Previous Commission VII - Ecology and management of forested peatlands

Chairman:
Sakari Sarkkola
Natural Resources Institute Finland
PO Box 18 (Jokiniemenkuja 1)
FI-01301 VANTAA
FINLAND
Phone: +358 29 532 5409
Mobile: +358 40 801 5409
Email: sakari.sarkkola (at) luke.fi

Vice Chairperson: 
Sylvain Jutras
Département des sciences du bois et de la forêt
Faculté de foresterie, de géographie et de géomatique
2405, rue de la Terrasse
Pavillon Abitibi-Price, bureau 2150
Université Laval
Québec (Québec) G1V 0A6
CANADA
e-mail: sylvain.jutras (at) sbf.ulaval.ca

 

Focus

Commission VII is working to foster the exchange of scientific information on the wise and sustainable use of forest resources on peatlands. The approach is both to understand the functioning of a pristine mire ecosystem and to discuss and develop management alternatives when using peatlands for wood production on a sustainable basis.


Fig. 1. Drained Norway spruce peatland site in southern Finland.

General information on peatland forestry

The total area of peatlands subject to forestry use is estimated to be 150 000 km2 (Joosten and Clarke 2002). Because in natural peatlands timber productivity is significantly limited by high water table levels, construction of ditch networks have been found a successful way to drain the peatlands and thus improve tree growth and increase the area of forestry land. However, only on 10% (14 895 km2) of the total forestry use area forest drainage operations have been undertaken (Paavilainen and Päivänen 1995).

The peatland forest resources have been utilized with varying intensities and practices in different countries. In the Nordic and Baltic countries forestry use is almost exclusively connected to drainage of peatlands (Fig. 1). In North America, timber harvesting is commonly taken place in undrained peatlands (Fig. 2). In Great Britain and Ireland, afforestation of treeless blanket bogs and former peat cutting areas has created large plantation forests on peat soils (Fig. 3).


Fig. 2. Partially harvested black spruce peatland in Ontario, Canada.

Specific features of peatland forests

From the forestry point of view, peatlands have two main features that make timber production more challenging than in non-peated mineral soil sites. The most evident is the high water content in the soil. The other is soil nutrient status, which is generally sufficient with nitrogen but deficient with phosphorus, potassium and some micronutrients. Both features directly influence tree growth and survivability, and are thus necessary to address in forest management. Additionally, the peat soil substrate is physically different compared to the mineral soils: the site thermal conditions deviate from those in the upland sites, the loose structure of peat complicate timber harvesting operations, etc.


Fig. 3. Afforested peat cutting area in Ireland.

Peatland forestry research

The specific features of peat soils also guide the research. Most of the research is dealing with ecological studies with a clear connection to practical forest management applications. Initially, many studies have been conducted on drainage intensity and techniques, hydrology, and tree nutrition. Studies on tree growth rate and forest regeneration and afforestation techniques have provided information for practical forest management. Later, environmental issues have become more important, specifically impacts of forestry operations on surface water quality. The effects of forestry on climate change have achieved more attention in the last years (e.g. Strack 2008). Peatland forestry research aims to provide information to support economically profitable and ecologically sustainable timber production on peatlands.

 Links:
www.iufro.org/science/divisions/division-1/10000/10100/10102/

 Publications:
Four important publications have appeared to which members of IPS Comm.
VII have made valuable contributions:

  • Northern Forested Wetlands. Ecology and Management. Eds. Carl C. Trettin et al. Lewis Publishers. Boca Raton - New York - London - Tokyo 1997. 486 p. ISBN 1-56670-177-5.
  • Peatlands in Finland. Ed. Harri Vasander. Finnish Peatland Society,
    Helsinki 1996. 168 p. ISBN 952-90-7971-0.
  • Peatland Forestry. Ecology and Principles. E. Paavilainen and J.
    Päivänen. Springer-Verlag. Berlin-Heidelberg-New York, 1995. 248 p. ISBN 3-540-58252-5.
  • The Biology of Peatlands. Håkan Rydin and John K. Jeglum. Oxford Press, 2006. 343 p. ISBN-13: 978-0-19-852871-5

Annual Report 2015

During 2015, the members of our Commission received two information letters from the Chair by email.

The collaboration of the members of our Commission between the other IPS Commissions, such as Commissions IX and X, has been active, particularly in the research of environmental and climate impacts of forest management on drained peatlands.

For the past scientific meetings, the Annual Assembly of European Geosciences Union (EGU) was held in April in Vienna, where several members of our Commission participated in the session of “Peatland Hydrology”. Several members also participated in the arrangement and as speakers in the 17th IBFRA (International Boreal Forest Research Association) Conference, “Towards a New Era of Forest Science in Boreal Region”. This was held on 24-29 May in Rovaniemi in Finnish Lapland.

The Commission also participated in the symposium of “A New Conversation of Peatlands”, which was held in Tullamore in 7–12 June. The members have also been encouraged to take part in the next 15th International Peat Congress, Malaysia 2016, and several members have submitted their presentation abstracts. The Chair has also participated as a member in the Organizing Committee of this Congress.

Annual Report 2013

During 2013, Commission members received two information letters from the Chairperson by email.

Planning and application of funding for the symposium the Nordic Peatland Forestry Expert Group intended to arrange in some Nordic country in 2014 was performed. The group was established in Norway in 2010, and it originally included members from Finland, Sweden and Norway. New members from Baltic countries, Russia and Ireland were included in 2013. Unfortunately, the planned meeting did not obtain funding, and it had to be postponed for at least one year. 

The annual Assembly of European Geosciences Union (EGU) was held in Vienna, Austria on 7-12 April 2013, where several members of the Commission participated in the session on peatland hydrology. 

The five-year research programme “Forests and Water (H2O)” was initiated at the beginning of 2013 by the Finnish Forest Research Institute. This is a large-scale interdisciplinary project covering the key components of the terrestrial water cycle, from the physiological processes of forest trees to the water cycle at the catchment level of the Baltic Sea in Finland. One important focus of the project is the investigation of the effects of peatland forests and forest management (cuttings, regeneration, timber harvesting methods and ditch network maintenance) on water cycle and water quality, and the seeking of new methods and tools to mitigate the environmental impacts of forestry. 

Two new doctoral theses in peatland forestry were defended at the University of Helsinki, Finland: Ms Meeri Pearson investigated the impacts of soil preparation after clear-cutting Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) forest on thick-peated soil from silvicultural and climatic standpoints (https://helda.helsinki.fi/handle/10138/39063), and Mr Markku Saarinen studied the regeneration success of artificial and natural regeneration of Scots pine in old nutrient and poor drainage areas (www.metla.fi/dissertationes/df164.pdf). 

Commission VII members participated in the review process of the Review of the Second Order Draft (SOD) of the IPCC guidelines for National Greenhouse Gases on wetlands. The final improved version of the report has been accepted as of 2 November 2013.

Annual Report 2012

During 2012, the Commission members received three information letters from the Chairperson by email.

At the 14th International Peat Congress in Stockholm, two sessions were organized by Commission VII. The themes of the sessions were related to water protection issues and management methods in peatland forestry. Altogether, 16 oral presentations were given including key notes addressed by Prof. Hannu Mannerkoski of the University of Eastern Finland, and Dr. Carl C. Trettin of USDA-Forest Service, South Carolina, USA.

Additionally, 11 posters described different studies concerning management methods of peatland forestry and their effects on e.g. water quality and GHG emissions. Furthermore, mitigation methods of the environmental impacts of forest management were presented. An excellent mid congress field excursion was arranged by Björn Hånell, Tord Magnusson and Ulf Sikström to demonstrate old afforestation and fertilization trials in drained peatlands in Central Sweden, close to Stockholm and Uppsala.

Commission VII also held a business meeting on Tuesday, 5 June. The meeting nominated Hannu Hökkä from Finland as Chair of Commission VII. In the meeting, Hannu Hökkä stepped aside from his position as Chair, and Sakari Sarkkola from Finland was elected new Chairperson for the following four-year term. Sylvain Jutras from Canada was elected as new Vice Chair of Commission VII.

Commission VII members were involved in the arrangements of and participated in the meeting “Nordic Water 2012, XXVII Nordic Hydrological Conference - Catchment Restoration and Water Protection”, which was held in Oulu, Finland, on August 13 – 15 2012.

A book printed in English on peatland forest management (Päivänen, J. & Hånell, B. 2012. Peatland Ecology and Forestry - a Sound Approach. University of Helsinki, Department of Forest Sciences Publications 3: 267 p.) was published and officially released at the Peat Congress in Stockholm 2012.

In addition, a new handbook on the practical use of wood ash for forest fertilization by Noora Huotari has been published (Huotari, N. 2012. Tuhkan käyttö metsälannoitteena. 47 p. Finnish Forest Research Institute, www.metla.fi/julkaisut/isbn/978-951-40-2403-0/Tuhkaopas-2012-2painos.pdf ). It is printed in Finnish only, but the abridgement has been published in Swedish (Aska somskogsgödsel, www.metla.fi/hanke/7464/pdf/Broschyr.pdf).

 

Annual Report 2011

During 2011, the commission members received two information letters form the chairperson by email.

Several commission VII members from Finland have been involved in the COST action FP601 ‘Forest management and the water cycle’, which ended in May 2011.

In the Finnish Forest Research Institute the research program ‘Production forestry in drained peatlands’ was completed in late 2011. In a follow-up evaluation, the program’s contribution to the practical forestry was considered valuable through dissemination of new knowledge on e.g., methods of water protection, methods of timber production and harvesting, and methods of regeneration of peatland forests.

Commission VII members are involved in the arrangements of meeting ‘Nordic water 2012’, which will be held in Oulu, Finland, on Aug. 13.-15. 2012.

An English written book on peatland forest management by Juhani Päivänen and Björn Hånell has been under efficient preparation in 2011 and will be published in early 2012.

A new report giving practical guidance on the plantation of trees on cutaway peatlands has been published by GRET in Canada (French only) and is available at: www.gret-perg.ulaval.ca

Hugron S., Bussières B. & Rochefort L. 2011. Plantation d'essences forestières dans le contexte de la restauration écologique des tourbières: un guide pratique. Groupe de Recherche en Ecologie des Tourbières, Université Laval, Québec, 88p.

Annual Report 2010

During 2010 the commission members received two information letter form the chairperson by email.

A joint Nordic meeting on the peatland forest management was arranged in Honne, Norway in September 13-15. Altogether 20 peatland forestry experts from Finland, Sweden and Norway enjoyed the field trip and seminar day. The meeting was funded by the SNS (Nordic Forest Research Co-operation Committee).

Commission VII own Internet page was linked under the IPS web pages. It includes a brief description of what is peatland forestry, what are the key research issues, and how research is supporting sustainable use of peatland forest resources.

Several commission VII members from Finland have been involved in activities of COST action FP601 ‘Forest management and the water cycle’. The action meeting was arranged in September 6-7 in Helsinki followed by a field trip to peatland forests in Hyytiälä surroundings. Several Commission members were involved in the meeting arrangements.

An English written book on peatland forest management is under preparation by Juhani Päivänen and Björn Hånell.

Annual Report 2009

During 2009, the Commission members received one information letter from the Chairperson by email.

An application has been submitted to the Nordic Forest Research Co-operation Committee (SNS) to fund a joint Nordic meeting on the peatland forest management in Norway in September 2010. In December 2009, SNS has made a decision to fund this meeting.

Commission VII has been planning its own Internet page which is linked under the IPS web pages. It includes a brief description of what is peatland forestry, what are the key research issues, and how research is supporting sustainable use of peatland forest resources.

Several commission VII members from Finland have been involved in activities of European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST) action FP601 “Forest management and the water cycle”.

A book on peatland forest management in English has been under preparation by Juhani Päivänen and Björn Hånell.

Commission VII member Prof. Björn Klöve of the University of Oulu has started as the coordinator of VALUE Doctoral School in Integrated Catchment and Water Resources Management, funded by the Academy of Finland. 

Annual Report 2008

Membership information

Commission VII is open to all members of IPS who are interested in discussing peatland forest as a renewable natural resource. The approach is both to understand the functioning of a pristine mire ecosystem and to discuss alternatives when using peatlands for wood production on a sustainable basis. The number of members now totals 55 from 7 different countries. Hannu Hökkä of the Finnish Forest Research Institute, Rovaniemi Research Unit has been the Chairperson since 2004. Commissions VII and V have a common Working Group – Forest plantation on cutaway peatlands.

Activities

At the 13th International Peat Congress five sessions were organized by Commission VII. Two of them had a special theme related to forest ecohydrology. Altogether, 19 oral presentations were given including a key note address by Prof. Wayne Skaggs of North Carolina State University. Additionally, 8 posters described different studies concerning peatland forestry. An excellent in-congress field trip was arranged by Gerry McNally, Florence Renou-Wilson and Mick Keane to demonstrate afforestation trials in abandoned peat cutting areas in central Ireland as well as the Glenlahan blanket bog.

Commission VII also held a business meeting on Tuesday, 10 June. The meeting nominated Dr. Florence Renou-Wilson from Ireland as Vice Chair of Commission VII. Hannu Hökkä will continue as the Chairperson for another four-year term. The meeting also discussed the possibilities of arranging an international meeting during the coming four years.

During 2008, the Commission members received three information letters from the Chairperson by e-mail. As a member of the IPS Scientific Advisory Board, Hannu Hökkä attended the SAB meeting in Tullamore. Subjects discussed at the SAB meetings have been reported in IPS publications during the course of the year.

In 2008 former Commission VII Chair, Professor emeritus Juhani Päivänen has been preparing Wise Use Practical Guidelines for peatland forestry. This work is related to the application of the Wise Use principle in different Commissions of IPS.

The EU COST action FP 0601 “Forest Management and the Water Cycle (FORMAN)” continued in 2008. The COST action aims at the enhancement of knowledge on forest-water interactions in Europe, and the elaboration of science-based guidelines for the improvement of the management of forests predominantly designated for the production and storage of water. Four Commission VII members are engaged in different working groups of this COST action.

In the Finnish Forest Research Institute, the research program “Production forestry on peatlands” continues for the second year. The main concern is in the efficient use of peatland forest resources. The program leader is Professor Jukka Laine.

Several new hydrological projects have been active since 2006 and tentative results of some projects were presented at the Tullamore Congress.

New books

Several members of Commission VII had been writing articles for the new book “Finland - Fenland. Research and sustainable utilisation of mires and peat”, edited by Riitta Korhonen, Leila Korpela and Sakari Sarkkola and published in June 2008 by the Finnish Peatland Society & Maahenki Ltd. The book can be purchased at the IPS online shop for € 58 including mailing costs.

A new book describing forestry potential of Irish cutaway peatlands is also available: Renou-Wilson, F., Keane, M., McNally, G., O’Sullivan, J., Farrell, E.P. 2008. BOGFOR Project Final Report: A research programme to develop a forest resource on industrial cutaway peatlands in the Irish midlands. Coford, Dublin. 176pp.

You can download this book from www.coford.ie/iopen24/developing-forest-resource-industrial-cutaway-peat.... Alternatively you can contact Florence Renou-Wilson at florence.renou@ucd.ie.

Future plans

As outlined at the Commission meeting in Tullamore, the arrangement of an international meeting on hydrology and management of wetlands/peatlands, or ecology and economy related to peatland forest management will be planned during the coming four years.

Annual Report 2007

Membership Information

Commission VII is open for all members of IPS who are interested in discussing peatland forest as a renewable natural resource. The approach is both to understand the functioning of a pristine mire ecosystem and to discuss alternatives when using peatlands for wood production on a sustainable basis. The number of members now totals 47 from 7 different countries. Hannu Hökkä (Finnish Forest Research Institute, Rovaniemi Research Unit) has been the chairperson since 2004. Commissions VII and V have one common working group – Forest plantation on cutaway peatlands.

Activities

During 2007 the commission members received two information letters form the chairperson by email. As a member of the IPS Scientific Advisory Board, Hannu Hökkä attended the SAB meeting in Tullamore, March 9th and in Vlotho, Nov. 3rd. Subjects discussed in SAB meetings have been revised in the 2007 issues of Peatlands International.

In 2007 former Commission VII chairperson, Juhani Päivänen has been active in preparing Wise Use Practical Guidelines for peatland forestry. The first draft was  finished by the end of 2007. This work is related to the application of wise use principle in different Commissions of IPS.

A new EU COST action FP 0601 "Forest Management and the Water Cycle (FORMAN)" has been established in 2007. The COST action aims at the enhancement of knowledge on forest–water interactions in Europe, and the elaboration of science-based guidelines for the improvement of the management of forests predominantly designated for the production and storage of water. Four of Commission VII members are working in different working groups of this COST action.

In the Finnish Forest Research Institute, a new research program ‘Production forestry on peatlands’ was initiated. The main concern is in the efficient use of peatland forest resources. The program leader is professor Jukka Laine.
Several research projects on peatland hydrology that were started in 2006 continued in 2007 with data collection.

By the end of 2007, the first forest management guide lines for Finnish peatland forest were published by the Forestry Development Centre TAPIO. The input to the preparation of the guide lines provided by several members of Commission VII has been invaluable.

New Book
The former chairperson, Juhani Päivänen has written a book ‘Suot ja suometsät – järkevän käytön perusteet’ (Peatlands and peatland forests – basics for reasonable use) published by Metsäkustannus Oy. It is printed in Finnish only, but there is a plan to translate this excellent book into other languages, too.

Future Activities
In June 2008, IPS will arrange the 13th International Peat Congress in Tullamore, Ireland. In that meeting there will be two sessions that are related to peatland forests: ‘Ecology and management on forested peatlands’ and a special session on ecohydrology of forested peatlands. Commission VII chairperson is a member of the conference scientific committee.

Annual Report 2006

Membership information

Commission VII is open for all members of IPS who are interested in discussing peatland forest as a renewable natural resource. The approach is both to understand the functioning of a pristine mire ecosystem and to discuss alternatives when using peatlands for wood production on a sustainable basis. The number of members now totals 51 from 10 different countries. Hannu Hökkä from the Finnish Forest Research Institute, Rovaniemi Research Unit has been the Chairperson since 2004. Commissions VII and V have one common working group – Forest plantation on cutaway peatlands.

Activities

During 2006, the Commission members received one information letter from the Chairperson by e-mail. As a member of the IPS Scientific Advisory Board, Hannu Hökkä attended the SAB meeting in Amsterdam on 30 November. Subjects discussed at SAB meetings have been reviewed in the 2006 issues of Peatlands International. One important task of SAB in 2006 was the development of the IPS Event organization guide.

In 2006, Juhani Päivänen, former Chair of Commission VII, has been involved in two dictionary projects: the Finnish - Russian forest dictionary and the Finnish - English forest dictionary. Juhani Päivänen has also been active in preparing Wise Use Practical Guidelines for peatland forestry, which is an IPS project.

The Commission Chair attended two international meetings, both partly sponsored by IPS. On 14 - 18 April 2006, an international conference on “Hydrology and management of forested wetlands” was arranged by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers in New Bern, North Carolina, USA. At the meeting, there were numerous presentations of wetland hydrological processes, restoration and best management practices, biogeochemical cycling, monitoring and modelling techniques, effects of drainage on hydrology, hydrology and water quality, sustainable management, and effects of land use and climate change on wetland hydrology and water quality. Most of the participants were from North America, but numerous other countries were represented, which enabled the exchange of experiences of wetland scientists around the world. The contents of the proceedings book can be seen at the following web page: http://asae.frymulti.com/conference.asp?confid=hmfw2006

The other conference also addressing peatland issues was the 13th International Conference of the International Boreal Forest Research Association (IBFRA), held in Umeå, Sweden on 28 - 30 August 2006. IBFRA is a non-governmental public institution, established in 1991 to promote and co-ordinate research to increase understanding of boreal forest in the global environment. Basically covering all forest research carried out in the boreal forest region, peatland themes also involved such topics as Boreal Forest Management, Peatlands and permafrost, and Carbon balance.

In Finland, new research projects were started in 2006 to investigate means to minimize the environmental effects of ditch network maintenance operations on watercourses. The University of Oulu and the Finnish Environmental Administration are studying effects of runoff water retention, wetlands and floodplain forests on water quality and flood risks on ditch network maintenance areas. The Finnish Forest Research Institute, the Finnish Environmental Administration, the Forestry Development Centre Tapio and the Geological Survey of Finland started a joint project to develop tools for water protection in forestry. In the Finnish Forest Research Institute, new field experiments were established to study if the use of tree stand water could compensate for the need to make ditch maintenance operations. All studies are expected to produce a lot of new information on peatland hydrology and aim at more sustainable management practices for drained peatland forests.

New books

In July 2006, Oxford University Press published a book “The Biology of Peatlands” written by Prof. John Jeglum and Prof. Håkan Rydin. Prof. Jeglum is a member of Commission VII.

At the end of 2006, a new book was published by the Finnish Forest Research Institute: Maslov B.S., Konstantinov, B.V. Babikov, B.V., and Ahti, E. (eds.) 2006. “Permanent experiments on drained peatlands in Russia”. The book is printed in Russian but also includes an English summary so that those who wish to know more about field experiments in peatland forests in Russia may enjoy the book. Copies of the book can be ordered from Dr. Erkki Ahti at erkki.ahti@metla.fi.

Future activities

In 2008, IPS will arrange the 13th International Peat Congress in Tullamore, Ireland, which will include a session on “Ecology and management on forested peatlands”. The Chair of Commission VII is a member of the scientific committee of the Congress.

Cooperation

Commissions V and VII have been cooperating in planning a joint meeting on “Forest plantation on cutaway peatlands”. The conclusion was that such a meeting is not necessary before the 13th International Peat Congress in Ireland in 2008.

Annual Report 2005

Membership information

Commission VII is open for all members of IPS who are interested in discussing peatland forest as a renewable natural resource. The approach is both to understand the functioning of a pristine mire ecosystem and to discuss alternatives when using peatlands for wood production on sustainable basis. The number of members now totals 51 from 10 different countries. Hannu Hökkä of the Finnish Forest Research Institute, Rovaniemi Research Unit is the chairperson, since 2004.

Activities

During 2005, the commission members received one information letter from the chairperson by email. As a member of the IPS Scientific Advisory Board, Hannu Hökkä attended the SAB meetings in Warsaw in May and in Copenhagen in November. Subjects discussed at SAB meetings have been reviewed in the 2005 issues of Peatlands International. To promote the Wise Use concept, the IPS Executive Board has decided to consider the inclusion of guidelines for Wise Use of forestry on peatlands. Commission VII has proposed that Juhani Päivänen would be the right person to review the situation.

Future activities

In 2006, peatland and forestry issues will be discussed in two important international conferences. In April 2006, a conference on “Hydrology and management of forested wetlands” will be arranged by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers in New Bern, North Carolina. In August 2006, the International Boreal Forest Research Association will arrange the 13th IBFRA Conference in Umeå, Sweden, with several themes connected to peatlands. Please see the IBFRA web pages for more detailed information. Within the IUFRO, other forestry meetings will be arranged in 2006, more information will be available from the IUFRO web pages.

Cooperation

IPS has decided to promote the 13th IBFRA conference and is expecting IBFRA to promote IPS meetings in the future. This will be important especially for the activities of Commission VII. The possibility to arrange a joint meeting with Commissions V and VII and the working group “Forest plantation on cutaway peatlands” is under discussion.

Annual Report 2004

Membership information

Commission VII is open to all members of IPS who are interested in discussing peatland forest as a renewable natural resource. The approach is both to understand the functioning of a pristine mire ecosystem and to discuss alternatives when using peatlands for wood production on a sustainable basis. The number of members now totals 51 from 10 different countries. During 2004, the commission members received three information letters from the chairperson by e-mail.

International Meetings

Commission VII had an important role in the arrangement of the 12th International Peat Congress in Tampere, Finland on 6 - 12 June 2004. Commission chair, Juhani Päivänen, was the chairman of the Scientific Committee and the editor of the Congress Proceedings. Commission VII had a contributed papers session entitled “Forestry in Peatlands” with 16 oral presentations. Additionally, 18 poster presentations were related to peatland forestry. Three of the Congress field trips had their focus on peatland forestry issues. Commission VII also had a technical meeting during the Congress with 13 members attending. The meeting discussed the mission and goals of Commission VII as well as the new organization structure of IPS. In the meeting, Juhani Päivänen stepped aside from his position as chairperson and Hannu Hökkä from the Finnish Forest Research Institute, Rovaniemi Research Station  was elected to be the new chairperson. According to the new organization structure of IPS, Hannu Hökkä is also a member of the IPS Scientific Advisory Board, and attended its first meeting in Amsterdam on 1 November 2004.

Publications

The book “Lakkasuo – a guide to mire ecosystem” is an excellent review of numerous multi-disciplinary studies carried out in the Lakkasuo mire in southern Finland during last decades.  It describes, in general, the functioning of a pristine mire ecosystem and the possible changes after forest drainage. The book can be ordered from the Department of Forest Ecology, University of Helsinki, E-mail jukka.lippu@helsinki.fi, price € 15 including postage.

Future Activities

The year 2005 will be less busy than the previous one in peatland forestry business. In August 2005, there is an IUFRO World Congress in Brisbane, Australia. However, no sessions are directly related to peatland forestry. Within the IUFRO, several other forestry meetings will be arranged in 2005; more information will be available from the IUFRO website. An important symposium on “Hydrology and management of forested wetlands” will be arranged by the American Society of Agricultural Engineers in North Carolina in April 2006, the deadline for submission of abstracts being 1 April 2005. More information is available at www.asae.org/meetings/Forest2006.

Cooperation

At the IPS chair meeting in Amsterdam in 2004, Commission V (After-use of Peatlands, chaired by Line Rochefort) and Commission VII agreed to create a joint working group on the subject of forest plantations on cutover peatlands. The goal of this working group is to organise the exchange of information and field workshops on how to grow trees on cutover and cutaway peatlands. This can be aimed at timber production or habitat creation to improve biodiversity. Leading experts in this field are: Lasse Aro, Finnish Forest Research Institute (METLA), Finland, e-mail: lasse.aro@metla.fi and Florence Renou, the Forest Ecosystems Research Group, University College Dublin, Ireland, e-mail: florence.renou@ucd.ie. An option to arrange a joint meeting of Commissions V and VII is under discussion.

Commission VII has also established close co-operation with the IUFRO Peatland Forestry (1.05.01) Working Party.

Annual Report 2003

Membership Information

Commission VII is open for all IPS members who are interested in discussing peatland forests as a renewable natural resource. The approach is both to understand the functioning of a natural mire ecosystem and to use peatlands for sustainable wood production. The number of members totals now to 51 from 10 different countries.

International Meetings

Commission chairperson, Juhani Päivänen, attended a two-day excursion arranged by the IPS Swedish National Committee in August 2003, in Upland, Sweden. The main target with the excursion was to promote the approach of sustainable use of peat and peatlands in Sweden. It had a close connection to the report “Uthållig användning av torv – Peat in sustainable energy system” published by the Swedish Peat Commission. However, also the other aspects of mire utilization (peatland forestry, agriculture on peatlands as well as mire conservation) were taken into consideration. Demonstrations on the geological scale peat formation and the functioning of a raised bog ecosystem given by Swedish experts were highly illustrative ones. The excursion group consisted of both research scientists, people from peat industry and several members of the Swedish parliament.

Wise use of peatlands

The document Wise use of mires and peatlands – Background and principles including a framework for decision-making has been widely promoted through the commission. The main information, the framework for decision-making and the background for professional knowledge, was even translated into Finnish. This constructive review was published in the journal Suo – Mires and peat 54(1): 29-37.

12th International Peat Congress, Tampere, Finland

An open call letter was sent in Nov. 2003 to every member to remember about the coming congress. The following key words were suggested for the theme of Ecology and management on forested peatlands: peatland site type classification for forestry; forested wetlands; biodiversity; forest drainage; silvicultural management; tree stand structure; wood properties; nutrient regimes; regeneration. Up to now the organizers have received about 30 one-page abstracts suggested to this wide theme dealing with peatland forestry questions; half of them for oral and the other half for poster presentation.
Most of the one-day inter-congress excursions will also visit a peatland site drained and used for forestry. Two of them will even have their focus on peatland forestry issues.
In the connection with the Congress Commission VII will keep its business meeting; the Commission shall e.g. elect a new chairman to ensure a proper rotation.

Cooperation

Commission VII is in close cooperation with IUFRO Peatland forestry (1.05.01) Working Party chaired by professor John Jeglum (John.Jeglum@sek.slu.se).

Annual Report 2002

Membership Information

Commission VII is open for all IPS members who are interested in discussing peatland forests as a renewable natural resource. The approach is both to understand the functioning of a natural mire ecosystem and to use peatlands for sustainable wood production. The number of members now totals to 51 from 10 different countries.

International Meetings

Commission chairman Juhani Päivänen attended several international meetings. He was the official representative for the Finnish National Committee in the IPS Annual Assembly in Manchester, UK in May 2002. He also attended the Ramsar Convention meeting in Valencia, Spain in November 2002 where IPS and IMCG had their common meeting. He also gave an invited lecture "Use of wetlands for sustainable forestry" in the Nanjing Wetlands Symposium in September 2002 (see next chapter).

Nanjing Wetlands Symposium

The Nanjing International Wetlands Symposium in Nanjing, China, on 8 - 18 September 2002, was titled "Wet-land Restoration and Management: Addressing Asian Issues Through International Collaboration". The conference was a joint meeting including members from the Society of Wetlands Scientists, the Wetland Research Center of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the International Peat Society, the International Mire Conservation Group, and Chinese Ecological Society, among others.

The local organizer was Nanjing Forestry University. The main international sponsor was the Society of Wetland Scientists – IPS being one of the co-sponsors. Dr. Carl Trettin from the US Forest Service held a very responsible position in the different levels of planning and realization of the event. At the early stage of planning the symposium was intended to focus on wetland forestry, but later on it turned out that wetland restoration was a more attractive issue to be discussed. However, more than 15 presentations dealt with forested wetlands; most of them covered forests in brackish water conditions.

For a report on the symposium, see Peatlands International 2/2002: 45-46 and for the excursion to the Yangtze river watershed, see Peatlands International 2/2002: 47-50. Some of the presentations were planned to be shared via a post-conference web site. At this moment the web site is not operational. The address will be announced later on. As a result of the Nanjing meeting, a wetland journal is being developed in China. It has been announced that the first issue of Journal of Wetland Science will be published by the Chinese Academy of Sciences in 2003.

Wise Use of Peatlands

The commission continued actively to take part with the discussions concerning the issue of Wise Use of peatlands. The last comments to the authors (Donal Clarke and Hans Joosten) were given in July 2002. After the document Wise use of mires and peatlands – Background and principles including a framework for decision-making was launched in Valencia, Spain in November 2002 it has been widely promoted through the commission. The main information, the framework for decision-making and the background for professional knowledge, were even translated into Finnish. This constructive review will be published in the journal Suo – Mires and peat in the near future.

12th International Peat Congress in Tampere, Finland in 2004

The work of the Scientific Committee has progressed. There will be an open call for oral and poster papers. The following key words have been suggested for the session of Ecology and management on forested peatlands: peatland site type classification for forestry; forested wetlands; biodiversity; forest drainage; silvicultural management; tree stand structure; wood properties; nutrient regimes; regeneration. It has been suggested that all discussions concerning carbon and element budgets in mires and peatlands in connection with the climatic change will be gathered into one special session. Thus the carbon budget would be the main issue in this session irrespective of the form of peatland utilization. Most of the one-day inter-congress excursions will also visit a peatland site drained and used for forestry. One or two of the excursions will even have its focus on peatland forestry issues.

Cooperation

Commission VII is in close co-operation with the IUFRO Peatland forestry (1.05.01) Working Party chaired by Professor John Jeglum, e-mail: John.Jeglum@sek.slu.se.