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Artell J.,Natural Resources Institute Finland Luke | Huhtala A.,VATT Institute for Economic Research
Environmental and Resource Economics | Year: 2016

The Water Framework Directive (WFD) seeks to achieve good ecological status of surface waters across the European Union by 2027. The WFD guidelines explicitly recognize the economics of water management by providing exceptions to water areas with disproportionately high restoration costs. This calls indirectly for estimations of benefits lost due to non-attainment. We employ a hedonic property pricing approach on waterfront recreational properties to estimate the welfare impacts of attaining the good ecological status described by the WFD. The empirical challenge is that the quality measure proposed by the WFD specifically denotes ecological quality, whereas economically measurable water quality values are heavily dependent on recreation impacts. Intuitively, the choice of water quality measure should have an effect on estimating the value of water quality. Our data provide a unique chance to compare three alternative indicators of water quality: (1) a usability-based index, (2) subjectively reported measure and (3) the ecological status determined by the WFD. We find that an improvement in water quality is associated with a statistically significant, non-linear change in recreational property values. We show how the ecological status compares with the other two indicators, and discuss the justifiability of using revealed preference methods when the valued good is defined purely on the basis of ecological criteria. © 2016 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht

Ruggiero S.,University of Jyväskylä | Varho V.,Natural Resources Institute Finland Luke | Rikkonen P.,Natural Resources Institute Finland Luke
Energy Policy | Year: 2015

Small-scale distributed energy generation is expected to play an important role in helping Finland increase its energy self-sufficiency. However, the overall strategy to date for promoting distributed energy remains unclear. It is not yet well understood which factors promote the growth of the distributed energy sector and what barriers need to be removed. In this article we present the results of a questionnaire directed at a panel of 26 experts from the distributed energy value chain and 15 semi-structured interviews with industry and non-industry representatives. We investigated, from a sociotechnical transition perspective, the possibilities and challenges of the transition to distributed energy in Finland through 2025. The results show that a shift to a prosperous future for distributed energy is possible if permit procedures, ease of grid connection, and taxation laws are improved in the electricity sector and new business concepts are introduced in the heat sector. In contrast to other European countries, the transition in Finland is expected to take place through a market-based approach favoring investment-focused measures. We conclude that incentive-based schemes alone, whatever they may be, will be insufficient to create significant growth in Finland without institutional change, removal of barriers, and the engagement of key actors. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.

van Overbeek L.S.,Wageningen University | Saikkonen K.,Natural Resources Institute Finland Luke
Trends in Plant Science | Year: 2016

Research on different endophyte taxa and the related scientific disciplines have largely developed separately, and comprehensive community-level studies on bacterial and fungal interactions and their importance are lacking. Here, we discuss the transmission modes of bacteria and fungi and the nature of their interactions in the endosphere at both the molecular and physiological level. Mixed-community biofilms in the endosphere may have a role in protecting endophytes against encountered stresses, such as from plant defense systems. However, transmission from static (in biofilms) to free-living (planktonic) forms may be crucial for the exploration of new habitable spaces in plants. Important features previously recognized as plant-microbe interactions or antagonism in endophyte genomes and metagenomes are proposed to have essential roles in the modulation of endophyte communities. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd.

Poysa H.,Natural Resources Institute Finland Luke | Paasivaara A.,Natural Resources Institute Finland Luke
Behavioral Ecology | Year: 2016

Conspecific brood parasitism (CBP) is an alternative reproductive tactic in several animal taxa. Although various behavioral aspects related to CBP have been studied in several species, understanding spatial and temporal dynamics of CBP and its drivers is still limited. We studied roles of nest predation risk and demography as possible drivers of dynamics of CBP in common goldeneyes (Bucephala clangula), a cavity-nesting duck. We provided decoy nests for parasitic laying in an experimental setting of 15 lakes for 7 consecutive years irrespective of local nest predation, being thus able to control for effects of predation-determined host nest availability. Individual parasites were recognized using protein fingerprints from egg albumen of parasitic eggs laid in the decoy nests. We found considerable spatial and temporal variation in the frequency of CBP within the experimental setting. Variation in CBP was driven by nest predation risk: the rate of CBP tracked the number of nonpredated nesting attempts at the lakes during the previous year. Neither variation in lake-specific number of potential homing first-time breeding females (i.e., demography) nor variation in lake-specific number of nesting females present explained the variation in lake-specific frequency of CBP. Our findings provide evidence that parasitically laying females pursue a genuine and flexible safety-seeking tactic in nest selection and that nest predation risk drives spatial and temporal dynamics of CBP. © 2015 The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the International Society for Behavioral Ecology. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

Forest nurseries use different greenhouse light sources including new light technologies to produce conifer seedlings without knowing their real impact on subsequent field performance. The aim of the experiment was to investigate whether different growth light spectra during pre-cultivation of Scots pine and Norway spruce seedlings under controlled conditions affect growth and morphology of seedlings, and whether the possible differences between the treatments will be maintained after outplanting to a field site. The seedlings were pre-cultivated for 5.5–6.5 weeks in a darkened greenhouse under four light spectra consisting of different proportions of blue (B, 400–500 nm), red (R, 600–700 nm), and far-red (FR, 700–800 nm), with high-pressure sodium lamps (HPS) serving as controls. The light treatments (250 µmol m−2 s−1 photosynthetically active radiation) were provided using light-emitting diodes, and the treatments included the following: (1) 25 % B + 70 % R + 5 % FR; (2) 25 % B + 75 % R; (3) 55 % B + 45 % R; and (4) HPS: 6 % B + 44 % green (500–600 nm) + 41 % R + 9 % FR (control). Growth and morphology were studied at the time of transplanting in spring, and again, at the time of outplanting the seedlings in the field site in autumn. Growth, survival and phenology of the seedlings were followed in the field for 1 year. Growth and morphology of the seedlings were modified by the different growth light spectra during pre-cultivation, but by the time of outplanting, these differences between the treatments had disappeared. In conclusion: Growth and morphology of seedlings can be modified by adjusting the spectral composition of growth light during pre-cultivation, but the modifications may not be long-lasting. © 2016, Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.

Lehtonen A.,Natural Resources Institute Finland Luke | Heikkinen J.,Natural Resources Institute Finland Luke
Canadian Journal of Forest Research | Year: 2016

Changes in the soil carbon stock of Finnish upland soils were quantified using forest inventory data, forest statistics, biomass models, litter turnover rates, and the Yasso07 soil model. Uncertainty in the estimated stock changes was assessed by combining model and sampling errors associated with the various data sources into variance-covariance matrices that allowed computationally efficient error propagation in the context of Yasso07 simulations. In sensitivity analysis, we found that the uncertainty increased drastically as a result of adding random year-to-year variation to the litter input. Such variation is smoothed out when using periodic inventory data with constant biomass models and turnover rates. Model errors (biomass, litter, understorey vegetation) and the systematic error of total drain had a marginal effect on the uncertainty regarding soil carbon stock change. Most of the uncertainty appears to be related to uncaptured annual variation in litter amounts. This is due to fact that variation in the slopes of litter input trends dictates the uncertainty of soil carbon stock change. If we assume that there is annual variation only in foliage and fine root litter rates and that this variation is less than 10% from year to year, then we can claim that Finnish upland forest soils have accumulated carbon during the first Kyoto period (2008-2012). © 2016 National Research Council of Canada, All rights reserved.

Uusivuori J.,Natural Resources Institute Finland Luke
Forest Science | Year: 2016

One of the most fundamental questions in forest economics is how to divide forestland between productive and conserved land. In this study, voluntary land conservation by private forest owners is analyzed in two cases: first, in a case in which access to conserved forest is closed; and second, in a case in which there is an open access to the recreational amenities of conserved forest. It is demonstrated that, under private ownership of forestland, recreational open access gives rise to a competitive equilibrium solution in which less forestland is designated to conservation than with the closed-access solution. Essentially this tragedy-of-commons type of result is based on a free-rider behavior. Optimal conservation policies are also studied in the two regimes. When conservation policies are imposed in a closed-access regime, optimal policies become dependent on income distribution and wealth differentials between land-owning and nonlandowning members of society. © 2016 Society of American Foresters.

Paletto A.,Italian Agricultural Research Council | Hamunen K.,Natural Resources Institute Finland Luke | De Meo I.,Italian Agricultural Research Council
Society and Natural Resources | Year: 2015

In participatory forest planning, relevant stakeholders are included in the decision-making process. Stakeholder analysis is a crucial step in the participatory process in order to involve all groups of interests, increasing the legitimacy and transparency of the process. On the other hand, to gather an active stakeholder group that can communicate effectively, the number of key stakeholders should be restricted. This study aims to devise a nonsubjective method to identify and classify stakeholders in three categories (key, primary, and secondary stakeholders), taking into account the relationships among them (social network analysis). Stakeholders are classified according to the regular equivalence and betweenness centrality. The stakeholders' classification system is tested in two forest landscape management plans in Italy. Results show that the method is able to balance stakeholders' contributions and can be used to enhance the democratization of the decision-making process when power is unevenly distributed among the stakeholders. © 2015, Copyright © Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

Huuskonen A.,Natural Resources Institute Finland Luke
Journal of Applied Animal Research | Year: 2016

The aim of this study was to provide information concerning calf performance when dairy calves are fed milk replacers (MR) in which skim milk powder is partly or completely replaced by whey products and wheat protein. A feeding experiment comprised 30 dairy bull calves. During the pre-weaning the calves received three different MRs. The main ingredients of MR1 were skim milk powder (418 g/kg dry matter), whey powder (409) and vegetable oil (163). MR2 included less skim milk powder (300) compared to MR1 including whey powder (283), vegetable oil (190), whey fractions (100), hydrolysed wheat protein (65) and wheat starch (50). MR3 did not include skim milk powder while the main ingredients were whey powder (448), whey fractions (300) vegetable oil (160) and hydrolysed wheat protein (70). Live weight gain of the MR2 calves was 14% higher compared to the MR3 calves during the pre-weaning but there were no differences when compared MR1 calves to other treatments. No treatment differences were observed in gain during post-weaning or average during the experiment. There were no differences in feed conversion among treatments. The results indicated that both skim milk powder and whey-based products were suitable energy sources in MR. © 2016 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group

Laitila J.,Natural Resources Institute Finland Luke | Nuutinen Y.,Natural Resources Institute Finland Luke
Croatian Journal of Forest Engineering | Year: 2015

Impurities in harvested stumps are a quality problem because high levels of mineral contaminants decrease the effective heating value of the stump wood, and can also affect ash melting behaviour during combustion, leading to sintering and drift problems. The aim of this case study was to clarify the productivity and screening efficiency of the Kompetech Crambo 6000 low-speed double-shaft grinder equipped with a Komptech star screen, in the integrated grinding and screening of Norway spruce and Scots pine stumps for fuel at a roadside landing, when using two different sieve sizes (250 x 320 mm and 180 x 180 mm screen baskets). Furthermore, we studied the fuel consumption of the Crambo 6000 grinder, ash content and particle size distribution of ground stump wood, and ash content and particle size distribution of the screening reject. In addition, the heating value of the produced hog fuel and screening reject were analysed. During the time of the studies, both the grinder and star screen were operating well and there were no delays due to machine breakdowns. The mobile Crambo 6000 grinder was also capable of operating well in constricted roadside landings. The quality of the produced hog fuel was high, due to low ash content (0.4–2.3%), and this highlights the significance of screening to guarantee sufficient quality when processing stump fuel. The ash content of the screening reject was 32.4–74.7%, and the effective heating value was 5.2–13.4 MJ/kg. The effective heating value of the produced hog fuel was 17.9–19.9 MJ/kg. The average grinding productivity, when using the 250 x 320 mm screen basket, was 162 loose m3 per effective hour, and the fuel consumption of the grinder was 0.44 litres per loose m3. With a narrower screen, the average grinding productivity was 101 loose m3 per effective hour, and the fuel consumption of the grinder was 0.75 litres per loose m3. © 2015, University of Zagreb. All rights reserved.

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