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Research in Muhos

  Photo: Eila Tillman-Sutela

Monitoring the condition of the forest environment

The condition of the forest environment is monitored on the permanent sample plots established in connection with the national forest inventory. The water, moss, lichen and bark samples collected from the plots have been used in identifying the most important sources of heavy metal deposition, the regions affected by them, and changes in deposition levels. Tree defoliation and the effects of wood ash application, thinnings and soil preparation on the environment are studied on the plots. Changes in the amount of the most common epiphytic lichens on tree trunks and branches are also monitored.

Metla has established an observation network on the phenology of forest trees and other forest plant species at over 40 observation points covering the whole country. The purpose of the phenological monitoring is to obtain information about the biological phenomena of forest trees and other forest plant species, and to study the relationship between these phenomena and climatic factors. This information can then be utilised in studying climate change, in the formulation of growth forecasts, etc.

Metinfo Phenology - phenological observations on the Internet

Taking water conservation aspects into account in forest management requires information about how forest regeneration affects site properties and the environment. In addition, the extent of natural nutrient leaching and the use of shelter belts and infiltration zones to minimise nutrient leaching are studied.

Maintaining a sustainable nutrient status in peatland forests

Metla has established an extensive network of field experiments on the peatlands in the Muhos research area. The oldest field trials, dating back to the 1930's and 1940's, provide information about the long-term effects of drainage, the application of wood ash and mineral soil on site properties and stand development. Data are also being collected from younger field trials on fertilisation, regeneration and thinnings.

Forest regeneration

Photos: Jorma Issakainen

Research on this topic proved to be vital for the development of forest regeneration methods. The studies conducted at the Muhos Research Unit focus on the ecological principles of regeneration method selection, and on the possibilities to increase the use of natural regeneration. The factors affecting natural seedling production are also studied. The aim of research on the tending of young stands is to optimise the time of the first thinning, and the quality of the growing stand and timber production.

Selection of a suitable tree species for each site is essential for optimum timber yield. The Muhos Research Unit has a long tradition of research on the growth, yield and management of pubescent birch (Betula pubescens), which is a common species in the region. Studies on silver birch (Betula pendula), focus on thinnings and the timber yield, and on the quality of planted birch stands.

Forest regeneration strongly effects the site properties and growing conditions. Long term expriments have provided valuable information on the changes in soil temperature, hydrology and nutrient status during the regeneration process. This information has been used, e.g., compiling new recommendations for forest management practices. Future work will concentrate on the long term effects on ground water quality.

Researchers in Muhos

Photos: Eeva Pudas
Updated: 07.02.2012 /KBym  |  Photo: Erkki Oksanen, Metla, unless otherwise stated  |  Copyright Metla  |  Feedback
Laanila Pallasjärvi Kolari Kivalo Muhos Kannus Punkaharju Parkano Vilppula Vesijako Lapinjärvi Solböle ja Preitilä Ruotsinkylä