DataSheet1_v1_Selection Cuttings as a Tool to Control Water Table Level in Boreal Drained Peatland Forests.PDF (551.12 kB)
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DataSheet1_v1_Selection Cuttings as a Tool to Control Water Table Level in Boreal Drained Peatland Forests.PDF

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posted on 09.10.2020, 04:37 by Kersti Leppä, Hannu Hökkä, Raija Laiho, Samuli Launiainen, Aleksi Lehtonen, Raisa Mäkipää, Mikko Peltoniemi, Markku Saarinen, Sakari Sarkkola, Mika Nieminen

Continuous cover management on peatland forests has gained interest in recent years, in part because the tree biomass with significant evapotranspiration capacity retained in selection cuttings could be used as a tool to optimize the site water table level (WTL) from both tree growth and environmental perspectives. This study reports WTL responses from six field trials established on fertile Norway spruce–dominated drained peatland forests across Finland. At each site, replicates of different intensity selection cuttings (removing 17–74% of the stand basal area) or clear-cut in parallel with intact control stands were established and monitored for the WTL for 2–5 postharvest years. The observed WTL rose after selection cuttings, and the response increased with harvest intensity and depended on the reference WTL; that is, larger responses were found during dry summers or in more southern location. Selection cuttings removing about 50% of the stand basal area raised the WTL typically by 15–40%. Using a process-based ecohydrological model, tested against data from the field trials, we show that the role of tree stand in controlling the WTL clearly decreases along the latitudinal climate gradient in Finland. This suggests that the potential of controlling WTL using selection cuttings is more prominent in southern than in northern Finland. Predictions with future climate (2070–2099) further indicated a general decrease of the WTL and that the importance of the tree stand in controlling the WTL will increase, especially in northern Finland. The results overall thus suggest that selection cuttings can be used as a tool to control the WTL in boreal drained peatland forests, and the potential is likely to increase in future climate.

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