Browsing by Subject "VEGETATION"

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  • Borges, Paulo A. V.; Cardoso, Pedro; Kreft, Holger; Whittaker, Robert J.; Fattorini, Simone; Emerson, Brent C.; Gil, Artur; Gillespie, Rosemary G.; Matthews, Thomas J.; Santos, Ana M. C.; Steinbauer, Manuel J.; Thebaud, Christophe; Ah-Peng, Claudine; Amorim, Isabel R.; Aranda, Silvia Calvo; Arroz, Ana Moura; Azevedo, Jose Manuel N.; Boieiro, Mario; Borda-de-Agua, Luis; Carvalho, Jose Carlos; Elias, Rui B.; Fernandez-Palacios, Jose Maria; Florencio, Margarita; Gonzalez-Mancebo, Juana M.; Heaney, Lawrence R.; Hortal, Joaquin; Kueffer, Christoph; Lequette, Benoit; Martin-Esquivel, Jose Luis; Lopez, Heriberto; Lamelas-Lopez, Lucas; Marcelino, Jose; Nunes, Rui; Oromi, Pedro; Patino, Jairo; Perez, Antonio J.; Rego, Carla; Ribeiro, Servio P.; Rigal, Francois; Rodrigues, Pedro; Rominger, Andrew J.; Santos-Reis, Margarida; Schaefer, Hanno; Sergio, Cecilia; Serrano, Artur R. M.; Sim-Sim, Manuela; Stephenson, P. J.; Soares, Antonio O.; Strasberg, Dominique; Vanderporten, Alain; Vieira, Virgilio; Gabriel, Rosalina (2018)
    Islands harbour evolutionary and ecologically unique biota, which are currently disproportionately threatened by a multitude of anthropogenic factors, including habitat loss, invasive species and climate change. Native forests on oceanic islands are important refugia for endemic species, many of which are rare and highly threatened. Long-term monitoring schemes for those biota and ecosystems are urgently needed: (i) to provide quantitative baselines for detecting changes within island ecosystems, (ii) to evaluate the effectiveness of conservation and management actions, and (iii) to identify general ecological patterns and processes using multiple island systems as repeated 'natural experiments'. In this contribution, we call for a Global Island Monitoring Scheme (GIMS) for monitoring the remaining native island forests, using bryophytes, vascular plants, selected groups of arthropods and vertebrates as model taxa. As a basis for the GIMS, we also present new, optimized monitoring protocols for bryophytes and arthropods that were developed based on former standardized inventory protocols. Effective inventorying and monitoring of native island forests will require: (i) permanent plots covering diverse ecological gradients (e.g. elevation, age of terrain, anthropogenic disturbance); (ii) a multiple-taxa approach that is based on standardized and replicable protocols; (iii) a common set of indicator taxa and community properties that are indicative of native island forests' welfare, building on, and harmonized with existing sampling and monitoring efforts; (iv) capacity building and training of local researchers, collaboration and continuous dialogue with local stakeholders; and (v) long-term commitment by funding agencies to maintain a global network of native island forest monitoring plots.
  • Liu, Licheng; Zhuang, Qianlai; Zhu, Qing; Liu, Shaoqing; van Asperen, Hella; Pihlatie, Mari (2018)
    Carbon monoxide (CO) plays an important role in controlling the oxidizing capacity of the atmosphere by reacting with OH radicals that affect atmospheric methane (CH4) dynamics. We develop a process-based biogeochemistry model to quantify the CO exchange between soils and the atmosphere with a 5 min internal time step at the global scale. The model is parameterized using the CO flux data from the field and laboratory experiments for 11 representative ecosystem types. The model is then extrapolated to global terrestrial ecosystems using monthly climate forcing data. Global soil gross consumption, gross production, and net flux of the atmospheric CO are estimated to be from -197 to -180, 34 to 36, and -163 to -145 TgCOyr(-1) (1 Tg = 10(12) g), respectively, when the model is driven with satellite-based atmospheric CO concentration data during 2000-2013. Tropical evergreen forest, savanna and deciduous forest areas are the largest sinks at 123 TgCOyr(-1). The soil CO gross consumption is sensitive to air temperature and atmospheric CO concentration, while the gross production is sensitive to soil organic carbon (SOC) stock and air temperature. By assuming that the spatially distributed atmospheric CO concentrations (similar to 128 ppbv) are not changing over time, the global mean CO net deposition velocity is estimated to be 0.16-0.19mms 1 during the 20th century. Under the future climate scenarios, the CO deposition velocity will increase at a rate of 0.0002-0.0013 mms 1 r(-1) during 2014-2100, reaching 0.20-0.30 mm s(-1) by the end of the 21st century, primarily due to the increasing temperature. Areas near the Equator, the eastern US, Europe and eastern Asia will be the largest sinks due to optimum soil moisture and high temperature. The annual global soil net flux of atmospheric CO is primarily controlled by air temperature, soil temperature, SOC and atmospheric CO concentrations, while its monthly variation is mainly determined by air temperature, precipitation, soil temperature and soil moisture.
  • Köster, Kajar; Köster, Egle; Orumaa, Argo; Parro, Kristi; Jõgiste, Kalev; Berninger, Frank Alexander; Pumpanen, Jukka Sakari; Metslaid, Marek (2016)
    We compared the changes in aboveground biomass and initial recovery of C pools and CO2 efflux following fire disturbances in Scots pine (Pinus sylvesteris L.) stands with different time since stand-replacing fire. The study areas are located in hemiboreal vegetation zone, in north-western Estonia, in Vihterpalu. Six areas where the last fire occurred in the year 1837, 1940, 1951, 1982, 1997, and 2008 were chosen for the study. Our results show that forest fire has a substantial effect on the C content in the top soil layer, but not in the mineral soil layers. Soil respiration showed a chronological response to the time since the forest fire and the values were lowest in the area where the fire was in the year 2008. The respiration values also followed seasonal pattern being highest in August and lowest in May and November. The CO2 effluxes were lowest on the newly burned area through the entire growing season. There was also a positive correlation between soil temperature and soil respiration values in our study areas.
  • Kulha, Niko; Pasanen, Leena; Aakala, Tuomas (2018)
    Time series of repeat aerial photographs currently span decades in many regions. However, the lack of calibration data limits their use in forest change analysis. We propose an approach where we combine repeat aerial photography, tree-ring reconstructions, and Bayesian inference to study changes in forests. Using stereopairs of aerial photographs from five boreal forest landscapes, we visually interpreted canopy cover in contiguous 0.1-ha cells at three time points during 1959-2011. We used tree-ring measurements to produce calibration data for the interpretation, and to quantify the bias and error associated with the interpretation. Then, we discerned credible canopy cover changes from the interpretation error noise using Bayesian inference. We underestimated canopy cover using the historical low-quality photographs, and overestimated it using the recent high-quality photographs. Further, due to differences in tree species composition and canopy cover in the cells, the interpretation bias varied between the landscapes. In addition, the random interpretation error varied between and within the landscapes. Due to the varying bias and error, the magnitude of credibly detectable canopy cover change in the 0.1-ha cells depended on the studied time interval and landscape, ranging from -10 to -18 percentage points (decrease), and from +10 to +19 percentage points (increase). Hence, changes occurring at stand scales were detectable, but smaller scale changes could not be separated from the error noise. Besides the abrupt changes, also slow continuous canopy cover changes could be detected with the proposed approach. Given the wide availability of historical aerial photographs, the proposed approach can be applied for forest change analysis in biomes where tree-rings form, while accounting for the bias and error in aerial photo interpretation.
  • Knyazikhin, Yuri; Schull, Mitchell A.; Stenberg, Pauline; Mõttus, Matti; Rautiainen, Miina; Yang, Yan; Marshak, Alexander; Latorre Carmona, Pedro; Kaufmann, Robert K.; Lewis, Philip; Disney, Mathias I.; Vanderbilt, Vern; Davis, Anthony B.; Baret, Frederic; Jacquemoud, Stephane; Lyapustin, Alexei; Myneni, Ranga B. (2013)
  • Parro, Kristi; Koster, Kajar; Jogiste, Kalev; Seglins, Katrin; Sims, Allan; Stanturf, John A.; Metslaid, Marek (2019)
    Boreal forests are an important carbon (C) sink and fire is the main natural disturbance, directly affecting the C-cycle via emissions from combustion of biomass and organic matter and indirectly through long-term changes in C-dynamics including soil respiration. Carbon dioxide (CO2) emission from soil (soil respiration) is one of the largest fluxes in the global C-cycle. Recovery of vegetation, organic matter and soil respiration may be influenced by the intensity of post-fire management such as salvage logging. To study the impact of forest fire, fire and salvage, and recovery time on soil respiration and soil C and N content, we sampled two permanent research areas in north-western Estonia that were damaged by fire: Vihterpalu (59 degrees 13' N 23 degrees 49' E) in 1992 and Nova (59 degrees 10' N 23 degrees 45' E) in 2008. Three types of sample plots were established: 1) unburned control with no harvesting (CO); 2) burned and uncleared (BU); and 3) burned and cleared (BC). Measurements were made in 2013, 21 years after wildfire in Vihterpalu and 5 years after wildfire in NOva. Soil respiration ranged from 0.00 to 1.38 g CO2 m(-2) h(-1). Soil respiration in the burned and cleared areas (BC) was not reduced compared to burned and uncleared (BU) areas but the average soil respiration in unburned control areas was more than twice the value in burned areas (average soil respiration in CO areas was 0.34 CO2 m(-2) h(-1), versus 0.16 CO2 m(-2) h(-1), the average soil respiration of BC and BU combined). Recovery over 20 years was mixed; respiration was insignificantly lower on younger than older burned sites (when BC and BU values were combined, the average values were 0.15 vs. 0.17 g CO2 m(-2) h(-1), respectively); soil-C was greater in the older burned plots than the younger (when BC and BU values were combined, the average values were 9.71 vs. 5.99 kg m(-2), respectively); but root biomass in older and recently burned areas was essentially the same (average 2.23 and 2.11 kg m(-2), respectively); soil-N was highest on burned areas 20 years after fire. Twenty years post-fire may be insufficient time for carbon dynamics to fully recover on these low productivity sandy sites.
  • Kooijmans, Linda M. J.; Sun, Wu; Aalto, Juho; Erkkilä, Kukka-Maaria; Maseyk, Kadmiel; Seibt, Ulrike; Vesala, Timo; Mammarella, Ivan; Chen, Huilin (2019)
    Understanding climate controls on gross primary productivity (GPP) is crucial for accurate projections of the future land carbon cycle. Major uncertainties exist due to the challenge in separating GPP and respiration from observations of the carbon dioxide (CO2) flux. Carbonyl sulfide (COS) has a dominant vegetative sink, and plant COS uptake is used to infer GPP through the leaf relative uptake (LRU) ratio of COS to CO2 fluxes. However, little is known about variations of LRU under changing environmental conditions and in different phenological stages. We present COS and CO2 fluxes and LRU of Scots pine branches measured in a boreal forest in Finland during the spring recovery and summer. We find that the diurnal dynamics of COS uptake is mainly controlled by stomatal conductance, but the leaf internal conductance could significantly limit the COS uptake during the daytime and early in the season. LRU varies with light due to the differential light responses of COS and CO2 uptake, and with vapor pressure deficit (VPD) in the peak growing season, indicating a humidity-induced stomatal control. Our COS-based GPP estimates show that it is essential to incorporate the variability of LRU with environmental variables for accurate estimation of GPP on ecosystem, regional, and global scales.
  • Merkouriadi, Ioanna; Leppäranta, Matti; Järvinen, Onni (2017)
    The interannual variability of the air temperature, precipitation and snow conditions were examined in the Finnish Arctic region based on data from the period 1946-2012. The purpose of this work was to describe the climatology of the region and to examine long-term variations in the climatic parameters. This information is essential for both environmental and socioeconomic aspects of the Finnish Arctic region. The air temperature, precipitation and snow depth records from nine weather stations were analysed in order to study the evolution of the winter duration (sub-zero temperature days), precipitation, snow cover duration and snow depth. The climatological description was based on the most recent 30-year period record available (1982-2011). Since 1946, air temperature has increased significantly by 0.4 degrees C/decade. Significant precipitation trends reached up to 35 mm/decade. For the most part there were no significant trends in snow depth and snow cover duration.
  • du Toit, Marie J.; Kotze, D. Johan; Cilliers, Sarel S. (2016)
    The history of the landscape directly affects biotic assemblages, resulting in time lags in species response to disturbances. In highly fragmented environments, this phenomenon often causes extinction debts. However, few studies have been carried out in urban settings. To determine if there are time lags in the response of temperate natural grasslands to urbanization. Does it differ for indigenous species and for species indicative of disturbance and between woody and open grasslands? Do these time lags change over time? What are the potential landscape factors driving these changes? What are the corresponding vegetation changes? In 1995 and 2012 vegetation sampling was carried out in 43 urban grassland sites. We calculated six urbanization and landscape measures in a 500 m buffer area surrounding each site for 1938, 1961, 1970, 1994, 1999, 2006, and 2010. We used generalized linear models and model selection to determine which time period best predicted the contemporary species richness patterns. Woody grasslands showed time lags of 20-40 years. Contemporary open grassland communities were, generally, associated with more contemporary landscapes. Altitude and road network density of natural areas were the most frequent predictors of species richness. The importance of the predictors changed between the different models. Species richness, specifically, indigenous herbaceous species, declined from 1995 to 2012. The history of urbanization affects contemporary urban vegetation assemblages. This indicates potential extinction debts, which have important consequences for biodiversity conservation planning and sustainable future scenarios.
  • Karttunen, Sasu; Kurppa, Mona; Auvinen, Mikko; Hellsten, Antti; Järvi, Leena (2020)
    Street vegetation has been found to have both positive and negative impacts on pedestrian-level air quality, but the net effect has remained unclear. In this study, the effect of street trees on aerosol mass (PM10 and PM2.5) and number in a boulevard-type street canyon with high traffic volumes in Helsinki is examined using the large-eddy simulation model PALM. Including a detailed aerosol module and a canopy module to comprise permeable trees, PALM allows to examine the effect of street trees in depth. The main aim is to understand the relative importance of dry deposition and the aerodynamic impact of street trees on the different aerosol measures at pedestrian-level and to find a suitable street-tree layout that would minimise the pedestrian-level aerosol particle concentrations over the boulevard pavements. The layout scenarios were decided together with urban planners who needed science-based knowledge to support the building of new neighbourhoods with boulevard-type streets in Helsinki. Two wind conditions with wind being parallel and perpendicular to the boulevard under neutral atmospheric stratification are examined. Adding street trees to the boulevard increases aerosol particle concentrations on the pavements up to 123%, 72% and 53% for PM10, PM2.5 and total number, respectively. This shows decreased ventilation to be more important for local aerosol particle concentrations than dry deposition on vegetation. This particularly for PM10 and PM2.5 whereas for aerosol number, dominated by small particles, the importance of dry deposition increases. Therefore the studied aerosol measure is important when the effect of vegetation on pedestrian-level air quality is quantified. Crown volume fraction in the street space is one of the main determining factors for elevated mass concentrations on the pavements. The lowest pedestrian-level mass concentrations are seen with three rows of trees of variable height, whereas the lowest number concentrations with four rows of uniform trees. The tree-height variation allows stronger vertical turbulent transport with parallel wind and largest volumetric flow rates with perpendicular wind. Introducing low (height <1 m) hedges under trees between the traffic lanes and pavements is found to be a less effective mitigation method for particle mass than introducing tree-height variability, and for particle number less effective than maximising the tree volume in the street canyon. The results show how street trees in a boulevard-type street canyon lead to decreased pedestrian-level air quality with the effect being particularly strong for larger aerosol particles. However, with careful planning of the street vegetation, significant reductions in pedestrian-level aerosol particle concentrations can be obtained.
  • Maeda, Eduardo; Abera, Temesgen; Siljander, Mika; Aragão, Luiz E. O. C.; Mendes de Moura, Yhasmin; Heiskanen, Janne (2021)
    In the Amazon rainforest, land use following deforestation is diverse and dynamic. Mounting evidence indicates that the climatic impacts of forest loss can also vary considerably, depending on specific features of the affected areas. The size of the deforested patches, for instance, was shown to modulate the characteristics of local climatic impacts. Nonetheless, the influence of different types of land use and management strategies on the magnitude of local climatic changes remains uncertain. Here, we evaluated the impacts of large-scale commodity farming and rural settlements on surface temperature, rainfall patterns, and energy fluxes. Our results reveal that changes in land-atmosphere coupling are induced not only by deforestation size but also, by land use type and management patterns inside the deforested areas. We provide evidence that, in comparison with rural settlements, deforestation caused by large-scale commodity agriculture is more likely to reduce convective rainfall and increase land surface temperature. We demonstrate that these differences are mainly caused by a more intensive management of the land, resulting in significantly lower vegetation cover throughout the year, which reduces latent heat flux. Our findings indicate an urgent need for alternative agricultural practices, as well as forest restoration, for maintaining ecosystem processes and mitigating change in the local climates across the Amazon basin.
  • Rissanen, Kaisa; Martin-Guay, Marc-Olivier; Riopel-Bouvier, Anne-Sophie; Paquette, Alain (2019)
    Biodiversity affects ecosystem functioning in forests by, for example, enhancing growth and altering the forest structure towards greater complexity with cascading effects on other processes and trophic levels. Complexity in forest canopy could enhance light interception and form a link between diversity and productivity in polyculture forests, but the effect of canopy structure on light interception is rarely directly measured. We modelled the canopy surface structure of a tree diversity experiment by photographing it using unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) and combining the photos into a digital elevation model with photogrammetry tools. We analysed the effects of tree diversity and functional diversity on canopy structural complexity and light interception with a structural equation model. Our results show that: a) increased structural complexity of the canopy reduces light interception, whereas b) tree diversity increases the structural complexity of the canopy, and has a dual impact on light interception. Tree diversity decreased light interception through the structural complexity of the canopy but increased it probably through canopy packing and crown complementarity. However, the effects of both tree diversity and structural complexity of canopy were smaller than the effect of the functional identities of the tree species, especially the differences between deciduous and evergreen trees. We conclude that more complexity in canopy structure can be gained through increased tree diversity, but complex canopy structure does not increase light interception in young forests.
  • DeSoto, Lucia; Cailleret, Maxime; Sterck, Frank; Jansen, Steven; Kramer, Koen; Robert, Elisabeth M. R.; Aakala, Tuomas; Amoroso, Mariano M.; Bigler, Christof; Camarero, J. Julio; Cufar, Katarina; Gea-Izquierdo, Guillermo; Gillner, Sten; Haavik, Laurel J.; Heres, Ana-Maria; Kane, Jeffrey M.; Kharuk, Vyacheslav; Kitzberger, Thomas; Klein, Tamir; Levanic, Tom; Linares, Juan C.; Makinen, Harri; Oberhuber, Walter; Papadopoulos, Andreas; Rohner, Brigitte; Sanguesa-Barreda, Gabriel; Stojanovic, Dejan B.; Suarez, Maria Laura; Villalba, Ricardo; Martinez-Vilalta, Jordi (2020)
    Severe droughts have the potential to reduce forest productivity and trigger tree mortality. Most trees face several drought events during their life and therefore resilience to dry conditions may be crucial to long-term survival. We assessed how growth resilience to severe droughts, including its components resistance and recovery, is related to the ability to survive future droughts by using a tree-ring database of surviving and now-dead trees from 118 sites (22 species, >3,500 trees). We found that, across the variety of regions and species sampled, trees that died during water shortages were less resilient to previous non-lethal droughts, relative to coexisting surviving trees of the same species. In angiosperms, drought-related mortality risk is associated with lower resistance (low capacity to reduce impact of the initial drought), while it is related to reduced recovery (low capacity to attain pre-drought growth rates) in gymnosperms. The different resilience strategies in these two taxonomic groups open new avenues to improve our understanding and prediction of drought-induced mortality.
  • Kuuluvainen, Timo; Lindberg, Henrik; Vanha-Majamaa, Ilkka; Keto-Tokoi, Petri; Punttila, Pekka (2019)
    In managed forests, leaving retention trees during final harvesting has globally become a common approach to reconciling the often conflicting goals of timber production and safeguarding biodiversity and delivery of several ecosystem services. In Finland, the dominant certification scheme requires leaving low levels of retention that can benefit some specific species. However, species responses are dependent on the level of retention and the current low amounts of retention clearly do not provide the habitat quality and continuity needed for declining and red-listed forest species which are dependent on old living trees and coarse woody debris. Several factors contribute to this situation. First, the ecological benefits of the current low retention levels are further diminished by monotonous standwise use of retention, resulting in low variability of retention habitat at the landscape scale. Second, the prevailing timber-oriented management thinking may regard retention trees as an external cost to be minimized, rather than as part of an integrated approach to managing the ecosystem for specific goals. Third, the main obstacles of development may still be institutional and policy-related. The development of retention practices in Finland indicates that the aim has not been to use ecological understanding to attain specific ecological sustainability goals, but rather to define the lowest level of retention that still allows access to the market. We conclude that prevailing retention practices in Finland currently lack ecological credibility in safeguarding biodiversity and they should urgently be developed based on current scientific knowledge to meet ecological sustainability goals.
  • Warmuth, Vera M.; Burgess, Malcolm D.; Laaksonen, Toni; Manica, Andrea; Magi, Marko; Nord, Andreas; Primmer, Craig R.; Saetre, Glenn-Peter; Winkel, Wolfgang; Ellegren, Hans (2021)
    Climate change influences population demography by altering patterns of gene flow and reproductive isolation. Direct mutation rates offer the possibility for accurate dating on the within-species level but are currently only available for a handful of vertebrate species. Here, we use the first directly estimated mutation rate in birds to study the evolutionary history of pied flycatchers (Ficedula hypoleuca). Using a combination of demographic inference and species distribution modelling, we show that all major population splits in this forest-dependent system occurred during periods of increased climate instability and rapid global temperature change. We show that the divergent Spanish subspecies originated during the Eemian-Weichselian transition 115-104 thousand years ago (kya), and not during the last glacial maximum (26.5-19 kya), as previously suggested. The magnitude and rates of climate change during the glacial-interglacial transitions that preceded population splits in pied flycatchers were similar to, or exceeded, those predicted to occur in the course of the current, human-induced climate crisis. As such, our results provide a timely reminder of the strong impact that episodes of climate instability and rapid temperature changes can have on species' evolutionary trajectories, with important implications for the natural world in the Anthropocene.
  • Jessen, Maria-Theresa; Kaarlejärvi, Elina; Olofsson, Johan; Eskelinen, Anu (2020)
    Variation in intraspecific traits is one important mechanism that can allow plant species to respond to global changes. Understanding plant trait responses to environmental changes such as grazing patterns, nutrient enrichment and climate warming is, thus, essential for predicting the composition of future plant communities. We measured traits of eight common tundra species in a fully factorial field experiment with mammalian herbivore exclusion, fertilization, and passive warming, and assessed how trait responsiveness to the treatments was associated with abundance changes in those treatments. Herbivory exhibited the strongest impact on traits. Exclusion of herbivores increased vegetative plant height by 50% and specific leaf area (SLA) by 19%, and decreased foliar C:N by 11%; fertilization and warming also increased height and SLA but to a smaller extent. Herbivory also modulated intraspecific height, SLA and foliar C:N responses to fertilization and warming, and these interactions were species-specific. Furthermore, herbivory affected how trait change translated into relative abundance change: increased height under warming and fertilization was more positively related to abundance change inside fences than in grazed plots. Our findings highlight the key role of mammalian herbivory when assessing intraspecific trait change in tundra and its consequences for plant performance under global changes.
  • Koskikala, Joni; Kukkonen, Markus; Käyhkö, Niina (2020)
    Global terrestrial biodiversity hotspots (GBH) represent areas featuring exceptional concentrations of endemism and habitat loss in the world. Unfortunately, geospatial data of natural habitats of the GBHs are often outdated, imprecise, and coarse, and need updating for improved management and protection actions. Recent developments in satellite image availability, combined with enhanced machine learning algorithms and computing capacity, enable cost-efficient updating of geospatial information of these already severely fragmented habitats. This study aimed to develop a more accurate method for mapping closed canopy evergreen natural forest (CCEF) of the Eastern Arc Mountains (EAM) ecoregion in Tanzania and Kenya, and to update the knowledge on its spatial extent, level of fragmentation, and conservation status. We tested 1023 model possibilities stemming from a combination of Sentinel-1 (S1) and Sentinel-2 (S2) satellite imagery, spatial texture of S1 and S2, seasonality derived from Landsat-8 time series, and topographic information, using random forest modelling approach. We compared the best CCEF model with existing spatial forest products from the EAM through independent accuracy assessment. Finally, the CCEF model was used to estimate the fragmentation and conservation coverage of the EAM. The CCEF model has moderate accuracy measured in True Skill Statistic (0.57), and it clearly outperforms other similar products from the region. Based on this model, there are about 296,000 ha of Eastern Arc Forests (EAF) left. Furthermore, acknowledging small forest fragments (1-10 ha) implies that the EAFs are more fragmented than previously considered. Currently, the official protection of EAFs is disproportionally targeting well-studied mountain blocks, while less known areas and small fragments are underrepresented in the protected area network. Thus, the generated CCEF model should be used to design updates and more informed and detailed conservation allocation plans to balance this situation. The results highlight that spatial texture of S2, seasonality, and topography are the most important variables describing the EAFs, while spatial texture of S1 increases the model performance slightly. All in all, our work demonstrates that recent developments in Earth observation allows significant enhancements in mapping, which should be utilized in areas with outstanding biodiversity values for better forest and conservation planning.
  • Marushchak, M. E.; Friborg, T.; Biasi, C.; Herbst, M.; Johansson, T.; Kiepe, I.; Liimatainen, M.; Lind, S. E.; Martikainen, P. J.; Virtanen, Tarmo; Soegaard, H.; Shurpali, N. J. (2016)
    Methane (CH4) fluxes were investigated in a subarctic Russian tundra site in a multi-approach study combining plot-scale data, ecosystem-scale eddy covariance (EC) measurements, and a fine-resolution land cover classification scheme for regional upscaling. The flux data as measured by the two independent techniques resulted in a seasonal (May-October 2008) cumulative CH4 emission of 2.4 (EC) and 3.7 gCH(4) m(-2) (manual chambers) for the source area representative of the footprint of the EC instruments. Upon upscaling for the entire study region of 98.6 km(2), the chamber measured flux data yielded a regional flux estimate of 6.7 gCH(4) m(-2) yr(-1). Our upscaling efforts accounted for the large spatial variability in the distribution of the various land cover types (LCTs) predominant at our study site. Wetlands with emissions ranging from 34 to 53 gCH(4) m(-2) yr(-1) were the most dominant CH4-emitting surfaces. Emissions from thermokarst lakes were an order of magnitude lower, while the rest of the landscape (mineral tundra) was a weak sink for atmospheric methane. Vascular plant cover was a key factor in explaining the spatial variability of CH4 emissions among wetland types, as indicated by the positive correlation of emissions with the leaf area index (LAI). As elucidated through a stable isotope analysis, the dominant CH4 release pathway from wetlands to the atmosphere was plant-mediated diffusion through aerenchyma, a process that discriminates against C-13-CH4. The CH4 released to the atmosphere was lighter than that in the surface porewater, and delta C-13 in the emitted CH4 correlated negatively with the vascular plant cover (LAI). The mean value of delta C-13 obtained here for the emitted CH4, 68.2 +/- 2.0 %, is within the range of values from other wetlands, thus reinforcing the use of inverse modelling tools to better constrain the CH4 budget. Based on the IPCC A1B emission scenario, a temperature increase of 6.1 degrees C relative to the present day has been predicted for the European Russian tundra by the end of the 21st Century. A regional warming of this magnitude will have profound effects on the permafrost distribution leading to considerable changes in the regional landscape with a potential for an increase in the areal extent of CH4-emitting wet surfaces.
  • Kemppinen, Julia; Niittynen, Pekka; Riihimaki, Henri; Luoto, Miska (2018)
    Soil moisture has a pronounced effect on earth surface processes. Global soil moisture is strongly driven by climate, whereas at finer scales, the role of non-climatic drivers becomes more important. We provide insights into the significance of soil and land surface properties in landscape-scale soil moisture variation by utilizing high-resolution light detection and ranging (LiDAR) data and extensive field investigations. The data consist of 1200 study plots located in a high-latitude landscape of mountain tundra in north-western Finland. We measured the plots three times during growing season 2016 with a hand-held time-domain reflectometry sensor. To model soil moisture and its temporal variation, we used four statistical modelling methods: generalized linear models, generalized additive models, boosted regression trees, and random forests. The model fit of the soil moisture models were R-2 = 0.60 and root mean square error (RMSE) 8.04 VWC% on average, while the temporal variation models showed a lower fit of R-2 = 0.25 and RMSE 13.11 CV%. The predictive performances for the former were R-2 = 0.47 and RMSE 9.34 VWC%, and for the latter R-2 = 0.01 and RMSE 15.29 CV%. Results were similar across the modelling methods, demonstrating a consistent pattern. Soil moisture and its temporal variation showed strong heterogeneity over short distances; therefore, soil moisture modelling benefits from high-resolution predictors, such as LiDAR based variables. In the soil moisture models, the strongest predictor was SAGA (System for Automated Geoscientific Analyses) wetness index (SWI), based on a 1m(2) digital terrain model derived from LiDAR data, which outperformed soil predictors. Thus, our study supports the use of LiDAR based SWI in explaining fine-scale soil moisture variation. In the temporal variation models, the strongest predictor was the field-quantified organic layer depth variable. Our results show that spatial soil moisture predictions can be based on soil and land surface properties, yet the temporal models require further investigation. Copyright (c) 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
  • Kasimir, Å; He, H.; Jansson, P-E; Lohila, A.; Minkkinen, K. (2021)
    Nutrient-rich peat soils have previously been demonstrated to lose carbon despite higher photosynthesis and litter production compared to nutrient-poor soils, where instead carbon accumulates. To understand this phenomenon, we used a process-oriented model (CoupModel) calibrated on data from two closely located drained peat soil sites in boreal forests in Finland, Kalevansuo and Lettosuo, with different soil C/N ratios. Uncertainty-based calibrations were made using eddy-covariance data (hourly values of net ecosystem exchange) and tree growth data. The model design used two forest scenarios on drained peat soil, one nutrient-poor with dense moss cover and another with lower soil C/N ratio with sparse moss cover. Three vegetation layers were assumed: conifer trees, other vascular plants, and a bottom layer with mosses. Adding a moss layer was a new approach, because moss has a modified physiology compared to vascular plants. The soil was described by three separate soil organic carbon (SOC) pools consisting of vascular plants and moss litter origin and decomposed organic matter. Over 10 years, the model demonstrated a similar photosynthesis rate for the two scenarios, 903 and 1,034 g C m(-2) yr(-1), for the poor and rich site respectively, despite the different vegetation distribution. For the nutrient-rich scenario more of the photosynthesis produce accumulated as plant biomass due to more trees, while the poor site had abundant moss biomass which did not increase living aboveground biomass to the same degree. Instead, the poor site showed higher litter inputs, which compared with litter from vascular plants had low turnover rates. The model calibration showed that decomposition rate coefficients for the three SOC pools were similar for the two scenarios, but the high quantity of moss litter input with low decomposability for the nutrient poor scenario explained the major difference in the soil carbon balance. Vascular plant litter declined with time, while SOC pools originating from mosses accumulated with time. Large differences between the scenarios were obtained during dry spells where soil heterotrophic respiration doubled for the nutrient-rich scenario, where vascular plants dominated, owing to a larger water depletion by roots. Where moss vegetation dominated, the heterotrophic respiration increased by only 50% during this dry period. We suggest moss vegetation is key for carbon accumulation in the poor soil, adding large litter quantities with a resistant quality and less water depletion than vascular plants during dry conditions.