Browsing by Subject "COARSE WOODY DEBRIS"

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  • Heinaro, Einari; Tanhuanpaa, Topi; Yrttimaa, Tuomas; Holopainen, Markus; Vastaranta, Mikko (2021)
    Fallen trees decompose on the forest floor and create habitats for many species. Thus, mapping fallen trees allows identifying the most valuable areas regarding biodiversity, especially in boreal forests, enabling well-focused conservation and restoration actions. Airborne laser scanning (ALS) is capable of characterizing forests and the underlying topography. However, its potential for detecting and characterizing fallen trees under varying boreal forest conditions is not yet well understood. ALS-based fallen tree detection methods could improve our understanding regarding the spatiotemporal characteristics of dead wood over large landscapes. We developed and tested an automatic method for mapping individual fallen trees from an ALS point cloud with a point density of 15 points/m2. The presented method detects fallen trees using iterative Hough line detection and delineates the trees around the detected lines using region growing. Furthermore, we conducted a detailed evaluation of how the performance of ALS-based fallen tree detection is impacted by characteristics of fallen trees and the structure of vegetation around them. The results of this study showed that large fallen trees can be detected with a high accuracy in old-growth forests. In contrast, the detection of fallen trees in young managed stands proved challenging. The presented method was able to detect 78% of the largest fallen trees (diameter at breast height, DBH > 300 mm), whereas 30% of all trees with a DBH over 100 mm were detected. The performance of the detection method was positively correlated with both the size of fallen trees and the size of living trees surrounding them. In contrast, the performance was negatively correlated with the amount of undergrowth, ground vegetation, and the state of decay of fallen trees. Especially undergrowth and ground vegetation impacted the performance negatively, as they covered some of the fallen trees and lead to false fallen tree detections. Based on the results of this study, ALS-based collection of fallen tree information should be focused on old-growth forests and mature managed forests, at least with the current operative point densities.
  • Saarinen, Ninni; Vastaranta, Mikko; Nasi, Roope; Rosnell, Tomi; Hakala, Teemu; Honkavaara, Eija; Wulder, Michael A.; Luoma, Ville; Tommaselli, Antonio M. G.; Imai, Nilton N.; Ribeiro, Eduardo A. W.; Guimaraes, Raul B.; Holopainen, Markus; Hyyppa, Juha (2018)
    Forests are the most diverse terrestrial ecosystems and their biological diversity includes trees, but also other plants, animals, and micro-organisms. One-third of the forested land is in boreal zone; therefore, changes in biological diversity in boreal forests can shape biodiversity, even at global scale. Several forest attributes, including size variability, amount of dead wood, and tree species richness, can be applied in assessing biodiversity of a forest ecosystem. Remote sensing offers complimentary tool for traditional field measurements in mapping and monitoring forest biodiversity. Recent development of small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) enable the detailed characterization of forest ecosystems through providing data with high spatial but also temporal resolution at reasonable costs. The objective here is to deepen the knowledge about assessment of plot-level biodiversity indicators in boreal forests with hyperspectral imagery and photogrammetric point clouds from a UAV. We applied individual tree crown approach (ITC) and semi-individual tree crown approach (semi-ITC) in estimating plot-level biodiversity indicators. Structural metrics from the photogrammetric point clouds were used together with either spectral features or vegetation indices derived from hyperspectral imagery. Biodiversity indicators like the amount of dead wood and species richness were mainly underestimated with UAV-based hyperspectral imagery and photogrammetric point clouds. Indicators of structural variability (i.e., standard deviation in diameter-at-breast height and tree height) were the most accurately estimated biodiversity indicators with relative RMSE between 24.4% and 29.3% with semi-ITC. The largest relative errors occurred for predicting deciduous trees (especially aspen and alder), partly due to their small amount within the study area. Thus, especially the structural diversity was reliably predicted by integrating the three-dimensional and spectral datasets of UAV-based point clouds and hyperspectral imaging, and can therefore be further utilized in ecological studies, such as biodiversity monitoring.
  • Vehkaoja, Mia; Nummi, Petri; Rikkinen, Jouko (2017)
    Beavers are ecosystem engineers that modify and maintain a range of special habitat types in boreal forests. They also produce large quantities of deadwood that provide substrate for many lignicolous organisms such as calicioid fungi (Ascomycota). We studied how calicioid diversity differed between boreal riparian forests with and without beaver activity. The results show that calicioid diversity were significantly higher at beaver sites compared to the other two forest site types studied. The large quantity and diverse forms of deadwood produced by beavers clearly promotes calicioid diversity in the boreal landscape. The specific lighting and humidity conditions within beaver wetlands could be the reason why they promote the success of certain calicioid species.
  • Meyer, Nele; Xu, Yi; Karjalainen, Katri; Adamczyk, Sylwia; Biasi, Christina; van Delden, Lona; Martin, Angela; Mganga, Kevin Z; Myller, Kristiina; Sietiö, Outi-Maaria; Suominen, Otso; Karhu, Kristiina (2022)
    Mountain birch forests (Betula pubescens Ehrh. ssp. czerepanovii) at the subarctic treeline not only benefit from global warming, but are also increasingly affected by caterpillar outbreaks from foliage-feeding geometrid moths. Both of these factors have unknown consequences on soil organic carbon (SOC) stocks and biogeochemical cycles. We measured SOC stocks down to the bedrock under living trees and under two stages of dead trees (12 and 55 years since moth outbreak) and treeless tundra in northern Finland. We also measured in-situ soil respiration, potential SOC decomposability, biological (enzyme activities and microbial biomass), and chemical (N, mineral N, and pH) soil properties. SOC stocks were significantly higher under living trees (4.1 +/- 2.1 kg m(2)) than in the treeless tundra (2.4 +/- 0.6 kg m(2)), and remained at an elevated level even 12 (3.7 +/- 1.7 kg m(2)) and 55 years (4.9 +/- 3.0 kg m(2)) after tree death. Effects of tree status on SOC stocks decreased with increasing distance from the tree and with increasing depth, that is, a significant effect of tree status was found in the organic layer, but not in mineral soil. Soil under living trees was characterized by higher mineral N contents, microbial biomass, microbial activity, and soil respiration compared with the treeless tundra; soils under dead trees were intermediate between these two. The results suggest accelerated organic matter turnover under living trees but a positive net effect on SOC stocks. Slowed organic matter turnover and continuous supply of deadwood may explain why SOC stocks remained elevated under dead trees, despite the heavy decrease in aboveground C stocks. We conclude that the increased occurrence of moth damage with climate change would have minor effects on SOC stocks, but ultimately decrease ecosystem C stocks (49% within 55 years in this area), if the mountain birch forests will not be able to recover from the outbreaks.
  • de Quesada Alzamora, Gonzalo E; Kuuluvainen, Timo (2020)
    Background Forest structural and compositional variability is of fundamental importance for forest ecosystem functioning and species diversity. The purpose of this research was to examine how human impact has affected the compositional-structural diversity of mature pine-dominated boreal forest in boreal Fennoscandia. For this a new approach was used, based on the classification of tree sizes by the diameter at breast height (dbh) and tree species, resulting in a new variable, the diametric-species, the variation of which describes the compositional-structural diversity of the forest. This variable was used to compare the structural-compositional diversity among three forest classes with different degree of human influence, using rarefaction as the main tool of analysis, complemented by analyses based on common diversity indices. Results The results showed that the near-natural forest was the most diverse and the managed forest the least diverse. On the other hand, the diversity of near-natural and selectively logged forests were similar, suggesting that selectively logged forests are equal to the natural forest in their compositional-structural diversity. The analysis solely on tree species showed no significant differences among the forest classes of different human impact. The Shannon diversity index showed no significant difference between the forest classes for the diametric-species and tree species classifications only, but the Simpson index signaled a slight difference between the selectively logged and managed forest classes for the diametric-species classification. Furthermore, the Sorensen index detected a difference among forest classes in the diametric-species classification. Conclusions Forest utilization had an adverse impact on forest compositional-structural diversity of mature Scots pine forests. The analysis also shows that the novel approach based on diametric-species classification could be a useful tool for forest diversity analysis and comparison, especially in species-poor forests such as the boreal forest.