Current issue: 55(3)
Under compilation: 55(4)
This work presents the findings of a study concerning variability in the basic density of silver birch (Betula pendula Roth) wood, depending on the geographical location of tree stands, the age and thickness of the trees, the forest habitat type, and interactions between some of these factors. The study was carried out on wood from trees aged approximately 30, 50 and 70 years in 12 forest districts located throughout Poland. In total 4777 wood samples, taken from 306 trees from 51 test plots, were measured. The location, the age of the trees, the thickness of the trees and the forest habitat type, as well as interactions between these factors, proved to have a significant influence on the basic density of silver birch wood. The highest mean values of the basic density of the birch wood were found in Sokołów forest district on the FBF habitat type (549 kg m–3) and in Giżycko forest district on the FMBF habitat type (548 kg m–3). For the entire set of examined material, the average values of the basic density of wood increase with tree age. For the examined material originating in FBF and FMBF habitats the average values of basic density showed no significant differences; however, in the cases of the forest districts of Giżycko, Łobez and Rudziniec, significant differences in the analysed property were observed.
Relationships between bulk density and organic matter (OM) content, textural properties and depth are described for forested mineral soils from Central and Northern Finland. Core samples were taken of 0–5, 30–35 and 60–65 cm layers at 75 plots. Three measures of bulk density were calculated: the bulk density of the < 20 mm fraction (BD20), the bulk density of the < 2 mm fraction (BD2), and laboratory bulk density (BDl). BDl was determined from the mass of a fixed volume of < 2 mm soil taken in the laboratory. All three measures of bulk densities were strongly correlated with organic matter content (r ≥ -0.63). Depth and gravel (2–20 mm) content (in the case of BD2) were also important variables. BDl was sensitive to clay contents > 7% but did significantly improve the prediction of both BD2 and BD20 in coarse soils (clay contents ≤ 7%). Predictive models were derived for coarse soils.
The water retention characteristics and their variation in tree nurseries and related physical properties were determined for commercially produced growth media made of light slightly humified Sphagnum peat. A total of 100 samples of peat media were collected from filled seedling trays in the greenhouses of four Finnish nurseries in 1990. In addition, the physical properties were determined for two growth media made of compressed peat sheets and chips. The variation in water retention characteristics in nurseries was described using linear models with fixed and random effects. The sources of variation in the mixed linear models were producer, grade, batch (greenhouse) and sample (tray).
The water retention of the peat media at different matric potentials was comparable to that given in the literature. The media shrank an average of 0–16% during desorption. The peat grades were finer than the Nordic quality standards for peat growth media. Particles < 1 mm increased and particles 1–5 mm decreased the water retention characteristics measured. The greatest total variation in water retention was at -1 kPa. The water retention of the peat media differed least at -5 and -10 kPa. The water retention characteristics of media from different producers usually differed significantly. The grades, on the other hand, did not differ from each other in their water retention characteristics nor were there significant interactions between producer and grade. The batch effect was marked but was lower than the effect within batches, where the sample (tray) effect was greater than the effect due to random measurement error. At -10 kPa, the measurement error was, however, clearly greater than the sample effect. The random measurement error was comparable to the batch effect. Aeration of the growth media is dependent on the water content retained between saturation and -1 kPa. The water availability to seedlings at the nursery phase is affected mainly by water retention between -1 and -10 kPa.
The PDF includes an abstract in Finnish.
The study discusses the amount of shrinkage of volumetric undisturbed peat samples when drying to an oven-dry (105°C) condition. The amount of shrinkage is related to various physical properties of peat. In addition, some observations were performed on the shrinkage phenomenon during the drying process. The study results may be used when predicting the shrinkage of peat samples with various peat properties. Knowledge of this kind is particularly important in connection with peat harvesting.
The PDF includes a summary in Finnish.