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Effects of Forest Management on Field Layer Vegetation: A Comparison Between Finnish and Russian Karelia

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The effects of forest management on the field layer vegetation were compared between Finnish and Russian Karelia in a total of 46 mature stands representing pine, spruce and deciduous forests. In Finland, the number of species was slightly higher in each forest type. Many grassland species, such as Galium boreale, Lathyrus pratensis, and Veronica officinalis, were more abundant in Finnish deciduous stands (14.4 species, mean cover 15.8%) than in Russian stands (9.6 species, mean cover 11.5%). Dwarf shrubs, such as Calluna vulgaris (mean cover: Fin 3.3%, Rus 7.7%) and Vaccinium vitis-idaea (Fin 25.0%, Rus 26.9%) in pine stands, and Vaccinium myrtillus (Fin 22.9%, Rus 31.5%) in spruce stands, were more abundant in Russia. Ferns and graminoids exhibited no differences between the two countries. The observed differences were likely to result from the lower tree stand density, more extensive fragmentation and fertilisation of forests in Finland, the higher frequency of forest fires and more intensive grazing in Russian forests, and from differences in natural conditions between Finnish and Russian Karelia.
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Keywords: BOREAL FOREST; FINLAND; FOREST VEGETATION; FORESTRY

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2001-09-01

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