Browsing by Subject "Forest structure"

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  • de Quesada, Gonzalo (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    Forest structural and compositional diversity is of great importance for forest biodiversity, functioning, and response to disturbances. The purpose of this research was to examine how human impact has affected the structural-compositional 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 structural-compositional diversity of the forest. This variable was used to compare the structural-compositional diversity among three forest classes with different degree of human influence (near-natural, selectively logged and managed forest), using rarefaction as the main tool of analysis, complemented by analyses based on common diversity indices. For comparison, the rarefaction analysis was also done for the tree species classification. The results of the rarefaction analysis of the diametric-species showed that the near-natural forest was the most diverse and the managed forest the least diverse. 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 only tree species classifications, but the Simpson index found 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 for diametric-species and failed to detect one for the tree species classification, which supports the rarefaction findings. We conclude that forest management has had a negative impact on forest compositional and structural diversity in mature Scots pine forests. The analysis also shows that the diametric-species classification can be a useful tool for forest diversity analysis and comparison
  • 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.
  • Kuuluvainen, Timo; Lindberg, Henrik; Vanha-Majamaa, Ilkka; Keto-Tokoi, Petri; Punttila, Pekka (Springer Berlin Heidelberg, 2019)
    Abstract 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.
  • Adhikari, Hari; Valbuena, Ruben; Pellikka, Petri; Heiskanen, Janne (2020)
    Tropical montane forests are important reservoirs of carbon and biodiversity and have a central role in the hydrological cycle. They are, however, very fragmented and degraded, leaving isolated remnants across the landscape. These montane forest remnants have considerable differences in forest structure, depending on factors such as tree species composition and degree of forest degradation. Our objectives were (1) to analyse the reliability of airborne laser scanning (ALS) in modelling forest structural heterogeneity, as described by the Gini coefficient (GC) of tree size inequality; (2) to determine whether models are improved by including tree species-sensitive spectral-temporal metrics from the Landsat time series (LTS); and (3) to evaluate differences between three forest remnants and different forest types using the resulting maps of predicted GC. The study area was situated in Taita Hills, Kenya, where indigenous montane forests have been partly replaced by single-species plantations. The data included field measurements from 85 sample plots and two ALS data sets with different pulse densities (9.6 and 3.1 pulses m(-2)). GC was modeled using beta regression. We found that GC was predicted more accurately by the ALS data set with a higher point density (a cross-validated relative root mean squared error (rRMSE(CV)) 13.9%) compared to ALS data set with lower point density (rRMSE(CV) 15.1%). Furthermore, important synergies exist between ALS and LTS metrics. When combining ALS and LTS metrics, rRMSE(CV) was improved to 12.5% and 13.0%, respectively. Therefore, if the LTS metrics are included in models, ALS data with lower pulse density are sufficient to yield similar accuracy to more expensive, higher pulse density data acquired from the lower altitude. In Ngangao and Yale, forest canopy has multiple layers of variable tree sizes, whereas elfin forests in Vuria are of more equal tree size, and the GC value ranges of the indigenous forests are 0.42-0.71, 0.20-0.74, and 0.17-0.76, respectively. The single-species plantations of cypress and pine showed lower values of GC than indigenous forests located in the same remnants in Yale, whereas Eucalyptus plantations showed GC values more similar to the indigenous forests. These results show the usefulness of GC maps for identifying and separating forest types as well as for assessing their distinctive ecologies.
  • Alibakhshi, Sara; Naimi, Babak; Hovi, Aarne; Crowther, Thomas W.; Rautiainen, Miina (2020)
    Forests are critical in regulating climate by altering the Earth's surface albedo. Therefore, there is an urgent need to enhance our knowledge about the effects of forest structure on albedo. Here, we present a global assessment of the links between forest structure and albedo at a 1-km spatial resolution using generalized additive models (GAMs). We used remotely sensed data to obtain variables representing forest structure, including forest density, leaf area index, and tree cover, during the peak growing season in 2005 with pure forest pixels that cover similar to 7% of the Earth's surface. Furthermore, we estimated black-sky albedo at a solar zenith angle of 38 degrees using the most recent collection of the moderate resolution imaging spectroradiometer (MODIS; version 6) at shortwave, near-infrared, and visible spectral regions. In addition, for the first time, we mapped the magnitude of the relationship between forest structure and albedo at each pixel with a 0.5-degree spatial resolution. Our results suggested that forest structure may modulate albedo in most of the sub-biomes. The response of shortwave albedo was always positive to the leaf area index and negative to the tree cover (except for deciduous broadleaf forests in mediterranean and temperate regions), while the response to forest density varied across space in 2005. The spatial map affirmed that the links between forest structure and albedo vary over geographical locations. In sum, our study emphasized the importance of forest structure in the surface albedo regulation. This paper provides the first spatially explicit evidence of the magnitude of relationships between forest structure and albedo on a global scale.