Current issue: 53(4)
Root systems of a Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) stands of seed trees on a Vaccinium sites in Southern Finland were studied by taking soil samples around the seed trees. The results show that root system of an old Scots pine spreads relatively evenly around the tree up to at least 10 meters from the stem. The densest part of the root system is near the stem, which part is often acentric. This is probably due to root competition in the early stages of growth of the tree.
Root systems of the seed trees affect stocking of the site with seedlings and the growth of the seedlings. The root competition can cause, for instance, uneven grouping of the seedlings. It seems that the largest trees of a stand have the most even root system. It is therefore recommended to choose the strongest trees of the stand as seed trees, to ensure even distribution of seedlings.
The Acta Forestalia Fennica issue 61 was published in honour of professor Eino Saari’s 60th birthday.
The PDF includes a summary in German.
The purpose of the investigation was to study the amount, quality and distribution by layers of depth of horizontal roots in Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst.) and Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) stands in Southern Finland. The sample plots included stands on soil varying from sandy to stony, and stands of varying ages from seedling stands to an old stand, in Myrtillus and Vaccinium type forests.
In a Norway spruce stand, the amount of roots increases rapidly and reaches its maximum, about 450 meters/m3, at an age of 100-110 years. In a Scots pine stand the maximum, about 370 m/m3, is reached earlier, at an age of 60-70 years. The root system of pine expands more rapidly than that of spruce. The total length of the horizontal root system of pine amounts to 1,000 m soon after 40 years of growth, of spruce at the age of 60. Later the situation changes, and at the age of 110 the root systems of both species are about the same size, but older trees of spruce have more extensive root system.
Majority of horizontal roots are under 1 mm in diameter. Of the horizontal roots of spruce stands the majority lie in the humus layer and in the topmost mineral soil stratum. Over half of horizontal spruce roots are, thus, at a maximum depth of 5 cm, while majority of the roots of Scots pine lie at maximum in depth of 10 cm. At the same layer grow also the roots of the ground vegetation, which may affect the competition between the species.
The PDF includes a summary in English.
Shifting cultivation, practiced earlier in Finland, was beneficial for grey alder (Alnus incana (L.) Moench). It can produce seeds early and the early growth of the seedlings is fast. Areas where shifting cultivation was intensive, the areas next to the fields were pure alder stands, next circle was Betula sp. dominated, beyond that could be found Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.), and finally Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) H. Karst.). When shifting cultivation ended, Norway spruce became more common. Many young mixed stands had Norway spruce undergrowth and alder overgrowth. The aim of the study was to find out how the stands develop to spruce dominated stands, and how they should be managed.
The density of spruce undergrowth affects the further development of both spruce and alder. The number of alder stems decreases the faster the denser the spruce undergrowth is. Alder overgrowth slow down the early diameter and height growth of spruce compared to pure stands. Also the diameter and height growth of alder remains smaller in mixed stands. The basal area of spruce develops slowly in the beginning, increases significantly by the age of 30, and surpasses the growth of pure spruce stands in Oxalis-Myrtillus site type. Thus, Norway spruce do not suffer from growing in the undergrowth. In the first years, fast growing alder seedlings limits growth of ground vegetation and protects spruce seedlings from frost. Later thinning or removal of alder benefits spruce growth. The density of spruce undergrowth decides how much alder can be leaved in the stand. If the spruce undergrowth is thin, more alder can be left in the stand.
The PDF includes a summary in German.
The study presents and describes the abundance and distribution of tree roots in specific stands of heathy forest types in Lapland. The data was collected in the Sodankylä commune.
Due to the shortcomings in the data, conclusions can be drawn only regarding pine forests. The result of study states that the root competition plays an important role in the development of the forests, and most of the other observed phenomena are linked with root competition. The more infertile the soil the vertically and horizontally wider and more abundant the root system. It seems that the abundance of the root system is similar in forest of same fertility class and same density and age.