Browsing by Subject "tree"

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  • Vastaranta, Mikko; Yrttimaa, Tuomas; Saarinen, Ninni; Yu, Xiaowei; Karjalainen, Mika; Nurminen, Kimmo; Karila, Kirsi; Kankare, Ville; Luoma, Ville; Pyörälä, Jiri; Junttila, Samuli; Tanhuanpaa, Topi; Kaartinen, Harri; Kukko, Antero; Honkavaara, Eija; Jaakkola, Anttoni; Liang, Xinlian; Wang, Yunsheng; Vaaja, Matti; Hyyppä, Hannu; Katoh, Masato; Wulder, Michael A.; Holopainen, Markus; Hyyppä, Juha (2018)
    The objective of this study is to better understand the relationship between forest structure and point cloud features generated from certain airborne and space borne sensors. Point cloud features derived from airborne laser scanning (ALS), aerial imagery (AI), WorldView-2 imagery (WV2), TerraSAR-X, and Tandem-X (TDX) data were classified as features characterizing forest height and density as well as variation in tree height. Correlations between these features and field-measured attributes describing forest height, density and tree height variation were investigated at plot scale. From the field-measured attributes, basal area (G) and the number of trees per unit area (N) were used as forest density indicators whereas maximum tree height (H-max) and standard deviation in tree height (H-std) were used as indicators for forest height and tree height variation, respectively. In the analyses, field observations from 91 sample plots (32 m x 32 m) located in southern Finland were used. Even though ALS was found to be the most accurate data source in characterizing forest structure, AI, WV2, and TDX were also capable of characterizing forest height at plot scale with correlation coefficients stronger than 0.85. However, ALS was the only data source capable of providing separate features for characterizing also the variation in tree height and forest density. Features related to forest height, generated from the other data sources besides ALS, also provided strongest correlation with the forest density attributes and variation in tree height, in addition to H-max. Due to these more diverse characterization capabilities, forest structural attributes can be predicted more accurately by using ALS, also in the areas where the relation between the attributes of interest is not solely dependent on forest height, compared to the other investigated 3D remote sensing data sources.
  • Kulha, Niko Aleksi; Pasanen, Leena; Holmström, Lasse; Grandpre, Louis de; Kuuluvainen, Timo Tapio; Aakala, Tuomas (2019)
    Identifying the scales of variation in forest structures and the underlying processes are fundamental for understanding forest dynamics. Here, we studied these scale-dependencies in forest structure in naturally dynamic boreal forests on two continents. We identified the spatial scales at which forest structures varied, and analyzed how the scales of variation and the underlying drivers differed among the regions and at particular scales. We studied three 2kmx2km landscapes in northeastern Finland and two in eastern Canada. We estimated canopy cover in contiguous 0.1-ha cells from aerial photographs and used scale-derivative analysis to identify characteristic scales of variation in the canopy cover data. We analyzed the patterns of variation at these scales using Bayesian scale space analysis. We identified structural variation at three spatial scales in each landscape. Among landscapes, the largest scale of variation showed the greatest variability (20.1-321.4ha), related to topography, soil variability, and long-term disturbance history. Superimposed on this large-scale variation, forest structure varied at similar scales (1.3-2.8ha) in all landscapes. This variation correlated with recent disturbances, soil variability, and topographic position. We also detected intense variation at the smallest scale analyzed (0.1ha, grain of our data), partly driven by recent disturbances. The distinct scales of variation indicated hierarchical structure in the landscapes studied. Except for the large-scale variation, these scales were remarkably similar among the landscapes. This suggests that boreal forests may display characteristic scales of variation that occur somewhat independent of the tree species characteristics or the disturbance regime.
  • Salmon, Yann; Torres-Ruiz, Jose M.; Poyatos, Rafael; Martinez-Vilalta, Jordi; Meir, Patrick; Cochard, Herve; Mencuccini, Maurizio (2015)
    Understanding physiological processes involved in drought-induced mortality is important for predicting the future of forests and for modelling the carbon and water cycles. Recent research has highlighted the variable risks of carbon starvation and hydraulic failure in drought-exposed trees. However, little is known about the specific responses of leaves and supporting twigs, despite their critical role in balancing carbon acquisition and water loss. Comparing healthy (non-defoliated) and unhealthy (defoliated) Scots pine at the same site, we measured the physiological variables involved in regulating carbon and water resources. Defoliated trees showed different responses to summer drought compared with non-defoliated trees. Defoliated trees maintained gas exchange while non-defoliated trees reduced photosynthesis and transpiration during the drought period. At the branch scale, very few differences were observed in non-structural carbohydrate concentrations between health classes. However, defoliated trees tended to have lower water potentials and smaller hydraulic safety margins. While non-defoliated trees showed a typical response to drought for an isohydric species, the physiology appears to be driven in defoliated trees by the need to maintain carbon resources in twigs. These responses put defoliated trees at higher risk of branch hydraulic failure and help explain the interaction between carbon starvation and hydraulic failure in dying trees.
  • Wan, Minli; D'amato, Dalia; Toppinen, Anne Maarit Kristiina; Rekola, Mika Olavi (2017)
    Global awareness of sustainability issues is growing rapidly, and business organizations are called to address wider social and environmental concerns along with economic performance. However, limited systematic knowledge exists on the interactions between forest industries and natural ecosystems. We thus investigated the role of ecosystem services in the context of China's forest sector. A qualitative research approach was used to elicit company external expert viewpoints on the topic. Our analysis focused on three themes: (1) forest company dependencies and impacts on ecosystem services; (2) business risks arising from dependencies and impacts; and (3) risk response strategies. The interviewed 20 experts identified a series of forest company dependencies and impacts (including negative and positive impacts) on several ecosystem services. The extent of dependencies and impacts is largely influenced by the business portfolio of the company. The perceived business risks include intense competition and the consequently increasing price for natural resources, which would affect forest company business plans, costs and outputs. The suggested strategies for turning risks into opportunities include outsourcing wood, changing production focus, promoting industrial upgrading and implementing regular assessments of corporate dependencies and impacts on ecosystem services. The findings of our study can guide companies' decision-making in managing forest ecosystems sustainably.
  • Muranen, Sampo (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    Tree shoot architecture research is important due to its significance in fields such as timber production, fruit and nut production and aesthetics of common areas. Also, research on genetic factors that regulate shoot and root system architecture might provide novel methods to store more carbon in forests and, hence, mitigate global warming in the future. LAZY1 is one of the major genes that affects branch and tiller angle in herbaceous and woody species such as Arabidopsis, rice and peach tree. LAZY1 has been under scrutiny over a decade but its molecular function remains unknown. However, it is known that lazy1 mutation affects polar auxin transport. Here it is studied how LAZY1 affects initial branch angle, fiber length and reaction wood development in silver birch (Betula pendula). Also, transcript levels of few shoot architecture related genes were analyzed. LAZY phylogenetic analysis provided evidence of a duplication of LAZY1 in three studied tree species (Betula pendula, Prunus persica, Populus trichocarpa), duplicated genes are here named LAZY1a and LAZY1b. Plant material employed in this study was a segregating population (50:50) of back-cross 1 of weeping birch (B. pendula ´Youngii´) which has a truncated lazy1a. Histological samples of branches were prepared by cryo-sectioning, stained with carbohydrate binding Alcian Blue and lignin binding Safranin dyes to reveal patterns of tension wood development. Due to the large size of branch sections, samples were imaged with a microscope and the images were merged together in a Photoshop application. Branch angles were measured manually with a protractor (angle) tool from stem to the middle of a branch. The data was analyzed using mixed linear models due to the nature of used plant material. We could not use clones because of major issues in in vitro propagation. Branch samples were macerated, fibers imaged and measured by ImageJ software. LAZY1a gene expression levels were analyzed by RT-qPCR method. RNA-sequence analysis indicated that the expression pattern of LAZY1a and LAZY1b is similar in B. pendula. However, one should construct a promoter-reporter line to study with better resolution if their expression is spatially analogous. Initial branch angle was significantly different in wild type compared to lazy1a mutant. For future, one could generate single and double knock out lines of lazy1a/b to study if they have cumulative effect on the branch angle, an important factor in timber quality. Tension wood formation was difficult to quantify with the employed method, due to issues in segregating G-layered tension wood from thick-walled reaction wood. A chemical analysis of cellulose content might provide a more objective method to observe tension wood in branches. RT-qPCR method indicated that LAZY1a transcript levels are higher in wild type compared to mutant. A complementation or knock down experiment would provide sound evidence that lazy1a induces the weeping phenotype. X-ray diffraction method could be employed to study the orientation of cellulose microfibril angle in branches of the wild type vs. mutant. Generation of effective tensional stress requires a cellulose microfibril angle less than 10 and this angle is affected by auxin concentration. It is possible, that this angle is larger in lazy1a due to defect in polar auxin transport.
  • Kämäräinen, Antti (Helsingfors universitet, 2014)
    Street trees are an important part of a comfortable urban environment. Their beneficial effects in the built environment have been documented in a number of ways around the world. In urban environment tree roots are often grown in limited volumes of soil and competing for space with artificial construction materials and technical structures. Low oxygen concentrations in urban soils are considered as one of the major growth limiting factors, particularly under street pavements. The terrestrial growth conditions are difficult to alter in urban environment. By improving below-ground conditions, tree well-being and sustainability can be significantly increased. Increased ensign of growing conditions and the awareness of the value of urban trees have contributed to the creation of landscaping applications such as structural soil. This study compared gas concentrations in the air of structural and conventional soils, used in roadside tree plantings in the City of Helsinki. Soil air samples were collected during growing seasons 2012 and 2013. Proportions of nitrogen, oxygen, carbon dioxide and methane in soil air were determined by a gas chromatograph. CO?-fluxes were used to evaluate the effect of the soil surfacing material to ground ventilation. Structural soil contained more oxygen in all depths compared to conventional tree soil. A strong correlation existed between oxygen and carbon dioxide concentrations. It seems that cobblestone coating with wide seams does not impair the ground ventilation compared to soil covered with cast-iron grate. Atmospheric growth conditions were more favorable in the structural soil; however the oxygen concentrations in conventional soil were also high.
  • 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.
  • Halmemies-Beauchet-Filleau, A.; Rinne, M.; Lamminen, M.; Mapato, C.; Ampapon, T.; Wanapat, M.; Vanhatalo, A. (2018)
    Ruminant-based food production faces currently multiple challenges such as environmental emissions, climate change and accelerating food-feed-fuel competition for arable land. Therefore, more sustainable feed production is needed together with the exploitation of novel resources. In addition to numerous food industry (milling, sugar, starch, alcohol or plant oil) side streams already in use, new ones such as vegetable and fruit residues are explored, but their conservation is challenging and production often seasonal. In the temperate zones, lipid-rich camelina (Camelina sativa) expeller as an example of oilseed by-products has potential to enrich ruminant milk and meat fat with bioactive trans-11 18:1 and cis-9,trans-11 18:2 fatty acids and mitigate methane emissions. Regardless of the lower methionine content of alternative grain legume protein relative to soya bean meal (Glycine max), the lactation performance or the growth of ruminants fed faba beans (Vicia faba), peas (Pisum sativum) and lupins (Lupinus sp.) are comparable. Wood is the most abundant carbohydrate worldwide, but agroforestry approaches in ruminant nutrition are not common in the temperate areas. Untreated wood is poorly utilised by ruminants because of linkages between cellulose and lignin, but the utilisability can be improved by various processing methods. In the tropics, the leaves of fodder trees and shrubs (e.g. cassava (Manihot esculenta), Leucaena sp., Flemingia sp.) are good protein supplements for ruminants. A food-feed production system integrates the leaves and the by-products of on-farm food production to grass production in ruminant feeding. It can improve animal performance sustainably at smallholder farms. For larger-scale animal production, detoxified jatropha (Jatropha sp.) meal is a noteworthy alternative protein source. Globally, the advantages of single-cell protein (bacteria, yeast, fungi, microalgae) and aquatic biomass (seaweed, duckweed) over land crops are the independence of production from arable land and weather. The chemical composition of these feeds varies widely depending on the species and growth conditions. Microalgae have shown good potential both as lipid (e.g. Schizochytrium sp.) and protein supplements (e.g. Spirulina platensis) for ruminants. To conclude, various novel or underexploited feeds have potential to replace or supplement the traditional crops in ruminant rations. In the short-term, N-fixing grain legumes, oilseeds such as camelina and increased use of food and/or fuel industry by-products have the greatest potential to replace or supplement the traditional crops especially in the temperate zones. In the long-term, microalgae and duckweed of high-yield potential as well as wood industry by-products may become economically competitive feed options worldwide.