whole‐tree harvesting, with only slash removed (WTH), and (iii) whole‐tree harvesting, with both slash and stumps harvested (WTH + SB), subplots. In agricultural land, sampling was performed in an initially fertilised hybrid aspen (Populus tremula L.× P. tremuloides Michx.) short-rotation coppice (SRC), where above-ground biomass was harvested. In forestland, soil solution N (nitrogen) concentrations were highest in the second and third year after harvesting. Mean annual values in WTH subplots of medium to high fertility sites exceeded the mean values in SOH subplots and control subplots (mature stand where no harvesting was performed) for the entire study period; the opposite trend was observed for the low-fertility site. Biomass harvesting in the hybrid aspen SRC only slightly affected NO3–-N (nitrate nitrogen) and NH4+-N (ammonium nitrogen) concentrations in the soil solution within 3 years after harvesting, but a significant decrease in the TN (total nitrogen) concentration in the soil solution was found in plots with additional N fertilisation performed once initially.
In this study we determined the effect of transformation of a mature sessile oak forest stand into a coppiced forest, and of thinning and throughfall reduction in a coppice stand on soil water content (SWC) and soil CO2 efflux. The precipitation reduction was induced by installing parallel drainage channels in both unthinned and thinned coppice stands. The driving factor for temporal dynamics of soil CO2 efflux in all plots was soil temperature. The other factor was soil water content but only up to about 15%. Above this threshold, there was no more effect on CO2 efflux. We found no clear difference in SWC or soil CO2 efflux between the mature and coppiced stand eight years after harvesting. On the other hand, thinning of the coppice stand resulted in increase in SWC up to 22% in proportion, which we assume to be a result of increased gap fraction of the canopy. However, no effect on soil CO2 efflux was observed two years after the thinning. Installation of the drainage channels in two plots covering 30% of the ground area resulted in decrease in SWC up to a proportional 30.5% and thus contributed up to 50.7% reduction in soil CO2 efflux.
Chain flail delimbing and debarking may improve value recovery from small tree harvests, without renouncing the benefits of multi-tree processing. The technology is mature and capable of excellent performance, which has been documented in many benchmark studies. This paper offers new insights into the relationship between the performance of chain flail delimbing and debarking and such factors as tree volume, load volume, tree form and bark-wood bond strength (BWBS). The study was conducted in Chile, during the commercial harvesting of a Eucalyptus globulus Labill. plantation. In an observational study, researchers collected production data from over 780 work cycles, and work quality data from over 1000 individual trees. The analysis of these data shows that productivity is affected primarily by load volume. Work quality is affected by BWBS and by the number of trees in a load. Work quality degrades with increasing BWBS and tree number, since more trees tend to shield each other. Tree form has no effect on either productivity or work quality. Regression and probability functions are provided, and can be used for predictive purposes when trying to optimize current operations or to prospect the introduction of chain flail technology to new work environments.
The Nordic and Baltic countries are in the frontline of replacing fossil fuel with renewables. An important question is how forest management of the productive parts of this region can support a sustainable development of our societies in reaching low or carbon neutral conditions by 2050. This may involve a 70% increased consumption of biomass and waste to meet the goals. The present review concludes that a 50–100% increase of forest growth at the stand scale, relative to today’s common level of forest productivity, is a realistic estimate within a stand rotation (~70 years). Change of tree species, including the use of non-native species, tree breeding, introduction of high-productive systems with the opportunity to use nurse crops, fertilization and afforestation are powerful elements in an implementation and utilization of the potential. The productive forests of the Nordic and Baltic countries cover in total 63 million hectares, which corresponds to an average 51% land cover. The annual growth is 287 million m3 and the annual average harvest is 189 million m3 (65% of the growth). A short-term increase of wood-based bioenergy by utilizing more of the growth is estimated to be between 236 and 416 TWh depending on legislative and operational restrictions. Balanced priorities of forest functions and management aims such as nature conservation, biodiversity, recreation, game management, ground water protection etc. all need consideration. We believe that these aims may be combined at the landscape level in ways that do not conflict with the goals of reaching higher forest productivity and biomass production.
European beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) forests have a long history of coppicing, but the majority of formerly managed coppices are currently under conversion to high forest. The long time required to achieve conversion requires a long-term perspective to fully understand the implication of the applied conversion practices. In this study, we showed results from a long-term (1992–2014) case-study comparing two management options (natural evolution and periodic thinning) in a beech coppice in conversion to high forest. Leaf area index, litter production, radiation transmittance and growth efficiency taken as relevant stand descriptors, were estimated using both direct and indirect optical methods. Overall, results indicated that beech coppice showed positive and prompt responses to active conversion practices based on periodic medium-heavy thinning. A growth efficiency index showed that tree growth increased as the cutting intensity increased. Results from the case study supported the effectiveness of active conversion management from an economic (timber harvesting) and ecological (higher growth efficiency) point of view.
Prescribed burning has been used to treat the mineral soil sites, but the method has been little used in drained peatlands. The course and methods of prescribed burning in drained peatlands, and the effect of burning on sprouting of broadleaved trees, growth of ground vegetation and regeneration of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) by sowing was studied in drained pine bogs in Southern Finland. The top layer of the peat was mostly Sphagnum peat. The material included a prescribed burned 12 ha drained peatland area in Tuomarniemi district, in addition to which ten previously burned areas were investigated.
The burning had succeeded mostly well, but also unsuccessfully burned sites were observed. Estinguishing of the fire was easy, and no peat fires occurred. The fire burned only the logging residue, ground vegetation and the dry top layer of the peat. The roots of brushwood and grasses survived in the peat that insulated the top layer from the heat. For instance, the abundance of cloudberry (Rubus chamaemorus L.) increased after the fire. Similarly, burning did not affect sprouting of the stumps of downy birch (Betula pubescens Ehrh.). It cannot thus be used as a method to restrict the growth of coppice in regenerated areas. The seeds of Scots pine germinated well on the burned surface. 46% of the seeds developed to seedlings on sphagnum-shrub vegetation and 16% in feathermoss-shrub vegetation.
The PDF includes a summary in German.
In the first place the term short-rotation forestry is being used in the sense of intensive tree growing during a short rotation time using reproduction by coppice shoots from broad-leaved tree material which has been specially bred for this purpose, or of producing fast-growing varieties from planted stock during the course of somewhat longer rotation time (maximum 20 years). However, short-rotation forestry as such has already a long history.
In the Fertile Crescent in ancient Egypt grew no tree species suitable for short-rotation production, but reeds and bulrushes were used for the same purpose as willow-twigs, e.g. wickerwork or binding. At least in the Fertile Crescent reed harvesting using a rotation of one year was practiced already very long ago. The earliest information about coppice-shoot cultivation is found in Greek literature, but it was the Romans who developed short-rotation forestry based on the trees’ capacity of reproducing through coppice shoots into an extensive economic activity. Willows were by far the most important species used. Twigs intended for wickerwork were harvested once a year and thicker material, to be used for support and in basket framework, every fourth year. Chestnut and oak were used for the production of slightly thicker poles employing a longer rotation. Cypress poles were produced from seedlings using a rotation time of 12–13 years. Roman scholars give us plenty of information concerning the tending of plantations in short-rotation forestry.
The PDF includes a summary in English.