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Articles containing the keyword 'disturbance dynamics'.

Category: Commentary

article id 547, category Commentary
Timo Kuuluvainen. (2002). Introduction. Disturbance dynamics in boreal forests: defining the ecological basis of restoration and management of biodiversity. Silva Fennica vol. 36 no. 1 article id 547. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.547
  • Kuuluvainen, Department of Forest Ecology, P.O. Box 27, FIN-00014 University of Helsinki, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail: timo.kuuluvainen@helsinki.fi (email)

Category: Research article

article id 10010, category Research article
Panu Halme, Jenna Purhonen, Emma-Liina Marjakangas, Atte Komonen, Katja Juutilainen, Nerea Abrego. (2019). Dead wood profile of a semi-natural boreal forest – implications for sampling. Silva Fennica vol. 53 no. 4 article id 10010. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.10010
Highlights: We constructed a full dead wood profile of a semi-natural boreal forest; Abundance-diameter distributions were different among tree species; Extensive sampling is needed if focus on large dead wood and rare tree species.

Dead wood profile of a forest is a useful tool for describing forest characteristics and assessing forest disturbance history. Nevertheless, there are few studies on dead wood profiles, including both coarse and fine dead wood, and on the effect of sampling intensity on the dead wood estimates. In a semi-natural boreal forest, we measured every dead wood item over 2 cm in diameter from 80 study plots. From eight plots, we further recorded dead wood items below 2 cm in diameter. Based on these data we constructed the full dead wood profile, i.e. the overall number of dead wood items and their distribution among different tree species, volumes of different size and decay stage categories. We discovered that while the number of small dead wood items was immense, their number dropped drastically from the diameter below 1 cm to diameters 2–3 cm. Different tree species had notably different abundance-diameter distribution patterns: spruce dead wood comprised most strikingly the smallest diameter fractions, whereas aspen dead wood comprised a larger share of large-diameter items. Most of the dead wood volume constituted of large pieces (>10 cm in diameter), and 62% of volume was birch. The variation in the dead wood estimates was small for the numerically dominant tree species and smallest diameter categories, but high for the sub-dominant tree species and larger size categories. In conclusion, the more the focus is on rare tree species and large dead wood items, the more comprehensive should the sampling be.

  • Halme, Department of Biological and Environmental Science, University of Jyväskylä, P.O. Box 35, FI-40014 University of Jyväskylä, Finland; School of Resource Wisdom, University of Jyväskylä, P.O. Box 35, FI-40014 University of Jyväskylä, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail: panu.halme@jyu.fi (email)
  • Purhonen, Department of Biological and Environmental Science, University of Jyväskylä, P.O. Box 35, FI-40014 University of Jyväskylä, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail: jenna.e.i.purhonen@jyu.fi
  • Marjakangas, Centre for Biodiversity Dynamics, Department of Biology, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, N-7491 Trondheim, Norway ORCID ID:E-mail: emma-liina.marjakangas@ntnu.no
  • Komonen, Department of Biological and Environmental Science, University of Jyväskylä, P.O. Box 35, FI-40014 University of Jyväskylä, Finland; School of Resource Wisdom, University of Jyväskylä, P.O. Box 35, FI-40014 University of Jyväskylä, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail: atte.komonen@jyu.fi
  • Juutilainen, Department of Biological and Environmental Science, University of Jyväskylä, P.O. Box 35, FI-40014 University of Jyväskylä, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail: kjuutilainen@yahoo.com
  • Abrego, Department of Agricultural Sciences, University of Helsinki, P.O. Box 27, FI-00014 University of Helsinki, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail: nerea.abrego@helsinki.fi
article id 80, category Research article
Mari T. Jönsson, Shawn Fraver, Bengt Gunnar Jonsson. (2011). Spatio-temporal variation of coarse woody debris input in woodland key habitats in central Sweden. Silva Fennica vol. 45 no. 5 article id 80. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.80
The persistence of many saproxylic (wood-living) species depends on a readily available supply of coarse woody debris (CWD). Most studies of CWD inputs address stand-level patterns, despite the fact that many saproxylic species depend on landscape-level supplies of CWD. In the present study we used dated CWD inputs (tree mortality events) at each of 14 Norway spruce (Picea abies) dominated woodland key habitat sites to analyze the spatial and temporal patterns of CWD additions between 1950 and 2002 within a small landscape in central Sweden. We found that inputs were episodic within sites, where local windstorms created pulses in CWD input. Pulses occurred simultaneously in many sites, yielding landscape-level synchrony of CWD input. These synchronous pulses, and importantly, the breaks between pulses, may have negative implications for saproxylic species that are dependent on large volume inputs of freshly killed Norway spruce. In addition, the inherent small size and relative isolation of these sites may further increase extinction risks due to stochastic events. However, background CWD input rates occurring between pulses varied substantially among sites, presumably the result of the sites’ varied histories and structural characteristics. This finding suggests that the different sites have varied abilities to provide habitat for saproxylic species during periods with low landscape-level input of CWD.
  • Jönsson, Department of Ecology, SLU, P.O. Box 7044, SE-750 07 Uppsala, Sweden (current); Department of Natural Sciences, Engineering and Mathematics, Mid Sweden University, Sundsvall, Sweden ORCID ID:E-mail: mari.jonsson@slu.se (email)
  • Fraver, U.S. Forest Service, Northern Research Station, Grand Rapids, Minnesota, USA (current); Department of Natural Sciences, Engineering and Mathematics, Mid Sweden University, Sundsvall, Sweden ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Jonsson, Department of Natural Sciences, Engineering and Mathematics, Mid Sweden University, Sundsvall, Sweden ORCID ID:E-mail:
article id 173, category Research article
Erik Hellberg, Torbjörn Josefsson, Lars Östlund. (2009). The transformation of a Norway spruce dominated landscape since pre-industrial times in northern Sweden: the influence of modern forest management on forest structure. Silva Fennica vol. 43 no. 5 article id 173. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.173
Logging history and the study of reference conditions in Scandinavian boreal forests has tended to focus on Scots pine dominated ecosystems. This paper presents a regional study of pre-industrial forest conditions and examines the effects of the industrial exploitation of ecosystems dominated by Norway spruce in northern Sweden. Historical records covering a period which preceded industrial logging in the study area (1917–1927) were used to obtain quantitative data on forest structure and influence of forest fires. These data were compared with a modern data set (2003) to analyse changes due to the industrial transformation of the forest. The early 20th century landscape was dominated by old, multi-cohorted spruce forests and mixed coniferous forests. It was found that fire affected both the structure and composition of the landscape. In post-burnt areas, even-aged forests dominated by deciduous species were the principal forest type. Between the early and modern data sets, profound changes in tree-species composition and age structure were documented. While the total volume of deciduous species increased substantially, the coverage of forests dominated by deciduous species decreased. There was also a significant increase in pine-dominated forests and in the total volume of pine. The industrial transformation of the studied landscapes has had profound effects on the structure of spruce forests, but much less so on deciduous forests. The study concludes that the present forest structure is a function of past management regimes, and that future transformations of the landscape will continue, thus affecting the natural variability and biodiversity of the forests.
  • Hellberg, Tunstigen 10, SE-831 43 Östersund, Sweden ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Josefsson, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Forest Ecology and Management, SE-901 83 Umeå, Sweden ORCID ID:E-mail: torbjorn.josefsson@svek.slu.se (email)
  • Östlund, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Forest Ecology and Management, SE-901 83 Umeå, Sweden ORCID ID:E-mail:
article id 250, category Research article
Saara Lilja-Rothsten, Michelle de Chantal, Chris Peterson, Timo Kuuluvainen, Ilkka Vanha-Majamaa, Pasi Puttonen. (2008). Microsites before and after restoration in managed Picea abies stands in southern Finland: effects of fire and partial cutting with dead wood creation. Silva Fennica vol. 42 no. 2 article id 250. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.250
Different types of microsites, e.g. CWD (coarse woody debris), mounds, and uprooting pits, are important for tree regeneration and biodiversity. However, microsite diversity is greatly reduced in managed stands. We studied how restoration treatments changed microsite distribution in mature managed Picea abies stands. Four cutting treatments were used: uncut, low-CWD (5 m3 ha–1 of down retention trees, DRT, and 50 m3 ha–1 of standing retention trees), intermediate-CWD (as previous but leaving 30 m3 ha–1 of DRT), and high-CWD (as previous but with 60 m3 ha–1 of DRT). Timber harvested from stands ranged from 108–168 m3 ha–1. Half of the stands were burned, and half remained unburned. Sampling was stratified into upland and paludified biotopes within each stand. The pre-treatment microsite distributions were dominated by level ground in both biotopes; mounds and microsites on or next to CWD or a stump were slightly more abundant in the paludified than in the upland biotopes. Microsites were more diverse after cutting, with and without fire. The cutting treatment increased the relative abundances of microsites on or next to CWD. Fire consumed small diameter dead wood and flattened mounds. Microsites were more diverse in paludified than in upland biotopes. The results demonstrate that microsite diversity can rapidly be restored to structurally impoverished managed Picea stands despite a large portion of wood volume being harvested.
  • Lilja-Rothsten, University of Helsinki, Dept. of Forest Ecology, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail: saara.lilja@helsinki.fi (email)
  • Chantal, University of Helsinki, Dept. of Forest Ecology, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Peterson, Dept. of Plant Biology, University of Georgia, Athens, GA, USA ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Kuuluvainen, University of Helsinki, Dept. of Forest Ecology, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Vanha-Majamaa, The Finnish Forest Research Institute, Vantaa Unit, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Puttonen, The Finnish Forest Research Institute, Vantaa Unit, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail:
article id 558, category Research article
Tuomo Wallenius. (2002). Forest age distribution and traces of past fires in a natural boreal landscape dominated by Picea abies. Silva Fennica vol. 36 no. 1 article id 558. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.558
Forest age distribution and occurrence of traces of past fires was studied in a natural Picea abies -dominated landscape in the Onega peninsula in north-west Russia. Forest age (maximum tree age) was determined and charcoal and fire scars were searched for in 43 randomly located study plots. In 70% of the study plots (30/43) trees older than 200 years existed. The largest 50-year age class consisted of plots with 251–300 year old forests. Traces of fires were found in all types of study plots, in forests on mineral soil as well as on peatlands. However, fire has been a rare disturbance factor, as traces of fires could not be found in 35% of the study plots (15/43). Estimated from the forest age class distribution, the fire rotation time for the whole area has been at least 300 years, but possibly considerably longer. This fire rotation time is much longer than fire history studies (largely based on examination of fire scars) commonly have reported for the average time between successive fires in Fennoscandia and Northwest Russia. The results suggest that the often stated generalisations about the importance and natural frequency of fire disturbance in boreal forests do not apply in landscapes dominated by Picea abies.
  • Wallenius, Department of Ecology and Systematics, University of Helsinki, P.O. Box 56, FIN-00014 University of Helsinki, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail: tuomo.wallenius@helsinki.fi (email)
article id 557, category Research article
Tuomo Wallenius, Timo Kuuluvainen, Raimo Heikkilä, Tapio Lindholm. (2002). Spatial tree age structure and fire history in two old-growth forests in eastern Fennoscandia. Silva Fennica vol. 36 no. 1 article id 557. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.557
Two near natural old-growth forests, one dominated by Picea abies and the other by Pinus sylvestris, were studied for their fire history, and spatial patterns of trees and tree ages. The spatial tree age structure and the disturbance history of the forests were examined by drawing age class maps based on mapped and aged trees and by dating fires based on fire scars, and by using spatial analyses at tree scale. The tree age structures of the Picea and Pinus dominated forests were different, mainly due to differences in fire history and sensitivity of the dominant tree species to fire. Fire histories and tree age structures of both sites have probably been affected by human in the ancient past. However, in the Picea dominated site, the fires had been severe, killing most of the trees, whereas in the Pinus dominated site the severity of fires had been more variable, leaving some Pinus and even Picea trees alive. In the Pinus dominated site, the tree age distribution was multimodal, consisting of two Pinus cohorts, which were established after fires and a later Picea regeneration. The Picea dominated site was composed of four patches of different disturbance history. In the oldest patch, the tree age distribution was unimodal, with no distinct cohorts, while a single cohort that regenerated after severe fire disturbances dominated the three other patches. In both sites the overall spatial patterns of living and dead trees were random and the proportion of spatially autocorrelated variance of tree age was low. This means that trees of different age grew more or less mixed in the forest without forming spatially distinct regeneration patches, even in the oldest patch of Picea dominated Liimatanvaara, well over 200 years after a fire. The results show that detail knowledge of disturbance history is essential for understanding the development of tree age structures and their spatial patterns.
  • Wallenius, Department of Ecology and Systematics, University of Helsinki, P.O. Box 65, FIN-00014, Helsinki, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail: tuomo.wallenius@helsinki.fi (email)
  • Kuuluvainen, Department of Forest Ecology, University of Helsinki, P.O. Box 27, FIN-00014, Helsinki, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Heikkilä, Research Centre of Friendship Park, Tönölä, FIN-88900 Kuhmo, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Lindholm, Finnish Environment Institute, Nature and Land Use Division, P.O. Box 140, FIN-00251 Helsinki, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail:
article id 554, category Research article
Seppo Rouvinen, Timo Kuuluvainen, Juha Siitonen. (2002). Tree mortality in a Pinus sylvestris dominated boreal forest landscape in Vienansalo wilderness, eastern Fennoscandia. Silva Fennica vol. 36 no. 1 article id 554. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.554
Tree mortality and its causes and spatial pattern were examined along four transects (width 40 m, length 2550–3960 m), with a total length of 12 190 m and area of 48.8 ha, in a Pinus sylvestris L. dominated, boreal forest landscape. Tree mortality was determined within a time window of 3 years by identifying those trees (dbh ≥ 10 cm) along the transects that fitted into one of the three categories: 1) current mortality: trees that had died during the year of survey (1998), 2) recent mortality: trees that had died during the year (1997) before the survey year, and 3) predicted mortality: trees that were expected to die during the year (1999) following the survey year. Long-term tree mortality was studied on 10 plots (20 m x 100 m) by dating 87 dead trees using dendrochronological methods. The mean current mortality was 1.4 m3 ha–1 (3.7 trees ha–1). Both the recent and predicted mortalities were also 1.4 m3 ha–1. Mortality was, on the average, higher on peatlands than on mineral soils. The highest mortality was found within an area recently flooded by beavers. Over half of the examined trees (52%) were judged to die without any visible signs of an external abiotic cause. At the landscape scale, tree mortality was continuous although somewhat aggregated in space. Of the 66 dated standing dead Pinus trees, 23 (35%) had died during the 19th century and two during the 18th century, demonstrating that dead Pinus can remain standing for long periods of time before falling. Our results show that autogenic mortality of individual trees or small groups of trees was the predominant mode of disturbance in this Pinus dominated landscape.
  • Rouvinen, University of Joensuu, Faculty of Forestry, P.O. Box 111, FIN-80101 Joensuu, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail: seppo.rouvinen@forest.joensuu.fi (email)
  • Kuuluvainen, University of Helsinki, Department of Forest Ecology, P.O. Box 27, FIN-00014 University of Helsinki, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Siitonen, Finnish Forest Research Institute, P.O. Box 18, FIN-01301 Vantaa, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail: juha.siitonen@metla.fi

Category: Review article

article id 552, category Review article
Timo Kuuluvainen. (2002). Natural variability of forests as a reference for restoring and managing biological diversity in boreal Fennoscandia. Silva Fennica vol. 36 no. 1 article id 552. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.552
In Fennoscandia, use of the natural forest as a reference for restoration and management of forest biodiversity has been widely accepted. However, limited understanding of the structure and dynamics of the natural forest has hampered the applications of the natural variability approach. This is especially the case in areas, where the natural forests have almost totally vanished. This review was motivated by the idea that despite these difficulties the essential features of the natural forest can be reconstructed based on biological archives, historical documents, research done in adjacent natural areas, and modeling. First, a conceptual framework for analyzing the relationship between forest structure, dynamics and biodiversity is presented. Second, the current understanding of the structure and dynamics of natural forests at different spatiotemporal scales in boreal Fennoscandia is reviewed. Third, the implications of this knowledge, and gaps in knowledge, on research and on practical restoration and management methods aimed at forest biodiversity conservation are discussed. In conclusion, naturally dynamic forest landscapes are complex, multiscaled hierarchical systems. Current forest management methods create disturbance and successional dynamics that are strongly scale-limited when compared with the natural forest. To restore some of the essential characteristics of the natural forest’s multiscale heterogeneity, diversification of silvicultural and harvesting treatments, as guided by natural disturbance dynamics, is needed to produce more variation in disturbance severity, quality, extent, and repeatability.
  • Kuuluvainen, Department of Forest Ecology, P.O. Box 24, FIN-00014 University of Helsinki, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail: timo.kuuluvainen@helsinki.fi (email)
article id 549, category Review article
Andrei Gromtsev. (2002). Natural disturbance dynamics in the boreal forests of European Russia: a review. Silva Fennica vol. 36 no. 1 article id 549. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.549
In the European part of the Russian boreal zone the dynamics of pristine forests (taiga) has been studied by several generations of researchers. Many studies have examined the patterns and role of fire, windthrow, insect outbreaks and other natural disturbances. An attempt is made to provide a brief review of these studies. The reviewed studies show that lightning strikes were the only natural source of fires in taiga. The frequency of fires varied in various types of pristine landscape from 1–2 per century to 1–2 per millennium. Fires maintained a dynamic equilibrium between compositionally different forest communities or their certain ratio and areal occurrence. Fires favored the regeneration and recovery of pine forests and prevented the replacement of shade-intolerant species (e.g. pine) by shade-tolerant ones (e.g. spruce). Taiga forests generally displayed a mosaic pattern that varied from pioneer plant communities, growing in open burns, to climax communities that were extremely seldom affected by fire. The reviewed studies suggest that fires were a powerful ecological factor in pristine taiga, being largely responsible for the structure and spontaneous dynamics of forest communities. Windfalls were also common in pristine taiga landscapes and they regulated spontaneous dynamics in a gap-mosaic regime, which is most characteristic of spruce forests.
  • Gromtsev, Forest Research Institute, Karelian Research Centre of the Russian Academy of Sciences, P.O. Box 185610, Petrozavodsk, Pushkin st. 11, Russia ORCID ID:E-mail: gromtsev@karelia.ru (email)
article id 548, category Review article
Kevin C. Ryan. (2002). Dynamic interactions between forest structure and fire behavior in boreal ecosystems. Silva Fennica vol. 36 no. 1 article id 548. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.548
This paper reviews and synthesizes literature on fire as a disturbance factor in boreal forests. Spatial and temporal variation in the biophysical environment, specifically, vegetative structure, terrain, and weather lead to variations in fire behavior. Changes in slope, aspect, elevation, and soil affect site energy and water budgets and the potential plant community. These terrain features also have a major influence on fire-caused disturbance through their role in determining moisture conditions and flammability of fuels on hourly, seasonal, and successional time-scales. On fine time scales (minutes to hours), changes in weather, specifically wind and relative humidity, significantly affect a fire’s intensity and aboveground effects. Normal seasonal changes in dryness and periodic drought influence fire intensity and severity principally by affecting the depth of burn and belowground effects. On decades-long time scales changes in vegetative structure affect the mass of fuel available for burning and therefore the potential energy that can be released during a fire. The severity of fire varies in time and space depending not only on the biophysical environment, but also on the location on the fire’s perimeter (head vs. flank vs. rear). Spatial and temporal variation in severity within a fire can have long-lasting impacts on the structure and species composition of post-fire communities and the potential for future disturbances. Characteristic temperature histories of ground, surface, and crown fires are used to illustrate variations in fire severity. A soil-heating model is used to illustrate the impact of varying depth of burn on the depth at which various fire effects occur in the soil profile. A conceptual model is presented for the effects of fire severity on fire-plant regeneration interactions. The conceptual model can be used by restoration ecologists to evaluate the differential effects of controlled or prescribed fires and wildfires and to plan and implement fire treatments to conserve biodiversity.
  • Ryan, USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory, P.O. Box 8089, Missoula, Montana 59807, USA ORCID ID:E-mail: kryan@fs.fed.us (email)

Category: Discussion article

article id 572, category Discussion article
Timo Kuuluvainen, Kaisu Aapala, Petri Ahlroth, Mikko Kuusinen, Tapio Lindholm, Tapani Sallantaus, Juha Siitonen, Harri Tukia. (2002). Principles of ecological restoration of boreal forested ecosystems: Finland as an example. Silva Fennica vol. 36 no. 1 article id 572. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.572
  • Kuuluvainen, Department of Forest Ecology, University of Helsinki, P.O.Box 27 FIN-00014, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail: timo.kuuluvainen@helsinki.fi (email)
  • Aapala, Finnish Environment Institute, Expert Services Department, Nature Division, P.O. Box 140, FIN-00251 Helsinki ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Ahlroth, University Museum, Section of Natural History, P.O. Box 35, FIN-40351, Jyväskylä, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Kuusinen, Ministry of the Environment, Land Use Department, P.O.Box 380, FIN-00131 Helsinki, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Lindholm, Finnish Environment Institute, Expert Services Department, Nature Division, P.O. Box 140, FIN-00251 Helsinki ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Sallantaus, Pirkanmaa Regional Environment Centre, P.O. Box 297, FIN-33101 Tampere, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Siitonen, Finnish Forest Research Institute, Vantaa Research Centre, P.O. Box 18, FIN-01301 Vantaa, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail: juha.siitonen@metla.fi
  • Tukia, Finnish Environment Institute, Expert Services Department, Nature Division, P.O. Box 140, FIN-00251 Helsinki ORCID ID:E-mail:

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