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Juslen A.,University of Helsinki | Hyvarinen E.,Metsahallitus | Virtanen L.K.,University of Helsinki
Conservation Biology | Year: 2013

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List Index (RLI) is recognized as one of the key indicators of trends in the status of species. The red-list assessment done by Finnish authorities of species in Finland is taxonomically one of the most extensive national assessments. We used the Finnish Red Lists from 2000 and 2010 to calculate for the first time the national RLIs for 11 taxonomic groups at different trophic levels and with different life cycles. The red-list index is calculated on the basis of changes in red-list categories and indicates trends in the status of biological diversity of sets of species. The RLI value ranges from 0 to 1. The lower the value the faster the set of species is heading toward extinction. If the value is 1, all species in the set are least concern and if the value is 0, all species are (regionally) extinct. The overall RLI of Finnish species decreased. This means that, in Finland, these taxonomic groups were heading toward extinction faster in 2010 than in 2000. Of the analyzed groups of organisms, RLIs of 5 decreased and RLIs of 6 increased. At the national level, the RLIs and status trends varied markedly between species groups. Thus, we concluded that generalizations on the basis of RLIs of a few taxa only may yield a biased view of ongoing trends in the status of biological diversity at the species level. In addition, one overall RLI that includes many different species groups may also be misleading if variation in RLI among species groups is not considered and if RLI values are not presented separately for each group. © 2013 Society for Conservation Biology.

Moilanen M.,Finnish Forest Research Institute | Hytonen J.,Finnish Forest Research Institute | Leppala M.,Metsahallitus
European Journal of Soil Science | Year: 2012

Forested peatlands contain large pools of terrestrial carbon. As well as drainage, forest management such as fertilizer application can affect these pools. We studied the effect of wood ash (application rates 0, 5 and 15 t ha -1) on the heterotrophic soil respiration (CO 2 efflux), cellulose decomposition, soil nutrients, biomass production and amount of C accumulated in a tree stand on a pine-dominated drained mire in central Finland. The ash was spread 13 years before the respiration measurements. The annual CO 2 efflux was statistically modelled using soil temperature as the driving variable. Wood ash application increased the amounts of mineral nutrients of peat substantially and increased soil pH in the uppermost 10 cm layer by 1.5-2 pH units. In the surface peat, the decomposition rate of cellulose in the ash plots was roughly double that in control plots. Annual CO 2 efflux was least on the unfertilized site, 238 g CO 2-C m -2 year -1. The use of wood ash nearly doubled CO 2 efflux to 420-475 g CO 2-Cm -2 year -1 on plots fertilized with 5-15 t ha -1 of ash, respectively. Furthermore, ash treatments resulted also in increased stand growth, and during the measurement year, the growing stand on ash plots accumulated carbon 11-12 times faster than the control plot. The difference between peat C emission and amount of C sequestered by trees on the ash plots was 43-58 g C m -2, while on the control plot it was 204 g C m -2. Our conclusion is that adding wood ash as a fertilizer increases more C sequestration in the tree stand than C efflux from the peat. © 2012 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2012 British Society of Soil Science.

Honkanen M.,University of Jyvaskyla | Roberge J.-M.,University of Jyvaskyla | Roberge J.-M.,Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences | Rajasarkka A.,Metsahallitus | Monkkonen M.,University of Jyvaskyla
Global Ecology and Biogeography | Year: 2010

Aim: One of the few general laws in ecology is that species richness is a positive function of area. However, it has been proposed that area would merely be a proxy for energy. Additionally, habitat heterogeneity has been found to be an important factor determining species richness. Yet the relative importance of those relationships is little known, and it is still unclear how they are brought about. We aimed to dissect which factors drive the species richness of boreal forest birds, and to identify the most probable mechanisms. Location: Forested protected areas in Finland. Methods: Using bird line census data collected in 104 protected areas, we ran simultaneous autoregressive models to explain the species richness of forest birds. We explored the value of forest area, tree volume, tree growth, mean degree days and habitat heterogeneity as explanatory variables and used the species richness within different species groups, based on the predictions of hypothesized mechanisms, as a response variable. Results: Energy, rather than area or habitat heterogeneity, seems to be the main driver of species richness in boreal forest birds. More specifically, productive energy was a better predictor of total species richness than solar energy. Among the tested hypothetical mechanisms, the sampling hypothesis received strong support. After accounting for sampling, solar energy had an effect on species richness. Main conclusions: As productive energy, such as tree volume, is associated with species richness, high-energy areas should be prioritized in forest conservation planning. Reductions in productive energy may first lead to the disappearance of the rarest species due to the random sampling process. Climate change may result in increased species richness due to increasing amount of productive and solar energy in forests. However, the range shifts of bird species may not be fast enough to keep up with the temperature increases. © 2009 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Kajanus M.,Savonia University of Applied Sciences | Leskinen P.,Finnish Environment Institute | Kurttila M.,Finnish Forest Research Institute | Kangas J.,Metsahallitus
Forest Policy and Economics | Year: 2012

Connecting Multiple Criteria Decision Support (MCDS) methods with SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis yields analytical priorities for the SWOT factors and makes them commensurable. Decision alternatives can also be evaluated with respect to each SWOT factor. SWOT analysis provides the basic frame for analyses of operational environments to support strategic decision-making. MCDS methods enhance SWOT analysis and its results so that alternative strategic decisions can be prioritised overall. This benefits the utilisation of the SWOT-results in the decision making process. The methods also help in defining the action line alternatives that are based on the recognition of the most important operational environmental factors and their possible interdependencies. The MCDS method applied initially and most often within the SWOT framework has been the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP), and the hybrid approach has been called the A'WOT. Any MCDS method, and its prioritisation principles, can, however, be applied and the existence of different techniques allows the adaptation of use of the MCDS method according to the needs of the decision-maker and the specific planning situation. This paper reviews the evolution of the A'WOT method with AHP, SMART and SMAA-O techniques applied within SWOT, and studies their applicability and the MCDS methods more generally, through required assessment techniques of decision-makers' preferences. The usability of the techniques is analysed with case studies in the field of strategic natural resources management planning. The article focuses mainly on analysis of the differences in MCDS methods from the perspective of the planning situation approached by SWOT. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.

Metsähallitus in Finland is a state enterprise that manages about 3.5 million hectares of productive commercial state-owned forest land. Metsähallitus has a forest management planning system which uses information stored in a GIS-based forest resource information system. The information on forest resources is currently collected using a standwise inventory system with ocular estimation of stand characteristics. New promising inventory methods based on laser scanning have been introduced. Before taking a new system into use, the information needs of Metsähallitus must be analysed. In this study, information needs in operational harvest planning have been analysed with a qualitative approach. A total of eight team leaders in the forestry business unit were interviewed, six of them representing the process responsible for the operational harvest planning and two representing the process responsible for the harvest and deliveries. Based on the study, two main decision making points with different information needs were confirmed. The first decision making point is related to finding the areas potential for immediate or near future harvesting. Here, geographical information on the need for the treatment as well as rough information on the harvestable volume is needed. In the second decision making point, a final decision of sites to be harvested is made with rather intensive field work. Precise delineations of the treatment are needed as well as good estimates of volumes of different timber assortments. When considering a new inventory system it is justified to consider how much of the information needs in these decision making points can be covered. Two different approaches are proposed for further analysis. The interviews revealed a need for a more structured tactical planning system. Some of the findings of this study - especially the decision making points and information needs in them - may be transferable to other large-scale forest owners.

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