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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Adamczyk, Bartosz; Sietio, Outi-Maaria; Biasi, Christina; Heinonsalo, Jussi (2019)
    See also the Commentary on this article by Hattenschwiler et al., 223: 5-7.
  • Kuglerová, Lenka; Hasselquist, Eliza Maher; Sponseller, Ryan Allen; Muotka, Timo; Hallsby, Goran; Laudon, Hjalmar (Elsevier, 2021)
    Science of The Total Environment 756 (2021), 143521
    In this paper we describe how forest management practices in Fennoscandian countries, namely Sweden and Finland, expose streams to multiple stressors over space and time. In this region, forestry includes several different management actions and we explore how these may successively disturb the same location over 60–100 year long rotation periods. Of these actions, final harvest and associated road construction, soil scarification, and/or ditch network maintenance are the most obvious sources of stressors to aquatic ecosystems. Yet, more subtle actions such as planting, thinning of competing saplings and trees, and removing logging residues also represent disturbances around waterways in these landscapes. We review literature about how these different forestry practices may introduce a combination of physicochemical stressors, including hydrological change, increased sediment transport, altered thermal and light regimes, and water quality deterioration. We further elaborate on how the single stressors may combine and interact and we consequently hypothesise how these interactions may affect aquatic communities and processes. Because production forestry is practiced on a large area in both countries, the various stressors appear multiple times during the rotation cycles and potentially affect the majority of the stream network length within most catchments. We concluded that forestry practices have traditionally not been the focus of multiple stressor studies and should be investigated further in both observational and experimental fashion. Stressors accumulate across time and space in forestry dominated landscapes, and may interact in unpredictable ways, limiting our current understanding of what forested stream networks are exposed to and how we can design and apply best management practices.
  • Laurén, Annamari (Ari); Guan, Mingfu; Salmivaara, Aura; Leinonen, Antti; Palviainen, Marjo; Launiainen, Samuli (2021)
    Responsible forest management requires accounting for adverse environmental effects, such as increased nutrient export to water courses. We constructed a spatially-distributed nutrient balance model NutSpaFHy that extends the hydrological model SpaFHy by introducing a grid-based nutrient balance sub-model and a conceptual solute transport routine to approximate total nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) export to streams. NutSpaFHy uses openly-available Multi-Source National Forest Inventory data, soil maps, topographic databases, location of water bodies, and meteorological variables as input, and computes nutrient processes in monthly time-steps. NutSpaFHy contains two calibrated parameters both for N and P, which were optimized against measured N and P concentrations in runoff from twelve forested catchments distributed across Finland. NutSpaFHy was independently tested against six catchments. The model produced realistic nutrient exports. For one catchment, we simulated 25 scenarios, where clear-cuts were located differently with respect to distance to water body, location on mineral or peat soil, and on sites with different fertility. Results indicate that NutSpaFHy can be used to identify current and future nutrient export hot spots, allowing comparison of logging scenarios with variable harvesting area, location and harvest techniques, and to identify acceptable scenarios that preserve the wood supply whilst maintaining acceptable level of nutrient export.
  • Ryhti, Kira; Kulmala, Liisa; Pumpanen, Jukka; Isotalo, Jarkko; Pihlatie, Mari; Helmisaari, Heljä-Sisko; Leppälammi-Kujansuu, Jaana; Kieloaho, Antti-Jussi; Bäck, Jaana; Heinonsalo, Jussi (2021)
    Changes in the climate may have unpredictable effects on belowground carbon processes and thus, the carbon balance of boreal forests. To understand the interactions of these processes in soil and to quantify the potential changes in the carbon cycle, partitioning of forest floor respiration is crucial. For this purpose, we used nine different treatments to separate the sources of forest floor carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in a mature Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) stand in southern Finland. To partition the belowground CO2 emissions, we used two different trenching methods: 1) to exclude roots and mycorrhizal fungal mycelia (mesh with 1-mu m pores) and 2) to exclude roots, but not mycorrhizal hyphae (mesh with 50-mu m pores). Additionally, we used 3) a control treatment that included roots and fungal hyphae. To partition the CO2 emissions from the forest floor vegetation, we 1) removed it, 2) left only the dwarf shrubs, or 3) left the vegetation intact. The forest floor CO2 emissions were regularly measured with a flux chamber throughout the growing seasons in 2013-2015. The total forest floor respiration was partitioned into respiration of tree roots (contributing 48%), heterotrophic soil respiration (30%) and respiration of ground vegetation other than shrubs (10%), dwarf shrubs (8%), and hyphae of mycorrhizal fungi (4%). Heterotrophic respiration increased in the trenched treatments without ground vegetation over time, due to the so-called 'Gadgil effect'. In the absence of tree mots, but when hyphal access was allowed, respiration in the dwarf shrub treatment increased throughout the experiment. This indicated that dwarf shrubs had fungal connections to outside the experimental plots via their ericoid mycorrhiza. At the same time, other ground vegetation, such as mosses, suppressed the dwarf shrub respiration in trenched treatments. Our results show that competition on the forest floor is intense between plant roots and soil microbes.
  • Downey, Margot (Helsingfors universitet, 2015)
    The creation of forest gaps in disturbance emulation forestry alters local environmental conditions, which causes variability in natural seedling regeneration. Understory vegetation plays an important role in early seedling regeneration success and is sensitive to variations in topography and resource availability. Its analysis can uncover the finer-scale impacts of gap characteristics and competition on the patterns of tree regeneration. The objective of this study was to examine the impact of gap characteristics on patterns of natural vegetation and tree seedling regeneration 5 years post-harvest across 18 gaps in Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst.) dominated forests of Central Finland. Gap characteristics included distance from edge (into residual forest and gap interior), cardinal position in the gap (N, S, E or W), microsite type and dominant topography. All seedlings (≤5m) were counted and measured on 1m2 plots situated along linear strips (2 for each N-S and E-W orientations). On these same plots, vegetation and microsite types were assessed by percent cover for several key categories. Results show that distance from gap edge was the most influential gap characteristic, especially in the ±10m zone. The 0–15m zone inside the gap supported the greatest abundance of seedlings, as well as the highest diversity of both vegetation types and seedling species. The edge zone inside the forest supported shade-tolerant species (dwarf shrubs, mosses). Gap centers (~15m+) supported shade-intolerant species (grasses, shrubs, herbs), creating a highly competitive growing environment. The position within the gap was also an influential characteristic. The N gap positions showed the most statistically significant difference from the others; they had fewer birch seedlings, a greater percent cover of grasses and dwarf shrubs, and a smaller percent cover of ferns. This effect was generally more pronounced in the gap interior. The results of this study support that natural regeneration of seedlings in gaps is quite variable. The mean number of seedlings per ha inside the gaps were 20 360 for Norway spruce, and 6 820 for birch spp. combined; up to 62% were germinants (≤3cm). In the 15m+ region from the gap edge towards the gap center, the mean number of seedlings per m2 was on average ~58% smaller than for the rest of the strip. The presence and abundance of different vegetation species clearly demonstrate that distance from edge and within-gap position strongly affect resource availability and competition. The most significant gap characteristics affecting these patterns of early regeneration for Norway spruce and birch were revealed with the help of generalized additive models (GAMs). Since these gaps are in their early stages of regeneration, the future dynamics and final outcome are still fairly uncertain. However, the current mean number of seedlings inside the gaps suggests a promising potential for natural regeneration. These models point to management actions which could facilitate long-term natural regeneration in similar forest gaps.
  • Jiang, Yangao; Zhang, Junhui; Han, Shijie; Chen, Zhenju; Setala, Heikki; Yu, Jinghua; Zheng, Xingbo; Guo, Yingtao; Gu, Yue (2016)
    To explore how climatic factors influence tree growth within the context of global climate changes, we used a dendroclimatological analysis to understand the response of Larix gmelinii to climatic variations along a broad latitudinal gradient from 47.27 degrees to 52.66 degrees N in the Greater Khingan Mountains of Northeastern China. The growth-limiting climate factors and a detailed association between radial growth and climate were identified along the gradient using redundancy analysis (RDA) and standard correlation function analysis over the period 1960-2013. The results showed that temperatures during current June to July represented the most important factor affecting tree radial growth in the study area. Across all studied latitudes, Larix gmelinii growth might be decreasing in radial growth due to higher monthly maximum temperature (Tmax) and monthly mean temperatures (Tm) in the current June, especially for the stands at low and middle latitudes. With continued warming, Larix gmelinii radial growth at high latitudes (e.g., Mangui (MG) and Mohe (MH)) might be reduced by warmer temperatures in July. In addition, Larix gmelinii might be decreasing in radial growth from decreasing precipitation. Our results show that there is a decreasing trend in Larix gmelinii radial growth under the observed general increase of temperatures in the Greater Khingan Mountains in recent years.
  • Kohli, Juliana (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    Boreal forests are an important storage of carbon (C), representing over one-third of terrestrial C stocks. The continuity of C storage in boreal forests and forest soils is critical to mitigate climate change. Climate change will likely increase the fire season length and the frequency of forest fires in Finland, of which surface fires are the dominant type. Fire affects C dynamics by modifying biotic (SOM, vegetation, microbial activity) and abiotic (soil temperature, moisture, chemistry) components of the forest ecosystem. These fire-induced effects will depend on the intensity of the fire (duration, flame temperature) and the site characteristics, ultimately resulting in either the persistence of, or in a net C loss, which has implications on both a local and global scale. There is a lack of existing research regarding the short-term impacts of surface forest fires and comparisons between different fire intensities. Subsequently, this thesis describes an experimental burn conducted in an even-aged Pinus sylvestris forest in southern Finland and the short- term post-fire impacts on soil biogeochemical processes (June-October 2020). The aims of this study were: (1) to study the effects of low- (200-300 oC) and high- (500-600 oC) intensity surface fires on soil temperature, moisture and soil surface CO2 fluxes straight after fire and through four months after experimental fire; (2) to study the effects of low- and high-intensity surface fires on plant (above and below ground) biomass immediately and four months after fire; (3) to identify the most important factors driving soil CO2 effluxes shortly after the fire. Eight sample plots (225 m2 each) were used, divided between high and low biomass loads to achieve high- and low-intensity fires. Continuous soil temperature and moisture measurements, vegetation inventories, soil sampling (0-30 cm), and soil CO2 efflux measurements were obtained using portable chambers. The results of this study showed that some soil physical and chemical properties were significantly altered due to the experimental surface fire (vegetation, temperature, moisture, root biomass, C, N (nitrogen), C/N), whereas some remained unchanged (pH, humus thickness). Soil moisture was the only variable, which increased as a result of higher fire intensity. Fires at both intensities resulted in the mortality of ground vegetation whilst trees did not experience mortality by the end of the monitoring period. Soil CO2 fluxes decreased in burned areas compared to unburned plots over time, but this change was not significantly different between burning intensities. Future research should investigate the mechanisms of C and N translocation through the soil profile following the addition of water, the relationship between post-fire soil temperature and soil CO2 efflux, how burning different biomass components changes the composition of ash, and how larger differences in burning intensities affect soil properties and soil CO2 effluxes. If trees experience mortality after the time period encompassed by this study, the site could become a potential C source; further monitoring of the study site could account for delayed indirect impacts such as these.
  • Qu, Zhao-Lei; Santalahti, Minna; Köster, Kajar; Berninger, Frank; Pumpanen, Jukka; Heinonsalo, Jussi; Sun, Hui (2021)
    The boreal forest environment plays an important role in the global C cycle due to its high carbon storage capacity. However, relatively little is known about the forest fungal community at a regional scale in boreal forests. In the present study, we have re-analyzed the data from our previous studies and highlighted the core fungal community composition and potential functional groups in three forests dominated by Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) in Finland, and identified the fungal generalists that appear across geographic locations despite differences in local conditions. The three forests represent subarctic, northern and southern boreal forest, and are all in an un-managed state without human interference or management. The subarctic and northern areas are subject to reindeer grazing. The results showed that the three locations formed distinct fungal community structures (P < 0.05). Compared to the two northern locations, the southern boreal forest harbored a greater abundance of Zygomycota, Lactarius, Mortierella Umbelopsis, and Tylospora, in which aspect there were no differences between the two northern forests. Cortinarius, Piloderma, and Suillus were the core fungal genera in the boreal Scots pine forest. Functionally, the southern boreal forest harbored a greater abundance of saprotroph, endophytes and fungal parasite-lichen, whereas a greater abundance of ectomycorrhizal fungi was observed in the northern boreal forests. Moreover, the pathotroph and wood saprotrophs were commonly present in these three regions. The three locations formed two distinct fungal community functional structures, by which the southern forest was clearly separated from the two northern forests, suggesting a distance-decay relationship via geographic location. This study provides useful information for better understanding the common fungal communities and functions in boreal forests in different geographical locations.