Journal news feed – SJFR Volume 28, Issue 8, 2013

The journal news feed presents the editors’ condensed summaries of key findings from selected scientific papers from SNS’ two scientific journals Scandinavian Journal of Forest Research and Wood Material Science & Engineering.

Journal news feed from Scandinavian Journal of Forest Research (SJFR) Volume 28, Issue 8, 2013.

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Plastic tents reduce pollen contamination in a scots pine seed orchard

External pollen contamination reduces the quality of seed orchard seeds, and there have been many attempts to find measures to reduce it. In this study, plastic isolation tents were erected over the grafts in a north Swedish Scots pine seed orchard, and isolation was maintained for one month after the pollination season. Analysis of DNA markers showed a significant reduction in contamination rate, from 23% in outdoor open blocks to 0% inside the tents. Selfing was higher inside the tents, but it could be reduced by supplementary mass pollination.

Read more in Torimaru et al., 2013. Reduction of pollen contamination in Scots pine seed orchard crop by tent isolation. Scand. J. For. Res. 28(8), 715-723.

Nordic technique could improve forest roads of northwest Russia

The Russian forests are underutilised, with harvests less than 30% of the allowable cut. One reason is the poor quality of forest roads and their low density. Russian forests have, on average, 1.5 m of road per ha, only 10 % of the road density in the Nordic countries. Road construction in Russia is expensive: more than twice the cost as in its neighbour, Finland. Roads are often built with bulldozers, without a raised bed, resulting in poorly drained roads with short lives. This Russian–Finnish study proposes the application of Nordic excavator technology for road building in Russia. A SWOT-analysis revealed a number of strengths associated with the new approach, but there are also weaknesses such as lack of investment and specialist training, and threats such as uncertainty over the ownership of forest roads, corruption and bureaucracy.

Read more in Gerasimov et al. 2013. Prospects of forest road infrastructure development in northwest Russia with proven Nordic solutions. Scand. J. For. Res. 28(8), 758-774.

No advantage of rototilling compared with scalping on peatlands

A Finnish study compared the results of regeneration after direct seeding following two soil scarification methods on peatlands. One was the traditional patch scarification (patching), the other involved a rototiller mounted on an excavator. The rototiller has the theoretical advantage of creating a mixed seedbed that could improve moisture conditions. The study did not support the hypothesis that rototilling improves regeneration results. Instead, rototilling resulted in more empty patches and a lower number of established seedlings. The main problem with rototilling in this study may have been the loose and porous structure of the seedbed, resulting in drought and frost damage.

Read more in Helenius & Saarinen, 2013. Regeneration result of excavator-mounted rototiller in direct seeding of Scots pine on forestry-drained peatland. Scand. J. For. Res. 28(8), 752-757.

Prescribed burning can reduce negative effects on soil-water chemistry after clear felling

Few studies have examined the after-effects of fires on water chemistry in boreal ecosystems. Eva Ring and her colleagues monitored soil-water and soil chemistry after burning a clear-felled and nitrogen limited site in northern Sweden. They found, inter alia, that nitrate concentration in the deep soil solution was much lower in the burned part of the area compared with unburned parts, both in terms of peak and average concentrations. Thus, it appears that burning could counteract some of the negative impacts on soil-water chemistry that are typically associated with final felling.

Read more in Ring et al. 2013. Soil and soil-solution chemistry after burning a clear-felled area in boreal Sweden. Scand. J. For. Res. 28(8), 735-745.

Environment and social sustainability important for consumers of finnish wood products

The majority of consumers (70%) were willing to pay more for a wood product that is environmentally and socially sustainable. A typical value is 1-5 % above the price of a normal product. Women, house-owners and elderly people were over-represented in the environmentally sensitive group. The results stem from interviews with consumers at Finnish home retail centres selling building materials.

Read more in Toppinen et al. 2013. Consumer perceptions of environmental and social sustainability of wood products in the Finnish market. Scand. J. For. Res. 28(8), 775-783.