Current issue: 54(4)
Under compilation: 54(5)
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.
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