Metla uutiskirje

Metla Bulletin

Forest condition monitoring in Finland during 1986–2010

Since 1985 Finland has been participating in the pan-European forest condition monitoring programme. The programme was established to monitor the condition of forests in response to air pollution. In addition, monitoring provides information required in decision-making concerning adaptation to climate change, conserving biodiversity and sustainable utilization of forests. The web-report published presents the results of forest monitoring in Finland during 1986–2010. The report is published in English.

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Forest cuttings change understorey vegetation

The Finnish Forest Research Institute has studied the impacts of forest cuttings on understorey vegetation. According to the results, grasses and herbs increased, but bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus) and cowberry (V. vitis-idaea) declined after regeneration cutting. Twenty years after cuttings, bilberry coverage (%) was only one-fourth of the original level in mature stands. During the same period, cowberry almost regained its original, pre-cuttings level. Intermediate cuttings increased the coverage of bilberry and cowberry. Lichens declined during the study period, irrespective of whether forests were cut or not.

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Forest Condition Monitoring in Finland – National report is available

The report is updated with the latest monitoring data.

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The increase in defoliation in the southern parts of Finland and the most large-scale damage epidemics are revealed in forest health monitoring

The pan-European forest health monitoring reveals the most common large-scaled forest damage epidemics in Finland, such as those caused by Gremmeniella abietina, grey needle cast (Lophodermella sulgicena), needle and leaf rust fungi, pine sawflies and drought. For example, a shift in the mass outbreak of the common pine sawfly (Neodiprion sertifer) from south-eastern parts of the country to the central-western parts in the last few years was clearly evident in the monitoring results.

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Increase in nitrogen concentrations in needles

During the last ca. 15 years, there has been an increase in the nitrogen concentrations in needles on several of Metla’s long-term monitoring plots. The increasing trend is the clearest in the current needles of the Scots pine stands growing on sites of relatively low fertility. The trend deserves special attention since nitrogen is typically the growth limiting factor in boreal forest ecosystems.

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Photos: Erkki Oksanen, Metla and Hannu Nousiainen, graphics: Irene Murtovaara