Current issue: 55(3)
Under compilation: 55(4)
Hybrid aspen (Populus tremula × P. tremuloides) is one of the fastest growing tree species in Finland. During the mid-1990s, a breeding programme was started with the aim of selecting clones that were superior in producing pulpwood. Hybrid aspen can also be grown as a short-rotation crop for bioenergy. To study clonal variation in wood and bark properties, seven clones were selected from a 12-year-old field trial located in southern Finland. From each clone, five trees were harvested and samples were taken from stem wood, stem bark and branches to determine basic density, effective heating value, moisture and ash content. Vertical within-tree variation in moisture content and basic density was also studied. The differences between clones were significant for almost all studied properties. For all studied properties there was a significant difference between wood and bark. Wood had lower ash content (0.5% vs. 3.9%), basic density (378 kg m–3 vs. 450 kg m–3) and effective heating value (18.26 MJ kg–1 vs. 19.24 MJ kg–1), but higher moisture content (55% vs. 49%) than bark. The values for branches were intermediate. These results suggest that the properties of hybrid aspen important for energy use could be improved by clonal selection. However, selecting clones based on fast growth only may be challenging since it may lead to a decrease in hybrid aspen wood density.
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.
This study was aimed at determining the maximum cost level of artificial drying required for cost-efficient operation. This was done using a system analysis approach, in which the harvesting potential and procurement cost of alternative fuel chip production systems were compared at the stand and regional level. The accumulation and procurement cost of chipped delimbed stems from young forests were estimated within a 100 km transport distance from a hypothetical end use facility located in northern Finland. Logging and transportation costs, stumpage prices, tied up capital, dry matter losses and moisture content of harvested timber were considered in the study. Moisture content of artificially dried fuel chips made of fresh timber (55%) was set to 20%, 30% and 40% in the comparisons. Moisture content of fuel chips based on natural drying during storing was 40%. Transporting costs were calculated according to new higher permissible dimensions and weight limits for truck-trailers. The procurement cost calculations indicated that with artificial drying and by avoiding dry material losses of timber, it could be possible to reduce current costs of the prevailing procurement system based on natural drying of timber at roadside landings. The maximum cost level of artificial drying ranged between 1.2–3.2 € MWh–1 depending on the supply chain, moisture content and procurement volume of fuel chips. This cost margin corresponds to, e.g., organization, forwarding and transportation costs or stumpage price of delimbed stems.
We describe here a study based on analysis of vegetation indices and land surface temperatures, which provides relevant information for estimating soil moisture at regional scales. Through an analysis of MODIS satellite imagery and in situ moisture data, the triangle method was used to develop a conceptual land surface temperature−vegetation index model, and spatial temperature-vegetation dryness index (TVDI) values to describe soil moisture relationships for a broad landscape. This study was situated mainly within two states of the southern United States (Georgia and South Carolina). The total study area was about 30 million hectares. The analyses were conducted using information gathered from the 2009 growing season (from the end of March to September). The results of the study showed that soil moisture content was inversely proportional to TVDI, and that TVDI based on the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) had a slightly higher correlation with soil moisture than TVDI based on the enhanced vegetation index (EVI).
Various environmental conditions (heat waves and drought events) strongly affect leaf and xylem phenology. Disentangling the influence of temperature, precipitation and soil moisture content (AWR) on the forest productivity remains an important research area. We analyzed the impact of climate variability on the leaf phenology (10 sample trees) and radial growth (17 sample trees) of European beech (Fagus sylvatica L.). The study was conducted on 130-year-old European beech trees growing in a temperate forest stand in the Czech Republic. Detailed 20-year phenological monitoring was performed at the study site (1992–2011). As expected, leaf phenological events were mainly driven by the growing season temperatures. Leaf unfolding was highly affected positively by spring temperatures and the top-layer (to 40 cm) AWR in March. The correlation of tree-ring width with the interpolated climate data was positive significant for the growing season AWR and precipitation signal. Furthermore, the water availability in the top soil layer was found to be an important predictor of tree growth and extremely low growth occurrence. The extended phenological growing season, which was caused by a temperature increase, was not followed by an increased tree-ring width. The examined relationships point out the significance of the water availability in the top soil layer in European beech stands.
The determination of biologically most favourable strip width in peatlands to be drained has been hindered by lack of information of the temperature conditions in the surface peat and in the air close to the ground after drainage of different intensities. Temperature measurements were carried out on peatlands drained to different degrees in Central Finland in the summers of 1960 and 1961. The ground water level in the measuring points, and the strip width served as the criterion for differences in water condition.
When the drainage became more intensive, the temperature of the surface peat decreased. However, temperature differences were small, and discernible only when the differences of water conditions were considerable. The effect of strip condition to temperature seems to be of similar nature than the ground water level. Even in extreme cases temperature differences due to different drainage intensity were relatively small, and seldom exceeded 2°C.
Differences in temperature dependent on the growing stock may be as high as 10°C. Thus, the temperature of the surface peat may be dependent on factors more important than temperature differences caused by aspects of drainage. A well-drained peatland is coldest at the beginning of a growing season compared with poorly drained peatland. The temperature differences increase deeper in the peat. This is caused by the better heat conductivity of the moist peat. Also, daily variations in temperature in the surface peat are large in moist peat.
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The article presents the studies about the vegetation communes on moisture soils in northern Finland. The studies are part of another study about calcium carbonate content of the soil as a factor influencing the vegetation.
The PDF contains a summary in Finnish.
Drying of pulpwood bolts of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.), birch (Betula spp.) and Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) H. Karst.) was studied by measuring the drying of sample bolts placed in experimental piles. The results revealed that the main factors affecting timber drying are debarked surface area, moisture content at the time of felling and the size of the bolt. Furthermore, pine and spruce bolts located in the upper part of the pile dry better than bolts near the ground.
The investigation of green weight changes of whole piles of pine and birch was based on data collected in 1987–91. The green weight of piles was dependent mainly on storage time and on region; effect of weather variables could not be distinguished. Specific calibrating coefficients for motor-manual and mechanical cutting were included in the green weight equations.
Comparison between green weight equations and detected weight losses of sample piles indicates that fitted models seem to produce at least approximate results for the green weights, the said results thus lending themselves to be utilized as part of a transportation cost model.
The PDF includes an abstract in Finnish.
Five ploughed research areas from Finnish Norther Karelia were selected for comparison studies of plough ridges and untouched soil. Measurements were made at a depth of 10 cm in sample plots on both mineral and paludified mineral soil and peatland parts of these areas. In summer 1987 daily soil water matric potential was measured using tensiometers, and volumetric soil moisture content and density were determined from soil samples at two dates during the summer. Water characteristics of the core samples were also determined. On paludified mineral and peat soils the water table depth from the soil surface was measured.
The results indicated that in plough ridges matric potential was lowest. Plough ridges were also seen to dry and wet faster and to a greater degree than untouched soils. In untouched soils, soil water relations and aeration were not affected by the distance to the furrow. The effect of the plough ridge was smallest on peatland, where there was a good capillary connection from plough ridge to the ground water, if the ditches were not very effective. The soil in the ridges did not dry too much to restrict seedling growth. The untouched surface soil in poorly drained peat and paludified minear soil was, at least in a rainy growing season, often and also for long times so wet that 10% minimum air space required for good seedling root growth was not available.
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The structure and functional responses of roots in planted seedlings when acclimatizing at the planting site are reviewed. A wide range of methods for classifying roots has been employed, and the terminology used is not uniform. Roots can be classified by their morphology, origin, and function. The temporal and spatial variation of soil temperature, moisture, structure, and concentration of nutrients are among the most important properties to which root systems acclimatize. In order to reliably describe the function of the root system, several parameters usually have to be measured. Studies on the root-soil interface have indicated that roots are not necessarily in continuous contact with soil. The control mechanism of root growth is inadequately known and theoretically formulated. Generally, only the mass needed for water and nutrient uptake has been allocated to the roots. However, the amount of photosynthates allocated to the roots is high. Acclimatization of seedlings out at the planting site is a complicated process which is influenced by the growing conditions at both the nursery and at the site. The function, distribution and structure of roots are controlled by the environment in a way similar to the shoot, but the control mechanism is imperfectly known.
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A light seismic method, a short-pulse radar and a microwave probe are tested in assessing the properties of a forest road constructed on peatland. The light seismic method gave reliable values for estimating the bearing capacity of the road. It was found that bearing capacity was mostly dependent on embankment thickness, but quality of fabric might also have an influence. Embankment thickness and peat depth can be measured on the radiogram, and some additional information on road bed and peat obtained. The microwave peat probe permits recording of the continuous moisture profile in situ, which improves accuracy of planning.
The PDF includes a summary in Finnish.
In laboratory studies the heartwood content seems to be the only natural property of a wood of different tree species influencing the decay resistance. Moistening and drying by diffusion happen quite slowly. Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) sapwood takes moisture by capillary action quicker than pine heartwood and Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) H. Karst.) wood. Swelling and shrinkage are also greatest in pine sapwood. Impregnation of pine sapwood can give it better hydrophobic and dimensional stability than that of pine heartwood.
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The data has been collected in the dry heathy forests in Harjavalta commune in south-west Finland and in Sodankylä commune in Lapland in summer time 1918 and 1919. The aim to the study was to find out how does the water consumption of the trees affect the moisture conditions of the soil and how they are linked to the regeneration of the forest.
Trees in one age class have a certain spatial distribution: the greater the distance between trees the older the trees and the smaller the distance, the younger the trees. This seem to rather be due to the development of the root system and the nutrition intake of a tree than the competition for light. The moisture content of the upper soil layers is higher in the open areas than in the closed canopy stands. Hence there are more seedlings growing in open areas. However, it is not clear whether the results apply for other forest site types as well, and more research is needed.
In the study the proportion of branch samples of various diameter were studied. The branches were taken from small trees to be harvested by total tree chipping method. The material consisted of 1,056 branch samples of birch (Betula verrucosa, now B. pendula Roth, and Betula pubescens Erhr.), Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) H. Karst.) and Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) at intervals of 20 cm along each branch.
With exception of the basic density of bark, there was a relation between all the other properties which were studied and the diameter. Even when the effect of diameter was eliminated, in many cases the effect of the distance of the samples from the stem became apparent.
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The moisture content of the wood has negative impact on transport, storage and use of wood, particularly this can be noticed on firewood. The moister the wood the harder is the transportation and storing. The high percentage of moisture also reduces the heating power of fire wood.
Drying of the wood of different tree species was studied at the forestry institute Tuomarniemi with following experiment setup: pines, spruces, birches, aspens and alders were logged and cut into one-meter split billets. Then they were dices according Huber’s formula. The wood was stacked in three similar ricks (stacks), varying the direction of the cut surface. The various tree species were distributed evenly to every rick. The split billets were weighted straight after manufacturing and after every month.The wood dries fastest during spring and summer months. The direction of the cut surface of split billets in the rick makes no big differences in drying. The coniferous wood dries up to lower moisture content than broadleaved woods.
The purpose of this investigation is to examine the weight and moisture of split birch fuel wood and to calculate its heat values. The weight was measured of 255 truck loads in six different locations during the winter 1959–1960. Moisture analysis was made of sample specimens collected from the loads.
The dry matter weight of the birch fuel wood was in an average 333 kg/m3 piled measure. The lowest measured weight was 319 and the highest 341 kg/m3 piled measure. The moisture content in the different parts of the pile varies distinctly. Driest wood is found in the middle of the pile. Wood in the top and bottom of the pile have about similar moisture content.
The manner of storage influences the drying process. The moisture content of open piles is 20.5%, of paper-covered piles 19.9% and roofed multiple-piles of split fuel wood 19.3%. The 2-year-old piles were dryer than 1-year-old ones. Higher percentages (25% and 20 %, respectively) than those measured in the study, are recommended for practical use. The heat value of the wood stored in a pile was in average 1,435 Mcal/m3 piled measure, and 1,455 Mcal/m3 piled measure sampled from a truck load.
The PDF includes a summary in English.