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Silva Fennica 1926-1997
Acta Forestalia Fennica

Articles containing the keyword 'prescribed burning'

Category : Article

article id 5601, category Article
Jari Parviainen. (1996). Impact of fire on Finnish forest in the past and today. Silva Fennica vol. 30 no. 2–3 article id 5601.
Keywords: forest fires; biodiversity; Finland; prescribed burning; forest ecology; wildfires; slash and burn cultivation
Abstract | View details | Full text in PDF | Author Info

Nearly every forest land in Finland has been burnt down by a wildfire at least once during the past 400–500 years. Slash and burn cultivation (1700–1920) was practised on 50–75 percent of Finland's forests, while prescribed burning (1920–1990) has been applied to 2–3 percent of the country's forests. Because of land-use changes and efficient fire prevention and control systems, the occurrence of wildfires in Finland has decreased considerably during the past few decades. Owing to the biodiversity and ecologically favourable influence of fire, the current tendency is to revive the use of controlled fire in forestry in Finland. Prescribed burning is used in forest regeneration and endeavours are being made to revert old conservation forests to the starting point of succession through forest fires.

  • Parviainen, E-mail: jp@mm.unknown (email)
article id 5573, category Article
Ilkka Vanha-Majamaa, Raili Suominen, Tiina Tonteri, Eeva-Stiina Tuittila. (1996). Seedling establishment after prescribed burning of a clear-cut and a partially cut mesic boreal forest in southern Finland. Silva Fennica vol. 30 no. 1 article id 5573.
Keywords: Pinus sylvestris; Betula pendula; Picea abies; Betula pubescens; natural regeneration; seedling establishment; prescribed burning; controlled burning; Sorbus aucuparia; seed dispersal; mesic forest; seed rain; autoregression model; GLM
Abstract | View details | Full text in PDF | Author Info

The prescribed burning of a 7.3 ha clear-cut and a 1.7 ha partially cut forest (volume 150 m3/ha) was carried out in Evo (61 °12'N, 25°07'E) on 1 June 1992. The forest was a mesic Myrtillus site type forest dominated by Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) H. Karst.). Practically all the trees and the above-ground parts of the understorey vegetation died in the fire, while the mor layer was thinned by an average of 1.5 cm.

A study was made on the change of germinated seedling population in time and their dependence on environmental factors. Seedlings of Norway spruce, Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.), silver birch (Betula pendula Roth), pubescent birch (B. pubescens Ehrh.) and rowan (Sorbus aucuparia L.) were inventoried in 1993 and in 1994 on permanent plots, four times per growing season. Autoregression models were used to compare regeneration of tree species in the burned forest with regeneration in the burnt clear-cut area, and to study the effect of distance from nearest seed source to regeneration.

The average number of seedlings germinating in 1993 was higher than in 1994, probably because of differences between these consecutive years in regard to the amount of seed rain and weather conditions. The number of Norway spruce and rowan seedling was higher inside the forest area than in the clear-cut area. The distance to the bordering forest and to the closest seed tree did not explain the result. It is suggested that the more stable microclimatic conditions under the shade of dead tree promote germination and seedling establishment in the forest area. As rowan is a bird-dispersed species, it is likely that dead trees help the dispersal of rowan seed by providing birds place to sit and defecate. The shade provided by dead trees may influence the further succession of the tree stand and vegetation composition and diversity.

  • Vanha-Majamaa, E-mail: iv@mm.unknown (email)
  • Suominen, E-mail: rs@mm.unknown
  • Tonteri, E-mail: tt@mm.unknown
  • Tuittila, E-mail: et@mm.unknown
article id 5320, category Article
Veikko Hintikka. (1987). Germination ecology of Galeopsis bifida (Lamiaceae) as a pioneer species in forest succesion. Silva Fennica vol. 21 no. 3 article id 5320.
Keywords: prescribed burning; Galeopsis bifida; germination ecology; pioneer species; forest succession; release of seed dormancy; clear-cut area
Abstract | View details | Full text in PDF | Author Info

The occurrence of Caleopsis bifida on clear-cut and burned forest soil and its disappearance in 4–6 years after disturbance is attributed to its germination ecology. Initially the seeds are dormant 96–100% and remain dormant in nylon gaze bags in different types of forest humus layers at least 10 years. Dormancy is released in laboratory (1) by treatment of 100 ppm aqueous solution of GA3, (2) by heating the dormant seeds to 40–55°C for 1–5 h, and (3) by 1% KNO3 solution. It is concluded that conditions in clear-cut and burned areas favour germination of seeds in regard to temperature and content of nitrates in contrast to humus of closed vegetation where the seeds remain dormant.

The PDF includes an abstract in Finnish.

  • Hintikka, E-mail: vh@mm.unknown (email)
article id 5243, category Article
Eljas Pohtila, Tapani Pohjola. (1985). Maan kunnostus männyn viljelyssä Lapissa. Silva Fennica vol. 19 no. 3 article id 5243.
English title: Soil preparation in reforestation of Scots pine in Lapland.
Original keywords: mänty; istutus; kulotus; maanmuokkaus; Lappi; laikutus; lautasauraus; uudistustavat; hajakylvö
English keywords: Pinus sylvestris; soil preparation; Scots pine; planting; regeneration methods; scalping; prescribed burning; disc ploughing; broadcast sowing
Abstract | View details | Full text in PDF | Author Info

The study deals with the interaction of various soil preparation and reforestation methods. The most favourable time of the year for broadcast sowing and the effect of stabilization after soil preparation on restocking were studied as special problems.

Prescribed burning, scalping and disc ploughing made a better combination with sowing than planting, and ploughing better combination with planting than sowing. The longer the period was between sowing and germination the fewer seedlings emerged. The best stocking was clearly resulted with sowing in June. Stabilization of soil after preparation had a negative effect on reforestation results.

The PDF includes a summary in English.

  • Pohtila, E-mail: ep@mm.unknown (email)
  • Pohjola, E-mail: tp@mm.unknown
article id 5227, category Article
Harri Vasander, Tapio Lindholm. (1985). Tulen voimakkuus ja maanpinnan lämpötila kulotuksen aikana. Silva Fennica vol. 19 no. 1 article id 5227.
English title: Fire intensities and surface temperatures during prescribed burning.
Keywords: regeneration; slash; prescribed burning; logging waste; controlled burning; surface temperatures; fire intensity
Abstract | View details | Full text in PDF | Author Info

Surface temperature during two prescribed burnings were measured in 1983 in Evo, Southern Finland. Surface temperatures in relation to the amount of slash burned, energy released during the fires, and the fire intensities were studied. The fire intensity was also measured during a third burn. The Lake Nimetön site was burned int the end of May. Due to the uneven distribution of slash, colonization by Calamagrostis arundinacea and the spring moisture, the burning was very uneven. Surface temperatures varied between 410–809°C and the intensity of fire was low (range 0–900 kW/m).

The fire intensity on the other sites burned in May was also low (880 kW/m). During the burn in August the surface temperatures varied between 701–869°C and the intensity of fire was moderate (1,170 kW/m). Slash was burned more evenly and more thoroughly due to the dryness of the site and slash and the fact that grasses and other herbs were not abundant.

The PDF includes a summary in Finnish.

  • Vasander, E-mail: hv@mm.unknown (email)
  • Lindholm, E-mail: tl@mm.unknown
article id 4644, category Article
Vilho Antero Kolehmainen. (1955). Havaintoja kulotuksen merkityksestä metsiemme uudistamisessa. Silva Fennica no. 85 article id 4644.
English title: Effect of prescribed burning in the forest regeneration.
Original keywords: luontainen uudistaminen; kulotus; metsänuudistaminen; taimettuminen; siemenpuu
English keywords: Pinus sylvestris; Norway spruce; Picea abies; natural regeneration; Scots pine; Betula sp.; seed trees; prescribed burning
Abstract | View details | Full text in PDF | Author Info

Prescribed burning has reported to avail forest regeneration, for instance, by releasing nutrients for the use of seedlings, changing the pH of the soil and decreasing competition of ground vegetation. The aim of the study was to find out if the effects could be verified. Sample plots were measured in the experimental area of Tuomarniemi, in Central Finland, both in previously burned and untreated seedling stands and young forests. The main species in the sample plots was Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.).

According to the results, prescribed burning prepares the soil for regeneration. Germination percentage of the seeds is higher on the burned soil. All the species, Scots pine, Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst.) and birch species (Betula sp.) grow faster. Prescribed burning increases the amount of birch seedlings by improving its regeneration compared to unburned sites. The seed trees survive burning better if they are tall and have short crown, and have thick bark. In general, prescribed burning improves regeneration in seed tree stands.

The article includes a summary in German.

  • Kolehmainen, E-mail: vk@mm.unknown (email)

Category : Article

article id 7151, category Article
Peitsa Mikola, Olavi Laiho, Jorma Eerikäinen, Kari Kuvaja. (1964). The effect of slash burning on the commencement of mycorrhizal association. Acta Forestalia Fennica vol. 77 no. 3 article id 7151.
Keywords: Pinus sylvestris; Scots pine; mycorrhiza; seedlings; prescribed burning; sowing
Abstract | View details | Full text in PDF | Author Info

Prescribed burning is a common silvicultural practice in northern Europe, intended to destroy the slash and ground vegetation and to reduce the thickness of the raw humus layer prior reforestation. The purpose of the experiments was to study whether there are any differences in the commencement and early development of mycorrhizal infection between burned and unburned areas. A clear-cutting area was burned on May 1961. The soil was rocky moraine, the forest type was Vaccinium type. Two weeks after burning Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) was sown in patches.

According to the results, mycorrhizal infection took place on the unburned area earlier than on the burned. The difference was relatively small, perhaps 1–2 weeks. Although burning kills mycorrhizal fungi, it did not cause serious harm to the seedlings, on the contrary, the favourable influence of burning was more distinct. The high temperatures caused by the fire are restricted in the soil in a prescribed burning only a few centimetres deep. Although the mycorrhizal fungi are concentrated in a very thin surface layer of the soil, some mycorrhizae are situated deeper, and from there the fungi are able to infect roots and spread back to the surface layer. The fire also rises the pH of the soil, which can be harmful for mycorrhizal fungi. Even this effect, however, is limited to a thin surface layer.

The PDF includes a summary in Finnish.

  • Mikola, E-mail: pm@mm.unknown (email)
  • Laiho, E-mail: ol@mm.unknown
  • Eerikäinen, E-mail: je@mm.unknown
  • Kuvaja, E-mail: kk@mm.unknown
article id 7128, category Article
Paavo Yli-Vakkuri. (1961). Emergence and initial development of tree seedlings on burnt-over forest land. Acta Forestalia Fennica vol. 74 no. 1 article id 7128.
Keywords: Pinus sylvestris; Norway spruce; Picea abies; germination; regeneration; Scots pine; seeds; prescribed burning; sowing; seeding
Abstract | View details | Full text in PDF | Author Info

Prescribed burning has been used in regeneration areas in Finland as a method to treat the humus layer and creating more favourable chemical, physical and biological conditions for the seedlings. At the same time, fire clears away seedlings and shoots of unwanted trees and other vegetation. Direct sowing or planting, mostly Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.), seldom natural regeneration, is used. In this paper, the initial stages of the formation of a new tree generation of Scots pine and Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst.) on prescribed burned areas is studied in Central Finland in 1956–1960.

The burned area remains almost without vegetation for about two growing seasons. Conditions on a burned area which has not been tiled are very unfavourable for germination of seeds of coniferous and deciduous trees. On the other hand, shoots of deciduous trees occur soon after burning. Conditions for regeneration were found to be better 3–5 years after burning. Removal of humus layer in spots improved regeneration. However, the patches facilitated also natural regeneration of Norway spruce and especially birch (Betula sp.), which compete with Scots pine seedlings.

Continuous rainy periods improved the germination of Scots pine and Norway spruce seeds sown on the humus layer. Pine and spruce developed more rapidly on the exposed soil, however, young seedlings were easily destroyed. Seed eaters destroyed the pine and spruce seeds sown on the humus layer of newly burned areas completely or almost completely. The viability of pine seeds sown on the burned humus layer did not decrease for three weeks, but the viability greatly weakened after six or more weeks. Spruce seeds lost their viability faster than pine seeds.

The PDF includes a summary in Finnish.

  • Yli-Vakkuri, E-mail: py@mm.unknown (email)
article id 7478, category Article
Paavo Yli-Vakkuri. (1958). Tutkimuksia ojitettujen turvemaiden kulotuksesta. Acta Forestalia Fennica vol. 67 no. 4 article id 7478.
English title: Studies on prescribed burning of drained peatlands.
Original keywords: mänty; luontainen uudistaminen; kulotus; suot; pintakasvillisuus; turvemaat; uudistaminen; turvekankaat; vesaikko
English keywords: Pinus sylvestris; regeneration; natural regeneration; drained peatlands; Scots pine; coppice; peatlands; ground vegetation; prescribed burning
Abstract | View details | Full text in PDF | Author Info

Prescribed burning has been used to treat the mineral soil sites, but the method has been little used in drained peatlands. The course and methods of prescribed burning in drained peatlands, and the effect of burning on sprouting of broadleaved trees, growth of ground vegetation and regeneration of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) by sowing was studied in drained pine bogs in Southern Finland. The top layer of the peat was mostly Sphagnum peat. The material included a prescribed burned 12 ha drained peatland area in Tuomarniemi district, in addition to which ten previously burned areas were investigated.

The burning had succeeded mostly well, but also unsuccessfully burned sites were observed. Estinguishing of the fire was easy, and no peat fires occurred. The fire burned only the logging residue, ground vegetation and the dry top layer of the peat. The roots of brushwood and grasses survived in the peat that insulated the top layer from the heat. For instance, the abundance of cloudberry (Rubus chamaemorus L.) increased after the fire. Similarly, burning did not affect sprouting of the stumps of downy birch (Betula pubescens Ehrh.). It cannot thus be used as a method to restrict the growth of coppice in regenerated areas. The seeds of Scots pine germinated well on the burned surface. 46% of the seeds developed to seedlings on sphagnum-shrub vegetation and 16% in feathermoss-shrub vegetation.

The PDF includes a summary in German.

  • Yli-Vakkuri, E-mail: py@mm.unknown (email)
article id 7528, category Article
Einari Vuori. (1913). Coniferous tree stands of the state forest “Vesijako” reforested through controlled burning. Acta Forestalia Fennica vol. 2 no. 1 article id 7528.
Keywords: Alnus incana; grey alder; prescribed burning; forest improvement; coniferous trees; controlled burning; white alder
Abstract | View details | Full text in PDF | Author Info

The study area is state owned forest of Vesijako in southern middle Finland that has earlier been intensively managed with slash-and-burn agriculture. Reforestation of broad-leaved forests into coniferous forest with controlled burning has been studied on 76 sample plots.

The article describes the practice of leasing forest stands to leaseholders who executed the controlled burning and forest regeneration and management according a leasing contract. The results of the reforestation with coniferous trees shows that sowed pine (Pinus silvestris) stands give good results but spruce (Picea abies) must be planted as a seedling.  For the state this method of forest improvement is cost effective  and should be used more widely. 

  • Vuori, E-mail: ev@mm.unknown (email)

Category : Research article

article id 10084, category Research article
Mihails Čugunovs, Eeva-Stiina Tuittila, Jari Kouki. (2020). Proximity to charred logs in burned forests likely affects decomposition processes in the soil. Silva Fennica vol. 54 no. 1 article id 10084.
Keywords: coarse woody debris; forest fire; prescribed burning; cellulose decomposition; tea-bag method
Highlights: Standardised organic substrate decomposition was tentatively observed to be faster adjacent to non-charred downed logs than away from the logs or adjacent to charred logs; A spatial linkage was observed between non-charred logs and decomposition in the soil in burned boreal forests; Proximity to a charred log may provide a micro-environment where decomposition rates differ from the surrounding forest soil.
Abstract | Full text in HTML | Full text in PDF | Author Info

We studied the spatial decomposition rates of standardised organic substrates in soils (burned boreal pine-dominated sub-xeric forests in eastern Finland), with respect to charred and non-charred coarse woody debris (CWD). Decomposition rates of rooibos plant litter inside teabags (C:N = 42.870 ± 1.841) and pressed-sheet Nordic hardwood pulp (consisting of mainly alpha-cellulose) were measured at 0.2 m distance from 20 charred (LC0.2) and 40 non-charred logs (LNC0.2). We also measured decomposition at 60 plots located 3–10 m away from downed logs (L3,10). The rooibos decomposition rate constant ‘k’ was 8.4% greater at the LNC0.2 logs than at the L3,10 or LC0.2 logs. Cellulose decomposed more completely in 1 micron mesh bags at LNC0.2 (44% of buried bags had leftover material) than at LC0.2 (76%) or L3,10 (70%). Decomposition of cellulose material was rapid but varied greatly between sampling plots. Our results indicate that decomposition of the standardised organic matter was more rapid close to CWD pieces than further away. However, only the plots located near non-charred logs (LNC0.2) exhibited high decomposition rates, with no corresponding increase observed at the charred logs (LC0.2). This suggests a possible noteworthy indirect effect of forest burning on soil organic matter (SOM) decomposition rates close to charred CWD after forest fires. We urge for more studies on this tentative observation as it may affect the estimates on how fires affect carbon cycling in forests.

  • Čugunovs, University of Eastern Finland, School of Forest Sciences, Yliopistokatu 7, P.O. Box 111, FI-80101 Joensuu, Finland E-mail: (email)
  • Tuittila, University of Eastern Finland, School of Forest Sciences, Yliopistokatu 7, P.O. Box 111, FI-80101 Joensuu, Finland ORCID E-mail:
  • Kouki, University of Eastern Finland, School of Forest Sciences, Yliopistokatu 7, P.O. Box 111, FI-80101 Joensuu, Finland ORCID E-mail:
article id 954, category Research article
Anna-Maria Eriksson, Jörgen Olsson, Bengt Gunnar Jonsson, Sara Toivanen, Mattias Edman. (2013). Effects of restoration fire on dead wood heterogeneity and availability in three Pinus sylvestris forests in Sweden. Silva Fennica vol. 47 no. 2 article id 954.
Keywords: Scots pine; CWD; prescribed burning; decay stage; charred wood
Abstract | Full text in HTML | Full text in PDF | Author Info
Restoration fires are increasingly used as a conservation tool in Sweden to recreate forests with characteristics of previous forests that were periodically disturbed by fires and promote fire-dependent species. Restoration fires can result in large inputs of fresh dead wood, but there are risks of losing some of the existing, pre-fire dead wood. To assess these counteracting effects we studied the heterogeneity and availability of dead wood before and after three restoration fires in boreal Scots pine forests. Specifically, we studied volumes of stumps, high stumps, snags and logs. The fires decreased the total volume of pre-fire dead wood (23-41%) and consumed logs in late decay stages (26-54%) to a higher extent than logs in earlier stages. The input of new fresh dead wood after the fires exceeded losses of pre-fire dead wood and resulted in a net increase of dead wood in all three sites. The added dead wood consisted of fresh snags killed by the fires. Fire also affected log characteristics: reducing their vegetation coverage (60-98%), decreasing their ground contact (4-50%) and increasing their surface area of charred wood (>50%). Such changes have important consequences for the micro environmental conditions inside logs, but have been rarely studied in relation to restoration fires. Our results show that restoration fire causes changes in dead wood availability and characteristics of logs. The results imply that ideally stands with low abundance of rare and heavily decayed wood substrates should be burned to optimize dead wood values. Alternatively, management practices should include protection of these substrates during restoration fires.
  • Eriksson, Department of Natural Sciences, Mid Sweden University, SE-851 70, Sundsvall, Sweden E-mail: (email)
  • Olsson, Department of Ecology and Environmental Science, Umeå University, SE-901 87, Umeå, Sweden E-mail:
  • Jonsson, Department of Natural Sciences, Mid Sweden University, SE-851 70, Sundsvall, Sweden E-mail:
  • Toivanen, Department of Natural Sciences, Mid Sweden University, SE-851 70, Sundsvall, Sweden E-mail:
  • Edman, Department of Natural Sciences, Mid Sweden University, SE-851 70, Sundsvall, Sweden E-mail:
article id 903, category Research article
Mikko Hyppönen, Ville Hallikainen, Juhani Niemelä, Pasi Rautio. (2013). The contradictory role of understory vegetation on the success of Scots pine regeneration. Silva Fennica vol. 47 no. 1 article id 903.
Keywords: site preparation; seedling establishment; seedling mortality; field- and ground-layer vegetation; modelling approach; initial growth; prescribed burning
Abstract | Full text in HTML | Full text in PDF | Author Info
In North-East Finland, severe problems have been encountered in the natural regeneration of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) on sites where regeneration through site preparation usually is quite successful. We hypothesized that in that area understory vegetation, especially heather (Calluna vulgaris), crowberry (Empetrum hermaphroditum), mosses and lichens, could play a key role in this pattern. We found that in general, ground- and field-layer vegetation tends to be in a negative relationship with the establishment, growth and survival of pine seedlings. Some positive relationships were also observed. Lingonberry (Vaccinium vitis-idea) tended to improve seedling height growth. Heather, instead, seemed to have a contradictory role. It was positively related to seedling establishment but negatively to seedling growth. This dual role raises further questions about the primary reasons for the regeneration problems in North-East Finland. All in all, our results suggest that conventional methods of forest regeneration in these kinds of areas are not always effective enough and additional measures are needed. These might include severe prescribed burning along with site preparation in order to decrease the impact of the dominant ground- and field-layer vegetation on the success of Scots pine regeneration.
  • Hyppönen, Finnish Forest Research Institute, Rovaniemi Unit, P.O. Box 16, FI-96301 Rovaniemi, Finland E-mail: (email)
  • Hallikainen, Finnish Forest Research Institute, Rovaniemi Unit, P.O. Box 16, FI-96301 Rovaniemi, Finland E-mail:
  • Niemelä, Finnish Forest Research Institute, Rovaniemi Unit, P.O. Box 16, FI-96301 Rovaniemi, Finland E-mail:
  • Rautio, Finnish Forest Research Institute, Rovaniemi Unit, P.O. Box 16, FI-96301 Rovaniemi, Finland E-mail:

Category : Research note

article id 23064, category Research note
Henrik Lindberg, Tuomas Aakala, Ilkka Vanha-Majamaa. (2024). Ignition probability and fuel consumption of boreal ground vegetation fuels – an experimental study in Finland. Silva Fennica vol. 58 no. 3 article id 23064.
Keywords: forest fires; ground vegetation; prescribed burning; flammability; fuel moisture content; mass loss rate
Highlights: Ignition probability and mass loss rates clearly differed in experimental burnings among four common circumboreal moss and lichen species; Cladonia rangiferina was the most flammable, Dicranum spp. the least flammable and Pleurozium schreberi and Hylocomium splendens intermediate.
Abstract | Full text in HTML | Full text in PDF | Author Info

In boreal forests fires often ignite and spread within the dominant moss and lichen cover of the ground layer vegetation, which thus greatly influences fire hazard. We used an experimental set-up in greenhouse conditions to study the differences in how (1) fuel moisture and (2) wind velocity influence the ignition probability and fuel consumption among four common circumboreal ground vegetation fuels, Pleurozium schreberi (Willd. ex Brid.) Mitt., Hylocomium splendens Schimp., Dicranum spp. and Cladonia rangiferina (L.) F. H. Wigg. Our results show that the reindeer lichen C. rangiferina was clearly the most flammable species, with high ignition probability even at high moisture contents and low wind velocities. Of the mosses, Dicranum was the least flammable, with low ignition probability and mass loss at low wind velocities regardless of moisture content. P. schreberi and H. splendens behaved somewhat similarly with wind velocities quickly increasing the initially low ignition probability and mass loss observed in the absence of wind. However, especially for mass loss, among-species differences tended to disappear with stronger winds. The observed differences can be explained by the different structures and growth forms of the studied species and open a potential avenue for improving forest fire risk predictions.

  • Lindberg, Häme University of Applied Sciences, School of Bioeconomy, Visamäentie 35 A, P.O. Box 230, FI-13100 Hämeenlinna, Finland ORCID E-mail: (email)
  • Aakala, University of Eastern Finland, School of Forest Sciences, P.O. Box 111, FI-80101 Joensuu, Finland ORCID E-mail:
  • Vanha-Majamaa, Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke), Latokartanonkaari 9, FI-00790 Helsinki, Finland E-mail:

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