Category: Research article
article id 7748, category Research article
Reactions to gap emergence: Norway spruce increases growth while European beech features horizontal space occupation – evidence by repeated 3D TLS measurements. Silva Fennica vol. 51 no. 5 article id 7748. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.7748
Highlights: Analysis of the closure dynamics of a Norway spruce, a European beech and a mixed forest gap by repeated TLS measurements; Norway spruce allocated additional resources predominantly into DBH growth and displayed stronger resilience against mechanical crown damage; European beech allocated resources towards space occupation and displayed higher crown plasticity; Species mixture had no significant effect.
The reach of different tree species’ crowns and the velocity of gap closure during the occupation of canopy gaps resulting from mortality and thinning during stand development determine species-specific competition and productivity within forest stands. However, classical dendrometric methods are rather inaccurate or even incapable of time- and cost-effectively measuring 3D tree structure, crown dynamics and space occupation non-destructively. Therefore, we applied terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) in order to measure the structural dynamics at tree and stand level from gap cutting in 2006 until 2012 in pure and mixed stands of Norway spruce (Picea abies [L.] Karst.) and European beech (Fagus sylvatica L.). In conclusion, our results suggest that Norway spruce invests newly available above-ground resources primarily into DBH as well as biomass growth and indicate a stronger resilience against loss of crown mass induced by mechanical damage. European beech showed a vastly different reaction, investing gains from additional above-ground resources primarily into faster occupation of canopy space. Whether our sample trees were located in pure or mixed groups around the gaps had no significant impact on their behavior during the years after gap cutting.
article id 1599, category Research article
Factors affecting the productivity and work quality of chain flail delimbing and debarking. Silva Fennica vol. 51 no. 2 article id 1599. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.1599
Highlights: Machine productivity averaged 59 m3 ub SMH–1, with a 19% incidence of delay time; Productivity increased 70% if tree volume increased from 0.1 to 0.4 m3 ub; Debarking quality was good for 58% of the trees, medium for 29% and poor for 13%; The more trees in a bunch and the higher BWBS, the lower debarking quality.
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.
article id 1448, category Research article
The effects of number of stems per stool on cutting productivity in coppiced Eucalyptus plantations. Silva Fennica vol. 50 no. 2 article id 1448. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.1448
Highlights: Double- and single stem coppice stools were harvested mechanically; Stem size had the strongest impact on productivity; An experienced operator performed equally well with both stool treatments; Cost was ~10% higher with double stems for the less experienced operator; Operator experience may play a major role when cutting coppice stands.
A time study was conducted to determine whether stem crowding had any impact on harvester productivity in Eucalyptus grandis stands. This represents an important element when trying to balance the advantages and disadvantages of coppice management in fast growing plantations designated for mechanized harvesting (i.e. machine felling, delimbing, debarking and cross-cutting). The study material consisted of 446 coppice stems, half of which grew as single stems per stool and half as double stems per stool as a result of different coppice reduction strategies. The dataset was balanced and randomized, with both subsets replicating exactly the same stem size distribution and the single and double stems alternating randomly. Harvester productivity ranged between 6 and 50 m3 under bark per productive machine hour, following the variation of tree diameter from 10 to 40 cm at breast height (1.37 m according to South African standards). Regression analysis indicated that both tree size and stem crowding (e.g. one or two stems per stool) had a significant effect on harvester productivity, which increased with stem size and decreased with stem crowding. However, operator experience may overcome the effect of stem crowding, which was not significant when the harvester was manned by a highly experienced operator. In any case, the effect of stem size was much greater than that of stem crowding, which resulted in a cost difference of less than 10%. However, this figure excludes the possible effects of stem crowding on volume recovery and stem development, which should be addressed in the future.
article id 1342, category Research article
Assessing chipper productivity and operator effects in forest biomass operations. Silva Fennica vol. 49 no. 5 article id 1342. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.1342
Highlights: A model is constructed to assess the productivity in chipping of wood biomass at roadside; The data includes 172 trials and 67 operators in Italy; The operator effect was included in a mixed model approach; The R2 were 0.76 (fixed part) and 0.88 (incl. operator effects).
The present research focuses on the productivity of energy wood chipping operations at several sites in Italy. The aim was to assess the productivity and specifically the effect attributed to the operator in the chipping of wood biomass. The research included 172 trials involving 67 operators across the country that were analysed using a mixed model approach, in order to assess productivity, and to isolate the operator effect from other potential variables. The model was constructed using different predictors aiming to explain the variability due to the machines and the raw-materials. The final model included the average piece weight of raw material chipped as well as the power of the machine. The coefficients of determination (R2) were 0.76 for the fixed part of the model, and 0.88 when the effects due to the operators were included. The operators’ performance compared to their peers was established, and it was compared to a subjective classification based on the operator’s previous experience. The results of this study can help to the planning and logistics of raw material supply for bioenergy, as well as to a more effective training of future forest operators.
article id 1161, category Research article
Comparative study of the Risutec Automatic Plant Container (APC) and Bracke planting devices. Silva Fennica vol. 48 no. 3 article id 1161. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.1161
Highlights: As currently designed, the prototype Risutec APC fitted with an automatic feeding system offers no significant advantage over the Bracke planting device in terms of planting productivity or quality; Cost estimates suggest that an idealized automated feeding system could increase productivity and decrease unit costs.
The productivity of mechanized planting could be increased by minimizing the time spent manually reloading seedling cassettes. This study compared the work-time distribution, productivity and quality of the prototype Risutec APC fitted with an automatic feeding system and the commonly-used and manually-loaded Bracke P11.a. An approach of comparative time study was employed that compared performance of two operators using both machines in four sites where slash and stumps had been removed. Operating costs were estimated and compared for these two machines and an idealized machine with automatic feeding system (referred as AUT). AUT was assumed to be similar to the Bracke planting machine with the only difference being in automatic feeding. Productivity of the Risutec APC (196 seedlings per productive work hour [pl PWh0–1]) was lower than that of Bracke (244 pl PWh0–1), making the unit cost 35.7% higher. A large portion (17.6%) of the productive work time of Risutec APC was interrupted by malfunctions, so it cannot be considered robust and reliable yet. Quality of the planting work was reasonable for both machines. The results suggest that an idealized AUT could increase planting capacity (hectares per year [ha yr–1]) by 15.4% and lower the unit cost (Euro per seedling [€ pl–1]) by 4.7% compared to today’s machines. The importance of an automated feeding system increases with planting efficiency because relatively more time is spent reloading seedlings. Proper automatic feeding system could offer a cost-effective solution and could enhance productivity, but the Risutec APC has yet to meet the technical and economic standards required to be competitive.
article id 909, category Research article
Strengthening top-level guidance in geographically hierarchical large scale forest planning: experiences from the Finnish state forests. Silva Fennica vol. 46 no. 4 article id 909. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.909
Different planning approaches conclude to different results. The top-down approach allocates resources efficiently from the top-level perspective, while the bottom-up approach provides optimal results for the lower levels. Integrated approach that combines the elements of these two basic approaches provides compromise solutions for decision makers. The aim of this study was to examine potential efficiency improvements in hierarchically structured large scale forest management through increased top-level guidance. The resulting effects on the acceptability of the plans on the lower level were also studied. Large scale planning typically considers forests owned by states, companies and municipalities. In the case study of the Finnish state forests, alternative country level solutions were generated by combining regional forest plans in different ways. The results showed that the currently applied bottom-up approach, which produces regionally optimal management strategies, did not result in the most efficient use of resources on the country level. However, the new country level solutions did not produce huge improvements in the country level objective values compared to the results of the current approach. Furthermore, if country level efficiency improvements were emphasized more, together with wide approval by regional stakeholders and local residents, new kind of interaction and participation between the planning levels and also between the regions would be needed.
article id 452, category Research article
Clonal propagation of Detarium microcarpum from root cuttings. Silva Fennica vol. 44 no. 5 article id 452. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.452
Detarium microcarpum is a valuable tree species for fuelwood, timber, food and medicine in sub-Saharan Africa. However, its population is dwindling due to overexploitation, its seedlings’ low survival rate and slow growth. Vegetative propagation might enhance both survival and growth, but to date a successful clonal method does not exist for D. microcarpum. We conducted four experiments to examine the effects of propagation environment (high versus low humidity), cutting length and diameter, alignment of root segments (horizontal versus vertical) and distance from the root collar of donors on the regeneration ability of root segments collected from field-grown D. microcarpum trees in Burkina Faso. The size of root segments significantly affected their regeneration ability, while alignment had no effect. Sprouting was possible from 10 and 20-cm long segments of 15–60 mm diameter with 7–43% sprouting efficiency and multiple shoots while 5 cm long segments were unsuitable with 0–3% sprouting efficiency. Cuttings maintained at low humidity produced larger diameter sprouts than those in greenhouse. All cuttings showed strong polarity with most of the shoots developing at the proximal end. Rootlings from 20 cm root segments produced more new roots (0.62 ± 0.08 g) than those from 10 cm segments (0.34 ± 0.09 g), but they were similar for sprout and leaf growth. We conclude that lateral roots of field-grown mature trees can be used to produce rootlings in a nursery. Since this study is the first attempt to propagate D. microcarpum from root cuttings, further investigations are required to optimize the technique.
article id 125, category Research article
Productivity of the M-Planter tree-planting device in practice. Silva Fennica vol. 44 no. 5 article id 125. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.125
Need to mechanise tree-planting work have recently increased for many reasons. The newest planting and soil scarification device performing work in Nordic forests is the Finnish M-Planter. This study aims to clarify M-Planter’s productivity in practice and show how various factors affect it. The follow-up data set covers 607 work shifts, of 13 operators with, in total, five M-Planters. The average productivity figures for the operators were 143 and 169 seedlings per effective working hour during the first and second planting season, respectively. Overall, the measured average productivity was 34.2% lower than that observed in an earlier work study of the M-Planter based on an experimental study design. On average, the operators learned to use the combination of the M-Planter and a base machine more efficiently while their experience in using it increased during the follow-up. Increasing number of stones and stumps as well as a thicker humus layer decreased productivity of the M-Planter. The study concludes that utilisation of the full productivity potential of the M-Planter requires not only good operators but also development of the whole planting service supply chain.
article id 144, category Research article
Analyzing the views of wood harvesting professionals related to the approaches for increasing the cost-efficiency of wood harvesting from young stands. Silva Fennica vol. 44 no. 3 article id 144. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.144
A lot of viable guidelines are currently available for more cost-effective harvesting of energy wood and industrial roundwood (i.e. pulpwood) from young stands. The study ranked the proposed potential approaches for increasing the cost-efficiency of small-diameter (d1.3 < 10 cm) energy wood and industrial roundwood harvesting from early thinnings. Research data, based on a total of 40 personal interviews, was collected in early 2008. The interviewees were divided into four wood harvesting professional groups: 1) Managers in wood procurement organizations, 2) Forest machine contractors, 3) Forest machine manufacturers and vendors, and 4) Wood harvesting researchers. In the opinion of the respondents, there is great potential to increase the cost-efficiency of wood harvesting through improving harvesting conditions (i.e. effective tending of seedling stands, delaying harvesting operations, and pre-clearance of dense undergrowth). The interviewees also underlined that harvesting methods can be rationalized, e.g. multiple-tree handling in industrial roundwood cuttings, crane scale measurement, integrated wood harvesting, and careful selection of stands for harvesting. The strong message given by the interviewees was that the education of forest machine operators must be made more effective in the future. There would be significant possibilities for cost savings in young stands, if methods and techniques with the most potential were utilized completely in wood harvesting.
article id 186, category Research article
A techno-economic evaluation of Bracke and M-planter tree planting devices. Silva Fennica vol. 43 no. 4 article id 186. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.186
Techno-economically reasonable mechanization of tree planting has proved to be a difficult task in the Nordic working conditions. Although planting machines and combinations of base machine and planting device have been developed since the 1970s, mechanized planting has not been cost-competitive to manual planting. The aim of this study was to find out work time distributions, productivities, costs and effects of different work difficulty factors on productivities and costs of the state-of-the-art Nordic planting devices, Swedish Bracke and Finnish M-Planter, and to compare the devices with each other. The theory of comparative time studies was the base for the experimental design of this study. In the average working conditions, productivity (E15) of M-Planter (236 seedlings/hour) was 36.0% higher than that of Bracke (174 seedlings/hour). Here, M-Planter performed planting work 23.4% cheaper than Bracke. However, the difference depended greatly on the working conditions; the more stones or stumps the smaller the difference, and the more slash the bigger the difference.
article id 354, category Research article
Inventory of sparse forest populations using adaptive cluster sampling. Silva Fennica vol. 40 no. 1 article id 354. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.354
In many studies, adaptive cluster sampling (ACS) proved to be a powerful tool for assessing rare clustered populations that are difficult to estimate by means of conventional sampling methods. During 2002 and 2003, severe drought-caused damage was observed in the park forests of the City of Helsinki, Finland, especially in barren site pine and spruce stands. The aim of the present study was to examine sampling and measurement methods for assessing drought damage by analysing the effectiveness of ACS compared with simple random sampling (SRS). Horvitz-Thompson and Hansen-Hurwitz estimators of the ACS method were used for estimating the population mean and variance of the variable of interest. ACS was considerably more effective than SRS in assessing rare clustered populations such as those resulting from drought damage. The variances in the ACS methods were significantly smaller and the inventory efficiency in the field better than in SRS.
article id 425, category Research article
Allocation of above-ground growth in Pinus sylvestris – impacts of tree size and competition. Silva Fennica vol. 38 no. 2 article id 425. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.425
The effect of tree age, size and competition on above ground growth allocation was studied with 69 Pinus sylvestris trees. Competition was described by tree-level indicators (needle density, crown ratio and height-diameter ratio). The stem, branch and needle growth were determined by stem and branch radial increments and tree level biomass analysis. Combined growth of compartments was strongly correlated with needle mass. Furthermore, tree age, size and competition indicators affected the allocation of growth among the compartments. The allocation of growth to stem and needle increased with tree age and size while the allocation of growth to branch decreased. The increasing crown ratio increased allocation of growth to branches. The combined growth of the components and separate growth of needles, branches and stem were related to needle mass. However, competition and tree size were significant additional explanatory variables when the stem, branch and needle growth were estimated according to needle mass. The growth efficiency increased with relative tree height and decreased with increasing needle density.
article id 533, category Research article
A model for optimal mycorrhizal colonization along altitudinal gradients. Silva Fennica vol. 36 no. 3 article id 533. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.533
Mycorrhizal associations are generally favourable for vascular plants in nutrient-poor conditions. Still, non-mycorrhizal plants are common in high arctic and alpine areas, which are often poor in nitrogen and phosphorus. The relative proportion of mycorrhizal plants has been found to decrease along with increasing altitude, suggesting that the advantage of the mycorrhizal symbiosis may change along an altitudinal gradient. This may be related to the environmental factors that possibly constrain the amount of photosynthesized carbon to be shared with mycorrhizal fungi. We propose a simple optimization model for root colonization by fungal symbionts and analyze the advantages of mycorrhizas in relation to the nutrient use efficiency of photosynthesis (PNUE), the kinetics of nutrient uptake and the soil nutrient levels. Our model suggests that mycorrhizas are not usually favoured at low PNUE values. At low nutrient levels, mycorrhizas may be advantageous if they have a lower threshold concentration of nutrient uptake (xmin) compared to non-mycorrhizal roots. If mycorrhizal roots have a higher maximum capacity of nutrient uptake (Vmax), mycorrhizas can be favourable for the host plant even at relatively low nutrient concentrations and at relatively low PNUE. Consequently, the possible patterns along altitudinal gradients essentially depend on PNUE. If the soil nutrient concentration is constant and PNUE decreases, the advantage of mycorrhizal symbiosis declines independently of the nutrient uptake kinetics. If PNUE remains constant and the soil nutrient concentration decreases along with increasing altitude, the emerging colonization pattern (either increasing, decreasing or intermediate) depends on the nutrient uptake kinetics. Additionally, if both PNUE and the soil nutrient concentration decrease, several patterns may emerge, depending on the nutrient uptake kinetics.
article id 664, category Research article
The financial and economic profitability of field afforestation in Finland. Silva Fennica vol. 33 no. 2 article id 664. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.664
The aim of the study was to assess the rate of return on invested capital and soil expectation value in field afforestation from the financial (business economic) and economic (national economic) point of views in Finland using 1996 cost and price data. Risks for renewal planting and negative growth impacts of reduction in plantation density were explicitly included in the profitability assessments. Results indicated that due to the subsidies and favorable regulations for obtaining them in 1996, field afforestation was financially profitable for farmers regardless of what species was used for planting. From the national economic point of view, investments in field afforestation provided only substantial return on invested capital, being highest after risk adjustments in Norway spruce (Picea abies) plantations.
Category: Review article
article id 378, category Review article
Small-scale non-industrial private forest ownership in the United States: rationale and implications for forest management. Silva Fennica vol. 39 no. 3 article id 378. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.378
The transaction cost approach is used to explain why small non-industrial private forest (NIPF) ownerships are increasing in the U.S. We argue that the number of small NIPF owners have increased because: 1) a significant amount of forestland is no longer used economically if primarily for timber production, but rather for non-timber forest products and environmental services (particularly where population density is high), 2) when a person makes frequent use of non-timber products and services, owning forestland is more efficient for them because it saves the transaction costs involved in getting them from the market, 3) forestland parcelization takes place when non-timber value increases faster than timber value, and 4) marginal value for non-timber product is diminishing much faster than that for timber production. The paper also discusses implications of the parcelization of NIPF ownerships on forest management.
article id 5543, category Article
Within-plot subsampling of trees for assessment in progeny trials of Scots pine. Silva Fennica vol. 29 no. 1 article id 5543. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.a9194
Tree height data from 33 progeny trials of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) were used to determine the effect of within-plot subsampling on the magnitude of statistically detectable differences between families, family heritability and correlation of family means based on different sample sizes. The results indicated that in trials established with a standard plot configuration of 25 trees per plot, measuring only 10–15 trees gives nearly the same precision as with assessment of all the plot trees. Even as few as 4–6 trees assessed per plot may constitute a sufficient sample if families or parental trees of extreme performance are being selected. Trials established with non-contiguous plots were found to be more efficient than those established using multiple-tree contiguous plots.
article id 5488, category Article
Effect of plot size and shape on the efficiency of progeny tests. Silva Fennica vol. 26 no. 4 article id 5488. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.a15649
A simulation approach was applied to study the pattern of environmental variability and the relative statistical efficiency of 14 different plot types. The study material consisted of two nine-year-old field tests of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.). The area of the test sites was 1.57 and 0.67 hectares. The efficiency was measured as the error variance attached to the estimate of family mean and the total size of a test needed to detect a given, least significant difference between two family means. The statistical efficiency tended to decline along with increasing plot size. The importance of plot shape was negligible compared to plot size. The highest efficiency was obtained with single-tree plots. Non-contiguous plots appeared to be considerably more efficient than block plots of equal size. The effects of intergenotypic competition on the choice of plot type are discussed.
The PDF includes an abstract in Finnish
article id 5414, category Article
Typpipitoisuuden vaikutus männyn neulasten fotosynteesiin ja verson itsevarjostukseen. Silva Fennica vol. 24 no. 1 article id 5414. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.a15566
English title: (1990). The effect of nitrogen concentration on needle photosynthesis and within shoot shading in Scots pine.
A close relationship between photosynthetic capacity and nitrogen concentration of leaves is known to exist. In conifers, nitrogen also affects the pattern of mutual shading within a shoot, which is a basic unit used in studying photosynthesis of coniferous trees. These effects of needle nitrogen concentration on photosynthetic capacity and mutual shading of needles were analysed for Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) shoots taken from five young stands growing on sites of different fertility. The effect of nitrogen concentration on needle photosynthesis was studied based on measurements of the photosynthetic radiation response of shoots from which two thirds of the needles were removed in order to eliminate the effect of within shading.
An increase of one percentage unit in nitrogen concentration of needles increased the photosynthetic capacity of needles by 25 mg CO2 dm-2h-1. The effect of nitrogen on within-shoot shading was quantified in terms of the silhouette area to total needle area ratio of a shoot (STAR), which determines the relative interception rate per unit of needle area on the shoot. Although nitrogen promoted needle growth, an increase in nitrogen concentration decreased the within-shoot shading. This effect resulted from a decrease in needle density on the shoot and an increased needle angle with increasing nitrogen content.
The PDF includes an abstract in Finnish.
article id 7679, category Article
Forest taxation, timber supply, and economic efficiency. Acta Forestalia Fennica no. 233 article id 7679. https://doi.org/10.14214/aff.7679
The effects and relative efficiency of alternative forest taxes are analysed theoretically. The Fisherian two-period model of consumption, savings and timber harvesting is extended by incorporating the management intensity decision and deriving the concept of long-run timber supply. The effects of lump-sum (site productivity), realized income (yield) and ad valorem property taxes on short-run timber supply, management intensity, and long-run timber supply are established. As the core of the study, the alternative taxes are compared in order to determine the appropriate forest tax regime in terms of production efficiency. The efficiency criterion generally requires that the excess burden of taxation at any given tax revenue should be kept to a minimum. The study distinguishes between an initially undistorted economy and an economy with pre-existing distortions due to capital income taxation (interest charge deductions). When the effects on forest management decisions of forest and capital income taxes are considered as a whole, a neutral forest taxation is no longer efficient. The non-timber benefits of a forest are incorporated to examine the robustness of the tax results with respect to the objective function. Finally, forest tax issues specific to Finland are considered, and administrational and equity aspects are discussed.
The PDF includes a summary in Finnish.
article id 7661, category Article
Salinity effects in Eucalyptus camaldulensis and Combretum quadrangulare: ecophysiological and morphological studies. Acta Forestalia Fennica no. 214 article id 7661. https://doi.org/10.14214/aff.7661
The aim of this study was to investigate the ecophysiological and morphological characteristics of two salt-tolerant tree species, Eucalyptus camaldulensis Dehn. and Combretum quadrangulare Kurz. A greenhouse experiment with different levels of NaCl salinity (0, 0.5, 1.0, 1.5, and 2.0%) was set up and the results were compared with those of a field study on non-saline and saline soils. The determination of optimum gas exchange and the development and evaluation of photosynthetic models with and without water deficit were also included in this study.
Morphological characteristics under saline conditions showed that shoot height and diameter growth, shoot internode length, root length/biomass, leaf width and length, leaf area, number and biomass, and shoot/root and leaf/root ratios decreased with salinity, while leaf thickness increased with salinity. More growth was allocated to the roots than to the leaf canopy. Ecophysiological studies in laboratory showed that photosynthesis, stomatal conductance and water potential decreased with salinity, while the CO2 compensation point increased with salinity. Transpiration, dark respiration and photorespiration increased at low salinity but decreased at high salinity levels. In the field study, however, there were no significant differences in stomatal conductance and opening between saline and non-saline soils. Model predictions supported the results of the field measurements. Adaptation to salinity was reflected in an acclimatization of tree structure in the field study. There were both functioning and structural changes of seedlings in the greenhouse experiment
In terms of ecophysiological and morphological characteristics, E. Camaldulensis showed better salt tolerance than C. Quadragulare both in the greenhouse experiment and field study
The PDF includes a summary in Finnish.