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

FORESTS AND FORESTRY (109 journals)                     

Showing 1 - 12 of 12 Journals sorted alphabetically
Acta Silvatica et Lignaria Hungarica     Open Access  
Advance in Forestry Research     Open Access   (Followers: 4)
Advances in Forestry Letters     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Advances in Forestry Science     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Agrociencia     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Agroforestry Systems     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 20)
Annals of Forest Research     Open Access  
Annals of Forest Science     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4)
Annals of Silvicultural Research     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Appita Journal: Journal of the Technical Association of the Australian and New Zealand Pulp and Paper Industry     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 7)
Arboricultural Journal : The International Journal of Urban Forestry     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 7)
Arboriculture and Urban Forestry     Partially Free   (Followers: 7)
Australian Forest Grower     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
Australian Forestry     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Balduinia     Open Access  
Banko Janakari     Open Access  
Bosque     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Bulletin of University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine Cluj-Napoca. Horticulture     Open Access  
Canadian Journal of Forest Research     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  
iForest : Biogeosciences and Forestry     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Indonesian Journal of Forestry Research     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
INNOTEC : Revista del Laboratorio Tecnológico del Uruguay     Open Access  
International Forestry Review     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 7)
International Journal of Agriculture and Forestry     Open Access   (Followers: 8)
International Journal of Forest Engineering     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 1)
International Journal of 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: 5)
Journal of Natural Resources Policy Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 13)
Journal of Research in Forestry, Wildlife and Environment     Open Access   (Followers: 4)
Journal of Sustainable Forestry     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 7)
Journal of the Faculty of Forestry Istanbul University     Open Access  
Journal of Tropical Forestry and Environment     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Journal of Wood Chemistry and Technology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 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: 18)
Lesnícky časopis     Open Access  
Maderas. Ciencia y tecnología     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Mathematical and Computational Forestry & Natural-Resource Sciences     Free  
Natural Areas Journal     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 12)
New Forests     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2)
New Zealand Journal of Forestry Science     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Open Journal of Forestry     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Plant Science Bulletin     Free   (Followers: 9)
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 95: Mixed-Species Effects on Soil C and N Stocks,
           C/N Ratio and pH Using a Transboundary Approach in Adjacent Common Garden
           Douglas-Fir and Beech Stands

    • Authors: Seid Dawud, Lars Vesterdal, Karsten Raulund-Rasmussen
      First page: 95
      Abstract: Mixed forest of Douglas-fir and beech has been suggested as one of the possible future forest types in Northwest Europe but the effects of this mixed forest on soil properties relative to monoculture stands are unknown. In a transboundary investigation of adjacent common garden Douglas-fir and beech stands, we determined the effects on topsoil properties. However, responses of C and N stocks, the C/N ratio and pH were site- and soil layer-specific and were mainly single-sided and without synergistic effects. Beech reduced the soil C and N stocks in Douglas-fir at the nutrient-poor site, caused an increase in the C/N ratio in the forest floor and mineral soil at both nutrient-poor and -rich sites, and reduced the acidifying effect of Douglas-fir at the nutrient-poor site. These results do not support the hypothesis that mixture effects would be consistent across sites and soil layers. The lack of synergistic effects may be attributed to the relatively similar litter quality or rooting depth that prevented any larger niche differentiation and complementarity. The results indicate that the transboundary approach within a mature common garden proved useful as a platform to test tree species interactions, and this approach could be explored in soil studies until dedicated mixed-species common gardens reach maturity.
      PubDate: 2017-03-23
      DOI: 10.3390/f8040095
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 4 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 96: Multiple Trait Selection Index for Simultaneous
           Improvement of Wood Properties and Growth Traits in Pinus kesiya Royle ex
           Gordon in Malawi

    • Authors: Edward Missanjo, Junji Matsumura
      First page: 96
      Abstract: Tree breeders face the problem of negative correlations between wood properties and growth traits. It is necessary to overcome this difficulty in order to obtain promising genotypes. The selection index is one of the helpful tools in this process, because it allows multiple features of interest to be selected. In this study, a multiple trait selection index for Khasi pine (Pinus kesiya Royle ex Gordon) grown in Malawi was developed. Data on wood properties and growth traits were collected from six families of P. kesiya at the age of 30 years. The breeding objective was defined in terms of wood stiffness, wood strength and volume. Selection traits included in the index were wood stiffness (MoE), wood strength (MoR), volume (Vol.), wood density (WD), and diameter at breast height (DBH). The index was termed as I T = − 80.36 M o E − 14.60 M o R + 132.07 V o l . + 4858.09 W D − 7.56 D B H . The accuracy of the index was 98.8% and the correlation between the index and the aggregate breeding objective was 0.994. A genetic gain of 16.7% for volume, 14.8% for wood stiffness and 13.2% for wood strength would be expected from a standardized 10% selection intensity. Therefore, application of the developed selection index is necessary in order to increase the efficiency of the Pinus kesiya breeding programme in Malawi.
      PubDate: 2017-03-25
      DOI: 10.3390/f8040096
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 4 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 97: Arthropod Diversity and Functional Importance
           in Old-Growth Forests of North America

    • Authors: Timothy Schowalter
      First page: 97
      Abstract: Old-growth forests have become rare in North America but provide habitat for unique assemblages of species that often are rare in younger forests. Insects and related arthropods reach their highest diversity in old-growth forests because of their stable moderate temperature and relative humidity and the rich variety of resources represented by high plant species richness and structural complexity. Old-growth arthropod assemblages typically are distinct from those in younger, managed forests. Major subcommunities include the arboreal community that is composed of a rich assemblage of herbivores, fungivores, and their associated predators and parasitoids that function to regulate primary production and nutrient fluxes, the stem zone community that includes bark- and wood-boring species and their associated predators and parasitoids that initiate the decomposition of coarse woody debris, and the forest floor community composed of a variety of detritivores, fungivores, burrowers, and their associated predators and parasitoids that are instrumental in litter decomposition. Insect outbreaks are relatively rare in old-growth forests, where the diversity of resources and predators limit population growth. In turn, insects contribute to plant diversity and limit primary production of host plant species, thereby promoting development of old-growth forest characteristics. Arthropods also provide important functions in decomposition and nutrient cycling that may be lost in younger, managed forests with limited provision of coarse woody debris and accumulated litter. Protection of remnant old-growth forests within the forest matrix may be particularly valuable for maintaining the diversity of plant and arthropod predators that can minimize outbreaks, thereby contributing to resilience to changing environmental conditions.
      PubDate: 2017-03-25
      DOI: 10.3390/f8040097
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 4 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 98: How Similar Are Forest Disturbance Maps Derived
           from Different Landsat Time Series Algorithms?

    • Authors: Warren Cohen, Sean Healey, Zhiqiang Yang, Stephen Stehman, C. Brewer, Evan Brooks, Noel Gorelick, Chengqaun Huang, M. Hughes, Robert Kennedy, Thomas Loveland, Gretchen Moisen, Todd Schroeder, James Vogelmann, Curtis Woodcock, Limin Yang, Zhe Zhu
      First page: 98
      Abstract: Disturbance is a critical ecological process in forested systems, and disturbance maps are important for understanding forest dynamics. Landsat data are a key remote sensing dataset for monitoring forest disturbance and there recently has been major growth in the development of disturbance mapping algorithms. Many of these algorithms take advantage of the high temporal data volume to mine subtle signals in Landsat time series, but as those signals become subtler, they are more likely to be mixed with noise in Landsat data. This study examines the similarity among seven different algorithms in their ability to map the full range of magnitudes of forest disturbance over six different Landsat scenes distributed across the conterminous US. The maps agreed very well in terms of the amount of undisturbed forest over time; however, for the ~30% of forest mapped as disturbed in a given year by at least one algorithm, there was little agreement about which pixels were affected. Algorithms that targeted higher-magnitude disturbances exhibited higher omission errors but lower commission errors than those targeting a broader range of disturbance magnitudes. These results suggest that a user of any given forest disturbance map should understand the map’s strengths and weaknesses (in terms of omission and commission error rates), with respect to the disturbance targets of interest.
      PubDate: 2017-03-26
      DOI: 10.3390/f8040098
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 4 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 99: Estimating Large Area Forest Carbon Stocks—A
           Pragmatic Design Based Strategy

    • Authors: Andrew Haywood, Christine Stone
      First page: 99
      Abstract: Reducing uncertainty in forest carbon estimates at local and regional scales has become increasingly important due to the centrality of the terrestrial carbon cycle in issues of climate change. In Victoria, Australia, public natural forests extend over 7.2 M ha and constitute a significant and important carbon stock. Recently, a wide range of approaches to estimate carbon stocks within these forests have been developed and applied. However, there are a number of data and estimation limitations associated with these studies. In response, over the last five years, the State of Victoria has implemented a pragmatic plot-based design consisting of pre-stratified permanent observational units located on a state-wide grid. Using the ground sampling grid, we estimated aboveground and belowground carbon stocks (including soil to 0.3 m depth) in both National Parks and State Forests, across a wide range of bioregions. Estimates of carbon stocks and associated uncertainty were conducted using simple design based estimators. We detected significantly more carbon in total aboveground and belowground components in State Forests (408.9 t ha−1, 95% confidence interval 388.8–428.9 t ha−1) than National Parks (267.6 t ha−1, 251.9–283.3 t ha−1). We were also able to estimate forest carbon stocks (and associated uncertainty) for 21 strata that represent all of Victoria’s bioregions and public tenures. It is anticipated that the lessons learnt from this study may support the discussion on planning and implementing low cost large area forest carbon stock sampling in other jurisdictions.
      PubDate: 2017-03-26
      DOI: 10.3390/f8040099
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 4 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 100: Armillaria Pathogenesis under Climate Changes

    • Authors: Katarzyna Kubiak, Anna Żółciak, Marta Damszel, Paweł Lech, Zbigniew Sierota
      First page: 100
      Abstract: Climate changes influencing forest ecosystems include increased air temperatures and CO2 concentrations as well as droughts and decreased water availability. These changes in turn effect changes in species composition of both host plants and pathogens. In the case of Armillaria, climate changes cause an increase in the activity of individual species and modify the growth of rhizomorphs, increasing the susceptibility of trees. The relationship between climate changes and the biotic elements of Armillaria disease are discussed in overview.
      PubDate: 2017-03-27
      DOI: 10.3390/f8040100
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 4 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 101: Trailblazing the Carbon Cycle of Tropical
           Forests from Puerto Rico

    • Authors: Sandra Brown, Ariel Lugo
      First page: 101
      Abstract: We review the literature that led to clarifying the role of tropical forests in the global carbon cycle from a time when they were considered sources of atmospheric carbon to the time when they were found to be atmospheric carbon sinks. This literature originates from work conducted by US Forest Service scientists in Puerto Rico and their collaborators. It involves the classification of forests by life zones, estimation of carbon density by forest type, assessing carbon storage changes with ecological succession and land use/land cover type, describing the details of the carbon cycle of forests at stand and landscape levels, assessing global land cover by forest type and the complexity of land use change in tropical regions, and assessing the ecological fluxes and storages that contribute to net carbon accumulation in tropical forests. We also review recent work that couples field inventory data, remote sensing technology such as LIDAR, and GIS analysis in order to more accurately determine the role of tropical forests in the global carbon cycle and point out new avenues of carbon research that address the responses of tropical forests to environmental change.
      PubDate: 2017-03-29
      DOI: 10.3390/f8040101
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 4 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 102: An Ecologically Based System for Sustainable
           Agroforestry in Sub-Tropical and Tropical Forests

    • Authors: Yuan Sun, Fuliang Cao, Xiaohua Wei, Clive Welham, Lei Chen, Dieter Pelz, Qing Yang, Huiqian Liu
      First page: 102
      Abstract: Forests in tropical and sub-tropical countries face severe pressures due to a combination of poverty and environment degradation. To be effective, measures to protect these forests must therefore consider both economic and ecological dimensions synergistically. The purpose of this paper was to synthesize our long-term work (1994–2015) on a Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba L.) agroforestry system and demonstrate its potential for achieving both goals, and discuss its wider application in tropical and sub-tropical countries. The performance of various ecological, economic, and social indicators was compared among five Ginkgo agroforestry systems. Two additional indicators, Harmony Degree (HD) and Development Degree (DD), were also used to show the integrated performance of these indicators. Ginkgo-Wheat-Peanut (G+W+P) and Ginkgo-Rapeseed-Peanut (G+R+P) are the best systems when compared to pure and mixed Ginkgo plantations, or pure agricultural crops. Results demonstrate that it is possible to achieve both economic development and environmental protection through implementation of sustainable agroforestry systems in sub-tropical regions.
      PubDate: 2017-03-29
      DOI: 10.3390/f8040102
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 4 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 103: Biomass and Carbon Sequestration by Juglans
           regia Plantations in the Karst Regions of Southwest China

    • Authors: Hao Zhang, Kelin Wang, Zhaoxia Zeng, Hu Du, Fuping Zeng
      First page: 103
      Abstract: Abstract: To better understand carbon (C) sequestration by Juglans regia L. plantations in karst regions of southwest China, this study examined biomass increment and C storage in four different-aged J. regia stands, as well as the distribution of carbon stock among the various ecosystem components. Tree and ecosystem biomass increased with stand age. Aboveground biomass (AGB) represented 64.79% of the total biomass, belowground tree biomass comprised 22.73%, and shrubs and herbs totaled 11.38%, whereas only a small amount (1.11%) was associated with soil litter. Soil organic C (SOC) content in the top soil of plantations aged 1, 5, 9, and 13 years was 33.37, 53.15, 33.56, and 49.78 mg ha−1, respectively. SOC content decreased continually with increasing soil depth. Ecosystem C storage amounted to 33.49, 54.21, 46.40, and 65.34 mg ha−1 for the 1-, 5-, 9-, and 13-year old plantations, respectively, with most (86.55%) of the ecosystem C being in the soil. Our results suggest that large-scale planting of J. regia has potential for not only vegetation restoration but also high C fixation capacity in the karst region of southwest China.
      PubDate: 2017-03-29
      DOI: 10.3390/f8040103
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 4 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 104: Simulated Summer Rainfall Variability Effects
           on Loblolly Pine (Pinus taeda) Seedling Physiology and Susceptibility to
           Root-Infecting Ophiostomatoid Fungi

    • Authors: Jeff Chieppa, Lori Eckhardt, Arthur Chappelka
      First page: 104
      Abstract: Seedlings from four families of loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.) were grown in capped open-top chambers and exposed to three different weekly moisture regimes for 13 weeks. Moisture regimes varied in intensity and frequency of simulated rainfall (irrigation) events; however, the total amounts were comparable. These simulated treatments were chosen to simulate expected changes in rainfall variability associated with climate change. Seedlings were inoculated with two root-infecting ophiostomatoid fungi associated with Southern Pine Decline. We found susceptibility of loblolly pine was not affected by water stress; however, one family that was most sensitive to inoculation was also most sensitive to changes in moisture availability. Many studies have examined the effects of drought (well-watered vs. dry conditions) on pine physiology and host-pathogen interactions but little is known about variability in moisture supply. This study aimed to elucidate the effects of variability in water availability, pathogen inoculation and their interaction on physiology of loblolly pine seedlings.
      PubDate: 2017-03-30
      DOI: 10.3390/f8040104
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 4 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 105: On the Effect of Thinning on Tree Growth and
           Stand Structure of White Birch (Betula platyphylla Sukaczev) and Siberian
           Larch (Larix sibirica Ledeb.) in Mongolia

    • Authors: Alexander Gradel, Christian Ammer, Batsaikhan Ganbaatar, Ochirrragchaa Nadaldorj, Batdorj Dovdondemberel, Sven Wagner
      First page: 105
      Abstract: The forests of North Mongolia are largely dominated either by larch (Larix sibirica Ledeb.) or birch (Betula platyphylla Sukaczev). The increasing demand for timber and firewood is currently met by removal of wood from these forest stands. Therefore, silvicultural approaches that account for both utilization and protection are needed. Thinning trials were established in the research area Altansumber, in the mountain forest steppe west of the town of Darkhan. We analyzed the response of non-spatial and spatial structure and growth of birch and larch stands on thinning. Before thinning, spatial tree distribution was largely clumped. Thinning promoted regular tree distribution. Ingrowth of new stems after thinning tended to redirect stand structure towards clumping. Both relative and absolute tree growth and competition were evaluated before, directly after, and three years after the thinning. Competition played a significant role in tree growth before thinning. A reduction in competition after thinning triggered significantly increased growth of both birch and larch. The observed positive growth response was valid in absolute and relative terms. A methodically based forest management strategy, including thinning operations and selective cuttings, could be established, even under the harsh Mongolian conditions. Our findings could initiate the development of broader forest management guidelines for the light-taiga dominated stands.
      PubDate: 2017-03-31
      DOI: 10.3390/f8040105
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 4 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 106: Biophysical and Economic Analysis of Black
           Spruce Regeneration in Eastern Canada Using Global Climate Model
           Productivity Outputs

    • Authors: Jung Lee, Daniel McKenney, John Pedlar, M. Arain
      First page: 106
      Abstract: We explore the biophysical potential and economic attractiveness of black spruce (Picea mariana) regeneration in eastern Canada under the high greenhouse gas emission scenario (RCP 8.5) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The study integrates net primary productivity and net ecosystem productivity estimates from three major global climate models (GCMs), growth and yield equations specific to black spruce, and economic analyses to determine spatially varying investment values of black spruce regeneration—both including and excluding carbon sequestration benefits. Net present value (NPV) was used to represent financial attractiveness. It was assumed that stands would not be harvested at volumes less than 80 m3·ha−1. A baseline case with the stumpage price set to $20 m−3, stand establishment cost $500 ha−1, and the discount rate 4%, was used with wide-ranging sensitivity analyses conducted around these assumptions. These values represent the wide range of choices and outcomes possible with black spruce regeneration investments. The results indicated a latitudinal gradient in economic attractiveness, with higher forest productivity and NPVs in the southern portion of the study area; however, black spruce regeneration was not economically attractive unless regeneration costs were very low (representing something closer to a natural regeneration type scenario) and/or carbon sequestration benefits of at least $5 ton−1 CO2 were realized. In general, the optimal harvest rotation age increased with increasing carbon price by approximately 9 to 18 years. Results of this study highlight the importance of future price and yield expectations and establishment costs in evaluating forest investments.
      PubDate: 2017-03-31
      DOI: 10.3390/f8040106
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 4 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 107: Dynamics of Wood Pulp Production: Evidence
           from OECD Countries

    • Authors: Vishal Chandr Jaunky, Robert Lundmark
      First page: 107
      Abstract: This paper investigates whether shocks to pulp for paper production for 17 Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) members over the period 1980–2012 are transitory or permanent. A variety of univariate and panel data unit root tests are employed. The presence of structural breaks is taken into account when performing those tests. Based on the Narayan-Popp univariate unit root test, wood production series for approximately 64.71% of countries is found to follow a non-stationary process. However, univariate unit root tests tend to have low power when the time span is relatively short. Consequently, three generations of panel unit root tests are considered. Cross-sectional dependence is detected. The first generation of unit roots do not effectively control for cross-sectional dependence, while the second and third generations do. The third generation accounts mainly for cross-sectional co-integration. As a confirmatory analysis, both unit root tests that tests for the null of non-stationarity and stationarity are considered. Most of the panel unit root tests point towards a non-stationary process. Hence, while these shocks can be transmitted to other economic sectors, past behaviours of wood production cannot be used for forecasting purposes. Forest conservation policies can have a permanent impact on pulp for paper production.
      PubDate: 2017-04-01
      DOI: 10.3390/f8040107
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 4 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 108: The Dynamics of Deforestation in the Wet and
           Dry Tropics: A Comparison with Policy Implications

    • Authors: Thomas K. Rudel
      First page: 108
      Abstract: Forests in the dry tropics differ significantly from forests in the humid tropics in their biomass and in their socio-ecological contexts, so it might be reasonable to assume that the dynamics that drive deforestation in these two settings would also differ. Until recently, difficulties in measuring the extent of dry tropical forests have made it difficult to investigate this claim empirically. The release of high resolution LANDSAT satellite imagery in 2013 has removed this impediment, making it possible to identify variations in the extent of wet and dry forests within countries by measuring variations in the canopy cover of their forests. These metrics have in turn made it possible to investigate human differences in the dynamics of deforestation between dry forested and wet forested nations in the tropics. Cross-national analyses suggest that international trade in agricultural commodities plays a more important role in driving deforestation in the wet tropics than it does in the dry tropics. The variable salience of international trade as a driver has important implications, described here, for the success of policies designed to slow deforestation in the dry tropics and the wet tropics. Curbing dry forest losses, in particular, would appear to require locally focused and administered policies.
      PubDate: 2017-04-05
      DOI: 10.3390/f8040108
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 4 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 109: The Coupling of Treeline Elevation and
           Temperature is Mediated by Non-Thermal Factors on the Tibetan Plateau

    • Authors: Yafeng Wang, Eryuan Liang, Shalik Sigdel, Bo Liu, J. Camarero
      First page: 109
      Abstract: Little is known about the relationships between treeline elevation and climate at regional and local scales. It is compelling to fill this research gap with data from the Tibetan Plateau where some of the highest alpine treelines in the world are found. This research question partially results from the lack of in situ temperature data at treeline sites. Herein, treeline variables (e.g., elevation, topography, tree species) and temperature data were collected from published investigations performed during this decade on the Tibetan Plateau. Temperature conditions near treeline sites were estimated using global databases and these estimates were corrected by using in situ air temperature measurements. Correlation analyses and generalized linear models were used to evaluate the effects of different variables on treeline elevation including thermal (growing-season air temperatures) and non-thermal (latitude, longitude, elevation, tree species, precipitation, radiation) factors. The commonality analysis model was applied to explore how several variables (July mean temperature, elevation of mountain peak, latitude) were related to treeline elevation. July mean temperature was the most significant predictor of treeline elevation, explaining 55% of the variance in treeline elevation across the Tibetan Plateau, whereas latitude, tree species, and mountain elevation (mass-elevation effect) explained 30% of the variance in treeline elevation. After considering the multicollinearity among predictors, July mean temperature (largely due to the influence of minimum temperature) still showed the strongest association with treeline elevation. We conclude that the coupling of treeline elevation and July temperature at a regional scale is modulated by non-thermal factors probably acting at local scales. Our results contribute towards explaining the decoupling between climate warming and treeline dynamics.
      PubDate: 2017-04-05
      DOI: 10.3390/f8040109
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 4 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 110: An Assessment of Carbon Storage in
           China’s Arboreal Forests

    • Authors: Weiwei Shao, Jingya Cai, Haibing Wu, Jiahong Liu, Haixing Zhang, Hao Huang
      First page: 110
      Abstract: In the years 2009–2013, China carried out its eighth national survey of forest resources. Based on the survey data, this paper used a biomass conversion function method to evaluate the carbon stores and carbon density of China’s arboreal forests. The results showed that: (1) By age group, the largest portion of carbon stores in China’s arboreal forests are in middle-aged forests. Over-mature forests have the least carbon storage; (2) By origin, natural forests of all age groups have higher carbon storage and carbon density than man-made forest plantations. The carbon density of natural forests and forest plantations increases gradually with the age of the trees; (3) By type (dominant tree species), the 18 most abundant types of arboreal forest in China account for approximately 94% of the nation’s total arboreal forest biomass and carbon storage. Among these, broadleaf mixed and Quercus spp. form the two largest portions. Taxus spp. forests, while comprising a very small portion of China’s forested area, have very high carbon density; (4) By region, the overall arboreal forest carbon storage is highest in the southwest part of China, and lowest in the northwest. However, because of differences in land use and forest coverage ratios, regions with arboreal forests of high carbon density are not necessarily the same regions that have high overall carbon storage; (5) By province, Heilongjiang, Yunnan, Tibet, Sichuan, Inner Mongolia, and Jilin have rather high carbon storage. The arboreal forests in Tibet, Jilin, Xinjiang, Sichuan, Yunnan, and Hainan have a rather high carbon density. This paper’s evaluation of carbon storage in China’s arboreal forests is a valuable reference for interpreting the role and function of Chinese ecosystems in coping with global climate change.
      PubDate: 2017-04-06
      DOI: 10.3390/f8040110
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 4 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 111: Combining Airborne and Terrestrial Laser
           Scanning Technologies to Measure Forest Understorey Volume

    • Authors: Luxia Liu, Yong Pang, Zengyuan Li, Lin Si, Shengxi Liao
      First page: 111
      Abstract: A critical component of the forest ecosystem, the understorey supports the vast majority of wildlife habitat and total ecosystem floristic diversity. Remote sensing data have been developed to provide information at different scales for surveys of forest ecosystems, but obtaining information about the understorey remains a challenge. As rapid and efficient tools for forest structure attribute estimation, Airborne Laser Scanning (ALS) and Terrestrial Laser Scanning (TLS) have attracted much attention. We examine the relationship between ALS and TLS data and detect changes in the forest understorey caused by forest-tending events in the study area. We conducted trials in five plots within a young Khasi pine (Pinus kesiya Royle ex Gord.) plantation in Yunnan province, China, before and after forest tending. We collected bi-temporal ALS data in this area and TLS data from 10 scanning stations. Canopy height profiles were retrieved from ALS and TLS data, and understorey material volume retrieved from filled TLS voxels volume agreed well with the understorey point clouds percentile distribution (PD) obtained from ALS data. The PD value for the understorey from ALS multiplied by the percentage of ALS return points in the overstorey had a stronger correlation (R2 = 0.90) with the TLS-derived understorey material volume than did the ALS PD value for the understorey only (R2 = 0.71). Taking the effect of the overstorey into consideration will improve evaluations of forest understorey parameters from ALS data. This study confirmed the potential of TLS as a validation tool to assess the accuracy of forest understorey material volume estimation at large scales using ALS data.
      PubDate: 2017-04-06
      DOI: 10.3390/f8040111
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 4 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 112: Prescribed Burning and Erosion Potential in
           Mixed Hardwood Forests of Southern Illinois

    • Authors: Gurbir Singh, Jon Schoonover, Kyle Monroe, Karl Williard, Charles Ruffner
      First page: 112
      Abstract: Prescribed fire has several benefits for managing forest ecosystems including reduction of fuel loading and invasive species and enhanced regeneration of desirable tree species. Along with these benefits there are some limitations like nutrient and sediment loss which have not been studied extensively in mixed hardwood forests. The objective of our research was to quantify the amount of sediment movement occurring on a watershed scale due to prescribed fire in a southern Illinois mixed hardwood ecosystem. The research site was located at Trail of Tears State Forest in western Union county, IL, USA and included five watershed pairs. One watershed in each pair was randomly assigned the prescribed burn treatment and the other remained as control (i.e., unburned). The prescribed burn treatment significantly reduced the litter depth with 12.6%–31.5% litter remaining in the prescribed burn treatment watersheds. When data were combined across all watersheds, no significant differences were obtained between burn treatment and control watershed for total suspended solids and sediment concentrations or loads. The annual sediment losses varied from 1.41 to 90.54 kg·ha−1·year−1 in the four prescribed burn watersheds and 0.81 to 2.54 kg·ha−1·year−1 in the four control watersheds. Prescribed burn watershed 7 showed an average soil sediment loss of 4.2 mm, whereas control watershed 8 showed an average accumulation of sediments (9.9 mm), possibly due to steeper slopes. Prescribed burning did not cause a significant increase in soil erosion and sediment loss and can be considered acceptable in managing mixed hardwood forests of Ozark uplands and the Shawnee Hills physiographic regions of southern Illinois.
      PubDate: 2017-04-07
      DOI: 10.3390/f8040112
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 4 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 113: A Tree Species Effect on Soil That Is
           Consistent Across the Species’ Range: The Case of Aspen and Soil Carbon
           in North America

    • Authors: Jérôme Laganière, Antra Boča, Helga Van Miegroet, David Paré
      First page: 113
      Abstract: Trembling aspen covers a large geographic range in North America, and previous studies reported that a better understanding of its singular influence on soil properties and processes is of high relevance for global change questions. Here we investigate the potential impact of a shift in aspen abundance on soil carbon sequestration and soil carbon stability at the continental scale by conducting a systematic literature review using 23 published studies. Our review shows that aspen’s effect on soil carbon is relatively consistent throughout the species range. Aspen stores less C in the forest floor but similar amounts in the mineral soil relative to conifers. However, a robust set of indicators of soil C stability, for example, degree of organo-mineral associations, proportion of readily-available or labile C estimated during long-term soil incubations or using hot-water extraction, pattern of soil C distribution, and temperature sensitivity of soil heterotrophic respiration, reveals that the soil organic carbon (SOC) stock under aspen is more stable, rendering it more protected against environmental changes and soil disturbances. Therefore, our continental-scale analysis highlights that an increase in the abundance of trembling aspen in North American forests may increase the resistance and resilience of soil C stocks against global changes.
      PubDate: 2017-04-08
      DOI: 10.3390/f8040113
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 4 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 114: Estimating Carbon Dynamics in an Intact
           Lowland Mixed Dipterocarp Forest Using a Forest Carbon Model

    • Authors: Jongyeol Lee, Sohye Lee, Seung Hyun Han, Seongjun Kim, Yujin Roh, Kamariah Abu Salim, Stephan A. Pietsch, Yowhan Son
      First page: 114
      Abstract: Intact dipterocarp forests in Asia act as crucial carbon (C) reservoirs, and it is therefore important to investigate the C dynamics in these forests. We estimated C dynamics, together with net ecosystem production (NEP), in an intact tropical dipterocarp forest of Brunei Darussalam. Fifty-four simulation units (plots; 20 m × 20 m) were established and initial C stocks were determined via direct field measurement. The C dynamics were annually simulated with a regression model and the Forest Biomass and Dead organic matter Carbon (FBDC) model. The initial C stock (Mg C·ha−1) of biomass, litter, dead wood and mineral soil were 213.1 ± 104.8, 2.0 ± 0.8, 31.3 ± 38.8, and 80.7 ± 15.5, respectively. Their annual changes (Mg C·ha−1·year−1) were 3.2 ± 1.1, 0.2 ± 0.2, −3.7 ± 6.1, and −0.3 ± 1.1, respectively. NEP was −0.6 ± 6.1 Mg C·ha−1·year−1, showing large heterogeneity among the plots. The initial C stocks of biomass and dead wood, biomass turnover rates and dead wood decay rates were elucidated as dominant factors determining NEP in a sensitivity analysis. Accordingly, investigation on those input data can constrain an uncertainty in determining NEP in the intact tropical forests.
      PubDate: 2017-04-08
      DOI: 10.3390/f8040114
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 4 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 115: The Plight of Migrant Birds Wintering in the
           Caribbean: Rainfall Effects in the Annual Cycle

    • Authors: Joseph Wunderle; Jr., Wayne Arendt
      First page: 115
      Abstract: Here, we summarize results of migrant bird research in the Caribbean as part of a 75th Anniversary Symposium on research of the United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service, International Institute of Tropical Forestry (IITF). The fate of migratory birds has been a concern stimulating research over the past 40 years in response to population declines documented in long-term studies including those of the IITF and collaborators in Puerto Rico’s Guánica dry forest. Various studies indicate that in addition to forest loss or fragmentation, some migrant declines may be due to rainfall variation, the consequences of which may carry over from one stage of a migrant’s annual cycle to another. For example, the Guánica studies indicate that rainfall extremes on either the temperate breeding or tropical wintering grounds affect migrant abundance and survival differently depending on the species. In contrast, IITF’s collaborative studies of the migrant Kirtland’s Warbler (Setophaga kirtlandii) in the Bahamas found that late winter droughts affect its annual survival and breeding success in Michigan. We review these IITF migrant studies and relate them to other studies, which have improved our understanding of migrant ecology of relevance to conservation. Particularly important is the advent of the full annual cycle (FAC) approach. The FAC will facilitate future identification and mitigation of limiting factors contributing to migrant population declines, which for some species, may be exacerbated by global climate change.
      PubDate: 2017-04-08
      DOI: 10.3390/f8040115
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 4 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 116: Multicriteria Decision Analysis and
           Participatory Decision Support Systems in Forest Management

    • Authors: Montserrat Acosta, Serafín Corral
      First page: 116
      Abstract: Growing concern about issues such as environmental quality or the sustainability of natural resources has led to the use of the Decision Support System (DSS), which originated in the business field, and is now part of environmental decision-making processes. The presence of environmental, social, or economic dimensions has helped decision support systems to evolve to be able to tackle investigations that can contemplate all these variables, such as in the case of multicriteria decision analyses. In addition, new lifestyles, in which society recognizes more and more the contribution of forests to its welfare, have led to the need to involve stakeholders in decision-making processes. This article presents a review of different Multicriteria Decision Analysis (MCDA) and participatory decision support systems applied to forest environments. This last point is presented from the perspective of stakeholder participation in the processes and from the point of view of procedures or tools used. To do this, some of the research performed in forest environments within this current century is reviewed.
      PubDate: 2017-04-10
      DOI: 10.3390/f8040116
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 4 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 117: Effect of Auxins and Associated Metabolic
           Changes on Cuttings of Hybrid Aspen

    • Authors: Shao Yan, Rui Yang, Fang Wang, Li Sun, Xing Song
      First page: 117
      Abstract: In the present study, an attempt was made to induce rooting from single-node cuttings of hybrid aspen (Populus tremula L. × P. tremuloides Michx.) with different concentrations of Indole-3-acetic acid (IAA), Indole-3-Butytric acid (IBA) and 1-Naphthylacetic acid (NAA). Among the three auxins used, 0.54 mM NAA showed more effective induction on rooting as compared to IAA and IBA at the whole level. Thereafter, 0.54 mM NAA was used further for the anatomical and biochemical investigation. The results showed that it took 12 days from the differentiation of primordium to the appearance of young adventitious roots under NAA application. It was found that endogenous IAA, Zeatin riboside (ZR) and Gibberellic Acid (GA3) levels increased, but Abscisic acid (ABA) decreased in cuttings with NAA treatment. In contrast to the endogenous IAA level, NAA resulted in a decrease in IAA-oxidase (IAAO) activity. Similarly, the decreased peroxidase (POD) activity, consistent with down-regulation of expressed levels of POD1 and POD2, was observed in NAA-treated cuttings. Moreover, NAA resulted in a higher activity in polyphenol oxidase (PPO) compared with control cuttings. Collectively, the study highlighted that 0.54 mM NAA is efficient on rooting in hybrid aspen, and its effect on metabolic changes during rooting was discussed, which can provide valuable information for propagating hybrid aspen.
      PubDate: 2017-04-10
      DOI: 10.3390/f8040117
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 4 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 118: Can Carbon Fluxes Explain Differences in Soil
           Organic Carbon Storage under Aspen and Conifer Forest Overstories?

    • Authors: Antra Boča, Helga Van Miegroet
      First page: 118
      Abstract: Climate- and management-induced changes in tree species distributions are raising questions regarding tree species-specific effects on soil organic carbon (SOC) storage and stability. Quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides Michx.) is the most widespread tree species in North America, but fire exclusion often promotes the succession to conifer dominated forests. Aspen in the Western US have been found to store more SOC in the mineral soil than nearby conifers, but we do not yet fully understand the source of this differential SOC accumulation. We measured total SOC storage (0–50 cm), characterized stable and labile SOC pools, and quantified above- and belowground litter inputs and dissolved organic carbon (DOC) fluxes during snowmelt in plots located in N and S Utah, to elucidate the role of foliage vs. root detritus in SOC storage and stabilization in both ecosystems. While leaf litterfall was twice as high under aspen as under conifers, input of litter-derived DOC with snowmelt water was consistently higher under conifers. Fine root (<2 mm) biomass, estimated root detritus input, and root-derived DOC fluxes were also higher under conifers. A strong positive relationship between root and light fraction C content suggests that root detritus mostly fueled the labile fraction of SOC. Overall, neither differences in above- and belowground detritus C inputs nor in detritus-derived DOC fluxes could explain the higher and more stable SOC pools under aspen. We hypothesize that root–microbe–soil interactions in the rhizosphere are more likely to drive these SOC pool differences.
      PubDate: 2017-04-11
      DOI: 10.3390/f8040118
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 4 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 119: A Basal Area Increment-Based Approach of Site
           Productivity Evaluation for Multi-Aged and Mixed Forests

    • Authors: Liyong Fu, Ram Sharma, Guangyu Zhu, Haikui Li, Lingxia Hong, Hong Guo, Guangshuang Duan, Chenchen Shen, Yuancai Lei, Yutang Li, Xiangdong Lei, Shouzheng Tang
      First page: 119
      Abstract: Accurate estimates of forest site productivity are essential for environmental planning and forest management. In this study, we developed a new productivity index, hereafter termed basal area potential productivity index (BAPP), to estimate site productivity for irregular and complex forests characterized by multi-aged, multi-species, and multi-layer stands. We presented the biological relevance of BAPP with its computational details. We also compared BAPP against basal area realized productivity (BARP) in order to verify the practicability and reliability of BAPP. Time-series data of the national forest inventory on 1912 permanent sample plots that were located in two main forest types and consisted of oak-dominated mixed forests and other broadleaf forests in northeast China were used to demonstrate the application of BAPP. The results showed that the value of BAPP for each sample plot was larger than or equal to the corresponding BARP value for each forest type. For appropriately managed stands with relatively better site conditions, the values of both BARP and BAPP were almost identical. The values of the difference between BAPP and BARP could therefore be used to effectively assess forest site productivity. Meanwhile, BAPP also provides much reliable and valuable information that can aid decision-making in forest management.
      PubDate: 2017-04-12
      DOI: 10.3390/f8040119
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 4 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 120: Fire History of Appalachian Forests of the
           Lower St-Lawrence Region (Southern Quebec)

    • Authors: Serge Payette, Vanessa Pilon, Pierre-Luc Couillard, Jason Laflamme
      First page: 120
      Abstract: Sugar maple (Acer saccharum) forests are among the main forest types of eastern North America. Sugar maple stands growing on Appalachian soils of the Lower St-Lawrence region are located at the northeastern limit of the northern hardwood forest zone. Given the biogeographical position of these forests at the edge of the boreal biome, we aimed to reconstruct the fire history and document the occurrence of temperate and boreal trees in sugar maple sites during the Holocene based on soil macrocharcoal analysis. Despite having experienced a different number of fire events, the fire history of the maple sites was broadly similar, with two main periods of fire activity, i.e., early- to mid-Holocene and late-Holocene. A long fire-free interval of at least 3500 years separated the two periods from the mid-Holocene to 2000 years ago. The maple sites differ with respect to fire frequency and synchronicity of the last millennia. According to the botanical composition of charcoal, forest vegetation remained relatively homogenous during the Holocene, except recently. Conifer and broadleaf species coexisted in mixed forests during the Holocene, in phase with fire events promoting the regeneration of boreal and temperate tree assemblages including balsam fir (Abies balsamea) and sugar maple.
      PubDate: 2017-04-11
      DOI: 10.3390/f8040120
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 4 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 121: Epidemiological History of Cypress Canker
           Disease in Source and Invasion Sites

    • Authors: Roberto Danti, Gianni Della Rocca
      First page: 121
      Abstract: Seiridium cardinale is a fungal pathogen responsible for pandemic cypress canker disease (CCD). The fungus has shown the ability to infect different hosts in many areas throughout the globe, but its spread and impact were favored by conducive environmental conditions. The most severe epidemics were reported in California and the Mediterranean, the former considered the source area of the pathogen from which the Mediterranean infestation have originated. Here we reconstruct the epidemiological history of the disease in California and the Mediterranean. Evolution of the disease in the two contrasting areas was weighed in relation to differences between the two environments in terms of climate, landscape properties, and adopted management practices. In addition, differences emerged among the source and invasive populations in terms of genetic and phenotypic variability, structure, and mode of reproduction allow a few comments to be made about the environmental implications and related quarantine of new introductory events.
      PubDate: 2017-04-15
      DOI: 10.3390/f8040121
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 4 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 122: Volume and Carbon Estimates for the Forest
           Area of the Amhara Region in Northwestern Ethiopia

    • Authors: Kibruyesfa Sisay, Christopher Thurnher, Beyene Belay, Gerald Lindner, Hubert Hasenauer
      First page: 122
      Abstract: Sustainable forest management requires a continuous assessment of the forest conditions covering the species distribution, standing tree volume as well as volume increment rates. Forest inventories are designed to record this information. They, in combination with ecosystem models, are the conceptual framework for sustainable forest management. While such management systems are common in many countries, no forest inventory system and/or modeling tools for deriving forest growth information are available in Ethiopia. This study assesses, for the first time, timber volume, carbon, and Net Primary Production (NPP) of forested areas in the Amhara region of northwestern Ethiopia by combining (i) terrestrial inventory data, and (ii) land cover classification information. The inventory data were collected from five sites across the Amhara region (Ambober, Gelawdiwos, Katassi, Mahiberesilasse and Taragedam) covering three forest types: (i) forests, (ii) shrublands (exclosures) and (ii) woodlands. The data were recorded on 198 sample plots and cover diameter at breast height, tree height, and increment information. In order to extrapolate the local terrestrial inventory data to the whole Amhara region, a digital land cover map from the Amhara’s Bureau of Agriculture was simplified into (i) forest, (ii) shrubland, and (iii) woodland. In addition, the forest area is further stratified in five elevation classes. Our results suggest that the forest area in the Amhara region covers 2% of the total land area with an average volume stock of 65.7 m3·ha−1; the shrubland covers 27% and a volume stock of 3.7 m3·ha−1; and the woodland covers 6% and an average volume stock of 27.6 m3·ha−1. The corresponding annual volume increment rates are 3.0 m3·ha−1, for the forest area; 1.0 m3·ha−1, for the shrubland; and 1.2 m3·ha−1, for the woodland. The estimated current total volume stock in the Amhara region is 59 million m3.
      PubDate: 2017-04-15
      DOI: 10.3390/f8040122
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 4 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 123: Look Down to See What’s Up: A Systematic
           Overview of Treefall Dynamics in Forests

    • Authors: Jessie C. Buettel, Stefania Ondei, Barry W. Brook
      First page: 123
      Abstract: The study of treefall and its after-effects is a common theme in studies of forest structure and local dynamics, yet its value as descriptor of broader-scale ecological dynamics is rarely explored. Here we synthesize the most highly cited literature on treefalls, from 1985 to 2016 (in three-year blocks), highlighting the importance of the causes, characteristics and consequences of such events. We then ask how this knowledge might contribute to the broader conceptual model of forest dynamics, and develop two conceptual models, which we use to illustrate both the classic and alternative views of how forests ‘work’. Treefalls are one of the few ‘integrating’ attributes of forests, because of their ubiquity and longevity, and therefore can inform a variety of processes (e.g., tree mortality, turnover rates, structural impacts, recruitment, and fire frequency) due to their impacts occurring simultaneously over space (patterns), and time (legacy effects). The substantial knowledge that already exists on localized treefall dynamics should be combined with more integrative approaches to studying forest ecosystems, to investigate landscape-scale patterns of treefall and reconstruct past disturbance events.
      PubDate: 2017-04-17
      DOI: 10.3390/f8040123
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 4 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 124: Distribution of Soil Organic Carbon in
           Riparian Forest Soils Affected by Frequent Floods (Southern Québec,

    • Authors: Diane Saint-Laurent, Vernhar Gervais-Beaulac, Roxane Paradis, Lisane Arsenault-Boucher, Simon Demers
      First page: 124
      Abstract: Measuring soil organic carbon (SOC) in riparian forest soils affected by floods is crucial for evaluating their concentration and distribution along hydrological gradients (longitudinal and transversal). Hydromorphological factors (e.g., sedimentation vs. erosion, size of floodplain, flood recurrence) may be the cause of major variations in the concentration of organic matter and SOC in soils and could have a direct impact on C levels in soil profiles. For this study, SOC concentrations were assessed in riparian soils collected along transects perpendicular to the riverbanks which cross through inundated and non-inundated zones. Other soil properties (e.g., acidity, nitrogen, texture, bulk density) that may affect the concentration of SOC were also considered. The main purpose of this study was to assess SOC concentrations in soils subjected to flooding with those outside the flood zones, and also measure various soil properties (in surface soils and at various depths ranging from 0 to 100 cm) for each selected area. Across the various areas, SOC shows marked differences in concentration and spatial distribution, with the lowest values found in mineral soils affected by successive floods (recurrence of 0–20 years). SOC at 0–20 cm in depth was significantly lower in active floodplains (Tukey HSD test), with average values of 2.29 ± 1.64% compared to non-inundated soils (3.83 ± 2.22%). The proportion of C stocks calculated in soils (inundated vs. non-inundated zones) was significantly different, with average values of 38.22 ± 10.40 and 79.75 ± 29.47 t·ha−1, respectively. Flood frequency appears to be a key factor in understanding the low SOC concentrations in floodplain soils subjected to high flood recurrence (0–20 years).
      PubDate: 2017-04-19
      DOI: 10.3390/f8040124
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 4 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 125: REDD+ Contribution to Well-Being and Income Is
           Marginal: The Perspective of Local Stakeholders

    • Authors: William Sunderlin, Claudio de Sassi, Andini Ekaputri, Mara Light, Christy Pratama
      First page: 125
      Abstract: In addition to being a global strategy for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from tropical deforestation, Reducing Emission from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD+) intends to protect and improve the well-being and income of local stakeholders. The intention is to provide livelihood support in exchange for local stakeholder involvement in protecting forests. Eleven years after the launch of REDD+ at COP 11 in Montreal, the degree of success in meeting well-being and income goals is examined in six countries (Brazil, Peru, Cameroon, Tanzania, Indonesia, Vietnam) at 22 initiatives, 149 villages, and approximately 4000 households through a counter-factual approach. Half the villages and households are inside and half are outside the sphere of REDD+. Measurements are made at two points in time (2010–2012, and 2013–2014). This paper focuses on measurement of the subjective perception of local stakeholders. The study finds that REDD+ has not contributed significantly to perceived well-being and income sufficiency, in spite of the fact that most households have not only engaged with REDD+ interventions, but view them favorably. REDD+’s limited achievement to date is due to unavailability of funding, among other obstacles. Recommendations are made for enhanced attention to well-being and income sufficiency in the event that REDD+ eventually takes off.
      PubDate: 2017-04-19
      DOI: 10.3390/f8040125
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 4 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 126: Unsustainability Risk Causality in a Private
           Industrial Forest: An Institutional Analysis of Factors Affecting Stand
           Ecosystem Services in Kochi Prefecture, Japan

    • Authors: Dennis Gain, Tsunemi Watanabe
      First page: 126
      Abstract: Much research in recent years has analyzed the ecosystem service aspect of forests, while highlighting the need for sustainable forests. Forest management mechanisms at an inter-institutional level in Japan have been identified to hinder the implementation of forest management that is focused on the equal production of ecosystem services. This study presents an institutional analysis of unsustainability risk causality in a private industrial forest in Kochi Prefecture, Japan, from an ecosystem perspective incorporating common ecosystem service hazards that affect the sustainability functions of forests. This was performed with the aim to offer a basis for a less complicated analysis of ecosystem service hazards in industrial forests and to provide causal clarity at different institution levels. It was found that due to Japan’s systematic top-down forest management approach with the law at the top, vertical relationships cause direct and indirect negative horizontal relationships at each institutional level. To mitigate vertical and horizontal effects, institutional adaptions must be performed to address a combination of satisfier and hygiene factors. Under current conditions of non-enforceable forest policy, objectives and decisions regarding policy and management instruments at the national level must be integrated. This requires effective and adaptive multi-level institutional governance.
      PubDate: 2017-04-19
      DOI: 10.3390/f8040126
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 4 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 127: Sydowia polyspora Dominates Fungal Communities
           Carried by Two Tomicus Species in Pine Plantations Threatened by Fusarium

    • Authors: E. Muñoz-Adalia, Antonio Sanz-Ros, Juan Flores-Pacheco, Jarkko Hantula, Julio Diez, Eeva Vainio, Mercedes Fernández
      First page: 127
      Abstract: Bark beetles (Coleoptera, Scolytinae) carry a diverse filamentous fungal community sometimes acting as vectors or carriers of phytopathogens. In this study, mycobiota carried by two Tomicus species (Tomicus piniperda and Tomicus destruens) were investigated through (i) morphological and molecular identification of taxa; (ii) taxonomic richness, diversity, evenness, dominance and phoresy indices; (iii) ecological network analysis and (iv) statistical co-occurrence analysis. The studied mycobiota were formed by eleven taxa and showed a moderate fungal diversity with low evenness. The fungus Sydowia polyspora was significantly abundant and dominated the community. All the fungal taxa were randomly associated. Both insect species (T. piniperda and T. destruens) were collected from plantations of Pinus radiata infected by Fusarium circinatum. The ecological factors that could drive community ecology and phoretic links between fungi and bark beetles are discussed.
      PubDate: 2017-04-20
      DOI: 10.3390/f8040127
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 4 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 128: Long-Term Susceptibility of Even- and
           Uneven-Aged Northern Hardwood Stands to Partial Windthrow

    • Authors: Philippe Nolet, Martin Béland
      First page: 128
      Abstract: While uneven-aged silviculture may appear preferable to even-aged silviculture in terms of stand susceptibility to windthrow (major wind damage), the scientific evidence is equivocal on this issue, because the two systems do not operate over the same time frame. The goal of this study was to evaluate the windthrow susceptibility of even- and uneven-aged stands over a 100-year period. Susceptibility to windthrow of North American hardwood stands was evaluated by coupling a stand growth model (Forest Vegetation Simulator, or FVS) to stem windthrow probability equations from the literature. This coupling was straightforward given that FVS provides the diameter at breast height (DBH) of each tree within a stand over the simulation period. Windthrow susceptibility equations also use DBH to calculate stem windthrow probability. Our results show that average loss due to windthrow under uneven-aged management can be twice that observed under even-aged management at moderate wind severity for sugar maple-dominated stands. This result should be interpreted with caution because of the impossibility in our simulations of considering differences in tree form development between the two approaches. Nevertheless, this study clearly shows that even-/uneven-aged silviculture comparisons should be made on a long-term basis since uneven-aged stands are continuously susceptible to windthrow, while even-aged stands tend to be little affected by windthrow in their early developmental stages.
      PubDate: 2017-04-20
      DOI: 10.3390/f8040128
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 4 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 129: Critical Habitat Elements, with an Emphasis on
           Coarse Woody Debris, Associated with Ant Presence or Absence in the Moist
           Cold Sub-Boreal Forests of the Interior of British Columbia

    • Authors: Robert J. Higgins, Michael G. Gillingham, B. Staffan Lindgren
      First page: 129
      Abstract: Given both the ubiquity and ecological roles described for ants in British Columbia, an understanding of the habitat elements critical to predicting their presence is desirable. We used logistic regression to model the presence and absence of ants in sub-boreal lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta var. latifolia Engelm. ex S. Watson) forests of west-central British Columbia (BC). Methodological emphasis was placed on the association between ants and coarse woody debris (CWD) because of a high degree of utilization of this resource for nesting. Five species of ants, Camponotus herculeanus (L.), Formica aserva Forel, F. neorufibarbis Emery, Leptothorax muscorum (Nylander), and Myrmica alaskensis Wheeler, comprised approximately 90% of all captures in samples of CWD within five seral ages (2–3, 8–10, 13–15, 23–25 years post-harvest, and non-harvested stands). Seral age, presence of other ant colonies of the same species, decay class of CWD, its surface area, and whether the wood was downed woody debris (DWD) or a stump, were significant variables affecting ant presence or absence. These results are explained in the context of ant species autecology as it relates to living in cool climates.
      PubDate: 2017-04-20
      DOI: 10.3390/f8040129
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 4 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 130: Urbanization Drives SOC Accumulation, Its
           Temperature Stability and Turnover in Forests, Northeastern China

    • Authors: Chang Zhai, Wenjie Wang, Xingyuan He, Wei Zhou, Lu Xiao, Bo Zhang
      First page: 130
      Abstract: Global urbanization is a vital process shaping terrestrial ecosystems but its effects on forest soil carbon (C) dynamics are still not well defined. To clarify the effects of urbanization on soil organic carbon (SOC) variation, 306 soil samples were collected and analyzed under two urban–rural gradients, defined according to human disturbance time and ring road development in Changchun, northeast China. Forest SOC showed a linear increase with increasing human disturbance time from year 1900 to 2014 (13.4 g C m−2 year−1), and a similar trend was found for the ring road gradient. Old-city regions had the longest SOC turnover time and it increased significantly with increasing urbanization (p = 0.011). Along both urban–rural gradients SOC stability toward temperature variation increased with increasing urbanization, meaning SOC stability in old-city regions was higher than in new regions. However, none of the urban–rural gradients showed marked changes in soil basal respiration rate. Both Pearson correlation and stepwise regression proved that these urbanization-induced SOC patterns were closely associated with landscape forest (LF) proportion and soil electrical conductivity (EC) changes in urban–rural gradients, but marginally related with tree size and compositional changes. Overall, Changchun urbanization-induced SOC accumulation was 60.6–98.08 thousand tons, accounting for 12.8–20.7% of the total forest C biomass sequestration. Thus, China’s rapid urbanization-induced SOC sequestration, stability and turnover time, should be fully estimated when evaluating terrestrial C balance.
      PubDate: 2017-04-20
      DOI: 10.3390/f8040130
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 4 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 131: Red Alder-Conifer Stands in Alaska: An Example
           of Mixed Species Management to Enhance Structural and Biological

    • Authors: Robert Deal, Ewa Orlikowska, David D’Amore, Paul Hennon
      First page: 131
      Abstract: There is worldwide interest in managing forests to improve biodiversity, enhance ecosystem services and assure long-term sustainability of forest resources. An increasingly important goal of forest management is to increase stand diversity and improve wildlife and aquatic habitat. Well-planned silvicultural systems containing a mixture of broadleaf-conifer species have potential to enhance stand diversity and provide other ecosystem services earlier than typical even-aged conifer plantations. Here, we use the example of mixed Sitka spruce/western hemlock and red alder in young, managed stands in southeast Alaska to achieve these goals. We briefly describe the silvics of Sitka spruce, western hemlock and red alder plantations as pure conifer stands or pure broadleaf stands. Then, we synthesize studies of mixed red alder-Sitka spruce/western hemlock stands in southeast Alaska and present their potential for improving stand structural complexity, biodiversity and other ecosystem services over pure conifer forests. Finally, we discuss some of the opportunities and potential tradeoffs for managing mixed broadleaf-conifer stands for providing a number of natural resources and the influence of these broadleaf-conifer forests on ecosystem linkages and processes.
      PubDate: 2017-04-21
      DOI: 10.3390/f8040131
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 4 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 132: Tree Height-Diameter Relationships in the
           Alpine Treeline Ecotone Compared with Those in Closed Forests on Changbai
           Mountain, Northeastern China

    • Authors: Xiaoyu Wang, Dapao Yu, Shoule Wang, Bernard J. Lewis, Wangming Zhou, Li Zhou, Limin Dai, Jing-Pin Lei, Mai-He Li
      First page: 132
      Abstract: Height-diameter relationship is one of the most important stature characteristics of trees. It will change with climatic conditions because height and diameter growth displays different sensitivities to climatic factors such as temperature. Detecting and understanding changes in the stature of trees growing along altitudinal gradients up to their upper limits can help us to better understand the adaptation strategy of trees under global warming conditions. On Changbai Mountain in northeastern China, height-diameter datasets were collected for 2723 Erman’s birch (Betula ermanii Cham.) in the alpine treeline ecotone in 2006 and 2013, and for 888 Erman’s birch, spruce (Picea jezoensis Siebold & Zucc. Carr.), larch (Larix olgensis A. Henry), and fir (Abies nephrolepis Trautv. ex Maxim.) along an altitudinal gradient below the alpine treeline in 2006. These datasets were utilized to explore both changes in the stature of birch at the alpine treeline over time and variations in tree stature of different tree species across altitudes at a given time point (2006). Results showed that birch saplings (<140 cm in height) became stunted while birches with a height of >140 cm became more tapered in the alpine treeline ecotone. The stature of birch along the altitudinal gradient became more tapered from 1700 to 1900 m above see level (a.s.l.) and then became more stunted from 1900 to 2050 m a.s.l., with 1900 m a.s.l. being the altitudinal inflection point in this pattern. The treeline birch, due to its great temperature magnitude of distribution, displayed higher stature-plasticity in terms of its height-diameter ratio than the lower elevation species studied. The stature of birch is strongly modulated by altitude-related temperature but also co-influenced by other environmental factors such as soil depth and available water, wind speed, and duration and depth of winter snow cover. The high stature-plasticity of birch makes it fare better than other species to resist and adapt to, as well as to survive and develop in the harsh alpine environment.
      PubDate: 2017-04-21
      DOI: 10.3390/f8040132
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 4 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 133: Assessing Impacts of Wood Utilisation
           Scenarios for a Lithuanian Bioeconomy: Impacts on Carbon in Forests and
           Harvested Wood Products and on the Socio-Economic Performance of the
           Forest-Based Sector

    • Authors: Gediminas Jasinevičius, Marcus Lindner, Pieter Verkerk, Marius Aleinikovas
      First page: 133
      Abstract: Climate change and transition towards a bioeconomy are seen as both challenges and opportunities for the forest-based sector in Europe. Transition towards a bioeconomy will in most cases rely on intensified use of renewable resources and/or advancement in technology. However, how can the intensified use of renewable resources be combined with climate change mitigation measures to increase carbon sinks in the forest-based sector? Additionally, what are the possible socio-economic and environmental impacts of intensified wood use? In this study, we examined the impacts of increased wood utilisation in Lithuania. The objective of this study was to assess the effects of increased domestic wood utilisation on: (i) employment; (ii) the economic performance of the sector; (iii) carbon in forest biomass and soil; and (iv) carbon in harvested wood products (HWP). The system boundaries were set in accordance with international greenhouse gas reporting to include only domestic wood flows. We assessed alternative wood utilisation scenarios using a forest resource model and a tool to assess sustainability impacts of (wood) value chains, using country specific data on wood (carbon) flows. Our results indicate that increased wood use could lead to trade-offs between six selected indicators. Opportunities for employment and the economic performance of the forest-based sector improved in all scenarios due to increased wood utilisation. However, when forest fellings increased, the carbon stored in forests decreased, the carbon stored in HWP increased, but overall the total carbon stored in forests and HWP decreased. When considering also additional substitution effects until the year 2100, the scenario with reduced wood exports generated larger total climate change mitigation effects than the baseline. Our results suggest that increased wood utilisation might support Lithuania’s bioeconomy through increased socio-economic benefits. National positive climate change mitigation effects could be gained only if additional actions to utilise more domestic wood for long-life HWP will be taken.
      PubDate: 2017-04-22
      DOI: 10.3390/f8040133
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 4 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 134: Forest Company Dependencies and Impacts on
           Ecosystem Services: Expert Perceptions from China

    • Authors: Minli Wan, Dalia D’Amato, Anne Toppinen, Mika Rekola
      First page: 134
      Abstract: Global awareness of sustainability issues is growing rapidly, and business organizations are called to address wider social and environmental concerns along with economic performance. However, limited systematic knowledge exists on the interactions between forest industries and natural ecosystems. We thus investigated the role of ecosystem services in the context of China’s forest sector. A qualitative research approach was used to elicit company external expert viewpoints on the topic. Our analysis focused on three themes: (1) forest company dependencies and impacts on ecosystem services; (2) business risks arising from dependencies and impacts; and (3) risk response strategies. The interviewed 20 experts identified a series of forest company dependencies and impacts (including negative and positive impacts) on several ecosystem services. The extent of dependencies and impacts is largely influenced by the business portfolio of the company. The perceived business risks include intense competition and the consequently increasing price for natural resources, which would affect forest company business plans, costs and outputs. The suggested strategies for turning risks into opportunities include outsourcing wood, changing production focus, promoting industrial upgrading and implementing regular assessments of corporate dependencies and impacts on ecosystem services. The findings of our study can guide companies’ decision-making in managing forest ecosystems sustainably.
      PubDate: 2017-04-22
      DOI: 10.3390/f8040134
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 4 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 135: Chemical and Biochemical Properties of Soils
           Developed from Different Lithologies in Northwestern Spain (Galicia)

    • Authors: Valeria Cardelli, Stefania Cocco, Alberto Agnelli, Serenella Nardi, Diego Pizzeghello, Maria Fernández-Sanjurjo, Giuseppe Corti
      First page: 135
      Abstract: Physical and chemical soil properties are generally correlated with the parent material, as its composition may influence the pedogenetic processes, the content of nutrients, and the element biocycling. This research studied the chemical and biochemical properties of the A horizon from soils developed on different rocks like amphibolite, serpentinite, phyllite, and granite under a relatively similar climatic regime from Galicia (northwest Spain). In particular, the effect of the parent material on soil evolution, organic carbon sequestration, and the hormone-like activity of humic and fulvic acids were tested. Results indicated that all the soils were scarcely fertile because of low concentrations of available P, exchangeable Ca (except for the soils on serpentinite and phyllite), and exchangeable K, but sequestered relevant quantities of organic carbon. The scarce soil fertility was common to all soils independently of the parent material, and we attributed this similarity to the pedogenetic pressure induced by the climatic conditions. Also, the hormone-like activity of humic and fulvic acids, similar for all the soils, was probably due to pedogenesis. We hypothesized that the hormone-like activity of the humic substances helps growth and diffusion of vegetation in low fertile soils and, consequently, soil organic carbon sequestration too.
      PubDate: 2017-04-22
      DOI: 10.3390/f8040135
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 4 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 136: Screening of Date Palm (Phoenix dactylifera
           L.) Cultivars for Salinity Tolerance

    • Authors: Latifa Al Kharusi, Dekoum Assaha, Rashid Al-Yahyai, Mahmoud Yaish
      First page: 136
      Abstract: Date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) is a major fruit tree in the Middle East and it is a plant considered to be tolerant to a variety of abiotic stresses, including salinity. However, the physiological basis of its salinity tolerance is not fully known. The objective of this study was to screen Omani date palm cultivars for tolerance or susceptibility to salt stress. Seedlings from 10 commercially important date palm cultivars were subjected to 240 mM NaCl, and several physiological parameters related to salinity tolerance traits were evaluated upon treatment. The cultivars were divided into two groups based on the dry weight (DW) of their leaf and root tissues, a parameter which was used as an indication of healthy growth. The results revealed that photosynthesis, electrolyte leakage (EL), and the shoot K+/Na+ ratio were all significantly reduced in the susceptible cultivars. In addition, the relative water content was higher in the tolerant cultivars in comparison with the susceptible ones. These results suggest that although date palm is tolerant to high salinity, there is variation in tolerance among different cultivars. Shoot Na+ exclusion, photosynthesis, and membrane stability are apparently the main determinants of tolerance and can be used in salinity tolerance screening of date palm. The results have shown new very tolerant cultivars (Manoma and Umsila) that could serve as genetic resources for improved date palm tolerance to salinity.
      PubDate: 2017-04-22
      DOI: 10.3390/f8040136
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 4 (2017)
  • 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

    • 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

    • 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

    • 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

    • 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

    • 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: 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 94: A Forest Service Vision during the Anthropocene

    • Authors: Michael Rains
      First page: 94
      Abstract: During the history of the Forest Service, human activity has been the dominant influence on climate and the environment; the time being called the Anthropocene. As we look ahead and strive to continue our mission of sustaining the health, diversity, and productivity of the Nation’s forests and grasslands to meet our current and future needs, we must be more flexible to focus our actions to better meet the contemporary conservation challenges now and ahead. During this era of intense human activity, a changing climate; development and loss of open space; resource consumption; destructive invasive species; and diversity in core beliefs and values will test our task relevant maturity—ability and willingness to meet the growing demands for services. The Forest Service is now on a transformative campaign to improve our abilities and meet these challenges, including forest resiliency through restorative actions. There are several things we must do to ensure we are brilliantly competitive to address the contemporary conservation needs along a complex rural to urban land gradient, now and ahead. The intent of this paper is to present one person’s view of what this “campaign of our campaign” should include.
      PubDate: 2017-03-22
      DOI: 10.3390/f8030094
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 3 (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

    • 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)
School of Mathematical and Computer Sciences
Heriot-Watt University
Edinburgh, EH14 4AS, UK
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