iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry


Soil CO2 efflux in uneven-aged and even-aged Norway spruce stands in southern Finland

Atte Kumpu (1)   , Annikki Mäkelä (1), Jukka Pumpanen (2), Jussi Saarinen (1), Frank Berninger (1)

iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, Volume 11, Issue 6, Pages 705-712 (2018)
doi: https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor2658-011
Published: Nov 06, 2018 - Copyright © 2018 SISEF

Research Articles

Even-aged forests usually act as carbon sinks during most of their rotation. However, after clearcut they become sources of carbon for a period of several years. Applying uneven-aged forest management with selective cuttings will maintain tree cover and reduce the environmental impact on forest floor. The aim of this study was to compare the soil CO2 efflux between uneven-aged and even-aged Norway spruce stands with similar site properties, to investigate the effect of management practices on soil CO2 efflux and its possible correlation with soil environmental and chemical properties. We measured soil CO2 efflux in even- and uneven-aged Norway spruce stands (Picea abies [L.] Karst) in southern Finland during the summer of 2013 using closed chamber method on fixed measuring points. The study included two uneven-aged stands and two even-aged stands (a clearcut site and a mature even-aged stand). Soil moisture and soil temperature were measured at the same time as soil CO2 efflux. Soil cores were collected from the topsoil of each study plot to determine soil carbon and nitrogen concentrations. Mean soil CO2 efflux through the summer was highest in the clearcut plot (0.367 mg m-2 s-1) followed by the uneven-aged stands (0.298 and 0.257 mg m-2 s-1, respectively) and the smallest fluxes were measured in the mature even-aged stand (0.224 mg m-2 s-1). There was no statistically significant difference in soil CO2 efflux between the even- and uneven-aged stands of the same site fertility. Even- and uneven-aged stands did not differ significantly in soil moisture or soil temperature. Soil CO2 efflux increased steadily with soil temperature, whereas increasing soil moisture considerably increased soil CO2 efflux at lower moisture levels but only moderately at higher soil moisture levels. Soil carbon and nitrogen concentration did not differ between the study plots of the same fertility. Uneven-aged structure forestry did not prevent the increase in soil CO2 efflux after cuttings. However, the large variation in soil CO2 efflux rates within the uneven-aged stands suggests that the stand level CO2 efflux can be controlled with the intensity of the cutting.


Uneven-aged Forest Structure, Even-aged Forest Structure, Soil CO2 Efflux, Norway spruce

Authors’ address

Atte Kumpu
Annikki Mäkelä
Jussi Saarinen
Frank Berninger
University of Helsinki, Department of Forest Sciences, P.O. Box 27 (Latokartanonkaari 7) FI-00014 Helsinki (Finland)
Jukka Pumpanen
University of Eastern Finland, Department of Environmental and Biological Sciences, P.O. Box 1627, FI-70211 Kuopio (Finland)

Corresponding author



Kumpu A, Mäkelä A, Pumpanen J, Saarinen J, Berninger F (2018). Soil CO2 efflux in uneven-aged and even-aged Norway spruce stands in southern Finland. iForest 11: 705-712. - doi: 10.3832/ifor2658-011

Academic Editor

Ana Rey

Paper history

Received: Oct 20, 2017
Accepted: Sep 18, 2018

First online: Nov 06, 2018
Publication Date: Dec 31, 2018
Publication Time: 1.63 months

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