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  Subjects -> FORESTS AND FORESTRY (Total: 111 journals)
    - FORESTS AND FORESTRY (110 journals)
    - LUMBER AND WOOD (1 journals)

FORESTS AND FORESTRY (110 journals)                     

Showing 1 - 12 of 12 Journals sorted alphabetically
Acta Silvatica et Lignaria Hungarica     Open Access  
Advance in Forestry Research     Open Access   (Followers: 4)
Advances in Forestry Letters     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Advances in Forestry Science     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
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: 7)
Arboricultural Journal : The International Journal of Urban Forestry     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6)
Arboriculture and Urban Forestry     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     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 27)
Canadian Journal of Plant Science     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 15)
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: 54)
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: 6)
Forest Science and Practice     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2)
Forest Science and Technology     Partially Free   (Followers: 2)
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: 11)
Forestry Letters     Open Access  
Forestry Studies : Metsanduslikud Uurimused     Open Access  
Forestry: An International Journal of Forest Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 17)
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   (Followers: 1)
iForest : Biogeosciences and Forestry     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Indian Forester     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
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: 7)
International Journal of Forest Engineering     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 1)
International Journal of Forest, Soil and Erosion     Open Access   (Followers: 6)
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 Products and Industries     Open Access  
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: 6)
Journal of Horticulture and Forestry     Open Access   (Followers: 6)
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: 7)
Journal of Wood Science     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4)
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: 19)
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: 10)
Quebracho. Revista de Ciencias Forestales     Open Access  
Research Journal of Forestry     Open Access   (Followers: 5)
Revista Árvore     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Revista Chapingo. Serie Ciencias Forestales y del Ambiente     Open Access  
Revista de Agricultura Neotropical     Open Access  
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: 1)
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: 6)
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)
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  [148 journals]
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 51: “Georgetown ain’t got a tree. We got the
           trees”—Amerindian Power & Participation in Guyana’s Low Carbon
           Development Strategy

    • Authors: Sam Airey, Torsten Krause
      First page: 51
      Abstract: International bi-lateral agreements to support the conservation of rainforests to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are growing in prevalence. In 2009, the governments of Guyana and Norway established Guyana’s Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS). We examine the extent to which the participation and inclusion of Guyana’s indigenous population within the LCDS is being achieved. We conducted a single site case study, focussing on the experiences and perceptions from the Amerindian community of Chenapou. Based on 30 interviews, we find that a deficit of adequate dialogue and consultation has occurred in the six years since the LCDS was established. Moreover, key indigenous rights, inscribed at both a national and international level, have not been upheld with respect to the community of Chenapou. Our findings identify consistent shortcomings to achieve genuine participation and the distinct and reinforced marginalisation of Amerindian communities within the LCDS. A further critique is the failure of the government to act on previous research, indicating a weakness of not including indigenous groups in the Guyana-Norway bi-lateral agreement. We conclude that, if the government is to uphold the rights of Amerindian communities in Guyana, significant adjustments are needed. A more contextualised governance, decentralising power and offering genuine participation and inclusion, is required to support the engagement of marginal forest-dependent communities in the management of their natural resources.
      PubDate: 2017-02-23
      DOI: 10.3390/f8030051
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 3 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 53: Revitalizing REDD+ Policy Processes in Vietnam:
           The Roles of State and Non-State Actors

    • Authors: Thu Huynh, Rodney Keenan
      First page: 53
      Abstract: Vietnam was one of the first countries to introduce the National REDD+ (Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) Action Program in 2012. The country has recently revised the Program to aim for a more inclusive 2016–2020 strategy and a vision to 2030. This study explores how Vietnam policy actors view REDD+ policy development and their influence in these processes. The results can contribute to the discussion on how policy actors can effectively influence policy processes in the evolving context of REDD+ and in the types of political arrangements represented in Vietnam. We examined the influence of state and non-state actors on the 2012 National REDD+ Action Program (NRAP) processes, and explored factors that may have shaped this influence, using a combination of document analysis and semi-structured interviews with 81 policy actors. It was found that non-state actors in REDD+ are still on the periphery of decision making, occupying “safe” positions, and have not taken either full advantage of their capacities, or of recent significant changes in the contemporary policy environment, to exert stronger influence on policy. We suggest that REDD+ policy processes in Vietnam need to be revitalized with key actors engaging collectively to promote the possibilities of REDD+ within a broader view of social change that reaches beyond the forestry sector.
      PubDate: 2017-02-24
      DOI: 10.3390/f8030053
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 3 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 54: Assessment of Textural Differentiations in
           Forest Resources in Romania Using Fractal Analysis

    • Authors: Ion Andronache, Rasmus Fensholt, Helmut Ahammer, Ana-Maria Ciobotaru, Radu-Daniel Pintilii, Daniel Peptenatu, Cristian-Constantin Drăghici, Daniel Diaconu, Marko Radulović, Giuseppe Pulighe, Akomian Azihou, Mireille Toyi, Brice Sinsin
      First page: 54
      Abstract: Deforestation and forest degradation have several negative effects on the environment including a loss of species habitats, disturbance of the water cycle and reduced ability to retain CO2, with consequences for global warming. We investigated the evolution of forest resources from development regions in Romania affected by both deforestation and reforestation using a non-Euclidean method based on fractal analysis. We calculated four fractal dimensions of forest areas: the fractal box-counting dimension of the forest areas, the fractal box-counting dimension of the dilated forest areas, the fractal dilation dimension and the box-counting dimension of the border of the dilated forest areas. Fractal analysis revealed morpho-structural and textural differentiations of forested, deforested and reforested areas in development regions with dominant mountain relief and high hills (more forested and compact organization) in comparison to the development regions dominated by plains or low hills (less forested, more fragmented with small and isolated clusters). Our analysis used the fractal analysis that has the advantage of analyzing the entire image, rather than studying local information, thereby enabling quantification of the uniformity, fragmentation, heterogeneity and homogeneity of forests.
      PubDate: 2017-02-24
      DOI: 10.3390/f8030054
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 3 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 55: Contrasting Effects of Fire Severity on the
           Regeneration of Pinus halepensis Mill. and Resprouter Species in Recently
           Thinned Thickets

    • Authors: Ruth García‐Jiménez, Marina Palmero‐Iniesta, Josep Espelta
      First page: 55
      Abstract: Many studies have outlined the benefits for growth and reproduction resulting from thinning extremely crowded young forests regenerating after stand replacing wildfires (“thickets”). However, scarce information is available on how thinning may influence fire severity and vegetation regeneration in case a new fire occurs. We investigated the relationship between thinning and fire severity in P. halepensis thickets, and the effects on the establishment of pine seedlings and resprouting vigour in resprouter species the year after the fire. Our results show a positive relationship between forest basal area and fire severity, and thus reserved pines in thinned stands suffered less fire damage than those in un‐thinned sites (respectively, 2.02 ± 0.13 vs. 2.93 ± 0.15 in a scale from 0 to 4). Ultimately, differences in fire severity influenced post‐fire regeneration. Resprouting vigour varied depending on the species and the size of individuals but it was consistently higher in thinned stands. Concerning P. halepensis, the proportion of cones surviving the fire decreased with fire severity. However, this could not compensate the much lower pine density in thinned stands and thus the overall seed crop was higher in un‐thinned areas. Establishment of pine seedlings was negatively affected by the slope and positively driven by the number of cones and thus it was higher in un‐thinned than in thinned stands (respectively, 2581 ± 649 vs. 898 ± 325 seedlings∙ha-1). Thinning decreases fire intensity, and thus it may facilitate fire suppression tasks, but retaining a higher density of pines would be necessary to ensure P. halepensis regeneration after a new fire event.
      PubDate: 2017-02-24
      DOI: 10.3390/f8030055
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 3 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 56: Effect of Soil Moisture on the Response of Soil
           Respiration to Open-Field Experimental Warming and Precipitation
           Manipulation

    • Authors: Guanlin Li, Seongjun Kim, Seung Han, Hanna Chang, Yowhan Son
      First page: 56
      Abstract: Soil respiration (RS, Soil CO2 efflux) is the second largest carbon (C) flux in global terrestrial ecosystems, and thus, plays an important role in global and regional C cycling; moreover, it acts as a feedback mechanism between C cycling and global climate change. RS is highly responsive to temperature and moisture, factors that are closely related to climate warming and changes in precipitation regimes. Here, we examined the direct and interactive effects of climate change drivers on RS of Pinus densiflora Sieb. et Zucc. seedlings in a multifactor climate change experiment involving atmospheric temperature warming (+3 °C) and precipitation manipulations (−30% and +30%). Our results indicated that atmospheric temperature warming induced significant changes in RS (p < 0.05), enhancing RS by an average of 54.6% and 59.7% in the control and elevated precipitation plots, respectively, whereas atmospheric temperature warming reduced RS by 19.4% in plots subjected to lower rates of precipitation. However, the warming effect on RS was influenced by soil moisture. On the basis of these findings, we suggest that atmospheric temperature warming significantly influenced RS, but the warming effect on RS may be weakened by warming-induced soil drying in water-limited environments.
      PubDate: 2017-02-25
      DOI: 10.3390/f8030056
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 3 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 57: Framing REDD+ at National Level: Actors and
           Discourse around Nepal’s Policy Debate

    • Authors: Rishi Bastakoti, Conny Davidsen
      First page: 57
      Abstract: Forests and carbon sequestration have become fundamental themes in climate change mitigation. The idea of Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD+) has generated significant interest in forest governance from United Nations (UN) climate strategies over the past decade. REDD+ was initially hailed as a smart and cost-effective way to mitigate climate change. As it is rolling out, ambiguities and controversies are increasingly surfacing to the stakeholders at different levels. Examining the forest governance of Nepal in detail, this research examines how relationships between national and local forest actors have changed, and how REDD+ discourses have evolved among them at the interface between global interests in carbon commodification on one hand, and local realities of community forestry on the other hand. To better understand these competing positions, the study uses a post-structural political ecology perspective with elements of discourse analysis. Using data from interviews with policy actors and members of three local community forest user groups, focus group discussions, policy event observations, and document reviews, this paper highlights how global forest carbon commodification has been affecting community forestry governance. It also illustrates different storylines that actors employ to influence policy discourse and REDD+ debates, indicating a considerable range of problem definitions and policy solutions of climate change among the actors. The analysis highlights the connection between power relationships and the evolution of discourses surrounding REDD+, and how an external discourse can reinforce or challenge local governance and the centralization of forest authority. As such, the research also offers a new application of discursive storylines to climate change discourse analysis across national and local scales. The findings emphasize the importance of a more open and transparent dialogue across Nepal’s forest governance and management levels to ensure actual benefits for healthy forests, strong communities, and effective climate change mitigation. Nepal's findings also suggest highly relevant lessons to other developing countries with significant community forest governance, and a strong planned focus on REDD+.
      PubDate: 2017-02-25
      DOI: 10.3390/f8030057
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 3 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 58: Forest Carbon Sequestration Subsidy and Carbon
           Tax as Part of China’s Forestry Policies

    • Authors: Jinhua Liu, Fengping Wu
      First page: 58
      Abstract: Forestry is an effective strategy for climate change mitigation. However, forestry activities not only sequester carbon but also release CO2. It is therefore important to formulate carbon subsidy and carbon taxation policies on the basis of the price of carbon. In this study, a forestry-based Computable General Equilibrium (CGE) model was built by using input-output data of China in 2014 to construct a Social Accounting Matrix (SAM). The model simulates different carbon price scenarios and was used to explore the effects of carbon subsidy and carbon taxation policies on the forestry economy. The main results can be summarized as follows: When the carbon price is low, the implementation of the policy increases forestry output and causes forest product prices to rise. When the carbon price is high, the carbon tax will produce an inhibitory effect, and output and prices will decline. With the constant rise of the carbon price, value addition will decrease, with flow to other industries. For the carbon sequestration policy, there is a reasonable carbon price range bound. In light of these results, relevant policies are proposed.
      PubDate: 2017-02-27
      DOI: 10.3390/f8030058
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 3 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 59: Generalized Models: An Application to Identify
           Environmental Variables That Significantly Affect the Abundance of Three
           Tree Species

    • Authors: Pablo Antúnez, José Hernández-Díaz, Christian Wehenkel, Ricardo Clark-Tapia
      First page: 59
      Abstract: In defining the environmental preferences of plant species, statistical models are part of the essential tools in the field of modern ecology. However, conventional linear models require compliance with some parametric assumptions and if these requirements are not met, imply a serious limitation of the applied model. In this study, the effectiveness of linear and nonlinear generalized models was examined to identify the unitary effect of the principal environmental variables on the abundance of three tree species growing in the natural temperate forests of Oaxaca, Mexico. The covariates that showed a significant effect on the distribution of tree species were the maximum and minimum temperatures and the precipitation during specific periods. Results suggest that the generalized models, particularly smoothed models, were able to detect the increase or decrease of the abundance against changes in an environmental variable; they also revealed the inflection of the regression. In addition, these models allow partial characterization of the realized niche of a given species according to some specific variables, regardless of the type of relationship.
      PubDate: 2017-02-27
      DOI: 10.3390/f8030059
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 3 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 60: Isolating and Quantifying the Effects of
           Climate and CO2 Changes (1980–2014) on the Net Primary Productivity in
           Arid and Semiarid China

    • Authors: Xia Fang, Chi Zhang, Quan Wang, Xi Chen, Jianli Ding, Fidele Karamage
      First page: 60
      Abstract: Although the net primary productivity (NPP) of arid/semiarid ecosystem is generally thought to be controlled by precipitation, other factors like CO2 fertilization effect and temperature change may also have important impacts, especially in the cold temperate areas of the northern China, where significant warming was reported in the recent decades. However, the impacts of climate and atmospheric CO2 changes to the NPP dynamics in the arid and semiarid areas of China (ASA-China) is still unclear, hindering the development of climate adaptation strategy. Based on numeric experiments and factorial analysis, this study isolated and quantified the effects of climate and CO2 changes between 1980–2014 on ASA-China’s NPP, using the Arid Ecosystem Model (AEM) that performed well in predicting ecosystems’ responses to climate/CO2 change according to our evaluation based on 21 field experiments. Our results showed that the annual variation in NPP was dominated by changes in precipitation, which reduced the regional NPP by 10.9 g·C/(m2·year). The precipitation-induced loss, however, has been compensated by the CO2 fertilization effect that increased the regional NPP by 14.9 g·C/(m2·year). The CO2 fertilization effect particularly benefited the extensive croplands in the Northern China Plain, but was weakened in the dry grassland of the central Tibetan Plateau due to suppressed plant activity as induced by a drier climate. Our study showed that the climate change in ASA-China and the ecosystem’s responses were highly heterogeneous in space and time. There were complex interactive effects among the climate factors, and different plant functional types (e.g., phreatophyte vs. non-phreatophyte) could have distinct responses to similar climate change. Therefore, effective climate-adaptive strategies should be based on careful analysis of local climate pattern and understanding of the characteristic responses of the dominant species. Particularly, China’s policy makers should pay close attention to climate change and ecosystem health in northeastern China, where significant loss in forest NPP has been triggered by drought, and carefully balance the ecological and agricultural water usage. For wildlife conservation, the drought-stressed grassland in the central Tibetan Plateau should be protected from overgrazing in the face of dramatic warming in the 21st century.
      PubDate: 2017-02-28
      DOI: 10.3390/f8030060
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 3 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 61: Implementing Forest Landscape Restorationin
           Ethiopia

    • Authors: Till Pistorius, Sophia Carodenuto, Gilbert Wathum
      First page: 61
      Abstract: Driven by various initiatives and international policy processes, the concept of Forest Landscape Restoration, is globally receiving renewed attention. It is seen internationally and in national contexts as a means for improving resilience of land and communities in the face of increasing environmental degradation through different forest activities. Ethiopia has made a strong voluntary commitment in the context of the Bonn Challenge—it seeks to implement Forest Landscape Restoration (FLR) on 15 million ha. In the context of rural Ethiopia, forest establishment and restoration provide a promising approach to reverse the widespread land degradation, which is exacerbated by climate change and food insecurity. This paper presents an empirical case study of FLR opportunities in the Amhara National Regional State, Ethiopia’s largest spans of degraded and barren lands. Following the Restoration Opportunity Assessment Methodology, the study categorizes the main types of landscapes requiring restoration, identifies and prioritizes respective FLR options, and details the costs and benefits associated with each of the five most significant opportunities: medium to large‐scale afforestation and reforestation activities on deforested or degraded marginal land not suitable for agriculture, the introduction of participatory forest management, sustainable woodland management combined with value chain investments, restoration of afro‐alpine and sub‐afro‐alpine areas and the establishment of woodlots.
      PubDate: 2017-02-27
      DOI: 10.3390/f8030061
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 3 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 62: Hydrology of a Water‐Limited Forest under
           Climate Change Scenarios: The Case of the Caatinga Biome, Brazil

    • Authors: Everton Pinheiro, Quirijn van Lier, Andre Bezerra
      First page: 62
      Abstract: Given the strong interactions between climate and vegetation, climate change effects on natural and agricultural ecosystems are common objects of research. Reduced water availability is predicted to take place across large regions of the globe, including Northeastern Brazil. The Caatinga, a complex tropical water‐limited ecosystem and the only exclusively Brazilian biome, prevails as the main natural forest of this region. The aim of this study was to examine the soil‐water balance for this biome under a climate‐warming scenario and with reduced rainfall. Climate change projections were assessed from regional circulation models earlier applied to the Brazilian territory. A statistical climate data generator was used to compose a synthetic weather dataset, which was later integrated into a hydrological model. Compared to simulations with current climate for the same site, under the scenario with climate change, transpiration was enhanced by 36%, and soilwater evaporation and interception were reduced by 16% and 34%, respectively. The greatest change in soil‐water components was observed for deep drainage, accounting only for 2% of the annual rainfall. Soil‐plant‐atmosphere fluxes seem to be controlled by the top layer (0.0-0.2 m), which provides 80% of the total transpiration, suggesting that the Caatinga forest may become completely soil‐water pulse dominated under scenarios of reduced water availability.
      PubDate: 2017-02-27
      DOI: 10.3390/f8030062
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 3 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 63: Relationship between Forest Color
           Characteristics and Scenic Beauty: Case Study Analyzing Pictures of
           Mountainous Forests at Sloped Positions in Jiuzhai Valley, China

    • Authors: Zhe Zhang, Guangfa Qie, Cheng Wang, Shasha Jiang, Xi Li, Mingxia Li
      First page: 63
      Abstract: Forests are important place for outdoor recreation and scenery appreciation. So in order to better meet the needs of the public, forest appreciation has received increasing attention from foresters in recent years. However, related research is still limited. Therefore, this paper seeks to examine the relationship between forest colors (measured by specific elements and spatial indices of color) and Scenic Beauty Estimation values. We researched Jiuzhai Valley in China by selecting 104 pictures to determine the scenic beauty estimation values of forests in a mountainous region. Quantitative color elements were extracted by programming on Matlab, and spatial indices of color patches were extracted by ArcGIS and FRAGSTATS. A total of 23 indices were obtained to explain the color characteristics of each forest picture. The results showed that the yellow and red colors were the main mutable colors of Jiuzhai Valley in autumn, but the color patches index had no significant change over time in that season. After partial correlation analysis, principal component analysis, and cluster analysis, we found that 14 color elements, eight color patch factors and six particular indices had an effect on the SBE values, which can then be used to efficiently measure and enhance the forest color beauty of Jiuzhai Valley.
      PubDate: 2017-02-28
      DOI: 10.3390/f8030063
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 3 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 64: Co-Operation or Co-Optation? NGOs’ Roles in
           Norway’s International Climate and Forest Initiative

    • Authors: Erlend Hermansen, Desmond McNeill, Sjur Kasa, Raoni Rajão
      First page: 64
      Abstract: This paper investigates non-governmental organisation (NGO) involvement in policy processes related to Norway’s International Climate and Forest Initiative (NICFI) comparing four countries: Norway, Brazil, Indonesia, and Tanzania. Based on documents and interviews, NGO involvement is mapped using a conceptual framework to categorise and compare different roles and modes of engagement. NGOs have co-operated with government in policy design and implementation, albeit to varying degrees, in all four countries, but expressed relatively little public criticism. Funding seems to have an influence on NGOs’ choices regarding whether, what, when, and how to criticise. However, limited public criticism does not necessarily mean that the NGOs are co-opted. They are reflexive regarding their possible operating space, and act strategically and pragmatically to pursue their goals in an entrepreneurial manner. The interests of NGOs and NICFI are to a large extent congruent. Instead of publicly criticising a global initiative that they largely support, and thus put the initiative as a whole at risk, NGOs may use other, more informal, channels to voice points of disagreement. While NGOs do indeed run the risk of being co-opted, their opportunity to resist this fate is probably greater in this instance than is usually the case because NICFI are so reliant on their services.
      PubDate: 2017-02-28
      DOI: 10.3390/f8030064
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 3 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 65: Towards a Role-Oriented Governance Approach:
           Insights from Eight Forest Climate Initiatives

    • Authors: Mareike Blum, Sabine Reinecke
      First page: 65
      Abstract: In forest climate governance processes such as REDD+, non-state actors take on various, more or less formal, but in fact potentially authoritative governance tasks when informing, financing, (co)deciding or implementing forest climate action. Drawing on the concept of social roles, we investigate eight different REDD+ governance processes and how a variety of practical authoritative roles are enacted in administration, finance, decision-making and knowledge production. By systematically revealing the distinct ways of how different roles were filled, we developed a first (potentially still incomplete) typology of role practices and underlying rationales within different governance settings. In this endeavor, the role concept offered a valuable and handy analytical tool for empirically operationalizing governance performance, which is principally compatible with both institutional and social constructivist approaches to legitimacy.
      PubDate: 2017-02-28
      DOI: 10.3390/f8030065
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 3 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 66:
           Beyond Rewards and Punishments in the Brazilian 
           Amazon: Practical Implications of the REDD+  Discourse

    • Authors: Maria Gebara, Arun Agrawal
      First page: 66
      Abstract: Through different policies and measures reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation and enhancing conservation (REDD+) has grown into a way to induce behavior change of forest managers and landowners in tropical countries. We argue that debates around REDD+ in Brazil have typically highlighted rewards and punishments, obscuring other core interventions and strategies that are also critically important to reach the goal of reducing deforestation, supporting livelihoods, and promoting conservation (i.e., technology transfer and capacity building). We adopt Foucault’s concepts of governmentality and technologies of governance to provide a reading of the REDD+ discourse in Brazil and to offer an historical genealogy of the rewards and punishments approach. By analyzing practical elements from REDD+ implementation in the Brazilian Amazon, our research provides insights on the different dimensions in which smallholders react to rewards and punishments. In doing so, we add to the debate on governmentality, supplementing its focus on rationalities of governance with attention to the social practices in which such rationalities are embedded. Our research also suggests that the techniques of remuneration and coercion on which a rewards and punishments approach relies are only supporting limited behavioral changes on the ground, generating negative adaptations of deforestation practices, reducing positive feedbacks and, perhaps as importantly, producing only short‐term outcomes at the expense of positive longterm land use changes. Furthermore, the approach ignores local heterogeneities and the differences between the agents engaging in forest clearing in the Amazon. The practical elements of the REDD+ discourse in Brazil suggest the rewards and punishments approach profoundly limits our understanding of human behavior by reducing the complex and multi‐dimensional to a linear and rational simplicity. Such simplification leads to an underestimation of smallholders’ capacity to play a key role in climate mitigation and adaptation. We conclude by highlighting the importance of looking at local heterogeneities and capacities and the need to promote trust, altruism and responsibility towards others and future generations.
      PubDate: 2017-03-02
      DOI: 10.3390/f8030066
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 3 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 67: Early REDD+ Implementation: The Journey of an
           Indigenous Community in Eastern Panama

    • Authors: Ignacia Holmes, Catherine Potvin, Oliver Coomes
      First page: 67
      Abstract: Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) offers developing countries an opportunity to engage in global climate change mitigation through the sale of carbon credits for reforestation, avoided deforestation and forest conservation projects. Funding for REDD+ projects has increased in recent years and REDD+ projects have proliferated, but relatively few studies have, as yet, examined their implementation. Here, we present a synthesis of the challenges and lessons learned while implementing a REDD+ project in an Emberá community in Panama. Our case study, documented in four cycles of collaborative action research over 11 years, examines how local communities sought to reduce emissions from deforestation and benefit from carbon offset trading while improving local livelihoods. Through semi-structured interviews and participatory methods, we found that success with REDD+ hinges on broader issues than those widely discussed in the literature and in policy circles. Though economic incentives for participants and the equitable distribution of benefits remain important to project participants, our study finds that, in adapting REDD+ strategies to best suit community needs, the role of a support system for implementation (“bridging institutions”) and REDD+’s potential as a conflict resolution mechanism for tenure issues deserve more attention as key factors that contribute to meaningful participation in REDD+.
      PubDate: 2017-03-03
      DOI: 10.3390/f8030067
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 3 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 68: Structure from Motion (SfM) Photogrammetry with
           Drone Data: A Low Cost Method for Monitoring Greenhouse Gas Emissions from
           Forests in Developing Countries

    • Authors: Reason Mlambo, Iain Woodhouse, France Gerard, Karen Anderson
      First page: 68
      Abstract: Structure from Motion (SfM) photogrammetry applied to photographs captured from Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) platforms is increasingly being utilised for a wide range of applications including structural characterisation of forests. The aim of this study was to undertake a first evaluation of whether SfM from UAVs has potential as a low cost method for forest monitoring within developing countries in the context of Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD+). The project evaluated SfM horizontal and vertical accuracy for measuring the height of individual trees. Aerial image data were collected for two test sites; Meshaw (Devon, UK) and Dryden (Scotland, UK) using a Quest QPOD fixed wing UAV and DJI Phantom 2 quadcopter UAV, respectively. Comparisons were made between SfM and airborne LiDAR point clouds and surface models at the Meshaw site, while at Dryden, SfM tree heights were compared to ground measured tree heights. Results obtained showed a strong correlation between SfM and LiDAR digital surface models (R2 = 0.89) and canopy height models (R2 = 0.75). However, at Dryden, a poor correlation was observed between SfM tree heights and ground measured heights (R2 = 0.19). The poor results at Dryden were explained by the fact that the forest plot had a closed canopy structure such that SfM failed to generate enough below-canopy ground points. Finally, an evaluation of UAV surveying methods was also undertaken to determine their usefulness and cost-effectiveness for plot-level forest monitoring. The study concluded that although SfM from UAVs performs poorly in closed canopies, it can still provide a low cost solution in those developing countries where forests have sparse canopy cover (<50%) with individual tree crowns and ground surfaces well-captured by SfM photogrammetry. Since more than half of the forest covered areas of the world have canopy cover <50%, we can conclude that SfM has enormous potential for forest mapping in developing countries.
      PubDate: 2017-03-03
      DOI: 10.3390/f8030068
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 3 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 69: Costs of Lost opportunities: Applying
           Non-Market Valuation Techniques to Potential REDD+ Participants in
           Cameroon

    • Authors: Dara Thompson, Brent Swallow, Martin Luckert
      First page: 69
      Abstract: Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) has been systematically advanced within the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). However, implementing REDD+ in a populated landscape requires information on local costs and acceptability of changed practices. To supply such information, many studies have adopted approaches that explore the opportunity cost of maintaining land as forest rather than converting it to agricultural uses. These approaches typically assume that the costs to the smallholder are borne exclusively through the loss or gain of the production values associated with specific categories of land use. However, evaluating the value of land to smallholders in incomplete and messy institutional and economic contexts entails other considerations, such as varying portfolios of land holdings, tenure arrangements, restricted access to capital, and unreliable food markets. We suggest that contingent valuation (CV) methods may provide a more complete reflection of the viability of REDD+ in multiple-use landscapes than do opportunity cost approaches. The CV approach eliminates the need to assume a homogenous smallholder, and instead assumes heterogeneity around social, economic and institutional contexts. We apply this approach in a southern rural Cameroonian context, through the lens of a hypothetical REDD+ contract. Our findings suggest local costs of REDD+ contracts to be higher and much more variable than opportunity cost estimates.
      PubDate: 2017-03-03
      DOI: 10.3390/f8030069
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 3 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 70:
           Elevated CO2 and Tree Species Affect Microbial 
           Activity and Associated Aggregate Stability in Soil 
           Amended with Litter

    • Authors: Salwan Al‐Maliki, David Jones, Douglas Godbold, Dylan Gwynn‐Jones, John Scullion
      First page: 70
      Abstract: (1) Elevated atmospheric CO2 (eCO2) may affect organic inputs to woodland soils with potential consequences for C dynamics and associated aggregation; (2) The Bangor Free Air Concentration Enrichment experiment compared ambient (330 ppmv) and elevated (550 ppmv) CO2 regimes over four growing seasons (2005–2008) under Alnus glutinosa, Betula pendula and Fagus sylvatica. Litter from the experiment (autumn 2008) and Lumbricus terrestris were added to mesocosm soils. Microbial properties and aggregate stability were investigated in soil and earthworm casts. Soils taken from the field experiment in spring 2009 were also investigated; (3) eCO2 litter had lower N and higher C:N ratios. F. sylvatica and B. pendula litter had lower N and P than A. glutinosa; F. sylvatica had higher cellulose. In mesocosms, eCO2 litter decreased respiration, mineralization constant (respired C:total organic C) and soluble carbon in soil but not earthworm casts; microbial‐C and fungal hyphal length differed by species (A. glutinosa = B. pendula > F. sylvatica) not CO2 regime. eCO2 increased respiration in field aggregates but increased stability only under F. sylvatica; (4) Lower litter quality under eCO2 may restrict its initial decomposition, affecting C stabilization in aggregates. Later resistant materials may support microbial activity and increase aggregate stability. In woodland, C and soil aggregation dynamics may alter under eCO2, but outcomes may be influenced by tree species and earthworm activity.
      PubDate: 2017-03-03
      DOI: 10.3390/f8030070
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 3 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 71: Erratum: Spatial Upscaling of Soil Respiration
           under a Complex Canopy Structure in an Old-Growth Deciduous Forest,
           Central Japan; Forests 2017, 8, 36

    • Authors: Forests Editorial Office
      First page: 71
      Abstract: Due to a mistake during the production process, there was a spelling error in the Academic Editors’ names in the original published version [...]
      PubDate: 2017-03-06
      DOI: 10.3390/f8030071
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 3 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 72: Airborne Laser Scanning Based Forest Inventory:
           Comparison of Experimental Results for the Perm Region, Russia and Prior
           Results from Finland

    • Authors: Tuomo Kauranne, Sergey Pyankov, Virpi Junttila, Alexander Kedrov, Andrey Tarasov, Anton Kuzmin, Jussi Peuhkurinen, Maria Villikka, Ville-Matti Vartio, Sanna Sirparanta
      First page: 72
      Abstract: Airborne laser scanning (ALS) based stand level forest inventory has been used in Finland and other Nordic countries for several years. In the Russian Federation, ALS is not extensively used for forest inventory purposes, despite a long history of research into the use of lasers for forest measurement that dates back to the 1970s. Furthermore, there is also no generally accepted ALS-based methodology that meets the official inventory requirements of the Russian Federation. In this paper, a method developed for Finnish forest conditions is applied to ALS-based forest inventory in the Perm region of Russia. Sparse Bayesian regression is used with ALS data, SPOT satellite images and field reference data to estimate five forest parameters for three species groups (pine, spruce, deciduous): total mean volume, basal area, mean tree diameter, mean tree height, and number of stems per hectare. Parameter estimates are validated at both the plot level and stand level, and the validation results are compared to results published for three Finnish test areas. Overall, relative root mean square errors (RMSE) were higher for forest parameters in the Perm region than for the Finnish sites at both the plot and stand level. At the stand level, relative RMSE generally decreased with increasing stand size and was lower when considered overall than for individual species groups.
      PubDate: 2017-03-07
      DOI: 10.3390/f8030072
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 3 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 73: Elevated Atmospheric CO2 and Warming Stimulates
           Growth and Nitrogen Fixation in a Common Forest Floor Cyanobacterium under
           Axenic Conditions

    • Authors: Zoë Lindo, Danielle Griffith
      First page: 73
      Abstract: The predominant input of available nitrogen (N) in boreal forest ecosystems originates from moss-associated cyanobacteria, which fix unavailable atmospheric N2, contribute to the soil N pool, and thereby support forest productivity. Alongside climate warming, increases in atmospheric CO2 concentrations are expected in Canada’s boreal region over the next century, yet little is known about the combined effects of these factors on N fixation by forest floor cyanobacteria. Here we assess changes in N fixation in a common forest floor, moss-associated cyanobacterium, Nostoc punctiforme Hariot, under elevated CO2 conditions over 30 days and warming combined with elevated CO2 over 90 days. We measured rates of growth and changes in the number of specialized N2 fixing heterocyst cells, as well as the overall N fixing activity of the cultures. Elevated CO2 stimulated growth and N fixation overall, but this result was influenced by the growth stage of the cyanobacteria, which in turn was influenced by our temperature treatments. Taken together, climate change factors of warming and elevated CO2 are expected to stimulate N2 fixation by moss-associated cyanobacteria in boreal forest systems.
      PubDate: 2017-03-08
      DOI: 10.3390/f8030073
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 3 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 74:
           The Relationship between Sap Flow Density and 
           Environmental Factors in the Yangtze River Delta  Region of China
           

    • Authors: Xin Liu, Bo Zhang, Jia‐Yao Zhuang, Cheng Han, Lu Zhai, Wen‐Rui Zhao, Jin‐Chi Zhang
      First page: 74
      Abstract: Canopy transpiration is an important component of evapotranspiration, integrating physical and biological processes within the water and energy cycles of forests. Quercus acutissima and Cunninghamia lanceolata are two important, fast‐growing and commercial tree species that have been extensively used for vegetation restoration, water conservation and building artificial forests in the Yangtze River Delta region of China. The primary objective of this study was to characterize sap flow densities of the two species by comparing daytime and nocturnal sap flow patterns and their relationships with environmental factors. Sap flow densities (Sd) were measured between September 2012 and August 2013 using the commercially‐available thermal dissipation probes. Hourly meteorological data were measured in an open field, located 200 m away from the study site, including photosynthetically‐active radiation (Par), air temperature (Ta), relative air humidity (Rh), vapor pressure deficit (Vpd) and precipitation (P). Soil water content (Swc) data were logged hourly in different layers at Q. acutissima and C. lanceolata forests. Results indicated that the mean Sd in summer was higher than that in spring and autumn. Both the Sd of Q. acutissima and C. lanceolata showed distinct diurnal patterns. Nocturnal sap flow densities (Sdn) were noticeable, and both species followed similar declining patterns during our study period. The daytime sap flow density (Sdd) was more sensitive to environmental factors than Sdn. Sap flow density was significant linearly correlated with Par, Vpd and Ta, and Par and Vpd explained the greatest amount of variation in daytime sap flow of Q. acutissima and C. lanceolata, respectively. Our study will enrich knowledge of plantation forest physical and biological processes and provide valuable information for plantation forest management in the Yangtze River Delta region of China.
      PubDate: 2017-03-10
      DOI: 10.3390/f8030074
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 3 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 75:
           Partitioning Forest‐Floor Respiration into Source 
           Based Emissions in a Boreal Forested Bog: Responses 
           to Experimental Drought

    • Authors: Tariq Munir, Bhupesh Khadka, Bin Xu, Maria Strack
      First page: 75
      Abstract: Northern peatlands store globally significant amounts of soil carbon that could be released to the atmosphere under drier conditions induced by climate change. We measured forest floor respiration (RFF) at hummocks and hollows in a treed boreal bog in Alberta, Canada and partitioned the flux into aboveground forest floor autotrophic, belowground forest floor autotrophic, belowground tree respiration, and heterotrophic respiration using a series of clipping and trenching experiments. These fluxes were compared to those measured at sites within the same bog where water‐table (WT) was drawn down for 2 and 12 years. Experimental WT drawdown significantly increased RFF with greater increases at hummocks than hollows. Greater RFF was largely driven by increased autotrophic respiration driven by increased growth of trees and shrubs in response to drier conditions; heterotrophic respiration accounted for a declining proportion of RFF with time since drainage. Heterotrophic respiration was increased at hollows, suggesting that soil carbon may be lost from these sites in response to climate change induced drying. Overall, although WT drawdown increased RFF, the substantial contribution of autotrophic respiration to RFF suggests that peat carbon stocks are unlikely to be rapidly destabilized by drying conditions.
      PubDate: 2017-03-10
      DOI: 10.3390/f8030075
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 3 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 76: Effects of Burn Severity and Environmental
           Conditions on Post-Fire Regeneration in Siberian Larch Forest

    • Authors: Thuan Chu, Xulin Guo, Kazuo Takeda
      First page: 76
      Abstract: Post-fire forest regeneration is strongly influenced by abiotic and biotic heterogeneity in the pre- and post-fire environments, including fire regimes, species characteristics, landforms, hydrology, regional climate, and soil properties. Assessing these drivers is key to understanding the long-term effects of fire disturbances on forest succession. We evaluated multiple factors influencing patterns of variability in a post-fire boreal Larch (Larix sibirica) forest in Siberia. A time-series of remote sensing images was analyzed to estimate post-fire recovery as a response variable across the burned area in 1996. Our results suggested that burn severity and water content were primary controllers of both Larch forest recruitment and green vegetation cover as defined by the forest recovery index (FRI) and the fractional vegetation cover (FVC), respectively. We found a high rate of Larch forest recruitment in sites of moderate burn severity, while a more severe burn was the preferable condition for quick occupation by vegetation that included early seral communities of shrubs, grasses, conifers and broadleaf trees. Sites close to water and that received higher solar energy during the summer months showed a higher rate of both recovery types, defined by the FRI and FVC, dependent on burn severity. In addition to these factors, topographic variables and pre-fire condition were important predictors of post-fire forest patterns. These results have direct implications for the post-fire forest management in the Siberian boreal Larch region.
      PubDate: 2017-03-11
      DOI: 10.3390/f8030076
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 3 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 77: Determining Ideal Timing of Row Thinning for a
           Cryptomeria japonica Plantation Using Event History Analysis

    • Authors: Chih-Hsin Chung, Cheng-Jung Lin, Shu-Tzong Lin, Cho-ying Huang
      First page: 77
      Abstract: Effective time of thinning is essential for determining a silvicultural operation schedule. One of the most commonly used methods is the percentage of radial increase to assess the effect of thinning. However, it is difficult to determine the ideal time point due to variation in tree growth rates. Event history analysis was used to quantify the optimal timings for different row thinning types for a 45-year-old Cryptomeria japonica plantation in the mountainous region of Taiwan. The increase in tree-ring size was measured and converted to the basal area increment (BAI) to estimate annual tree growth; derived time-series data were entered into event history analysis to calculate the time to 50% probability of survival. Additionally, an accelerated failure time regression was applied to test the effects of thinning and its timing; model validation was carried out to examine the influence of thinning time variation on plant growth through time. Results showed that thinning modified the temporal dynamics of the BAI, and, in general, a positive trend was observed between strip-width and time of thinning. Simulated tree growth in the model validation corroborated that accurate timing may optimize thinning effects. Combining tree-ring measurement and event history analysis may facilitate determining the timing of row thinning, which can improve carbon sequestration of forest stands.
      PubDate: 2017-03-11
      DOI: 10.3390/f8030077
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 3 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 78: REDD+ in West Africa: Politics of Design and
           Implementation in Ghana and Nigeria

    • Authors: Adeniyi Asiyanbi, Albert Arhin, Usman Isyaku
      First page: 78
      Abstract: This paper analyses the design and implementation of Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation, conserving and enhancing forest carbon stocks, and sustainably managing forests (REDD+) in the West African region, an important global biodiversity area. Drawing on in-depth interviews, analysis of policy documents and observation of everyday activities, we sought to understand how REDD+ has been designed and implemented in Nigeria and Ghana. We draw on political ecology to examine how, and why REDD+ takes the form it does in these countries. We structure our discussion around three key dimensions that emerged as strong areas of common emphasis in our case studies—capacity building, carbon visibility, and property rights. First, we show that while REDD+ design generally foregrounds an ostensible inclusionary politics, its implementation is driven through various forms of exclusion. This contradictory inclusion–exclusion politics, which is partly emblematic of the neoliberal provenance of the REDD+ policy, is also a contingent reality and a strategy for navigating complexities and pursuing certain interests. Second, we show that though the emergent foci of REDD+ implementation in our case studies align with global REDD+ expectations, they still manifest as historically and geographically contingent processes that reflect negotiated and contested relations among actors that constitute the specific national circumstance of each country. We conclude by reflecting on the importance of our findings for understanding REDD+ projects in other tropical countries.
      PubDate: 2017-03-11
      DOI: 10.3390/f8030078
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 3 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 79: Evaluation of Bent Trees in Juvenile Teak
           (Tectona grandis L.f.) Plantations in Costa Rica: Effects on Tree
           Morphology and Wood Properties

    • Authors: Nancy Guzmán, Roger Moya, Olmán Murillo
      First page: 79
      Abstract: Bent trees have been observed during the early years in juvenile plantations (less than 5 years-old) of Tectona grandis in Costa Rica. The relationship between bending and the morphological characteristics of the trees was explored. An evaluation of bent trees was conducted in six juvenile plantations (8, 17, 27, 28, 31, and 54 months old) of Tectona grandis. Site 1 with 8-month-old plantations did not display any relationship with any tree morphological variable (diameter, height, and crown weight of tree), whereas for the sites 2, 3, and 4 with 17-, 27-, and 28-month-old plantations, respectively, all the tree morphological variables were statistically correlated with the bent trees. A multiple regression analysis showed that the most influential variables were height to crown base, crown weight, diameter, and total height of the tree. An evaluation of the bending risk factor (RF) was correlated with the height to crown base, crown weight, and form factor. The modulus of elasticity and chemical compositions of bent trees differed from those of straight trees. The causes of tree bending are complex, involving, among other factors, the morphology of the trees, plantation conditions, and other factors specific to the xylem, such as the specific gravity, modulus of elasticity, and presence of calcium and magnesium in the wood.
      PubDate: 2017-03-14
      DOI: 10.3390/f8030079
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 3 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 80: Effects of Host Variability on the Spread of
           Invasive Forest Diseases

    • Authors: Simone Prospero, Michelle Cleary
      First page: 80
      Abstract: Biological invasions, resulting from deliberate and unintentional species transfers of insects, fungal and oomycete organisms, are a major consequence of globalization and pose a significant threat to biodiversity. Limiting damage by non-indigenous forest pathogens requires an understanding of their current and potential distributions, factors affecting disease spread, and development of appropriate management measures. In this review, we synthesize innate characteristics of invading organisms (notably mating system, reproduction type, and dispersal mechanisms) and key factors of the host population (namely host diversity, host connectivity, and host susceptibility) that govern spread and impact of invasive forest pathogens at various scales post-introduction and establishment. We examine spread dynamics for well-known invasive forest pathogens, Hymenoscyphus fraxineus (T. Kowalski) Baral, Queloz, Hosoya, comb. nov., causing ash dieback in Europe, and Cryphonectria parasitica, (Murr.) Barr, causing chestnut blight in both North America and Europe, illustrating the importance of host variability (diversity, connectivity, susceptibility) in their invasion success. While alien pathogen entry has proven difficult to control, and new biological introductions are indeed inevitable, elucidating the key processes underlying host variability is crucial for scientists and managers aimed at developing effective strategies to prevent future movement of organisms and preserve intact ecosystems.
      PubDate: 2017-03-15
      DOI: 10.3390/f8030080
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 3 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 81: Genetic Diversity of Walnut (Juglans Regia L.)
           in the Eastern Italian Alps

    • Authors: Massimo Vischi, Cristina Chiabà, Steluta Raranciuc, Luca Poggetti, Rachele Messina, Paolo Ermacora, Guido Cipriani, Donatella Paffetti, Cristina Vettori, Raffaele Testolin
      First page: 81
      Abstract: Juglans regia L. is distributed primarily across temperate and subtropical regions of the Northern Hemisphere. During the last glaciation, the species survived in refugial areas that in Europe included the Balkans and the Italian peninsula, two areas joined by a corridor represented by the Friuli Venezia Giulia region, where two germplasm reservoirs met and likely intercrossed during re-colonization after the last glaciation. In this work, two hundred and fifteen wild accessions native to the area were sampled, georeferenced, and genotyped with 20 microsatellite loci selected from the literature. The local accessions of this study displayed moderate genetic diversity with 80 alleles identified. The number of alleles/loci was 4.0 (4.7 alleles for the genomic SSRs (Simple Sequence Repeats) and 2.7 alleles per EST (Expressed Sequence Tag)-derived SSR, on average). An analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA) revealed that most of the molecular diversity was between individuals (nearly 98% of variation explained). The model-based clustering algorithms implemented either in STRUCTURE and GENELAND software revealed two clusters: The first one encompassed most of the samples and showed a great genetic admixture throughout the five sampling areas defined on the base of orographic characteristics of the region. The second cluster represented a small island with three samples traced back to an introduction from Russia at the beginning of the 20th century.
      PubDate: 2017-03-16
      DOI: 10.3390/f8030081
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 3 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 82: Modelling of Climate Conditions in Forest
           Vegetation Zones as a Support Tool for Forest Management Strategy in
           European Beech Dominated Forests

    • Authors: Ivo Machar, Veronika Vlckova, Antonin Bucek, Vit Vozenilek, Lubomir Salek, Lucie Jerabkova
      First page: 82
      Abstract: The regional effects of climate change on forest ecosystems in the temperate climate zone of Europe can be modelled as shifts of forest vegetation zones in the landscape, northward and to higher elevations. This study applies a biogeographical model of climate conditions in the forest vegetation zones of the Central European landscape, in order to predict the impact of future climate change on the most widespread tree species in European deciduous forests—the European beech (Fagus sylvatica L.). The biogeographical model is supported by a suite of software applications in the GIS environment. The model outputs are defined as a set of conditions - climate scenario A1B by the Special Report on Emission Scenarios (SRES) for a forecast period, for a specified geographical area and with ecological conditions appropriate for the European beech, which provide regional scenarios for predicted future climatic conditions in the context of the European beech’s environmental requirements. These predicted changes can be graphically visualized. The results of the model scenarios for regional climate change show that in the Czech Republic from 2070 onwards, optimal growing conditions for the European beech will only exist in some parts of those areas where it currently occurs naturally. Based on these results, it is highly recommended that the national strategy for sustainable forest management in the Czech Republic be partly re-evaluated. Thus, the presented biogeographical model of climate conditions in forest vegetation zones can be applied, not only to generate regional scenarios of climate change in the landscape, but also as a support tool for the development of a sustainable forest management strategy.
      PubDate: 2017-03-16
      DOI: 10.3390/f8030082
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 3 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 83: Economic Feasibility of Managing Loblolly Pine
           Forests for Water Production under Climate Change in the Southeastern
           United States

    • Authors: Andres Susaeta, Damian Adams, Carlos Gonzalez-Benecke, José Soto
      First page: 83
      Abstract: In this study, we assessed the impacts of climate change, forest management, and different forest productivity conditions on the water yield and profitability of loblolly pine stands in the southeastern United States. Using the 3-PG (Physiological Processes Predicting Growth) model, we determined different climatic projections and then employed a stand level economic model that incorporates, for example, prices for timber and increased water yield. We found that, under changing climatic conditions, water yield increases with thinnings and low levels of tree planting density. On average, under moderate climatic conditions, water yield increases by 584 kL·ha−1 and 97 kL·ha−1 for low and high productivity conditions, respectively. Under extreme climatic conditions, water yield increases by 100 kL·ha−1 for low productivity conditions. Land expectation values increase by 96% ($6653.7 ha−1) and 95% ($6424.1 ha−1) for each climatic scenario compared to those obtained for unthinned loblolly pine plantations managed only for timber production and under current climatic conditions. The contributions of payments for increased water yield to the land values were 38% ($2530.1 ha−1) and 30% ($1894.8 ha−1). Results suggest that payments for water yield may be a “win-win” strategy to sustainably improve water supply and the economic conditions of forest ownership in the region.
      PubDate: 2017-03-16
      DOI: 10.3390/f8030083
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 3 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 84: Prevalence of Inter-Tree Competition and Its
           Role in Shaping the Community Structure of a Natural Mongolian Scots Pine
           (Pinus sylvestris var. mongolica) Forest

    • Authors: Hongxiang Wang, Pan Wan, Qianxue Wang, Ling Liu, Gongqiao Zhang, Gangying Hui
      First page: 84
      Abstract: Inter-tree competition is considered one of the most important ecological processes of forest development. However, its importance in structuring the spatial patterns of plant communities remains controversial. We collected observational data from two plots in a natural Mongolian Scots pine forest to study the contribution of competition to tree growth, mortality, and size inequality. We used the nearest neighbour method to determine the presence of competition, and unmarked and marked spatial point pattern analyses to test the density-dependent mortality effects and the spatial autocorrelation of tree size. We identified significant positive correlations between tree canopy diameter and nearest neighbour distance in both plots, which were more evident in the denser plot. The pair correlation functions of both plots indicated regular distribution patterns of living trees, and trees living in more crowded environments were more likely to die. However, the mark differentiation characteristics showed weak evidence of a negative spatial autocorrelation in tree size, particularly in the high-density plot. The high mortality rate of suppressed trees and weak asymmetric competition may have accounted for the lack of dissimilarity in tree size. This study showed that inter-tree competition is an important determinant of the development of Mongolian Scots pine forests.
      PubDate: 2017-03-16
      DOI: 10.3390/f8030084
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 3 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 85: Tree Species Identity Shapes Earthworm
           Communities

    • Authors: Stephanie Schelfhout, Jan Mertens, Kris Verheyen, Lars Vesterdal, Lander Baeten, Bart Muys, An De Schrijver
      First page: 85
      Abstract: Earthworms are key organisms in forest ecosystems because they incorporate organic material into the soil and affect the activity of other soil organisms. Here, we investigated how tree species affect earthworm communities via litter and soil characteristics. In a 36-year old common garden experiment, replicated six times over Denmark, six tree species were planted in blocks: sycamore maple (Acer pseudoplatanus), beech (Fagus sylvatica), ash (Fraxinus excelsior), Norway spruce (Picea abies), pedunculate oak (Quercus robur) and lime (Tilia cordata). We studied the chemical characteristics of soil and foliar litter, and determined the forest floor turnover rate and the density and biomass of the earthworm species occurring in the stands. Tree species significantly affected earthworm communities via leaf litter and/or soil characteristics. Anecic earthworms were abundant under Fraxinus, Acer and Tilia, which is related to calcium-rich litter and low soil acidification. Epigeic earthworms were indifferent to calcium content in leaf litter and were shown to be mainly related to soil moisture content and litter C:P ratios. Almost no earthworms were found in Picea stands, likely because of the combined effects of recalcitrant litter, low pH and low soil moisture content.
      PubDate: 2017-03-17
      DOI: 10.3390/f8030085
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 3 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 86: Non-Destructive, Laser-Based Individual Tree
           Aboveground Biomass Estimation in a Tropical Rainforest

    • Authors: Muhammad Abd Rahman, Md Abu Bakar, Khamarrul Razak, Abd Rasib, Kasturi Kanniah, Wan Wan Kadir, Hamdan Omar, Azahari Faidi, Abd Kassim, Zulkiflee Abd Latif
      First page: 86
      Abstract: Recent methods for detailed and accurate biomass and carbon stock estimation of forests have been driven by advances in remote sensing technology. The conventional approach to biomass estimation heavily relies on the tree species and site-specific allometric equations, which are based on destructive methods. This paper introduces a non-destructive, laser-based approach (terrestrial laser scanner) for individual tree aboveground biomass estimation in the Royal Belum forest reserve, Perak, Malaysia. The study area is in the state park, and it is believed to be one of the oldest rainforests in the world. The point clouds generated for 35 forest plots, using the terrestrial laser scanner, were geo-rectified and cleaned to produce separate point clouds for individual trees. The volumes of tree trunks were estimated based on a cylinder model fitted to the point clouds. The biomasses of tree trunks were calculated by multiplying the volume and the species wood density. The biomasses of branches and leaves were also estimated based on the estimated volume and density values. Branch and leaf volumes were estimated based on the fitted point clouds using an alpha-shape approach. The estimated individual biomass and the total above ground biomass were compared with the aboveground biomass (AGB) value estimated using existing allometric equations and individual tree census data collected in the field. The results show that the combination of a simple single-tree stem reconstruction and wood density can be used to estimate stem biomass comparable to the results usually obtained through existing allometric equations. However, there are several issues associated with the data and method used for branch and leaf biomass estimations, which need further improvement.
      PubDate: 2017-03-17
      DOI: 10.3390/f8030086
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 3 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 87: Acute Oak Decline and Agrilus biguttatus: The
           Co-Occurrence of Stem Bleeding and D-Shaped Emergence Holes in Great
           Britain

    • Authors: Nathan Brown, Mike Jeger, Susan Kirk, David Williams, Xiangming Xu, Marco Pautasso, Sandra Denman
      First page: 87
      Abstract: Acute Oak Decline (AOD) is a new condition affecting both species of native oak, Quercus robur and Quercus petraea, in Great Britain. The decline is characterised by a distinctive set of externally visible stem symptoms; bark cracks that “weep” dark exudate are found above necrotic lesions in the inner bark. Emergence holes of the buprestid beetle, Agrilus biguttatus are often also seen on the stems of oak within affected woodlands. This investigation assesses the extent to which the external symptoms of these two agents co-occur and reveals the spatial and temporal patterns present in affected woodland. Annual monitoring in eight affected woodlands showed that stem bleeding and emergence holes frequently occur on the same trees, with new emergence holes significantly more likely to occur when trees already have stem bleeds. Trials with coloured prism traps confirm A. biguttatus was present at all experimental sites. Beetle emergence is linked primarily to a few heavily declining trees, indicating that susceptibility may vary between hosts and that those with reduced health may be predisposed to AOD. Stem bleeds occur on trees in close proximity to the locations of trees with exit holes.
      PubDate: 2017-03-17
      DOI: 10.3390/f8030087
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 3 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 88: Salvage-Logging after Windstorm Leads to
           Structural and Functional Homogenization of Understory Layer and Delayed
           Spruce Tree Recovery in Tatra Mts., Slovakia

    • Authors: Zuzana Michalová, Robert Morrissey, Thomas Wohlgemuth, Radek Bače, Peter Fleischer, Miroslav Svoboda
      First page: 88
      Abstract: Stand-replacing disturbance and post-disturbance salvage-logging influence forest succession in different ways; however, limited knowledge regarding how salvage-logging affects vegetation patterns compared to natural development of forest ecosystems is still lacking. In this study, we described the diversity pattern of understory vegetation and tree regeneration in mountain spruce forest of Tatra Mountains, northern Slovakia, where a high severity windstorm affecting over 10,000 ha occurred in 2004. The area was consequently subjected to salvage-logging. We asked how the species composition, vegetation diversity, and its spatial heterogeneity were modified by severe salvage-logging. Vascular plants, deadwood coverage, and tree species densities were monitored on non-intervention (NI; n = 108) and salvage-logged (SL; n = 95) experimental plots (spatially nested design, sample plot area 3.14 m2) six and seven years after disturbance, respectively. The NI sites were structurally more diverse with post-windstorms legacies such as deadwood and pit and mound topography being recorded. The NI plots contained more late-successional plant and moss species that are commonly found in the pre-disturbance forest. The NI plots were also more diverse in terms of alpha- and beta-diversity with abundant natural regeneration of Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst). The structure of SL site was more homogeneous and its species composition shifted towards being dominated by grasses, although the site accommodated a higher number of plant species due to newly established pioneer plant- and tree species. The retreat of late-successional species in favour of grasses can lead to structural and functional homogenization of habitat and to delayed succession towards establishment of spruce forest. We conclude that the removal of wind-disturbance legacies significantly diverts natural successional pathways. We recommend avoiding salvage-logging in protected areas since large-scale application of salvage-logging reduces beta-diversity of the landscape.
      PubDate: 2017-03-17
      DOI: 10.3390/f8030088
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 3 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 89: Landscape Structure and Mature Forest
           Biodiversity in Wet Eucalypt Forests: A Spatial Analysis of Timber
           Production Areas in South-Eastern Australia

    • Authors: Sam Wood, Timothy Wardlaw, Elizabeth Pryde, Susan Baker
      First page: 89
      Abstract: Fire and timber harvesting can diminish the extent of older forests in the near term. The amount and configuration of mature and regenerating forest in the landscape (landscape structure) influences habitat suitability for mature-forest-associated species. We applied spatial analysis to describe the landscape structure of three wet eucalypt forest landscapes in south–eastern Australia and used the results from empirical biodiversity studies to frame interpretation of possible impacts on habitat suitability. We determined the extent of structurally mature forest, its reservation status, and the extent to which it may be edge affected. We also assessed how landscape structure potentially impacts the re-establishment of mature-forest-associated species into previously harvested areas through the proximity to (mature forest influence)—and extent of (landscape context)—mature forest in the surrounding landscape. Our analyses were designed to inform forest management initiatives that draw on these landscape-scale concepts. Central Highlands Victoria had less structurally mature eucalypt forest (4%) compared to North West Tasmania (14%) and Southern Forests Tasmania (21%). Detrimental effects of edge influence on structurally mature forest appeared relatively minor. Low levels of mature forest influence combined with low-medium surrounding mature forest cover (landscape context) indicate potential limitations on recolonisation of coupes by mature-forest-associated species. Our results vindicate the recent shift toward variable retention silviculture and landscape context planning. Our approach to landscape analysis provides a useful framework for other managed forest landscapes.
      PubDate: 2017-03-17
      DOI: 10.3390/f8030089
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 3 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 90: Climate Impacts on Soil Carbon Processes along
           an Elevation Gradient in the Tropical Luquillo Experimental Forest

    • Authors: Dingfang Chen, Mei Yu, Grizelle González, Xiaoming Zou, Qiong Gao
      First page: 90
      Abstract: Tropical forests play an important role in regulating the global climate and the carbon cycle. With the changing temperature and moisture along the elevation gradient, the Luquillo Experimental Forest in Northeastern Puerto Rico provides a natural approach to understand tropical forest ecosystems under climate change. In this study, we conducted a soil translocation experiment along an elevation gradient with decreasing temperature but increasing moisture to study the impacts of climate change on soil organic carbon (SOC) and soil respiration. As the results showed, both soil carbon and the respiration rate were impacted by microclimate changes. The soils translocated from low elevation to high elevation showed an increased respiration rate with decreased SOC content at the end of the experiment, which indicated that the increased soil moisture and altered soil microbes might affect respiration rates. The soils translocated from high elevation to low elevation also showed an increased respiration rate with reduced SOC at the end of the experiment, indicating that increased temperature at low elevation enhanced decomposition rates. Temperature and initial soil source quality impacted soil respiration significantly. With the predicted warming climate in the Caribbean, these tropical soils at high elevations are at risk of releasing sequestered carbon into the atmosphere.
      PubDate: 2017-03-19
      DOI: 10.3390/f8030090
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 3 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 91: Phenotypic Plasticity Explains Response
           Patterns of European Beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) Saplings to Nitrogen
           Fertilization and Drought Events

    • Authors: Christoph Dziedek, Andreas Fichtner, Leonor Calvo, Elena Marcos, Kirstin Jansen, Matthias Kunz, David Walmsley, Goddert Von Oheimb, Werner Härdtle
      First page: 91
      Abstract: : Climate and atmospheric changes affect forest ecosystems worldwide, but little is known about the interactive effects of global change drivers on tree growth. In the present study, we analyzed single and combined effects of nitrogen (N) fertilization and drought events (D) on the growth of European beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) saplings in a greenhouse experiment. We quantified morphological and physiological responses to treatments for one‐ and two‐year‐old plants. N fertilization increased the saplings’ aboveground biomass investments, making them more susceptible to D treatments. This was reflected by the highest tissue dieback in combined N and D treatments and a significant N × D interaction for leaf δ13C signatures. Thus, atmospheric N deposition can strengthen the drought sensitivity of beech saplings. One‐year‐old plants reacted more sensitively to D treatments than two‐year‐old plants (indicated by D‐induced shifts in leaf δ13C signatures of one‐year‐old and two‐year‐old plants by +0.5‰ and −0.2‰, respectively), attributable to their higher shoot:root‐ratios (1.8 and 1.2, respectively). In summary, the saplings’ treatment responses were determined by their phenotypic plasticity (shifts in shoot:root‐ratios), which in turn was a function of both the saplings’ age (effects of allometric growth trajectories = apparent plasticity) and environmental impacts (effects of N fertilization = plastic allometry).
      PubDate: 2017-03-20
      DOI: 10.3390/f8030091
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 3 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 92: Relationship between Leaf Surface
           Characteristics and Particle Capturing Capacities of Different Tree
           Species in Beijing

    • Authors: Weikang Zhang, Bing Wang, Xiang Niu
      First page: 92
      Abstract: Leaf surface is a multifunctional interface between a plant and its environment, which affects both ecological and biological processes. Leaf surface topography directly affects microhabitat availability and ability for deposition. In this study, atomic force microscopy (AFM) and the resuspended particulate matter method were applied to evaluate the adsorptive capacity of the leaf surface. Patterns of particulate‐capturing capacities in different tree species and the effect of leaf surface features on these capacities were explored. Results indicated the following: (1) more total suspended particles (TSP) per unit leaf area were captured by coniferous tree species than by broad‐leaved tree species in a particular order—i.e., Pinus tabuliformis > Pinus bungeana > Salix matsudana > Acer truncatum > Ginkgo biloba > Populus tomentosa; (2) Significant seasonal variation in particulate‐capturing capacities were determined. During the observation period, the broad‐leaved tree species capturing TSP and coarse particulate matter (PM10) clearly exhibited a ∩‐shape pattern— that is, increasing initially and later on decreasing; meanwhile, the ∩‐shape pattern was not clearly shown in P. tabuliformis and P. bungeana. However, no obvious patterns in the absorption of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) were found in the tested tree species; (3) The leaf surface topography, as observed by AFM and scanning electron microscopy, revealed that the broad‐leaved tree exhibits a good correlation between micro‐roughness of leaf surfaces and density of particles settling on leaf surfaces over time. However, the main factors affecting the adsorptive capacities of the leaves in coniferous trees are the number of stomata as well as the amount of epicuticular wax and the properties of the cuticle in different seasons.
      PubDate: 2017-03-20
      DOI: 10.3390/f8030092
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 3 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 93: Spatial Patterns of Canopy Disturbance,
           Structure, and Species Composition in a Multi-Cohort Hardwood Stand

    • Authors: Scott Ford, Jonathan Kleinman, Justin Hart
      First page: 93
      Abstract: Multi-cohort stands are increasingly recognized and valued because of their biological functioning, biological diversity, and resistance and resiliency to perturbations. These forest ecosystems are epitomized by multiple age classes, and often contain multiple canopy layers, a range of tree size classes, and large amounts of woody debris. Disturbance history reconstructions in multi-cohort stands provide an understanding of the processes that create these systems. In this study, we documented structure and composition, and used dendroecological techniques to reconstruct disturbance history on a 1 ha plot in a multi-cohort hardwood stand in the Fall Line Hills of Alabama. The stand was dominated by Quercus alba L. and Liriodendron tulipifera L. Mingling index and stem maps indicated that most species were well dispersed throughout the stand, with the exception of L. tulipifera and Carya tomentosa (Poiret) Nuttal, which were relatively clustered. The oldest trees in the stand established in the 1770s, however, the largest recruitment event occurred ca. 1945 in conjunction with a stand-wide canopy disturbance. We posit that spatial heterogeneity of canopy removal during this event was largely responsible for the observed compositional and spatial complexity documented in the stand. In addition to the 1945 event, we recorded another stand-wide canopy disturbance in 1906 and 84 gap-scale disturbance events from 1802 to 2003. The conditions documented in the stand can be used as a benchmark to guide the creation and maintenance of complex multi-cohort stand characteristics, an increasingly popular management goal.
      PubDate: 2017-03-21
      DOI: 10.3390/f8030093
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 3 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 30: Assessing Wildland Fire Risk Transmission to
           Communities in Northern Spain

    • Authors: Fermín Alcasena, Michele Salis, Alan Ager, Rafael Castell, Cristina Vega-García
      First page: 30
      Abstract: We assessed potential economic losses and transmission to residential houses from wildland fires in a rural area of central Navarra (Spain). Expected losses were quantified at the individual structure level (n = 306) in 14 rural communities by combining fire model predictions of burn probability and fire intensity with susceptibility functions derived from expert judgement. Fire exposure was estimated by simulating 50,000 fire events that replicated extreme (97th percentile) historical fire weather conditions. Spatial ignition probabilities were used in the simulations to account for non-random ignitions, and were estimated from a fire occurrence model generated with an artificial neural network. The results showed that ignition probability explained most of spatial variation in risk, with economic value of structures having only a minor effect. Average expected loss to residential houses from a single wildfire event in the study area was 7955€, and ranged from a low of 740 to the high of 28,725€. Major fire flow-paths were analyzed to understand fire transmission from surrounding municipalities and showed that incoming fires from the north exhibited strong pathways into the core of the study area, and fires spreading from the south had the highest likelihood of reaching target residential structures from the longest distances (>5 km). Community firesheds revealed the scale of risk to communities and extended well beyond administrative boundaries. The results provided a quantitative risk assessment that can be used by insurance companies and local landscape managers to prioritize and allocate investments to treat wildland fuels and identify clusters of high expected loss within communities. The methodological framework can be extended to other fire-prone southern European Union countries where communities are threatened by large wildland fires.
      PubDate: 2017-01-24
      DOI: 10.3390/f8020030
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 2 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 31: Influence of Mature Overstory Trees on Adjacent
           12-Year Regeneration and the Woody Understory: Aggregated Retention versus
           Intact Forest

    • Authors: Miranda Curzon, Susan Baker, Christel Kern, Brian Palik, Anthony D’Amato
      First page: 31
      Abstract: Retention harvesting, an approach that intentionally retains legacy features such as mature overstory trees, provides options for achieving ecological objectives. At the same time, retained overstory trees may compete with the nearby recovering understory for resources, and much remains to be learned about potential trade-offs with regeneration objectives, particularly over extended time periods. We assessed the influence of aggregated retention (reserved mature overstory and understory patches) versus intact forest on structure and productivity (standing biomass) of the adjacent woody understory and regeneration 12 years after harvest in northern Minnesota, USA. Each site was dominated by Populus tremuloides Michx., a species that regenerates prolifically via root sprouts following disturbance. Overall, fewer differences than expected occurred between the effects of intact forest and aggregated retention on regeneration, despite the small size (0.1 ha) of aggregates. Instead, harvest status and distance from harvest edge had a greater influence on structure and standing woody biomass. Proximity to aggregates reduced large sapling biomass (all species, combined) relative to open conditions, but only up to 5 m into harvested areas. This suggests the trade-off for achieving productivity objectives might be minimal if managers use retention aggregates in this region to achieve ecological objectives and meet management guidelines.
      PubDate: 2017-01-25
      DOI: 10.3390/f8020031
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 2 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 32: Biocontrol of Fusarium circinatum Infection of
           Young Pinus radiata Trees

    • Authors: Eugenia Iturritxa, Tyler Trask, Nebai Mesanza, Rosa Raposo, Margarita Elvira-Recuenco, Cheryl Patten
      First page: 32
      Abstract: Pitch canker, caused by the fungus Fusarium circinatum, is a major disease of Pinus radiata currently controlled to some extent in nurseries by good hygiene and application of synthetic fungicides. The aim of this study was to evaluate alternative strategies to control fungal infections in nurseries and young pine plantations. The antagonistic effects of biocontrol bacteria and essential oils against F. circinatum in vitro and in young P. radiata trees were assessed. Pseudomonas fluorescens, Erwinia billingiae, and Bacillus simplex reduced the growth of the fungus in vitro by 17%–29%, and decreased the density of the mycelial mat. In young P. radiata trees, the length of F. circinatum lesions was reduced by 22%–25% by the same bacterial strains. Direct application of cinnamon and/or clove essential oils to wounds in stems of two-year-old P. radiata trees also limited the damage caused by F. circinatum. Lesion length was reduced by 51% following treatment with cinnamon oil (10% v/v), and by 45% following treatment with clove oil (15% v/v) or a combination of both oils. However, the oils were toxic to younger trees. The biocontrol bacteria and essential oils show promise as prophylactic treatments to reduce the devastating effects of F. circinatum on P. radiata.
      PubDate: 2017-01-26
      DOI: 10.3390/f8020032
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 2 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 33: Soil Microbial Communities in Natural and
           Managed Cloud Montane Forests

    • Authors: Ed-Haun Chang, Guanglong Tian, Chih-Yu Chiu
      First page: 33
      Abstract: Forest management often results in changes in soil microbial communities. To understand how forest management can change microbial communities, we studied soil microbial abundance and community structure in a natural Chamaecyparis (NCP) forest, a disturbed Chamaecyparis (DCP) forest, a secondary (regenerated) Chamaecyparis (SCP) forest and a secondary (reforested) Cryptomeria (SCD) forest. We analyzed soil microbial abundance by measuring phospholipid fatty acids (PLFAs) and microbial community structure by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) in the studied forest soils. The content of the soil PLFA fungal biomarker decreased from NCP to SCP, DCP and SCD forest soils, associated with the degree of disturbance of forest management. The ratio of soil Gram positive–to-negative bacteria and the stress index (16:1ω7t to 16:1ω7c) increased from NCP to SCP and DCP soils; thus, disturbed forests except for SCD showed increased soil microbial stress. Principal component analysis of soil microbial groups by PLFAs separated the four forest soils into three clusters: NCP, DCP and SCP, and SCD soil. The DGGE analysis showed no difference in the microbial community structure for NCP, DCP and SCP soils, but the community structure differed between SCD and the three other forest soils. In cloud montane forests, disturbance due to forest management had only a slight influence on the soil microbial community, whereas reforestation with different species largely changed the soil microbial community structure.
      PubDate: 2017-01-26
      DOI: 10.3390/f8010033
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 2 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 34: Phenology-Based Method for Mapping Tropical
           Evergreen Forests by Integrating of MODIS and Landsat Imagery

    • Authors: Weili Kou, Changxian Liang, Lili Wei, Alexander Hernandez, Xuejing Yang
      First page: 34
      Abstract: Updated extent, area, and spatial distribution of tropical evergreen forests from inventory data provides valuable knowledge for research of the carbon cycle, biodiversity, and ecosystem services in tropical regions. However, acquiring these data in mountainous regions requires labor-intensive, often cost-prohibitive field protocols. Here, we report about validated methods to rapidly identify the spatial distribution of tropical forests, and obtain accurate extent estimates using phenology-based procedures that integrate the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) and Landsat imagery. Firstly, an analysis of temporal profiles of annual time-series MODIS Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI), and Land Surface Water Index (LSWI) was developed to identify the key phenology phase for extraction of tropical evergreen forests in five typical lands cover types. Secondly, identification signatures of tropical evergreen forests were selected and their related thresholds were calculated based on Landsat NDVI, EVI, and LSWI extracted from ground true samples of different land cover types during the key phenology phase. Finally, a map of tropical evergreen forests was created by a pixel-based thresholding. The developed methods were tested in Xishuangbanna, China, and the results show: (1) Integration of Landsat and MODIS images performs well in extracting evergreen forests in tropical complex mountainous regions. The overall accuracy of the resulting map of the case study was 92%; (2) Annual time series of high-temporal-resolution remote sensing images (MODIS) can effectively be used for identification of the key phenology phase (between Julian Date 20 and 120) to extract tropical evergreen forested areas through analysis of NDVI, EVI, and LSWI of different land cover types; (3) NDVI and LSWI are two effective metrics (NDVI ≥ 0.670 and 0.447 ≥ LSWI ≥ 0.222) to depict evergreen forests from other land cover types during the key phenology phase in tropical complex mountainous regions. This method can make full use of the Landsat and MODIS archives as well as their advantages for tropical evergreen forests geospatial inventories, and is simple and easy to use. This method is suggested for use with other similar regions.
      PubDate: 2017-01-29
      DOI: 10.3390/f8020034
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 2 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 35: Natural Regeneration in a Multi-Layered Pinus
           sylvestris-Picea abies Forest after Target Diameter Harvest and Soil
           Scarification

    • Authors: Lars Drössler, Nils Fahlvik, Natalia Wysocka, Karin Hjelm, Christian Kuehne
      First page: 35
      Abstract: Forest management in Sweden can be characterized by even-aged silviculture heavily relying on three established harvest regimes: clearcutting, the seed-tree method, and the shelterwood system. Less intense, small-scale retention harvest systems such as single tree and group selection harvest are rarely used. In addition, natural regeneration dynamics without enrichment planting have barely been studied. Consequently, this study examined natural regeneration establishment in a multi-layered Pinus sylvestris-Picea abies forest stand in southwest Sweden after target diameter harvesting and soil scarification. The creation of forest canopy gaps had a positive effect on total seedling density five years after harvest, mainly due to a significantly higher number of Betula pendula individuals. Seedling density of more desirable tree species suitable for continuous cover forestry such as Fagus sylvatica, Quercus petraea and Picea abies also increased substantially in gaps when compared to pre-harvest conditions or the unharvested plots. In contrast, soil scarification did not increase the number of seedlings of desired tree species due to a significant decrease in Picea abies abundance. Soil moisture and gap size significantly improved Betula pendula seedling establishment while a larger number of Quercus petraea seedlings were observed in Vaccinium myrtillus patches. We conclude that canopy gaps are beneficial under the encountered stand conditions to initiate forest regeneration, and that soil scarification without the timely occurrence of a mast year of desired tree species is not effective in the type of forest studied.
      PubDate: 2017-01-28
      DOI: 10.3390/f8020035
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 2 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 36:
           Spatial Upscaling of Soil Respiration under a
           Complex Canopy Structure in an Old‐Growth
           Deciduous Forest, Central Japan

    • Authors: Vilanee Suchewaboripont, Masaki Ando, Shinpei Yoshitake, Yasuo Iimura, Mitsuru Hirota, Toshiyuki Ohtsuka
      First page: 36
      Abstract: The structural complexity, especially canopy and gap structure, of old‐growth forests affects the spatial variation of soil respiration (Rs). Without considering this variation, the upscaling of Rs from field measurements to the forest site will be biased. The present study examined responses of Rs to soil temperature (Ts) and water content (W) in canopy and gap areas, developed the best fit modelof Rs and used the unique spatial patterns of Rs and crown closure to upscale chamber measurements to the site scale in an old‐growth beech‐oak forest. Rs increased with an increase in Ts in both gap and canopy areas, but the effect of W on Rs was different between the two areas. The generalized linear model (GLM) analysis identified that an empirical model of Rs with thecoupling of Ts and W was better than an exponential model of Rs with only Ts. Moreover, because of different responses of Rs to W between canopy and gap areas, it was necessary to estimate Rs in these areas separately. Consequently, combining the spatial patterns of Rs and the crown closure could allow upscaling of Rs from chamber‐based measurements to the whole site in the present study.
      PubDate: 2017-01-30
      DOI: 10.3390/f8020036
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 2 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 37: Potentials and Unknowns in Managing Coarse
           Woody Debris for Soil Functioning

    • Authors: Kenton Stutz, Friederike Lang
      First page: 37
      Abstract: More intensive removal of woody biomass for the bio-economy will disrupt litter and succession cycles. Especially at risk is the retention of fine and coarse woody debris (FWD and CWD), crucial factors in forest biodiversity and nutrient cycling. However, to what extent CWD affects soil functioning remains unknown, and is seldom considered. From 32 paired test–reference points in eight Fagus sylvatica (L.) stands throughout Southwest Germany, CWD significantly increased soil C/N ratios, base saturation, and possibly pH. CWD-induced changes in soil porosity, available water capacity, and total organic carbon depended on site and CWD characteristics. As such, CWD can be viewed as a “pedogenic hot-spot” of concentrated biogeochemical and -physical processes with outsized effects on soil functioning and development. CWD management for soil functioning should consider site and tree species specific volume thresholds, timed rotations, and spatial densities, but appropriate implementation requires further research to define best management practices. If successful, overall forest resilience as well as soil functioning and productivity can be improved.
      PubDate: 2017-02-04
      DOI: 10.3390/f8020037
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 2 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 38: Assessing Precision in Conventional Field
           Measurements of Individual Tree Attributes

    • Authors: Ville Luoma, Ninni Saarinen, Michael Wulder, Joanne White, Mikko Vastaranta, Markus Holopainen, Juha Hyyppä
      First page: 38
      Abstract: Forest resource information has a hierarchical structure: individual tree attributes are summed at the plot level and then in turn, plot-level estimates are used to derive stand or large-area estimates of forest resources. Due to this hierarchy, it is imperative that individual tree attributes are measured with accuracy and precision. With the widespread use of different measurement tools, it is also important to understand the expected degree of precision associated with these measurements. The most prevalent tree attributes measured in the field are tree species, stem diameter-at-breast-height (dbh), and tree height. For dbh and height, the most commonly used measuring devices are calipers and clinometers, respectively. The aim of our study was to characterize the precision of individual tree dbh and height measurements in boreal forest conditions when using calipers and clinometers. The data consisted of 319 sample trees at a study area in Evo, southern Finland. The sample trees were measured independently by four trained mensurationists. The standard deviation in tree dbh and height measurements was 0.3 cm (1.5%) and 0.5 m (2.9%), respectively. Precision was also assessed by tree species and tree size classes; however, there were no statistically significant differences between the mensurationists for dbh or height measurements. Our study offers insights into the expected precision of tree dbh and height as measured with the most commonly used devices. These results are important when using sample plot data in forest inventory applications, especially now, at a time when new tree attribute measurement techniques based on remote sensing are being developed and compared to the conventional caliper and clinometer measurements.
      PubDate: 2017-02-08
      DOI: 10.3390/f8020038
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 2 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 39: Livelihoods and Land Uses in Environmental
           Policy Approaches: The Case of PES and REDD+ in the Lam Dong Province of
           Vietnam

    • Authors: Leif Trædal, Pål Vedeld
      First page: 39
      Abstract: This paper explores assumptions about the drivers of forest cover change in a Payments for Environmental Services (PES) and Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD+) context in the Lam Dong Province in Vietnam. In policy discourses, deforestation is often linked to ‘poor’ and ‘ethnic minority’ households and their unsustainable practices such as the expansion of coffee production (and other agricultural activities) into forest areas. This paper applies a livelihood framework to discuss the links between livelihoods and land use amongst small-scale farmers in two communities. The findings of the livelihood survey demonstrate no clear linkages between poverty levels and unsustainable practices. In fact, the poorest segments were found to deforest the least. The ways in which current PES and REDD+ approaches are designed, do not provide appropriate solutions to address the underlying dimensions of issues at stake. The paper criticizes one-dimensional perspectives of the drivers behind deforestation and forest degradation often found in public policies and discourses. We suggest more comprehensive analyses of underlying factors encompassing the entire coffee production and land use system in this region. Addressing issues of land tenure and the scarcity of productive lands, and generating viable off-farm income alternatives seem to be crucial. Sustainable approaches for reducing deforestation and degradation could be possible through engaging with multiple stakeholders, including the business-oriented households in control of the coffee trade and of land transactions.
      PubDate: 2017-02-08
      DOI: 10.3390/f8020039
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 2 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 40: Temporal Variability of Soil Respiration in
           Experimental Tree Plantations in Lowland Costa Rica

    • Authors: James Raich
      First page: 40
      Abstract: The principal objective of this study was to determine if there is consistent temporal variability in soil respiration from different forest plantations in a lowland tropical rainforest environment. Soil respiration was measured regularly over 2004 to 2010 in replicated plantations of 15- to 20-year-old evergreen tropical trees in lowland Costa Rica. Statistically significant but small differences in soil respiration were observed among hours of the day; daytime measurements were suitable for determining mean fluxes in this study. Fluxes varied more substantially among months, with the highest average emissions (5.9 μmol·m−2·s−1) occurring in September and low emissions (3.7 μmol·m−2·s−1) occurring in January. Three of the six tree species had significantly increasing rates of soil respiration across 2004–2010, with fluxes increasing at an average of 0.09 μmol·m−2·s−1 per year: the three other species had no long-term trends. It was hypothesized that there would be a tradeoff between carbon allocation aboveground, to produce new leaves, and belowground, to sustain roots and mycorrhizae, but the relationship between canopy leaf fall—a surrogate for canopy leaf flushing—and soil respiration was significantly positive. The similarities observed among temporal trends across plantation types, and significant relationships between soil respiration, soil water content and soil temperature, suggest that the physical environment largely controlled the temporal variability of soil respiration, but differences in flux magnitude among tree species were substantial and consistent across years.
      PubDate: 2017-02-08
      DOI: 10.3390/f8020040
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 2 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 41: Using Macronutrient Distributions within Trees
           to Define a Branch Diameter Threshold for Biomass Harvest in Sugar
           Maple-Dominated Stands

    • Authors: Samuel Royer-Tardif, Sylvain Delagrange, Philippe Nolet, David Rivest
      First page: 41
      Abstract: As the use of forest harvesting residues for energy production gains popularity, debate continues regarding the long-term sustainability of whole tree harvesting (WTH). This practice removes nutrient-rich twigs that only account for a small fraction of harvest residues, emphasising the need to develop nutrient-efficient alternatives to WTH. This study assessed N, P, K, Ca, and Mg distributions within sugar maple (Acer saccharum Marshall) and yellow birch (Betula alleghaniensis Britton) branches of various sizes in order to determine the branch diameter threshold that would represent the best compromise between the quantity of harvested biomass and nutrient losses that were generated. Quantities of nutrients that were exported with harvesting were then modelled at the stand level using different biomass harvest scenarios to explore what factors ultimately drove total quantities of nutrients exported with harvest. We found that the branch diameter threshold for biomass harvesting should be set at 2 cm for most nutrients in both tree species. An exception was Mg in yellow birch, for which the harvesting of branches larger than 10 cm would always generate larger nutrient export than gains in terms of biomass. At the stand scale, we provide evidence that the intensity of biomass harvest (i.e., the number of branch compartments harvested) is the principal factor responsible for the quantity of nutrient that is exported with harvesting.
      PubDate: 2017-02-11
      DOI: 10.3390/f8020041
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 2 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 42: Prediction of Dominant Forest Tree Species
           Using QuickBird and Environmental Data

    • Authors: Azadeh Abdollahnejad, Dimitrios Panagiotidis, Shaban Shataee Joybari, Peter Surový
      First page: 42
      Abstract: Modelling the spatial distribution of plants is one of the indirect methods for predicting the properties of plants and can be defined based on the relationship between the spatial distribution of vegetation and environmental variables. In this article, we introduce a new method for the spatial prediction of the dominant trees and species, through a combination of environmental and satellite data. Based on the basal area factor (BAF) frequency for each tree species in a total of 518 sample plots, the dominant tree species were determined for each plot. Also, topographical maps of primary and secondary properties were prepared using the digital elevation model (DEM). Categories of soil and the climate maps database of the Doctor Bahramnia Forestry Plan were extracted as well. After pre-processing and processing of spectral data, the pixel values at the sample locations in all the independent factors such as spectral and non-spectral data, were extracted. The modelling rates of tree and shrub species diversity using data mining algorithms of 80% of the sampling plots were taken. Assessment of model accuracy was conducted using 20% of samples and evaluation criteria. Random forest (RF), support vector machine (SVM) and k-nearest neighbor (k-NN) algorithms were used for spatial distribution modelling of dominant species groups using environmental and spectral variables from 80% of the sample plots. Results showed physiographic factors, especially altitude in combination with soil and climate factors as the most important variables in the distribution of species, while the best model was created by the integration of physiographic factors (in combination with soil and climate) with an overall accuracy of 63.85%. In addition, the results of the comparison between the algorithms, showed that the RF algorithm was the most accurate in modelling the diversity.
      PubDate: 2017-02-14
      DOI: 10.3390/f8020042
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 2 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 43: Evaluating the Effects of Carbon Prices on
           Trade-Offs between Carbon and Timber Management Objectives in Forest
           Spatial Harvest Scheduling Problems: A Case Study from Northeast China

    • Authors: Huiyan Qin, Lingbo Dong, Yingli Huang
      First page: 43
      Abstract: To mitigate global climatic changes, long-term carbon trading and carbon taxes have been implemented in many countries. However, carbon prices have varied in many of these regions. Therefore, the goal of this paper was to evaluate the effects of carbon prices on trade-offs between forest carbon and timber management objectives in spatial harvest scheduling problems. The objective function of the planning problem was designed to maximize the discounted net present value of harvested timber and the differences of carbon stocks in living tree biomass between the beginning and end of the planning horizon (DoC) within a 30-year time frame for a large forest region in northeast China. The constraints primarily related to maintaining an even flow of harvested timber and guaranteeing the maximum opening size. Forest developments were simulated using a set of standard stand-level growth and yield models, and the solutions of the planning problem were generated using the standard version of a simulated annealing algorithm. The effects of a wide range of carbon prices on the harvested timber and DoC levels were examined. The results showed that the trade-offs between forest harvested timber and the DoC displayed a typical nonlinear tendency as carbon prices increased. The current carbon prices (i.e., 25, 50 and 75 ¥/ton) in China had no significant effects on the optimal forest management plans compared with a scenario that used a carbon price of zero. The minimum carbon price that can provide the financial incentive for the forests to function as a significant carbon sink was estimated to be somewhat over 800 ¥/ton. This result could be useful in determining the appropriate carbon offset standard in this region.
      PubDate: 2017-02-14
      DOI: 10.3390/f8020043
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 2 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 44:
           Use of Real‐Time GNSS‐RF Data to Characterize the 
           Swing Movements of Forestry Equipment

    • Authors: Ryer Becker, Robert Keefe, Nathaniel Anderson
      First page: 44
      Abstract: The western United States faces significant forest management challenges after severe bark beetle infestations have led to substantial mortality. Minimizing costs is vital for increasing the feasibility of management operations in affected forests. Multi‐transmitter Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS)‐radio frequencies (RF) technology has applications in the quantification and analysis of harvest system production efficiency and provision of real‐time operational machine position, navigation, and timing. The aim of this study was to determine the accuracy with which multi‐transmitter GNSS‐RF captures the swinging and forwarding motions of ground based harvesting machines at varying transmission intervals. Assessing the accuracy of GNSS in capturing intricate machine movements is a first step toward development of a real‐time production model to assist timber harvesting of beetle‐killed lodgepole pine stands. In a complete randomized block experiment with four replicates, a log loader rotated to 18 predetermined angles with GNSS‐RF transponders collecting and sending data at two points along the machine boom (grapple and heel rack) and at three transmission intervals (2.5, 5.0, and 10.0 s). The 2.5 and 5.0 s intervals correctly identified 94% and 92% of cycles at the grapple and 92% and 89% of cycles at the heel, respectively. The 2.5 s interval successfully classified over 90% of individual cycle elements, while the 5.0 s interval returned statistically similar results. Predicted swing angles obtained the highest level of similarity to observed angles at the 2.5 s interval. Our results show that GNSS‐RF is useful for realtime, model‐based analysis of forest operations, including woody biomass production logistics.
      PubDate: 2017-02-15
      DOI: 10.3390/f8020044
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 2 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 45: Regeneration Responses to Management for
           Old-Growth Characteristics in Northern Hardwood-Conifer Forests

    • Authors: Aviva Gottesman, William Keeton
      First page: 45
      Abstract: Successful tree regeneration is essential for sustainable forest management, yet it can be limited by the interaction of harvesting effects and multiple ecological drivers. In northern hardwood forests, for example, there is uncertainty whether low-intensity selection harvesting techniques will result in adequate and desirable regeneration. Our research is part of a long-term study that tests the hypothesis that a silvicultural approach called “structural complexity enhancement” (SCE) can accelerate the development of late-successional forest structure and functions. Our objective is to understand the regeneration dynamics following three uneven-aged forestry treatments with high levels of retention: single-tree selection, group selection, and SCE. Regeneration density and diversity can be limited by differing treatment effects on or interactions among light availability, competitive environment, substrate, and herbivory. To explore these relationships, manipulations and controls were replicated across 2 ha treatment units at two Vermont sites. Forest inventory data were collected pre-harvest and periodically over 13 years post-harvest. We used mixed effects models with repeated measures to evaluate the effect of treatment on seedling and sapling density and diversity (Shannon–Weiner H’). The treatments were all successful in recruiting a sapling class with significantly greater sapling densities compared to the controls. However, undesirable and prolific beech (Fagus americana) sprouting dominates some patches in the understory of all the treatments, creating a high degree of spatial variability in the competitive environment for regeneration. Multivariate analyses suggest that while treatment had a dominant effect, other factors were influential in driving regeneration responses. These results indicate variants of uneven-aged systems that retain or enhance elements of stand structural complexity—including old-growth characteristics—can generally foster abundant regeneration of important late successional tree species depending on site conditions, but they may require beech control where beech sprouting inhibits desired regeneration.
      PubDate: 2017-02-16
      DOI: 10.3390/f8020045
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 2 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 46:
           A Demographic Approach to Evaluating Tree 
           Population Sustainability

    • Authors: Corey Halpin, Craig Lorimer
      First page: 46
      Abstract: Quantitative criteria for assessing demographic sustainability of tree populations would be useful in forest conservation, as climate change and a growing complex of invasive pests are likely to drive forests outside their historic range of variability. In this paper, we used CANOPY, a spatially explicit, individual‐tree model, to examine the effects of initial size distributions on sustainability of tree populations for 70 northern hardwood stands under current environmental conditions. A demographic sustainability index was calculated as the ratio of future simulated basal area to current basal area, given current demographic structure and density‐dependent demographic equations. Only steeply descending size distributions were indicated to be moderately or highly sustainable (final basal area/initial basal area ≥0.7 over several tree generations). Five of the six principal species had demographic sustainability index values of <0.6 in 40%–84% of the stands. However, at a small landscape scale, nearly all species had mean index values >1. Simulation experiments suggested that a minimum sapling density of 300 per hectare was required to sustain the initial basal area, but further increases in sapling density did not increase basal area because of coincident increases in mortality. A variable slope with high q‐ratios in small size classes was needed to maintain the existing overstory of mature and old‐growth stands. This analytical approach may be useful in identifying stands needing restoration treatments to maintain existing species composition in situations where forests are likely to have future recruitment limitations.
      PubDate: 2017-02-16
      DOI: 10.3390/f8020046
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 2 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 47: Forest Islands and Castaway Communities: REDD+
           and Forest Restoration in Prey Lang Forest

    • Authors: Courtney Work
      First page: 47
      Abstract: Climate Change policies are playing an ever-increasing role in global development strategies and their implementation gives rise to often-unforeseen social conflicts and environmental degradations. A landscape approach to analyzing forest-based Climate Change Mitigation policies (CCM) and land grabs in the Prey Lang Forest landscape, Cambodia revealed two Korea-Cambodia partnership projects designed to increase forest cover that are juxtaposed in this paper. Case study data revealed a REDD+ project with little negative impact or social conflict in the project area and an Afforestation/Reforestation (A/R) project that created both social and ecological conflicts. The study concludes that forest-based CCM policies can reduce conflict through efforts at minimal transformation of local livelihoods, maximal attention to the tenure rights, responsibilities, and authority of citizens, and by improving, not degrading, the project landscapes. The paper presents the circumstances under which these guidelines are sidestepped by the A/R project, and importantly reveals that dramatic forest and livelihood transformation had already affected the community and environment in the REDD+ project site. There are deep contradictions at the heart of climate change policies toward which attention must be given, lest we leave our future generations with nothing but forest islands and castaway communities.
      PubDate: 2017-02-17
      DOI: 10.3390/f8020047
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 2 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 48: Laurel Wilt in Natural and Agricultural
           Ecosystems: Understanding the Drivers and Scales of Complex Pathosystems

    • Authors: Randy Ploetz, Paul Kendra, Robin Choudhury, Jeffrey Rollins, Alina Campbell, Karen Garrett, Marc Hughes, Tyler Dreaden
      First page: 48
      Abstract: Laurel wilt kills members of the Lauraceae plant family in the southeastern United States. It is caused by Raffaelea lauricola T.C. Harr., Fraedrich and Aghayeva, a nutritional fungal symbiont of an invasive Asian ambrosia beetle, Xyleborus glabratus Eichhoff, which was detected in Port Wentworth, Georgia, in 2002. The beetle is the primary vector of R. lauricola in forests along the southeastern coastal plain of the United States, but other ambrosia beetle species that obtained the pathogen after the initial introduction may play a role in the avocado (Persea americana Miller) pathosystem. Susceptible taxa are naïve (new-encounter) hosts that originated outside Asia. In the southeastern United States, over 300 million trees of redbay (P. borbonia (L.) Spreng.) have been lost, and other North American endemics, non-Asian ornamentals and avocado—an important crop that originated in MesoAmerica—are also affected. However, there are no reports of laurel wilt on the significant number of lauraceous endemics that occur in the Asian homeland of R. lauricola and X. glabratus; coevolved resistance to the disease in the region has been hypothesized. The rapid spread of laurel wilt in the United States is due to an efficient vector, X. glabratus, and the movement of wood infested with the insect and pathogen. These factors, the absence of fully resistant genotypes, and the paucity of effective control measures severely constrain the disease’s management in forest ecosystems and avocado production areas.
      PubDate: 2017-02-18
      DOI: 10.3390/f8020048
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 2 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 49: Simulating Changes in Fires and Ecology of the
           21st Century Eurasian Boreal Forests of Siberia

    • Authors: Ksenia Brazhnik, Charles Hanley, Herman Shugart
      First page: 49
      Abstract: Wildfires release the greatest amount of carbon into the atmosphere compared to other forest disturbances. To understand how current and potential future fire regimes may affect the role of the Eurasian boreal forest in the global carbon cycle, we employed a new, spatially-explicit fire module DISTURB-F (DISTURBance-Fire) in tandem with a spatially-explicit, individually-based gap dynamics model SIBBORK (SIBerian BOReal forest simulator calibrated to Krasnoyarsk Region). DISTURB-F simulates the effect of forest fire on the boreal ecosystem, namely the mortality of all or only the susceptible trees (loss of biomass, i.e., carbon) within the forested landscape. The fire module captures some important feedbacks between climate, fire and vegetation structure. We investigated the potential climate-driven changes in the fire regime and vegetation in middle and south taiga in central Siberia, a region with extensive boreal forest and rapidly changing climate. The output from this coupled simulation can be used to estimate carbon losses from the ecosystem as a result of fires of different sizes and intensities over the course of secondary succession (decades to centuries). Furthermore, it may be used to assess the post-fire carbon storage capacity of potential future forests, the structure and composition of which may differ significantly from current Eurasian boreal forests due to regeneration under a different climate.
      PubDate: 2017-02-21
      DOI: 10.3390/f8020049
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 2 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 50:
           Resources and Rules of the Game: Participation of 
           Civil Society in REDD+ and FLEGT‐VPA Processes in  Lao PDR

    • Authors: Irmeli Mustalahti, Mathias Cramm, Sabaheta Ramcilovic‐Suominen, Yitagesu Tegegne
      First page: 50
      Abstract: Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) aims to achieve its purpose by working across multiple sectors and involving multilevel actors in reducing deforestation and forest degradation in tropical countries. By contrast, the European Union (EU) Action Plan on Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) and its Voluntary Partnership Agreements (VPAs) focus on forestry and functions at a bilateral state level. The FLEGT Action Plan specifically aims to tackle illegal logging and improve forest governance in countries exporting tropical timber to the EU. Since illegal logging is just one driver of forest degradation, and legalisation of logging does not necessarily reduce deforestation and forest degradation, the two instruments differ in scope. However, by addressing the causes of forest degradation and their underlying governance issues, the FLEGT VPAs and REDD+ share many functional linkages at higher levels of forest policy and forest governance. The contribution and participation of civil society organisations (CSOs) and other actors are imperative to both processes. Our study is based on a survey of key actors (national and international) in REDD+ and FLEGT VPA processes in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR). Our analysis was guided by the theoretical perspectives of the policy arrangement approach and examination of two specific dimensions of this approach, namely resources and rules of the game. This paper argues that participation of CSOs in both processes is crucial because it facilitates and nurtures much needed cooperation between other national and international actors. The paper concludes that participation of CSOs could bring valuable information and knowledge into REDD+ and FLEGT VPA processes, thus contributing to increased legitimacy, justice and transparency.
      PubDate: 2017-02-21
      DOI: 10.3390/f8020050
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 2 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 52: Soil Erosion Risk Assessment in Uganda

    • Authors: Fidele Karamage, Chi Zhang, Tong Liu, Andrew Maganda, Alain Isabwe
      First page: 52
      Abstract: Land use without adequate soil erosion control measures is continuously increasing the risk of soil erosion by water mainly in developing tropical countries. These countries are prone to environmental disturbance due to high population growth and high rainfall intensity. The aim of this study is to assess the state of soil erosion by water in Uganda at national and district levels, for various land cover and land use (LCLU) types, in protected areas as well to predict the impact of support practices on soil loss reduction. Predictions obtained using the Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE) model indicated that the mean rate of soil loss risk in Uganda’s erosion‐prone lands was 3.2 t∙ha−1∙y−1, resulting in a total annual soil loss of about 62 million tons in 2014. About 39% of the country’s erosion‐prone lands were comprised of unsustainable mean soil loss rates >1 t∙ha−1∙y−1. Out of 112 districts in Uganda, 66 districts were found to have unsustainable estimated soil loss rates >1 t∙ha−1∙y−1. Six districts in Uganda were found to have mean annual soil loss rates of >10 t∙ha−1∙y−1: Bududa (46.3 t∙ha−1∙y−1), Kasese (37.5 t∙ha−1∙y−1), Bundibugyo (28.9 t∙ha−1∙y−1), Bulambuli (20.9 t∙ha−1∙y−1), Sironko (14.6 t∙ha−1∙y−1) and Kotido (12.5 t∙ha−1∙y−1). Among the LCLU types, the highest soil loss rates of 11 t∙ha−1∙y−1 and 10.6 t∙ha−1∙y−1 were found in moderate natural forest and dense natural forest, respectively, mainly due to their locations in highland areas characterized by steep slopes ranging between 16% to 21% and their high rainfall intensity, ranging from 1255 mm∙y−1 to 1292 mm∙y−1. Only five protected areas in Uganda were found to have high mean estimated mean soil loss rates >10 t∙ha−1∙y−1: Rwenzori Mountains (142.94 t∙ha−1∙y−1), Mount Elgon (33.81 t∙ha−1∙y−1), Bokora corridor (12.13 t∙ha−1∙y−1), Matheniko (10.39 t∙ha−1∙y−1), and Nangolibwel (10.33 t∙ha−1∙y−1). To manage soil erosion in Uganda’s protected areas, there is an urgent need to control wildfires and human‐induced disturbances such as timber harvesting and soil compaction from domestic animals. Our study analysis revealed that well‐established terraces and strip‐cropping could significantly reduce soil loss rates in Uganda’s croplands by 80% (from 1.5 t∙ha−1∙y−1 to 0.3 t∙ha−1∙y−1) and by 47% (from 1.5 t∙ha−1∙y−1 to 0.8 t∙ha−1∙y−1), respectively, well below the sustainable soil erosion tolerance rate (1 t∙ha−1∙y−1) for land and water conservation.
      PubDate: 2017-02-22
      DOI: 10.3390/f8020052
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 2 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 20: Influence of Heartwood on Wood Density and Pulp
           Properties Explained by Machine Learning Techniques

    • Authors: Carla Iglesias, António Santos, Javier Martínez, Helena Pereira, Ofélia Anjos
      First page: 20
      Abstract: The aim of this work is to develop a tool to predict some pulp properties e.g., pulp yield, Kappa number, ISO brightness (ISO 2470:2008), fiber length and fiber width, using the sapwood and heartwood proportion in the raw-material. For this purpose, Acacia melanoxylon trees were collected from four sites in Portugal. Percentage of sapwood and heartwood, area and the stem eccentricity (in N-S and E-W directions) were measured on transversal stem sections of A. melanoxylon R. Br. The relative position of the samples with respect to the total tree height was also considered as an input variable. Different configurations were tested until the maximum correlation coefficient was achieved. A classical mathematical technique (multiple linear regression) and machine learning methods (classification and regression trees, multi-layer perceptron and support vector machines) were tested. Classification and regression trees (CART) was the most accurate model for the prediction of pulp ISO brightness (R = 0.85). The other parameters could be predicted with fair results (R = 0.64–0.75) by CART. Hence, the proportion of heartwood and sapwood is a relevant parameter for pulping and pulp properties, and should be taken as a quality trait when assessing a pulpwood resource.
      PubDate: 2017-01-06
      DOI: 10.3390/f8010020
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 1 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 21: Windthrow Detection in European Forests with
           Very High-Resolution Optical Data

    • Authors: Kathrin Einzmann, Markus Immitzer, Sebastian Böck, Oliver Bauer, Andreas Schmitt, Clement Atzberger
      First page: 21
      Abstract: With climate change, extreme storms are expected to occur more frequently. These storms can cause severe forest damage, provoking direct and indirect economic losses for forestry. To minimize economic losses, the windthrow areas need to be detected fast to prevent subsequent biotic damage, for example, related to beetle infestations. Remote sensing is an efficient tool with high potential to cost-efficiently map large storm affected regions. Storm Niklas hit South Germany in March 2015 and caused widespread forest cover loss. We present a two-step change detection approach applying commercial very high-resolution optical Earth Observation data to spot forest damage. First, an object-based bi-temporal change analysis is carried out to identify windthrow areas larger than 0.5 ha. For this purpose, a supervised Random Forest classifier is used, including a semi-automatic feature selection procedure; for image segmentation, the large-scale mean shift algorithm was chosen. Input features include spectral characteristics, texture, vegetation indices, layer combinations and spectral transformations. A hybrid-change detection approach at pixel-level subsequently identifies small groups of fallen trees, combining the most important features of the previous processing step with Spectral Angle Mapper and Multivariate Alteration Detection. The methodology was evaluated on two test sites in Bavaria with RapidEye data at 5 m pixel resolution. The results regarding windthrow areas larger than 0.5 ha were validated with reference data from field visits and acquired through orthophoto interpretation. For the two test sites, the novel object-based change detection approach identified over 90% of the windthrow areas (≥0.5 ha). The red edge channel was the most important for windthrow identification. Accuracy levels of the change detection at tree level could not be calculated, as it was not possible to collect field data for single trees, nor was it possible to perform an orthophoto validation. Nevertheless, the plausibility and applicability of the pixel-based approach is demonstrated on a second test site.
      PubDate: 2017-01-06
      DOI: 10.3390/f8010021
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 1 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 22: Spatial Genetic Structure within and among Seed
           Stands of Pinus engelmannii Carr. and Pinus leiophylla Schiede ex Schltdl.
           & Cham, in Durango, Mexico

    • Authors: María Ortiz-Olivas, José Hernández-Díaz, Matthias Fladung, Álvaro Cañadas-López, José Prieto-Ruíz, Christian Wehenkel
      First page: 22
      Abstract: Studies of spatial genetic structure (SGS) are important because they offer detailed insights into historical demographic and evolutionary processes and provide important information regarding species conservation and management. Pinus engelmannii and P. leiophylla var. leiophylla are two important timber tree species in Mexico, covering about 2.5 and 1.9 million hectares, respectively. However, studies in relation to population genetics are unfortunately scant. The aim of this research was to use amplified fragment length polymorphisms (AFLP) analysis to identify potential differences in spatial genetic structure within and among seven Pinus engelmannii and nine P. leiophylla var. leiophylla seed stands in Durango, Mexico. Within the 16 seed stands of the two tested pine species, no significant SGS was detected, although SGS was detected among the seed stands. We concluded that the collection of seed in only some seed stands should not significantly alter the degree of genetic differentiation within the (collected) seed. Distances between seed orchards and pollen propagators of more than 24 km for P. engelmannii and 7 km for P. leiophylla may be sufficient to limit contamination. Finally, local seeds should be used for (re)forestation.
      PubDate: 2017-01-10
      DOI: 10.3390/f8010022
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 1 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 23: Acknowledgement to Reviewers of Forests in 2016

    • Authors: Forests Editorial Office
      First page: 23
      Abstract: n/a
      PubDate: 2017-01-11
      DOI: 10.3390/f8010023
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 1 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 24: Spread of the Introduced Sitka Spruce (Picea
           sitchensis) in Coastal Norway

    • Authors: Per Nygaard, Bernt-Håvard Øyen
      First page: 24
      Abstract: Positive and negative effects on ecosystem services from plantation forestry in Europe have led to conflicts regarding non-native tree species. Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis (Bong.) Carr.) is the most common plantation species in northwest Europe, covering 1.3 Mha. In costal Norway, Sitka spruce was intentionally introduced and is currently occupying about 50,000 ha. Sitka spruce was blacklisted in Norway in 2012, mainly based on the risk for invasive spreading, but little quantitative documentation exists on spread. Here we quantify spread from plantations into abandoned heathland and pastures in thirteen sites where natural regeneration occurs. Spread distances and zero-square distributions related to the nearest edge of the parent stand were fitted by use of Weibull. The median expansion rate was 0.8 m·year−1 in north Norway and 4.4 m·year−1 in west Norway. The maximum establishment distance measured was 996 m. A peak in sapling density occurred within 50 m from the edge, and there was a general decrease in saplings with increasing distance. Conversely, increase in zero-squares percentages occurred with increasing distance. We argue that inclusion of abundance in assessing spread is necessary to define invasiveness. Based on spread models and prevailing forestry practices we recommend that the establishment of new Sitka spruce plantations within 200 m of protected areas should be avoided.
      PubDate: 2017-01-14
      DOI: 10.3390/f8010024
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 1 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 25: Using Fractal Analysis in Modeling the Dynamics
           of Forest Areas and Economic Impact Assessment: Maramureș County,
           Romania, as a Case Study

    • Authors: Radu-Daniel Pintilii, Ion Andronache, Daniel Diaconu, Răzvan Dobrea, Martina Zeleňáková, Rasmus Fensholt, Daniel Peptenatu, Cristian-Constantin Drăghici, Ana-Maria Ciobotaru
      First page: 25
      Abstract: This study uses fractal analysis to quantify the spatial changes of forest resources caused by an increase of deforested areas. The method introduced contributes to the evaluation of forest resources being under significant pressure from anthropogenic activities. The pressure on the forest resources has been analyzed for Maramureș County, one of the most deforested counties in Romania. In order to evaluate this, the deforested areas were calculated for the period of 2001–2014, by using the Global Forest Change 2000–2014 database. The Fractal Fragmentation Index (FFI) and Fixed Grid 2D Lacunarity (FG2DL) were used to quantify the degree of fragmentation and dispersion of the forested areas, and thereby the extent to which a forest area is affected by deforestation. The process of quantifying the pressure on forested areas included the creation of a database for the period of 2000–2014 containing economic activities (turnover) related to woody recourses, important indicators of forest exploitation. Taken together, the results obtained indicate a dramatic increase in deforested areas (over 19,122 ha in total for the period of analysis), in Maramureș County.
      PubDate: 2017-01-14
      DOI: 10.3390/f8010025
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 1 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 26: Patterns of Branch Growth and Death in Crowns
           of Sakhalin Spruce, Picea glehnii (F. Schmidt) Mast

    • Authors: Lei Chen, Akihiro Sumida
      First page: 26
      Abstract: The development of crown architecture strongly affects tree growth and survival. Growth and death of primary branches (those branching off from the main stem) and secondary branches (those from a primary branch) in the lowest part of the crown were investigated for Picea glehnii in an even-aged plantation. Probability of death of a primary branch decreased as the length between its basal location and the crown base (LCB) increased (p = 0.04), but this probability was not significantly related to the relative photosynthetic photon flux density (rPPFD) above the primary branch (p = 0.18). The probability of producing one or more current-year shoots on a primary branch increased with increasing rPPFD above the primary branch (p = 0.01); however, this probability was unrelated to LCB (p = 0.29). Secondary branches at the distal part of a primary branch produced more current-year shoots and exhibited a lower probability of death than proximal branches (p < 0.01), probably because rPPFD above the distal secondary branches was greater than the proximal branches (p < 0.01). Our results suggest that, while local light conditions are relevant to shoot production and shoot death on a primary branch, the death of an entire primary branch may be related to some morphological attributes concerning the length to the crown base.
      PubDate: 2017-01-15
      DOI: 10.3390/f8010026
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 1 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 27: The Use of Auxin Quantification for
           Understanding Clonal Tree Propagation

    • Authors: Carlos Stuepp, Ivar Wendling, Stephen Trueman, Henrique Koehler, Katia Zuffellato-Ribas
      First page: 27
      Abstract: Qualitative and quantitative hormone analyses have been essential for understanding the metabolic, physiological, and morphological processes that are influenced by plant hormones. Auxins are key hormones in the control of many aspects of plant growth and development and their endogenous levels are considered critical in the process of adventitious root induction. Exogenous auxins are used extensively in the clonal propagation of tree species by cuttings or tissue culture. Understanding of auxin effects has advanced with the development of increasingly accurate methods for auxin quantification. However, auxin analysis has been challenging because auxins typically occur at low concentrations, while compounds that interfere with their detection often occur at high concentrations, in plant tissues. Interference from other compounds has been addressed by extensive purification of plant extracts prior to auxin analysis, although this means that quantification methods have been limited by their expense. This review explores the extraction, purification, and quantification of auxins and the application of these techniques in developing improved methods for the clonal propagation of forestry trees.
      PubDate: 2017-01-17
      DOI: 10.3390/f8010027
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 1 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 28: Sampling Method and Tree-Age Affect Soil
           Organic C and N Contents in Larch Plantations

    • Authors: Huimei Wang, Wenjie Wang, Scott Chang
      First page: 28
      Abstract: We currently have a poor understanding of how different soil sampling methods (pedogenetic horizon versus fixed-depth) influence the evaluation of soil properties. Here, 159 soil profiles were sampled from larch (Larix gmelinii) plantations in northeast China using both the pedogenetic horizon and fixed-depth sampling methods. Analysis of variance was used to determine how sampling method influences the assessment of the spatial variation in the concentration and storage of soil organic C (SOC) and N (SON), as well as how these properties are affected by tree age-group (<20, 20–40, and >40 years). In both the 20 cm (surface) and 80 cm (whole profile) sampling depths, pedogenetic sampling resulted in 1.2- to 1.4-fold higher SOC and SON concentrations than fixed-depth sampling. Surface soil nutrient storage between the two sampling methods was not significantly different, but was it was 1.2-fold higher (p < 0.05) with pedogenetic sampling than with fixed-depth sampling in the whole soil profile. For a given error limit in SOC and SON assessments, fixed-depth sampling had a 60%~90% minimum sampling intensity requirement compared with pedogenetic horizon sampling. Additionally, SOC was 1.1- to 1.3-fold greater in the >40 years age-group than in the <20 years age-group (p < 0.05), while SON was the highest in the 20–40 years age-group (p < 0.05). The total amount of SOC and nutrients in soil is fixed regardless how you sample, it is the different assumptions and different ways of extrapolation from samples to the population that cause sampling by horizon versus fixed depth to lead to different conclusions. Our findings highlight that soil sampling method and tree age-group affect the determination of the spatial variation of SOC and SON and future soil assessments should control for methodological differences.
      PubDate: 2017-01-17
      DOI: 10.3390/f8010028
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 1 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 29: REDD+: Quick Assessment of Deforestation Risk
           Based on Available Data

    • Authors: Giulio Di Lallo, Philip Mundhenk, Sheila Zamora López, Marco Marchetti, Michael Köhl
      First page: 29
      Abstract: The evaluation of the future dynamics of deforestation is essential to creating the basis for the effective implementation of REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation) initiatives. Such evaluation is often a challenging task, especially for countries that have to cope with a critical lack of data and capacities, higher uncertainties, and competing interests. We present a new modeling approach that makes use of available and easily accessible data sources to predict the spatial location of future deforestation. This approach is based on the Random Forest algorithm, which is a machine learning technique that enables evidence-based, data-driven decisions and is therefore often used in decision-making processes. Our objective is to provide a straightforward modeling approach that, without requiring cost-intensive assessments, can be applied in the early stages of REDD+, for a stepwise implementation approach of REDD+ projects in regions with limited availability of data, capital, technical infrastructure, or human capacities. The presented model focuses on building business-as-usual scenarios to identify and rank potentially suitable areas for REDD+ interventions. For validation purposes we applied the model to data from Nicaragua.
      PubDate: 2017-01-22
      DOI: 10.3390/f8010029
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 1 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 1: Extensive Operating Experiments on the
           Conversion of Fuel-Bound Nitrogen into Nitrogen Oxides in the Combustion
           of Wood Fuel

    • Authors: Ladislav Dzurenda, Emília Hroncová, Juraj Ladomerský
      First page: 1
      Abstract: This paper presents a wide, targeted, operational experiment on the conversion of fuel-bound nitrogen to nitrogen oxides. The experiment was implemented by studying the production of energy in 16-grate boilers. The conversion factor was determined based on the nitrogen content in individual types of dendromass and on nitrogen oxide emissions in flue gases. In measuring emissions, 103 average values for the concentration of nitrous oxide were found. Every average value was set using three consecutive half-hour emission measurements. The specific thermal output of the boilers was 300 to 2500 kW. The nitrogen content in the deliberately selected dendromass was within a wide interval of Ndaf values between 0.04% and 1.26%. The dependence of the conversion factor, XNOx, upon the content of fuel-bound nitrogen is very accurately expressed by the power function.
      PubDate: 2016-12-22
      DOI: 10.3390/f8010001
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 1 (2016)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 2: Independent Effects of Invasive Shrubs and Deer
           Herbivory on Plant Community Dynamics

    • Authors: Jeffrey Ward, Scott Williams, Megan Linske
      First page: 2
      Abstract: Both invasive species and deer herbivory are recognized as locally important drivers of plant community dynamics. However, few studies have examined whether their effects are synergistic, additive, or antagonistic. At three study areas in southern New England, we examined the interaction of white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus Zimmermann) herbivory and three levels of invasive shrub control over seven growing seasons on the dynamics of nine herbaceous and shrub guilds. Although evidence of synergistic interactions was minimal, the separate effects of invasive shrub control and deer herbivory on plant community composition and dynamics were profound. Plant communities remained relatively unchanged where invasive shrubs were not treated, regardless if deer herbivory was excluded or not. With increasing intensity of invasive shrub control, native shrubs and forbs became more dominant where deer herbivory was excluded, and native graminoids became progressively more dominant where deer herbivory remained severe. While deer exclusion and intensive invasive shrub control increased native shrubs and forbs, it also increased invasive vines. Restoring native plant communities in areas with both established invasive shrub thickets and severe deer browsing will require an integrated management plan to eliminate recalcitrant invasive shrubs, reduce deer browsing intensity, and quickly treat other opportunistic invasive species.
      PubDate: 2016-12-22
      DOI: 10.3390/f8010002
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 1 (2016)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 3: Adaptive Variation and Introgression of a
           CONSTANS-Like Gene in North American Red Oaks

    • Authors: Jennifer Lind-Riehl, Oliver Gailing
      First page: 3
      Abstract: Oaks provide a model system to study maintenance of species identity by divergent selection since they maintain morphological differences and ecological adaptations despite interspecific hybridization. The genome of closely related interfertile oak species was shown to be largely homogeneous, with a few genomic areas exhibiting high interspecific differentiation possibly as result of strong divergent selection. Previously, a genic microsatellite was identified as under strong divergent selection, being nearly fixed on alternative alleles in the two interfertile North American red oak species: Quercus rubra L. and Quercus ellipsoidalis E.J. Hill. Further genotyping in two other red oak species—Quercus velutina Lam. and Quercus coccinea Münchh.—revealed a similar bias for the Q. ellipsoidalis-specific allele. To further elucidate the basis of this differentiation, we sequenced the microsatellite in individuals from all four red oak species. Sequence variability was observed in the microsatellite motif which encodes a poly-Q repeat in a COL gene involved in phenology and growth. Furthermore, in neighboring (parapatric) Q. rubra/Q. ellipsoidalis populations, introgression of the Q. ellipsoidalis-specific allele into Q. rubra occurred at a lower rate than introgression of the Q. rubra-specific allele into Q. ellipsoidalis despite symmetric interspecific gene flow, indicating potential adaptive introgression. Introgression of adaptive alleles can be an important mechanism for rapid adaptation to new environmental conditions (e.g., climate change).
      PubDate: 2016-12-22
      DOI: 10.3390/f8010003
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 1 (2016)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 4: Governing Cambodia’s Forests: The
           International Politics of Policy Reform. Edited by Andrew Cock, NIAS
           Press, 2016; 322 Pages. Price: Hardback $80; £50, ISBN 978-87-7694-166-6;
           Paperback $32; £19.99, ISBN 978-87-7694-167-3

    • Authors: Shu-Kun Lin
      First page: 4
      Abstract: n/a
      PubDate: 2016-12-22
      DOI: 10.3390/f8010004
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 1 (2016)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 5: Influence of Forest Harvest on Nitrate
           Concentration in Temperate Streams—A Meta-Analysis

    • Authors: Anne-Christine Mupepele, Carsten Dormann
      First page: 5
      Abstract: Forest harvest alters natural nutrient cycles, which is reflected in stream water run-off from harvested catchments. Nitrate is an essential nutrient for plant growth, but increased concentrations in rivers, lakes, and oceans have contributed to eutrophication and anoxic conditions. Based on a literature review, we assessed the impact of three different harvest methods—clearcut, patchcut, and selective harvest—on nitrate concentrations in temperate forest streams. In a meta-analysis, the influence of harvest methods and additional environmental variables was analysed. Nitrate concentrations are significantly influenced by harvest methods, forest composition, site altitude, and time passed after the harvesting. The remaining unexplained between-site variability is small compared to the between-site variability explained by the model, indicating the model’s validity. The effect of forest harvest is most pronounced in coniferous and deciduous forests, where clearcuts and patchcuts result in high nitrate run-off three to five years after harvest. Mixed forest plots can compensate for clearcut and patchcut, and do not show a significantly increased nitrate concentration after harvest. Selective harvest at low intensities succeeded in maintaining nitrate levels similar to control or pre-harvest levels in coniferous and mixed forests, and showed a positive but not significant trend in deciduous forests. Coniferous and deciduous monocultures clearly face the problem that nitrate wash-out cannot be minimized by reducing clearcut to patchcut harvest, whereas mixed forests are more suitable to diminish nitrate wash-out in both clearcut and patchcut.
      PubDate: 2016-12-22
      DOI: 10.3390/f8010005
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 1 (2016)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 6: Resource Limitations Influence Growth and Vigor
           of Idaho Fescue, a Common Understory Species in Pacific Northwest
           Ponderosa Pine Forests

    • Authors: Craig Carr, William Krueger
      First page: 6
      Abstract: Alterations in under-canopy resource availability associated with elevated ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa Dougl.) abundance can negatively influence understory vegetation. Experimental evidence linking under-canopy resource availability and understory vegetation is scarce. Yet this information would be beneficial in developing management strategies to recover desired understory species. We tested the effects of varying nitrogen (N) and light availability on Idaho fescue (Festuca idahoensis Elmer), the dominant understory species in ponderosa pine/Idaho fescue plant associations in eastern Oregon. In a greenhouse experiment, two levels of N (50 kg∙N∙ha−1 and 0 kg∙N∙ha−1) and shade (80% shade and 0% shade) were applied in a split-plot design to individual potted plants grown in soil collected from high abundance pine stands. Plants grown in unshaded conditions produced greater root (p = 0.0027) and shoot (p = 0.0017) biomass and higher cover values (p = 0.0378) compared to those in the shaded treatments. The addition of N had little effect on plant growth (p = 0.1602, 0.5129, and 0.0853 for shoot biomass, root biomass, and cover, respectively), suggesting that soils in high-density ponderosa pine stands that lack understory vegetation were not N deficient and Idaho fescue plants grown in these soils were not N limited. Management activities that increase under-canopy light availability will promote the conditions necessary for Idaho fescue recovery. However, successful restoration may be constrained by a lack of residual fescue or the invasion of more competitive understory vegetation.
      PubDate: 2016-12-22
      DOI: 10.3390/f8010006
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 1 (2016)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 7: Direct Measurement of Tree Height Provides
           Different Results on the Assessment of LiDAR Accuracy

    • Authors: Emanuele Sibona, Alessandro Vitali, Fabio Meloni, Lucia Caffo, Alberto Dotta, Emanuele Lingua, Renzo Motta, Matteo Garbarino
      First page: 7
      Abstract: In this study, airborne laser scanning-based and traditional field-based survey methods for tree heights estimation are assessed by using one hundred felled trees as a reference dataset. Comparisons between remote sensing and field-based methods were applied to four circular permanent plots located in the western Italian Alps and established within the Alpine Space project NewFor. Remote sensing (Airborne Laser Scanning, ALS), traditional field-based (indirect measurement, IND), and direct measurement of felled trees (DIR) methods were compared by using summary statistics, linear regression models, and variation partitioning. Our results show that tree height estimates by Airborne Laser Scanning (ALS) approximated to real heights (DIR) of felled trees. Considering the species separately, Larix decidua was the species that showed the smaller mean absolute difference (0.95 m) between remote sensing (ALS) and direct field (DIR) data, followed by Picea abies and Pinus sylvestris (1.13 m and 1.04 m, respectively). Our results cannot be generalized to ALS surveys with low pulses density (<5/m2) and with view angles far from zero (nadir). We observed that the tree heights estimation by laser scanner is closer to actual tree heights (DIR) than traditional field-based survey, and this was particularly valid for tall trees with conical shape crowns.
      PubDate: 2016-12-23
      DOI: 10.3390/f8010007
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 1 (2016)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 8: Effects of Repeated Growing Season Prescribed
           Fire on the Structure and Composition of Pine–Hardwood Forests in the
           Southeastern Piedmont, USA

    • Authors: Matthew Reilly, Kenneth Outcalt, Joseph O’Brien, Dale Wade
      First page: 8
      Abstract: We examined the effects of repeated growing season prescribed fire on the structure and composition of mixed pine–hardwood forests in the southeastern Piedmont region, Georgia, USA. Plots were burned two to four times over an eight-year period with low intensity surface fires during one of four six-week long periods from early April to mid-September. Density of saplings (0.25–11.6 cm diameter at breast height) was significantly reduced after one or two fires during the first four-year period. Sapling density declined with additional burning over the next four years, but density of mesic hardwoods including sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua) and red maple (Acer rubrum) remained relatively high (~865 stems ha−1). Repeated burning had little effect on density or basal area of trees (≥11.7 cm dbh) and changes in overstory structure were limited to small increases in the quadratic mean diameter of all trees and pines. We found little evidence to suggest differential effects on structure or composition due to timing of burn within the growing season. Although repeated growing season burning alters midstory structure and composition, burning alone is unlikely to result in immediate shifts in overstory composition or structure in mixed pine–hardwood forests of the southeastern Piedmont region.
      PubDate: 2016-12-26
      DOI: 10.3390/f8010008
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 1 (2016)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 9: Influence of Fuel Load Dynamics on Carbon
           Emission by Wildfires in the Clay Belt Boreal Landscape

    • Authors: Aurélie Terrier, Mathieu Paquette, Sylvie Gauthier, Martin Girardin, Sylvain Pelletier-Bergeron, Yves Bergeron
      First page: 9
      Abstract: Old-growth forests play a decisive role in preserving biodiversity and ecological functions. In an environment frequently disturbed by fire, the importance of old-growth forests as both a carbon stock as well as a source of emissions when burnt is not fully understood. Here, we report on carbon accumulation with time since the last fire (TSF) in the dominant forest types of the Clay Belt region in eastern North America. To do so, we performed a fuel inventory (tree biomass, herbs and shrubs, dead woody debris, and duff loads) along four chronosequences. Carbon emissions by fire through successional stages were simulated using the Canadian Fire Effects Model. Our results show that fuel accumulates with TSF, especially in coniferous forests. Potential carbon emissions were on average 11.9 t·ha−1 and 29.5 t·ha−1 for old-growth and young forests, respectively. In conclusion, maintaining old-growth forests in the Clay Belt landscape not only ensures a sustainable management of the boreal forest, but it also optimizes the carbon storage.
      PubDate: 2016-12-24
      DOI: 10.3390/f8010009
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 1 (2016)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 10: Buffer-Mediated Effects of Clearcutting on
           In-Pool Amphibian Productivity: Can Aquatic Processes Compensate for
           Terrestrial Habitat Disturbance?

    • Authors: Jessica Veysey Powell, Kimberly Babbitt
      First page: 10
      Abstract: Natural resource extraction and wildlife conservation are often perceived as incompatible. For wetland-dependent amphibians, forested buffers may mitigate timber-harvest impacts, but little empirical research has focused on buffers around lentic habitats. We conducted a landscape experiment to examine how spotted salamander and wood frog reproductive output (i.e., eggmass and metamorph production) respond to clearcutting mediated by buffers of different widths (i.e., uncut, 30 m buffer, 100 m buffer) at ephemeral pools in an industrial forest. We found complex interactions between buffer treatment and reproductive output, which were strongly mediated by hydroperiod. Overall, reproductive output was most sensitive at 30 m-buffer pools and for salamanders, but responses diverged across productivity metrics even within these categories. Notably, for both cut treatments over time, while salamander eggmass abundance decreased, metamorph productivity (i.e., snout-vent length [SVL] and abundance) tended to increase. For example, average metamorph SVLs were predicted to lengthen between 0.2 and 0.4 mm per year post-cut. Additionally, typical relationships between reproductive output and hydroperiod (as indicated by the reference treatment) were disrupted for both species in both cut treatments. For example, long-hydroperiod pools produced more salamander metamorphs than short-hydroperiod pools in both the reference and 30 m-buffer treatments, but the rate of increase was lower in the 30 m-buffer treatment such that a long-hydroperiod pool in the reference treatment was predicted to produce, on average, 24 more metamorphs than a similar pool in the 30 m-buffer treatment. From a conservation perspective, our results highlight the importance of evaluating both terrestrial and aquatic responses to terrestrial habitat disturbance, since responses may be reinforcing (i.e., exert similarly positive or negative effects, with the potential for amplification in the aquatic habitat) or decoupled (i.e., operate independently or be negatively correlated, with responses in the aquatic habitat potentially dampening or counteracting responses in the terrestrial habitat).
      PubDate: 2016-12-24
      DOI: 10.3390/f8010010
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 1 (2016)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 11: Using REDD+ Policy to Facilitate Climate
           Adaptation at the Local Level: Synergies and Challenges in Vietnam

    • Authors: Pamela McElwee, Van Thi Nguyen, Dung Nguyen, Nghi Tran, Hue Le, Tuyen Nghiem, Huong Thi Vu
      First page: 11
      Abstract: Attention has recently been paid to how REDD+ mitigation policies are integrated into other sectoral policies, particularly those dealing with climate adaptation at the national level. But there is less understanding of how subnational policy and local projects are able to incorporate attention to adaptation; therefore, we use a case study in Vietnam to discuss how REDD+ projects and policies address both concerns of mitigation and adaptation together at subnational levels. Through stakeholder interviews, focus groups, and household surveys in three provinces of Vietnam with REDD+ activities, our research sought to understand if REDD+ policies and projects on the ground acknowledge that climate change is likely to impact forests and forest users; if this knowledge is built into REDD+ policy and activities; how households in forested areas subject to REDD+ policy are vulnerable to climate change; and how REDD+ activities can help or hinder needed adaptations. Our findings indicate that there continues to be a lack of coordination between mitigation and adaptation policies in Vietnam, particularly with regard to REDD+. Policies for forest-based climate mitigation at the national and subnational level, as well as site-based projects, have paid little attention to the adaptation needs of local communities, many of whom are already suffering from noticeable weather changes in their localities, and there is insufficient discussion of how REDD+ activities could facilitate increased resilience. While there were some implicit and coincidental adaptation benefits of some REDD+ activities, most studied projects and policies did not explicitly target their activities to focus on adaptation or resilience, and in at least one case, negative livelihood impacts that have increased household vulnerability to climate change were documented. Key barriers to integration were identified, such as sectoral specialization; a lack of attention in REDD+ projects to livelihoods; and inadequate support for ecosystem-based adaptation.
      PubDate: 2016-12-24
      DOI: 10.3390/f8010011
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 1 (2016)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 12: Clearcutting and Site Preparation, but Not
           Planting, Promoted Early Tree Regeneration in Boreal Alaska

    • Authors: Miho Morimoto, Glenn Juday, Brian Young
      First page: 12
      Abstract: The stand initiation stage decisively influences future forest structure and composition, particularly in the boreal forest which is a stand replacement disturbance driven system. In boreal Alaska, the conventional forest management paradigm has focused on the production of large-dimension timber, particularly white spruce (Picea glauca). However, energy generation and heating from wood is increasing, and is likely to significantly expand total forest harvest, further shifting management focus to fuelwood production. We evaluated the effects of forest harvest management practices on post-harvest regeneration by examining whether harvest type, site preparation method, and reforestation technique resulted in differences in forest regeneration in terms of species presence, dominance, basal area, and total stem biomass using a stochastic gradient boosting (TreeNet algorithm). We recorded diameter at breast height and height of white spruce, birch (Betula neoalaskana), and aspen (Populus tremuloides) in 726 plots from 30 harvest units, distributed across the various harvest and treatment types, harvest years, harvest sizes, and geographical locations. Our results indicate that management practices suitable/acceptable for woody biomass production differ from the more traditional dimensional timber production from white spruce-focused management. Artificial reforestation does not differ from natural regeneration in obtaining more stems or producing greater biomass. Clearcutting and site preparation increased tree regeneration, basal area, and woody biomass when compared to a partial harvest with no site preparation. Planting of white spruce in the Alaskan boreal forest may only be necessary in some specific circumstances, such as years with no/low white spruce seed crop, or in landscapes depleted of seed trees.
      PubDate: 2016-12-25
      DOI: 10.3390/f8010012
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 1 (2016)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 13: Analysing Atmospheric Processes and Climatic
           Drivers of Tree Defoliation to Determine Forest Vulnerability to Climate
           Warming

    • Authors: Raúl Sánchez-Salguero, J. Camarero, José Grau, Ana de la Cruz, Paula Gil, Mayte Minaya, Ángel Fernández-Cancio
      First page: 13
      Abstract: Crown defoliation is extensively monitored across European forests within the International Co-operative Programme (ICP) as a proxy of forest health. Climate warming and drought are assumed to be the major drivers of tree growth and crown defoliation, particularly in seasonally dry areas such as the Mediterranean Basin. Here we analyse how climate, drought, and atmospheric processes are related to defoliation time series of five oak and five pine species that are dominant across Spanish ICP monitoring forest plots. We found that warmer and drier conditions during April were linked to enhanced defoliation. Warm April conditions were also related to high values of the Atlantic Multi-decadal Oscillation (AMO), thereby indicating large-scale links between atmospheric processes, temperature, and defoliation patterns. The temperature-defoliation association was species-specific since some tree species from wet sites showed a weak association (e.g., Quercus robur L.) whereas others from dry sites (e.g., Quercus ilex L.) presented the strongest associations. The latter tree species could be considered vulnerable to heat stress in terms of leaf shedding. We also explored if defoliation was related to radial growth and found negative associations in relatively dry areas. Warmer and drier conditions linked to increasing AMO values are connected to the post-1990s rise of defoliation in Spanish ICP forest plots. Combined incorporation of defoliation and growth into mortality models can provide insights into assessments of forest vulnerability.
      PubDate: 2016-12-26
      DOI: 10.3390/f8010013
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 1 (2016)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 14: Does the ‘One Map Initiative’ Represent a
           New Path for Forest Mapping in Indonesia? Assessing the Contribution of
           the REDD+ Initiative in Effecting Forest Governance Reform

    • Authors: Mari Mulyani, Paul Jepson
      First page: 14
      Abstract: This study investigates one notable result that the REDD+ (‘Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation, and enhancing forest carbon stocks and conservation’) initiative effected within Indonesia’s forest institutions. It argues that during its interplay with existing National forest institutions REDD+ produced a significant benefit; namely, the ‘one map initiative’ (OMI) being the government’s response to the call for greater transparency and enabling of REDD+ implementation. It asks: “Does the ‘One Map Initiative’ signify a switch to a new path of map-making, or is it just another innovation within an existing path dependence of forest governance?” Through eighty semi-structured interviews with ‘REDD+ policy actors’ and the deployment of ‘path dependence’ theory, this study seeks to determine the extent to which the REDD+ initiative created a ‘critical juncture’ (i.e., momentum for institutions to move to a new path). This study maps the institutional path dependence within forest-mapping as a means for the state to gain control of forest resources. In its development process the OMI has shown its ability to break the old path-dependence of map-making (e.g., lack of transparency, low level of public participation, and poor coordination amongst ministries). Moreover, this paper identified several historical events (i.e., ‘critical junctures’) that preceded the REDD+ initiative as contributing factors to the relative success of REDD+ in effecting forest governance reform.
      PubDate: 2016-12-27
      DOI: 10.3390/f8010014
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 1 (2016)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 15: Differentiation of Alternate Harvesting
           Practices Using Annual Time Series of Landsat Data

    • Authors: Lukas Jarron, Txomin Hermosilla, Nicholas Coops, Michael Wulder, Joanne White, Geordie Hobart, Donald Leckie
      First page: 15
      Abstract: Sustainable forest management practices allow for a range of harvest prescriptions, including clearcut, clearcut with residual, and partial or selective cutting, which are largely distinguished by the amount of canopy cover removed. The different prescriptions are aimed to emulate natural disturbance, encourage regeneration (seed trees), or offer other ecosystem services, such as the maintenance of local biodiversity or habitat features. Using remotely sensed data, stand-replacing disturbance associated with clearcutting is commonly accurately detected. Novel time series-based change detection products offer an opportunity to determine the capacity to detect and label a wider range of harvest practices. In this research, we demonstrate the capacity of time series imagery, spectral metrics, and related attributed change products, to distinguish between different harvesting practices over a study area in central British Columbia, Canada. Producer’s accuracy of harvest attribution was 79%, with 93% of harvest blocks >5 ha accurately identified. In relation to the amount of canopy cover removed, clearcut harvesting was the most accurately classified (84%), followed by clearcut with residual (79%), and partial cut (64%). Applying detailed spectral metrics derived from Landsat data revealed clearcut and partial cuts to be spectrally distinct. The annual nature of the Landsat time series also offers spatial harvest information within typical, often decadal, forest inventory update cycles. The statistically significant (p < 0.05) relationship between harvest practices and Landsat spectral information indicates a capacity to add increased attribution richness to remote sensing depictions of forest harvest.
      PubDate: 2016-12-28
      DOI: 10.3390/f8010015
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 1 (2016)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 16: Pre-logging Treatment of Invasive Glossy
           Buckthorn (Frangula alnus Mill.) Promotes Regeneration of Eastern White
           Pine (Pinus strobus L.)

    • Authors: Thomas Lee, Stephen Eisenhaure, Ian Gaudreau
      First page: 16
      Abstract: Non-native glossy buckthorn (Frangula alnus Mill.) is invasive in forests of the northeastern USA but little is known of its effects on tree regeneration. We tested whether killing buckthorn stems before logging reduces its post-logging abundance and increases the density and height of eastern white pine (Pinus strobus L.) seedlings. Three 0.4 ha plots were clearcut, three were thinned, and three were left as controls. Each plot had previously been divided into three subplots that received different buckthorn treatments during the two years before logging. Buckthorn treatments were (1) stems cut at base five times; (2) stems cut once then heat killed four times; (3) untreated control. Three years post-logging, buckthorn density and stem height were unaffected by logging but equally reduced by the two buckthorn treatments. Buckthorn reduction increased density and height of pine seedlings, and seedling height also increased with logging. In the fifth year post-logging, pine height growth and biomass were greater in clearcut than in thinned treatments, greater in areas of buckthorn removal and, within treated subplots, greater in areas with low buckthorn density than in thickets of recovering buckthorn. Thus, although buckthorn inhibited regenerating pine, pre-logging destruction of buckthorn stems reduced such competition for at least four years.
      PubDate: 2016-12-29
      DOI: 10.3390/f8010016
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 1 (2016)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 17: Evolving Protected-Area Impacts in Mexico:
           Political Shifts as Suggested by Impact Evaluations

    • Authors: Alexander Pfaff, Francisco Santiago-Ávila, Lucas Joppa
      First page: 17
      Abstract: For protected areas (PAs), variation in forest impacts over space—including types of PA—are increasingly well documented, while shifts in impacts over time receive less attention. For Mexico, in the 1990s, PAs effectively were ‘paper parks’. Thus, achieving impacts on the forest would require shifts over time in the politics of PA siting and PA implementation. We rigorously analyze the impacts of Mexican PAs on 2000–2005 loss of natural land cover, using matching to reduce location bias caused by typical land-use economics and politics. We find a 3.2% lower loss, on average, due to PAs. Since politics often vary by type of PA, we also show that in Mexico stricter PAs are closer to cities and have greater impact than mixed-use PAs. These shifts in impacts suggest some potential for PAs to conserve forests.
      PubDate: 2016-12-29
      DOI: 10.3390/f8010017
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 1 (2016)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 18: Emerging Needle Blight Diseases in Atlantic
           Pinus Ecosystems of Spain

    • Authors: Esther Ortíz de Urbina, Nebai Mesanza, Ana Aragonés, Rosa Raposo, Margarita Elvira-Recuenco, Ricard Boqué, Cheryl Patten, Jenny Aitken, Eugenia Iturritxa
      First page: 18
      Abstract: Red band needle blight caused by Dothistroma septosporum and D. pini, and brown spot needle blight caused by Lecanosticta acicola provoke severe and premature defoliation in Pinus, and subsequent reduction of photosynthetic surfaces, vitality, and growth in young and adult trees. The recurrent damage results in branch and tree death. Until recently, pine needle blight diseases have had only minor impacts on native and exotic forest trees in the North of Spain, but in the past five years, these pathogen species have spread widely and caused severe defoliation and mortality in exotic and native plantations of Pinus in locations where they were not detected before. In an attempt to understand the main causes of this outbreak and to define the effectiveness of owners’ management strategies, four research actions were implemented: a survey of the management activities implemented by the owners to reduce disease impact, the evaluation of specific symptoms and damage associated with infection, and the identification of the causative pathogenic species and their reproductive capacity. Morphological characteristics of the fungus and molecular identification were consistent with those of Lecanosticta acicola and Dothistroma spp., D. septosporum, D. Pini, and both mating types were present for the three identified pathogens. The local silvicultural management performed, mainly pruning and thinning, was not resulting in the expected improvement. The results of this study can be applied to establish guidelines for monitoring and controlling the spread of needle blight pathogens.
      PubDate: 2016-12-29
      DOI: 10.3390/f8010018
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 1 (2016)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 19: Phosphorus in Preferential Flow Pathways of
           Forest Soils in Germany

    • Authors: Dorit Julich, Stefan Julich, Karl-Heinz Feger
      First page: 19
      Abstract: The transport of nutrients in forest soils predominantly occurs along preferential flow pathways (PFP). This study investigated the composition of phosphorus (P) forms in PFPs and soil matrix in several temperate beech forests with contrasting soil P contents in Germany. The PFPs were visualized using dye tracer experiments. Stained and unstained soil was sampled from three profile cuts per plot and analyzed for P fractions. The results show that labile P concentrations were highest in the O-layer and had the same range of values at all sites (240–320 mg·kg−1), although total P (TP) differed considerably (530–2330 mg·kg−1). The ratio of labile P to TP was significantly lower in the P-rich soil compared to the medium and P-poor soils. By contrast, the ratio of moderately labile P to TP was highest at the P-rich site. The shifts in P fractions with soil depth were generally gradual in the P-rich soil, but more abrupt at the others. The contents of labile and moderately labile P clearly differed in PFPs compared to soil matrix, but not statistically significant. The studied soils are characterized by high stone contents with low potential for P sorption. However, indications were found that labile organically bound P accumulates in PFPs such as biopores.
      PubDate: 2016-12-30
      DOI: 10.3390/f8010019
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 1 (2016)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 314: Lessons from Research for Sustainable
           Development and Conservation in Borneo

    • Authors: William Laurance
      First page: 314
      Abstract: I present a brief synopsis of six key lessons provided by research on forest ecology and conservation, focusing particularly on the Malaysian state of Sabah in northeastern Borneo. These lessons are generalizable to other contexts, especially for tropical developing nations, where surviving forests are under growing pressures from a range of human activities.
      PubDate: 2016-12-11
      DOI: 10.3390/f7120314
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 12 (2016)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 315: Multiple Patterns of Forest Disturbance and
           Logging Shape Forest Landscapes in Paragominas, Brazil

    • Authors: Isabelle Tritsch, Plinio Sist, Igor Narvaes, Lucas Mazzei, Lilian Blanc, Clément Bourgoin, Guillaume Cornu, Valery Gond
      First page: 315
      Abstract: In the Brazilian Amazon, multiple logging activities are undergoing, involving different actors and interests. They shape a disturbance gradient bound to the intensity and frequency of logging, and forest management techniques. However, until now, few studies have been carried out at the landscape scale taking into account these multiple types of logging and this disturbance gradient. Here we address this issue of how to account for the multiple logging activities shaping the current forest landscape. We developed an inexpensive and efficient remote sensing methodology based on Landsat imagery to detect and track logging activity based on the monitoring of canopy openings. Then, we implemented a set of remote sensing indicators to follow the different trajectories of forest disturbance through time. Using these indicators, we emphasized five major spatial and temporal disturbance patterns occurring in the municipality of Paragominas (State of Pará, Brazilian Amazon), from well-managed forests to highly over-logged forests. Our disturbance indicators provide observable evidence for the difference between legal and illegal patterns, with some illegal areas having suffered more than three explorations in fifteen years. They also clearly underlined the efficiency of Reduced Impact Logging (RIL) techniques applied under Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) guidelines to reduce the logging impacts in terms of canopy openings. For these reasons, we argue the need to promote legal certified logging to conserve forests, as without them, many actors mine the forest resources without any concerns for future stocks. Finally, our remote tracking methodology, which produces easy to interpret disturbance indicators, could be a real boon to forest managers, including for conservationists working in protected areas and stakeholders dealing with international trade rules such as RBUE (Wood regulation of European Union) or FLEGT (Forest Law for Enforcement, Governance and Trade).
      PubDate: 2016-12-13
      DOI: 10.3390/f7120315
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 12 (2016)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 316: Effects of Different Ectomycorrhizal Fungal
           Inoculates on the Growth of Pinus tabulaeformis Seedlings under Greenhouse
           Conditions

    • Authors: Nan Lu, Meng Yu, Ming Cui, Zijing Luo, Yue Feng, Sen Cao, Yuhan Sun, Yun Li
      First page: 316
      Abstract: The tree species Pinus tabulaeformis Carr. (P. tabulaeformis) is commonly planted in China due to its economic and ecological value. In order to identify one or more ectomycorrhizal (ECM) fungal species for future P. tabulaeformis afforestation, we investigated the effects of five ECM fungal species: Laccaria laccata, Boletus edulis, Gomphidius viscidus, Suillus grevillei, and Suillus luteus on the growth of P. tabulaeformis seedlings under greenhouse conditions. The growth parameters of P. tabulaeformis seedlings were evaluated 90 days following fungal colonisation. The majority of seedlings were significantly affected by ECM inoculation. Mycorrhizal inoculated seedlings were taller, had more lateral roots, and a greater biomass compared with the non-mycorrhizal (CK) seedlings. With the exception of G. viscidus, inoculated seedlings exhibited higher phosphorus, potassium, and nitrogen content compared with the CK seedlings. In addition, ECM colonisation increased the enzymatic activity of catalase, acidic phosphatase, protease, and the urease content in the rhizosphere soil. Our study showed that Laccaria laccata, Suillus grevillei, and Suillus luteus may be useful for improving the growth and cultivation of P. tabulaeformis seedlings. Furthermore, we observed that S. luteus inoculation increased the gas exchange parameters of P. tabulaeformis seedlings under field conditions.
      PubDate: 2016-12-14
      DOI: 10.3390/f7120316
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 12 (2016)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 317: Global Ecological Signpost, Local Reality: The
           Moraballi Creek Studies in Guyana and What Happened Afterwards

    • Authors: Janette Bulkan, John Palmer
      First page: 317
      Abstract: There is a common assumption that when sustainable forest management (SFM) is not practised the reasons are usually a lack of knowledge or lack of training in applying those techniques. We trace the intermittent development of techniques for SFM in the tropical rainforest of Guyana (South America), beginning with the classical observational ecology at Moraballi Creek in 1929. We reference the deliberate lack of application of SFM in spite of access to science-based information and repeated training. In this country, a precarious political democracy is destabilised by the gigantic profits from illegal logging and log trading which support corruption in the sector and generally across regulatory systems. The highest rate of graduate emigration in the world contributes to the difficulty of creating the core of moral leadership required to rise above the local tradition of under-the-table negotiation in place of the rule of law.
      PubDate: 2016-12-15
      DOI: 10.3390/f7120317
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 12 (2016)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 318: Identification and Target Prediction of
           MicroRNAs in Ulmus pumila L. Seedling Roots under Salt Stress by
           High-Throughput Sequencing

    • Authors: Jianfeng Zhu, Xiuyan Yang, Zhengxiang Liu, Huaxin Zhang
      First page: 318
      Abstract: MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a class of endogenous small RNAs with important roles in plant growth, development, and environmental stress responses. Ulmus pumila L., a deciduous broadleaved tree species of northern temperate regions, is widely distributed in central and northern Asia and has important economic and ecological value. With the spread and aggravation of soil salinization, salt stress has become a major abiotic stress affecting the normal growth and development of U. pumila. However, the influence of salt stress on U. pumila miRNA expression has not been investigated. To identify miRNAs and predict their target mRNA genes under salt stress, three small RNA libraries were generated and sequenced from roots of U. pumila seedlings treated with various concentrations of NaCl corresponding to no salt stress, light short-term salt stress, and medium-heavy long-term salt stress. Integrative analysis identified 254 conserved miRNAs representing 29 families and 49 novel miRNAs; 232 potential targets of the miRNAs were also predicted. Expression profiling of miRNAs between libraries was performed, and the expression of six miRNAs was validated by quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR). Our findings provide an overview of potential miRNAs and corresponding targets involved in regulating U. pumila salt defense responses. These results lay the foundation for further research into molecular mechanisms involved in salt stress resistance in U. pumila and other Ulmaceae species.
      PubDate: 2016-12-20
      DOI: 10.3390/f7120318
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 12 (2016)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 319: Effect of Timber Harvest Intensities and
           Fertilizer Application on Stocks of Soil C, N, P, and S

    • Authors: Marcella Menegale, Jose Rocha, Robert Harrison, Jose Goncalves, Rodrigo Almeida, Marisa Piccolo, Ayeska Hubner, Jose Arthur Junior, Alexandre de Vicente Ferraz, Jason James, Stephani Michelsen-Correa
      First page: 319
      Abstract: The purpose of this study was to determine the stocks of available P and S, total N, and oxidizable C at depth in an Oxisol cultivated with Eucalyptus in Brazil following different timber harvest intensities and fertilizer application over 12 years. The harvest regimes considered were (i) conventional stem-only harvest (all forest residues were maintained on the soil); (ii) whole-tree harvest (only litter was maintained on the soil—all slash, stemwood, and bark were removed); and (iii) whole-tree harvest + litter layer removal. The site was planted in 2004 considering three timber harvest intensities, some with and some without N and P fertilization. In 2012 the experiment was reinstalled, and all the treatments were reapplied in the each plot. From 2004 to 2016, nutrient accumulation and soil N, P, and S stocks were assessed in the 0–20 cm layer. Also in 2016, soil N, P, S, and oxidizable C stocks were measured to 2 m depth. For each treatment, the net balance of N, P, and S were calculated from soil stocks and harvest outputs during two forest rotations. A reduction in all nutrient stocks was observed in the 0–20 cm layer for all treatments. For N, this reduction was 20% smaller in the stem-only harvest treatment and 40% higher when no N fertilizer was applied, when compared to other treatments. Stem-only harvest treatment was observed to reduce the loss of N, P, and S due to harvest by 300, 30, and 25 kg·ha−1, respectively, when compared to the whole-tree harvest + litter layer removal treatment.
      PubDate: 2016-12-21
      DOI: 10.3390/f7120319
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 12 (2016)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 320: SOM and Biomass C Stocks in Degraded and
           Undisturbed Andean and Coastal Nothofagus Forests of Southwestern South
           America

    • Authors: Francis Dube, Neal Stolpe
      First page: 320
      Abstract: Grazing and over-exploitation can severely degrade soil in native forests. Considering that productivity in ecosystems is related to soil organic matter (SOM) content and quality, the objectives of this study were to: (1) determine the influence of degraded (DEF), partly-degraded (PDF), and undisturbed (UNF) Nothofagus forests on the stocks of carbon (C) in tree biomass and SOM; (2) evaluate fractions of SOM as indicators of sustainable management; and (3) use the Century model to determine the potential gains of soil organic C (SOC). The forests are located in the Andes and Coastal mountains of southern Chile. The SOM was fractionated to separate the light fraction (LF), macroaggregates (>212 µm), mesoaggregates (212–53 µm), and microaggregates (<53 µm). In two measurement periods, the SOC stocks at 0–20 cm and 20–40 cm depths in macroaggregates were on average 100% higher in the Andean UNF, and SOC was over twice as much at 20–40 cm depth in Andean DEF. Century simulations showed that improved silvopastoral management would gradually increase total SOC in degraded soils of both sites, especially the Ultisol with a 15% increase between 2016 and 2216 (vs. 7% in the Andisol). Greater SOC in macroaggregates (p < 0.05) of UNF indicate a condition of higher sustainability and better management over the years.
      PubDate: 2016-12-20
      DOI: 10.3390/f7120320
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 12 (2016)
       
 
 
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