Current issue: 57(2)
Under compilation: 57(3)
Differences in vegetation cover estimation by field biologists of the 8th National Forest Inventory in Finland were tested. Eleven observers estimated the canopy coverages of six forests taxa in 25 sample plots, located in one stand. The experiment was arranged after the field work. The coverage of Vaccinium vitis-idaea and the ground layer appeared to be the most difficult to estimate. The mean of the highest estimator was about double that of the lowest one. The least abundant species and the sample plots with the smallest coverages had the largest estimation errors. The most important compositional gradient of the data was natural, even though the test was made in a homogenous area. However, the effect of the observer could be recognized. The differences between observers could be caused by the differences both in visual estimation level and in placing the sampling frame. The results suggest that tests should always be made when several observers are used in vegetation surveys. If calibration is used, it should be made separately for each species.
The PDF includes an abstract in Finnish.
The article is based on the writer’s visits in the area in 1933 and 1939. Pyhätunturi national park was established in 1938. The fell of Pyhätunturi rises up to 540 meters above the sea level, and 357 meters above the surrounding area. The soil is predominantly stony, and the rock is quartzite. The climate is continental with low rainfall. This results in a barren area, where array of plant species is limited with the exception of few gorges with fertile river valleys. The forests have remained mostly in natural state.
Vegetation is arranged in three zones: forested area, subalpine fell birch area and alpine bare top of the fell. Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) forms timberline more often than Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) H. Karst.). Coniferous forests rise up to 365 meters on the northern slopes and up to about 385 on the southern slopes of the fell. It is followed by fell birch zone (Betula tortuosa, now Betula pubescens subsp. Czerepanovii) up to about 450-475 meters on the eastern and northern slopes, and 475-490 meters on the western slopes. The most common forest site type is Empetrum-Myrtillus site type. Herb-rich spruce swamps along the rivers have highest diversity of species. The article describes the plant species found in forests, peatlands, fell birch zone and top of the fell in detail. In all 162 different vascular plant species and 16 non-indigenous species were found in the area.
The article includes an abstract in German.