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Silva Fennica 1926-1997
Acta Forestalia Fennica

Articles containing the keyword 'snow accumulation'

Category: Article

article id 5618, category Article
Marja-Leena Nykänen, Marianne Broadgate, Seppo Kellomäki, Heli Peltola, Christopher Quine. (1997). Factors affecting snow damage of trees with particular reference to European conditions. Silva Fennica vol. 31 no. 2 article id 5618.
Keywords: stem breakage; stand management; snow accumulation; topography; risk assessment; snow damage; snowfall; risk model
Abstract | View details | Full text in PDF | Author Info

Within the European Community snow damage affects an estimated 4 million m3 of timber every year, causing significant economic losses to forest owners. In Northern Europe, for example, the occurrence of snow damage has increased over the last few decades mainly due to the increase in total growing stock. The most common form of damage is stem breakage, but trees can also be bent or uprooted. Trees suffering snow damage are also more prone to consequential damage through insect or fungal attacks.

Snow accumulation on trees is strongly dependent upon weather and climatological conditions. Temperature influences the moisture content of snow and therefore the degree to which it can accumulate on branches. Wind can cause snow to be shed, but can also lead to large accumulations of wet snow, rime or freezing rain. Wet snow is most likely in late autumn or early spring. Geographic location and topography influence the occurrence of damaging forms of snow, and coastal locations and moderate to high elevations experience large accumulations. Slope plays a less important role and the evidence on the role of aspect is contradictory. The occurrence of damaging events can vary from every winter to once every 10 years or so depending upon regional climatology. In the future, assuming global warming in northern latitudes, the risk of snow damage could increase, because the relative occurrence of snowfall near temperatures of zero could increase.

The severity of snow damage is related to tree characteristics. Stem taper and crown characteristics are the most important factors controlling the stability of trees. Slightly tapering stems, asymmetric crowns, and rigid horizontal branching are all associated with high risk. However, the evidence on species differences is less clear due to the interaction with location. Management of forests can alter risk through choice of regeneration, tending, thinning and rotation. However, quantification and comparison of the absolute effect of these measures is not yet possible. An integrated risk model is required to allow the various locational and silvicultural factors to be assessed. Plans are presented to construct such a model, and gaps in knowledge are highlighted.

  • Nykänen, E-mail: mn@mm.unknown (email)
  • Broadgate, E-mail: mb@mm.unknown
  • Kellomäki, E-mail: sk@mm.unknown
  • Peltola, E-mail: hp@mm.unknown
  • Quine, E-mail: cq@mm.unknown

Category: Research article

article id 455, category Research article
Seppo Kellomäki, Matti Maajärvi, Harri Strandman, Antti Kilpeläinen, Heli Peltola. (2010). Model computations on the climate change effects on snow cover, soil moisture and soil frost in the boreal conditions over Finland. Silva Fennica vol. 44 no. 2 article id 455.
Keywords: climate change; soil frost; precipitation; temperature; A2 climate scenario; snow accumulation; soil carrying capacity; soil moisture
Abstract | View details | Full text in PDF | Author Info
This study considered how climate change affects the accumulation of snow, the soil moisture and soil frost at sites without tree cover in boreal conditions in Finland (60°–70°N). An increase of 4.5 °C in annual mean temperature and 20 % in annual precipitation were assumed for Finland by the year 2100 according to A2 emission scenario. Along with climate, the soil type of the permanent inventory plots of the Finnish National Forest Inventory was used. Soil and climate data were combined by using a process-based ecosystem model. Calculations were done for four periods: current climate (1971–2000), near future (2001–2020), mid-term future (2021–2050) and long-term future (2071–2100). According to our simulations, the average monthly duration and depth of snow decreased over the simulation period. However, the increasing precipitation may locally increase the snow depths in the mid-term calculations. In the autumn and winter, the average volumetric soil moisture content slightly increased in southern Finland during the near future, but decreased towards the end of the century, but still remained on a higher level than presently. In northern Finland, the soil moisture in the autumn and winter increased by the end of this century. In the summertime soil moisture decreased slightly regardless of the region. Throughout Finland, the length and the depth of soil frost decreased by the end of the century. In the south, the reduction in the depth was largest in the autumn and spring, while in the mid-winter it remained relatively deep in the middle of the century. In the north, the depth tended to increase during the first two calculation periods, in some areas, even during the third calculation period (2071–2100) due to reduced insulation effects of snow during cold spells. The wintertime increase in soil moisture and reduced soil frost may be reflected to reduced carrying capacity of soil for timber harvesting.
  • Kellomäki, University of Eastern Finland, School of Forest Sciences, Joensuu, Finland E-mail: (email)
  • Maajärvi, University of Eastern Finland, School of Forest Sciences, Joensuu, Finland E-mail:
  • Strandman, University of Eastern Finland, School of Forest Sciences, Joensuu, Finland E-mail:
  • Kilpeläinen, University of Eastern Finland, School of Forest Sciences, Joensuu, Finland E-mail:
  • Peltola, University of Eastern Finland, School of Forest Sciences, Joensuu, Finland E-mail:

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