Current issue: 57(2)
Under compilation: 57(3)
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.
The aim of the study was to determine the effect of grazing of the cutting areas to the ground vegetation and regeneration of spruce. The cutting areas could be divided into two kinds of areas based on the vegetation. Hillocks were drier and poorer than other parts of the cutting areas. Their vegetation did suffer less from grazing than the other parts of the cutting areas. The shade-loving plant species decreased, but as the poorer sites have less edible plants, cattle caused less damage than in the better sites. The even spaces between the hillocks had both positive and negative changes. Cattle transport seeds, tile and fertilize the soil, promote paludification, and decrease competition by the primary species like large grasses. This is beneficial to new species. Grazing is directed to large grass species like Calamagrostis. Those species that cattle reject, become more abundant. Stamping damages especially shallow rooted species and perennial species, like Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) H. Karst.). Larger tree seedlings may get injuries in the stem.
The PDF includes a summary in German.
The study includes a detailed survey of 154 farms in the area. Part of the results are presented in the second and third part of the article series about agriculture in Perä-Pohjola and Lapland. The typical breed of cattle in the area was the white Northern Finnish landrace (pohjoissuomenkarja). The size of herds in the farms varied from one to 25, but exceeded seldom 10 cows. Summer pastures were mostly forest pastures. For the winter hay and leaf fodder was gathered. The article includes a detailed description of cattle-keeping in the area. In addition, the farms often had horses and sheep. Keeping pigs or poultry was rare.
The PDF includes a summary in English. This is a fourth part of four-article series about the natural resources in the area of Perä-Pohjola and Lappi.
Only 0.1% of the land area of Perä-Pohjola and Lapland is arable land. The study includes a detailed survey of 154 farms in the area. Part of the results are presented in the second part of the article series about Perä-Pohjola and Lapland (Acta Forestalia Fennica vol. 18). The farms had in average 1.87 hectares of arable land and 16.1 hectares of meadows. Cattle-manure was the most important dressing. The main crops were barley, hay, potatoes and rye. The article includes a detailed description about the cultivation methods.
The PDF includes a summary in English. This is a third part of four-article series on the natural resources in the area of Perä-Pohjola and Lappi. The article includes a detailed survey of the farms in the area.
In South-West Finland the usual method to make leaf fodder for cattle has been to cut the branches and collect the new sprouts again next year. According to this review, the most common tree species to be topped is Betula sp. Downy Birch (Betula pubescens Ehrh.) grows shoots easier than silver birch (B. pendula Roth). The topped forests are usually small and situated near the settlements, next to the fields and meadows. The birch trees are typically cut when they are 15-20 years old. Regularly topped birch rots easily and seldom exceeds 50 years. The capacity to grow shoots depends on the age of the tree, site and time of the cutting. The risk for rotting can be decreased by removing only part of the shoots and cutting the shoots a short distance from the base of the shoot. Collecting leaf fodder decreased in Finland, and was common only in the South-West Finland and Åland.
The PDF includes a summary in German.