Natural Resources Institute Finland
Natural Resources Institute Finland
News Article | June 28, 2017
The dissertation indicates that the bark of the Norway spruce, particularly the large roots close to the trunk, contain considerable amounts of bioactive compounds. The stumps of Scots pines were also found to contain similar compounds. The most well-known and the most studied stilbene compound is resveratrol, which has also been proposed as one of the active components in red wine and lingonberries. Such compounds could be used in products promoting health and wellbeing, such as medication, nutritional supplements and cosmetics. The stilbenes isolated from wood could protect cells from the excessive oxidisation which leads to the destruction of cells. "From a health perspective, oxidative stress in the cells causes different types of damage in the body, for example, skin ageing or various infections, contributing to illnesses such as arthritis and Alzheimer's," says Harri Latva-Mäenpää. According to the dissertation, the root neck between the roots and the stump of a Norway spruce is a particularly rich source for polyphenolic lignans, such as hydroxymatairesinol, which is already used in various health-promoting nutritional supplements. In addition to their antioxidant properties, these compounds have been found to have antimicrobial effects, which means that they could be used as protective substances in wood or other construction materials. The research also examined the behaviour of stilbene molecules extracted from biomass in various conditions, and found that they changed under UV light. The properties of these new, altered molecules pose interesting topics for future research. Current harvesting methods are already collecting stumps, but they are typically sent to be burned for energy. The research indicates that in addition to cellulose, wood biomass and its by-products, such as stumps and bark, could be used to produce new compounds known as extractives, which have been found to have interesting properties. The next steps will be further biomass research, product development and commercialisation. Product development will have to consider the legislation relating to the biomass used as raw material as well as the end products. In addition to the commercialisation potential, this work provides new information on the protective mechanisms of wood extractives from a perspective of plant physiology. The dissertation was completed in a joint project of the University of Helsinki and Natural Resources Institute Finland intended to generate new information for the development of bioproducts. Explore further: Natural pigments and useful raw materials from autumn leaves for industry More information: Bioactive and Protective Polyphenolics from Roots and Stumps of Conifer Trees (Norway spruce and Scots pine). helda.helsinki.fi/handle/10138/186254
News Article | June 29, 2017
CT The stumps and roots of coniferous trees contain extractives which can be processed into highly valuable products. In his doctoral dissertation on chemistry at the University of Helsinki, Harri Latva-Mäenpää studies methods which could be used to harvest these precious molecules from biomass. The dissertation indicates that the bark of the Norway spruce, particularly the large roots close to the trunk, contain considerable amounts of bioactive compounds. The stumps of Scots pines were also found to contain similar compounds. The most well-known and the most studied stilbene compound is resveratrol, which has also been proposed as one of the active components in red wine and lingonberries. Such compounds could be used in products promoting health and wellbeing, such as medication, nutritional supplements and cosmetics. The stilbenes isolated from wood could protect cells from the excessive oxidisation which leads to the destruction of cells. "From a health perspective, oxidative stress in the cells causes different types of damage in the body, for example, skin ageing or various infections, contributing to illnesses such as arthritis and Alzheimer's," says Harri Latva-Mäenpää. According to the dissertation, the root neck between the roots and the stump of a Norway spruce is a particularly rich source for polyphenolic lignans, such as hydroxymatairesinol, which is already used in various health-promoting nutritional supplements. In addition to their antioxidant properties, these compounds have been found to have antimicrobial effects, which means that they could be used as protective substances in wood or other construction materials. The research also examined the behaviour of stilbene molecules extracted from biomass in various conditions, and found that they changed under UV light. The properties of these new, altered molecules pose interesting topics for future research. Current harvesting methods are already collecting stumps, but they are typically sent to be burned for energy. The research indicates that in addition to cellulose, wood biomass and its by-products, such as stumps and bark, could be used to produce new compounds known as extractives, which have been found to have interesting properties. The next steps will be further biomass research, product development and commercialisation. Product development will have to consider the legislation relating to the biomass used as raw material as well as the end products. In addition to the commercialisation potential, this work provides new information on the protective mechanisms of wood extractives from a perspective of plant physiology. The dissertation was completed in a joint project of the University of Helsinki and Natural Resources Institute Finland intended to generate new information for the development of bioproducts. MSc Harri Latva-Mäenpää defended his dissertation entitled "Bioactive and protective polyphenolics from roots and stumps of conifer trees (Norway spruce and Scots pine)" at the University of Helsinki's Faculty of Science on 9 June 2017 at 12.00. The dissertation is also available in electronic form through the e-thesis service: "Bioactive and Protective Polyphenolics from Roots and Stumps of Conifer Trees (Norway spruce and Scots pine)" https://helda.helsinki.fi/handle/10138/186254
News Article | August 3, 2017
Events during the second quarter of 2017 Metsä Group’s comparable operating result in the third quarter of 2017 is expected to be roughly at the same level as in the second quarter of 2017. “Metsä Group’s profitability in 2017 has improved from the previous year. The most significant reasons for the improved result are the clearly higher volumes in paperboard deliveries and the increased price of pulp. Metsä Group’s key development projects aiming for profitable growth are progressing according to plan. The construction of the bioproduct mill in Äänekoski, which has proceeded on schedule and on budget, is nearly completed, and the mill’s start-up will begin in mid-August. Pulp deliveries to customers will start at the beginning of September. The new production line at the Kerto® LVL mill in Lohja will likewise start up in August. The construction of the birch plywood mill in Pärnu, Estonia, and the work of converting the old paper machine hall at Äänekoski into a birch veneer mill are proceeding well. The Husum paperboard mill’s new extrusion coating line started up in April, and the related quality feedback from customers has been good. In June, we began work on rebuilding the baking paper machine at the Düren mill in Germany. The new machine will also allow us to expand our cooking paper business in the future. After years of stagnation, Finland’s economy has started to pick up. For this growth to continue, our country needs investments. Metsä Group and Finland’s forest industry in general have met this need. According to the National Forest Inventory figures published by the Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke) in June, the growth of our forests has continued to accelerate. This means that the raw material base is good. Uncertainty with regard to future investments is nevertheless increasing due to the EU’s climate and land use policies. If implemented in its current form, the LULUCF Regulation, which regulates the levels of carbon sinks, would be detrimental to Finland. Combating climate change is of utmost importance, and Metsä Group is committed to it. However, restricting a sector based on sustainable forest management and a renewable natural resource is not the right way to go forward.” Wood demand will focus on felling sites to be harvested when the ground is unfrozen and, in terms of energy wood, on crown wood. Demand for wood products will remain good, and this will be reflected in the order book level, which will be higher than in the previous year, particularly in Kerto® LVL products. The outlook for plywood products is likewise positive. Construction in the UK is expected to remain at a good level, but delivery volumes in the third quarter are expected to suffer slight seasonal decline. Demand for and supply of market pulp in Europe and Asia are in balance, with normal seasonal variation. Demand for spruce sawn timber is expected to remain good in most markets. Demand for pine sawn timber has improved, and the market balance strengthened. The growth in the demand for high-quality consumer packaging paperboard made from fresh fibre is expected to continue in market areas important for Metsä Board. Delivery volumes in July–September are expected to remain roughly at the level of the second quarter. In the tissue and cooking paper markets, demand is expected to remain stable in all market areas. Demand for tissue paper will particularly increase in Eastern Central Europe and demand for cooking papers in Asia. For further information, please contact: Vesa-Pekka Takala, CFO, Metsä Group, tel. +358 10 465 4260 Juha Laine, SVP, Communications, Metsä Group, tel. +358 10 465 4541 Metsä Group will publish its January-September 2017 interim report on 1 November 2017. Metsä Group is a forerunner in sustainable bioeconomy utilising renewable wood from sustainably managed northern forests. Metsä Group focuses on wood supply and forest services, wood products, pulp, fresh fibre paperboards and tissue and cooking papers. Metsä Group’s sales totalled EUR 4.7 billion in 2016, and it employs approximately 9,300 people. The Group operates in some 30 countries. Metsäliitto Cooperative is the parent company of Metsä Group and owned by approximately 104,000 Finnish forest owners.
Jalkanen R.,Natural Resources Institute Finland
Forests | Year: 2016
Needle pathogens of larch (Larix spp.) in the Nordic countries are under-studied. Their incidence in Finland tends to be low and local, and this may be a function of enemy release, since species of larch were introduced to the region. Here, the ecology and incidence of larch needle pathogens and the abiotic factors that also affect larch in northern Finland are reviewed. Field observations and related laboratory analyses during the past 35 years have mainly been obtained near the Kivalo Research Area within the Arctic Circle, Finnish Lapland. The relatively recent introduction of Hypodermella laricis is a primary focus. This pathogen is not only new to Nordic countries, but can cause severe outbreaks, defoliation and crown-thinning in the canopies of all ages of most planted larch species worldwide. Symptoms of H. laricis clearly differ from those of Mycosphaerella laricina; the latter has affected Larix sibirica at high latitudes for decades. The effects of Meria laricis, Lophodermium laricinum, various rust fungi, and wind and frost are also discussed. © 2016 by the authors.
Viitala E.-J.,Natural Resources Institute Finland
European Journal of Forest Research | Year: 2016
German foresters in the eighteenth and early nineteenth century were in many respects pioneers of modern renewable natural resource economic thought. This article examines how modern resource-based thinking emerged in German forestry and how it was shaped by prevailing political ideologies and intellectual movements. It is shown that the idea of the capital nature and value of forests was introduced in the mid-eighteenth century by Georg Heinrich Zincke, one of the earliest major German economists. His compatriots in mining and forestry took these economic principles further, presenting a few years later explicit comparisons on the profitability of different forest management regimes. These pioneering insights and calculations, published almost exactly 250 years ago, prompted further development of modern forest economic thinking. This intellectual process culminated in the discovery of the celebrated Faustmann model, perhaps the oldest formal description of natural resource use that is still theoretically valid. © 2016 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg
Viitala E.-J.,Natural Resources Institute Finland
Forest Policy and Economics | Year: 2015
A common perception in forest and natural resource economics is that the celebrated 'Faustmann formula' was discovered in 1849 and that the 'Faustmann rule' or Faustmann-Pressler solution to the optimal forest rotation age was derived from it a decade later by Max Robert Pressler. This paper shows that the modern perspective to the valuation of forests was presented in German territorial states much earlier than has previously been thought. In 1805 a competent forest mathematician Johann Hossfeld showed explicitly how forest value can be derived under both intermittent and sustained yield management, thus discovering the Faustmann formula. The study also shows that the close intellectual and professional connections among the first German 'forest economists' seem to have played a key role in the diffusion of modern forest economic principles from Hossfeld and his contemporaries to Faustmann and Pressler, and perhaps even more generally to modern capital theory. © 2015 Elsevier B.V.
Salmi P.,Natural Resources Institute Finland
Sociologia Ruralis | Year: 2015
In many European areas, recent transitions in rural development can be described as a shift from an emphasis on food production to a diversity of new forms of natural resource utilisation. This shift towards post-productivism is characteristic to many coastal areas, where commercial fisheries try to adapt their strategies with other activities, interests and ideologies, such as the protection of biodiversity, leisure use and tourism. This article analyses opportunities and governance arrangements that support commercial fishers' adaptation within a post-productivist setting, focusing on the Archipelago Sea region in southwest Finland. Relying on interview, survey and documentary material, the case-study recognises new forms of multifunctional activities that enhance the viability and resilience of coastal communities and also deliver benefits to the environmental and leisure sectors. © 2015 European Society for Rural Sociology.
News Article | November 2, 2015
The bulk of the protein on our plates originates in Brazil, because the protein fodder consumed by food-producing animals consists mostly of soy grown there. If the vision proposed by the ScenoProt project, coordinated by the Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke), becomes reality, by 2030 our food production will no longer be dependent on a handful of large Brazilian companies. "This project seeks to increase Finland's self-sufficiency in protein production from the current less-than-twenty to sixty per cent. A similar change must take place in the whole of Europe, as soy cultivation destroys rain forest in Brazil, accelerating the climate change," says Principal Research Scientist Anne Pihlanto of Luke. New foodstuffs pave the way to a healthier diet Efforts are taken to increase self-sufficiency in protein protection by developing foodstuffs in which protein originates in new sources, such as insects and mushrooms, and by processing vegetable raw materials to form more usable products. By 2030, we will be in better health because we will consume less meat and more vegetables. "Foodstuffs developed in the course of the project will be turned into products, making them well-known brands that are attractive to consumers," Pihlanto says. Consumers are engaged in the planning of foodstuffs The ScenoProt project will span six years, with the protein production problem being investigated from a number of perspectives. The research conducted at Luke is related to plant production, animal nutrition, processing technology and food healthiness, as well as to the bearing capacity of nature. Futurologists at the University of Turku are investigating various ways of achieving the objectives set for the year 2030. The University of Jyväskylä is testing the practical options with a number of companies. Dutch TNO is the best expert concerning the economic aspects associated with the breeding of insects, while the University of Helsinki is involved in the research focused on the various health impacts. In addition, a company called Makery will bring their expertise in product planning and consumer surveys to the project. Consumers will be engaged in the planning of prototypes for new types of foodstuffs within the scope of the project. The marketing potential of new foodstuffs both on the domestic and export markets will be surveyed. Explore further: Products of biotechnological origin using vegetable and fruit by-products generated by the industry
News Article | November 17, 2015
A seal sock allows a seal to breathe on the surface while it is trapped inside a trap net. Credit: Mervi Kunnasranta Understanding the differences in the behaviour of different seal species can help in the choice of the most effective measures to mitigate the seal-fishery conflict and in the sustainable management of seal stocks. A new study from the University of Eastern Finland provides novel and detailed information of the movements of ringed seals and grey seals in the Baltic Sea. The PhD thesis of Sari Oksanen, MSc, discovered that Baltic ringed seals range over large areas during the open water season, while most grey seals remain on smaller areas near their terrestrial resting sites. Differences in behaviour call for different management approaches The stocks of the Baltic grey and ringed seals collapsed during the 20th century and in the 1970s, both stocks consisted of only circa 5,000 seals. The populations have been recovering since the 1990s. At the same time, the losses caused by seals to coastal fisheries and fish farming have increased. The differences in the behaviour of the seal species influence the effectiveness of the measures to mitigate the seal-fishery conflict and sustainable management of seal stocks. Only male grey seals were observed to visit pontoon traps, and grey seals made trips between their terrestrial resting sites and foraging areas. Their foraging areas were situated to river estuaries and other shallow coastal areas, which are also important for coastal fishery. The observed fidelity to given foraging areas suggests that removing individual seals away from fishing gear could be one method to mitigate the damage caused by grey seals. Such removal would focus on those individuals that repeatedly visit the vicinity of fishing gear. Ringed seals, on the other hand, did not exhibit similar fidelity, but they ranged over larger areas and had several spatially distinct foraging areas. This suggests that removing ringed seals away from fishing gear may not be effective in reducing losses caused by them. Therefore, the development of fishing gear and fishing practices could provide more effective mitigation measures. Although ringed seals move over wide areas during the open water season, especially adults are quite sedentary in the breeding season in the winter. In contrast, grey seals left their open-water home ranges during ice formation and occupied areas with little ice-cover. Therefore, although the extent of overall movement was similar in both species, their seasonal patterns of movement differed. The other side of the coin in the seal-fishery conflict is the by-catch mortality of seals in fishing gear. A device to reduce seal by-catch in trap nets, a so-called seal sock, was tested. The sock enables a seal to have access to breathe on the surface while it is trapped inside a trap net. The sock proved to be an effective way of reducing ringed seal mortality in trap nets, but it did not work as well with grey seals. Reducing incidental by-catch is one method to develop sustainable fisheries, as is also required by the MSC certificate granted to fisheries and fish. Although both of the seal stocks have been increasing in recent decades, climate change, for example, can pose new threats. The breeding success of the ringed seal, in particular, is very dependent on sufficient snow and ice. Furthermore, information on the movements of seals can also be used in protecting important seal habitats. The movements of Baltic seals were investigated with GPS satellite telemetry in cooperation with Natural Resources Institute Finland. The findings were originally published in Marine Ecology Progress Series, Movement Ecology, and PLOS ONE. The doctoral dissertation, entitled Spatial ecology of the grey seal and ringed seal in the Baltic Sea - seeking solutions to the coexistence of seals and fisheries, is available for download at http://epublications.uef.fi/pub/urn_isbn_978-952-61-1894-9/urn_isbn_978-952-61-1894-9.pdf Explore further: Gray seals consume as much fish as the fishing industry catches More information: Sari M. Oksanen et al. A Novel Tool to Mitigate By-Catch Mortality of Baltic Seals in Coastal Fyke Net Fishery, PLOS ONE (2015). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0127510
News Article | December 3, 2015
In 2013, the European Commission restricted the use of neonicotinoid products, banning them in the seed treatment of crops favoured by bees, such as oilseed and turnip rape. Neonicotinoids are neurotoxins used as active ingredients in pesticides. The decision was based on the European Food Safety Authority's (EFSA) risk assessment, according to which neonicotinoid use on crops attractive to bees is harmful to bees and other pollinators. Finland objected to the Commission's decision. Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke) and Finnish Food Safety Authority Evira launched the Neomehi project to examine the impact of neonicotinoid insecticides on bees in the cultivation of spring oilseed crops. The suspected risks of their detrimental effects were observed in more southerly farming conditions. The research conducted in Finland yielded different results from the studies on which the Commission based its decision. "Neonicotinoid seed treatment seems to have no immediate impact on bee survival in Finland," says Luke researcher Jarmo Ketola, who headed the soon-to-be-completed project. The Neomehi project studied the impact of seed treatments of turnip rape on bees under field conditions during the growing and winter seasons. Neonicotinoid spraying was performed on part of the trial fields in both summers when the plants were in flower. Crop growth and the numbers of flying pollinators were monitored, and the success of test bee hives was assessed. Additionally, residues in plants, bees, pollen and nectar were analysed. The results show that residues of neonicotinoids migrate to bee hives in pollen and nectar. "The residue levels in the samples collected from the hives were so low that acute harm to bees is unlikely. However, risks associated with reproduction and orientation behaviour cannot be ruled out," says Evira senior researcher Kati Hakala. Entrepreneur Lauri Ruottinen, who provided bee care research services for the project, agrees. "Neonicotinoid treatments did not cause acute harm to bee hives during the study. The trial design does not, however, eliminate other factors that may cause changes in the number of adult bees," he notes. There are currently no alternatives to neonicotinoids. Small beetles, such as flea beetles, interfere with the growth of oilseed and turnip rape seedlings in the spring, and can lower the quality and quantity of the crop. In Finland, it is feared that the pesticide ban will affect the crop certainty of oilseed plants and reduce farmers' willingness to grow them. "This would jeopardise the use of oilseed and turnip rape as domestic raw material in vegetable oil, food and fuel, and as a source of protein in farm animal feed. Flowering oilseed and turnip rape are also important food sources for bees, and if their cultivation is reduced, so will the benefits of crop rotation," explains researcher Jarmo Ketola. The area under oilseed crops has decreased in recent years, but not dramatically, since the Finnish Safety and Chemicals Agency (Tukes) has granted special authorisation for the use of seed treatment products both last year and this year. Special authorisation has also been granted for 2016. EFSA is currently analysing new research data on the use of neonicotinoid products. It is not yet known when the European Commission will review its 2013 decision to restrict the use of these products. Explore further: Sussex bee scientists question value of neonics ban