Current issue: 54(3)
The present paper is a preliminary report of a project designed to determine the order of profitability of various forest improvement measures – seeding and planting, drainage, and fertilization – in various types of stands and in different parts of the country on drained peatlands. Sample plot data on the effect of draining on increment was derived from areas drained 28– 36 years ago. The study was carried out in the southern half of Finland.
The observations on increment changes are based on two measurements of the sample stands 12 years apart. Supplementary calculations indicate that the stands on drained peatland, depending on site quality and tree species, have either continued to grow like mineral-soil sites of similar fertility or have somewhat increased their growth rate.
The effect of draining intensity was studied using strip measurements. It was found that both the total amount of wood produced (current stand + cutting removal + natural removal) and the current annual volume increment for the 5-year period systematically decrease as the ditch interval increases. The decrease is, however, relatively slight. In Eriophorum vaginatum pine swamps, the total amount of wood produced and the increment show a decrease of ca. 20% with an increase in ditch interval from 20 to 60 metres. In other sites, the decrease is ca. 5-10%
It can be concluded that if the increase in ditch interval do not result in considerably poorer timber assortment distributions than indicates by stand production and increment, it is profitable to pan for a relatively large ditch interval and a slightly smaller than maximum wood production. Supplementary data and check calculations may cause some changes in these preliminary results.
The PDF includes a summary in English.
The paper is based on data collected from 411 sample plots in various parts of Finland situated on peatlands which had been drained in the 1930's. The purpose of the study was to determine the influence of ditch spacing on the volume, increment and structure of timber crops growing on drained peatlands. The ditches had been spaced 70–90 m apart, and the sample plots were placed strip wise along the ditches.
The results of the study indicate that the influence of ditch spacing on both the total volume and the volume increment is greater, the poorer the site. On the other hand, the influence of ditch spacing on the structure of the stand as described by means of the mean diameter as weighted by the basal area, seems to be of similar magnitude in all the sites covered by the study.
Generally speaking, the influence of ditch spacing on stand development is surprisingly small, even in extreme cases. The total volume and the increment of the growing stock decrease by about 20% when the ditch spacing increases from 20 to 60 m, the corresponding decrease in the mean diameter having a magnitude of 10%. This was interpreted to be due to the fact that the main part of the superior growth along the margin of the ditch is spent in compensating for the space lost in the area taken up by the ditches.
On the basis of the results obtained it was concluded that the best solution in forest drainage from the economic viewpoint is to employ relatively wide ditch spacings, which leads to a rate of stand development somewhat below the potential.
The PDF includes a summary in Finnish.