Current issue: 54(2)
One-hectare plot in a Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) forest was systemically sampled for surface soil characteristics: humus layer thickness, soil carbon and nitrogen content, pH, electrical conductivity and respiration were determined from 106 samples. The effects of large trees on the plot were mapped and their joint influences at the locations of soil sampling were described as the influence potential, derived from the ecological field theory, and were calculated based on the locations and dimensions of trees.
The range of variation of soil characteristics was from three to sevenfold; no spatial autocorrelation was detected. The calculated influence potential of trees, as determined by their size and spatial distribution, was related to the spatial variation of top soil properties. Top soil properties were also related to thickness of the humus layer but they were poorly correlated with underlying mineral soil characteristics. Humus layer thickness, with the calculated influence potential of trees, may provide a means to predict top soil characteristics in specific microenvironments in the forest floor.
Fill planting is a common procedure following reforestation in Finland. In 1990, 13% of the total of seedlings planted was used for fill planting. The objective of this study is (i) to survey the survival of fill-in seedlings and (ii) to estimate the spatial pattern of stands to evaluate the importance of fill-in seedlings in constituting the stocking of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) stands in Central and Northern Finland.
A survey of 63 artificially regenerated Scots pine stands was conducted in 1990. Stand densities varied from 950 to 3,925 seedlings/ha. The mean densities of originally planted, fill planted and naturally regenerated seedlings were 863, 639 and 791/ha, respectively. The survival of originally planted seedlings was 36% and that of fill-in seedlings 48%. Death rate of fill-in seedlings of Scots pine increased with longer times between original and fill planting. The survival rate of Norway spruce (Picea abies) seedlings was correlated with temperature sum. Height of the fill-in seedlings was less than that of the originally planted ones. Most stands had an even spatial distribution with the exception of sparsely populated stands, which were somewhat clustered. This indicates that dying of seedlings is not randomly spread. Because of poor survival, fill planting seems to be a risky business in most cases.
The model predicts the base diameter of the thickest living branch of a tree growing in a planted or naturally regenerated even-aged stand. A mixed model type was used in which the residual variation was divided into within-stand and between-stand components. The study material consisted of 779 trees measured in 12 plots located in 20 to 35 years old Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) stands (breast height age 10 to 20 years). Branch diameter was closely connected to the breast height diameter of the stem. In a stand of a certain age, competition by close neighbours slightly decreased branch diameter in a given diameter class. According to the model, the greatest difference is between trees subjected to very little competition and those subjected to normal competition. The model was used in simulated stands with varying age, density, and tree arrangement. The simulations showed that trees with rapid diameter growth at young age had thicker branches at a given breast height diameter than trees with slower diameter growth. However, a very slow growth rate did not produce trees with branches thinner than those possessing a medium growth rate.
The PDF includes an abstract in Finnish.
The effect of grouping on 5-year old volume increment was studied by a simulation technique using spatial growth models estimated in Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) stands in the phase of the first commercial thinning. A total of 24 model stands were regenerated by applying 12 spatial processes for two different diameter distributions. In addition to model stands, 6 different thinnings were simulated in two real stands. The clustering of trees was described with Fisher’s grouping index and by estimating the relative interception of diffuse radiation. In model stands with constant diameter distribution the correlation between the grouping index and volume increment ranged from -0.81 to -0.91. The correlation between volume increment and interception was 0.81–0.83 with one diameter distribution and 0.70 if both distributions were combined. In one thinned stand the correlation between the growth estimate and grouping index varied between -0.33 and 0.76. The correlation between interception and growth was about 0.30 in one stand and 0.72 if both stands were combined. Small irregularities do not decrease the volume production of a young Scots pine stand, but if the clustering is considerable or there are reasonably wide harvest strips, growth will be reduced by 10–20%.
The PDF includes a summary in Finnish.