Current issue: 54(2)
Prescribed burning has been used to treat the mineral soil sites, but the method has been little used in drained peatlands. The course and methods of prescribed burning in drained peatlands, and the effect of burning on sprouting of broadleaved trees, growth of ground vegetation and regeneration of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) by sowing was studied in drained pine bogs in Southern Finland. The top layer of the peat was mostly Sphagnum peat. The material included a prescribed burned 12 ha drained peatland area in Tuomarniemi district, in addition to which ten previously burned areas were investigated.
The burning had succeeded mostly well, but also unsuccessfully burned sites were observed. Estinguishing of the fire was easy, and no peat fires occurred. The fire burned only the logging residue, ground vegetation and the dry top layer of the peat. The roots of brushwood and grasses survived in the peat that insulated the top layer from the heat. For instance, the abundance of cloudberry (Rubus chamaemorus L.) increased after the fire. Similarly, burning did not affect sprouting of the stumps of downy birch (Betula pubescens Ehrh.). It cannot thus be used as a method to restrict the growth of coppice in regenerated areas. The seeds of Scots pine germinated well on the burned surface. 46% of the seeds developed to seedlings on sphagnum-shrub vegetation and 16% in feathermoss-shrub vegetation.
The PDF includes a summary in German.
The forest sites have typically been classified by two principles, either as stand quality classes or as locality (site) classes. This article describes the principles of Finnish forest site types (forest quality classes) which are based on classification of localities according to their forest plant associations. All the stands that belong to the same forest site type are characterized by a distinct, more or less identical plant species composition. The forest site types are independent of the tree species. The forest site types in a larger area are relatively numerous, but can be grouped according to their normal form. The Finnish forests are separated to dry moss forest class, the moist moss-forest forest class and grass-herb forest class. The different forest site types belonging to the classes are described in detail. Growth of the trees is different for the different forest site types, but varies little within a same site type. The forest site types suit therefore well for the purposes of forest mensuration and for yield tables. The forest site types reflect also the properties of the soil.
The study deals with the distribution of above-ground biomass of Vaccinium myrtillus L. along the vegetation continuum segregated by using phytosociological classification method composite clustering. The qualitative characteristics of forest sites corresponding to different vegetational clusters were defined on the basis of indirect gradient analysis of vegetation data and description of tree stand properties in stands in 160 sample areas in Southern Finland.
Six vegetation types differing from each other mainly in abundance of the most constant and dominant plant species were formed. Sample areas with rich grass-herb vegetation, as well as sample areas representing comparatively dry, barren site type were clearly separated from other groups of sample areas. Stand characteristics, particularly the proportional distribution of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) and Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) H. Karst.) seems to be another important factor affecting the vegetation composition.
The lowest biomass values of blueberry were connected with herb-rich vegetation and shady spruce-dominated stands. Comparatively low values were connected to also other spruce-dominated sample areas. Pine-dominant or mixed pine-spruce stands the biomass values were significantly higher. Even if the site quality is essentially equal, the abundance relationships between Vaccinium myrtillus and other components of the ground vegetation may vary in wide ranges and cause difficulties in practical site classification.
The PDF includes a summary in English.
Finland has a long tradition of grazing cattle in the forests and common land. There are also reports of degradation of forests by grazing already in 1600th century. The aim of the survey was to study which positive and negative effects grazing has in forests.
The study concludes that grazing has caused considerable economic losses through damages to forests. In addition, woodland pastures cannot give the yields required in modern animal husbandry. The quality of woodland pastures have decreased after the woodlands used in slash and burn culture have become wooded.
Grazing has also some positive effects to forests. It increases the diversity of vegetation in the woodland pastures and spreads species to new areas. This is supported by the lists of species found in different woodland pastures. Cattle destroy large grasses like Calamagrostis, which may avail growth of tree seedlings in the pastures. Grazing can also prepare the site for tree seedlings. On the other hand, prolonged grazing destroys tree seedlings and prevents regeneration.
The article includes a German summary.