Volume 42 No.3
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Volume 42 No.3

Effect of Fungus Meripilus giganteus (Pers.) P. Karst. on Occurrence and Development of False Heartwood and Rot in Fagus sylvatica L. Round Wood

volume: 42, issue:

Common beech is one of the most widespread and important European tree species, widely used in timber industry and for energy production. Under specific set of complex factors, it facutatetivly develops false heartwood, which considerably decreases market demand and value of processed logs. Due to its properties, false heartwood is more susceptible to attack of wood decay fungi, which leads to further loss of wood quality and value. One of the most common fungi able to cause heart rot in beech is Meripilus giganteus, known for its spread in the basal parts of the tree, where it can affect most valuable sections of round wood. The aims of this study were to monitor the distribution of fungus and appearance of its fruiting bodies in research area, and to analyze the extent of fungus impact on shape and size of false heartwood and occurrence and length of rot in infected trees, while taking into account the observed stem damage as a possible influential factor. Fruiting bodies occurrence, life span and position on a tree were monitored during a six-year period. For trees with confirmed infection, stem damage was evaluated and appointed to one of four size classes. False heartwood shape and share in associated stem cross-section were observed and measured on 1–4 cross-sections per tree at different heights, and compared between infected and uninfected trees. If present, length of wood decay extent on butt-log was measured. The obtained results confirmed increased susceptibility of mature trees to infection, which seemed to occur mostly via roots from where mycelium spread into stem base. It was found that Meripilus giganteus has a significant impact on enlargement and change of FH shape from cloud- to star-like, up to approximately 5 m of the stem height, thus causing devaluation of the first assortments. The presence of rot was confirmed on the majority of infected trees, extending averagely 0.5 m into the first processed log, causing the loss of utilizable volume and thus the value of round wood. Stem damage category showed no significant effect on false heartwood or rot, supporting the prevailing impact of the fungus.

Bearing Capacity Standards for Forest Roads Constructed Using Various Technologies from Mechanically and Chemically Stabilised Aggregate

volume: 42, issue:

Forest roads are essential for adequate forest management and environmental protection. They enable tourism and recreation activity, while at the same time playing a very important role in fire protection. When open to the local traffic, they significantly supplement the public traffic networks. Costs of constructing permanent roads in forested areas are considerable, because they need to have adequate bearing capacity. Forest roads are predominantly constructed using natural or anthropogenic aggregate stabilised mechanically and chemically. A tangible parameter verifying the proper construction of road structure is provided by its bearing capacity, i.e. the capacity of the pavement to carry loads generated by traffic without excessive strains hindering normal use of the pavement or reducing its durability. Some forest road networks are also constructed as temporary roads composed of cheaper aggregates. It seems reasonable to assume different bearing capacity standards for such roads than for permanent roads.

The aim of the studies presented in this paper was to develop bearing capacity standards for forest roads constructed using various technologies. The adopted research hypothesis assumes that each of the analysed technologies is characterised by a different bearing capacity required during road construction inspections. An example of such a structure may be provided by the so-called geotextile mattress and crushed stone constructed on wetland soils. When developing the standards, the analyses included the predicted traffic intensity, assumed operation time before rehabilitation is required, soil conditions and the type of construction material.

Bearing capacity of the testing road sections was assessed based on values of strain moduli calculated from the static plate load tests (VSS). As a result, bearing capacity standards were obtained for structures constructed using aggregates and chemical stabilisers as well as geotextiles potentially facilitating reduction of the layer thickness without deterioration of road durability.

Workability and Well-Being at Work Among Cut-To-Length Forest Machine Operators

volume: 42, issue:

This study assessed the situation of Finnish cut-to-length (CTL) machine operators’ work well-being with workability index (WAI), investigated CTL machine operators’ lifestyle habits, and collected operators’ good practices to maintain and promote well-being and vitality at work. A questionnaire was conducted in electronic form, including questions concerning background information, work environment, work organisation, well-being at work and free time, and workability index. Mean WAI among respondents was 42.2 points (max. 49) falling into the rank »good«, while the current workability compared with the lifetime best was 8.2 (range 0–10). WAI was strongly impacted by age (p<0.000), the score declined during ageing, and standard deviation grew. The results were in line with previous WAI studies. Statistic differences were found between youngest age group (age≤25) versus all others. Compared to other studies and occupational groups, CTL machine operators’ WAI was average. Operators revered independent nature of work and forest as a working environment, thus promoting and maintaining well-being at work. Furthermore, breaks during work shift, with or without physical exercise, was recognised to ensure and retain vitality and concentration at work.

Machine Rate Estimates and Equipment Utilization – A Modified Approach

volume: 42, issue:

As mechanization increases, the percentage of the total cost of the logging operation due to equipment purchase and operation increases. This makes assumptions about machine life, machine maintenance costs, and fuel consumption more critical in understanding the costs of logging operations. For many years machine rate calculations have followed a fixed format based on the concept of scheduled and productive machine hours. When equipment utilization is less than 100%, the traditional machine rate calculation assumes that the machine continues to depreciate and machine wear occurs during the non-productive time at the same rate as during the productive time. This can lead to overestimates of the hourly cost of machine operation by effectively shortening the machine lifetime productive hours as the utilization decreases. The use of inflated machine rates can distort comparisons of logging systems, logging strategies, equipment replacement strategies, and perhaps the viability of a logging operation. We propose adjusting the life of the machine to account for non-productive time: machine life in years should be increased with a decrease in machine utilization, while cumulative machine life in hours remains the same. Once the life has been adjusted, the traditional machine rate calculation procedure can be carried out as is normally done. We provided an example that shows the traditional method at 50% utilization yielded a machine rate per productive hour nearly 30% higher than our modified method. Our sample analysis showed the traditional method consistently provided overestimates for any utilization rate less than 100%, with lower utilization rates yielding progressively increasing overestimates. We believe that our modified approach yields more accurate estimates of machine costs that would contribute to an improved understanding of the machine costs of forest operations.

The Effect of Yarding Technique on Yarding Productivity and Cost: Conventional Single-Hitch Suspension vs. Horizontal Double-Hitch Suspension

volume: 42, issue:

Cable yarding is a well establish technology for the extraction of timber in steep terrain. However, it is encumbered with relatively low productivity and high costs, and as such this technology needs to adapt and progress to remain viable. The development of biomass as a valuable byproduct, and the availability of processors to support yarder operations, lend themselves to increasing the level of whole-tree extraction. Double-hitch carriages have been developed to allow for full suspension of whole-tree and tree-length material. This study compared a standard single-hitch to a double-hitch carriage under controlled conditions, namely in the same location using the same yarder with downhill extraction. As expected, the double-hitch carriage took longer to load up (+14%), but was able to achieve similar productivity (10–11 m3 per productive machine hour) through increased inhaul speed (+15%). The importance of this study is that it demonstrates both the physical and economic feasibility of moving to whole-tree extraction using the double-hitch type carriage for longer corridors, for settings with limited deflection, or areas with lower tolerance for soil disturbance.

Technical and Environmental Impacts of Coal Waste Used as a Soil Stabilizer in Construction Projects of Forest Roads

volume: 42, issue:

Many pozzolans are waste products from industrial processes. Every year a huge amount of coal waste is gathered from the coal washing plant in the Hyrcanian forests of Iran. These materials can be used for soil stabilization in construction and maintenance projects of forest roads. This paper aims to (a) investigate the role of coal waste (CW) as a soil stabilizer and (b) determine the changes in soil specification regarding the environmental pollution in different combinations of materials (soil, lime (4 and 6%) and CW (3, 6, 9 and 12%)). For this purpose, different technical and environmental analysis and laboratory tests were performed. Technical tests showed that the soil liquid limit and maximum dry density decreased with an increase in lime and CW contents. Addition of CW could increase the soil CBR, UCS and OMC. According to XRD test, the addition of CW and lime can increase the size of crystals in stabilized soil samples. Environmental analysis showed that the use of stabilizer significantly reduced the concentration of heavy metals such as Cd, Cr and Pb. Also, all of the metal concentrations leached from samples satisfied the required criteria, but the addition of lime and CW increased the concentration of N, P, and K. These changes can increase the invasive species consistent with calcareous soil conditions along the roads. According to the results, the combination of coal waste and lime can be one of the best methods for in situ remediation. It would, however, be better to use a minimum amount of stabilizer in pavement layers of access roads due to environmental sensitivity.

Wood Quality Characterization of Sycamore Maple (Acer pseudoplatanus L.) and its Utilization in Wood Products Industries

volume: 42, issue:

This study quantified the physical and mechanical properties of sycamore maple (Acer pseudoplatanus L.) as a basis for assessing wood quality. The physical properties of oven-dry density, density at 12% MC, green density, basic density, longitudinal, radial, tangential and volumetric shrinkages were tested and the mechanical properties of bending strength, modulus of elasticity at bending, compression strength parallel to grain and compression strength in radial and tangential direction as well as of Brinell hardness on the cross, radial, and tangential section were determined. Five sycamore maple trees from Medvednica region were selected for the purposes of this research. The results were compared with known literature data on sycamore maple wood, beech wood from the same sight, and beech wood from Gorski Kotar region. For a better understanding of sycamore maple physiology, as well as for assessing the quality of wood products, the distribution of wood properties within the tree radius, from pith to bark, was investigated. There was a general bell shaped distribution, in the radial direction, in wood density, and mechanical properties of sycamore maple wood. Shrinkages decreased from pith to bark, except for tangential shrinkage with bell shaped pattern. All investigated wood densities of sycamore maple from Medvednica were similar to the findings of studies known in literature, as well as shrinkages, except for the lower longitudinal shrinkage. Investigated mechanical properties of sycamore maple wood were similar to the findings of studies known in literature, except for the lower bending strength and modulus of elasticity (MOE). Investigated sycamore maple indicated better dimensional stability than beech wood from two locations in the region, although it did not match the beech wood regarding mechanical properties, especially wood hardness.

Investigation of Structure of Technology Cycle Time of Hydraulic Manipulators in the Process of Loading Forwarders with Logs

volume: 42, issue:

In the practice of using cut-to-length technology, hydraulic manipulators are widely used. Understanding manipulator cycle is important for improving existing logging technologies and developing new machine designs. The paper analyzes structure of technological cycle and operating time of manipulator in the process of loading forwarder on skid trails. Twenty-one loading processes were investigated. In the structure of technological cycle, the following elements were considered: empty movements, loaded movements, movements of manipulator links when performing operations inside load space of forwarder and special techniques such as re-grabbing logs and pulling of an incompletely closed log grip through the logs when the ends of the grabbed logs tilt and abut against the ground used during loading movement. Statistical processing of data showed that median values of samples consisting of time intervals of empty movements are in trange from 3.8 to 6 seconds, the median of samples of loaded movements is 6–16 seconds and median of samples of a pair of movements 5–9 seconds. With a 95% degree of probability, under the studied production conditions, the time of one loaded movement falls within the range of 4–14 seconds; one empty movement – in the range of 3–7 seconds. Total time of empty movements takes a share from 20 to 45% of the total loading time (on average 30%), the total time of loading movements is from 51 to 72% (on average 63%), the time of operations inside the load space is from 0 to 18% (on average 7%). Time of loaded movements, including use of special techniques, is from 13% to 64% of total time of loaded movements (or 10–53% of total number of loaded movements). The time, consisting of a pair of movements: empty and loaded, is somewhat influenced by forwarder size. Duration of one loaded movement is significantly affected by use of special techniques by the operator. Number and duration of loaded movements with these techniques is significantly influenced by: average size of loaded assortments and number of assortments carried in the grapple during one loaded movement. No significant influence of average size of assortments, number of assortments in grapple and size of the machine on empty movements was found. However, some influence on empty movements of number of loaded movements performed from one forwarder parking lot was observed. Duration and frequency of operations within the load space are weakly correlated with the size of assortments and forwarder size.

Effectiveness of Erosion Control Structures in Reducing Soil Loss on Skid Trails

volume: 42, issue:

Forest operations can lead to increased runoff and soil loss on roads and skid trails. Best management practices (BMPs) aim to minimize erosion and water quality problems, but the efficacies of various BMP options such as water bars are not well documented. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of different densities of water diversion structures (water bars) on runoff volume and soil loss on different skid trail gradients on two soils with different textures in the Shenrood forest, Guilan province, northern Iran. The treatments included combinations of four densities of water bars (1, 2, 3 or 6 water bars per 150 m length of skid trail section [overland trail]), on two levels of trail gradient (≤20% and >20%) and two soil textures (clay loam and silt loam). Average runoff volume and soil loss per m2 of skid trail surface area were significantly greater (P≤0.05) on silt loam than on clay loam textured soils, and on slope gradients >20% (23–28%) than on gradients ≤20% (5–13%). Average runoff volume increased, and average soil loss decreased significantly (P≤0.05) with increasing density of water bars on both gradients and on both soil textures. On both soil textures, the lowest surface runoff volumes were observed with one water bar and the greatest volumes with six water bars installed. In contrast, the smallest amount of soil loss on both soil textures was observed with six water bars, and the greatest soil loss when only one water bar was installed. The installation of additional water bars led to significant differences in both responses at each level of density and led to reductions in soil loss of 77%, 57% and 27% in the clay loam, and 79%, 60% and 30% in the silt loam soil compared to the single water bar treatment. The reduced soil loss per unit of surface runoff volume is likely due to the reduced velocity of surface water runoff in the skid trail. The greater density of water bars appears to effectively divert more but slower flowing water from the skid trail, leading to reduced soil loss. While additional water bars thus better meet the objective of BMPs to minimize soil loss, managers need to balance the cost of the construction of additional water bars against the ecological benefits of reduced soil loss. An investment into additional water bars may be worthwhile if the additional structures are able to divert surface runoff more effectively to nearby vegetation and reduce the input of soil from skid trails to streams, thereby preventing the loss of water quality of these streams.

Logging Mats and Logging Residue as Ground Protection during Forwarder Traffic along Till Hillslopes

volume: 42, issue:

Forest soils in Northern Europe are generally trafficked by forest machinery on several occasions during a forest rotation. This may create ruts (wheel tracks), which could increase sediment transport to nearby surface water, reduce recreational value, and affect tree growth. It is therefore important to reduce soil disturbance during off-road forest transportation. In this study, rut depth was measured following forwarder traffic on study plots located along four harvested till hillslopes in Northern Sweden with drier soil conditions uphill and wet conditions downhill. The treatments included driving 1) using no ground protection, 2) on logging residue (on average, 38–50 kg m–2) and 3) on logging mats measuring 5×1×0.2 m. The hillslopes contain areas with a high content of boulders, stones, and gravel as well as areas with a significant content of silt. Six passes with a laden forwarder with four bogie tracks were performed. On the plots with ground protection, the application of logging residue and the application and removal of logging mats necessitated additional passes. Rut depth was measured using two methods: 1) as the difference in elevation between the interpolated original soil surface and the surface of the rut using GNSS positioning (Global Navigation Satellite Systems), and 2) manually with a folding rule from an aluminium profile, placed across the rut, to the bottom of the rut. The two methods generally gave similar results. Driving without ground protection in the upper part of the hillslopes generated ruts with depths <0.2 m. Here, the rut depth was probably modified by the high content of boulders and stones in the upper soil and drier soil conditions. In the lower part of the hillslopes, the mean rut depth ranged from 0.21 to 0.34 m. With a few exceptions, driving on logging residue or logging mats prevented exposure of mineral soil along the entire hillslope. Soil disturbance can thus be reduced by acknowledging the onsite variability in ground conditions and considering the need for ground protection when planning forest operations.

The Impact of Felling Method, Bunch Size, Slope Degree and Skidding Area on Productivity and Costs of Skidding in a Eucalyptus Plantation

volume: 42, issue:

Grapple skidder is a machine designed for the extraction of tree bunches after felling. Several factors influence its technical performance and costs such as terrain slope, operator experience time, machine type, and the size of tree bunches for each operating cycle, among others. Thus, it becomes necessary to weigh the variables that most influence the productivity and costs of the grapple skidder. So, the main objective was evaluated according to the influence of bunch size using two feller bunchers with distinct technical characteristics, two slope classes and two skidding areas on the productivity and machine production cost in a Eucalyptus plantation. For the analysis of the productivity, the study of time and method was applied and the scheduled machine cost per hour was based on the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations methods. When analyzing the results, it was found that the operational elements moving without load (MWoL) and moving with load (MWL) were the ones that spend the most time in the operational cycle of the grapple skidder. Among the cost components, monetary expenditure on fuel and operator labor were the most influential in the scheduled machine cost per hour. In conclusion, the tree bunches and slope class influenced the productivity and, consequently, the cost of the skidding operation.

Environmental Thermal Conditions Related to Performance, Dynamics and Safety of Logging in the Brazilian Amazon

volume: 42, issue:

The Amazon rainforest covers an area of about 50% of the Brazilian national territory, which consists mainly of upland rainforests that are generally poorly managed, because of low investment in technology, planning, operations and manufacturing. Logging activities require a large contingent of heavy machinery and an intense physical workload from the operators and crews. The thermal comfort at work in tropical regions is between 20 and 24°C; however, in the Central Amazon the daily average temperature exceeds 28°C. The sum of these adverse factors leads to a common denominator: low quality logging operations that lead to unsustainable forest management. The objective of this study was to investigate the influence of environmental thermal conditions on performance, rest breaks, work dynamics and safety of workers involved in the logging operations, as well as to understand better their interactions. The data was collected from the following logging activities: felling, pre-skidding, skidding and landing operations. These variables were analyzed using PCA analysis, MANOVA and multiple linear regression. The variables of productivity and rest breaks were strongly influenced by mechanical interruption and time of the workday. We concluded that mechanical availability was the most influential factor in the performance of logging operations. In addition, environmental thermal conditions, bonus payments and work dynamics showed an influence. To a less extent, there was an influence of safety and physical comfort of workers, which resulted in higher rest breaks, depending on the operation involved. This influence was observed in operations with a higher physical workload (felling and pre-skidding). Moreover, the tree volume had a significant impact on the productivity of the chainsaw operator, which was also influenced by the species factor, as in the species Hymenolobium modestum. Lastly, improvements in working conditions such as appropriate clothing, job rotation and scheduled breaks would lead to a greater worker well-being with increased labor productivity and safety. In turn, this would greatly contribute to the quality and performance of overall forest management and sustainability in the economic development of the Amazon region.

Short Term Impacts of Harvesting 0perations on Soil Chemical Properties in a Mediterranean Oak Ecosystem

volume: 42, issue:

Soil physical and chemical properties can be seriously affected by forest operations. There is a knowledge gap on this topic for oak ecosystems, which can play a significant role in the context of multiple-use forestry.

The main objective of this study was to analyse forest floor and topsoil changes (0–10 cm) two years after the application of small-scale thinning (50% reduction of basal area) and clear-cut operations using mules to carry harvested material in a Northern Greece oak (Quercus frainetto Ten)ecosystem. The total amount of forest floor (O1+O2 horizons) was reduced by 37.8% in the thinned and 30.8% in the clear-cut plots compared to control plots. These large reductions are mainly due to reduction in the O2 horizon in the treated plots. Decomposition was reduced in the treated plots, possibly due to the new drier conditions. Treatments increased the soil pH but not to a significant extent. No evidence of erosion was found in the experimental plots due to the protective function of the forest floor and the use of designated mule trails. The areal extent of soil compaction was limited to only 3% of the total area mainly due to the careful planning and implementation of animal skidding. Small differences in C (%) and Ν (%) were found among control, thinned and clear-cut plots.

The limiting growth factors in Mediterranean oak ecosystems are soil depth and the seasonal change of soil moisture, especially during the summer dry period. More research on the definition of the optimum thinning degree and extraction systems in similar ecosystems will be important to satisfy the need to improve soil characteristics.

An Automated Approach for Extracting Forest Inventory Data from Individual Trees Using a Handheld Mobile Laser Scanner

volume: 42, issue:

Many dendrometric parameters have been estimated by light detection and ranging (LiDAR) technology over the last two decades. Handheld mobile laser scanning (HMLS), in particular, has come into prominence as a cost-effective data collection method for forest inventories. However, most pilot studies were performed in domesticated landscapes, where the environmental settings were far from those presented by (near)natural forest ecosystems. Besides, these studies consisted of numerous data processing steps, which were challenging when employed by manual means. Here we present an automated approach for deriving key inventory data using the HMLS method in natural forest areas. To this end, many algorithms (e.g., cylinder/circle/ellipse fitting) and machine learning models (e.g., random forest classifier) were used in the data processing stage for estimation of the tree diameter at breast height (DBH) and the number of trees. The estimates were then compared against the reference data obtained by field measurements from six forest sample plots. The results showed that correlations between the estimated and reference DBHs were very strong at the plot level (r=0.83–0.99, p<0.05). The average RMSE for tree DBHs was 1.8 cm at the forest landscape level. As for tree detection, 92.5% of 292 trunks were correctly classified on point cloud data. In general, estimation accuracy was sufficient for operational forest inventory needs. However, they could markedly decrease in »hard plots« located at rocky terrains with dense undergrowth and irregular trunks. We concluded that area-based forest inventories might hugely benefit from the HMLS method, particularly in »easy plots«. By improving the algorithmic performances, the accuracy levels can be further increased by future research.


Web of Science Impact factor (2022): 3.200
Five-years impact factor: 3.000

Quartile: Q1 - Forestry

Subject area

Agricultural and Biological Sciences