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Silva Fennica 1926-1997
Acta Forestalia Fennica

Articles containing the keyword 'mortality agent'

Category: Research article

article id 468, category Research article
Antti Lännenpää, Tuomas Aakala, Heikki Kauhanen, Timo Kuuluvainen. (2008). Tree mortality agents in pristine Norway spruce forests in northern Fennoscandia. Silva Fennica vol. 42 no. 2 article id 468.
Keywords: Picea abies; northern Fennoscandia; Coniophora; mortality agent; pristine forest
Abstract | View details | Full text in PDF | Author Info
We examined tree mortality agents in pristine old Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst.) forests in northern Finland and northwestern Russia. The data was collected on nine 40 m   400 m transects. The primary mortality agents of recently dead trees were recorded and their frequencies were calculated. The pattern of tree growth prior to death was studied based on increment core samples and compared with the growth of healthy dominant trees. Of all recently dead trees, 72% could be associated with a primary mortality agent. In both study areas the most common primary mortality agent was a Coniophora (Mérat) DC. -genus fungi, which was found on average in 33% of trees sampled. The fungi Phellinus chrysoloma (Fr.) Don and Onnia leporina (Fr.) H. Jahn as mortality agents were more common in the Finnish area compared to the Russian area. Analysis on the growth patterns indicated weak differences between different pathogens’ influence on prior-to-death growth of trees, so that fungi rotting the whole tree decreased tree growth more rapidly than fungi rotting only the heart wood. The results demonstrated that in old Norway spruce forests of northern Fennoscandia the most common primary tree mortality agents were wood rotting fungi, which weaken the mechanical stability of tree stems until they fall due to snow or wind, which should be considered only as secondary mortality agents. It is evident that tree death in pristine forest typically results from a long-lasting process involving both biotic and abiotic factors.
  • Lännenpää, Department of Forest Ecology, University of Helsinki, Finland E-mail:
  • Aakala, Department of Forest Ecology, University of Helsinki, Finland E-mail: (email)
  • Kauhanen, Kolari Research Unit, Finnish Forest Research Institute, Finland E-mail:
  • Kuuluvainen, Department of Forest Ecology, University of Helsinki, Finland E-mail:
article id 554, category Research article
Seppo Rouvinen, Timo Kuuluvainen, Juha Siitonen. (2002). Tree mortality in a Pinus sylvestris dominated boreal forest landscape in Vienansalo wilderness, eastern Fennoscandia. Silva Fennica vol. 36 no. 1 article id 554.
Keywords: dead wood; disturbance dynamics; spatial pattern analysis; mortality agent; forest structure; temporal variation
Abstract | View details | Full text in PDF | Author Info
Tree mortality and its causes and spatial pattern were examined along four transects (width 40 m, length 2550–3960 m), with a total length of 12 190 m and area of 48.8 ha, in a Pinus sylvestris L. dominated, boreal forest landscape. Tree mortality was determined within a time window of 3 years by identifying those trees (dbh ≥ 10 cm) along the transects that fitted into one of the three categories: 1) current mortality: trees that had died during the year of survey (1998), 2) recent mortality: trees that had died during the year (1997) before the survey year, and 3) predicted mortality: trees that were expected to die during the year (1999) following the survey year. Long-term tree mortality was studied on 10 plots (20 m x 100 m) by dating 87 dead trees using dendrochronological methods. The mean current mortality was 1.4 m3 ha–1 (3.7 trees ha–1). Both the recent and predicted mortalities were also 1.4 m3 ha–1. Mortality was, on the average, higher on peatlands than on mineral soils. The highest mortality was found within an area recently flooded by beavers. Over half of the examined trees (52%) were judged to die without any visible signs of an external abiotic cause. At the landscape scale, tree mortality was continuous although somewhat aggregated in space. Of the 66 dated standing dead Pinus trees, 23 (35%) had died during the 19th century and two during the 18th century, demonstrating that dead Pinus can remain standing for long periods of time before falling. Our results show that autogenic mortality of individual trees or small groups of trees was the predominant mode of disturbance in this Pinus dominated landscape.
  • Rouvinen, University of Joensuu, Faculty of Forestry, P.O. Box 111, FIN-80101 Joensuu, Finland E-mail: (email)
  • Kuuluvainen, University of Helsinki, Department of Forest Ecology, P.O. Box 27, FIN-00014 University of Helsinki, Finland E-mail:
  • Siitonen, Finnish Forest Research Institute, P.O. Box 18, FIN-01301 Vantaa, Finland E-mail:

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