Current issue: 53(1)

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Impact factor 1.683
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Silva Fennica 1926-1997
Acta Forestalia Fennica

Articles containing the keyword 'forest drainage'.

Category: Research article

article id 10055, category Research article
Jaakko Repola, Hannu Hökkä, Hannu Salminen. (2018). Models for diameter and height growth of Scots pine, Norway spruce and pubescent birch in drained peatland sites in Finland. Silva Fennica vol. 52 no. 5 article id 10055.
Highlights: Tree growth strongly correlated with site drainage status; Between-tree competition had a higher impact on tree diameter growth than on height growth; Growth predicted by the constructed models were calibrated using NFI11 data to ensure generally applicable growth predictions level in whole country.

The aim of this study was to develop individual-tree diameter and height growth models for Scots pine, Norway spruce, and pubescent birch growing in drained peatlands in Finland. Trees growing in peatland sites have growth patterns that deviate from that of trees growing in mineral soil sites. Five-year growth was explained by tree diameter, different tree and stand level competition measures, management operations and site characteristics. The drainage status of the site was influencing growth directly or in interaction with other variables. Site quality had a direct impact but was also commonly related to current site drainage status (need for ditch maintenance). Recent thinning increased growth of all species and former PK fertilization increased growth of pine and birch. Temperature sum was a significant predictor in all models and altitude for spruce and birch. The data were a subsample of the 7th National Forest Inventory (NFI) sample plots representing northern and southern Finland and followed by repeated measurements for 15–20 yrs. Growth levels predicted by the models were calibrated using NFI11 data to remove bias originating from the sample of the modelling data. The mixed linear models technique was used in model estimation. The models will be incorporated into the MOTTI stand simulator to replace the current peatlands growth models.

  • Repola, Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke), Natural resources, Eteläranta 55, FI-96300 Rovaniemi, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail: (email)
  • Hökkä, Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke), Natural resources, Paavo Havaksen tie 3, FI-90014 University OF Oulu, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Salminen, Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke), Natural resources, Eteläranta 55, FI-96300 Rovaniemi, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail:
article id 106, category Research article
Hannu Hökkä, Heli Hyttinen, Hannu Marttila, Juha Jämsen, Bjørn Kløve. (2011). Effect of peak runoff control method on growth of Scots pine stands on drained peatlands in central Finland. Silva Fennica vol. 45 no. 3 article id 106.
In drained peatland forests ditch networks need regular maintenance operations in order to sustain their drainage capacity. These operations however have a significant impact on the quality of the runoff water from the ditched areas. Peak runoff control (PRC) method has been proposed as a possible method to diminish the load to water courses through retention of the runoff temporarily in the ditch network during maximum runoff events using dams with a plastic control pipe. However, blocking water into the ditched area for periods of varying length during the growing season may have a negative impact on the growth of the tree stands. In this study past stand growth was investigated in Central Finland in altogether 10 sample Scots pine thinning stands in which the PRC method has been applied 5 growing seasons earlier. In each stand, a pair of sample plots was established: one plot next to the dam within the influence of periodic flooding and the other one outside the effect of periodic flooding. For determining stand growth, field measurements were made in August 2009. Stand growth near the dam was on average 0.54 m3 ha-1 a-1 lower than farther away from the dam but the analysis of covariance showed that the dam effect was not significant. The results of this study suggest that the PCR method does not decrease Scots pine stand growth during the first five year growth period after ditch cleaning.
  • Hökkä, Finnish Forest Research Institute, Rovaniemi Research Unit, P.O. Box 16, FI-96301 Rovaniemi, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail: (email)
  • Hyttinen, Metsänhoitoyhdistys Keski-Suomi, Viitasaari, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Marttila, University of Oulu, Water Resources and Environmental Engineering Lab, Oulu, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Jämsen, Forestry Centre Keski-Suomi, Pihtipudas, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Kløve, University of Oulu, Water Resources and Environmental Engineering Lab, Oulu, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail:
article id 353, category Research article
Jaakko Repola, Hannu Hökkä, Timo Penttilä. (2006). Thinning intensity and growth of mixed spruce-birch stands on drained peatlands in Finland. Silva Fennica vol. 40 no. 1 article id 353.
The impacts of thinning at various intensities on the growth and mortality of mixed spruce-birch stands were investigated in thinning experiments on spruce swamps in northern and south-eastern Finland. At the time of establishment, three of the stands had recently reached the first commercial thinning stage and four were more advanced. The monitoring period was mainly 15 years, and the thinning intensity varied from heavy thinning (ca. 46 per cent of the basal area removed) to no thinning. Basal area removals of light and moderate thinning were ca. 22% and 39%, respectively. Unthinned plots had the highest volume increment. Light and moderate thinning slightly decreased the 15-year volume increment by, on an average, 1% and 8%, respectively. Heavy thinning led to a greater reduction (22%) in volume increment. The growth response to thinning intensity was evident as a higher relative volume and mean diameter increment of the living trees with decreasing stand density. Part of the volume increment on the unthinned plots was lost through natural mortality. Even light thinning significantly decreased natural mortality.
  • Repola, Finnish Forest Research Institute, Rovaniemi Research Unit, P.O. Box 16, FI-96301 Rovaniemi, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail: (email)
  • Hökkä, Finnish Forest Research Institute, Rovaniemi Research Unit, P.O. Box 16, FI-96301 Rovaniemi, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Penttilä, Finnish Forest Research Institute, Rovaniemi Research Unit, P.O. Box 16, FI-96301 Rovaniemi, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail:
article id 668, category Research article
Hannu Hökkä, Timo Penttilä. (1999). Modelling the dynamics of wood productivity on drained peatland sites in Finland. Silva Fennica vol. 33 no. 1 article id 668.
The dynamics of wood productivity on drained peatland sites was analyzed from the covariance structure generated by stand yield data of repeatedly measured permanent sample plots in 81 Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) or Norway spruce (Picea abies Karst. (L.)) stands with admixtures of birch (Betula pubescens Ehrh.). The site production potential, considered a latent variable, was assumed to follow an autoregressive process over time elapsed since drainage. As a measure of the latent variable, a relative growth rate (RGR) index was determined for all stands at the time of drainage and at four successive measurement time points following drainage (on average 16, 23, 30, and 41 years). The index was calculated as the site index of an upland conifer stand with the ratio of periodic volume growth and standing volume and adjusted by changes in stand stocking and thinning. The observed covariance structure was described by fitting a structural equation model to the data of RGR indices. When only the post-drainage measurement times were included, a quasi-simplex model with equal error variances and equal structural parameters at different measurement times fit the data well indicating a permanent covariance structure among the different measurements. Including the measurement at the time of drainage resulted in a non-permanent structure. The stand parameters at the time of drainage were poorly correlated with post-drainage growth. A considerable increase in the wood productivity of the sites was observed, being greatest during twenty years after drainage and continuing up to 40 years since drainage. This was concluded to be due to changes in site properties rather than stand structure although the effects of the single factors could not be analytically separated from one another. Our modelling approach appeared to improve long-term site productivity estimates based merely on botanical site indices.
  • Hökkä, Finnish Forest Research Institute, Rovaniemi Research Station, PO Box 16, 96301 Rovaniemi, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail: (email)
  • Penttilä, Finnish Forest Research Institute, Rovaniemi Research Station, PO Box 16, 96301 Rovaniemi, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail:

Category: Review article

article id 1416, category Review article
Ulf Sikström, Hannu Hökkä. (2016). Interactions between soil water conditions and forest stands in boreal forests with implications for ditch network maintenance. Silva Fennica vol. 50 no. 1 article id 1416.
Highlights: Ditch network maintenance (DNM) may influence soil water conditions less than initial ditching due to reduced hydraulic conductivity of the peat; Stand stocking and management substantially influence soil-water conditions; DNM can lower the GWL and increase tree growth; DNM growth responses of 0.5–1.8 m3 ha–1 yr–1 during 15–20-years in Scots pine peatland stands reported; Greatest need for DNM in the early phase of a stand rotation; Need for better understanding of the link between soil water and tree growth.

At sites with either peat or mineral soils in large areas of boreal forests, high soil-water contents hamper tree growth and drainage can significantly increase growth. Hence, areas covering about 15 × 106 ha of northern peatlands and wet mineral soils have been drained for forestry purposes. Usually ditches gradually deteriorate, thus reducing their functionality as drains, and ditch-network maintenance (DNM) might be needed to maintain stand growth rates enabled by the original ditching. This article reviews current knowledge on establishing the need for DNM in boreal forest stands, subsequent growth responses, and the financial outcome of the activity. The issues covered in the review are: (i) ditching, changes in ditches over time and the need for DNM; (ii) interactions between soil water and both stand properties and stand management; (iii) ground-water level (GWL) and tree growth responses to DNM; and (iv) financial viability of DNM. Conclusions about the current understanding of issues related to DNM are drawn and implications for DNM in practice are summarized. Finally, gaps in knowledge are identified and research needs are suggested.

  • Sikström, The Forestry Research Institute of Sweden (Skogforsk), Uppsala Science Park, SE-751 83 Uppsala, Sweden ORCID ID:E-mail: (email)
  • Hökkä, Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke), Management and Production of Renewable Resources, P.O. Box 16, FI-96301 Rovaniemi, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail:

Category: Article

article id 5616, category Article
Hannu Hökkä, Virpi Alenius, Timo Penttilä. (1997). Individual-tree basal area growth models for Scots pine, pubescent birch and Norway spruce on drained peatlands in Finland. Silva Fennica vol. 31 no. 2 article id 5616.

Models for individual-tree basal area growth were constructed for Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.), pubescent birch (Betula pubescens Ehrh.) and Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst.) growing in drained peatland stands. The data consisted of two separate sets of permanent sample plots forming a large sample of drained peatland stands in Finland. The dependent variable in all models was the 5-year basal area growth of a tree. The independent tree-level variables were tree dbh, tree basal area, and the sum of the basal area of trees larger than the target tree. Independent stand-level variables were stand basal area, the diameter of the tree of median basal area, and temperature sum. Categorical variables describing the site quality, as well as the condition and age of drainage, were used. Differences in tree growth were used as criteria in reclassifying the a priori site types into new yield classes by tree species. All models were constructed as mixed linear models with a random stand effect. The models were tested against the modelling data and against independent data sets.

  • Hökkä, ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Alenius, ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Penttilä, ORCID ID:E-mail:
article id 5370, category Article
Harri Rantonen, Juhani Päivänen. (1989). Kasvatusmetsien metsänhoidollinen tila ojitusalueilla puunkorjuun jälkeen. Silva Fennica vol. 23 no. 1 article id 5370.
English title: Silvicultural condition of tree stands after thinning on drained peatlands.

The area of stands studied by line plot survey was 594 ha. On the basis of the length of the inventory line the estimated proportion of harvesting strips was 14% and that of ditch openings 6% of the area. The calculated strip road spacing was 29 m. The option of the minimum diameter made it difficult to use the number of stems as criterion for thinning intensity. Thinning intensity evaluated according to the basal area had been stronger than recommended with low values of dominant height and milder with high values. The estimated removal according to stumps was 38 m3/ha on the average between the strips. The real removal has, however, been larger than that, as the strip road openings are made in connection with the first thinning.

The PDF includes an abstract in English.

  • Rantonen, ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Päivänen, ORCID ID:E-mail:
article id 5341, category Article
Hannu Hökkä, Jukka Laine. (1988). Suopuustojen rakenteen kehitys ojituksen jälkeen. Silva Fennica vol. 22 no. 1 article id 5341.
English title: Post-drainage development of structural characteristics in peatland forest stands.

The effect of drainage on structure of tree stands is analysed by comparing the average structural characteristics (e.g. diameter distribution) of stands in the data for different drainage age classes and selected site types. The material consists of ca. 4,400 relascope sample plots, which are part of a large drainage area inventory project. The uneven-aged structure of the virgin peatland forest is preserved for several decades after drainage. This is enhanced by the post-drainage increase of small-diameter trees, especially birch. The number of trees per hectare increased during a period of ca. 30 years and levelled off thereafter. The increase in the number of saw log stems is clearly related to the fertility of the site and its geographical location.

The PDF includes a summary in English.

  • Hökkä, ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Laine, ORCID ID:E-mail:
article id 4829, category Article
Juhani Numminen. (1970). Metsäojituksen kannattavuuden alueittainen vaihtelu. Silva Fennica vol. 4 no. 4 article id 4829.
English title: Regional variation of the profitability of forest drainage in Finland.

The study attempts to establish to what extent the present regional allocation of the forest improvement subsidies equalize the profitability of forest drainage in Finland. The benefit/cost ratio has been used to describe the regional variation of the profitability

The study revealed that the forest improvement subsidies granted in 1968, even the highest possible subsidies, did not equalize the profitability of forest drainage. According to the results, the northern regions are at a disadvantage compared to the southern parts of the country. To fully equalize the profitability of forest drainage the average subsidies granted in 1968 should have been raised in the second financing zone from 22 to 32%, in the third zone from 32 to 60%, and in the fourth, northernmost zone from 43 to 86%. The study also suggests that the boundary lines of the financing zones should run, at least in Central and Northern Finland, from southeast to northwest instead from east to west, as it is now.

The PDF includes a summary in English.

  • Numminen, ORCID ID:E-mail:
article id 7639, category Article
Matti Keltikangas, Jukka Laine, Pasi Puttonen, Kustaa Seppälä. (1986). Vuosina 1930-1978 metsäojitetut suot: ojitusalueiden inventoinnin tuloksia. Acta Forestalia Fennica no. 193 article id 7639.
English title: Peatlands drained for forestry during 1930–1978: results from field surveys of drained areas.

An extensive field-based survey was conducted to establish the distribution of site types on drained peatlands, the condition of the drainage networks, the post-drainage development of the tree stands, their structure and silvicultural condition and the corresponding requirements for operational measures. The data is based on sampling of the forest drainage undertaking during 1930–78 and consists of 1,312 km inventory transect, 6,030 relascope sample plots and 21,700 studied ditches.

Of the studied peatlands more than 60% were Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) mires, slightly under 20% Norway spruce (Picea abies) mires, and under 10% each treeless mires and paludified upland forest sites. The remaining peatland area that is to be considered suitable for forest drainage according to criteria used by Heikurainen (1960) now consists mainly of spruce mires and paludified upland forest types; about 1 million ha both groups still remain undrained.

The proportion of ditches in need of ditch cleaning was estimated to be under 10% in the youngest drained areas and under 30% in the oldest. The mean tree stand volumes of the drained peatlands of different site types show the same dependence on the trophic level as in earlier studies but the volumes seem to be some 5–10% lower. These results compare favourably with those of the 7th national forest inventory.

Trends in the post-drainage development of tree stand volumes and increment are also, generally, in accordance with earlier findings but have somewhat lower values. The development of the nutrient-poor site type stands, especially in Northern Finland, seems to be significantly poorer than was earlier assumed.

The PDF includes a summary in English.

  • Keltikangas, ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Laine, ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Puttonen, ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Seppälä, ORCID ID:E-mail:
article id 4716, category Article
Leo Heikurainen, Matti Keltikangas, Kustaa Seppälä. (1963). Kustannusten jakaminen yhteisissä metsäojitushankkeissa. Silva Fennica no. 115 article id 4716.
English title: Allocation of costs in joint forest drainage undertakings.

One forest drainage undertaking in Finland often consists of woodlots belonging to several owners, and over hundred owners may be involved. In the present paper a method for allocation the costs to different owners in a joint drainage undertaking is worked out. The problem has been emphasised by the new Waterways Law, which enables also such drainage projects to be undertaken to which some of the land owners oppose. In those cased the costs must be allocated according to the benefit driven by each owner from the project.

The method attempts to assess the benefits to be driven from the forest drainage, those costs of the drainage that are joint and thus subjected to allocation, and what is the area affected by drainage as used as a basis for cost allocation.

The joined costs are apportioned in the following manner. The area of peatland adjusted to differences in the benefit obtained by drainage is ascertained by the land holder by multiplying the index number by the corresponding areas. In the case of cultivated agricultural land, also an index showing the need for drainage is used in computing the adjusted area. Each topographic unit in the map is provided with a notation of its apportionment area. Joined costs are allocated to different land owners in relation to their adjusted land areas.

The PDF includes a summary in English.

  • Heikurainen, ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Keltikangas, ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Seppälä, ORCID ID:E-mail:
article id 4643, category Article
Paavo Yli-Vakkuri. (1954). Aikatutkimuksia metsäojitusten kivitöistä. Silva Fennica no. 84 article id 4643.
English title: Time studies on stone work done in forest drainage.

When ditches are dug in forest drainage, smaller stones are removed by hand, but the larger ones require the use of explosives or stone lifting machinery. Use of explosives have been a more common method for the larger stones. Due to development of detonation methods, it has also been used for smaller stones than earlier.

The investigation was a time study comparing five different stone lifting machines. Time needed for different stages of the work was measured. The stages lasted approximately as long for all of the machines. However, the effectivity of the machines could not be determined, because the stones removed were not similar enough. Stone lifting machine Pekka appeared slightly more effective than the other four machines. It was also easy to assemble, disassemble and move.

The article includes a summary in German.

  • Yli-Vakkuri, ORCID ID:E-mail:

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