Current issue: 54(2)
Fast-growing hybrids of Populus L. have an increasing importance as a source of renewable energy and as industrial wood. Nevertheless, the long-term sensitivity of Populus hybrids to weather conditions and hence to possible climatic hazards in Northern Europe have been insufficiently studied, likely due to the limited age of the trees (short rotation). In this study, the climatic sensitivity of ca. 65-year-old hybrid poplars (Populus balsamifera L. × P. laurifolia Ledeb.), growing at two sites in the western part of Latvia, and ca. 55-year-old hybrid aspens (Populus tremuloides Michx. × P. tremula L.), growing in the eastern part of Latvia, have been studied using classical dendrochronological techniques. The high-frequency variation of tree-ring width (TRW) of hybrid poplar from both sites was similar, but it differed from hybrid aspen due to the diverse parental species and geographic location of the stands. Nevertheless, some common tendencies in TRW were observed for both hybrids. Climatic factors influencing TRW were generally similar for both hybrids, but their composition differed. The strength of climate-TRW relationships was similar, but the hybrid poplar was affected by a higher number of climatic factors. Hybrid poplar was sensitive to factors related to water deficit in late summer in the previous and current years. Hybrid aspen was sensitive to conditions in the year of formation of tree-ring. Both hybrids also displayed a reaction to temperature during the dormant period. The observed climate-growth relationships suggest that increasing temperatures might burden the radial growth of the studied hybrids of Populus.
Early thinnings are laborious and costly. Thus forest companies are searching for cost and time efficient ways to carry out this task. The study’s purpose was to determine the productivity of the EF28 accumulating energy wood harvesting head in harvesting small-diameter hornbeam (Carpinus betulus L.) undergrowth trees and evaluate the effect of its multi-tree handling (MTH) capacity on time consumption. The harvester was a wheeled, three-axle Komatsu 911. A time study of 7.1 hours on 19 plots, with a total area of 0.76 ha was conducted. On average, the harvested tree volume was 8 dm³ and the stand density was 2666 trees/ha. The productivity was modelled with MTH conduction, mean diameter at breast height and the number of trees handled per cycle as independent variables. On average, MTH took 27% longer per cycle, increased extracted volume per cycle by 33% and consequently increased productivity with 5.0%. In 71.9% of the cycles more than one tree was handled and if so, dimensions were smaller than in single-tree handling (5.8 cm vs. 12.0 cm). Maximum felling diameter of 23 cm was about 15% smaller than in softwood (according to the manufacturer’s specifications) and the driver didn’t exploit the EF28’s theoretical potential in terms of trees handled per cycle. It can be concluded that the head could significantly improve productivity in small-diameter wood procurement.
We introduce a general procedure to match a stochastic functional-structural tree model (here LIGNUM augmented with stochastic rules) with real tree structures depicted by quantitative structure models (QSMs) based on terrestrial laser scanning. The matching is done by iteratively finding the maximum correspondence between the measured tree structure and the stochastic choices of the algorithm. First, we analyze the match to synthetic data (generated by the model itself), where the target values of the parameters to be estimated are known in advance, and show that the algorithm converges properly. We then carry out the procedure on real data obtaining a realistic model. We thus conclude that the proposed stochastic structure model (SSM) approach is a viable solution for formulating realistic plant models based on data and accounting for the stochastic influences.
Growth and yield tables are constrained by a standard production regime and the stand-level dynamic models are an attractive alternative for the even-aged monospecific stands. The objective of this study is to derive a parsimonious and biologically sound whole-stand dynamic growth model and to validate its consistency and relevance for prediction of stand growth and yield. The state-space modelling approach was employed, introducing several novelties in comparison with its current usage. The model consists of a three-dimensional state vector, defined by dominant stand height, number of trees per hectare and mean stem volume, and three transition functions. A site index model was incorporated for height growth projection and transition functions for stand density and mean stem volume with respect to dominant height increase were derived from simple allometries and biological rationale. The model was examined with data from 79 permanent sample plots in Scots pine plantations. Nonlinear Seemingly Unrelated Regression was used to account for cross-equation correlations, and the Base-Height-Invariant dummy variable method was employed to estimate dynamic-form equations. Model consistency was validated in terms of accuracy of predictions and applicability to both thinned and unthinned stands. The new dynamic growth model is a parsimonious biometric whole-stand model that simulates the expected stand development for a broad spectrum of potential management alternatives and can be incorporated in a computer program for further use. It may be especially useful for application when a scarcity of longitudinal data prevents the use of more complicated modelling approaches.
We designed a streamlined timber growth and quality model that aims at the effect of stand management on the efficiency of wood resource use. Applying the R based module toolbox to experimental plots of Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii [Mirb.] Franco) we analysed essential model features for reflecting the influence of planting density on board strength. The current version realistically predicted a significant increase of centre board bending strength at tree age 40 with initial stand density. Model performance gained clear advantage from a) parameterisation of height to diameter allometry as dependent on planting density b) consideration of cambial age and cross‑sectional knot area in board strength computation. Crown shape was less decisive. The model produced a significant effect of planting density even after a whole rotation period of 70 years as well as a realistic spectrum of board bending strength.
Forestry in Malå, northern Sweden, coexists with other land uses. Reindeer husbandry is in the area for centuries and requires large areas of grazing land. Competing land uses may threaten the Malå Sami village. The aim of the study was to evaluate increased consideration in forest management towards 1) reindeer husbandry, 2) nature and 3) a combination of the two. These scenarios were compared with forest management as it was in 2009. Results indicate that all three scenarios lead to a decrease in annual harvesting volumes of 0.2 to 0.4 million m3. Forest industry dominated the economic viability in the area. Forest management adapted to the needs of reindeer husbandry resulted in less potential for yearly harvest, employment and profits from forest industry. On the other hand, it led to an increase in growing stock and consequently the potential for carbon sequestration over time. Indeed the increased sequestration would compensate for all fossil emissions of carbon from the Forest Wood Chain (FWC). The nature scenario had minor effects on economic result and on the emissions of fossil carbon. The combined scenario gave a reduced economic performance for the FWC. A scenario based on forest management accommodating the needs of reindeer husbandry gave the best economic result for the reindeer chain, due to high survival rate of the reindeer. However the economic importance of reindeer husbandry in the region was small compared to the FWC. Results from scenario analysis could serve as a platform for mutual understanding between stakeholders.
The paper aimed at testing the potential of refining tree rot diagnostics carried out by means of electrical impedance tomography (EIT). Examined was the use of EIT datasets with electrical resistance values and sapwood proportion determined on the basis of tomograms. Making use of datasets with resistance values in EIT rot diagnostics is not a default method, although datasets stay unaffected by a fixed colour scale and subsequent subjective evaluation unlike tomograms. Tomography measurement was carried out for 27 individuals of Norway spruce (Picea abies [L.] Karst.) in two stands north-east of Brno, Czech Republic. Once felled down, radial cut-outs were sampled at the measurement site and used for localising rot and determining the extent of the area of decay. The results were subsequently compared with tomograms. EIT datasets containing values of electrical resistance found by measuring were statistically processed and compared with the extent of rot area identified within the cuts. Sapwood proportion values were also detected using the tomograms. The baseline assumption that sapwood proportion decreases as the rot area in the radial cut expands was confirmed. In trees with rot percentage to 35% approximately, sapwood proportion was exceeding 30% except one tree. In trees with rot percentage exceeding 35%, sapwood proportion was below 30%. On the basis of interpreted datasets, the trees can be split into three characteristic groups that correspond to the occurrence, extent and nature of the rot.
At sites with either peat or mineral soils in large areas of boreal forests, high soil-water contents hamper tree growth and drainage can significantly increase growth. Hence, areas covering about 15 × 106 ha of northern peatlands and wet mineral soils have been drained for forestry purposes. Usually ditches gradually deteriorate, thus reducing their functionality as drains, and ditch-network maintenance (DNM) might be needed to maintain stand growth rates enabled by the original ditching. This article reviews current knowledge on establishing the need for DNM in boreal forest stands, subsequent growth responses, and the financial outcome of the activity. The issues covered in the review are: (i) ditching, changes in ditches over time and the need for DNM; (ii) interactions between soil water and both stand properties and stand management; (iii) ground-water level (GWL) and tree growth responses to DNM; and (iv) financial viability of DNM. Conclusions about the current understanding of issues related to DNM are drawn and implications for DNM in practice are summarized. Finally, gaps in knowledge are identified and research needs are suggested.
Fast and accurate estimates of canopy cover are central for a wide range of forestry studies. As direct measurements are impractical, indirect optical methods have often been used in forestry to estimate canopy cover. In this paper the accuracy of canopy cover estimates from two widely used canopy photographic methods, hemispherical photography (DHP) and cover photography (DCP) was evaluated. Canopy cover was approximated in DHP as the complement of gap fraction data at narrow viewing zenith angle range (0°–15°), which was comparable with that of DCP. The methodology was tested using artificial images with known canopy cover; this allowed exploring the influence of actual canopy cover and mean gap size on canopy cover estimation from photography. DCP provided robust estimates of canopy cover, whose accuracy was not influenced by variation in actual canopy cover and mean gap size, based on comparison with artificial images; by contrast, the accuracy of cover estimates from DHP was influenced by both actual canopy cover and mean gap size, because of the lower ability of DHP to detect small gaps within crown. The results were replicated in both DHP and DCP images collected in real forest canopies. Finally, the influence of canopy cover on foliage clumping index and leaf area index was evaluated using a theoretical gap fraction model. The main findings indicate that DCP can overcome the limits of indirect techniques for obtaining unbiased and precise estimates of canopy cover, which are comparable to those obtainable from direct, more labour-intensive techniques, being therefore highly suitable for routine monitoring and inventory purposes.
The objective of the study is to derive a method by which one can analyze how the probability of damage made by pine weevils on seedlings treated with insecticides depends on the probability of damage on untreated control seedlings, called feeding pressure. Because the probabilities vary from stand to stand and from block to block, the analysis is done using a generalized linear mixed model. The dependency of probability of damage on the feeding pressure cannot be properly analyzed using observed relative frequency of damage of control seedlings as a covariate, but it can be analyzed using a bivariate model. One equation describes damage of control seedlings and another equation damage of treated seedlings. The random stand and block effects of different equations are correlated. For a given probability of stand level control seedling damage, the random stand effect for control seedlings can be computed using a link function, then random stand effects for treated seedlings can be predicted using the best linear predictor from the random effect for control seedlings. Using an inverse link the prediction can again be presented in the probability scale which is of interest to the user. Using these three steps the probability of damage of treated seedlings can be predicted from the control damage probability. The probability of damage of treated seedlings can also be predicted from the observed relative frequency of damaged control seedlings using simulation. The complementary log-log link was used for control seedlings and the log-log link for treated seedlings.
The effect of cutting the root connection by detaching the shoot from the root system on dormancy release and vegetative bud burst was examined in 2-year-old seedlings of Norway spruce (Picea abies [L.] Karst.). Seedlings were transferred at 1–4 week intervals between October and January from outdoor conditions to experimental forcing in a heated greenhouse. Before forcing, half of the seedlings were cut above ground line, and the detached shoots were forced with their cut ends placed in water. The intact seedlings were forced with their root system remaining intact in the pots. Vegetative bud burst was observed visually. Cutting the root connection slightly increased days to bud burst in the forcing conditions, however, no consistent effect on bud burst percentage was found. Our preliminary seedling data suggest that using detached tree material in dormancy release experiments may have a small effect on bud burst date but it will evidently not lead to drastically erroneous conclusions. Further studies, using different seed lots, are needed to assess the effect of detaching on the dormancy release and bud burst, especially in adult trees.
Initial fertilisation, when the fertilizer is supplied during the plantation, is applied to improve the competitive ability of the seedlings and hence to increase their growth and productivity; however, fertilization could also alter wood properties and timber quality. In this study, the dimensions and tree-ring parameters – width, proportion of latewood, maximum and mean density, mean earlywood and latewood density – of initially fertilized (by 14, 6 and 11 g of N, P and K per seedling, respectively) Norway spruce (Picea abies Karst.) growing in an experimental plantation in Kalsnava, Latvia (temperate climate region) were assessed. The fertilization significantly increased the dimensions of trees in long-term (ca. 17% increase of stemwood volume). The analysis of tree-ring width suggested that the duration of the effect was ca. 15 years. The maximum and latewood density were higher for the fertilized trees only in a few years. The mean and earlywood density of tree-rings were mainly similar for both treatments. Altogether, considering the one-time application of a limited amount of fertilizer, such treatment had notable and lasting effect on Norway spruce.