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  Subjects -> FORESTS AND FORESTRY (Total: 110 journals)
    - FORESTS AND FORESTRY (109 journals)
    - LUMBER AND WOOD (1 journals)

FORESTS AND FORESTRY (109 journals)                     

Showing 1 - 12 of 12 Journals sorted alphabetically
Acta Silvatica et Lignaria Hungarica     Open Access  
Advance in Forestry Research     Open Access   (Followers: 5)
Advances in Forestry Letters     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Advances in Forestry Science     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Agrociencia     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Agroforestry Systems     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 20)
Annals of Forest Research     Open Access  
Annals of Forest Science     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4)
Annals of Silvicultural Research     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Appita Journal: Journal of the Technical Association of the Australian and New Zealand Pulp and Paper Industry     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 8)
Arboricultural Journal : The International Journal of Urban Forestry     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 7)
Arboriculture and Urban Forestry     Partially Free   (Followers: 7)
Australian Forest Grower     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
Australian Forestry     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Balduinia     Open Access  
Banko Janakari     Open Access  
Bosque     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Bulletin of University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine Cluj-Napoca. Horticulture     Open Access  
Canadian Journal of Forest Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 27)
Canadian Journal of Plant Science     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 14)
Ciência Florestal     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Ciencia forestal en México     Open Access  
Colombia Forestal     Open Access  
Current Forestry Reports     Hybrid Journal  
Dissertationes Forestales     Open Access  
East African Agricultural and Forestry Journal     Hybrid Journal  
European Journal of Forest Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 5)
Expert Opinion on Environmental Biology     Hybrid Journal  
Floresta e Ambiente     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Folia Forestalia Polonica     Open Access  
Forest Ecology and Management     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 55)
Forest Ecosystems     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Forest Pathology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2)
Forest Phytophthoras     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Forest Policy and Economics     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 23)
Forest Research Papers     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Forest Science     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 5)
Forest Science and Practice     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2)
Forest Science and Technology     Partially Free   (Followers: 1)
Forest Systems     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Forest@ : Journal of Silviculture and Forest Ecology     Open Access  
Foresta Veracruzana     Open Access  
Forestry Chronicle     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 10)
Forestry Letters     Open Access  
Forestry Studies : Metsanduslikud Uurimused     Open Access  
Forestry: An International Journal of Forest Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 16)
Forests     Open Access   (Followers: 4)
Forests, Trees and Livelihoods     Partially Free   (Followers: 5)
Ghana Journal of Forestry     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
Holzforschung     Hybrid Journal  
iForest : Biogeosciences and Forestry     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Indonesian Journal of Forestry Research     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
INNOTEC : Revista del Laboratorio Tecnológico del Uruguay     Open Access  
International Forestry Review     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 7)
International Journal of Agriculture and Forestry     Open Access   (Followers: 8)
International Journal of Forest Engineering     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 1)
International Journal of Forestry Research     Open Access   (Followers: 4)
Irish Journal of Agricultural and Food Research     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Journal of Agriculture, Forestry and the Social Sciences     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
Journal of Biodiversity Management & Forestry     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 3)
Journal of Environmental Extension     Full-text available via subscription  
Journal of Forest and Livelihood     Open Access  
Journal of Forest Economics     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6)
Journal of Forest Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 3)
Journal of Forestry     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 14)
Journal of Forestry Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4)
Journal of Horticulture and Forestry     Open Access   (Followers: 5)
Journal of Natural Resources Policy Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 13)
Journal of Research in Forestry, Wildlife and Environment     Open Access   (Followers: 4)
Journal of Sustainable Forestry     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 7)
Journal of the Faculty of Forestry Istanbul University     Open Access  
Journal of Tropical Forestry and Environment     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Journal of Wood Chemistry and Technology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 8)
Journal of Wood Science     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 3)
Jurnal Ilmu Kehutanan     Open Access  
Jurnal Manajemen Hutan Tropika     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Jurnal Penelitian Kehutanan Wallacea     Open Access  
La Calera     Open Access  
Landscapes     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 18)
Lesnícky časopis     Open Access  
Maderas. Ciencia y tecnología     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Mathematical and Computational Forestry & Natural-Resource Sciences     Free  
Natural Areas Journal     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 12)
New Forests     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2)
New Zealand Journal of Forestry Science     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Open Journal of Forestry     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Plant Science Bulletin     Free   (Followers: 8)
Quebracho. Revista de Ciencias Forestales     Open Access  
Research Journal of Forestry     Open Access   (Followers: 4)
Revista Árvore     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Revista Chapingo. Serie Ciencias Forestales y del Ambiente     Open Access  
Revista de Agricultura Neotropical     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Revista Ecologia e Nutrição Florestal - ENFLO     Open Access  
Revista Verde de Agroecologia e Desenvolvimento Sustentável     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Revue forestière française     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 4)
Rural Sustainability Research     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Rwanda Journal     Full-text available via subscription  
Scandinavian Journal of Forest Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4)
Science, Technology and Arts Research Journal     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Silva Lusitana     Open Access  
Small-scale Forestry     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2)
Southern African Forestry Journal     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
Southern Forests : a Journal of Forest Science     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 5)
Tanzania Journal of Forestry and Nature Conservation     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Trees     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 5)
Urban Forestry & Urban Greening     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 9)
Veld & Flora     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Wahana Forestra : Jurnal Kehutanan     Open Access  
Wood and Fiber Science     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)


Journal Cover Forests
  [SJR: 0.63]   [H-I: 16]   [4 followers]  Follow
  This is an Open Access Journal Open Access journal
   ISSN (Print) 1999-4907
   Published by MDPI Homepage  [151 journals]
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 255: An Assessment of a Community-Based, Forest
           Restoration Programme in Durban (eThekwini), South Africa

    • Authors: Lutendo Mugwedi, Mathieu Rouget, Benis Egoh, Sershen, Syd Ramdhani, Rob Slotow, Jorge Rentería
      First page: 255
      Abstract: The restoration of degraded forests to enhance biodiversity, ecosystem services, as well as climate change mitigation and adaptation is now a major priority in cities around the world. This study evaluated the success of the Buffelsdraai Landfill Site Community Reforestation Project in Durban, South Africa, by assessing ecological attributes. Measures of plant richness, diversity, vegetation structure, invasive alien plants (IAPs) and ecological processes were contrasted across a chronosequence of habitats under restoration (0-year-old, 3-year-old and 5-year-old) and compared with a reference forest habitat (remnant natural forest). Native tree species recruitment and vegetation structure increased with restoration age. Ecological processes, represented by the composition of pollination and seed dispersal traits in all of the habitats under restoration, were similar to the reference habitat. However, low tree density and an increase in IAP cover with an increase in restoration age were identified as threats to reforestation success. We recommend enrichment planting and an effective IAP management strategy to promote more rapid habitat restoration while reducing site maintenance costs. Enrichment planting should not only focus on increasing tree species density and richness, but also on the inclusion of species with missing pollination and seed dispersal categories.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-07-28
      DOI: 10.3390/f8080255
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 8 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 256: Reconstructed Inter-Annual Variation in
           September–October Precipitation for the Upper Reaches of the Heihe River
           and Its Implications for Regional Drought Conditions

    • Authors: Bo Wang, Tuo Chen, Guobao Xu, Guoju Wu
      First page: 256
      Abstract: Due to the lack of available long-term climatic records, data related to past autumn precipitation variability throughout Northwest China, especially high-frequency variation, remains limited. In this study, it was found that inter-annual changes in Qinghai spruce radial growth were significantly and negatively (p < 0.05) correlated to inter-annual differences in precipitation during the late growing season (September–October) at all sampling sites in the upper reaches of the Heihe River. Based on the growth–climate relationship, a reconstruction of the inter-annual variation in September–October precipitation from 1839 was developed. With the help of this reconstruction, we successfully captured increased inter-annual variations in September–October precipitation during 1855–1861, 1892–1902, and 1969–1986. Furthermore, we found that increased precipitation variation might be related to variation in the westerlies and instability in the relationship between the regional westerly and precipitation. Moreover, our reconstructed data significantly correlated to the drought index (i.e., October SPEI_01) and moisture-related parameters (i.e., September–October cloud fraction), suggesting that our reconstructed data could be used as an indicator of the drought condition in the Heihe River Basin during the late growing season.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-07-29
      DOI: 10.3390/f8080256
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 8 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 261: Effects of Environmental Changes on the
           Occurrence of Oreomunnea mexicana (Juglandaceae) in a Biodiversity Hotspot
           Cloud Forest

    • Authors: Cecilia Alfonso-Corrado, Francisco Naranjo-Luna, Ricardo Clark-Tapia, Jorge Campos, Octavio Rojas-Soto, María Luna-Krauletz, Barbara Bodenhorn, Montserrat Gorgonio-Ramírez, Nelly Pacheco-Cruz
      First page: 261
      Abstract: The tropical montane cloud forests are recognized as one of the most biodiverse ecosystems. In spite of this, they are among the most threatened ecosystems in the world. This study integrates three ecological approaches generally studied separately: climate change scenery, ecological niche and population dynamics of Oreomunnea mexicana (an endangered and relict species), to understand how environmental change affects the population structure in the cloud forest that will allow its conservation. Potential distribution under future climatic scenarios of the species at national and regional levels was generated from the Maxent algorithm. Also, the current abundance, distribution and the ecological niche of the species were analyzed at the regional level. Changes in potential distribution under two climatic models suggest a habitat reduction from 36% to 55% nationally, and 2% to 9% at a regional level, for 2050 and 2070, respectively. The current distribution of the species is fragmented and consists of subpopulations that have spatial structures of aggregated populations and a size structure in reversed “J” form. The ecological niche of the species is highly specialized and sensitive to environmental changes. O. mexicana is a flagship species of biological and cultural importance to the region’s inhabitants and could be fundamental to the conservation of tropical montane cloud forests.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-07-26
      DOI: 10.3390/f8080261
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 8 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 264: In Vitro Tetraploid Induction from Leaf and
           Petiole Explants of Hybrid Sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua ×
           Liquidambar formosana)

    • Authors: Yan Zhang, Zewei Wang, Shuaizheng Qi, Xiaoqi Wang, Jian Zhao, Jinfeng Zhang, Bailian Li, Yadong Zhang, Xuezeng Liu, Wei Yuan
      First page: 264
      Abstract: Liquidambar is an important forestry species used to generate many commercial wood products, such as plywood. Inducing artificial polyploidy is an effective method to encourage genetic enhancements in forestry breeding. This report presents the first in vitro protocol for the induction of genus Liquidambar tetraploids based on the established in vitro regeneration system of hybrid sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua × Liquidambar formosana). The leaves and petioles from three genotypes were pre-cultured in woody plant medium (WPM) supplemented with 0.1 mg/L thidiazuron (TDZ), 0.8 mg/L benzyladenine (BA), and 0.1 mg/L α-naphthalene acetic acid (NAA) for a variable number of days (4, 6 or 8 days), and exposed to varying concentrations of colchicine (120, 160, 200 mg/L) for 3, 4 or 5 days; the four factors were investigated using an orthogonal experimental design. Adventitious shoots were rooted in 1/2 WPM medium supplemented with 2.0 mg/L indole butyric acid (IBA) and 0.1 mg/L NAA. The ploidy level was assessed using flow cytometry and chromosome counting. Four tetraploids and nine mixoploids were obtained from the leaves. Pre-treatment of the leaves for 8 days and exposure to 200 mg/L colchicine for 3 days led to the most efficient tetraploid induction. Producing 11 tetraploids and five mixoploids from petioles, the best tetraploid induction treatment for petioles was almost the same as that with the leaves, except that pre-culturing was required for only 6 days. In total, 15 tetraploids were obtained with these treatments. This study described a technique for the induction of tetraploid sweetgum from the leaves or petioles of parental material. Based on the success of polyploid breeding in other tree species, the production of hybrid sweetgum allotetraploids constitutes a promising strategy for the promotion of future forestry breeding.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-07-28
      DOI: 10.3390/f8080264
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 8 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 265: Automatic Mapping of Forest Stands Based on
           Three-Dimensional Point Clouds Derived from Terrestrial Laser-Scanning

    • Authors: Tim Ritter, Marcel Schwarz, Andreas Tockner, Friedrich Leisch, Arne Nothdurft
      First page: 265
      Abstract: Mapping of exact tree positions can be regarded as a crucial task of field work associated with forest monitoring, especially on intensive research plots. We propose a two-stage density clustering approach for the automatic mapping of tree positions, and an algorithm for automatic tree diameter estimates based on terrestrial laser-scanning (TLS) point cloud data sampled under limited sighting conditions. We show that our novel approach is able to detect tree positions in a mixed and vertically structured stand with an overall accuracy of 91.6%, and with omission- and commission error of only 5.7% and 2.7% respectively. Moreover, we were able to reproduce the stand’s diameter in breast height (DBH) distribution, and to estimate single trees DBH with a mean average deviation of ±2.90 cm compared with tape measurements as reference.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-07-25
      DOI: 10.3390/f8080265
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 8 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 266: Variation in the Concentrations of Major
           Secondary Metabolites in Ginkgo Leaves from Different Geographical

    • Authors: Qi Zhou, Kemin Mu, Meng Xu, Xueying Ma, Zhouxian Ni, Jianwen Wang, Li-an Xu
      First page: 266
      Abstract: Ginkgo biloba L. is a well-known relict tree species and an important medicinal plant. Ginkgo is rich in secondary metabolites (SMs), mainly including flavonoids, lactones, and ginkgolic acid. The aim of this study was to determine variations in the concentrations of these SMs in Ginkgo leaves from different geographical populations. The SMs in the leaves of 298 clones from 10 geographical populations grafted under the same conditions were extracted and measured by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). The results showed that there were significant differences in concentrations of SMs in leaves from different populations (p < 0.01). The concentrations of both flavonoids and lactones were significantly negatively correlated with that of ginkgolic acid. Altitude and annual rainfall were important factors influencing the concentrations of lactones, and the frost-free period influenced the concentration of isorhamnetin. Population Yingdianjie (YDJ) was ideal for the plantations from which medicinal flavonoids and lactones are extracted, followed by populations Xiaopu (XP), Anlu (AL) and Wuchuan (WC). As variations within each population were found, attention should be paid to selection within populations.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-07-28
      DOI: 10.3390/f8080266
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 8 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 267: Earth System Model Needs for Including the
           Interactive Representation of Nitrogen Deposition and Drought Effects on
           Forested Ecosystems

    • Authors: Beth Drewniak, Miquel Gonzalez-Meler
      First page: 267
      Abstract: One of the biggest uncertainties of climate change is determining the response of vegetation to many co-occurring stressors. In particular, many forests are experiencing increased nitrogen deposition and are expected to suffer in the future from increased drought frequency and intensity. Interactions between drought and nitrogen deposition are antagonistic and non-additive, which makes predictions of vegetation response dependent on multiple factors. The tools we use (Earth system models) to evaluate the impact of climate change on the carbon cycle are ill equipped to capture the physiological feedbacks and dynamic responses of ecosystems to these types of stressors. In this manuscript, we review the observed effects of nitrogen deposition and drought on vegetation as they relate to productivity, particularly focusing on carbon uptake and partitioning. We conclude there are several areas of model development that can improve the predicted carbon uptake under increasing nitrogen deposition and drought. This includes a more flexible framework for carbon and nitrogen partitioning, dynamic carbon allocation, better representation of root form and function, age and succession dynamics, competition, and plant modeling using trait-based approaches. These areas of model development have the potential to improve the forecasting ability and reduce the uncertainty of climate models.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-07-27
      DOI: 10.3390/f8080267
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 8 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 268: Biomass Modeling of Larch (Larix spp.)
           Plantations in China Based on the Mixed Model, Dummy Variable Model, and
           Bayesian Hierarchical Model

    • Authors: Dongsheng Chen, Xingzhao Huang, Shougong Zhang, Xiaomei Sun
      First page: 268
      Abstract: With the development of national-scale forest biomass monitoring work, accurate estimation of forest biomass on a large scale is becoming an important research topic in forestry. In this study, the stem wood, branches, stem bark, needles, roots and total biomass models for larch were developed at the regional level, using a general allometric equation, a dummy variable model, a mixed effects model, and a Bayesian hierarchical model, to select the most effective method for predicting large-scale forest biomass. Results showed total biomass of trees with the same diameter gradually decreased from southern to northern regions in China, except in the Hebei province. We found that the stem wood, branch, stem bark, needle, root, and total biomass model relationships were statistically significant (p-values < 0.01) for the general allometric equation, linear mixed model, dummy variable model, and Bayesian hierarchical model, but the linear mixed, dummy variable, and Bayesian hierarchical models showed better performance than the general allometric equation. An F-test also showed significant differences between the models. The R2 average values of the linear mixed model, dummy variable model, and Bayesian hierarchical model were higher than those of the general allometric equation by 0.007, 0.018, 0.015, 0.004, 0.09, and 0.117 for the total tree, root, stem wood, stem bark, branch, and needle models respectively. However, there were no significant differences between the linear mixed model, dummy variable model, and Bayesian hierarchical model. When the number of categories was increased, the linear mixed model and Bayesian hierarchical model were more flexible and applicable than the dummy variable model for the construction of regional biomass models.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-07-27
      DOI: 10.3390/f8080268
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 8 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 269: Allometric Equations for Estimating Biomass
           and Carbon Stocks in the Temperate Forests of North-Western Mexico

    • Authors: Benedicto Vargas-Larreta, Carlos Antonio López-Sánchez, José Javier Corral-Rivas, Jorge Omar López-Martínez, Cristóbal Gerardo Aguirre-Calderón, Juan Gabriel Álvarez-González
      First page: 269
      Abstract: This paper presents new equations for estimating above-ground biomass (AGB) and biomass components of seventeen forest species in the temperate forests of northwestern Mexico. A data set corresponding to 1336 destructively sampled oak and pine trees was used to fit the models. The generalized method of moments was used to simultaneously fit systems of equations for biomass components and AGB, to ensure additivity. In addition, the carbon content of each tree component was calculated by the dry combustion method, in a TOC analyser. The results of cross-validation indicated that the fitted equations accounted for on average 91%, 82%, 83% and 76% of the observed variance in stem wood and stem bark, branch and foliage biomass, respectively, whereas the total AGB equations explained on average 93% of the total observed variance in AGB. The inclusion of total height (h) or diameter at breast height2 × total height (d2h) as a predictor in the d-only based equations systems slightly improved estimates for stem wood, stem bark and total above-ground biomass, and greatly improved the estimates produced by the branch and foliage biomass equations. The predictive power of the proposed equations is higher than that of existing models for the study area. The fitted equations were used to estimate stand level AGB stocks from data on growing stock in 429 permanent sampling plots. Three machine-learning techniques were used to model the estimated stand level AGB and carbon contents; the selected models were used to map the AGB and carbon distributions in the study area, for which mean values of respectively 129.84 Mg ha−1 and 63.80 Mg ha−1 were obtained.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-07-28
      DOI: 10.3390/f8080269
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 8 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 270: Integration of Fire Risk in a Sustainable
           Forest Management Model

    • Authors: Maria Costa Freitas, António Xavier, Rui Fragoso
      First page: 270
      Abstract: In Mediterranean areas, forest fires are a considerable risk most years. The seasonality of the climate with a dry summer, high temperatures and low rainfall (which implies increased flammability of materials) is one of the main factors in the ignition and progression of fires. This factor conjugated with more favourable biophysical conditions (e.g., high slopes, aspect) leads to easy propagation and the increasingly destructive power of such phenomena. To prevent and reduce the consequences of forest fires, it is necessary to simulate and forecast the territory use and management, not only focused on forest areas, but also on all land uses and agricultural activities that may coexist there, considering the probability of fire occurrence. The objective of this paper is to present a methodological approach to address the integration of fire risk in integrated Mediterranean forest management models. The methodological approach considers simultaneously the climatic conditions through different times of the year (more or less favourable to forest fire damage) and structural conditions addressed to land uses, aspect, slope, roads and demographic density. The methodological approach was implemented in a management area located in the Algarve, in southern Portugal. The results for the Algarve region showed that the proposed approach is very useful for managers, since it allowed the calculation of fire susceptibility, vulnerability and fire damage, according to several climatic scenarios. It also allowed the incorporation of different paths regarding different fire risk conditions and the minimization of risk due to fire damage through different management responses.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-07-29
      DOI: 10.3390/f8080270
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 8 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 271: Understanding Measurement Reporting and
           Verification Systems for REDD+ as an Investment for Generating Carbon

    • Authors: Giulio Di Lallo, Philip Mundhenk, Marco Marchetti, Michael Köhl
      First page: 271
      Abstract: Reducing emissions from forests—generating carbon credits—in return for REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation) payments represents a primary objective of forestry and development projects worldwide. Setting reference levels (RLs), establishing a target for emission reductions from avoided deforestation and degradation, and implementing an efficient monitoring system underlie effective REDD+ projects, as they are key factors that affect the generation of carbon credits. We analyzed the interdependencies among these factors and their respective weights in generating carbon credits. Our findings show that the amounts of avoided emissions under a REDD+ scheme mainly vary according to the monitoring technique adopted; nevertheless, RLs have a nearly equal influence. The target for reduction of emissions showed a relatively minor impact on the generation of carbon credits, particularly when coupled with low RLs. Uncertainties in forest monitoring can severely undermine the derived allocation of benefits, such as the REDD+ results-based payments to developing countries. Combining statistically-sound sampling designs with Lidar data provides a means to reduce uncertainties and likewise increases the amount of accountable carbon credits that can be claimed. This combined approach requires large financial resources; we found that results-based payments can potentially pay-off the necessary investment in technologies that would enable accurate and precise estimates of activity data and emission factors. Conceiving of measurement, reporting and verification (MRV) systems as investments is an opportunity for tropical countries in particular to implement well-defined, long-term forest monitoring strategies.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-07-29
      DOI: 10.3390/f8080271
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 8 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 272: Remnant Trees in Enrichment Planted Gaps in
           Quintana Roo, Mexico: Reasons for Retention and Effects on Seedlings

    • Authors: Angélica Navarro-Martínez, Sebastian Palmas, Edward Ellis, Pascual Blanco-Reyes, Carolina Vargas-Godínez, Ana Iuit-Jiménez, Irving Hernández-Gómez, Peter Ellis, Alfredo Álvarez-Ugalde, Yavé Carrera-Quirino, Samaria Armenta-Montero, Francis Putz
      First page: 272
      Abstract: Natural forest management in the tropics is often impeded by scarcity of advanced regeneration of commercial species. To supplement natural regeneration in a forest managed by a community in the Selva Maya of Mexico, nursery-grown Swietenia macrophylla seedlings were planted in multiple-tree felling gaps, known as bosquetes. Remnant trees are often left standing in gaps for cultural and economic reasons or due to their official protected status. We focus on these purposefully retained trees and their impacts on planted seedlings. Sampled bosquetes were 400–1800 m2, of which remnant trees covered a mean of 29%. Seedling height growth rates over the first 18 months after out-planting more than doubled with increased canopy openness from 0.09 m year−1 under medium cover to 0.22 m year−1 in full sun. Liana infestations and shoot tip damage were most frequent on seedlings in the open, but, contrary to our expectations, height growth rates were 0.14 m year−1 faster for liana-infested seedlings than non-infested and did not differ between damaged and undamaged seedlings. Apparently the more rapid height growth of well-illuminated seedlings more than compensated for the effects of lianas or shoot tip damage. Despite the abundance of remnant trees and their negative effects on seedling growth, enrichment planting in bosquetes has potential for community-based natural forest management in the tropics in supplementing natural regeneration of commercial species. One obvious recommendation is to leave fewer remnant trees, especially those of commercial species that are non-merchantable due to stem defects and trees retained for no apparent reason, which together constituted half of the remnant crown cover in the sampled bosquetes. Finally, given the rapid growth of lianas and understory palms in large canopy gaps, at least the most vigorous of the planted seedlings should be tended for at least two years.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-07-29
      DOI: 10.3390/f8080272
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 8 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 273: Contributions of China’s Wood-Based Panels
           to CO2 Emission and Removal Implied by the Energy Consumption Standards

    • Authors: Shanshan Wang, Han Zhang, Ying Nie, Hongqiang Yang
      First page: 273
      Abstract: Life cycle analysis on wood-based panels in terms of CO2 flux can be used to quantitatively assess the climate change contributions of these materials. In this study, the annual CO2 flux between 1990 and 2015 was calculated through gate-to-gate life cycle analysis of wood-based panels. As implied by the energy consumption standards, China’s wood-based panels used to be carbon sources during the period 1990–2007, with the average contribution to CO2 emissions of 9.20 Mt/year. The implementation of new standards and the development of Cleaner production technologies in China, decreased the energy consumption per panel. China’s wood-based panels acted as a carbon sink between 2008 and 2015, with the average contribution to CO2 removal of 31.71 Mt/year. Plywood produced the largest contributions to the emission and removal of CO2, and was followed by fiberboard and particleboard. China’s wood-based panels, with good prospects and strong demands projected in the future, can potentially contribute to climate change mitigation.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-07-29
      DOI: 10.3390/f8080273
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 8 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 274: Effects of Fire Frequency and Soil Temperature
           on Soil CO2 Efflux Rates in Old-Field Pine-Grassland Forests

    • Authors: David Godwin, Leda Kobziar, Kevin Robertson
      First page: 274
      Abstract: Soil CO2 efflux (Rs) is a significant source of carbon dioxide from soils to the atmosphere and is a critical component of total ecosystem carbon budgets. Prescribed fire is one of the most prevalent forest management tools employed in the southeastern USA. This study investigated the influence of prescribed fire on Rs rates in old-field pine-grassland forests in north Florida, USA, that had been managed with prescribed fire annually and biennially for over 40 years, or left unburned for approximately the same period. Monthly measurements were taken of Rs, soil temperature (Ts), and soil moisture from August 2009 to May 2011. Results showed that sites managed with annual and biennial dormant season prescribed fire had significantly lower monthly mean Rs rates and estimated annual soil carbon fluxes than sites where fire had been excluded. While Ts explained a significant amount of the temporal variations in Rs, it did not explain the differences in Rs among prescribed fire treatments. Our results provide new insight into the effects of prescribed fire and fire exclusion on soil carbon fluxes, and suggest that future methods to model ecosystem carbon budgets should incorporate not only current vegetative conditions, but also prescribed fire management activities.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-07-30
      DOI: 10.3390/f8080274
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 8 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 275: Near-Real-Time Monitoring of Insect
           Defoliation Using Landsat Time Series

    • Authors: Valerie Pasquarella, Bethany Bradley, Curtis Woodcock
      First page: 275
      Abstract: Introduced insects and pathogens impact millions of acres of forested land in the United States each year, and large-scale monitoring efforts are essential for tracking the spread of outbreaks and quantifying the extent of damage. However, monitoring the impacts of defoliating insects presents a significant challenge due to the ephemeral nature of defoliation events. Using the 2016 gypsy moth (Lymantria dispar) outbreak in Southern New England as a case study, we present a new approach for near-real-time defoliation monitoring using synthetic images produced from Landsat time series. By comparing predicted and observed images, we assessed changes in vegetation condition multiple times over the course of an outbreak. Initial measures can be made as imagery becomes available, and season-integrated products provide a wall-to-wall assessment of potential defoliation at 30 m resolution. Qualitative and quantitative comparisons suggest our Landsat Time Series (LTS) products improve identification of defoliation events relative to existing products and provide a repeatable metric of change in condition. Our synthetic-image approach is an important step toward using the full temporal potential of the Landsat archive for operational monitoring of forest health over large extents, and provides an important new tool for understanding spatial and temporal dynamics of insect defoliators.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-07-31
      DOI: 10.3390/f8080275
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 8 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 276: Effectiveness of Diesel as a Mammal Repellent
           for Direct Seeding of Acorns

    • Authors: Alexandro Leverkus, Manuel Carrión, Mercedes Molina-Morales, Jorge Castro
      First page: 276
      Abstract: The assisted regeneration of oaks can be achieved through seeding or planting. Whereas direct seeding of acorns has several advantages over planting nursery-grown seedlings, the problem of seed predation by mammals precludes its widespread application. We investigated the potential of diesel as a mammal repellent to prevent the consumption of Holm oak acorns. We tested the effect of submerging acorns in diesel for 0, 6, 12, and 24 h on acorn predation in a field experiment in the Sierra Nevada Natural Park (Granada province, Spain), and the potential effect of the same treatments on seedling emergence and growth in a nursery experiment. The field experiment showed no reduction in acorn predation through diesel. On the other hand, submersion in diesel hindered the germination of one in every four sown acorns regardless of submersion time. Our results are in line with many failed attempts to protect acorns with chemical repellents and suggest that an effective, universally-abundant, inexpensive, and easy-to-apply acorn protector to enhance the success of seeding operations is yet to be found.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-07-31
      DOI: 10.3390/f8080276
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 8 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 277: Tropical-Forest Structure and Biomass Dynamics
           from TanDEM-X Radar Interferometry

    • Authors: Robert Treuhaft, Yang Lei, Fabio Gonçalves, Michael Keller, João Santos, Maxim Neumann, André Almeida
      First page: 277
      Abstract: Changes in tropical-forest structure and aboveground biomass (AGB) contribute directly to atmospheric changes in CO 2 , which, in turn, bear on global climate. This paper demonstrates the capability of radar-interferometric phase-height time series at X-band (wavelength = 3 cm) to monitor changes in vertical structure and AGB, with sub-hectare and monthly spatial and temporal resolution, respectively. The phase-height observation is described, with a focus on how it is related to vegetation-density, radar-power vertical profiles, and mean canopy heights, which are, in turn, related to AGB. The study site covers 18 × 60 km in the Tapajós National Forest in the Brazilian Amazon. Phase-heights over Tapajós were measured by DLR’s TanDEM-X radar interferometer 32 times in a 3.2 year period from 2011–2014. Fieldwork was done on 78 secondary and primary forest plots. In the absence of disturbance, rates of change of phase-height for the 78 plots were estimated by fitting the phase-heights to time with a linear model. Phase-height time series for the disturbed plots were fit to the logistic function to track jumps in phase-height. The epochs of clearing for the disturbed plots were identified with ≈1-month accuracy. The size of the phase-height change due to disturbance was estimated with ≈2-m accuracy. The monthly time resolution will facilitate REDD+ monitoring. Phase-height rates of change were shown to correlate with LiDAR RH90 height rates taken over a subset of the TanDEM-X data’s time span (2012–2013). The average rate of change of phase-height across all 78 plots was 0.5 m-yr - 1 with a standard deviation of 0.6 m-yr - 1 . For 42 secondary forest plots, the average rate of change of phase-height was 0.8 m-yr - 1 with a standard deviation of 0.6 m-yr - 1 . For 36 primary forest plots, the average phase-height rate was 0.1 m-yr - 1 with a standard deviation of 0.5 m-yr - 1 . A method for converting phase-height rates to AGB-rates of change was developed using previously measured phase-heights and field-estimated AGB. For all 78 plots, the average AGB-rate was 1.7 Mg-ha - 1 -yr - 1 with a standard deviation of 4.0 Mg-ha - 1 -yr - 1 . The secondary-plot average AGB-rate was 2.1 Mg-ha - 1 -yr - 1 , with a standard deviation of 2.4 Mg-ha - 1 -yr - 1 . For primary plots, the AGB average rate was 1.1 Mg-ha - 1 -yr - 1 with a standard deviation of 5.2 Mg-ha - 1 -yr - 1 . Given the standard deviations and the number of plots in each category, rates in secondary forests and all forests were significantly different from zero; rates in primary forests were consistent with zero. AGB-rates were compared to change models for Tapajós and to LiDAR-based change measurements in other tropical forests. Strategies for improving AGB dynamical monitoring with X-band interferometry are discussed.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-07-31
      DOI: 10.3390/f8080277
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 8 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 278: Recent Patterns in Climate, Vegetation, and
           Forest Water Use in California Montane Watersheds

    • Authors: Philip Saksa, Mohammad Safeeq, Salli Dymond
      First page: 278
      Abstract: California has recently experienced one of the worst droughts on record, negatively impacting forest ecosystems across the state. As a major source of the region’s water supply, it is important to evaluate the vegetation and water balance response of these montane forested watersheds to climate variability across the range of rain- to snow-dominated precipitation regimes. The Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) and the Standardized Runoff Index (SRI) were used to capture the hydrologic drought signal, and MODIS vegetation indices (i.e., the normalized difference vegetation index and the enhanced vegetation index) were used to evaluate the vegetation and evapotranspiration response in three headwater catchments. The study catchments comprised a low elevation rain-dominated site (Caspar Creek) on the northern California coast, a mid-elevation site with a mix of rain and snow (Providence Creek) in the California Sierra Nevada, and a high elevation snow-dominated site (Bull Creek) in the Sierra Nevada. Lowest SPI values occurred in the third drought year of 2014 for all sites. Lowest SRI was in 2014 for Caspar, but in 2015 for Providence and Bull, reflecting differences in snowpack-delayed runoff and subsurface storage capacity between the lower and higher elevation watersheds. The most accurate water balance closure using evapotranspiration estimates from vegetation indices was within 10% of measured precipitation at snow-dominated Bull. The rain-dominated Caspar watershed had the highest vegetation index values and annual evapotranspiration, with the lowest variability over the previous 13 years (2004–2016). Vegetation index values and annual evapotranspiration decreased with increasing elevation and snow contribution to precipitation. Both snow-influenced Sierra Nevada watersheds showed elevated vegetation and evapotranspiration responses to interannual climate variability. There remains a need for institutional support to expand long-term observations in remote forested mountain watersheds to monitor and research these changing and extreme environmental conditions in source watershed regions.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-08-01
      DOI: 10.3390/f8080278
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 8 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 279: Expression Profiling in Pinus pinaster in
           Response to Infection with the Pine Wood Nematode Bursaphelenchus

    • Authors: Daniel Gaspar, Cândida Trindade, Ana Usié, Brígida Meireles, Pedro Barbosa, Ana Fortes, Cátia Pesquita, Rita Costa, António Ramos
      First page: 279
      Abstract: Forests are essential resources on a global scale, not only for the ecological benefits, but also for economical and landscape purposes. However, in recent years, a large number of forest species have suffered a serious decline, with maritime pine being one of the most affected. In Portugal, the maritime pine forest has been devastated by the pine wood nematode (PWN), the causal agent of pine wilt disease. In this study, RNA-Seq data was used to characterize the maritime pine response to infection with PWN, by determining the differentially expressed genes and identifying the regulatory networks and pathways associated. The analyses showed clear differences between an early response that occurs immediately after inoculation and a late response that is observed seven days after inoculation. Moreover, differentially expressed genes related to secondary metabolism, oxidative stress and defense against pathogen infection were identified over different time points. These results provide new insights about the molecular mechanisms and metabolic pathways involved in the response of Pinus pinaster against PWN infection, which will be a useful resource in follow-up studies and for future breeding programs to select plants with lower susceptibility to this disease.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-08-03
      DOI: 10.3390/f8080279
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 8 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 280: Warning Signals of Adverse Interactions
           between Climate Change and Native Stressors in British Columbia Forests

    • Authors: Alex Woods, K. Coates, Martin Watts, Vanessa Foord, Erin Holtzman
      First page: 280
      Abstract: We examine the direct effects of multiple disturbance agents on individual tree development and stand productivity in 15–40-year-old managed forests in British Columbia, Canada. Our primary interest was to establish a baseline assessment of damage in these forests and, especially, to focus on the degree to which biotic and abiotic stressors cause physical damage and diffuse mortality. Based on extensive climate data for the study area and the ecology of the disturbance agents we explore possible interactions between individual stressors and climate. Mean annual temperature increased by over 1 °C in the last century and annual precipitation increased by 8%, with that in the summer increasing by 18%. Disturbance agents were a central driver of mortality, growth and physical damage and their combined impact in lodgepole pine stands was as much as four times greater than expected particularly in the dominant trees most counted upon for stand productivity and timber supply. Climate-mediated disturbances accounted for five of the top six damage agent categories in terms of percent of basal area impacted but the lack of long-term disturbance monitoring data, a global information gap, limits our ability to conclusively link high damage rates to climatic changes.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-08-04
      DOI: 10.3390/f8080280
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 8 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 282: Species Diversity, Stand Structure, and
           Species Distribution across a Precipitation Gradient in Tropical Forests
           in Myanmar

    • Authors: Inkyin Khaine, Su Young Woo, Hoduck Kang, MyeongJa Kwak, Sun Mi Je, Hana You, Taeyoon Lee, Jihwi Jang, Hyun Kyung Lee, Euddeum Lee, Li Yang, Haenaem Kim, Jong Kyu Lee, Jieun Kim
      First page: 282
      Abstract: An understanding of how species diversity, structural pattern, and species distribution vary across different environmental regions is crucially important for tropical ecology. In this study, we explored how these ecological parameters vary across various rainfall regions in the tropics with annual rainfall levels ranging from 843 to 2035 mm. Diversity, similarity, structure, and forest classification, and their correspondence with rainfall regions were tested. We found that species diversity, site class, and structural complexity increased with rainfall, with differences of 1000 mm having significant effects on diversity. The structure and heterogeneity of forests were higher in the high rainfall regions than the low rainfall regions. The forest structure was significantly correlated with rainfall, and the structure differed substantially where annual rainfall differed among sites by approximately 200 or 400 mm. Forests could be classified into two types according to whether they had high annual rainfall (1411–2035 mm) or low annual rainfall (843–1029 mm). In addition, the dominance of species changed noticeably from high- to low-rainfall regions, with Tectona hamiltoniana and Terminalia oliveri only being abundant in the low rainfall region. Species diversity and richness were significantly correlated with rainfall and average temperature. These findings will provide invaluable information for forest management and ecological phytogeography.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-08-04
      DOI: 10.3390/f8080282
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 8 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 283: Growth and Physiological Adaptation of Salix
           matsudana to Periodic Submergence in the Hydro-Fluctuation Zone of the
           Three Gorges Dam Reservoir of China

    • Authors: Chaoying Wang, Yingzan Xie, Yanyan He, Xiaoxue Li, Wenhang Yang, Changxiao Li
      First page: 283
      Abstract: Submergence-tolerant trees are essential for vegetation restoration of the hydro-fluctuation zone of the Three Gorges Dam Reservoir (TGDR) area. Thus, it is of great significance to select the submergence-tolerant plant species by conducting in situ studies. To restore degraded riparian vegetation under the circumstances of dynamic impoundment of the TGDR, Salix matsudana, a flooding-tolerant native tree species, was introduced to conduct an in situ practical study to test its performance in re-vegetating and restoring the hydro-fluctuation zone of the TGDR. Effects of periodic moderate submergence (MS) and deep submergence (DS) on photosynthesis and growth of Salix matsudana were investigated after three water cycles compared to a control (i.e., shallow submergence, abbreviated as SS) in order to specifically assess its application prospects in vegetation restoration under such extreme environment. Results showed that net photosynthetic rate (Pn), intrinsic water use efficiency (WUEi) and limiting value of stomata (Ls) of S. matsudana were significantly reduced in DS. However, pigment content had no significant change in all submergence treatments. Diameter at breast height (DBH) and tree height of S. matsudana were significantly decreased in both MS and DS when compared to that of SS, respectively. In contrast, the primary branch number of S. matsudana was significantly increased as submergence increased. In addition, relative diameter and height growth rates of S. matsudana were also reduced under submergence. Considering the sustained growth of this species, S. matsudana saplings are tolerant to long-term periodic submergence and can be applied to the vegetative restoration of the hydro-fluctuation zone of the TGDR region.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-08-04
      DOI: 10.3390/f8080283
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 8 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 221: Fire Severity and Regeneration Strategy
           Influence Shrub Patch Size and Structure Following Disturbance

    • Authors: Jesse Minor, Donald Falk, Greg Barron-Gafford
      First page: 221
      Abstract: Climate change is increasing the frequency and extent of high-severity disturbance, with potential to alter vegetation community composition and structure in environments sensitive to tipping points between alternative states. Shrub species display a range of characteristics that promote resistance and resilience to disturbance, and which yield differential post-disturbance outcomes. We investigated differences in shrub patch size and stem density in response to variations in fire severity, vegetation community, and post-disturbance reproductive strategies in Sky Island forested ecosystems in the southwestern United States. Patterns in shrub structure reflect the effects of fire severity as well as differences among species with alternate post-fire reproductive strategies. Increased fire severity correlates with larger patch sizes and greater stem densities; these patterns are observed across multiple fire events, indicating that disturbance legacies can persist for decades. High severity fire produces the largest shrub patches, and variance in shrub patch size increases with severity. High severity fire is likely to promote expansion of shrub species on the landscape, with implications for future community structure. Resprouting species have the greatest variability in patch structure, while seeding species show a strong response to disturbance: resprouting species dominate at low disturbance severities, and obligate seeders dominate high severity areas. Differential post-fire reproductive strategies are likely to generate distinct patterns of vegetation distribution following disturbance, with implications for community composition at various scales. Shrub species demonstrate flexible responses to wildfire disturbance severity that are reflected in shrub patch dynamics at small and intermediate scales.
      PubDate: 2017-06-22
      DOI: 10.3390/f8070221
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 7 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 222: Changes in Soil Biochemical Properties in a
           Cedar Plantation Invaded by Moso Bamboo

    • Authors: Yo-Jin Shiau, Chih-Yu Chiu
      First page: 222
      Abstract: Moso bamboo (Phyllostachys edulis) is one of the widely growing bamboo species in Asia. Because of its fast growth and aggressive rhizomes, it is reported to invade other forests and reduce the biodiversity of forest ecosystems. To determine the changes in soil nutrient conditions due to moso bamboo invasion, this research measured the difference in soil labile carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) contents in a Japanese cedar (Cryptomeria japonica) forest invaded by moso bamboo in central Taiwan. The content of soluble organic C (SbOC), measured by both KCl and hot-water extraction methods, was lower in bamboo than cedar soils. This observation agreed with the finding that the more easily decomposed SbOC could be lost with bamboo invasion. In addition, both SbOCKCl and SbOCHW contents were positively correlated with microbial biomass C content, so the decreased labile organic C content in bamboo soils may reduce microbial biomass production. Principal component analysis revealed soil organic C content (total organic C, SbOC and acid-hydrolysable C) as the most important soil parameter affected by the bamboo invasion, followed by microbial biomass N and NO3− contents in soils. The soil quality index model also agreed with the degraded soil quality with bamboo invasion. In conclusion, the invasion of moso bamboo reduced the C and N pools in bamboo soil and degraded the overall soil quality.
      PubDate: 2017-06-23
      DOI: 10.3390/f8070222
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 7 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 223: Vitality Assessment of Visually Healthy Trees
           in Estonia

    • Authors: Eneli Allikmäe, Diana Laarmann, Henn Korjus
      First page: 223
      Abstract: Root rots are considered the most important forest diseases in Estonia, causing serious concern in forest management. The majority of trees infected by forest pathogens lack easily-detectable visual symptoms, making it difficult to detect decay in a tree. We assessed the general health condition of visually healthy trees in intensively managed Norway spruce (Picea abies L. Karst.) and Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) stands with resistography in order to identify trees infected by root rot. We found that 8.0% of Norway spruces and 1.6% of Scots pines had well-developed internal decay on the root collar regardless of having no external symptoms of root rot. Visually healthy trees growing on permanent forest land experienced more decay than trees growing on former agricultural land. The radial proportion of decay of damaged trees was 61% in Norway spruces and 35% in Scots pines. The results suggest that resistography can be used as a reliable method for tree vitality assessment.
      PubDate: 2017-06-26
      DOI: 10.3390/f8070223
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 7 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 224: Analysis of Microbial Diversity and Greenhouse
           Gas Production of Decaying Pine Logs

    • Authors: Roberta Pastorelli, Alessandro Agnelli, Isabella De Meo, Anna Graziani, Alessandro Paletto, Alessandra Lagomarsino
      First page: 224
      Abstract: In Sustainable Forest Management, decaying wood plays an important role in forest biodiversity, carbon balance and nutrient cycling. The management of this important component of forest ecosystems is limited by the fact that little is known about relationships between substrate quality and community structure of wood-inhabiting microorganisms. During decomposition, carbon stored in deadwood is lost either in the atmosphere or in the soil, but to our knowledge, limited information on the quantities of CO2 and other greenhouse gases (GHG) emitted is available. In the present research we investigated the correlation between the decay of logs, the decomposer microorganisms and their activities, in terms of GHG production and enzymes, in a black pine (Pinus nigra Arnold ssp. nigra) degraded forest. The decomposition of deadwood was visually assessed using a five-class system, and for each decay class four wood samples were collected. CO2, CH4 and N2O potential production from each decay class was measured in closed systems by means of gas chromatography. Enzyme activities related to carbon, nitrogen, sulphur and phosphorus cycling were measured fluorometrically. The composition of decomposer microbial communities (fungi, bacteria and actinobacteria) was assessed by using polymerase chain reaction-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis fingerprinting. CO2 production and enzyme activities were significantly higher in the last decay classes of deadwood. The molecular approach highlighted differences in microbial community structure both at species and abundance levels, depending on the rate of decay.
      PubDate: 2017-06-27
      DOI: 10.3390/f8070224
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 7 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 225: Fifty-Six Years of Forest Development
           Following the 1938 Hurricane in Hillsborough, New Hampshire, USA

    • Authors: Bruce Allen, Ingeborg Seaboyer
      First page: 225
      Abstract: Forest development patterns following the 1938 hurricane were evaluated in 45 continuous forest inventory (CFI) plots monitored from 1955 to 2011 at the Caroline A. Fox Research and Demonstration Forest (Fox), in Hillsborough, New Hampshire. Long-term plot data provide a record of landscape-level changes in a managed forest setting. Changes in density, basal area, mortality, removal, and recruitment demonstrate the effects of forest management on growth and forest structure through time. Tree density peaked in 2001 at 716.1 trees/hectare, but the basal area continued to increase from 18.8 m2/ha in 1955 to 44.7 m2/ha 2011 despite forest management activities. Hemlock and red maple dominate stem recruitment. Tree mortality rates have increased from 0.26%/year 1955–1965 to 1.03%/year 2001–2011, while removal rates have dropped from 1.04%/year to 0.44%/year.
      PubDate: 2017-06-27
      DOI: 10.3390/f8070225
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 7 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 226: Seed Production, Viability, and Reproductive
           Limits of the Invasive Ailanthus altissima (Tree-of-Heaven) within Invaded

    • Authors: Kristen L. Wickert, Eric S. O’Neal, Donald D. Davis, Matthew T. Kasson
      First page: 226
      Abstract: The success of some invasive tree species is attributed, in part, to high fecundity in the form of sexual propagules. If invasive trees produce more seed annually than co-occurring native trees, they will have a greater ability to disperse and establish across the landscape. In this study, seed production of female Ailanthus trees was investigated to determine (1) reproductive age limits; (2) annual and cumulative seed output; and (3) seed viability. Existing data on Ailanthus seed production were combined with a novel dataset to compare variability in seed production and explore relationships with tree diameter and age. Results from this study showed Ailanthus’ reproductive window is exceptional, spanning more than a century, with seed viability exceeding 65% from a 104-year-old individual. Germination studies and complementary tetrazolium assays also confirmed high propagule viability from a 7-year-old Ailanthus and supports tetrazolium assays as a proxy for germination studies. Not only can individual Ailanthus produce >1 million seeds annually, but a significant relationship exists between seed production and tree diameter. Using this relationship, cumulative seed production in individual Ailanthus can reach ca. 10 and 52 million seeds over a 40-year and 100-year period, respectively. This study provides a comprehensive investigation of various facets of the reproductive potential of Ailanthus.
      PubDate: 2017-06-27
      DOI: 10.3390/f8070226
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 7 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 227: Genetic Diversity among Age Classes of a Pinus
           sylvestris (L.) Population from the Białowieża Primeval Forest, Poland

    • Authors: Aleksandra Wojnicka-Półtorak, Konrad Celiński, Ewa Chudzińska
      First page: 227
      Abstract: The Białowieża Primeval Forest (BPF) is Europe’s last primeval forest and an irreplaceable area for biodiversity conservation due to its size, protection status, and substantially undisturbed nature. There is no other forest in Europe with such a large surface representing highly-advanced natural succession. This article reports on the first analysis of the genetic variability and demographic structure of a self-renewed Pinus sylvestris population located in BPF, using both chloroplast and mitochondrial DNA markers. The analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA) for chloroplast simple sequence repeats (cpSSRs) revealed a significant genetic differentiation among age classes that accounted for about 2% of the total variance, comparable to those reported among different populations of Scots pine. None of the 117 detected chloroplast haplotypes were common to all age classes. Haplotype diversity ranged from 0.370 to 0.415 for cpSSRs and from 0.320 to 0.455 for mitochondrial markers. The genetic variation of the studied age classes—represented by mitochondrial markers—strongly depicts the maternal genetic structure, indicating limited seed dispersal. Temporal genetic substructuring is maintained within a self-renewed population of Scots pine from the BPF.
      PubDate: 2017-06-28
      DOI: 10.3390/f8070227
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 7 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 228: Dispersal and Propagule Pressure of
           Botryosphaeriaceae Species in a Declining Oak Stand is Affected by Insect

    • Authors: Tiziana Panzavolta, Andrea Panichi, Matteo Bracalini, Francesco Croci, Beatrice Ginetti, Alessandro Ragazzi, Riziero Tiberi, Salvatore Moricca
      First page: 228
      Abstract: Many biotic and abiotic factors contribute to the onset of oak decline. Among biotic agents, a variety of fungi and insects cause extensive disease and insect outbreaks in oak forests. To date, research on fungus-insect interactions in Mediterranean forest ecosystems is still scarce and fragmentary. In this study, we investigated the assemblage of endophytic mycobiota and insect pests occurring in a declining oak stand, with the aim to explore if, and to what extent, the insect species were active vectors of fungal propagules. It emerged that some known latent pathogens of the Botryosphaeriaceae family, namely Botryosphaeria dothidea, Diplodia corticola, Diplodia seriata, Dothiorella sarmentorum, and Neofusicoccum parvum were isolated at high frequency from physiologically-impaired trees. In addition, propagules of these fungi were isolated from five insects, two of which (Cerambyx welensii and Coraebus fasciatus) are main oak pests. The life-history strategies of these fungi and those of wood-boring beetles were strikingly interconnected: both the fungi and beetles exploit drought-stressed trees and both occur at high frequency during hot, dry periods. This synchronicity increased their chance of co-occurrence and, consequently, their probability of jointly leading to oak decline. If these interactions would be confirmed by future studies, they could help to better understand the extensive decline/dieback of many Mediterranean forest ecosystems.
      PubDate: 2017-06-28
      DOI: 10.3390/f8070228
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 7 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 229: Genetic Structure of the Tropical Tree
           Eusideroxylon zwageri in Indonesia Revealed by Chloroplast DNA

    • Authors: I.L.G. Nurtjahjaningsih, Sukartiningsih, Hiroyuki Kurokochi, Yoko Saito, Yuji Ide
      First page: 229
      Abstract: Eusideroxylon zwageri is a large tropical rainforest tree native to Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Brunei. Because of its high economic value, illegal logging and overexploitation is threatening this species in several locations in Indonesia. In this study, in order to conserve genetic resources, we investigated the genetic structure of E. zwageri in Indonesia using chloroplast DNA sequencing. Eusideroxylon zwageri samples were collected from the Kalimantan (56 trees from seven populations) and Sumatra (16 trees from two populations) islands of Indonesia. Approximately 3137 bp of chloroplast DNA was sequenced for each tree. Twenty-one haplotypes were identified, of which six haplotypes were detected from two or three populations, whereas the other 15 haplotypes were detected from one population each. For each population, one to six haplotypes were detected, and phylogenetically closer haplotypes were detected within the same population. Although the haplotypes were roughly divided into two groups, geographically-close populations did not always have phylogenetically-close haplotypes. Our results suggest that in Indonesia, E. zwageri showed a high genetic diversity at the chloroplast DNA level, and populations within a population were derived from similar maternal lineages. Therefore, transplantation within a population may be a feasible option for E. zwageri conservation. However, transplantation among different populations should be conducted with careful consideration, because geographic distances are not always related to phylogenetic distances in E. zwageri.
      PubDate: 2017-06-29
      DOI: 10.3390/f8070229
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 7 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 230: Comment on the Article Published in Forest by
           Maria Fernanda Gebara and Arun Agrawal, Forests 2017, 8, 66

    • Authors: Erika Pinto, Paulo Moutinho, Osvaldo Stella
      First page: 230
      Abstract: n/a
      PubDate: 2017-06-29
      DOI: 10.3390/f8070230
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 7 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 231: Measurement of Within-Season Tree Height
           Growth in a Mixed Forest Stand Using UAV Imagery

    • Authors: Jan Dempewolf, Jyoteshwar Nagol, Sebastian Hein, Carsten Thiel, Reiner Zimmermann
      First page: 231
      Abstract: Tree height growth measurements at monthly and annual time scales are important for calibrating and validating forest growth models, forest management and studies of forest ecology and biophysical processes. Previous studies measured the terminal growth of individual trees or forest stands at annual or decadal time scales. Short-term, within-season measurements, however, are largely unavailable due to technical and practical limitations. Here, we describe a novel approach for measuring within-season tree height growth using a time series of co-registered digital surface models obtained with a low-cost unmanned aerial vehicle in combination with ground control plates and Structure from Motion data processing. The test site was a 2-hectare temperate mixed forest stand of varying age and successional stage in central Europe. Our results show median growth rates between 27 May and 19 August of 68 cm for Norway spruce, 93 cm for Scots pine, 106 cm for Silver birch and 26 cm for European beech. The results agree well with published field observations for these species. This study demonstrates the capability of inexpensive, increasingly user-friendly and versatile UAV systems for measuring tree height growth at short time scales, which was not previously possible, opening up new avenues for investigation and practical applications in forestry and research.
      PubDate: 2017-06-29
      DOI: 10.3390/f8070231
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 7 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 232: Modeled Shifts in Polylepis Species Ranges in
           the Andes from the Last Glacial Maximum to the Present

    • Authors: Brian Zutta, Philip Rundel
      First page: 232
      Abstract: Polylepis woodlands, the dominant high-elevation woodland species of the Andes of South America, are an increasingly important focus of conservation and restoration efforts as a buffer to the regional effects of climate change. However, the natural extent of these woodlands before the arrival of human populations is still debated. One significant approach to this question is an assessment of the change in woodland extent from a hypothetical peak at the time of the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) to the present where distributions have been altered by both Holocene climate oscillations and anthropogenic pressures of pre-Colombian and modern communities. LGM and present distributions for 21 Polylepis species were modeled using Maxent with environmental data obtained from the WorldClim database. Overall, potential woodland extent is 36% smaller today than at LGM, however a few species have experienced a projected increase in potential range of 180%. This has occurred at the interface of the southern Amazonian Basin with the Altiplano where Polylepis species richness is highest. Bioclimatically stable areas for each species averaged 20 ± 4% of the modeled range and mostly occurred in disjunct pockets from central Peru to northern Argentina and Chile.
      PubDate: 2017-06-29
      DOI: 10.3390/f8070232
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 7 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 233: Windthrow Dynamics in Boreal Ontario: A
           Simulation of the Vulnerability of Several Stand Types across a Range of
           Wind Speeds

    • Authors: Kenneth Anyomi, Stephen Mitchell, Ajith Perera, Jean-Claude Ruel
      First page: 233
      Abstract: In Boreal North America, management approaches inspired by the variability in natural disturbances are expected to produce more resilient forests. Wind storms are recurrent within Boreal Ontario. The objective of this study was to simulate wind damage for common Boreal forest types for regular as well as extreme wind speeds. The ForestGALES_BC windthrow prediction model was used for these simulations. Input tree-level data were derived from permanent sample plot (PSP) data provided by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources. PSPs were assigned to one of nine stand types: Balsam fir-, Jack pine-, Black spruce-, and hardwood-dominated stands, and, Jack pine-, spruce-, conifer-, hardwood-, and Red and White pine-mixed species stands. Morphological and biomechanical parameters for the major tree species were obtained from the literature. At 5 m/s, predicted windthrow ranged from 0 to 20%, with damage increasing to 2 to 90% for winds of 20 m/s and to 10 to 100% for winds of 40 m/s. Windthrow varied by forest stand type, with lower vulnerability within hardwoods. This is the first study to provide such broad simulations of windthrow vulnerability data for Boreal North America, and we believe this will benefit policy decisions regarding risk management and forest planning.
      PubDate: 2017-06-30
      DOI: 10.3390/f8070233
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 7 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 234: Characterizing Forest Succession Stages for
           Wildlife Habitat Assessment Using Multispectral Airborne Imagery

    • Authors: Wen Zhang, Baoxin Hu, Murray Woods, Glen Brown
      First page: 234
      Abstract: In this study, we demonstrate the potential of using high spatial resolution airborne imagery to characterize the structural development stages of forest canopies. Four forest succession stages were adopted: stand initiation, young multistory, understory reinitiation, and old growth. Remote sensing metrics describing the spatial patterns of forest structures were derived and a Random Forest learning algorithm was used to classify forest succession stages. These metrics included texture variables from Gray Level Co-occurrence Measures (GLCM), range and sill from the semi-variogram, and the fraction of shadow and its spatial distribution. Among all the derived variables, shadow fractions and the GLCM variables of contrast, mean, and dissimilarity were the most important for characterizing the forest succession stages (classification accuracy of 89%). In addition, a LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) derived forest structural index (predicted Lorey’s height) was employed to validate the classification result. The classification using imagery spatial variables was shown to be consistent with the LiDAR derived variable (R2 = 0.68 and Root Mean Square Error (RMSE) = 2.39). This study demonstrates that high spatial resolution imagery was able to characterize forest succession stages with promising accuracy and may be considered an alternative to LiDAR data for this kind of application. Also, the results of stand development stages build a framework for future wildlife habitat mapping.
      PubDate: 2017-06-30
      DOI: 10.3390/f8070234
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 7 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 235: Distribution and Characterization of
           Armillaria Complex in Atlantic Forest Ecosystems of Spain

    • Authors: Nebai Mesanza, Cheryl L. Patten, Eugenia Iturritxa
      First page: 235
      Abstract: Armillaria root disease is a significant forest health concern in the Atlantic forest ecosystems in Spain. The damage occurs in conifers and hardwoods, causing especially high mortality in young trees in both native forests and plantations. In the present study, the distribution of Armillaria root disease in the forests and plantations of the Basque Country is reported. Armillaria spp. were more frequently isolated from stands with slopes of 20–30% and west orientation, acid soils with high permeability, deciduous hosts, and a rainfall average above 1800 mm. In a large-scale survey, 35% of the stands presented Armillaria structures and showed disease symptoms. Of the isolated Armillaria samples, 60% were identified using molecular methods as A. ostoyae, 24% as A. mellea, 14% as A. gallica, 1% as A. tabescens, and 1% as A. cepistipes. In a small scale sampling, population diversity was defined by somatic compatibility tests and Universally Primed-PCR technique. Finally, the pathogenicity of A. mellea, the species with the broadest host range, was determined on different tree species present in the Atlantic area of Spain in order to determine their resistance levels to Armillaria disease. A significant difference in disease severity was observed among tree species (p < 0.001), with Pinus radiata being the most susceptible tree species and Cryptomeria japonica the most resistant to A. mellea.
      PubDate: 2017-06-30
      DOI: 10.3390/f8070235
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 7 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 236: Let’s not Miss the Forest for the Trees: A
           reply to Pinto et al. Forests 2017, 8(7), 230

    • Authors: Maria Gebara, Arun Agrawal
      First page: 236
      Abstract: n/a
      PubDate: 2017-07-03
      DOI: 10.3390/f8070236
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 7 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 237: Mixing It Up: The Role of Hybridization in
           Forest Management and Conservation under Climate Change

    • Authors: Jasmine Janes, Jill Hamilton
      First page: 237
      Abstract: Forest tree hybrid zones provide a wealth of novel genetic variation that can be harnessed to safeguard populations in changing climates. In the past 30 years, natural and artificial forest hybrid zones have facilitated significant contributions to selective breeding programs, conservation, and our understanding of the evolutionary processes and mechanisms that influence the maintenance of species and community interactions. This review highlights advances in these areas using forest hybrid zones. Taking examples from well-known genera, including eucalypt, poplar, oak and spruce, this review details the important role hybrid zones play in managing conservation of genetic variation, the environmental and non-environmental factors that influence barriers to reproduction, and the impact that genetic ancestry may have on community biodiversity. Given increasing concern surrounding species adaptability under rapidly changing conditions, we describe how the study of forest hybrid zones, using quantitative and genomic approaches, can facilitate conservation of genetic diversity and long-term species management.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-07-04
      DOI: 10.3390/f8070237
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 7 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 238: Assessment of Forest Degradation in Vietnam
           Using Landsat Time Series Data

    • Authors: James Vogelmann, Phung Khoa, Do Lan, Jacob Shermeyer, Hua Shi, Michael Wimberly, Hoang Duong, Le Huong
      First page: 238
      Abstract: Landsat time series data were used to characterize forest degradation in Lam Dong Province, Vietnam. We conducted three types of image change analyses using Landsat time series data to characterize the land cover changes. Our analyses concentrated on the timeframe of 1973–2014, with much emphasis on the latter part of that range. We conducted a field trip through Lam Dong Province to develop a better understanding of the ground conditions of the region, during which we obtained many photographs of representative forest sites with Global Positioning System locations to assist us in our image interpretations. High-resolution Google Earth imagery and Landsat data of the region were used to validate results. In general, our analyses indicated that many land-use changes have occurred throughout Lam Dong Province, including gradual forest to non-forest transitions. Recent changes are most marked along the relatively narrow interfaces between agricultural and forest areas that occur towards the boundaries of the province. One important observation is that the most highly protected national reserves in the region have not changed much over the entire Landsat timeframe (1972–present). Spectral changes within these regions have not occurred at the same levels as those areas adjacent to the reserves.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-07-04
      DOI: 10.3390/f8070238
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 7 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 239: Considerations towards a Novel Approach for
           Integrating Angle-Count Sampling Data in Remote Sensing Based Forest

    • Authors: Melanie Kirchhoefer, Johannes Schumacher, Petra Adler, Gerald Kändler
      First page: 239
      Abstract: Integration of remote sensing (RS) data in forest inventories for enhancing plot-based forest variable prediction is a widely researched topic. Geometric consistency between forest inventory plots and areas for extraction of RS-based predictive metrics is considered a crucial factor for accurate modelling of forest variables. Achieving geometric consistency is particularly difficult with regard to angle-count sampling (ACS) plots, which have neither distinct shape nor distinct extent. This initial study considers a new approach for integrating ACS and RS data, where the concept of ACS is transferred to RS-based metrics extraction. By using the relationship between tree height and diameter at breast height (DBH), pixels of a RS-based canopy height model are extracted if their value suggests a DBH that would lead to inclusion in an angle-count sample at the given distance to the plot centre. Different variations of this approach are tested by modelling timber volume in national forest inventory plots in Germany. The results are compared to those achieved using fixed-radius plots. A root mean square error of approximately 42% is achieved by both the new and fixed-radius approaches. Therefore, the new approach is not yet considered sufficient for overcoming all difficulties concerning the integration of ACS plot and RS data. However, possibilities for improvement are discussed and will be the subject of further research.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-07-05
      DOI: 10.3390/f8070239
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 7 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 240: Dynamics of Organic Matter in Leaf Litter and

    • Authors: Michele Innangi, Tiziana Danise, Francesco d’Alessandro, Elena Curcio, Antonietta Fioretto
      First page: 240
      Abstract: Forests are the most important land ecosystems that can mitigate the earth’s ongoing climate change through their ability to sequester CO2 as C stock in forest biomass and soil. Short-rotation deciduous hardwoods or N2-fixing species are ideal candidates for afforestation and reforestation, given that most of the carbon accumulates in the first 30 years. Alders match both of the above-mentioned features, and Italian alder, which is less dependent on riparian habitats and more drought tolerant, is an ideal candidate. Despite this, few studies exist of this tree species and its effect on soil organic matter. In this study, we focused on litter input and leaf litter decomposition dynamics, forest floor leaf litter and topsoil (0–5 cm) organic matter, and patterns of covariation from litter to topsoil. The leaf litter was rich in nitrogen and decomposed quickly (k = 0.002 day−1). There was a large organic carbon stock, which varied in the leaf litter (from 1.7 ± 0.3 Mg/ha in January to 0.4 ± 0.1 Mg/ha in July) and was stable in the topsoil (on average 28.6 ± 1.5 Mg/ha). Stocks for total nitrogen, cellulose, lignin, water and ethanol extractables, and total phenols were also evaluated. In order to investigate patterns of covariation in these stocks from litter to soil, we used two-block partial least squares. The first axis showed that from January to July there was a reduction of total nitrogen, lignin and cellulose in the forest floor leaf litter, while in the topsoil there was a decrease in water extractables and total organic carbon. The second axis showed minor phenomena involving phenols, water and ethanol extractables, and total N. The fast turnover of dissolved organic matter fractions (water and ethanol extractables), linked with cellulose and lignin dynamics, might suggest that within the Italian alder ecosystem there is a reasonably fast formation of stable C compounds in the soil. Thus, Italian alder is an ideal species for afforestation and reforestation, which could be particularly interesting for land-use policies.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-07-07
      DOI: 10.3390/f8070240
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 7 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 241: The Response of Soil CO2 Efflux to Water
           Limitation Is Not Merely a Climatic Issue: The Role of Substrate

    • Authors: Giovanbattista de Dato, Alessandra Lagomarsino, Eszter Lellei-Kovacs, Dario Liberati, Renée Abou Jaoudé, Rosita Marabottini, Silvia Rita Stazi, Gabriele Guidolotti, Edit Kovacs-Lang, György Kroel-Dulay, Paolo De Angelis
      First page: 241
      Abstract: Water availability, together with temperature, represents the most limiting abiotic factor regulating soil CO2 efflux (SR). Besides the direct effect of water limitation, drought also influences plant activity, determining changes in the quality and quantity of root exudates, thus indirectly affecting soil microbial activity. To determine how the seasonal changes of plant activity and soil microbial metabolism and structure affect SR response to drought, we investigated the correlation between leaf gas exchange, soil carbon pools and soil respiration sources and the role of soil carbon pools on microbial populations and soil respiration, in a summer deciduous Mediterranean (SDS) and a winter deciduous temperate (WDS) shrublands, experiencing a dry summer period. In both sites, drought reduced photosynthesis, but affected SR differently: in SDS, SR decreased, although microbial heterotrophic respiration (SRh) remained unchanged; in WDS, SR did not vary but SRh was reduced. While in SDS the microbial community was able to respire more complex substrates, in WDS it was strongly dependent on easily decomposable molecules, thus on plant activity. Therefore, the response of soil CO2 efflux to water limitation is not exclusively influenced by climate as it is modulated by the degree of adaptation of the microbial community to drought.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-07-07
      DOI: 10.3390/f8070241
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 7 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 242: Land Use, Conservation, Forestry, and
           Agriculture in Puerto Rico

    • Authors: William A. Gould, Frank H. Wadsworth, Maya Quiñones, Stephen J. Fain, Nora L. Álvarez-Berríos
      First page: 242
      Abstract: Global food security concerns emphasize the need for sustainable agriculture and local food production. In Puerto Rico, over 80 percent of food is imported, and local production levels have reached historical lows. Efforts to increase local food production are driven by government agencies, non-government organizations, farmers, and consumers. Integration of geographic information helps plan and balance the reinvention and invigoration of the agriculture sector while maintaining ecological services. We used simple criteria that included currently protected lands and the importance of slope and forest cover in protection from erosion to identify land well-suited for conservation, agriculture and forestry in Puerto Rico. Within these categories we assessed U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) farmland soils classification data, lands currently in agricultural production, current land cover, and current land use planning designations. We found that developed lands occupy 13 percent of Puerto Rico; lands well-suited for conservation that include protected areas, riparian buffers, lands surrounding reservoirs, wetlands, beaches, and salt flats, occupy 45 percent of Puerto Rico; potential working lands encompass 42 percent of Puerto Rico. These include lands well-suited for mechanized and non-mechanized agriculture, such as row and specialty crops, livestock, dairy, hay, pasture, and fruits, which occupy 23 percent of Puerto Rico; and areas suitable for forestry production, such as timber and non-timber products, agroforestry, and shade coffee, which occupy 19 percent of Puerto Rico.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-07-07
      DOI: 10.3390/f8070242
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 7 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 243: Predation on Early Recruitment in
           Mediterranean Forests after Prescribed Fires

    • Authors: Javier Sagra, Daniel Moya, Pedro Plaza-Álvarez, Manuel Lucas-Borja, Raquel Alfaro-Sánchez, Jorge De Las Heras, Pablo Ferrandis
      First page: 243
      Abstract: Wildfires play a significant role in many different elements of Mediterranean forest ecosystems. In recent years, prescribed fires have started being used more often as a fuel reduction tool, and also as silvicultural treatment to help the regeneration and health improvement of stands. Apart from the fact that fire may alter microsite conditions, very little is known about the impact of prescribed burning on natural regeneration or plant species renewal in Mediterranean pine forests. Likewise, knowledge about the influence of seedling predators on post-fire regeneration is still scarce. In this study, we aimed to compare the effects of seedling predation on recruitment in earlier stages after prescribed burnings in three pine stands in Central Spain: a pure stand of Pinus nigra; a mixed stand of Pinus halepensis and Pinus pinaster and a mixed stand P. nigra with P. pinaster. In situ we superficially sowed seeds from two different species. In the sowing experiment, we tested two different seed provenances (drier and more humid spanish regions) for each species. In all, 60 plots (30 burned, 30 unburned) per site, with 10 seeding units per plot and more than 20,000 seeds, were used in the whole study. Seedling predation was evaluated by replicating the seeding units inside and outside a wire cage as protection for rodents and birds. Our results showed that prescribed fires alter initial seedling predation intensity: predation was significantly higher in the seedlings grown in the plots affected by prescribed fire. The individuals sown before the fire passed showed slightly more predation than those sown after fire passage. Provenances did not appear as an important predation drive. Understanding the role of the predation associated with these treatments can help improve Mediterranean pine forest management.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-07-08
      DOI: 10.3390/f8070243
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 7 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 244: Contrasting Impacts of Climate and Competition
           on Large Sugar Pine Growth and Defense in a Fire-Excluded Forest of the
           Central Sierra Nevada

    • Authors: Andrew Slack, Jeffrey Kane, Eric Knapp, Rosemary Sherriff
      First page: 244
      Abstract: Many forest ecosystems with a large pine component in the western United States have experienced environmental stress associated with climate change and increased competition with forest densification in the absence of fire. Information on how changes in climate and competition affect carbon allocation to tree growth and defense is needed to anticipate changes to tree vigor and, ultimately, stand structure. This study retrospectively examined the influence of annual climate and competition measures on the growth and defense of 113 large sugar pines (Pinus lambertiana) in a mixed-conifer forest of the central Sierra Nevada of California. We found that growth in large sugar pine was positively associated with higher January temperatures and lower intraspecific competition. Resin duct size was negatively associated with climatic water deficit and total competition, while resin duct area contrastingly showed a positive relationship with total competition. From 1979 to 2012, the rates of growth increased, while resin duct size decreased. Our results suggest that tree vigor measures can respond differently to climate and competition factors that may lead to separate growth and defense trends over time. Stress associated with warmer temperatures and higher competition may distinctly influence individual tree and stand-level vigor with potential implications for future forest dynamics.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-07-08
      DOI: 10.3390/f8070244
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 7 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 245: Sandra Brown (1944–2017): A
           Distinguished Tropical Ecologist

    • Authors: Ariel Lugo, Grizelle González
      First page: 245
      Abstract: n/a
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-07-08
      DOI: 10.3390/f8070245
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 7 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 246: Teams at Their Core: Implementing an “All
           LANDS Approach to Conservation” Requires Focusing on Relationships,
           Teamwork Process, and Communications

    • Authors: Kasey Jacobs
      First page: 246
      Abstract: The U.S. Forest Service has found itself in an era of intense human activity, a changing climate; development and loss of open space; resource consumption; and problematic introduced species; and diversity in core beliefs and values. These challenges test our task-relevant maturity and the ability and willingness to meet the growing demands for services. The Forest Service is now on a transformative campaign to improve abilities and meet these challenges. The “All-Lands Approach to Conservation” brings agencies, organizations, landowners and stakeholders together across boundaries to decide on common goals for the landscapes they share. This approach is part of a larger transformation occurring in the American Conservation Movement where large-scale conservation partnerships possibly define the fourth or contemporary era. The intent of this communication is to present one perspective of what large-scale conservation partnerships should include, namely an emphasis on rethinking what leadership looks like in a collaborative context, relational governance, cooperative teamwork procedures, and communications.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-07-11
      DOI: 10.3390/f8070246
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 7 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 247: Effectiveness of Polyacrylamide, Wood Shred
           Mulch, and Pine Needle Mulch as Post-Fire Hillslope Stabilization
           Treatments in Two Contrasting Volcanic Soils

    • Authors: Jonay Neris, Stefan Doerr, Jesús Notario del Pino, Carmen Arbelo, Antonio Rodríguez-Rodríguez
      First page: 247
      Abstract: Post-fire hillslope stabilization treatments aim to reduce runoff-erosion risks following forest fires by counteracting the impact of fire on key soil and hillslope properties. Here we evaluate the effectiveness of wood shred mulch, long-leaved pine needle mulch, and polyacrylamide (PAM) in reducing post-fire runoff and erosion in two volcanic soil types of contrasting wettability using rainfall simulations (55 mm h−1 for 30 min) at the microplot (0.25 m2) scale. The cover provided by the wood shreds and pine needles led to a reduction of runoff and erosion in both the wettable—(62% and 92%, respectively, for wood shreds, and 55% and 87%, respectively, for needle mulch) and the extremely water-repellent soils (44% and 61%, respectively, for wood shreds). In contrast to what might be expected, PAM did not reduce runoff or erosion when applied to the extremely water-repellent soils, suggesting that PAM should not be applied in this terrain type. Although more research is needed to determine whether the high effectiveness of pine needle mulch and wood shred mulch fully translates to coarser scales, the results are encouraging in terms of these materials’ ability to provide effective and relatively economic mitigation treatments for fire-induced runoff-erosion risks in volcanic soils.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-07-12
      DOI: 10.3390/f8070247
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 7 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 248: Soil Respiration Changes after Prescribed
           Fires in Spanish Black Pine (Pinus nigra Arn. ssp. salzmannii)
           Monospecific and Mixed Forest Stands

    • Authors: Pedro Plaza-Álvarez, Manuel Lucas-Borja, Javier Sagra, Daniel Moya, Teresa Fontúrbel, Jorge de las Heras
      First page: 248
      Abstract: Soil respiration is a major carbon pathway sensitive to environmental changes. Using prescribed burnings to reduce fuel accumulation and lower risks of large-scale wildfires has recently become more important. Prescribed burning can significantly alter the soil environment, but its effect in practice on soil respiration is not sufficiently understood. We evaluated the effects of prescribed burning on soil respiration before and after burning (May–July 2016). Prescribed burning was conducted in two natural pine areas by comparing a mixed stand of Pinus nigra Arn. ssp. salzmannii with Pinus pinaster Ait. to a pure stand of Pinus nigra Arn. ssp. salzmannii in the central Iberian Peninsula. Soil respiration was measured by an EGM-4 (Environmental Gas Monitor) infrared gas analyser in both burned and unburned (control) plots. Burnings were low-intensity, and slightly more energetic in the pure stand given its larger litter volume. Post-burning soil respiration followed a similar evolution to that in the control plots, but was greater in the pure stand burned zone and slightly lower in the burned plots in the mixed stand. No significant differences were found in any stand. Soil respiration significantly changed in temporal evolution due to increasing temperatures when summer began. We conclude that prescribed fire induces no changes in SR immediately after fire. This study helps understand how prescribed burnings can affect soil respiration in pure and mixed Spanish black pine forest stands.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-07-13
      DOI: 10.3390/f8070248
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 7 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 249: Fine Root Dynamics in Afromontane Forest and
           Adjacent Land Uses in the Northwest Ethiopian Highlands

    • Authors: Dessie Assefa, Boris Rewald, Hans Sandén, Douglas Godbold
      First page: 249
      Abstract: Fine roots are a major pathway of C input into soils. The aim of this study was to quantify fine root stocks, production and turnover in natural forest and land use systems converted from forests in Ethiopia. The study was conducted in a remnant Afromontane forest, eucalyptus plantation and grass and cropland in NW Ethiopia. Fine root dynamics were investigated using three different methods: sequential coring, in-growth cores and in-growth nets. Soil cores for sequential analyses were taken in quarterly intervals, while in-growth cores and nets were harvested corresponding to 1-, 2-, 3-, 4-, 5-, 8- and 12-month interval. Fine root stocks averaged 564, 425, 56 and 46 g·m−2 in the forest, eucalyptus, grazing land and cropland ecosystems, respectively. The values decreased exponentially with increasing soil depth. In forest and eucalyptus, fine root biomass and necromass were highest in the dry season. Estimates of fine root production differed according to the method used. Fine root production based on in-growth coring averaged 468, 293, 70 and 52 g m−2·year−1. In general, land use conversion from forest to open lands reduced fine root production by 85–91%. The turnover rate of fine roots was 1.5 for forest and 2.1 for eucalyptus plantation.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-07-13
      DOI: 10.3390/f8070249
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 7 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 250: Effects of Soil Water and Nitrogen on the
           Stand Volume of Four Hybrid Populus tomentosa Clones

    • Authors: Jia Zhu, Hui Bo, Xuan Li, Lian Song, Jiang Wang, Li Nie, Ju Tian
      First page: 250
      Abstract: With the aim of improving poplar timber production, a successive 8-year irrigation and fertilization factorial experiment with three blocks was designed to measure the response of Populus tomentosa stands to water and nitrogen in Huabei Plain, China. Specifically, we examined the responses of four P. tomentosa clones (P. tomentosa BT17, S86, B331, and 1316) to three irrigation levels (45%, 60%, and 75% above field capacity), as irrigation thresholds, and four N levels (0, 80, 160, and 240 g per plant). The results showed that both irrigation and nitrogen had significant effects in terms of improving clone stand volume. Further, we demonstrated positive interactions between irrigation and nitrogen. The stand volume increment of the four hybrid clones varied from 104.53 ± 19.84 to 191.35 ± 30.56 m3/ha in the descending order S86 > B331 > BT17 > 1316. With increasing irrigation level, the average stand volume of the four clones increased significantly from 120.46 ± 5.23 to 158.53 ± 21.72 m3/ha. When nitrogen level was increased from 0 to 240 g/plant, the average stand volume increment of the four clones increased from 126.04 ± 8.75 to 156.16 ± 26.01 m3/ha, respectively. Our results suggest that a comprehensive and specific management program is needed to improve poplar timber production.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-07-14
      DOI: 10.3390/f8070250
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 7 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 251: Using Intra-Annual Landsat Time Series for
           Attributing Forest Disturbance Agents in Central Europe

    • Authors: Julian Oeser, Dirk Pflugmacher, Cornelius Senf, Marco Heurich, Patrick Hostert
      First page: 251
      Abstract: The attribution of forest disturbances to disturbance agents is a critical challenge for remote sensing-based forest monitoring, promising important insights into drivers and impacts of forest disturbances. Previous studies have used spectral-temporal metrics derived from annual Landsat time series to identify disturbance agents. Here, we extend this approach to new predictors derived from intra-annual time series and test it at three sites in Central Europe, including managed and protected forests. The two newly tested predictors are: (1) intra-annual timing of disturbance events and (2) temporal proximity to windstorms based on prior knowledge. We estimated the intra-annual timing of disturbances using a breakpoint detection algorithm and all available Landsat observations between 1984 and 2016. Using spectral, temporal, and topography-related metrics, we then mapped four disturbance classes: windthrow, cleared windthrow, bark beetles, and other harvest. Disturbance agents were identified with overall accuracies of 76–86%. Temporal proximity to storm events was among the most important predictors, while intra-annual timing itself was less important. Moreover, elevation information was very effective for discriminating disturbance agents. Our results demonstrate the potential of incorporating dense, intra-annual Landsat time series information and prior knowledge of disturbance events for monitoring forest ecosystem change at the disturbance agent level.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-07-14
      DOI: 10.3390/f8070251
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 7 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 252: Post-Fire Salvage Logging Imposes a New
           Disturbance that Retards Succession: The Case of Bryophyte Communities in
           a Macaronesian Laurel Forest

    • Authors: Raquel Hernández-Hernández, Jorge Castro, Marcelino Del Arco-Aguilar, Ángel Fernández-López, Juana María González-Mancebo
      First page: 252
      Abstract: Post-fire salvage logging (SL) is a common management action that involves the harvesting of burnt trees. As a consequence, a large amount of biological legacies in the form of logs and other coarse woody debris are removed from the post-fire habitat, creating a more simplified landscape. Therefore, SL could act as an additional disturbance over that produced by fire. In this study, we seek to determine the effect of SL on the regeneration of the bryophyte community of a laurel forest from the Canary Islands (Spain). We hypothesized that SL will act as an additional disturbance and, consequently, salvaged areas will have a higher difference in community composition with respect to a reference ecosystem (RE). Mosses and liverworts were sampled 22 months after the salvage operations in salvaged plots, non-salvaged, and in an RE represented by areas of the original forest. Species richness did not differ between salvage and non-salvaged treatments. However, multivariate analysis and species-indicator analysis showed that non-salvaged plots had a composition closer to that of the RE, with a higher proportion of closed-canopy, perennial, and long-lived species, as well as some epiphytes. By contrast, salvaged plots were dominated by early-successional terrestrial species and species preferring open habitats. We conclude that post-fire SL represents an additional disturbance that further delays succession, a result that is consistent with previous studies using other taxonomic groups. SL should therefore be avoided or, if implemented, the possibility of leaving part of the post-fire biological legacies in situ should be considered.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-07-15
      DOI: 10.3390/f8070252
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 7 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 253: Lidar and Multispectral Imagery
           Classifications of Balsam Fir Tree Status for Accurate Predictions of
           Merchantable Volume

    • Authors: Sarah Yoga, Jean Bégin, Benoît St-Onge, Demetrios Gatziolis
      First page: 253
      Abstract: Recent increases in forest diseases have produced significant mortality in boreal forests. These disturbances influence merchantable volume predictions as they affect the distribution of live and dead trees. In this study, we assessed the use of lidar, alone or combined with multispectral imagery, to classify trees and predict the merchantable volumes of 61 balsam fir plots in a boreal forest in eastern Canada. We delineated single trees on a canopy height model. The number of detected trees represented 92% of field trees. Using lidar intensity and image pixel metrics, trees were classified as live or dead with an overall accuracy of 89% and a kappa coefficient of 0.78. Plots were classified according to their class of mortality (low/high) using a 10.5% threshold. Lidar returns associated with dead trees were clipped. Before clipping, the root mean square errors were of 22.7 m3 ha−1 in the low mortality plots and of 39 m3 ha−1 in the high mortality plots. After clipping, they decreased to 20.9 m3 ha−1 and 32.3 m3 ha−1 respectively. Our study suggests that lidar and multispectral imagery can be used to accurately filter dead balsam fir trees and decrease the merchantable volume prediction error by 17.2% in high mortality plots and by 7.9% in low mortality plots.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-07-15
      DOI: 10.3390/f8070253
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 7 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 254: Predicting Stem Total and Assortment Volumes
           in an Industrial Pinus taeda L. Forest Plantation Using Airborne Laser
           Scanning Data and Random Forest

    • Authors: Carlos Silva, Carine Klauberg, Andrew Hudak, Lee Vierling, Wan Jaafar, Midhun Mohan, Mariano Garcia, António Ferraz, Adrián Cardil, Sassan Saatchi
      First page: 254
      Abstract: Improvements in the management of pine plantations result in multiple industrial and environmental benefits. Remote sensing techniques can dramatically increase the efficiency of plantation management by reducing or replacing time-consuming field sampling. We tested the utility and accuracy of combining field and airborne lidar data with Random Forest, a supervised machine learning algorithm, to estimate stem total and assortment (commercial and pulpwood) volumes in an industrial Pinus taeda L. forest plantation in southern Brazil. Random Forest was populated using field and lidar-derived forest metrics from 50 sample plots with trees ranging from three to nine years old. We found that a model defined as a function of only two metrics (height of the top of the canopy and the skewness of the vertical distribution of lidar points) has a very strong and unbiased predictive power. We found that predictions of total, commercial, and pulp volume, respectively, showed an adjusted R2 equal to 0.98, 0.98 and 0.96, with unbiased predictions of −0.17%, −0.12% and −0.23%, and Root Mean Square Error (RMSE) values of 7.83%, 7.71% and 8.63%. Our methodology makes use of commercially available airborne lidar and widely used mathematical tools to provide solutions for increasing the industry efficiency in monitoring and managing wood volume.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-07-17
      DOI: 10.3390/f8070254
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 7 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 257: Short-Term Effects of Reduced-Impact Logging
           on Copaifera spp. (Fabaceae) Regeneration in Eastern Amazon

    • Authors: Carine Klauberg, Edson Vidal, Carlos Silva, Andrew Hudak, Manuela Oliveira, Pedro Higuchi
      First page: 257
      Abstract: Timber management directly influences the population dynamics of tree species, like Copaifera spp. (copaíba), which provide oil-resin with ecological and economic importance. The aim of this study was to evaluate the structure and population dynamics of Copaifera in unmanaged and managed stands by reduced-impact logging (RIL) in eastern Amazon in Pará state, Brazil. Based on a stem map of the study area, 40 Copaifera trees were randomly selected, where an equal number of trees were selected in managed and unmanaged stands. A transect of 10 × 100 m was centered at each tree (50 m each side) to assess Copaifera regeneration. Transects were subdivided into ten plots, of which six were systematically chosen to assess the height, diameter and number of Copaifera seedlings and saplings. The field assessment occurred in 2011 and 2013. To estimate the amount of sunlight transmitted to the forest floor, we computed canopy cover from airborne LiDAR data. According to the results, the abundance of Copaifera seedlings/saplings was higher in managed than unmanaged stands. About 5% of Copaifera regeneration was found between 45–50 m from the Copaifera tree while ~73% of regeneration was concentrated within a 10 m radius of the Copaifera tree. We verified that the diameter distribution of Copaifera regeneration was not a negative exponential distribution, as is typical of most tree species in natural forest. Rather, the Copaifera regeneration had a spatially aggregated distribution. In this short-term analysis, the impact of timber management is not negatively affecting the population structure or dynamics of Copaifera regeneration.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-07-23
      DOI: 10.3390/f8070257
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 7 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 258: Soil Erosion and Forests Biomass as Energy
           Resource in the Basin of the Oka River in Biscay, Northern Spain

    • Authors: Esperanza Mateos, José Miguel Edeso, Leyre Ormaetxea
      First page: 258
      Abstract: The aim of this work has been the development of a methodology for the evaluation of residual forest biomass in Biscay, a province in northern Spain. The study area is located in the Oka river basin, an area of great ecological value qualified by UNESCO (United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization) in 1984 as a Biosphere Reserve. The project tries to determine the potential, available and usable as energy resource, residual forests biomass, after the treatments of forest species in the area. Soil erosion was modeled using the USLE (Universal Soil Loss Equation) and MUSLE (Modified USLE) methods by estimating rainfall erosivity factor (R), the soil erodibility factor (K), the topographic factors (L and S), cropping factor (C), and the conservation practice factor (P). By means of these models, it will be possible to determine the current soil erosion rate and its potential evolution due to different forest treatments. Soil erodibility, slope of the terrain and the loss of SOC (Soil Organic Carbon) were the restrictive indicators for the bioenergy use of forest biomass, taking into account principles of sustainability. The amount of residual forestry biomass useable for energy purposes has been estimated at 4858.23 Mg year−1.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-07-19
      DOI: 10.3390/f8070258
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 7 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 259: Adapting Tropical Forest Policy and Practice
           in the Context of the Anthropocene: Opportunities and Challenges for the
           El Yunque National Forest in Puerto Rico

    • Authors: Kathleen McGinley
      First page: 259
      Abstract: Tropical forest management increasingly is challenged by multiple, complex, intersecting, and in many cases unprecedented changes in the environment that are triggered by human activity. Many of these changes are associated with the Anthropocene—a new geologic epoch in which humans have become a dominating factor in shaping the biosphere. Ultimately, as human activity increasingly influences systems and processes at multiple scales, we are likely to see more extraordinary and surprising events, making it difficult to predict the future with the level of precision and accuracy needed for broad-scale management prescriptions. In this context of increasing surprise and uncertainty, learning, flexibility, and adaptiveness are essential to securing ecosystem resilience and sustainability, particularly in complex systems such as tropical forests. This article examines the experience to date with and potential for collaborative, adaptive land and resource management in the El Yunque National Forest (EYNF)—the only tropical forest in the U.S. National Forest System. The trajectory of EYNF policy and practice over time and its capacity for learning, flexibility, and adaptiveness to change and surprise are analyzed through an historical institutionalism approach. EYNF policies and practices have shifted from an early custodial approach that focused mostly on protection and prevention to a top-down, technical approach that eventually gave way to an ecosystem approach that has slowly incorporated more flexible, adaptive, and active learning elements. These shifts in EYNF management mostly have been reactive and incremental, with some rarer, rapid changes primarily in response to significant changes in national-level policies, but also to local level conditions and changes in them. Looking to the future, it seems the EYNF may be better positioned than ever before to address increasing uncertainty and surprise at multiple scales. However, it must be able to count on the resources necessary for implementing adaptive, collaborative forest management in a tropical setting and on the institutional and organizational space and flexibility to make swift adjustments or course corrections in response to system changes and surprises.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-07-20
      DOI: 10.3390/f8070259
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 7 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 260: Barriers to the Adoption of Alley Cropping as
           a Climate-Smart Agriculture Practice: Lessons from Maize Cultivation among
           the Maya in Southern Belize

    • Authors: Rico Kongsager
      First page: 260
      Abstract: Climate-smart agriculture (CSA) is proposed as a necessity, as the agricultural sector will need to adapt to resist future climatic change, to which high emissions from the sector contribute significantly. This study, which is an exploratory case study based on qualitative interviews and field observations, investigates the barriers to making a CSA-adjustment in maize production among Maya communities in southern Belize. The adjustment is alley cropping, which is a low-input adjustment that has the potential to result in both adaptation and mitigation benefits, and furthermore, to enhance food security. The findings show that a CSA-adjustment in small-scale maize production in Maya villages in southern Belize is possible in principle, though several barriers can make the overall climate-smart objective difficult to implement in practice. The barriers are of a proximate and indirect nature, exist at different spatial scales, and involve various levels of governance. The barriers are shown to be land tenure, market access, and changes in the traditional culture, however, these barriers are not homogenous across the villages in the region. To break down the barriers an overall district-level strategy is possible, but the toolbox should contain a wide variety of approaches. These could happen, for instance, through alterations to land tenure and the land taxation system nationally, enhancement of the agricultural extension system to ease access to knowledge and input at the district level, and support to a less complex governance structure at the village level.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-07-21
      DOI: 10.3390/f8070260
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 7 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 262: The Vietnamese Legal and Policy Framework for
           Co-Management in Special-Use Forests

    • Authors: Nguyen KimDung, Simon Bush, Arthur Mol
      First page: 262
      Abstract: Co-management has been introduced into Special Use Forests (SUFs) of Vietnam for more than 10 years. However, the extent to which Vietnamese laws and policies support co-management remains unclear. This paper reviews existing policies and laws from the national to commune levels and assesses their facilitation of co-management in SUFs. The review demonstrates there is support for co-management, albeit scattered and uncoordinated across a range of policies and laws. Modifications to policy on ownership and use rights would support the development of SUF co-management. Additionally, clearer legislative underpinning for benefit sharing in SUFs could better incentivize the participation of local people and private sector actors to engage in more effective co-management arrangements.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-07-22
      DOI: 10.3390/f8070262
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 7 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 263: Spatiotemporal Distribution and Driving
           Factors of Forest Biomass Carbon Storage in China: 1977–2013

    • Authors: Jiameng Yang, Xiaoxia Ji, David Deane, Linyu Wu, Shulin Chen
      First page: 263
      Abstract: Increasing forest vegetation is important for carbon dynamics and to maintain the ecological and environmental balance in China. However, there is little understanding of how socioeconomic factors affect forest biomass carbon storage (FBCS). Here, we used continuous functions for biomass expansion factors and China’s seven completed forest inventories to estimate the changes in FBCS for 31 provinces in mainland China between 1977 and 2013. We developed a model that decomposes the contribution of the different socioeconomic factors driving FBCS. We found China’s FBCS increased from 4972 TgC (1 Tg = 1012g) in 1977–1981 to 7435 TgC in 2009–2013, with a mean growth of 77 TgC/a, and the average forest carbon density increased from 36.0 to 38.9Mg/ha (1 Mg = 106g), mainly due to the arbor forest contribution. Among the seven regions in China, the southwestern region currently accounts for the highest proportion (37.3%) of national FBCS, followed by northeastern (19.7%), northern (12.5%) and eastern region (10.8%). The main socio-economic factors affecting FBCS were forest land dependence, industrial structure and economic development level. Optimizing forest type and age structure, improving forest productivity, and strengthening forest management are feasible options to further increase China’s FBCS.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-07-23
      DOI: 10.3390/f8070263
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 7 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 183: Characteristics of Fine Roots of Pinus
           massoniana in the Three Gorges Reservoir Area, China

    • Authors: Yafei Shen, Na Wang, Ruimei Cheng, Wenfa Xiao, Shao Yang, Yan Guo, Lei Lei, Lixiong Zeng, Xiaorong Wang
      First page: 183
      Abstract: Several studies have focused on fine roots characteristics because they provide a major pathway for nutrient cycling and energy flow in forest ecosystems. However, few studies have evaluated changes in fine root characteristics according to their diameter. Pinus massoniana forests are the main vegetative component in the Three Gorges Reservoir area and play an important role in providing forest resources and ecological services. Pinus massoniana fine roots were sorted into 0–0.5, 0.5–1, and 1–2 mm diameter classes, and their fine root standing biomass (FRB), necromass, annual production and decomposition rates were determined and correlated with soil characteristics. These fine roots in three diameter classes significantly differed in their initial carbon (C), C/N ratio, FRB, necromass, annual C and N production and decomposition rate. The production and decomposition of these different diameter classes varied significantly with soil variables including soil temperature, moisture, calcium and ammonium concentration but the strength of these interactions varied dependent on diameter class. The very fine roots had a faster decomposition ratio than larger fine roots due to the lower N content, higher C/N ratio and higher sensitivity to soil environmental factors. These results clearly indicate heterogeneity among fine roots of different diameters, and these variations should be taken into account when studying fine root characteristics and their role in the C cycle.
      PubDate: 2017-05-25
      DOI: 10.3390/f8060183
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 6 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 184: Terrestrial Laser Scanning for Forest
           Inventories—Tree Diameter Distribution and Scanner Location Impact on

    • Authors: Meinrad Abegg, Daniel Kükenbrink, Jürgen Zell, Michael Schaepman, Felix Morsdorf
      First page: 184
      Abstract: The rapid development of portable terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) devices in recent years has led to increased attention to their applicability for forest inventories, especially where direct measurements are very expensive or nearly impossible. However, in terms of precision and reproducibility, there are still some pending questions. In this study, we investigate the influence of stand parameters on the TLS-related visibility in forest plots. We derived 2740 stand parameters from Swiss national forest inventory sample plots. Based on these parameters, we defined virtual scenes of the forest plots with the software “Blender”. Using Blender’s ray-tracing features, we assessed the 3D coverage in a cubic space and 2D visibility properties for each of the virtual plots with different scanner placement schemes. We provide a formula to calculate the maximum number of possible hits for any object size at any distance from a scanner with any resolution. Additionally, we show that the Weibull scale parameter describing a stand, in addition to the number of trees and the mean diameter of the dominant 100 trees per hectare, has a significant and relevant influence on the visibility of the sample plot. Furthermore, we show the effectiveness and the efficiency of 40 scanner location patterns. These experiments demonstrate that intuitively distributing scanner locations evenly within the sample plot, with similar distances between locations and from the edge of the sample plot, provides the best overall visibility of the stand.
      PubDate: 2017-05-26
      DOI: 10.3390/f8060184
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 6 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 185: Seed Origin and Protection Are Important
           Factors Affecting Post-Fire Initial Recruitment in Pine Forest Areas

    • Authors: Manuel Lucas-Borja, David Candel-Pérez, Thierry Onkelinx, Peter Fule, Daniel Moya, Jorge de las Heras, Pedro Tíscar
      First page: 185
      Abstract: Initial seedling recruitment is one of the most critical stages for plants in the Mediterranean basin. Moreover, wildfires and post-fire environmental conditions might deteriorate regeneration success, which can lead to problems for sustainable forest restoration and forest persistence. On this context, different seed origins and pine species may be better adapted to new environmental conditions remaining after forest fires and seed protection might modulate seedling initial recruitment. This study evaluates the effects of seed origin (Pinus nigra Arn. subsp. salzmannii Dunal (Franco) from lowland, midland and upland distribution areas), pine species (Pinus pinaster Aiton, Pinus sylvestris L. and Pinus nigra Arn. subsp. salzmannii Dunal (Franco)) and seed protection on seed emergence and early seedling survival after forest fires in the Cuenca Mountains. In addition, a greenhouse experiment was set up under controlled conditions to test seedling performance and to compare initial seedling growth of different P. nigra seed origins growing in field and greenhouse conditions. Results showed that wetter spring seasons and P. nigra seed origins from midland and upland distribution growing in their natural habitat distribution perform better that P. sylvestris and P. pinaster. Seed protection is an important factor modulating the above-mentioned trend. P. nigra seeds growing at the greenhouse experiment showed differences in growth for extreme (upland or lowland) P. nigra distribution.
      PubDate: 2017-05-27
      DOI: 10.3390/f8060185
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 6 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 186: Characterizing Habitat Elements and Their
           Distribution over Several Spatial Scales: The Case of the Fisher

    • Authors: Matthew Niblett, Richard Church, Stuart Sweeney, Klaus Barber
      First page: 186
      Abstract: In past studies of the fisher (Pekania pennanti) most researchers have concluded that fisher habitat must consist of mostly mature to late-seral forest with few, if any, openings. Without doubt, certain elements found in mature to late-seral forests are required by females to successfully rear their young, but some recent work casts doubt on the extent that a continuous canopy of tree coverage and a preponderance of older stands are necessary as long as certain components exist. This paper explores this issue with an attempt to better characterize essential elements of habitat for the female fisher. This characterization is based upon fine-scale inventory plot data that is analyzed across several spatial scales that represent a small neighborhood about den sites, the forest of the 75% kernel density estimate for female home ranges, and the forested region as a whole. We present results of a test of significance in comparing habitat elements across these three scales. Our findings suggest that certain habitat elements typically found in mature to late seral forests must be present at a certain fraction of the landscape for the fisher. The approach described here may be of considerable value in developing guidelines for conservation agreements.
      PubDate: 2017-05-28
      DOI: 10.3390/f8060186
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 6 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 187: Living and Dead Aboveground Biomass in
           Mediterranean Forests: Evidence of Old-Growth Traits in a Quercus
           pubescens Willd. s.l. Stand

    • Authors: Emilio Badalamenti, Tommaso La Mantia, Giovanni La Mantia, Antonino Cairone, Donato La Mela Veca
      First page: 187
      Abstract: For a long time, human impact has deeply simplified most of the forest ecosystems of the Mediterranean Basin. Here, forests have seldom had the chance to naturally develop a complex and multilayered structure, to host large and old trees and rich biological communities, approaching old-growth conditions. Also for this reason, limited information is currently available about Mediterranean old-growth forests, particularly with regard to deadwood. The main aim of this work is to help fill this critical knowledge gap. In Sicily (Italy), we identified a Quercus pubescens forest that seemed to show some typical old-growth features. Total living volume (360 m3 ha−1) and basal area (34 m2 ha−1) were, respectively, about 6 and 3 times higher than the averages recorded in the regional forest inventory for this forest type. Deadwood was particularly abundant, exceeding the threshold of 30 m3 ha−1, mainly represented by lying dead elements. Dead to live wood ratio reached 9%, a value close to the threshold of 10% considered for Mediterranean old-growth forests. As the investigated forest showed some typical old-growth traits, it deserves to be fully protected and could be a permanent monitoring area for studying deadwood and stand dynamics in mature Mediterranean stands.
      PubDate: 2017-05-30
      DOI: 10.3390/f8060187
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 6 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 188: Post-Fire Restoration Plan for Sustainable
           Forest Management in South Korea

    • Authors: Soung-Ryoul Ryu, Hyung-Tae Choi, Joo-Hoon Lim, Im-Kyun Lee, Young-Sang Ahn
      First page: 188
      Abstract: This review was to determine a standard post-fire restoration strategy for use in South Korea according to the magnitude of the damage and the condition of the affected site. The government has strongly enforced reforestation in deforested areas as well as fire prevention and suppression since the 1960s. These efforts have successfully recovered dense even-aged forests over the last five decades. However, high fuel loading and the homogeneous structure have made forests vulnerable to large fires. In recent years, large forest fires have occurred in the eastern coastal region of Korea. Forest fires can significantly influence the economic and social activities of the residents of such affected forest regions. Burned areas may require urgent and long-term restoration strategies, depending on the condition of the affected site. Erosion control is the most important component of an urgent restoration and should be completed before a rainy season to prevent secondary damage such as landslides and sediment runoff in burned areas. Long-term restoration is necessary to renew forest functions such as timber production, water conservation, ecosystem conservation, and recreation for residents. Sound restoration for burned areas is critical for restoring healthy ecological functions of forests and providing economic incentives to local residents.
      PubDate: 2017-05-30
      DOI: 10.3390/f8060188
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 6 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 189: Visualizing the Forest in a Boreal Forest
           Landscape—The Perspective of Swedish Municipal Comprehensive Planning

    • Authors: Camilla Thellbro, Olof Stjernström, Per Sandström, Gun Lidestav
      First page: 189
      Abstract: At the international policy level, there is a clear link between access to information about forests and the work towards sustainable land use. However, involving forests in planning for sustainable development (SuD) at the Swedish local level, by means of municipal comprehensive planning (MCP), is complicated by sector structure and legislation. Currently, there is a gap or hole in the MCP process when it comes to use and access to knowledge about forest conditions and forest land use. This hole limits the possibilities to formulate well-informed municipal visions and goals for sustainable forest land use as well as for overall SuD. Here we introduce an approach for compilation and presentation of geographic information to increase the preconditions for integrating forest information into Swedish MCP. We produce information about forest ownership patterns and forest conditions in terms of age and significant ecological and social values in forests for a case study municipality. We conclude that it is possible to effectively compile geographic and forest-related information to fill the hole in the municipal land use map. Through our approach, MCP could be strengthened as a tool for overall land use planning and hence as a base in SuD planning.
      PubDate: 2017-05-31
      DOI: 10.3390/f8060189
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 6 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 190: Mangrove Carbon Stocks and Ecosystem Cover
           Dynamics in Southwest Madagascar and the Implications for Local Management

    • Authors: Lisa Benson, Leah Glass, Trevor Jones, Lalao Ravaoarinorotsihoarana, Cicelin Rakotomahazo
      First page: 190
      Abstract: Of the numerous ecosystem services mangroves provide, carbon storage is gaining particular attention for its potential role in climate change mitigation strategies. Madagascar contains 2% of the world’s mangroves, over 20% of which is estimated to have been deforested through charcoal production, timber extraction and agricultural development. This study presents a carbon stock assessment of the mangroves in Helodrano Fagnemotse in southwest Madagascar alongside an analysis of mangrove land-cover change from 2002 to 2014. Similar to other mangrove ecosystems in East Africa, higher stature, closed-canopy mangroves in southwest Madagascar were estimated to contain 454.92 (±26.58) Mg·C·ha−1. Although the mangrove extent in this area is relatively small (1500 ha), these mangroves are of critical importance to local communities and anthropogenic pressures on coastal resources in the area are increasing. This was evident in both field observations and remote sensing analysis, which indicated an overall net loss of 3.18% between 2002 and 2014. Further dynamics analysis highlighted widespread transitions of dense, higher stature mangroves to more sparse mangrove areas indicating extensive degradation. Harnessing the value that the carbon stored within these mangroves holds on the voluntary carbon market could generate revenue to support and incentivise locally-led sustainable mangrove management, improve livelihoods and alleviate anthropogenic pressures.
      PubDate: 2017-05-31
      DOI: 10.3390/f8060190
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 6 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 191: Plant Debris and Its Contribution to Ecosystem
           Carbon Storage in Successional Larix gmelinii Forests in Northeastern

    • Authors: Jianxiao Zhu, Xuli Zhou, Wenjing Fang, Xinyu Xiong, Biao Zhu, Chengjun Ji, Jingyun Fang
      First page: 191
      Abstract: Plant debris, including woody debris and litter, is an essential but frequently overlooked component of carbon (C) storage in forest ecosystems. Here, we examined the C storage of plant debris and its contribution to total ecosystem C storage in an age sequence of six larch (Larix gmelinii) forest stands (15, 36, 45, 54, 65, and 138 years old) in northeastern China. The plant debris C storage increased from 6.0 ± 0.5 Mg·C·ha−1 in the 15-year-old stand to a maximum of 9.3 ± 1.8 Mg·C·ha−1 in the 138-year-old stand. The C storage of woody debris increased during stand development in a sigmoidal pattern, increasing from 0.7 ± 0.2 Mg·C·ha−1 in the 15-year-old stand to 4.7 ± 1.3 Mg·C·ha−1 in the 138-year-old stand. However, the C storage of litter (4.6−5.4 Mg·C·ha−1) did not vary with stand age in this larch chronosequence. In addition, the ratio of woody debris to live tree biomass C storage was relatively stable across stands (approximately 3.3%). These results highlight the importance of considering successional development and stand characteristics in assessing changes of plant debris and total ecosystem C storage in the larch forest ecosystem
      PubDate: 2017-05-31
      DOI: 10.3390/f8060191
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 6 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 192: Dual-Filter Estimation for Rotating-Panel
           Sample Designs

    • Authors: Francis Roesch
      First page: 192
      Abstract: Dual-filter estimators are described and tested for use in the annual estimation for national forest inventories. The dual-filter approach involves the use of a moving widow estimator in the first pass, which is used as input to Theil’s mixed estimator in the second pass. The moving window and dual-filter estimators are tested along with two other estimators in a sampling simulation of 152 simulated populations, which were developed from data collected in 38 states and Puerto Rico by the Forest Inventory and Analysis Program of the USDA Forest Service. The dual-filter estimators are shown to almost always provide some reduction in mean squared error (MSE) relative to the first pass moving window estimators.
      PubDate: 2017-06-02
      DOI: 10.3390/f8060192
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 6 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 193: Drivers of Plot-Scale Variability of CH4
           Consumption in a Well-Aerated Pine Forest Soil

    • Authors: Martin Maier, Sinikka Paulus, Clara Nicolai, Kenton Stutz, Philipp Nauer
      First page: 193
      Abstract: While differences in greenhouse gas (GHG) fluxes between ecosystems can be explained to a certain degree, variability of the same at the plot scale is still challenging. We investigated the spatial variability in soil-atmosphere fluxes of carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) to find out what drives spatial variability on the plot scale. Measurements were carried out in a Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) forest in a former floodplain on a 250 m2 plot, divided in homogenous strata of vegetation and soil texture. Soil gas fluxes were measured consecutively at 60 points along transects to cover the spatial variability. One permanent chamber was measured repeatedly to monitor temporal changes to soil gas fluxes. The observed patterns at this control chamber were used to standardize the gas fluxes to disentangle temporal variability from the spatial variability of measured GHG fluxes. Concurrent measurements of soil gas diffusivity allowed deriving in situ methanotrophic activity from the CH4 flux measurements. The soil emitted CO2 and consumed CH4 and N2O. Significantly different fluxes of CH4 and CO2 were found for the different soil-vegetation strata, but not for N2O. Soil CH4 consumption increased with soil gas diffusivity within similar strata supporting the hypothesis that CH4 consumption by soils is limited by the supply with atmospheric CH4. Methane consumption in the vegetation strata with dominant silty texture was higher at a given soil gas diffusivity than in the strata with sandy texture. The same pattern was observed for methanotrophic activity, indicating better habitats for methantrophs in silt. Methane consumption increased with soil respiration in all strata. Similarly, methanotrophic activity increased with soil respiration when the individual measurement locations were categorized into silt and sand based on the dominant soil texture, irrespective of the vegetation stratum. Thus, we suggest the rhizosphere and decomposing organic litter might represent or facilitate a preferred habitat for methanotrophic microbes, since rhizosphere and decomposing organic are the source of most of the soil respiration.
      PubDate: 2017-06-03
      DOI: 10.3390/f8060193
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 6 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 194: Preserving Ecosystem Services on Indigenous
           Territory through Restoration and Management of a Cultural Keystone

    • Authors: Yadav Uprety, Hugo Asselin, Yves Bergeron
      First page: 194
      Abstract: Eastern white pine (Pinus strobus L.) is a cultural keystone tree species in the forests of eastern North America, providing numerous ecosystem services to Indigenous people. White pine abundance in the landscape has considerably decreased over the last few centuries due to overharvesting, suppression of surface fires, extensive management, and plantation failure. The Kitcisakik Algonquin community of western Quebec is calling for restoration and sustainable management of white pine on its ancestral territory, to ensure provision of associated ecosystem services. We present five white pine restoration and management scenarios taking into account community needs and ecological types: (1) natural regeneration of scattered white pines to produce individuals of different sizes and ages used as medicinal plants; (2) protection of supercanopy white pines used as landmarks and for providing habitat for flagship wildlife species, and younger individuals left as regeneration and future canopy trees; (3) the uniform shelterwood system to create white pine-dominated stands that provide habitat for flagship wildlife species and support cultural activities; (4) under-canopy plantations to yield mature white pine stands for timber production; (5) mixed plantations to produce forests with aesthetic qualities that provide wildlife habitat and protect biodiversity.
      PubDate: 2017-06-03
      DOI: 10.3390/f8060194
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 6 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 195: Separating Trends in Whitebark Pine Radial
           Growth Related to Climate and Mountain Pine Beetle Outbreaks in the
           Northern Rocky Mountains, USA

    • Authors: Saskia van de Gevel, Evan Larson, Henri Grissino-Mayer
      First page: 195
      Abstract: Drought and mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae Hopkins) outbreaks have affected millions of hectares of high-elevation conifer forests in the Northern Rocky Mountains during the past century. Little research has examined the distinction between mountain pine beetle outbreaks and climatic influence on radial growth in endangered whitebark pine (Pinus albicaulis Engelm.) ecosystems. We used a new method to explore divergent periods in whitebark pine radial growth after mountain pine beetle outbreaks across six sites in western Montana. We examined a 100-year history of mountain pine beetle outbreaks and climate relationships in whitebark pine radial growth to distinguish whether monthly climate variables or mountain pine outbreaks were the dominant influence on whitebark pine growth during the 20th century. High mortality of whitebark pines was caused by the overlapping effects of previous and current mountain pine beetle outbreaks and white pine blister rust infection. Wet conditions from precipitation and snowpack melt in the previous summer, current spring, and current summer benefit whitebark pine radial growth during the following growing season. Whitebark pine radial growth and climate relationships were strongest in sites less affected by the mountain pine beetle outbreaks or anthropogenic disturbances. Whitebark pine population resiliency should continue to be monitored as more common periods of drought will make whitebark pines more susceptible to mountain pine beetle attack and to white pine blister rust infection.
      PubDate: 2017-06-03
      DOI: 10.3390/f8060195
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 6 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 196: Evaluation of a New Temporary Immersion
           Bioreactor System for Micropropagation of Cultivars of Eucalyptus, Birch
           and Fir

    • Authors: Edward Businge, Adelina Trifonova, Carolin Schneider, Philipp Rödel, Ulrika Egertsdotter
      First page: 196
      Abstract: The use of liquid instead of solid culture medium for the micropropagation of plants offers advantages such as better access to medium components and scalability through possible automation of the processes. The objective of this work was to compare a new temporary immersion bioreactor (TIB) to solid medium culture for the micropropagation of a selection of tree species micropropagated for commercial use: Nordmann fir (Abies nordmanniana (Steven) Spach), Eucalyptus (E. grandis x E. urophylla), Downy birch (Betula pubescens Ehrh), and Curly birch (Betula pendula var. carelica). Cultivation of explants in the TIB resulted in a significant increase of multiplication rate and fresh weight of Eucalyptus and B. pendula, but not Betula pubescens. In addition, the fresh weight of embryogenic tissue and the maturation frequency of somatic embryos increased significantly when an embryogenic cell line of A. nordmanniana was cultivated in the TIB compared to solid culture medium. These results demonstrate the potential for scaling up and automating micropropagation by shoot multiplication and somatic embryogenesis in commercial tree species using a temporary immersion bioreactor.
      PubDate: 2017-06-03
      DOI: 10.3390/f8060196
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 6 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 197: Land Use Affects the Soil C Sequestration in
           Alpine Environment, NE Italy

    • Authors: Diego Pizzeghello, Ornella Francioso, Giuseppe Concheri, Adele Muscolo, Serenella Nardi
      First page: 197
      Abstract: Soil carbon sequestration is strongly affected by soil properties, climate, and anthropogenic activities. Assessing these drivers is key to understanding the effect of land use on soil organic matter stabilization. We evaluated land use and soil depth influencing patterns of soil organic matter stabilization in three types of soil profiles located under the same pedogenetic matrix and alpine conditions but with different vegetation cover. The stock in soil organic carbon in the mean 0–20 cm layer increased from prairie (31.9 t ha−1) to prairie in natural reforestation (42 t ha−1) to forest (120 t ha−1), corresponding to increments of 1.3-fold prairie, for prairie in natural reforestation, and of 3.8-fold prairie for forest. The forest showed the highest humic carbon (21.7 g kg−1), which was 2.8 times greater than the prairie in natural reforestation and 4 times higher than the prairie. 13C-NMR spectroscopic measurements suggested a different C pattern. The prairie in natural reforestation and the prairie were characterized by a higher content in O,N-alkyl C with respect to the forest. Alkyl C and aromatic C in the prairie in natural reforestation and prairie did not show relevant differences while they decreased with respect to the forest. Carboxyl and phenolic C groups were markedly higher in forest and prairie than prairie in natural reforestation. Alkyl C, carboxyl C, and phenolic C prevailed in the Ah horizons whereas aromatic C and O,N-alkyl C were dominant in the B horizons. Overall, the marked distribution of O,N-alkyl C and alkyl C in humic substances (HS) indicates a low degree of humification. Nevertheless, in forest, the relatively high presence of aromatic C designated HS endowed with a relatively high humification degree. Thus, our results might suggest that in the alpine environment of NE Italy differences in soil organic matter (SOM) stocks and characteristics are affected by land use and anthropic activities.
      PubDate: 2017-06-06
      DOI: 10.3390/f8060197
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 6 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 198: Effects of Thinning on Soil Organic Carbon
           Fractions and Soil Properties in Cunninghamia lanceolata Stands in Eastern

    • Authors: Xiangrong Cheng, Mukui Yu, G. Wang
      First page: 198
      Abstract: Soil organic carbon (SOC) fractions, along with soil properties, are greatly affected by forest management. In this study, three thinning treatments: control (conventional management mode), moderate thinning intensity and heavy thinning intensity, were applied in Chinese fir (Cunninghamia lanceolata) plantations in eastern China. The dissolved organic carbon (DOC), soil light fraction organic carbon (LFOC) and heavy fraction organic carbon (HFOC), total SOC, DOC/SOC and LFOC/HFOC were not affected by thinning treatments. In the heavy thinning treatment, soil bulk density decreased, and soil water holding capacity and porosity increased in the topsoil layers (0–10 cm and 10–20 cm). Total nitrogen, hydrolysable nitrogen, and zinc concentrations increased in the topsoil layers (0–20 cm) in the heavy thinning treatment compared to the control treatment, while the available potassium concentration reduced. The moderate thinning treatment had little effect on the soil physical and chemical properties. Moreover, the variation of SOC fractions was strongly correlated to soil physical and chemical properties. These results suggest that thinning has little effect on the total SOC and its fractions in one rotation of Chinese fir tree in eastern China. In contrast, however, results also suggest that thinning has a positive effect on soil quality, to a certain extent.
      PubDate: 2017-06-07
      DOI: 10.3390/f8060198
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 6 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 199: Carbon Stocks of Fine Woody Debris in Coppice
           Oak Forests at Different Development Stages

    • Authors: Ender Makineci, Serdar Akburak, Alper Özturna, Doğanay Tolunay
      First page: 199
      Abstract: Dead woody debris is a significant component of the carbon cycle in forest ecosystems. This study was conducted in coppice-originated oak forests to determine carbon stocks of dead woody debris in addition to carbon stocks of different ecosystem compartments from the same area and forests which were formerly elucidated. Weight and carbon stocks of woody debris were determined with recent samplings and compared among development stages (diameter at breast height (DBH, D1.3m)), namely small-diameter forests (SDF) = 0–8 cm, medium diameter forests (MDF) = 8–20 cm, and large-diameter forests (LDF) = 20–36 cm). Total woody debris was collected in samplings; as bilateral diameters of all woody debris parts were less than 10 cm, all woody parts were in the “fine woody debris (FWD)” class. The carbon concentrations of FWD were about 48% for all stages. Mass (0.78–4.92 Mg·ha−1) and carbon stocks (0.38–2.39 Mg·ha−1) of FWD were significantly (p > 0.05) different among development stages. FWD carbon stocks were observed to have significant correlation with D1.3m, age, basal area, and carbon stocks of aboveground biomass (Spearman rank correlation coefficients; 0.757, 0.735, 0.709, and 0.694, respectively). The most important effects on carbon budgets of fine woody debris were determined to be coppice management and intensive utilization. Also, national forestry management, treatments of traditional former coppice, and conversion to high forest were emphasized as having substantial effects.
      PubDate: 2017-06-08
      DOI: 10.3390/f8060199
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 6 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 200: Spatial Analysis of a Haloxylon Ammodendron
           Plantation in an Oasis-Desert Ecotone in the Hexi Corridor, Northwestern

    • Authors: Ying Zheng, Wenzhi Zhao, Gefei Zhang
      First page: 200
      Abstract: Haloxylon ammodendron is a commonly used sand-fixing species in the desert area of northwestern China; it has been abundantly planted in areas where annual precipitation is about 120 mm in the Hexi Corridor since the 1970s. Spatial patterns and associations of an H. ammodendron plantation in five stages of community development were analyzed in an oasis-desert ecotone to gain insights into population dynamics over a course of succession. Five 0.3-ha (50 m × 60 m) permanent plots were established in each of five developmental stages; H. ammodendron was classified as seedlings, juvenile and mature trees, and all individuals were measured and stem-mapped. The univariate spatial analysis by the L-function and the bivariate L12-function were used to describe the spatial patterns of all trees and examine the spatial association among trees between different tree size-classes. Results showed that at scales >2 m, the spatial pattern of H. ammodendron shifted from initially clustered to random, and back to clustered; at scales <2 m, a transition from uniform to clustered was observed with stand age. In 5–10-year, 10–20-year and 20–30-year stages, competition between conspecifics may be the dominant factor which influenced plant survival. In 30–40-year and >40-year stages, interactions between conspecifics may be the dominant factor in conditions of tree-size-asymmetric competition, but abiotic stress may be more important in tree-size-symmetric competition. The H. ammodendron plantation experienced highest mortality at the 5–10-year stage as a result of fierce competition for soil water, while with respect to growth, it entered into a relatively stable stage, where the gaps generated due to mortality of adult trees and improved soil conditions provided opportunities for regeneration. In the >40-year stage, the regeneration experienced a decline under enhanced competition for water, and the plantation showed a clustered pattern at all scales due to water stress.
      PubDate: 2017-06-08
      DOI: 10.3390/f8060200
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 6 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 201: Effects of Boreal Well Site Reclamation
           Practices on Long-Term Planted Spruce and Deciduous Tree Regeneration

    • Authors: Laurie Frerichs, Edward Bork, Terrance Osko, M. Naeth
      First page: 201
      Abstract: Well site development associated with oil sands exploration is common in boreal mixedwood forests of northern Alberta, Canada, and necessitates reforestation to accommodate other land uses. Little is known about the impact of soil and debris handling strategies during well site construction on long-term forest regeneration. This study addresses the impact of soil disturbance intensity, debris treatment, soil storage, and planting on the reforestation of 33 well sites reclaimed prior to 2006. Data on the survival and growth of planted white spruce (Picea glauca (Moench) Voss) and the regeneration density of deciduous trees, including trembling aspen (Populus tremuloides Michx), are presented from 2014 to 2015. The survival of planted spruce increased from 81% to 88% at well sites with a high relative to low soil disturbance. The total tree densities were lower in most treatments (≤2.69 stems m−2) than those in clear cuts (5.17 stems m−2), with the exception of root salvage areas where clear cuts had greater balsam poplar (Populus balsamifera L.) densities (2.05 stems m−2 vs. <0.71 stems m−2 on all other treatments). Aspen densities were up to five times greater at well sites with low disturbance when compared to those with high disturbance, and this was further aided by shallow mulch at low disturbance sites. Spruce growth did not respond to well site treatments. Aspen growth (diameter and height) remained similar between well site disturbance regimes; aspen exposed to high disturbance underperformed relative to low disturbance well sites and clear cut controls. With high disturbance, progressive soil piling led to increases in the density of aspen and birch (Betula papyrifera Marshall). Few long-term changes in soil were found due to well site development, with a greater soil pH in high disturbance sites compared to low disturbance sites. Overall, these results indicate that the nature of well site construction, including the extent of soil removal, soil piling, and debris treatment, may collectively alter forest re-establishment, with associated implications for forest management.
      PubDate: 2017-06-08
      DOI: 10.3390/f8060201
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 6 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 202: Coordination and Determinants of Leaf
           Community Economics Spectrum for Canopy Trees and Shrubs in a Temperate
           Forest in Northeastern China

    • Authors: Feng Jiang, Yanhan Xun, Huiying Cai, Guangze Jin
      First page: 202
      Abstract: Upscaling the leaf economics spectrum (LES) from the species level to community level is an important step to understand how assemblages are constructed based on functional traits and how these coordinated traits for a community respond to the environmental gradients and climate change. In a 9-ha temperate forest dynamics plot located in northeastern China, we collected four LES traits and three other leaf traits from 28 tree species and 13 shrub species. We then related the LES traits at the community level to topographical and soil factors. We observed that the coordination of LES at the community level was stronger than at the species level. Soil nutrients were the primary drivers of distribution of leaf community economics spectrum with acquisition strategy communities in the resource-rich locations. We also observed that different environmental factors affected the distributions of leaf community economics spectrums for trees and shrubs. Our results provided novel evidence for the existence of leaf community economics spectrum in the continental monsoon climate zone. Both abiotic filtering and niche differentiation determined their distributions across different growth forms at the local spatial scale.
      PubDate: 2017-06-09
      DOI: 10.3390/f8060202
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 6 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 203: How Cities Think: Knowledge Co-Production for
           Urban Sustainability and Resilience

    • Authors: Tischa Muñoz-Erickson, Clark Miller, Thaddeus Miller
      First page: 203
      Abstract: Understanding and transforming how cities think is a crucial part of developing effective knowledge infrastructures for the Anthropocene. In this article, we review knowledge co-production as a popular approach in environmental and sustainability science communities to the generation of useable knowledge for sustainability and resilience. We present knowledge systems analysis as a conceptual and empirical framework for understanding existing co-production processes as preconditions to the design of new knowledge infrastructures in cities. Knowledge systems are the organizational practices and routines that make, validate, communicate, and apply knowledge. The knowledge systems analysis framework examines both the workings of these practices and routines and their interplay with the visions, values, social relations, and power dynamics embedded in the governance of building sustainable cities. The framework can be useful in uncovering hidden relations and highlighting the societal foundations that shape what is (and what is not) known by cities and how cities can co-produce new knowledge with meaningful sustainability and resilience actions and transformations. We highlight key innovations and design philosophies that we think can advance research and practice on knowledge co-production for urban sustainability and resilience.
      PubDate: 2017-06-10
      DOI: 10.3390/f8060203
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 6 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 204: Insights on Forest Structure and Composition
           from Long-Term Research in the Luquillo Mountains

    • Authors: Tamara Heartsill Scalley
      First page: 204
      Abstract: The science of ecology fundamentally aims to understand species and their relation to the environment. At sites where hurricane disturbance is part of the environmental context, permanent forest plots are critical to understand ecological vegetation dynamics through time. An overview of forest structure and species composition from two of the longest continuously measured tropical forest plots is presented. Long-term measurements, 72 years at the leeward site, and 25 years at windward site, of stem density are similar to initial and pre-hurricane values at both sites. For 10 years post-hurricane Hugo (1989), stem density increased at both sites. Following that increase period, stem density has remained at 1400 to 1600 stems/ha in the leeward site, and at 1200 stems/ha in the windward site. The forests had similar basal area values before hurricane Hugo in 1989, but these sites are following different patterns of basal area accumulation. The leeward forest site continues to accumulate and increase basal area with each successive measurement, currently above 50 m2/ha. The windward forest site maintains its basal area values close to an asymptote of 35 m2/ha. Currently, the most abundant species at both sites is the sierra palm. Ordinations to explore variation in tree species composition through time present the leeward site with a trajectory of directional change, while at the windward site, the composition of species seems to be converging to pre-hurricane conditions. The observed differences in forest structure and composition from sites differently affected by hurricane disturbance provide insight into how particular forest characteristics respond at shorter or longer time scales in relation to previous site conditions and intensity of disturbance effects.
      PubDate: 2017-06-10
      DOI: 10.3390/f8060204
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 6 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 205: Short Rotations in Forest Plantations
           Accelerate Virulence Evolution in Root-Rot Pathogenic Fungi

    • Authors: Jean-Paul Soularue, Cécile Robin, Marie-Laure Desprez-Loustau, Cyril Dutech
      First page: 205
      Abstract: As disease outbreaks in forest plantations are causing concern worldwide, a clear understanding of the influence of silvicultural practices on the development of epidemics is still lacking. Importantly, silvicultural practices are likely to imultaneously affect epidemiological and evolutionary dynamics of pathogen populations. We propose a genetically explicit and individual-based model of virulence evolution in a root-rot pathogenic fungus spreading across forest landscapes, taking the Armillaria ostoyae–Pinus pinaster pathosystem as eference. We used the model to study the effects of rotation length on the evolution of virulence and the propagation of the fungus within a forest landscape composed of even-aged stands regularly altered by clear-cutting and thinning operations. The life cycle of the fungus modeled combines asexual and sexual reproduction modes, and also includes parasitic and saprotrophic phases. Moreover, the tree usceptibility to the pathogen is primarily determined by the age of the stand. Our simulations indicated that the shortest rotation length accelerated both the evolution of virulence and the development of the epidemics, whatever the genetic variability in the initial fungal population and the asexuality rate of the fungal species.
      PubDate: 2017-06-10
      DOI: 10.3390/f8060205
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 6 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 206: Quantification of Phosphorus Exports from a
           Small Forested Headwater-Catchment in the Eastern Ore Mountains, Germany

    • Authors: Stefan Julich, Raphael Benning, Dorit Julich, Karl-Heinz Feger
      First page: 206
      Abstract: Phosphorus (P) export from forest soils is mainly driven by storm events, which induce rapid flow processes by preferential flow bypassing large parts of the soil matrix. However, little is known about the dynamics, magnitude, and driving processes of P exports into surface waters. In this paper, we present the results of a monitoring study in a small forested catchment (21 ha) situated in the low mountain ranges of Saxony, Germany. During the fixed schedule-sampling (weekly to bi-weekly sampling frequency for a three-year period), a mean total-P concentration of 8 μg·L−1 was measured. However, concentrations increased up to 203 μg·L−1 during individual storm flow events. Based on the analyzed concentrations and continuously measured discharge we calculated mean annual export rates of 19 to 44 g·ha−1·a−1 for the weekly sampling frequency with different load calculation methods. If events are included into the annual load calculation, the mean annual export fluxes can be up to 83 g·ha−1·a−1 based on the different load calculation methods. Predictions of total-P export rates based on a sampling strategy which does not consider short-term changes due to factors such as storms will substantially underestimate P exports.
      PubDate: 2017-06-10
      DOI: 10.3390/f8060206
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 6 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 207: The Effects of Climate Change on the
           Development of Tree Plantations for Biodiesel Production in China

    • Authors: Guanghui Dai, Jun Yang, Conghong Huang, Caowen Sun, Liming Jia, Luyi Ma
      First page: 207
      Abstract: Biodiesel produced from woody oil plants is a promising form of renewable energy but a combination of tree plantations’ long cultivation time and rapid climate change may put large-scale production at risk. If plantations are located in future-unsuitable places, plantations may fail or yield may be poor, then significant financial, labor, and land resources invested in planting programs will be wasted. Incorporating climate change information into the planning and management of forest-based biodiesel production therefore can increase its chances of success. However, species distribution models, the main tool used to predict the influence of future climate–species distribution modeling, often contain considerable uncertainties. In this study we evaluated how these uncertainties could affect the assessment of climate suitability of the long-term development plans for forest-based biodiesel in China by using Sapindus mukorossi Gaertn as an example. The results showed that only between 59% and 75% of the planned growing areas were projected suitable habitats for the species, depending on the set-up of simulation. Our results showed the necessity for explicitly addressing the uncertainty of species distribution modeling when using it to inform forest-based bioenergy planning. We also recommend the growing area specified in China’s national development plan be modified to lower the risk associated with climate change.
      PubDate: 2017-06-11
      DOI: 10.3390/f8060207
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 6 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 208: The Risks Associated with Glyphosate-Based
           Herbicide Use in Planted Forests

    • Authors: Carol Rolando, Brenda Baillie, Dean Thompson, Keith Little
      First page: 208
      Abstract: Glyphosate-based herbicides are the dominant products used internationally for control of vegetation in planted forests. Few international, scientific syntheses on glyphosate, specific to its use in planted forests, are publically available. We provide an international overview of the current use of glyphosate-based herbicides in planted forests and the associated risks. Glyphosate is used infrequently in planted forests and at rates not exceeding 4 kg ha1. It is used within legal label recommendations and applied by trained applicators. While the highest risk of human exposure to glyphosate is during manual operational application, when applied according to label recommendations the risk of exposure to levels that exceed accepted toxicity standards is low. A review of the literature on the direct and indirect risks of operationally applied glyphosate-based herbicides indicated no significant adverse effects to terrestrial and aquatic fauna. While additional research in some areas is required, such as the use of glyphosate-based products in forests outside of North America, and the potential indirect effects of glyphosate stored in sediments, most of the priority questions have been addressed by scientific investigations. Based on the extensive available scientific evidence we conclude that glyphosate-based herbicides, as typically employed in planted forest management, do not pose a significant risk to humans and the terrestrial and aquatic environments.
      PubDate: 2017-06-12
      DOI: 10.3390/f8060208
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 6 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 209: Carbon Stocks across a Fifty Year
           Chronosequence of Rubber Plantations in Tropical China

    • Authors: Chenggang Liu, Jiaping Pang, Martin Jepsen, Xiaotao Lü, Jianwei Tang
      First page: 209
      Abstract: Transition from forest to rubber (Hevea brasiliensis Muell. Arg.) plantation has occurred in tropical China for decades. Rubber has been planted on 1 million ha to provide raw materials to the rubber industry. The role of various-aged rubber plantations in carbon (C) sequestration remains unclear. The biomass C accumulation including latex C and C distribution in soil of five different-aged stands (7, 13, 19, 25 and 47 years old) were examined. The total biomass C stock (TBC) and total net primary productivity (NPPtotal), whether with or without latex C, had a close quadratic relationship with stand age. Regardless of stand age, around 68% of the C was stored in aboveground biomass, and NPPlatex contributed to approximately 18% of C sequestration. Soil organic carbon stock in the 100-cm depth remained relatively stable, but it lost about 16.8 Mg ha−1 with stand age. The total ecosystem C stock (TEC) across stands averaged 159.6, 174.4, 229.6, 238.1 and 291.9 Mg ha−1, respectively, of which more than 45% was stored in the soil. However, biomass would become the major C sink rather than soil over a maximal rubber life expectancy. Regression analysis showed that TEC for rubber plantation at 22 years is comparable to a baseline of 230.4 Mg ha−1 for tropical forest in China, and would reach the maximum value at around 54 years. Therefore, rubber plantation can be considered as alternative land use without affecting net forest ecosystem C storage. In addition to the potential C gains, a full set of ecosystem and economic properties have to be quantified in order to assess the trade-offs associated with forest-to-rubber transition.
      PubDate: 2017-06-13
      DOI: 10.3390/f8060209
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 6 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 210: A Course of Innovations in Wood Processing
           Industry within the Forestry-Wood Chain in Slovakia: A Q Methodology Study
           to Identify Future Orientation in the Sector

    • Authors: Erika Loučanová, Hubert Paluš, Michal Dzian
      First page: 210
      Abstract: As innovations are the basic premise of commercial success in the market the main objective of this paper is to determine the main course of innovations in wood-processing industry within the forestry-wood chain in Slovakia from the viewpoint of representatives of wood processing companies. Using a Q-methodology approach the emphasis is also put on identification of differences between the opinions of small individual entrepreneurs and representatives of capital companies. Based on the results of structured interview with representatives of 33 wood processing companies the main findings suggest that future innovation activities in the sector will be related to the technology innovations mainly in processing of coniferous timber. However, the extent of such innovations is perceived differently depending on the company size and ownership category. While small individual entrepreneurs expect only slight innovation changes in the industry aimed at the meeting of required standards, managers of capital companies tend to foresee the future vision in restructuralisation of wood-processing industry.
      PubDate: 2017-06-15
      DOI: 10.3390/f8060210
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 6 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 211: De Novo Transcriptome Characterization, Gene
           Expression Profiling and Ionic Responses of Nitraria sibirica Pall. under
           Salt Stress

    • Authors: Huanyong Li, Xiaoqian Tang, Jianfeng Zhu, Xiuyan Yang, Huaxin Zhang
      First page: 211
      Abstract: Nitraria sibirica Pall., a typical halophyte of great ecological value, is widely distributed in desert, saline, and coastal saline-alkali environments. Consequently, researching the salt tolerance mechanism of N. sibirica Pall. has great significance to the cultivation and utilization of salt-tolerant plants. In this research, RNA-seq, digital gene expression (DGE), and high flux element analysis technologies were used to investigate the molecular and physiological mechanisms related to salt tolerance of N. sibirica Pall. Integrative analysis and de novo transcriptome assembly generated 137,421 unigenes. In total, 58,340 and 34,033 unigenes were annotated with gene ontology (GO) terms and mapped in Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathways, respectively. Three differentially expressed genes (DEGs) libraries were subsequently constructed from the leaves of N. sibirica Pall. seedlings under different treatments: control (CK), light short-term salt stress (CL2), and heavy long-term salt stress (CL6). Eight hundred and twenty-six, and 224 differentially expressed genes were identified in CL2 and CL6 compared to CK, respectively. Finally, ionomic analysis of N. sibirica Pall. seedlings treated with 0, 100, 200 or 300 mM concentrations of NaCl for one day showed that the uptake and distribution of Ca, Cu, Fe, Mg and K in different organs of N. sibirica Pall. were significantly affected by salt stress. Our findings have identified potential genes involved in salt tolerance and in the reference transcriptome and have revealed the salt tolerance mechanism in N. sibirica Pall. These findings will provide further insight into the molecular and physiological mechanisms related to salt stress in N. sibirica Pall. and in other halophytes.
      PubDate: 2017-06-15
      DOI: 10.3390/f8060211
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 6 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 212: Tree Density and Forest Productivity in a
           Heterogeneous Alpine Environment: Insights from Airborne Laser Scanning
           and Imaging Spectroscopy

    • Authors: Parviz Fatehi, Alexander Damm, Reik Leiterer, Mahtab Pir Bavaghar, Michael Schaepman, Mathias Kneubühler
      First page: 212
      Abstract: We outline an approach combining airborne laser scanning (ALS) and imaging spectroscopy (IS) to quantify and assess patterns of tree density (TD) and forest productivity (FP) in a protected heterogeneous alpine forest in the Swiss National Park (SNP). We use ALS data and a local maxima (LM) approach to predict TD, as well as IS data (Airborne Prism Experiment—APEX) and an empirical model to estimate FP. We investigate the dependency of TD and FP on site related factors, in particular on surface exposition and elevation. Based on reference data (i.e., 1598 trees measured in 35 field plots), we observed an underestimation of ALS-based TD estimates of 40%. Our results suggest a limited sensitivity of the ALS approach to small trees as well as a dependency of TD estimates on canopy heterogeneity, structure, and species composition. We found a weak to moderate relationship between surface elevation and TD (R2 = 0.18–0.69) and a less pronounced trend with FP (R2 = 0.0–0.56), suggesting that both variables depend on gradients of resource availability. Further to the limitations faced in the sensitivity of the applied approaches, we conclude that the combined application of ALS and IS data was convenient for estimating tree density and mapping FP in north-facing forested areas, however, the accuracy was lower in south-facing forested areas covered with multi-stemmed trees.
      PubDate: 2017-06-16
      DOI: 10.3390/f8060212
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 6 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 213: Influence of Altitude on Biochemical
           Properties of European Beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) Forest Soils

    • Authors: Mauro De Feudis, Valeria Cardelli, Luisa Massaccesi, Alessandra Lagomarsino, Flavio Fornasier, Danielle Westphalen, Stefania Cocco, Giuseppe Corti, Alberto Agnelli
      First page: 213
      Abstract: Climate warming is predicted to raise the mean global temperature by 1 °C in the next 50 years, and this change is believed to be capable of affecting soil organic matter cycling and nutrient availability. With the aim of increasing knowledge on the response of forest soils to the ongoing climate change, we used altitude as a proxy for temperature change and studied chemical and biochemical properties of European beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) forest soils at two altitudes (800 and 1000 m) from central Apennines (Italy). Results showed that 1 °C of mean annual air temperature difference between the sites at the two altitudes had greater effect on the mineral horizons than on the organic horizons. At higher altitude, mineral soil had limited development, higher pH, and higher organic matter content due to the lower efficiency of the microbial community. Enzymatic activities of the organic horizons were generally not affected by altitude. Conversely, we observed a higher activity of xylosidase, β-glucosidase, alkaline phosphomonoesterase, arylsulfatase, and leucine-aminopeptidase in the sub-superficial horizons (Bw1 and Bw2) of the soils at 1000 m. We hypothesized that, as a response to environmental and climatic constraints occurring at higher altitude, plant roots increase the production of enzymes directly and/or indirectly by triggering the microbial community through exudation.
      PubDate: 2017-06-17
      DOI: 10.3390/f8060213
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 6 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 214: Carbon and Nitrogen Accumulation and
           Decomposition from Coarse Woody Debris in a Naturally Regenerated Korean
           Red Pine (Pinus densiflora S. et Z.) Forest

    • Authors: Nam Noh, Tae Yoon, Rae-Hyun Kim, Nicholas Bolton, Choonsig Kim, Yowhan Son
      First page: 214
      Abstract: The contribution of coarse woody debris (CWD) to forest carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) dynamics is poorly quantified. This study quantified total C and N content in CWD and estimated the decomposition rates of CWD at different decay stages in a 70-year-old naturally regenerated Korean red pine forest (Pinus densiflora S. et Z.). The N concentration in CWD varied among species and decay classes (from 0.15% to 0.82%), and exhibited a decreasing pattern in C:N ratios with increasing decay class. Total CWD amounts of 4.84 Mg C ha−1, dominated by pine logs (45.4%) and decay class III (40.0%), contained total N of 20.48 kg N ha−1, which was approximately nine times the N input from annual tree mortality. In addition, this study demonstrated that the decay constant rate k was 0.2497 for needle litter, whereas k values were 0.0438, 0.0693, 0.1054, and 0.1947 for red pine CWD of decay class I, II, III, and IV, respectively. The decay rates were significantly related to wood density, N concentration, and C:N ratio across the decay classes of CWD. The results suggest that the C:N ratio of CWD is a key factor affecting its decomposition.
      PubDate: 2017-06-16
      DOI: 10.3390/f8060214
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 6 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 215: Comparing Airborne Laser Scanning, and
           Image-Based Point Clouds by Semi-Global Matching and Enhanced Automatic
           Terrain Extraction to Estimate Forest Timber Volume

    • Authors: Sami Ullah, Matthias Dees, Pawan Datta, Petra Adler, Barbara Koch
      First page: 215
      Abstract: Information pertaining to forest timber volume is crucial for sustainable forest management. Remotely-sensed data have been incorporated into operational forest inventories to serve the need for ever more diverse and detailed forest statistics and to produce spatially explicit data products. In this study, data derived from airborne laser scanning and image-based point clouds were compared using three volume estimation methods to aid wall-to-wall mapping of forest timber volume. Estimates of forest height and tree density metrics derived from remotely-sensed data are used as explanatory variables, and forest timber volumes based on sample field plots are used as response variables. When compared to data derived from image-based point clouds, airborne laser scanning produced slightly more accurate estimates of timber volume, with a root mean square error (RMSE) of 26.3% using multiple linear regression. In comparison, RMSEs for volume estimates derived from image-based point clouds were 28.3% and 29.0%, respectively, using Semi-Global Matching and enhanced Automatic Terrain Extraction methods. Multiple linear regression was the best-performing parameter estimation method when compared to k-Nearest Neighbour and Support Vector Machine. In many countries, aerial imagery is acquired and updated on regular cycles of 1–5 years when compared to more costly, once-off airborne laser scanning surveys. This study demonstrates point clouds generated from such aerial imagery can be used to enhance the estimation of forest parameters at a stand and forest compartment level-scale using small area estimation methods while at the same time achieving sampling error reduction and improving accuracy at the forest enterprise-level scale.
      PubDate: 2017-06-17
      DOI: 10.3390/f8060215
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 6 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 216: Secondary Forest and Shrubland Dynamics in a
           Highly Transformed Landscape in the Northern Andes of Colombia

    • Authors: Kristian Rubiano, Nicola Clerici, Natalia Norden, Andrés Etter
      First page: 216
      Abstract: Understanding the dynamics of natural ecosystems in highly transformed landscapes is key to the design of regional development plans that are more sustainable and otherwise enhance conservation initiatives. We analyzed secondary forest and shrubland dynamics over 30 years (1985–2015) in a densely populated area of the Colombian Andes using satellite and biophysical data. We performed a land-cover change analysis, assessed landscape fragmentation, and applied regression models to evaluate the effects of environmental and geographical correlates with the observed forest transitions. Forest cover area increased during the 30 year-span, due mostly to forest regrowth in areas marginal for agriculture, especially during the first half of the study period. However, a high dynamic of both forest regrowth and clearing near urban centers and roads was observed. Soil fertility turned out to be a key correlate of both forest recovery and deforestation. Secondary forests, <30 years old represent the most fragmented component. Our findings reflect the complexity of the processes occurring in highly transformed and densely populated regions. Overall, this study provides elements for a better understanding of the factors driving land cover change near large urban areas, and raises new iideas for further research.
      PubDate: 2017-06-20
      DOI: 10.3390/f8060216
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 6 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 217: Potential and Limits of Retrieving Conifer
           Leaf Area Index Using Smartphone-Based Method

    • Authors: Yonghua Qu, Jian Wang, Jinling Song, Jindi Wang
      First page: 217
      Abstract: Forest leaf area index (LAI) is a key characteristic affecting a field canopy microclimate. In addition to traditional professional measuring instruments, smartphone-based methods have been used to measure forest LAI. However, when smartphone methods were used to measure conifer forest LAI, very different performances were obtained depending on whether the smartphone was held at the zenith angle or at a 57.5° angle. To further validate the potential of smartphone sensors for measuring conifer LAI and to find the limits of this method, this paper reports the results of a comparison of two smartphone methods with an LAI-2000 instrument. It is shown that the method with the smartphone oriented vertically upwards always produced better consistency in magnitude with LAI-2000. The bias of the LAI between the smartphone method and the LAI-2000 instrument was explained with regards to four aspects that can affect LAI: gap fraction; leaf projection ratio; sensor field of view (FOV); and viewing zenith angle (VZA). It was concluded that large FOV and large VZA cause the 57.5° method to overestimate the gap fraction and hence underestimate conifer LAI. For the vertically upward method, the bias caused by the overestimated gap fraction is compensated for by an underestimated leaf projection ratio.
      PubDate: 2017-06-19
      DOI: 10.3390/f8060217
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 6 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 218: Attribution of Disturbance Agents to Forest
           Change Using a Landsat Time Series in Tropical Seasonal Forests in the
           Bago Mountains, Myanmar

    • Authors: Katsuto Shimizu, Oumer S. Ahmed, Raul Ponce-Hernandez, Tetsuji Ota, Zar Chi Win, Nobuya Mizoue, Shigejiro Yoshida
      First page: 218
      Abstract: In 2016, in response to forest loss, the Myanmar government banned logging operations for 1 year throughout the entire country and for 10 years in specific regions. However, it is unclear whether this measure will effectively reduce forest loss, because disturbance agents other than logging may have substantial effects on forest loss. In this study, we investigated an approach to attribute disturbance agents to forest loss, and we characterized the attribution of disturbance agents, as well as the areas affected by these agents, in tropical seasonal forests in the Bago Mountains, Myanmar. A trajectory-based analysis using a Landsat time series was performed to detect change pixels. After the aggregation process that grouped adjacent change pixels in the same year as patches, a change attribution was implemented using the spectral, geometric, and topographic information of each patch via random forest modeling. The attributed agents of change include “logging”, “plantation”, “shifting cultivation”, “urban expansion”, “water invasion”, “recovery”, “other change”, and “no change”. The overall accuracy of the attribution model at the patch and area levels was 84.7% and 96.0%, respectively. The estimated disturbance area from the attribution model accounted for 10.0% of the study area. The largest disturbance agent was found to be logging (59.8%), followed by water invasion (14.6%). This approach quantifies disturbance agents at both spatial and temporal scales in tropical seasonal forests, where limited information is available for forest management, thereby providing crucial information for assessing forest conditions in such environments.
      PubDate: 2017-06-19
      DOI: 10.3390/f8060218
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 6 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 219: Is Biomass Accumulation in Forests an Option
           to Prevent Climate Change Induced Increases in Nitrate Concentrations in
           the North German Lowland'

    • Authors: Stefan Fleck, Bernd Ahrends, Johannes Sutmöller, Matthias Albert, Jan Evers, Henning Meesenburg
      First page: 219
      Abstract: The North German Lowland is a region with locally high nitrate (NO3−) concentrations in seepage water, inducing an increased susceptibility to the effects of climate change. The future risk of rising NO3− concentrations in seepage water from forests was quantified for four regions in the North German Lowland using climate projections and a modelling system comprising submodels for forest stand development (WaldPlaner), water budgets (WaSiM-ETH), and biogeochemical element cycles (VSD+). The simulations for the period from 1990 to 2070 included three different forest management scenarios (reference, biodiversity, and climate protection) and showed a general decrease in groundwater recharge which could hardly be influenced by any of the management options. The simulated soil organic matter stocks adequately represented their past increase as expected from the National Forest Soil Inventory (NFSI), but also showed a future decline under climate change conditions which leads to higher organic matter decomposition and a long-lasting increase of NO3− leaching from forest soils. While the climate protection oriented scenario shows the highest increase in NO3− concentrations during the projection period until 2070, the biodiversity scenario kept NO3− concentrations in seepage water below the legal thresholds in three of four selected model regions.
      PubDate: 2017-06-21
      DOI: 10.3390/f8060219
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 6 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 220: The Role of Respiration in Estimation of Net
           Carbon Cycle: Coupling Soil Carbon Dynamics and Canopy Turnover in a Novel
           Version of 3D-CMCC Forest Ecosystem Model

    • Authors: Sergio Marconi, Tommaso Chiti, Angelo Nolè, Riccardo Valentini, Alessio Collalti
      First page: 220
      Abstract: Understanding the dynamics of organic carbon mineralization is fundamental in forecasting biosphere to atmosphere net carbon ecosystem exchange (NEE). With this perspective, we developed 3D-CMCC-PSM, a new version of the hybrid process based model 3D‐CMCC FEM where also heterotrophic respiration (Rh) is explicitly simulated. The aim was to quantify NEE as a forward problem, by subtracting ecosystem respiration (Reco) to gross primary productivity (GPP). To do so, we developed a simplification of the soil carbon dynamics routine proposed in the DNDC (DeNitrification-DeComposition) computer simulation model. The method calculates decomposition as a function of soil moisture, temperature, state of the organic compartments, and relative abundance of microbial pools. Given the pulse dynamics of soil respiration, we introduced modifications in some of the principal constitutive relations involved in phenology and littering sub-routines. We quantified the model structure-related uncertainty in NEE, by running our training simulations over 1000 random parameter-sets extracted from parameter distributions expected from literature. 3D-CMCC-PSM predictability was tested on independent time series for 6 Fluxnet sites. The model resulted in daily and monthly estimations highly consistent with the observed time series. It showed lower predictability in Mediterranean ecosystems, suggesting that it may need further improvements in addressing evapotranspiration and water dynamics.
      PubDate: 2017-06-21
      DOI: 10.3390/f8060220
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 6 (2017)
School of Mathematical and Computer Sciences
Heriot-Watt University
Edinburgh, EH14 4AS, UK
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