Current issue: 56(2)
Under compilation: 56(3)
Forest balance is a comparison between the growing stock volume at the beginning and end of a balance period and the gross increment and drain during that period. The forest balance of Finland during that period 1967-1973 and the increment and drain balance during the period 1953-1977 are used as examples in the paper. Forest balance is a check of the accuracy of basic estimates. If the discrepancy between the calculated growing stock at the end of the balance period and the growing stock estimated by an inventory is great, it calls for improvements in forest inventory methods and timber utilization statistics.
Balance may reveal possibilities for improving the utilization of forest resources. If natural losses are great, increased thinnings and regeneration cuttings of mature and over-mature tree stands increase the supply of timber. If logging losses are great, the efficiency of harvesting should be improved. An overcutting situation calls forth efforts to increase timber production or to decrease the uses of timber in order to avoid overexploitation. If gross increment is greater than the drain there are possibilities to increase harvesting, forest industrial expansion etc.
Forest balance is a way to check and improve the basic estimates of forestry production, to increase the effective use of timber grown in the forest, to commerce policies and measures concerning increment and to control timber utilization on the basis of sustained yield.
The PDF includes a summary in Finnish.
The first estimates on the forest resources of Finland were presented in the middle of the 1900th century. The first line survey was conducted in 1912 in Central Finland. In 1921-1923 a survey of the forests of the whole country was commenced. The method consisted in measurement of sample plots in conjunction with ocular estimation of all the stands within the range of the lines. The methods were further developed in the second National Forest Survey in 1936-1938, which payed special attention to the silvicultural condition of the forests, and the growth in the light of climatic variation. When 3.3 million ha of forests were ceded to the Soviet Union in the peace treaty of 1944, the results of the survey had to be recalculated. The next survey was conducted 1951-1953. In this survey, the recovery of stands on drained peatlands was studied. The results of the inventories show that forest resources of Finland had icreased since the 1936-1938 survey.
The first investigation of wood utilization in Finland was carried out in 1927, after the first National Forest Survey had provided information on the forest resources, and knowledge of the other side of the forest balance was desired. The most difficult part was to determine the domestic wood consumption of the rural population. This was accomplished by studying 1,337 sample farms. The second investigation was commenced in 1938, and third in 1954.
These two investigations have made it possible to determine the annual removal and annual growth, and by comparing these results, growth balance. A forest balance is an essential condition for judicious forestry.
The Acta Forestalia Fennica issue 61 was published in honour of professor Eino Saari’s 60th birthday.
The field of work of the 7th National Forest Inventory was carried out during 1977–84. This report consists of the analysis of the forest resources, long-term development of forests and the results by ownership categories in Finland.
The area of forestry land, 26.4 million ha, has decreased slightly because of the increase of build-up areas and communication routes. Forest land, which is suitable to growing wood profitably, amounted 20.1 million ha. It has increased, although not as fast as earlier, due to drainage and fertilization of scrub and waste land swamps and the afforestation of agricultural land.
The growing stock volume was 1,660 million m3 and the estimated gross annual increment 68.4 million m3. A large quantity of young, rapidly growing stands, and fellings markedly below the increment, are the principal factors increasing the growing stock. The volume of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) has increased most but the greatest proportional increase has been in the volume of broadleaved trees.
The silvicultural quality of stands has improved and the increase in saw log tree volume has resulted in an increase in the total growing stock volume. The proportional volume of saw logs, however, has decreased. Both aging mature stands and postponed thinnings increase the risk of losses due to mortality and decay. Too dense stands retard the diameter growth of trees. The proportion of unsuccessful artificial regeneration has increased.
The area of private forests has slightly decreased, while companies and collective bodies have increased their ownership. Non-farmer private ownership already accounts for one half of the area of private forests. The silvicultural quality of company forests is best and the increase of the growing stock and its increment is proportionally greatest in these forests.
The PDF includes a summary in English.