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Regeneration of a Northern Pine Forest Through Gap Cutting

Come explore forest research in Veneselkä! The demonstration site consists of a forest area of approximately 3 square kilometres, where the regeneration of Scots pine in the north of Finland is studied through gap cutting.

A small clearing in a pine stand.

The area is used to research the regeneration of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) with gap cutting at varying diameters. At this research site, small gaps are used to refer to gaps with a diameter of 20, 40, or 80 metres. The purpose of the study is to examine the impact of the size of the gap, the restocking of different parts of the gap, and the development of seedlings and saplings. Researchers are primarily interested in the regeneration of Scots pine. The forests in the research area are old-growth pine stands that are mostly more than one hundred years old. The sites consist of xeric and sub-xeric mineral soil sites. The research project was launched in 2010.

It seems that the size of the gap and its distance from the nearest forest edge are the most significant factors contributing to forest regeneration.

Location

Figure: The location of the gap cuttings within the experimental area in Veneselkä. The numbers refer to the blocks within the experiment.

The area is located approximately 70 kilometres north from Rovaniemi in Veneselkä. Directions: From the Finnish national road 4, turn to Niesintie in Tiainen. After approx. 3.7 kilometres, turn on to a small dirt road. Continue approx. 800 metres, at which point it is advisable to park your car and continue walking along the dilapidated road. All-terrain vehicles may continue driving. After approx. 500 metres, you can see the first small clearings on the northern side of the road. The clearings continue towards northeast for approximately 3 kilometres – there is a total of 54 clearings. Coordinates: x = 462171, y = 7424466.

Recommended time for visiting and further information on accessibility

The area may be visited when the ground is unfrozen, as the seedlings and saplings on the gaps are still well below the snowline.

Necessary equipment

Warm waterproof clothing, a hat, and gloves. Waterproof hiking boots or rubber boots.

Contact person

Senior Scientists Ville Hallikainen (ville.hallikainen@luke.fi) and Pasi Rautio (pasi.rautio@luke.fi)

Additional information

Partners

Metsähallitus (trial launched as a partnership)

verkkologo luke