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State of Finland's Forests 2012: Criterion 4 Biological diversity

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Tree species composition (4.1)

Figure 4.1a. Tree species dominance on forest land, 2009.
Figure 4.1b. Pure and mixed forest stands on forest land, 2009.
Mixed stands are preferred especially in more productive sites where the natural characteristics of a site provides favourable conditions for growth. The share of broadleaves is often 10-30% of the volume of the stock.

 

The number of indigenous tree species in Finland is small: four conifers and 27 broadleaved species of trees, bushes or small trees. Some of the broadleaves have a very narrow area of distribution. Many sites are dominated naturally by just one species, such as pine in upland forests. Mixed stands and predominance of broad-leaves are common in fresh mineral soil sites and upland forests with grass-herb vegetation. The most common species growing in mixed stands is downy birch.

Pine predominates on 67% of forest land, spruce on 22% and broadleaves on 11%. Broadleaves, which are important to forest biodiversity and the soil and grow mostly in mixed stands, account for 20% of the total volume of growing stock, which is clearly more than the total area of predominantly deciduous stands.

Tree species composition changes slowly. Since the beginning of the 1950s, the share of pine dominated stands has increased as a result of regeneration with pine. The most significant change is the reduction of the area of predominantly deciduous stands by a half in southern Finland. The species composition has changedless in terms of growing stock volume than in terms of species predominance.

Pure stands17 account for 55% of all forest land, stands with some mixing18 account for 31% 19, and actual mixed stands account for 13%.

Conifers (4)

  • Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris)
  • Norway spruce (Picea abies)
  • Common juniper (Juniperus communis)
  • European yew (Taxus baccata)

Broadleaves (27)

  • Silver birch (Betula pendula)
  • Downy birch (Betula pubescens)
  • Common alder (Alnus glutinosa)
  • Speckled alder (Alnus incana)
  • Aspen (Populus tremula)
  • European rowan (Sorbus aucuparia)
  • Oakleaf mountain ash (Sorbus hybrida)
  • Swedish mountain ash (Sorbus intermedia)
  • Swedish rowan (Sorbus teodori)
  • Bird cherry (Prunus padus)
  • Littleleaf linden (Tilia cordata)
  • Norway maple (Acer platanoides)
  • Common oak (Quercus robur)
  • European ash (Fraxinus excelsior)
  • Wych elm (Ulmus glabra)
  • European white elm (Ulmus laevis)
  • Crab apple (Malus sylvestris)
  • Buckthorn (Rhamnus catharticus)
  • Glossy buckthorn (Rhamnus frangula)
  • Hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna)
  • Hawthorn (Crataegus rhipidophylla)
  • Goat willow (Salix caprea)
  • Bay-leaf willow (Salix pentandra)
  • Black maul (Salix triandra)
  • Dark-leaved willow (Salix myrsinifolia)
  • Boreal willow (Salix borealis)
  • Pyrolavide (Salix pyrolifolia)


Source: Hämet-Ahti, L. et al. 1992. Suomen puuja pensaskasvio (Woody Flora of Finland). Finnish Dendrological Society.

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17 Pure stand: the proportional share of the dominant species of the volume (in seedling stands, the proportional share of the number of viable seedlings) is over 95%.

18 Stand with some mixing: the proportional share of the dominant species of the volume (in seedling stands, the proportional share of the number of viable seedlings) is between 75–95%.

19 Mixed stand: the proportional share of the dominant species of the volume (in seedling stands, the proportional share of the number of viable seedlings) is below 75%.

  Updated: 21.03.2012 /MLier |  Photo: Erkki Oksanen, Metla, unless otherwise stated | Copyright Metla | Feedback