Current projects

Dead Wood Dynamics in Fennoscandian Boreal Forests

Dead wood is an important structural component of forested ecosystems, with significant roles especially in carbon sequestration, and as a habitat structure. However, the dynamics of dead wood, i.e. changes in quantity and quality through time, are poorly studied. In particular, this applies to the relationship between dead wood dynamics and climatic variability.

In this project, we will employ large dead wood datasets compiled from permanent sample plots since the mid-1990s in the Norwegian, Finnish, and Swedish national forest inventories. These data will be used to develop models for predicting dead wood decomposition, as a function of tree attributes (such as species, size), site properties, and climatic conditions. Combined with data from climate scenarios, these models make it possible to predict how dead wood dynamics might change in future climates and make it possible to incorporate dead wood into forest management planning.

PI: Tuomas Aakala

Duration: 01.09.2017-31.12.2020

Funded by

purple-konefoundation-logo

50 Hectares of boreal old-growth forest

Hankkeessa mitataan ja dokumentoidaan mahdollisimman kattavasti 50 hehtaaria suomalaista pohjoista aarniometsää tieteen ja taiteen keinoin ja niitä yhdistäen. Tavoitteena on yhdistää tieteellinen tutkimustieto ja havainnot taiteelliseen työhön, dokumentaatioon ja näkemyksellisyyteen. Hankkeessa seurataan kolmen vuoden ajan miten luonnon tila ja monimuotoisuus muuttuvat luonnon oman dynamiikan, ihmisen toimien ja ilmastonmuutoksen seurauksena. Suurkoeala perustetaan Itä-Lapissa sijaitsevaan Värriön luonnonpuistoon, jonka tutkimusasema mahdollistaa koealueella työskentelyn mihin vuodenaikaan tahansa. Koeala sijoitetaan tutkimusaseman läheisyyteen vanhaan luonnontilaiseen kuusimetsään. Vanhat kuusimetsät ovat tärkeä ja erittäin yleinen metsäluontotyyppi koko sirkumboreaalisella vyöhykkeellä. Nämä metsät ylläpitävät lajiston monimuotoisuutta ja varastoivat suuria määriä hiiltä, mutta samalla niiden on ennustettu olevan herkimpiä ympäristötekijöiden muuttumiselle.
Koeala kytkeytyy kansainväliseen SIGEO-suurkoealaverkostoon, joka mahdollistaa projektin kansainvälisen yhteistyön ja tutkija- ja taiteilijavaihdon.

Hankkeessa luodaan uutta, tieteellistä ja taiteellista näkemystä yhdistävää kokonaiskuvaa suomalaisesta aarniometsästä. Hankkeessa yhdistyvät modernit tieteelliset mittaukset ja tutkimustieto taiteelliseen työskentelyyn, dokumentaatioon ja näkemyksellisyyteen. Tavoitteena on kehittää työmenetelmiä tieteen ja taiteen kommunikaatioon ja pohtia aarniometsien kohtaloa globaalimuutoksen maailmassa. Samalla kuvataan luonnon tilan ja monimuotoisuuden muutoksia vuosien ja vuodenaikojen kierrossa.

PI: Timo Kuuluvainen

Funder: Kone Foundation

Forest dynamics in natural boreal forest landscapes: linking tree ring-based reconstructions to historical
aerial photography (TREELINK)

Remaining natural boreal forests form a sizeable carbon reservoir and are of critical importance to biodiversity. However, their dynamics under changing environmental conditions are poorly understood, and long-term assessments of their development are lacking due to scarcity of long-term and large-scale data sets.

In this project, we apply a novel combination of historical aerial photographs and a tree ring-based reconstruction of stand development, to quantify errors in landscape-scale assessment of forest structure and changes in canopy cover over several decades. Using these data, we will then assess spatiotemporal dynamics in five landscapes (4 km2 each) in the boreal zone in northern Finland and in northeastern Canada, using state of the art analysis methods, including Bayesian scale space analyses and the echelon analysis. These methods allow for examining spatial patterns at multiple spatial scales simultaneously, and in assessing the development of forest structure over time. Identifying scales of change further allows linking the observed patterns to specific processes, which can be expected to manifest at varying spatial scales.

PI: Tuomas Aakala

Duration: 01.01.2015-31.12.2018

Funder: University of Helsinki Funds

 

EBOR

The aim of this research is to combine historical records and existing datasets, geographical-scale forest sampling and dendrochronological techniques to systematically probe disturbance history of selected forest stands covering a geographical range from southern to northern boreal zone in Finland and in European Russia. In addition to new data collection, historical records and data on forest composition (e.g. NFI-data) and disturbance (fire) history will be linked to measured tree age structure and tree species composition at geographical scale. Also previously collected dendrochronological data on long-term fire history of forests in our research area will searched for and utilized in this research. The results will provide improved understanding of the historical and geographical variation of forest ecosystem structure and dynamics in northern Europe.

PI: Timo Kuuluvainen

Duration: 01.09.2014-31.08.2018

Funder: Academy of Finland

DISTDYN

A large-scale and long-term research and development project Forest management inspired by natural disturbance dynamics (DISTDYN) was initiated in Finland in 2009. The aim is to examine how variation in spatial and temporal scales of felling affects forest structure and biota. Harvesting methods applied in this project include selection, gap, partial and clear felling with variable retention. Rehabilitation is also applied as dead wood is intentionally increased while harvesting. The motivation of the project lies in the growing interest in using natural disturbances as an inspiration of forest-ecosystem management and in the recognition that mid- to small-scale disturbances are a characteristic feature of unmanaged Fennoscandian forests. The effects of felling methods are studied at the stand scale. However, a unique aspect of the project is the focus on landscape-scale impacts of different harvesting alternatives by comparing ca. 150-ha landscape units with varying harvesting regimes. Overall, the project aims at creating a long-lasting multidisciplinary research infrastructure. It also addresses core issues of forest-ecosystem management, including ecological, timber-production, economic and socio-cultural performances of alternative harvesting practices.

Link to website

PI: Timo Kuuluvainen

Duration: From 2009 onwards