The journal news feed presents key findings from selected scientific articles from SNS’ scientific journal Scandinavian Journal of Forest Research. The summaries are personal interpretations of the content made by the editor of News & Views.
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JOURNAL NEWS FEED – SCANDINAVIAN JOURNAL OF FOREST RESEARCH (SJFR) VOLUME 30, ISSUE 7, 2015
Västerhus, a Scots pine seed orchard with very low pollen contamination
Pollen contamination is a major concern in conifer seed orchard programmes. Over three consecutive pollination seasons (2010-2012), the mating structure and gene flow in a Scots pine clonal seed orchard were investigated using nuclear microsatellite markers. The pollen contamination rate detected was around 5 %, with no significant difference between the years. Further, the selfing rates found were around 6 %. These results indicate that the seed orchard studied is functioning well. However, the low pollen contamination rates determined here are in contrast with most studies conducted in Scots pine seed orchards in Sweden. Further studies using other types of genetic markers would be valuable to validate the conclusions from this study.
Organizational culture in Croatian forestry
Financial data and questionnaires from 31 forest offices within the company Croatian Forests Ltd. Zagreb were collected in this study. The aim was to describe the influence of organizational cultures on efficiency and work satisfaction. Four cultural types: clan, adhocracy, marketing and hierarchical types were included in a rank test. The current organizational culture in the forest company is a typical hierarchical culture. This culture may be efficient but is also associated with bureaucracy, inflexibility and low employee satisfaction.
JOURNAL NEWS FEED – SCANDINAVIAN JOURNAL OF FOREST RESEARCH (SJFR) VOLUME 30, ISSUE 8, 2015
Norway spruce cones decompose slowly
Cones can make up a considerable part of the litter fall in boreal spruce stands. A Norwegian study followed the decomposition of Norway spruce cones on moss-covered ground and on vegetation-free needle mats during a 13-year period. Even after 13 years, the cones retained their shape, despite a dry weight loss of 60 %. Due to the slow decomposition of cones and needles, boreal coniferous forests often have a thick raw humus layer. Cones decomposed slower than needles so their role in carbon storage may be greater than indicated by their contribution to fresh litter.
Read more in: Hågvar, S. 2015. Decomposing cones of Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) H. Karst.): dry weight loss, chemical changes, and vertical transport in a Norwegian raw humus soil profile. Scand J For Res 30(8), 643-652.
Exotic species for Christmas tree production in Norway
Ten exotic Abies species were examined for their potential for Christmas tree production at two sites in Norway. The sites were located in costal districts in western and southern Norway with mild winters, early springs and late autumns; districts regarded as suitable for exotics. The Christmas tree yield was higher at the most southerly site, Gulen (64 %), compared to Verdal (45 %). A. homolepis, A. koreana and A. nordmanniana, were the most successful species in the field trials. Forks, sparse branching, crooked stems, asymmetry and trees that were too wide were the most common failures as Christmas trees.
Promising trials with wider spacing in oak plantings
For environmental reasons, reestablishment of oak has increased in Polish forestry. Traditionally, the establishment of oak stands has been based on dense planting (8000 seedlings ha-1), which is expensive and requires intensive management. In a field trial, the growth and quality of young oak stands established at three different spacings (8000, 4000 and 2700 seedlings ha-1) were examined. Natural regeneration of willow and aspen replaced competition by other oaks at the two lower densities. The study indicates that it is possible to decrease the initial spacing in oak plantations without adversely affecting growth and quality traits.
Read more in: Andrzejczyk, T. et al. 2015. Effect of spacing on growth and quality parameters in sessile oak (Quercus petraea) stands in central Poland: results 7 year after planting. Scand J For Res 30(8), 710-718.
No clear effect of forest visits in recovery from exhaustion disorder
In a Swedish project, 99 patients suffering from exhaustion disorder were studied over a period of one year to determine whether visits to boreal forests could help their rehabilitation. One group visited the forest twice a week for eleven weeks, while the control group did not. Both groups had enhanced recovery from exhaustion disorder after the intervention period of 3 months and at the end of the study after one year. Forest visits did not enhance recovery from exhaustion disorder compared to the control group in this study, but the participants’ well-being was improved after single forest visits.
Dialogue, a tool to tackle complex forest management issues
Collaborative processes are often considered to be cornerstones in resolving complex forest management issues. This approach was used in an experimental dialogue process relating to the use of introduced tree species as a means to address climate change. A number of regional stakeholders were invited to a set of workshops where adaptation to climate change was considered. Interviews confirmed wide variation in the attitudes of the participants. To access the benefits of using collaborative processes in complex forestry challenges fully, all parties concerned need to be involved; these include representatives from the political sphere, private sector, local authorities and researchers.