Browsing by Subject "boreal forests"

Sort by: Order: Results:

Now showing items 1-10 of 10
  • Köster, Kajar; Köster, Egle; Berninger, Frank; Heinonsalo, Jussi; Pumpanen, Jukka (2018)
    Reindeer (Rangifer tarandus L.) is considered to be an important mammalian herbivore, strongly influencing Arctic lichen-dominated ecosystems. There is no wide knowledge about the effect of reindeer on greenhouse gas (GHG) fluxes in northern boreal forests. Ground vegetation plays an important role in absorbing nitrogen (N) and carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere. Lately, it has also been found to be a significant source of nitrous oxide (N2O) and a small source of methane (CH4). We investigated the influence of reindeer grazing on field layer GHG (CO2, CH4, and N2O) fluxes, ground vegetation coverage and biomass, and soil physical properties (temperature and moisture) in a northern boreal forest. At our study site, the reindeer-induced replacement of lichen by mosses had contrasting effects on the GHG fluxes originating from the field layer. Field layer CO2 efflux was significantly higher in grazed areas. The field layer was a CH4 sink in all areas, but grazed areas absorbed more CH4 compared to non-grazed areas. Although total N2O fluxes remained around 0 in grazed areas, a small N2O sink occurred in non-grazed areas with lower moss biomass. Our results indicated that grazing by reindeer in northern boreal forests affects GHG fluxes from the forest field layer both positively and negatively, and these emissions largely depend on grazing-induced changes in vegetation composition.
  • Ribeiro Moreira de Assumpção, Christine (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    Biochar is a product from the pyrolysis of plant derived-biomass and it is intended to be applied to soil given its potential of carbon sequestration and soil fertility improvement. Some studies also suggest that increasing application rate of biochar has a positive feedback on biological nitrogen fixation (BNF) and on soil microbial biomass. However, these effects are not well known for boreal forests. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of different biochar application rates: 0 t ha-1, 5 t ha-1 and 10 t ha-1 on BNF, on microbial biomass carbon and nitrogen (MBC and MBN), and on moss biomass. The field experiment was established in Juupajoki, Southern Finland in young Scots pine stands. The stands were amended with biochar one year before the measurements took place. BNF was determined using acetylene reduction assay (ARA), and microbial biomass was estimated using chloroform fumigation-direct extraction (CFDE). The microbial biomass samples were incubated at the temperatures: 10 °C, 15 °C and 20 °C. Biochar amendment raised soil pH, whereas no differences were verified for BNF, MBC, MBN, nor for moss biomass. There was, however, variation in the response of N fixation to incubation temperature, and variation in the response of MBC and MBN to the time of measurement. Observed changes in pH are often likely to justify variations in the rates of BNF and MB, however in this study they were not shown to be of significance. It is possible, however that biochar will have a positive effect on soil vegetation as it is incorporated into the soil in the long-term. Although this study focuses on BNF and MB, the findings may well have a bearing on the use of biochar as a tool for C sequestration, since amendment with biochar was demonstrated as neither beneficial nor harmful to the soil biota.
  • Kubin, Eero; Kemppainen, Lauri (The Society of Forestry in Finland - The Finnish Forest Research Institute, 1994)
    The effect of scarification, ploughing and cross-directional plouhing on temperature conditions in the soil and adjacent air layer have been studied during 11 consecutive growth periods by using an unprepared clear-cut area as a control site. The maximum and minimum temperatures were measured daily in the summer months, and other temperature observations were made at four-hour intervals by means of a Grant measuring instrument. The development of the seedling stand was also followed in order to determine its shading effect on the soil surface. Soil preparation decreased the daily temperature amplitude of the air at the height of 10 cm. The maximum temperatures on sunny days were lower in the tilts of the ploughed and in the humps of the cross-directional ploughed sites compared with the unprepared area. Correspondingly, the night temperatures were higher and so the soil preparation considerably reduced the risk of night frost. In the soil at the depth of 5 cm, soil preparation increased daytime temperatures and reduced night temperatures compared with unprepared area. The maximum increase in monthly mean temperatures was almost 5 °C, and the daily variation in the surface parts of the tilts and humps increased so that excessively high temperatures for the optimal growth of the root system were measured from time to time. The temperature also rose at the depths of 50 and 100 cm. Soil preparation also increased the cumulative temperature sum. The highest sums accumulated during the summer months were recorded at the depth of 5 cm in the humps of cross-directional ploughed area (1127 dd.) and in the tilts of the ploughed area (1106 dd.), while the corresponding figure in the unprepared soil was 718 dd. At the height of 10 cm the highest temperature sum was 1020 dd. in the hump, the corresponding figure in the unprepared area being 925 dd. The incidence of high temperature amplitudes and percentage of high temperatures at the depth of 5 cm decreased most rapidly in the humps of cross-directional ploughed area and in the ploughing tilts towards the end of the measurement period. The decrease was attributed principally to the compressing of tilts, the ground vegetation succession and the growth of seedlings. The mean summer temperature in the unprepared area was lower than in the prepared area and the difference did not diminish during the period studied. The increase in temperature brought about by soil preparation thus lasts at least more than 10 years.
  • Pitkänen, Timo P.; Sirro, Laura; Häme, Lauri; Häme, Tuomas; Törmä, Markus; Kangas, Annika (ScienceDirect, 2020)
    International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation 86 (2020)
    The majority of the boreal forests in Finland are regularly thinned or clear-cut, and these actions are regulated by the Forest Act. To generate a near-real time tool for monitoring management actions, an automatic change detection modelling chain was developed using Sentinel-2 satellite images. In this paper, we focus mainly on the error evaluation of this automatized workflow to understand and mitigate incorrect change detections. Validation material related to clear-cut, thinned and unchanged areas was collected by visual evaluation of VHR images, which provided a feasible and relatively accurate way of evaluating forest characteristics without a need for prohibitively expensive fieldwork. This validation data was then compared to model predictions classified in similar change categories. The results indicate that clear-cuts can be distinguished very reliably, but thinned stands exhibit more variation. For thinned stands, coverage of broadleaved trees and detections from certain single dates were found to correlate with the success of the modelling results. In our understanding, this relates mainly to image quality regarding haziness and translucent clouds. However, if the growing season is short and cloudiness frequent, there is a clear trade-off between the availability of good-quality images and their preferred annual span. Gaining optimal results therefore depends both on the targeted change types, and the requirements of the mapping frequency.
  • Gao, Yao (2016)
    Finnish Meteorological Institute Contributions 124
    Interactions between the land surface and climate are complex as a range of physical, chemical and biological processes take place. Changes in the land surface or the climate can affect the water, energy and carbon cycles in the Earth system. This thesis discusses a number of critical issues that concern land-atmospheric interactions in the boreal zone, which is characterised by vast areas of peatlands, extensive boreal forests and a long snow cover period. Regional climate modelling and land surface modelling were used as the main tools for this study, in conjunction with observational data for evaluation. First, to better describe the present-day land cover in the regional climate model, we introduced an up-to-date and high-resolution land cover map to replace the inaccurate and outdated default land cover map for Fennoscandia. Second, in order to provide background information for future forest anagement actions for climate change mitigation, we studied the biogeophysical effects on the regional climate of peatland forestation, which has been the dominant land cover change in Finland over the last century. Moreover, climate variability can influence the land surface. Although drought is uncommon in northern Europe, an extreme drought occurred in the summer of 2006 in Finland, and induced visible drought symptoms in boreal forests. Thus, we assessed a set of drought indicators with drought impact data in boreal forests in Finland to indicate summer drought in boreal forests. Finally, the impacts of summer drought on water use efficiency of boreal Scots pine forests were studied to gain a deeper understanding of carbon and water dynamics in boreal forest ecosystems. In summary, the key findings of this thesis include: 1) the updated land cover map led to a slight decrease in biases of the simulated climate conditions. It is expected that the model performance could be improved by further development in model physics. 2) Peatland forestation in Finland can induce a warming effect in the spring of up to 0.43 K and a slight cooling effect in the growing season of less than 0.1 K due to decreased surface albedo and increased evapotranspiration, respectively. Corresponding to spring warming, the snow clearance day was advanced by up to 5 days over a 15-year mean. 3) The soil moisture index SMI was the most capable of the assessed drought indicators in capturing the spatial extent of observed forest damage induced by the extreme drought in 2006 in Finland. Thus, a land surface model capable of reliable predictions of regional soil moisture is important in future drought predictions in the boreal zone. 4) The inherent water use efficiency (IWUE) showed an increase during drought at the ecosystem level, and IWUE was found to be more appropriate than the ecosystem water use efficiency (EWUE) in indicating the impacts of drought on ecosystem functioning. The combined effects of soil moisture drought and atmospheric drought on stomatal conductance have to be taken into account in land surface models at the global scale when simulating the drought effects on plant functioning.
  • Nirhamo, Aleksi; Pykälä, Juha; Halme, Panu; Komonen, Atte (Wiley, 2021)
    Applied Vegetation Science 24: 2
    Questions: Aspen (Populus tremula) is declining in the old-growth forests of boreal Fennoscandia. This threatens the numerous taxa that are dependent on old aspens, including many epiphytic lichens. Potential methods to aid epiphytic lichens on aspen are centered around treatments which affect the density of Norway spruce (Picea abies). In this study, we investigated how epiphytic lichen communities on aspen are affected by the variation of spruce density in the immediate vicinity of the focal aspen. Location: Southern boreal forests in Finland. Methods: We recorded the occurrence of lichens from 120 aspens in 12 semi-natural forest sites. We used spruce basal area as the measure for spruce density. The selected aspens represented a gradient in spruce basal area in the vicinity of the aspen from 0 to 36 m2/ha. We also measured other tree- and stand-level variables that are known to influence lichen occurrence. Results: Lichen communities on aspen were affected by spruce density, stand age and bark pH. Both lichen species richness and the richness of red-listed species were highest at an intermediate spruce density, and both increased with stand age. Lichen species richness was higher when bark pH was lower. Additionally, community composition was influenced the most by spruce density, followed by bark pH. Conclusions: Our study highlights the detrimental effects of high spruce density on lichen diversity on aspens. This is caused by high spruce density resulting in low light availability. Lichen diversity on aspens was highest when spruce density was intermediate. Spruce thinning in aspen-rich old-growth forests can be helpful in ensuring the long-term persistence of old-growth lichens on aspen in protected forests.
  • Kellomäki, Seppo; Hänninen, Heikki; Kolström, Taneli (Suomen metsätieteellinen seura, 1988)
  • Putkinen, Anuliina; Siljanen, Henri M. P.; Laihonen, Antti; Paasisalo, Inga; Porkka, Kaija; Tiirola, Marja; Haikarainen, Iikka; Tenhovirta, Salla; Pihlatie, Mari (2021)
    Methane (CH4) exchange in tree stems and canopies and the processes involved are among the least understood components of the global CH4 cycle. Recent studies have focused on quantifying tree stems as sources of CH4 and understanding abiotic CH4 emissions in plant canopies, with the role of microbial in situ CH4 formation receiving less attention. Moreover, despite initial reports revealing CH4 consumption, studies have not adequately evaluated the potential of microbial CH4 oxidation within trees. In this paper, we discuss the current level of understanding on these processes. Further, we demonstrate the potential of novel metagenomic tools in revealing the involvement of microbes in the CH4 exchange of plants, and particularly in boreal trees. We detected CH4-producing methanogens and novel monooxygenases, potentially involved in CH4 consumption, in coniferous plants. In addition, our field flux measurements from Norway spruce (Picea abies) canopies demonstrate both net CH4 emissions and uptake, giving further evidence that both production and consumption are relevant to the net CH4 exchange. Our findings, together with the emerging diversity of novel CH4-producing microbial groups, strongly suggest microbial analyses should be integrated in the studies aiming to reveal the processes and drivers behind plant CH4 exchange.
  • Lehtonen, Ilari (Finnish Meteorological Institute, 2017)
    Finnish Meteorological Institute Contributions 133
    The aim of this work was to study the climate change impact on two specific abiotic risks affecting forests in Finland: fires and heavy snow loads. Approximately 1000 forest fires occur annually in Finland, but thanks to effective fire suppression, the average size of fires is only about 0.5 ha. Occasionally, heavy snow loading causes forest damage, which reduces stand quality in boreal forests experiencing cold winters. In Finnish forests, snow damage occurs most commonly in the eastern and northern parts of the country. The basic tools used in this work to evaluate the climate change impact were climate models. In addition, observational weather data and fire statistics were used. In evaluating the forest fire risk, the Canadian Fire Weather Index (FWI) system was used. Snow load amounts were estimated mainly by applying a snow load model developed at the Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI). The results indicate that forest fire risk will most likely increase in the future due to increasing temperature and enhanced evaporation. However, there is large uncertainty regarding the rate of change, which originates from the differences between climate model responses to the same radiative forcing. Moreover, an increase in forest fire risk will at the same time increase the risk of onflagrations. Crown snow loads were projected to become heavier in northern Finland and in the regions of Kainuu and North Karelia next to the Russian border. In southern and western Finland the risk of snow damage is expected to decrease. The largest decrease in the risk is projected to occur in coastal areas. In the areas expected to experience increased risk of snow damage, conditions favouring oth heavy wet snow loading and rime accretion were predicted to become more common. The results of this work can be utilized when considering climatically-driven risks in forest management.
  • Tenhovirta, Salla Aino Maaria; Kohl, Lukas; Koskinen, Markku; Patama, Marjo Riitta; Lintunen, Anna; Zanetti, Alessandro; Lilja, Rauna Anniina Ilmatar; Pihlatie, Mari (2022)
    Plants are recognized as sources of aerobically produced methane (CH4), but the seasonality, environmental drivers and significance of CH4 emissions from the canopies of evergreen boreal trees remain poorly understood. We measured the CH4 fluxes from the shoots of Pinus sylvestris (Scots pine) and Picea abies (Norway spruce) saplings in a static, non-steady-state chamber setup to investigate if the shoots of boreal conifers are a source of CH4 during spring. We found that the shoots of Scots pine emitted CH4 and these emissions correlated with the photosynthetically active radiation. For Norway spruce, the evidence for CH4 emissions from the shoots was inconclusive. Our study shows that the canopies of evergreen boreal trees are a potential source of CH4 in the spring and that these emissions are driven by a temperature-by-light interaction effect of solar radiation either directly or indirectly through its effects on tree physiological processes.