Browsing by Subject "boreal forest"

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  • Mohr, Claudia; Lopez-Hilfiker, Felipe D.; Yli-Juuti, Taina; Heitto, Arto; Lutz, Anna; Hallquist, Mattias; D'Ambro, Emma L.; Rissanen, Matti P.; Hao, Liqing; Schobesberger, Siegfried; Kulmala, Markku; Mauldin III, Roy L.; Makkonen, Ulla; Sipilä, Mikko; Petäjä, Tuukka; Thornton, Joel A. (2017)
    We present ambient observations of dimeric monoterpene oxidation products (C16-20HyO6-9) in gas and particle phases in the boreal forest in Finland in spring 2013 and 2014, detected with a chemical ionization mass spectrometer with a filter inlet for gases and aerosols employing acetate and iodide as reagent ions. These are among the first online dual-phase observations of such dimers in the atmosphere. Estimated saturation concentrations of 10(-15) to 10(-6)mu gm(-3) (based on observed thermal desorptions and group-contribution methods) and measured gas-phase concentrations of 10(-3) to 10(-2)mu gm(-3) (similar to 10(6)-10(7)moleculescm(-3)) corroborate a gas-phase formation mechanism. Regular new particle formation (NPF) events allowed insights into the potential role dimers may play for atmospheric NPF and growth. The observationally constrained Model for Acid-Base chemistry in NAnoparticle Growth indicates a contribution of similar to 5% to early stage particle growth from the similar to 60 gaseous dimer compounds. Plain Language Summary Atmospheric aerosol particles influence climate and air quality. We present new insights into how emissions of volatile organic compounds from trees are transformed in the atmosphere to contribute to the formation and growth of aerosol particles. We detected for the first time over a forest, a group of organic molecules, known to grow particles, in the gas phase at levels far higher than expected. Previous measurements had only measured them in the particles. This finding provides guidance on how models of aerosol formation and growth should describe their appearance and fate in the atmosphere.
  • Greiser, Caroline; Hylander, Kristoffer; Meineri, Eric; Luoto, Miska; Ehrlen, Johan (2020)
    The role of climate in determining range margins is often studied using species distribution models (SDMs), which are easily applied but have well-known limitations, e.g. due to their correlative nature and colonization and extinction time lags. Transplant experiments can give more direct information on environmental effects, but often cover small spatial and temporal scales. We simultaneously applied a SDM using high-resolution spatial predictors and an integral projection (demographic) model based on a transplant experiment at 58 sites to examine the effects of microclimate, light and soil conditions on the distribution and performance of a forest herb, Lathyrus vernus, at its cold range margin in central Sweden. In the SDM, occurrences were strongly associated with warmer climates. In contrast, only weak effects of climate were detected in the transplant experiment, whereas effects of soil conditions and light dominated. The higher contribution of climate in the SDM is likely a result from its correlation with soil quality, forest type and potentially historic land use, which were unaccounted for in the model. Predicted habitat suitability and population growth rate, yielded by the two approaches, were not correlated across the transplant sites. We argue that the ranking of site habitat suitability is probably more reliable in the transplant experiment than in the SDM because predictors in the former better describe understory conditions, but that ranking might vary among years, e.g. due to differences in climate. Our results suggest that L. vernus is limited by soil and light rather than directly by climate at its northern range edge, where conifers dominate forests and create suboptimal conditions of soil and canopy-penetrating light. A general implication of our study is that to better understand how climate change influences range dynamics, we should not only strive to improve existing approaches but also to use multiple approaches in concert.
  • Mayer, A.L.; Kauppi, P.E.; Tikka, P. M.; Angelstam, P.K. (Elsevier, 2006)
    Among wealthy countries, increasing imports of natural resources to allow for unchecked consumption and greater domestic environmental conservation has become commonplace. This practice can negatively affect biodiversity conservation planning if natural resource harvest is merely pushed across political borders. As an example, we focus on the boreal forest ecosystem of Finland and northwest Russia. While the majority of protected forests are in northern Finland, the majority of biodiversity is in southern Finland, where protection is more difficult due to high private ownership, and the effectiveness of functioning conservation networks is more uncertain due to a longer history of land use. In northwest Russia, the current protected areas are inadequate to preserve most of the region’s naturally dynamic and old growth forests. Increased importation of wood from northwest Russia to Finland may jeopardize the long-term viability of species in high diversity conservation areas in both Russia and Finland, through isolating conservation areas and lowering the age of the surrounding forest mosaic. The boreal forest ecosystem of Fennoscandia and northwest Russia would thus be best conserved by a large scale, coordinated conservation strategy that addresses long-term conservation goals and wood consumption, forest industries, logging practices and trade.
  • Kuglerová, Lenka; Jyväsjärvi, Jussi; Ruffing, Claire; Muotka, Timo; Jonsson, Anna; Andersson, Elisabet; Richardson, John S. (American Geophysical Union, 2020)
    Water Resources Research 56 9 (2020)
    Forested riparian buffers are recommended to mitigate negative effects of forest harvesting on recipient freshwater ecosystems. Most of the current best practices of riparian buffer retention aim at larger streams. Riparian protection along small streams is thought to be lacking; however, it is not well documented. We surveyed 286 small streams flowing through recent clearcuts in three timber-producing jurisdictions—British Columbia, Canada (BC), Finland, and Sweden. The three jurisdictions differed in riparian buffer implementation. In BC, forested buffers are not required on the smallest streams, and 45% of the sites in BC had no buffer. The average (±SE) width of voluntarily retained buffers was 15.9 m (±2.1) on each side of the stream. An operation-free zone is mandatory around the smallest streams in BC, and 90% of the sites fulfilled these criteria. Finland and Sweden had buffers allocated to most of the surveyed streams, with average buffer width of 15.3 m (±1.4) in Finland and 4 m (±0.4) in Sweden. Most of the streams in the two Nordic countries had additional forestry-associated impairments such as machine tracks, or soil preparation within the riparian zone. Riparian buffer width somewhat increased with stream size and slope of the riparian area, however, not in all investigated regions. We concluded that the majority of the streams surveyed in this study are insufficiently protected. We suggest that a monitoring of forestry practices and revising present forestry guidelines is needed in order to increase the protection of our smallest water courses.
  • Viinikka, Arto; Hurskainen, Pekka; Keski-Saari, Sarita; Kivinen, Sonja; Tanhuanpää, Topi; Mäyrä, Janne; Poikolainen, Laura; Vihervaara, Petteri; Kumpula, Timo (MDPI, 2020)
    Remote Sensing 12 16 (2020)
    Sustainable forest management increasingly highlights the maintenance of biological diversity and requires up-to-date information on the occurrence and distribution of key ecological features in forest environments. European aspen (Populus tremula L.) is one key feature in boreal forests contributing significantly to the biological diversity of boreal forest landscapes. However, due to their sparse and scattered occurrence in northern Europe, the explicit spatial data on aspen remain scarce and incomprehensive, which hampers biodiversity management and conservation efforts. Our objective was to study tree-level discrimination of aspen from other common species in northern boreal forests using airborne high-resolution hyperspectral and airborne laser scanning (ALS) data. The study contained multiple spatial analyses: First, we assessed the role of different spectral wavelengths (455–2500 nm), principal component analysis, and vegetation indices (VI) in tree species classification using two machine learning classifiers—support vector machine (SVM) and random forest (RF). Second, we tested the effect of feature selection for best classification accuracy achievable and third, we identified the most important spectral features to discriminate aspen from the other common tree species. SVM outperformed the RF model, resulting in the highest overall accuracy (OA) of 84% and Kappa value (0.74). The used feature set affected SVM performance little, but for RF, principal component analysis was the best. The most important common VI for deciduous trees contained Conifer Index (CI), Cellulose Absorption Index (CAI), Plant Stress Index 3 (PSI3), and Vogelmann Index 1 (VOG1), whereas Green Ratio (GR), Red Edge Inflection Point (REIP), and Red Well Position (RWP) were specific for aspen. Normalized Difference Red Edge Index (NDRE) and Modified Normalized Difference Index (MND705) were important for coniferous trees. The most important wavelengths for discriminating aspen from other species included reflectance bands of red edge range (724–727 nm) and shortwave infrared (1520–1564 nm and 1684–1706 nm). The highest classification accuracy of 92% (F1-score) for aspen was achieved using the SVM model with mean reflectance values combined with VI, which provides a possibility to produce a spatially explicit map of aspen occurrence that can contribute to biodiversity management and conservation efforts in boreal forests.
  • Viinikka, Arto; Hurskainen, Pekka; Keski-Saari, Sarita; Kivinen, Sonja; Tanhuanpää, Topi; Mäyrä, Janne; Poikolainen, Laura; Vihervaara, Petteri; Kumpula, Timo (2020)
    Sustainable forest management increasingly highlights the maintenance of biological diversity and requires up-to-date information on the occurrence and distribution of key ecological features in forest environments. European aspen (Populus tremulaL.) is one key feature in boreal forests contributing significantly to the biological diversity of boreal forest landscapes. However, due to their sparse and scattered occurrence in northern Europe, the explicit spatial data on aspen remain scarce and incomprehensive, which hampers biodiversity management and conservation efforts. Our objective was to study tree-level discrimination of aspen from other common species in northern boreal forests using airborne high-resolution hyperspectral and airborne laser scanning (ALS) data. The study contained multiple spatial analyses: First, we assessed the role of different spectral wavelengths (455-2500 nm), principal component analysis, and vegetation indices (VI) in tree species classification using two machine learning classifiers-support vector machine (SVM) and random forest (RF). Second, we tested the effect of feature selection for best classification accuracy achievable and third, we identified the most important spectral features to discriminate aspen from the other common tree species. SVM outperformed the RF model, resulting in the highest overall accuracy (OA) of 84% and Kappa value (0.74). The used feature set affected SVM performance little, but for RF, principal component analysis was the best. The most important common VI for deciduous trees contained Conifer Index (CI), Cellulose Absorption Index (CAI), Plant Stress Index 3 (PSI3), and Vogelmann Index 1 (VOG1), whereas Green Ratio (GR), Red Edge Inflection Point (REIP), and Red Well Position (RWP) were specific for aspen. Normalized Difference Red Edge Index (NDRE) and Modified Normalized Difference Index (MND705) were important for coniferous trees. The most important wavelengths for discriminating aspen from other species included reflectance bands of red edge range (724-727 nm) and shortwave infrared (1520-1564 nm and 1684-1706 nm). The highest classification accuracy of 92% (F1-score) for aspen was achieved using the SVM model with mean reflectance values combined with VI, which provides a possibility to produce a spatially explicit map of aspen occurrence that can contribute to biodiversity management and conservation efforts in boreal forests.
  • Kuzmin, Anton; Korhonen, Lauri; Kivinen, Sonja; Hurskainen, Pekka; Korpelainen, Pasi; Tanhuanpää, Topi; Maltamo, Matti; Vihervaara, Petteri; Kumpula, Timo (2021)
    European aspen (Populus tremula L.) is a keystone species for biodiversity of boreal forests.Large-diameter aspens maintain the diversity of hundreds of species, many of which are threatened in Fennoscandia. Due to a low economic value and relatively sparse and scattered occurrence of aspen in boreal forests, there is a lack of information of the spatial and temporal distribution of aspen, which hampers efficient planning and implementation of sustainable forest management practices and conservation efforts. Our objective was to assess identification of European aspen at the individual tree level in a southern boreal forest using high-resolution photogrammetric point cloud (PPC) and multispectral (MSP) orthomosaics acquired with an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). The structure-from-motion approach was applied to generate RGB imagery-based PPC to be used for individual tree-crown delineation. Multispectral data were collected using two UAV cameras:Parrot Sequoia and MicaSense RedEdge-M. Tree-crown outlines were obtained from watershed segmentation of PPC data and intersected with multispectral mosaics to extract and calculate spectral metrics for individual trees. We assessed the role of spectral data features extracted from PPC and multispectral mosaics and a combination of it, using a machine learning classifier—Support Vector Machine (SVM) to perform two different classifications: discrimination of aspen from the other species combined into one class and classification of all four species (aspen, birch, pine, spruce) simultaneously. In the first scenario, the highest classification accuracy of 84% (F1-score) for aspen and overall accuracy of 90.1% was achieved using only RGB features from PPC, whereas in the second scenario, the highest classification accuracy of 86 % (F1-score) for aspen and overall accuracy of 83.3% was achieved using the combination of RGB and MSP features. The proposed method provides a new possibility for the rapid assessment of aspen occurrence to enable more efficient forest management as well as contribute to biodiversity monitoring and conservation efforts in boreal forests.
  • Tomppo, Erkki; Ronoud, Ghasem; Antropov, Oleg; Hytonen, Harri; Praks, Jaan (2021)
    The purpose of this study was to develop methods to localize forest windstorm damages, assess their severity and estimate the total damaged area using space-borne SAR data. The development of the methods is the first step towards an operational system for near-real-time windstorm damage monitoring, with a latency of only a few days after the storm event in the best case. Windstorm detection using SAR data is not trivial, particularly at C-band. It can be expected that a large-area and severe windstorm damage may affect backscatter similar to clear cutting operation, that is, decrease the backscatter intensity, while a small area damage may increase the backscatter of the neighboring area, due to various scattering mechanisms. The remaining debris and temporal variation in the weather conditions and possible freeze-thaw transitions also affect observed backscatter changes. Three candidate windstorm detection methods were suggested, based on the improved k-nn method, multinomial logistic regression and support vector machine classification. The approaches use multitemporal ESA Sentinel-1 C-band SAR data and were evaluated in Southern Finland using wind damage data from the summer 2017, together with 27 Sentinel-1 scenes acquired in 2017 and other geo-referenced data. The stands correctly predicted severity category corresponded to 79% of the number of the stands in the validation data, and already 75% when only one Sentinel-1 scene after the damage was used. Thus, the damaged forests can potentially be localized with proposed tools within less than one week after the storm damage. In this study, the achieved latency was only two days. Our preliminary results also indicate that the damages can be localized even without separate training data.
  • Mõttus, Matti; Aragão, Luiz; Bäck, Jaana; Clemente, Rocío Hernandez; Maeda, Eduardo Eiji; Markiet, Vincent Robert Leon; Nichol, Caroline; Oliveira, Raimundo Cosme; Restrepo-Coupe, Natalia (2019)
    The spectral properties of plant leaves relate to the state of their photosynthetic apparatus and the surrounding environment. An example is the well known photosynthetic downregulation, active on the time scale from minutes to hours, caused by reversible changes in the xanthophyll cycle pigments. These changes affect leaf spectral absorption and are frequently quantified using the photochemical reflectance index (PRI). This index can be used to remotely monitor the photosynthetic status of vegetation, and allows for a global satellite-based measurement of photosynthesis. Such earth observation satellites in near-polar orbits usually cover the same geographical location at the same local solar time at regular intervals. To facilitate the interpretation of these instantaneous remote PRI measurements and upscale them temporally, we measured the daily course of leaf PRI in two evergreen biomes—a European boreal forest and an Amazon rainforest. The daily course of PRI was different for the two locations: At the Amazonian forest, the PRI of Manilkara elata leaves was correlated with the average photosynthetic photon flux density (PPFD) ( R2=0.59 ) of the 40 minutes preceding the leaf measurement. In the boreal location, the variations in Pinus sylvestris needle PRI were only weakly ( R2=0.27) correlated with mean PPFD of the preceding two hours; for Betula pendula, the correlation was insignificant regardless of the averaging period. The measured daily PRI curves were specific to species and/or environmental conditions. Hence, for a proper interpretation of satellite-measured instantaneous photosynthesis, the scaling of PRI measurements should be supported with information on its correlation with PPFD.
  • Vernay, Antoine; Tian, Xianglin; Chi, Jinshu; Linder, Sune; Makela, Annikki; Oren, Ram; Peichl, Matthias; Stangl, Zsofia R.; Tor-Ngern, Pantana; Marshall, John D. (2020)
    Gross primary production (GPP) is a key component of the forest carbon cycle. However, our knowledge of GPP at the stand scale remains uncertain, because estimates derived from eddy covariance (EC) rely on semi-empirical modelling and the assumptions of the EC technique are sometimes not fully met. We propose using the sap flux/isotope method as an alternative way to estimate canopy GPP, termed GPP(iso/SF), at the stand scale and at daily resolution. It is based on canopy conductance inferred from sap flux and intrinsic water-use efficiency estimated from the stable carbon isotope composition of phloem contents. The GPP(iso/SF)estimate was further corrected for seasonal variations in photosynthetic capacity and mesophyll conductance. We compared our estimate of GPP(iso/SF)to the GPP derived from PRELES, a model parameterized with EC data. The comparisons were performed in a highly instrumented, boreal Scots pine forest in northern Sweden, including a nitrogen fertilized and a reference plot. The resulting annual and daily GPP(iso/SF)estimates agreed well with PRELES, in the fertilized plot and the reference plot. We discuss the GPP(iso/SF)method as an alternative which can be widely applied without terrain restrictions, where the assumptions of EC are not met.
  • Böttcher, Kristin; Markkanen, Tiina; Thum, Tea; Aalto, Tuula; Aurela, Mika; Reick, Christian H.; Kolari, Pasi; Arslan, Ali N.; Pulliainen, Jouni (2016)
    The objective of this study was to assess the performance of the simulated start of the photosynthetically active season by a large-scale biosphere model in boreal forests in Finland with remote sensing observations. The start of season for two forest types, evergreen needle-and deciduous broad-leaf, was obtained for the period 2003-2011 from regional JSBACH (Jena Scheme for Biosphere-Atmosphere Hamburg) runs, driven with climate variables from a regional climate model. The satellite-derived start of season was determined from daily Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MODIS) time series of Fractional Snow Cover and the Normalized Difference Water Index by applying methods that were targeted to the two forest types. The accuracy of the satellite-derived start of season in deciduous forest was assessed with bud break observations of birch and a root mean square error of seven days was obtained. The evaluation of JSBACH modelled start of season dates with satellite observations revealed high spatial correspondence. The bias was less than five days for both forest types but showed regional differences that need further consideration. The agreement with satellite observations was slightly better for the evergreen than for the deciduous forest. Nonetheless, comparison with gross primary production (GPP) determined from CO2 flux measurements at two eddy covariance sites in evergreen forest revealed that the JSBACH-simulated GPP was higher in early spring and led to too-early simulated start of season dates. Photosynthetic activity recovers differently in evergreen and deciduous forests. While for the deciduous forest calibration of phenology alone could improve the performance of JSBACH, for the evergreen forest, changes such as seasonality of temperature response, would need to be introduced to the photosynthetic capacity to improve the temporal development of gross primary production.
  • Lawler, Michael J.; Rissanen, Matti P.; Ehn, Mikael; Mauldin, R. Lee; Sarnela, Nina; Sipilä, Mikko; Smith, James N. (2018)
    New particle formation (NPF) is an important contributor to particle number in many locations, but the chemical drivers for this process are not well understood. Daytime NPF events occur regularly in the springtime Finnish boreal forest and strongly impact aerosol abundance. In April 2014 size-resolved chemical measurements of ambient nanoparticles were made using the Time-of-Flight Thermal Desorption Chemical ionization Mass Spectrometer and we report results from two NPF events. While growth overall was dominated by terpene oxidation products, newly formed 20-70nm particles showed enhancement in apparent alkanoic acids. The events occurred on days with rapid transport of marine air, which correlated with low background aerosol loading and higher gas phase methanesulfonic acid levels. These results are broadly consistent with previous studies on Nordic NPF but indicate that further attention should be given to the sources and role of non-terpenoid organics and the possible contribution of transported marine compounds in this process. Plain Language Summary Clouds are an enormously important part of the climate system because they control the radiation entering and leaving the Earth. Clouds form as water condenses onto small particles called cloud condensation nuclei. These particles can be directly emitted from the Earth's surface, like sea spray, for example, or they can form in the atmosphere out of precursor gases. We have measured the composition of these atmosphere-formed particles to understand better how this process works in the Nordic boreal forest. We found that a diverse mix of processes and molecules are likely involved, possibly including the transport of materials from the ocean. While these results will ultimately lead to a better understanding of ocean-land-cloud interactions, they currently indicate that more work is needed to learn the processes involved.
  • Leppä, Kersti; Tang, Yu; Ogée, Jérôme; Launiainen, Samuli; Kahmen, Ansgar; Kolari, Pasi; Sahlstedt, Elina; Saurer, Matthias; Schiestl-Aalto, Pauliina; Rinne-Garmston, Katja T. (2022)
    We explore needle sugar isotopic compositions (δ18O and δ13C) in boreal Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) over two growing seasons. ? A leaf-level dynamic model driven by environmental conditions and based on current understanding of isotope fractionation processes was built to predict δ18O and δ13C of two hierarchical needle carbohydrate pools, accounting for the needle sugar pool size and the presence of an invariant pinitol pool. ? Model results agreed well with observed needle water δ18O, δ18O and δ13C of needle water-soluble carbohydrates (sugars + pinitol), and needle sugar δ13C (R2=0.95, 0.84, 0.60, 0.73, respectively). Relative humidity (RH) and intercellular to ambient CO2 concentration ratio (Ci /Ca ) were the dominant drivers of δ18O and δ13C variability, respectively. However, the variability of needle sugar δ18O and δ13C was reduced on diel and intra-seasonal timescales, compared to predictions based on instantaneous RH and Ci /Ca , due to the large needle sugar pool, which caused the signal formation period to vary seasonally from 2 to more than 5 days. Furthermore, accounting for a temperature-sensitive biochemical 18O-fractionation factor and mesophyll resistance in 13C-discrimination were critical. ? Interpreting leaf-level isotopic signals requires understanding on time integration caused by mixing in the needle sugar pool.
  • Mykrä, Heikki; Annala, Mari; Hilli, Anu; Hotanen, Juha-Pekka; Hokajärvi, Raili; Jokikokko, Pauli; Karttunen, Krister; Kesälä, Mikko; Kuoppala, Minna; Leinonen, Antti; Marttila, Hannu; Meriö, Leo-Juhani; Piirainen, Sirpa; Porvari, Petri; Salmivaara, Aura; Vaso, Asta (Elsevier BV, 2023)
    Forest Ecology and Management
    Forested buffer zones with varying width have been suggested as the most promising approach for protecting boreal riparian biodiversity, reducing erosion, and minimizing nutrient leaching from managed forestry areas. Yet, less optimal fixed-width approach is still largely used, likely because of its simple design and implementation. We examined the efficiency of varying-width buffer zones based on depth-to-water (DTW) index in protecting stream riparian plant communities. We further compared the economic costs of DTW-based buffer to commonly used 5, 10 and 15 m fixed-width buffers. We also included an additional buffer based on a combination of DTW and erosion risk (Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation, RUSLE) into these comparisons to see the extent and cost of a buffer that should maximize the protection of the linked aquatic environment. Plant species richness increased with increasing soil moisture and species preferring moist conditions, nutrient-rich soils and high pH were clearly more abundant adjacent to stream in areas with high predicted soil moisture than in dry areas. Differences in species richness were paralleled by differences in community composition and higher beta diversity of plant communities in wet than in dry riparian areas. There were also several indicator species typical for moist and nutrient-rich soils for wet riparian areas. Riparian buffer zones based on DTW were on average larger than 15 m wide fixed-width buffers. However, the cost for DTW-based buffer was lower than for fixed-width buffer zones when the cost was normalized by area. Simulated selective cutting decreased the costs, but cutting possibilities were variable among streams and depended on the characteristics of forest stands. Our results thus suggest a high potential of DTW in predicting wet areas and variable-width buffer zones based on these areas in the protection of riparian biodiversity and stream ecosystems.
  • Seidl, Rupert; Honkaniemi, Juha; Aakala, Tuomas; Aleinikov, Alexey; Angelstam, Per; Bouchard, Mathieu; Boulanger, Yan; Burton, Philip J.; De Grandpre, Louis; Gauthier, Sylvie; Hansen, Winslow D.; Jepsen, Jane U.; Jogiste, Kalev; Kneeshaw, Daniel D.; Kuuluvainen, Timo; Lisitsyna, Olga; Makoto, Kobayashi; Mori, Akira S.; Pureswaran, Deepa S.; Shorohova, Ekaterina; Shubnitsina, Elena; Taylor, Anthony R.; Vladimirova, Nadezhda; Vodde, Floortje; Senf, Cornelius (2020)
    Disturbance regimes are changing in forests across the world in response to global climate change. Despite the profound impacts of disturbances on ecosystem services and biodiversity, assessments of disturbances at the global scale remain scarce. Here, we analyzed natural disturbances in boreal and temperate forest ecosystems for the period 2001-2014, aiming to 1) quantify their within- and between-biome variation and 2) compare the climate sensitivity of disturbances across biomes. We studied 103 unmanaged forest landscapes with a total land area of 28.2 x 10(6) ha, distributed across five continents. A consistent and comprehensive quantification of disturbances was derived by combining satellite-based disturbance maps with local expert knowledge of disturbance agents. We used Gaussian finite mixture models to identify clusters of landscapes with similar disturbance activity as indicated by the percent forest area disturbed as well as the size, edge density and perimeter-area-ratio of disturbed patches. The climate sensitivity of disturbances was analyzed using Bayesian generalized linear mixed effect models and a globally consistent climate dataset. Within-biome variation in natural disturbances was high in both boreal and temperate biomes, and disturbance patterns did not vary systematically with latitude or biome. The emergent clusters of disturbance activity in the boreal zone were similar to those in the temperate zone, but boreal landscapes were more likely to experience high disturbance activity than their temperate counterparts. Across both biomes high disturbance activity was particularly associated with wildfire, and was consistently linked to years with warmer and drier than average conditions. Natural disturbances are a key driver of variability in boreal and temperate forest ecosystems, with high similarity in the disturbance patterns between both biomes. The universally high climate sensitivity of disturbances across boreal and temperate ecosystems indicates that future climate change could substantially increase disturbance activity.
  • Hakkila, Matti; Abrego, Nerea; Ovaskainen, Otso; Monkkonen, Mikko (2018)
    Protected areas are meant to preserve native local communities within their boundaries, but they are not independent from their surroundings. Impoverished habitat quality in the matrix might influence the species composition within the protected areas through biotic homogenization. The aim of this study was to determine the impacts of matrix quality on species richness and trait composition of bird communities from the Finnish reserve area network and whether the communities are being subject of biotic homogenization due to the lowered quality of the landscape matrix. We used joint species distribution modeling to study how characteristics of the Finnish forest reserves and the quality of their surrounding matrix alter species and trait compositions of forest birds. The proportion of old forest within the reserves was the main factor in explaining the bird community composition, and the bird communities within the reserves did not strongly depend on the quality of the matrix. Yet, in line with the homogenization theory, the beta-diversity within reserves embedded in low-quality matrix was lower than that in high-quality matrix, and the average abundance of regionally abundant species was higher. Influence of habitat quality on bird community composition was largely explained by the species' functional traits. Most importantly, the community specialization index was low, and average body size was high in areas with low proportion of old forest. We conclude that for conserving local bird communities in northern Finnish protected forests, it is currently more important to improve or maintain habitat quality within the reserves than in the surrounding matrix. Nevertheless, we found signals of bird community homogenization, and thus, activities that decrease the quality of the matrix are a threat for bird communities.
  • Määttänen, Aino-Maija; Virkkala, Raimo; Leikola, Niko; Heikkinen, Risto K. (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2022)
    Ecological Processes
    Background Protected areas (PA) are central to biodiversity, but their efficiency is challenged by human-induced habitat loss and fragmentation. In the Fennoscandian boreal region, forestry with clearcutting is a threat to biodiversity causing the loss of mature forest elements and deterioration of ecological processes in forest landscapes, ultimately affecting PAs via declined structural connectivity. This paper aims to (1) determine PAs with high, red-listed species concentrations; (2) estimate the change in forest habitat around these PAs on different spatial scales; and (3) determine if forest management intensity is higher around biologically most valuable PAs. Occurrences of red-listed forest-dwelling species in Finland were used to identify PAs harbouring these species and to produce site-specific importance indices. CORINE landcover data was used as a baseline for the distribution of forests to assess the cover of clear-cuttings from 2001 to 2019 with the Global Forest Change (GFC) data set in three buffer areas around the PAs with occurrences of red-listed species. Results The largest proportion of clear-cuts occurred in 1 km and 10 km buffers around the PAs in the southern and middle boreal zones, being ca. 20%. This indicates that the forest habitat is degrading fast at regional and landscape levels. On the positive side, the change in forest cover was lower around the biologically most important PAs compared to other PAs with red-listed species. Conclusions Open and free satellite-data based assessments of the cover and change of forests provide reliable estimates about the rates at which mature and old-growth forests are being converted into young managed ones in Finland mainly via clear-cuts on different scales around PAs. The rate of clear-cuts was lowest in adjacent buffer areas next to the most species-rich PAs, which provides opportunities for biodiversity conservation efforts to be targeted to the remaining mature and old-growth forests found in the vicinity of these areas.
  • Adamczyk, Bartosz; Sietio, Outi-Maaria; Biasi, Christina; Heinonsalo, Jussi (2019)
    See also the Commentary on this article by Hattenschwiler et al., 223: 5-7.
  • Kohl, Lukas; Myers-Pigg, Allison; Edwards, Kate A.; Billings, Sharon A.; Warren, Jamie; Podrebarac, Frances; Ziegler, Susan E. (2021)
    Plant litter chemistry is altered during decomposition but it remains unknown if these alterations, and thus the composition of residual litter, will change in response to climate. Selective microbial mineralization of litter components and the accumulation of microbial necromass can drive litter compositional change, but the extent to which these mechanisms respond to climate remains poorly understood. We addressed this knowledge gap by studying needle litter decomposition along a boreal forest climate transect. Specifically, we investigated how the composition and/or metabolism of the decomposer community varies with climate, and if that variation is associated with distinct modifications of litter chemistry during decomposition. We analyzed the composition of microbial phospholipid fatty acids (PLFA) in the litter layer and measured natural abundance δ13C-PLFA values as an integrated measure of microbial metabolisms. Changes in litter chemistry and δ13C values were measured in litterbag experiments conducted at each transect site. A warmer climate was associated with higher litter nitrogen concentrations as well as altered microbial community structure (lower fungi:bacteria ratios) and microbial metabolism (higher δ13C-PLFA). Litter in warmer transect regions accumulated less aliphatic-C (lipids, waxes) and retained more O-alkyl-C (carbohydrates), consistent with enhanced 13C-enrichment in residual litter, than in colder regions. These results suggest that chemical changes during litter decomposition will change with climate, driven primarily by indirect climate effects (e.g. greater nitrogen availability and decreased fungi:bacteria ratios) rather than direct temperature effects. A positive correlation between microbial biomass δ13C values and 13C-enrichment during decomposition suggests that change in litter chemistry is driven more by distinct microbial necromass inputs than differences in the selective removal of litter components. Our study highlights the role that microbial inputs during early litter decomposition can play in shaping surface litter contribution to soil organic matter as it responds to climate warming effects such as greater nitrogen availability.
  • 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.