Prediction models for the annual seed crop of Norway spruce and Scots pine in Finland
Silva Fennica 44(4): 629642
Many studies indicate that the flowering abundance of boreal trees strongly correlates with the weather conditions of the previous summer. This study developed prediction models for the seed crops of Norway spruce and Scots pine using weather variables one and two years prior to flowering year as predictors. Weather data, systematically recorded at many weather stations, were obtained from the Finnish Meteorological Institute. Seed crop monitoring data came from 22 spruce stands and 44 pine stands. In every stand, seed crop has been monitored for many years, the longest continuous period being 45 years. Monthly mean temperatures, monthly rainfalls, and periodical temperature sums were used as predictors in the seed crop models. Generally, both tree species flowered abundantly one year after a warm summer and two years after a cool summer. While the models only explained about 45% of the variation in the annual seed crop, they accurately predicted good and bad seed years: when the models predicted good seed crops the likelihood to have at least a medium seed crop was very high and when the models predicted small seed crops, the likelihood to obtain medium or good seed crop was very low. Therefore, the models reliably predict if a particular year will be a good seed year or a poor seed year. These predictions can be used in forestry practice for proper timing of natural regeneration activities, and when activities in seed orchards are planned.
Received 19 February 2010 Revised 24 May 2010 Accepted 5 October 2010