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  Subjects -> FORESTS AND FORESTRY (Total: 107 journals)
    - FORESTS AND FORESTRY (106 journals)
    - LUMBER AND WOOD (1 journals)

FORESTS AND FORESTRY (106 journals)                     

Showing 1 - 12 of 12 Journals sorted alphabetically
Acta Silvatica et Lignaria Hungarica     Open Access  
Advance in Forestry Research     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Advances in Forestry Letters     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Advances in Forestry Science     Open Access  
African Journal of Sustainable Development     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
Agrociencia     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Agroforestry Systems     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 16)
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: 4)
Arboricultural Journal : The International Journal of Urban Forestry     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6)
Arboriculture and Urban Forestry     Free   (Followers: 7)
Australian Forest Grower     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Australian Forestry     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Balduinia     Open Access  
Banko Janakari     Open Access  
Bosque     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Canadian Journal of Forest Research     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 25)
Canadian Journal of Plant Science     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 14)
Ciência Florestal     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Ciencia forestal en México     Open Access  
Colombia Forestal     Open Access  
Current Forestry Reports     Hybrid Journal  
Dissertationes Forestales     Open Access  
East African Agricultural and Forestry Journal     Hybrid Journal  
European Journal of Forest Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4)
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: 43)
Forest Pathology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 1)
Forest Phytophthoras     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Forest Policy and Economics     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 20)
Forest Research Papers     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Forest Science     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 5)
Forest Science and Practice     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2)
Forest Science and Technology     Partially Free   (Followers: 2)
Forest Systems     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Foresta Veracruzana     Open Access  
Forestry Chronicle     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 10)
Forestry Letters     Open Access  
Forestry Studies : Metsanduslikud Uurimused     Open Access  
Forestry: An International Journal of Forest Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 14)
Forests     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
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)
Indian Forester     Full-text available via subscription  
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: 5)
International Journal of Forest Engineering     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 1)
International Journal of Forest, Soil and Erosion     Open Access   (Followers: 4)
International Journal of Forestry Research     Open Access   (Followers: 4)
Journal of Agriculture, Forestry and the Social Sciences     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Journal of Biodiversity Management & Forestry     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 1)
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: 12)
Journal of Forestry Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6)
Journal of Horticulture and Forestry     Open Access   (Followers: 4)
Journal of Natural Resources Policy Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 13)
Journal of Research in Forestry, Wildlife and Environment     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Journal of Sustainable Forestry     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6)
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: 6)
Journal of Wood Science     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 3)
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  
Mathematical and Computational Forestry & Natural-Resource Sciences     Free  
Natural Areas Journal     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 11)
New Forests     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2)
New Zealand Journal of Forestry Science     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Open Journal of Forestry     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Pesquisa Florestal Brasileira     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Plant Science Bulletin     Free   (Followers: 9)
Quebracho. Revista de Ciencias Forestales     Open Access  
Research Journal of Forestry     Open Access   (Followers: 4)
Revista Árvore     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Revista Chapingo. Serie Ciencias Forestales y del Ambiente     Open Access  
Revista 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: 3)
Rural Sustainability Research     Open Access  
Rwanda Journal     Full-text available via subscription  
Scandinavian Journal of Forest Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4)
Science, Technology and Arts Research Journal     Open Access  
Silva Lusitana     Open Access  
Small-scale Forestry     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2)
Southern African Forestry Journal     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
Southern Forests : a Journal of Forest Science     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 5)
Tanzania Journal of Forestry and Nature Conservation     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Trees     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 5)
Turkish Journal of Agriculture and Forestry     Open Access  
Urban Forestry & Urban Greening     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 8)
Veld & Flora     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Wood and Fiber Science     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)


Journal Cover Forests
  [SJR: 0.629]   [H-I: 8]   [3 followers]  Follow
  This is an Open Access Journal Open Access journal
   ISSN (Print) 1999-4907
   Published by MDPI Homepage  [140 journals]
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 92: A Multidimensional Environmental Value
           Orientation Approach to Forest Recreation Area Tourism Market Segmentation

    • Authors: Cheng-Ping Wang, Ching Li, Sung-Ta Liu
      First page: 92
      Abstract: This paper uses multidimensional environmental value orientations as the segmentation bases for analyzing a natural destination tourism market of the National Forest Recreation Areas in Taiwan. Cluster analyses identify two segments, Acceptance and Conditionality, within 1870 usable observations. Independent sample t test and crosstab analyses are applied to examine these segments’ forest value orientations, sociodemographic features, and service demands. The Acceptance group tends to be potential ecotourists, while still recognizing the commercial value of the natural resources. The Conditionality group may not possess a strong sense of ecotourism, given that its favored services can affect the environment. Overall, this article confirms the use of multidimensional environmental value orientation approaches can generate a comprehensive natural tourist segment comparison that benefits practical management decision making.
      PubDate: 2016-04-25
      DOI: 10.3390/f7050092
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 5 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 93: Landscape Biology of Western White Pine:
           Implications for Conservation of a Widely-Distributed Five-Needle Pine at
           Its Southern Range Limit

    • Authors: Patricia Maloney, Andrew Eckert, Detlev Vogler, Camille Jensen, Annette Delfino Mix, David Neale
      First page: 93
      Abstract: Throughout much of the range of western white pine, Pinus monticola Dougl., timber harvesting, fire exclusion and the presence of Cronartium ribicola J. C. Fisch., the white pine blister rust (WPBR) pathogen, have led to negative population and genetic consequences. To address these interactions, we examined population dynamics and genetic diversity in 10 populations of western white pine in upper montane forests of the Lake Tahoe Basin. We documented negative population trends for three of the 10 populations. These populations exhibited low estimated growth rates (λ), moderate to high incidences of WPBR and mountain pine beetle (MPB), and high levels of mortality. In contrast, seven populations appear to be stable (λ ≥ 1.0), with low to moderate disease and insect incidence, and evidence for genetic resistance to WPBR. Genetic diversity (HE) for a set of 160 single nucleotide polymorphisms was in the range of 0.245–0.272 across populations, and population-specific estimates of FST ranged from 0.0062 to 0.0244. Allele frequency of the Cr2 gene, which confers complete resistance to C. ribicola in western white pine, was low, averaging 0.009 for all populations sampled. However, a low frequency of pollen receptors (i.e., susceptible maternal parents pollinated by a local resistant parent) was found in nine of 10 populations. A moderate and negative relationship was found between the frequency of pollen receptors in a population and the incidence of WPBR (r2 = 0.32). In the context of an introduced pathogen, climate driven outbreaks of MPB, fire exclusion, and prolonged drought, conservation and management strategies are warranted for this species in the Lake Tahoe Basin and likely other locations in California. These strategies include gene conservation of western white pine, WPBR resistance screening, and forest restoration treatments.
      PubDate: 2016-04-26
      DOI: 10.3390/f7050093
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 5 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 94: Forecasting Monthly Prices of Japanese Logs

    • Authors: Tetsuya Michinaka, Hirofumi Kuboyama, Kazuya Tamura, Hiroyasu Oka, Nobuyuki Yamamoto
      First page: 94
      Abstract: Forecasts of prices can help industries in their risk management. This is especially true for Japanese logs, which experience sharp fluctuations in price. In this research, the authors used an exponential smoothing method (ETS) and autoregressive integrated moving average (ARIMA) models to forecast the monthly prices of domestic logs of three of the most important species in Japan: sugi (Japanese cedar, Cryptomeria japonica D. Don), hinoki (Japanese cypress, Chamaecyparis obtusa (Sieb. et Zucc.) Endl.), and karamatsu (Japanese larch, Larix kaempferi (Lamb.) Carr.). For the 12-month forecasting periods, forecasting intervals of 80% and 95% were given. By measuring the accuracy of forecasts of 12- and 6-month forecasting periods, it was found that ARIMA gave better results than did the ETS in the majority of cases. However, the combined method of averaging ETS and ARIMA forecasts gave the best results for hinoki in several cases.
      PubDate: 2016-04-26
      DOI: 10.3390/f7050094
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 5 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 95: Metabarcoding of Bacteria Associated with the
           Acute Oak Decline Syndrome in England

    • Authors: Melanie Sapp, Erin Lewis, Stephen Moss, Ben Barrett, Susan Kirk, John Elphinstone, Sandra Denman
      First page: 95
      Abstract: Outbreaks of acute oak decline (AOD) have been documented in England from 2006. Both species of native oaks (Quercus robur and Quercus petraea) are affected. To complement isolation efforts for identification of putative causative biotic agents and increase our understanding of bacteria associated with oak tissue, five sites in England were chosen for this study. Samples of outer bark, inner bark, sapwood and heartwood were taken from healthy oak and trees with symptoms at varying stages of the syndrome. Furthermore, larval galleries attributed to infestation with Agrilus biguttatus were included. After DNA extraction and amplification of the V3–V5 fragment of the bacterial 16S rRNA genes by pyrosequencing, the dataset was analyzed to identify patterns in bacterial communities in oak tissue samples with and without AOD symptoms at each site. The composition of bacterial communities differed greatly according to the site from which the samples were obtained. Within each site, the composition of the bacteria associated with symptomatic tissue varied between advanced stages of the syndrome and healthy tissue. Key players in healthy and symptomatic tissue were identified and included members of the Gammaproteobacteria related to Pseudomonas sp. or Brenneria goodwinii and members of the Firmicutes.
      PubDate: 2016-04-26
      DOI: 10.3390/f7050095
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 5 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 96: Predicting Aboveground Biomass in Second Growth
           Coast Redwood: Comparing Localized with Generic Allometric Models

    • Authors: Anil Kizha, Han-Sup Han
      First page: 96
      Abstract: Biomass amounts predicted by generalized models are often not applicable for small regions. Localized allometric models were developed relating tree/biomass components to diameter at breast height (dbh) for coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens (D. Don) Endl.) from an industrial timberland in northwestern California, USA. dbh for the candidate trees ranged from 2.54 cm to 84.07 cm. Biomass of tree components, such as bole, foliage, bark, live and dead branches, along with the total aboveground biomass (TAGB) were estimated. Other tree dimensions such as tree height, height to live crown, weight and volume of bole wood were also modeled. Localized allometric models were able to explain more than 93% of the variability for most of the tree components (p < 0.001). Biomass amounts predicted from the widely used generalized models were different from that estimated by the localized allometric model developed from this study. However, the results presented in this study should be used carefully to predict the biomass components, if applied outside the stated dbh range or stand conditions on which this study was based.
      PubDate: 2016-04-27
      DOI: 10.3390/f7050096
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 5 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 73: Spatial Patterns of Irradiance and Advanced
           Reproduction along a Canopy Disturbance Severity Gradient in an Upland
           Hardwood Stand

    • Authors: Amanda Keasberry, Justin Hart, Daniel Dey, Callie Schweitzer
      First page: 73
      Abstract: Regeneration failure of Quercus in mature Quercus-dominated forests has been reported throughout the temperate zone. Quercus seedlings are often abundant in these forests, yet frequently fail to recruit to larger size classes despite canopy disturbances. To examine intra-stand patterns of advanced reproduction, competition, and irradiance in an upland Quercus stand, we installed a 2 ha plot that captured the canopy disturbance severity gradient caused by a wind event. To quantify disturbance severity and stand conditions, we inventoried all living and dead woody stems ≥5 cm diameter at breast height (dbh, 1.37 m above the surface) and quantified irradiance in 25 m2 quadrats (n = 800) using synchronized ceptometers. To inventory patterns of advanced reproduction within the plot, we recorded the species of every woody stem >1 m in height and <5 cm dbh. We also documented the species and height of every Quercus stem ≥0.5–<5 cm dbh and the species, height, and distance to each stem nearest the focal Quercus stem. At the genus-level, Quercus was the most common nearest neighbor. However, at the species-level, the most common nearest neighbors were Acer saccharum and Ostrya virginiana. Competition index values significantly differed by species (p < 0.01), but did not significantly differ by disturbance severity class and we found no significant interactions between species and disturbance class. Quercus advanced reproduction was significantly clustered through the study plot and cluster locations overlapped with clusters of high irradiance, but these patterns were scale-dependent. Our results indicate that an appreciation for intra-stand heterogeneity may improve forest management planning.
      PubDate: 2016-03-24
      DOI: 10.3390/f7040073
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 4 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 74: Sub-Soiling and Genotype Selection Improves
           Populus Productivity Grown on a North Carolina Sandy Soil

    • Authors: Shawn Shifflett, Dennis Hazel, Elizabeth Guthrie Nichols
      First page: 74
      Abstract: This study reports the stem volume of 10 Populus genotypes in a randomized split-plot design with different tillage treatments (disking versus sub-soiling) after two years of growth. Height, diameter at breast height (DBH), stem aboveground volume index, survival, Melampsora rust resistance, leaf area index (LAI), chlorophyll content, and foliar nitrogen concentration (Foliar N) were measured to identify how tillage treatments might alter poplar growth. Stem volume index and LAI were positively correlated and differed significantly among tillage treatments, taxa, and genotypes. Melampsora rust resistance was also positively correlated with volume index, but significant differences were only detected among taxa and genotypes. Foliar N and chlorophyll did not correlate to stem volume for genotypes or tillage treatments. Overall, sub-soiling yielded 37% more estimated volume compared to disking. Within the sub-soiled treatments, four genotypes (140, 176, 185, and 356) had high survival (>80%) and produced substantial stem volume (>32 dm3·tree−1). These findings show that tillage practices do impact poplar stem volumes after two years and that sub-soiling improves productivity for poplar short rotation woody crops on loamy fine-sandy soils.
      PubDate: 2016-03-25
      DOI: 10.3390/f7040074
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 4 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 75: Assessment of Biomass Energy Potential and
           Forest Carbon Stocks in Biscay (Spain)

    • Authors: Esperanza Mateos, Florencio Garrido, Leyre Ormaetxea
      First page: 75
      Abstract: The aim of this research is to identify, quantify and characterize the potential available forest biomass of Pinus radiata D. Don and Eucalyptus globulus Labill. across Biscay province in northern Spain. In order to do this, we have used information from the National Inventories of Spain to quantify the amount of carbon dioxide accumulated in the forests of Biscay by means of stratum-species-based forestry statistics. The total biomass and biomass fractions have been estimated using two different methods: allometric biomass equations (ABE) and biomass expansion factors (BEF). The second objective is to develop a methodology to quantify and produce a cartography of the prospective energy production of residual biomass from the most representative forest species of Biscay. For this purpose, we have used a Geographic Information System (GIS) computer tool. We have found that the stock of carbon accumulated in the main forest species in Biscay in 2014 amounts to 8.2 Tg (ABE) and 6.63 Tg (BEF) equivalent to 30 and 24.3 Tg of CO2, respectively. The quantity of forestry biomass residue (FBR) obtained has been estimated as 52,214 Mg·year-1 dry matter. This amount means a prospective energy supply of 947,000 GJ·year-1.
      PubDate: 2016-03-29
      DOI: 10.3390/f7040075
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 4 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 76: Ecofunctional Traits and Biomass Production in
           Leguminous Tree Species under Fertilization Treatments during Forest
           Restoration in Amazonia

    • First page: 76
      Abstract: Background: Choosing the correct species and fertilization treatments is a determining factor in the success of forest restoration. Methods: A field study was conducted in a degraded area near the Balbina hydroelectric dam in Amazonas State (AM), Brazil, to evaluate two hypotheses: (i) leguminous tree species exhibit differences in growth, leaf nutrient content, and photosynthetic nutrient use efficiencies; and (ii) differences in these characteristics depend on the fertilization treatments to which the species have been subjected. Dipteryx odorata, Inga edulis and Schizolobium amazonicum were subjected to the following treatments: (T1) unfertilized control; (T2) post-planting chemical fertilization; (T3) post-planting organic fertilization and (T4) combined chemical and organic post-planting fertilization. Results: In general, I. edulis had the highest absolute growth rate of biomass under all of the fertilization treatments. I. edulis and S. amazonicum showed the highest growth rates under the T4 treatment. D. odorata showed the greatest responses under the T2 and T4 treatments. Native leguminous trees with higher photosynthetic performance and better nutrient use efficiency exhibited greater growth and biomass production. Conclusion: The results suggest that an adequate balance between leguminous species selection and fertilization will aid in the success of forest restoration in Amazonia.
      PubDate: 2016-04-12
      DOI: 10.3390/f7040076
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 4 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 77: Climate Change Refugia, Fire Ecology and

    • Authors: Kate Wilkin, David Ackerly, Scott Stephens
      First page: 77
      Abstract: Early climate change ideas warned of widespread species extinctions. As scientists have probed more deeply into species responses, a more nuanced perspective emerged indicating that some species may persist in microrefugia (refugia), including in mountainous terrain. Refugia are habitats that buffer climate changes and allow species to persist in—and to potentially expand under—changing environmental conditions. While climate and species interactions in refugia have been noted as sources of uncertainty, land management practices and disturbances, such as wildland fire, should also be considered when assessing any given refugium. Our landscape scale study suggests that cold-air pools, an important type of small-scale refugia, have unique fire occurrence, frequency, and severity patterns in frequent-fire mixed conifer forests of California’s Sierra Nevada: cold-air pool refugia have less fire and if it occurs, it is lower severity. Therefore, individuals and small populations are less likely to be extirpated by fire. Active management, such as restoration and fuels treatments for climate change adaptation, may be required to maintain these distinctive and potentially important refugia.
      PubDate: 2016-03-30
      DOI: 10.3390/f7040077
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 4 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 78: Effects of Elevated Ozone on Stoichiometry and
           Nutrient Pools of Phoebe Bournei (Hemsl.) Yang and Phoebe Zhennan S. Lee
           et F. N. Wei Seedlings in Subtropical China

    • Authors: Jixin Cao, He Shang, Zhan Chen, Yun Tian, Hao Yu
      First page: 78
      Abstract: Tropospheric ozone (O3) is considered one of the most critical air pollutants in many parts of the world due to its detrimental effects on plants growth. However, the stoichiometric response of tree species to elevated ozone (O3) is poorly documented. In order to understand the effects of elevated ozone on the stoichiometry and nutrient pools of Phoebe bournei (Hemsl.) Yang (P. bournei)and Phoebe zhennan S. Lee et F. N. Wei (P. zhennan), the present study examined the carbon (C), nitrogen (N), and phosphorous (P) concentrations, stoichiometric ratios, and stocks in foliar, stem, and root for P. bournei and P. zhennan with three ozone fumigation treatments (Ambient air, 100 ppb and 150 ppb). The results suggest that elevated ozone significantly increased the N concentrations in individual tissues for both of P. bournei and P. zhennan. On the contrary, elevated ozone decreased the C:N ratios in individual tissues for both of P. bournei and P. zhennan because the C concentration remained stable under the ozone stress. The P concentration, and C:P and N:P ratios in individual tissues for both P. bournei and P. zhennan did not exhibit consistent variation tendency with elevated ozone. Elevated ozone sharply reduced the total C, N, and P stocks and altered the pattern of C, N, and P allocation for both P. bournei and P. zhennan. The present study suggests that tropospheric ozone enrichment should be considered an important environmental factor on stoichiometry of tree species.
      PubDate: 2016-03-31
      DOI: 10.3390/f7040078
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 4 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 79: Aboveground Biomass and Carbon in a South
           African Mistbelt Forest and the Relationships with Tree Species Diversity
           and Forest Structures

    • First page: 79
      Abstract: Biomass and carbon stocks are key information criteria to understand the role of forests in regulating global climate. However, for a bio-rich continent like Africa, ground-based measurements for accurate estimation of carbon are scarce, and the variables affecting the forest carbon are not well understood. Here, we present the first biomass study conducted in South Africa Mistbelt forests. Using data from a non-destructive sampling of 59 trees of four species, we (1) evaluated the accuracy of multispecies aboveground biomass (AGB) models, using predictors such as diameter at breast height (DBH), total height (H) and wood density; (2) estimated the amount of biomass and carbon stored in the aboveground compartment of Mistbelt forests and (3) explored the variation of aboveground carbon (AGC) in relation to tree species diversity and structural variables. We found significant effects of species on wood density and AGB. Among the candidate models, the model that incorporated DBH and H as a compound variable (DBH2 × H) was the best fitting. AGB and AGC values were highly variable across all plots, with average values of 358.1 Mg·ha−1 and 179.0 Mg·C·ha−1, respectively. Few species contributed 80% of AGC stock, probably as a result of selection effect. Stand basal area, basal area of the ten most important species and basal area of the largest trees were the most influencing variables. Tree species richness was also positively correlated with AGC, but the basal area of smaller trees was not. These results enable insights into the role of biodiversity in maintaining carbon storage and the possibilities for sustainable strategies for timber harvesting without risk of significant biomass decline.
      PubDate: 2016-04-08
      DOI: 10.3390/f7040079
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 4 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 80: Disturbance Agents and Their Associated Effects
           on the Health of Interior Douglas-Fir Forests in the Central Rocky

    • Authors: Andrew Giunta, Michael Jenkins, Elizabeth Hebertson, Allen Munson
      First page: 80
      Abstract: Interior Douglas-fir is a prevalent forest type throughout the central Rocky Mountains. Past management actions, specifically fire suppression, have led to an expansion of this forest type. Although Douglas-fir forests cover a broad geographic range, few studies have described the interactive effects of various disturbance agents on forest health conditions. In this paper, we review pertinent literature describing the roles, linkages, and mechanisms by which disturbances, including insect outbreaks, pathogens, fire, and other abiotic factors, affect the development, structure, and distribution of interior montane forests primarily comprised of Douglas-fir. We also discuss how these effects may influence important resource values such as water, biodiversity, wildlife habitat, timber, and recreation. Finally, we identify gaps where further research may increase our understanding of these disturbance agents, their interacting roles, and how they influence long-term forest health.
      PubDate: 2016-04-06
      DOI: 10.3390/f7040080
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 4 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 81: Population Structure and Genetic Relationships
           of Melia Taxa in China Assayed with Sequence-Related Amplified
           Polymorphism (SRAP) Markers

    • Authors: Boyong Liao, Fang Wang, Lijun Chen, Pei Li, Kunxi Ouyang, Ruiqi Pian, Mingqian Liu, Qingmin Que, Xiangbin Zhou, Wenkai Xi, Xiaoyang Chen
      First page: 81
      Abstract: The uncertainty about whether, in China, the genus Melia (Meliaceae) consists of one species (M. azedarach Linnaeus) or two species (M. azedarach and M. toosendan Siebold & Zuccarini) remains to be clarified. Although the two putative species are morphologically distinguishable, genetic evidence supporting their taxonomic separation is lacking. Here, we investigated the genetic diversity and population structure of 31 Melia populations across the natural distribution range of the genus in China. We used sequence-related amplified polymorphism (SRAP) markers and obtained 257 clearly defined bands amplified by 20 primers from 461 individuals. The polymorphic loci (P) varied from 35.17% to 76.55%, with an overall mean of 58.24%. Nei’s gene diversity (H) ranged from 0.13 to 0.31, with an overall mean of 0.20. Shannon’s information index (I) ranged from 0.18 to 0.45, with an average of 0.30. The genetic diversity of the total population (Ht) and within populations (Hs) was 0.37 ± 0.01 and 0.20 ± 0.01, respectively. Population differentiation was substantial (Gst = 0.45), and gene flow was low. Of the total variation, 31.41% was explained by differences among putative species, 19.17% among populations within putative species, and 49.42% within populations. Our results support the division of genus Melia into two species, which is consistent with the classification based on the morphological differentiation.
      PubDate: 2016-04-06
      DOI: 10.3390/f7040081
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 4 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 82: How natural Forest Conversion Affects Insect
           Biodiversity in the Peruvian Amazon: Can Agroforestry Help?

    • First page: 82
      Abstract: The Amazonian rainforest is a unique ecosystem that comprises habitat for thousands of animal species. Over the last decades, the ever-increasing human population has caused forest conversion to agricultural land with concomitant high biodiversity losses, mainly near a number of fast-growing cities in the Peruvian Amazon. In this research, we evaluated insect species richness and diversity in five ecosystems: natural forests, multistrata agroforests, cocoa agroforests, annual cropping monoculture and degraded grasslands. We determined the relationship between land use intensity and insect diversity changes. Collected insects were taxonomically determined to morphospecies and data evaluated using standardized biodiversity indices. The highest species richness and abundance were found in natural forests, followed by agroforestry systems. Conversely, monocultures and degraded grasslands were found to be biodiversity-poor ecosystems. Diversity indices were relatively high for all ecosystems assessed with decreasing values along the disturbance gradient. An increase in land use disturbance causes not only insect diversity decreases but also complete changes in species composition. As agroforests, especially those with cocoa, currently cover many hectares of tropical land and show a species composition similar to natural forest sites, we can consider them as biodiversity reservoirs for some of the rainforest insect species.
      PubDate: 2016-04-08
      DOI: 10.3390/f7040082
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 4 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 83: Burn Severity Dominates Understory Plant
           Community Response to Fire in Xeric Jack Pine Forests

    • Authors: Bradley Pinno, Ruth Errington
      First page: 83
      Abstract: Fire is the most common disturbance in northern boreal forests, and large fires are often associated with highly variable burn severities across the burnt area. We studied the understory plant community response to a range of burn severities and pre-fire stand age four growing seasons after the 2011 Richardson Fire in xeric jack pine forests of northern Alberta, Canada. Burn severity had the greatest impact on post-fire plant communities, while pre-fire stand age did not have a significant impact. Total plant species richness and cover decreased with disturbance severity, such that the greatest richness was in low severity burns (average 28 species per 1-m2 quadrat) and plant cover was lowest in the high severity burns (average 16%). However, the response of individual plant groups differed. Lichens and bryophytes were most common in low severity burns and were effectively eliminated from the regenerating plant community at higher burn severities. In contrast, graminoid cover and richness were positively related to burn severity, while forbs did not respond significantly to burn severity, but were impacted by changes in soil chemistry with increased cover at pH >4.9. Our results indicate the importance of non-vascular plants to the overall plant community in this harsh environment and that the plant community is environmentally limited rather than recruitment or competition limited, as is often the case in more mesic forest types. If fire frequency and severity increase as predicted, we may see a shift in plant communities from stress-tolerant species, such as lichens and ericaceous shrubs, to more colonizing species, such as certain graminoids.
      PubDate: 2016-04-15
      DOI: 10.3390/f7040083
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 4 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 84: Nutritional Prescriptions for Eucalyptus
           Plantations: Lessons Learned from Spain

    • First page: 84
      Abstract: Eucalyptus globulus Labill is the main exotic broadleaf species planted and managed for pulp and energy production in Spain, where it covers an area of more than 0.6 million ha. The climatic and soil conditions of the planting areas range from the predominantly acidic or fertile soils developed over limestone in Atlantic areas of the north and northwest of the Iberian Peninsula to the less weathered soils developed from slates, sandy deposits or limestone in the drier southwest. The widely varying conditions explain the large differences in proposed fertilizer prescriptions. This review paper provides an analysis of the proposed practices and prescriptions by considering trial results and the need to develop site specific prescriptions for seedling standards and fertilization at planting establishment. Analysis of nutritional studies and of nutrient balances over a whole rotation is presented in order to provide basic information for defining maintenance fertilization, identified as the main bottleneck for sustainable wood production in these stands. Different fertilization practices are used by non industrial owners and Spanish pulp companies, with the last one applying a more intense management relying in more fertilization. A complete consideration of nutrition-related operation and decisions is shown to be essential for maintaining potential productivity, reduce biotic and abiotic damages and reduce mineral fertilization needs.
      PubDate: 2016-04-15
      DOI: 10.3390/f7040084
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 4 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 85: Assessment of Compliance with PEFC Forest
           Certification Indicators with Remote Sensing

    • Authors: Eugene Lopatin, Maxim Trishkin, Olga Gavrilova
      First page: 85
      Abstract: The majority of Finnish forests (95%) are certified by the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC). It is a worldwide leading forest certification scheme. The aim of this study is to analyze the Finnish National Standard of PEFC certification and identify the indicators that can be reliably estimated with remote sensing (RS) techniques. The retrieved data are further verified with a chosen geographical information system (GIS) application. The rapid increase in certified areas globally has created a certain level of mistrust that makes the evaluation by certification bodies (CB) questionable. Firstly, the area of the field audit is limited, and the verification results are based on sampling techniques. Secondly, the evaluation of the indicators of sustainable forest management (SFM) is based on auditor expertise and thus is prone to bias. Thirdly, the actual condition of large forest stands in Eastern and Northern Finland are not easy to determine and verify. Thus, PEFC certification in Finland, in particular, faces numerous challenges in regard to the quality of field assessment due to the intensive forest management model with a high number of annual felling sites. At the same time, small scale and scattered harvesting sites are difficult to assess. Our proposed approach combined with remote assessment reliably verified 18% of the standard and could substantially reduce the costs associated with field audits in Finland. The results from our verification analysis are spatially explicit and geographically referenced and can be published in open access portals for interested parties. Moreover, it provides improved transparency in field assessments for the PEFC certification. The novel approach proposed here requires further investigation at larger scales (e.g., national level).
      PubDate: 2016-04-16
      DOI: 10.3390/f7040085
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 4 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 86: Even-Aged vs. Uneven-Aged Silviculture:
           Implications for Multifunctional Management of Southern Pine Ecosystems

    • Authors: Ajay Sharma, Kimberly Bohn, Shibu Jose, Puneet Dwivedi
      First page: 86
      Abstract: We evaluated even- and uneven-aged silvicultural options for slash pine (Pinus elliottii Engelm.) using empirical data and the Forest Vegetation Simulator (FVS) model. Data were collected from a mature unthinned slash pine plantation in a flatwoods site in Florida, and used to simulate six scenarios of even- and uneven-aged silvicultural regimes applied to slash pine stands, including a no-action option. These alternative silvicultural regimes were evaluated for multiple benefits including timber production, carbon storage and stand structural diversity over a period of 100 years. None of the silvicultural regimes maximized all the benefits. While even-aged management options were more efficient in total merchantable timber production (9.78 to 11.02 m3·ha−1·year−1) and overall carbon stocks (3.05 to 3.47 metric tons·ha−1·year−1), uneven-aged management options created overall more complex stand structure (Stand Structural Diversity (computed from Shannon’s Indices values) = 1.92) and maintained a steady flow of yields, particularly sawtimber (34.29 to 58.46 m3·ha−1 every 10 year) and aboveground carbon stocks (56.9 to 77.2 metric tons·ha−1). Optimal achievement of multiple benefits across the landscape, therefore, may require maintaining an assortment of management strategies. Both even- and uneven-aged management options have the potential to improve production and carbon storage of pine forests and are a substantial improvement over no action.
      PubDate: 2016-04-19
      DOI: 10.3390/f7040086
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 4 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 87: Deriving Merchantable Volume in Poplar through
           a Localized Tapering Function from Non-Destructive Terrestrial Laser

    • Authors: Yuan Sun, Xinlian Liang, Ziyu Liang, Clive Welham, Weizheng Li
      First page: 87
      Abstract: Timber volume is an important ecological component in forested landscapes. The application of terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) to volume estimation has been widely accepted though few species have well-calibrated taper functions. This research uses TLS technology in poplar (Populus × canadensis Moench cv. ‘I-72/58’) to extract stem diameter at different tree heights and establish the relationship between point cloud data and stem curve, which constitutes the basis for volume estimation of single trees and the stand. Eight plots were established and scanned by TLS. Stem curve functions were then fitted after extraction of diameters at different height, and tree heights from the point cloud data. Lastly, six functions were evaluated by R2 and RMSE. A modified Schumacher equation was the most suitable taper function. Volume estimates from the TLS-derived taper function were better than those derived using the stem-analysis data. Finally, regression analysis showed that predictions of stem size were similar when data were based on TLS versus stem analysis. Its high accuracy and efficiency indicates that TLS technology can play an important role in forest inventory assessment.
      PubDate: 2016-04-20
      DOI: 10.3390/f7040087
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 4 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 88: Developing Biomass Equations for Western
           Hemlock and Red Alder Trees in Western Oregon Forests

    • Authors: Krishna Poudel, Hailemariam Temesgen
      First page: 88
      Abstract: Biomass estimates are required for reporting carbon, assessing feedstock availability, and assessing forest fire threat. We developed diameter- and height-based biomass equations for Western hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla (Raf.) Sarg.) and red alder (Alnus rubra Bong.) trees in Western Oregon. A system of component biomass equations was fitted simultaneously with a constrained seemingly unrelated regression. Additionally, a linear model that predicts total aboveground biomass as a function of DBH and height was also fitted. The predicted total biomass was then apportioned to different components according to the predicted proportions from beta, Dirichlet, and multinomial log-linear regressions. Accuracy of these methods differed between species with higher root mean squared error (RMSE) being produced in red alder trees. Within species, the accuracy of the equation for bole biomass was better than the equations for other components. None of these methods stood out as a clear winner, but the multinomial log-linear regression produced marginally better results compared to other methods in terms of RMSE, except for Western hemlock bark biomass and red alder bole and branch biomass. The equations based on a seemingly unrelated regression provided lower RMSEs for those species-component combinations.
      PubDate: 2016-04-21
      DOI: 10.3390/f7040088
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 4 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 89: Plant Diversity along the Eastern and Western
           Slopes of Baima Snow Mountain, China

    • Authors: Yang Yang, Zehao Shen, Jie Han, Ciren Zhongyong
      First page: 89
      Abstract: Species richness and turnover rates differed between the western and eastern aspects of Baima Snow Mountain: maximum species richness (94 species in a transect of 1000 m2) was recorded at 2800 m on the western aspect and at 3400 m on the eastern aspect (126 species), which also recorded a much higher value of gamma diversity (501 species) than the western aspect (300 species). The turnover rates were the highest in the transition zones between different vegetation types, whereas species-area curves showed larger within-transect beta diversity at middle elevations. The effect of elevation on alpha diversity was due mainly to the differences in seasonal temperature and moisture, and these environmental factors mattered more than spatial distances to the turnover rates along the elevation gradient, although the impact of the environmental factors differed with the growth form (herb, shrubs or trees) of the species. The differences in the patterns of plant biodiversity between the two aspects helped to assess several hypotheses that seek to explain such patterns, to highlight the impacts of contemporary climate and historical and regional factors and to plan biological conservation and forest management in this region more scientifically.
      PubDate: 2016-04-22
      DOI: 10.3390/f7040089
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 4 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 90: Changes in Structure and Diversity of Woody
           Plants in a Secondary Mixed Pine-Oak Forest in the Sierra Madre del Sur of

    • First page: 90
      Abstract: The biotic province of the Sierra Madre del Sur presents a mosaic of woodlands at different successional stages due to frequent modifications in land use. In this study, we analyzed changes in woody flora across three successional stages of pine-oak forest: early, intermediate, and mature. Vegetation composition and diversity were characterized in 10 plots (each 0.28 ha). The mature stage had the highest values for species richness, abundance, and diversity. Pioneer plants were dominant in the early-successional site and may promote the establishment of late-successional species. The vegetation structure was more complex in the mature stage, where members of the Quercus genus were co-dominant with Pinus species. Pine tree richness was highest in the early-successional stage, and its abundance increased at the intermediate-successional site. These results suggest that Pinus species can grow in perturbed and sunny environments but also require favorable edaphic and microclimatic conditions, such as those found in intermediate woodlands. Results of this fieldwork support the initial floristic composition succession model, which suggests that species present at early stages will also occur in subsequent stages. Ecological succession may be considered to be a natural restoration process, and thus, conservation strategies should focus on maintaining distinct successional communities in addition to mature forests in order to preserve a high number of species.
      PubDate: 2016-04-22
      DOI: 10.3390/f7040090
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 4 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 91: Recovery of Vegetation Cover and Soil after the
           Removal of Sheep in Socorro Island, Mexico

    • First page: 91
      Abstract: For over 140 years, the habitat of Socorro Island in the Mexican Pacific has been altered by the presence of exotic sheep. Overgrazing, jointly with tropical storms, has caused soil erosion, and more than 2000 hectares of native vegetation have been lost. Sheep eradication was conducted from 2009 to 2012. Since then, the vegetation has begun to recover passively, modifying soil properties. The objective of our study was to verify that this island was resilient enough to be recovered and in a relatively short time scale. To confirm our hypothesis, we analyzed changes in the physical-chemical properties of the soil and vegetation cover, the last one in different times and habitats after sheep eradication. The change in vegetation cover was estimated by comparing the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) between 2008 and 2013. In sites altered by feral sheep, soil compaction was assessed, and soil samples were taken, analyzing pH, electrical conductivity, organic carbon, total nitrogen, phosphorus, calcium, and magnesium. After a year of total sheep eradication, clear indications in the recovery of vegetation cover and improvement of soil quality parameters were observed and confirmed, specifically compaction and nitrogen, organic carbon, phosphorus, and calcium. The results seem to support our hypothesis.
      PubDate: 2016-04-22
      DOI: 10.3390/f7040091
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 4 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 48: National Assessment of the Fragmentation Levels
           and Fragmentation-Class Transitions of the Forests in Mexico for 2002,
           2008 and 2013

    • Authors: Elizabeth Clay, Rafael Moreno-Sanchez, Juan Torres-Rojo, Francisco Moreno-Sanchez
      First page: 48
      Abstract: Landscape modification and habitat fragmentation are key drivers of global species and biodiversity loss, as well as a major threat to the conservation of forest ecosystems. Mexico is one of the five biologically richest countries in the world. This study first generated a national level assessment of the fragmentation of temperate and tropical forests in Mexico for 2002, 2008, and 2013. Then, using these results, it explores how transitions to non-forest or to other fragmentation classes have evolved within the previous date fragmentation classes for the 2002–2008 and 2008–2013 periods. The Morphological Spatial Pattern Analysis (MSPA) method was used to assess the forest fragmentation. The results show that high fragmentation classes are more likely to transition to no-forest land covers in tropical than in temperate forests and that these conversions were larger during 2002–2008 than during the 2008–2013 period in both forest types. When analyzing the transitions between fragmentation classes, a higher percent of the forest area remained the same fragmentation class between 2008 and 2013 than from 2002 to 2008. Transitions between forest fragmentation classes were relatively small compared to transitions to no-forest land covers, and transitions to higher fragmentation classes were slightly larger in tropical than in temperate forests.
      PubDate: 2016-02-24
      DOI: 10.3390/f7030048
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 3 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 49: White Spruce Growth and Wood Properties over
           Multiple Time Periods in Relation to Current Tree and Stand Attributes

    • Authors: Francesco Cortini, Dan MacIsaac, Philip Comeau
      First page: 49
      Abstract: The relationships between white spruce radial increment and wood properties were investigated in relation to tree and stand attributes using data from mature white spruce stands in the boreal forest of western Canada that experienced a range of shelterwood treatments. The model with the highest predictive ability was radial increment (adj-R2 = 67%) and included crown attributes, diameter at breast height (DBH), average height of competitors, and a climate index. Radial growth was positively related to live crown ratio, whereas wood density and modulus of elasticity were negatively correlated to the crown attribute. Tree slenderness had a significant negative effect on wood density and modulus of elasticity, as it reflects the mechanical stability requirement of the tree. The models consistently improved when using annual averages calculated over longer periods of time. However, when the annual averages were calculated using time periods of 5–10 and 10–20 years prior to sampling, the predictive ability of the models decreased, which indicated that the current tree and stand conditions were the best predictors of growth and wood properties up to five years prior to sampling. This study suggests that crown length equal to 2/3 of the tree height might represent an optimal balance between radial growth and wood quality.
      PubDate: 2016-02-24
      DOI: 10.3390/f7030049
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 3 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 50: The Effects of Poplar Plantations on Vascular
           Plant Diversity in Riparian Landscapes

    • First page: 50
      Abstract: Riparian vegetation, which performs many key ecological functions, has been modified or lost at an alarming rate during the past century as a result of human activity. The aims of this study are (a) to investigate the effects of poplar plantations on plant diversity in riparian zones; and (b) to estimate the ecological implications of extending cover by poplar plantations. For this purpose, we assessed species richness, habitat indicator species and functional diversity based on Grime’s C-S-R strategies. We used non-metric multidimensional scaling to examine the role of environmental factors such as soil properties, forest structure and management. Disturbance, in particular the frequency of harrowing, led to a decline in species richness and modified the indicator species and functional diversity by favoring Ruderal (R) species at the expense Stress-Tolerant (S) and Competitor (C) species, which are better suited to riparian forest conditions. Poplar plantations should not be used as surrogates for riparian forests, and minimizing harrowing in poplar plantations promotes vascular plant diversity. Furthermore, reintroduction of herbs, ferns and geophytes with a high conservation value and low seed dispersal capacity is advisable from the sixth year after establishment, once harrowing for weed control has been completed.
      PubDate: 2016-02-25
      DOI: 10.3390/f7030050
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 3 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 51: Anthropogenic Decline of Ecosystem Services
           Threatens the Integrity of the Unique Hyrcanian (Caspian) Forests in
           Northern Iran

    • Authors: Ardavan Zarandian, Himlal Baral, Ahmad Yavari, Hamid Jafari, Nigel Stork, Matthew Ling, Hamid Amirnejad
      First page: 51
      Abstract: The unique Hyrcanian (Caspian) forests of northern Iran provide vital ecosystem services for local and global communities. We assess the status and trends of key ecosystem services in this region where native forest conversion has accelerated to make way for housing and farm development. This is a mountainous forested area that is valuable for both conservation and multiple human uses including recreation and farming. It contains globally significant natural habitats for in situ conservation of biological diversity. A rapid, qualitative, and participatory approach was used including interviews with local households and experts in combination with assessment of land use/cover remote sensing data to identify and map priority ecosystem services in the Geographic Information System (GIS). Based on the interests of the beneficiaries, eight priority services (food production, water supply, raw materials, soil conservation, water regulation, climate regulation, biodiversity, and recreation) were identified and mapped. The results indicate the current typical spatial distribution of the provided services based on structural characteristics of the study landscape and their changing trends through a comparison of past, present and future land use, and land cover. Although food production and recreation have greatly increased in recent decades, the other services, in particular timber production, biodiversity, and water purification and supply are being gradually lost. The results of this study and of others elsewhere should raise awareness of ecosystem service status and trends and the value of examining these since they provide much of the information to inform natural resources policy and decision making. The declines in supply of key ecosystem services both within and outside the protected area are creating conflicts within communities as well as impacting on the integrity of the area and careful planning and conservation is required to provide win-win opportunities.
      PubDate: 2016-02-27
      DOI: 10.3390/f7030051
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 3 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 52: Fuel Classes in Conifer Forests of Southwest
           Sichuan, China, and Their Implications for Fire Susceptibility

    • Authors: San Wang, Shukui Niu
      First page: 52
      Abstract: The fuel characteristics that influence the initiation and spread of wildfires were measured in Keteleeria fortune forest (FT1), Pinus yunnanensis forest (FT2), P. yunnanensis and Platycladus orientalis (L.) Franco mixed forest (FT3), P. yunnanensis Franch and K. fortunei (Murr.) Carr mixed forest (FT4), Tsuga chinensis forest (FT5), and P. orientalis forest (FT6) in southwest Sichuan Province, China. We compared vertical distributions of four fuel classes (active fuel, fine fuel, medium fuel and thick fuel) in the same vertical strata and in different spatial layers, and analyzed the fire potential (surface fire, passive and active crown fires) of the six forest types (FT). We then classified the six forest types into different groups depending on their wildfire potential. By using the pattern of forest wildfire types that burnt the most number of forests, we identified four fire susceptibility groups. The first two groups had the lowest susceptibility of active crown fires but they differed in the proportion of surface and passive crown fires. The third group was positioned in the middle between types with low and extremely high fire susceptibility; while the fourth group had the highest susceptibility of active crown fires. The results of this study will not only contribute to the prediction of fire behavior, but also will be invaluable for use in forestry management.
      PubDate: 2016-03-07
      DOI: 10.3390/f7030052
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 3 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 53: Correction: DellaSala, D.A., et al. Building on
           Two Decades of Ecosystem Management and Biodiversity Conservation under
           the Northwest Forest Plan, USA. Forests, 2015, 6, 3326

    • Authors: Dominick DellaSala, Rowan Baker, Doug Heiken, Chris Frissell, James Karr, S. Nelson, Barry Noon, David Olson, James Strittholt
      First page: 53
      Abstract: We discovered two typos and a change in a sentence needed in our published manuscript.[...]
      PubDate: 2016-02-26
      DOI: 10.3390/f7030053
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 3 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 54: Complex Challenges of Maintaining Whitebark
           Pine in Greater Yellowstone under Climate Change: A Call for Innovative
           Research, Management, and Policy Approaches

    • Authors: Andrew Hansen, Kathryn Ireland, Kristin Legg, Robert Keane, Edward Barge, Martha Jenkins, Michiel Pillet
      First page: 54
      Abstract: Climate suitability is projected to decline for many subalpine species, raising questions about managing species under a deteriorating climate. Whitebark pine (WBP) (Pinus albicaulis) in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE) crystalizes the challenges that natural resource managers of many high mountain ecosystems will likely face in the coming decades. We review the system of interactions among climate, competitors, fire, bark beetles, white pine blister rust (Cronartium ribicola), and seed dispersers that make WBP especially vulnerable to climate change. A well-formulated interagency management strategy has been developed for WBP, but it has only been implemented across <1% of the species GYE range. The challenges of complex climate effects and land allocation constraints on WBP management raises questions regarding the efficacy of restoration efforts for WBP in GYE. We evaluate six ecological mechanisms by which WBP may remain viable under climate change: climate microrefugia, climate tolerances, release from competition, favorable fire regimes, seed production prior to beetle-induced mortality, and blister-rust resistant trees. These mechanisms suggest that WBP viability may be higher than previously expected under climate change. Additional research is warranted on these mechanisms, which may provide a basis for increased management effectiveness. This review is used as a basis for deriving recommendations for other subalpine species threatened by climate change.
      PubDate: 2016-02-27
      DOI: 10.3390/f7030054
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 3 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 55: Tropical Forest Gain and Interactions amongst
           Agents of Forest Change

    • Authors: Sean Sloan
      First page: 55
      Abstract: The tropical deforestation literature advocates multi-agent enquiry in recognition that key dynamics arise from inter-agent interactions. Studies of tropical forest-cover gain have lagged in this respect. This article explores the roles and key aspects of interactions shaping natural forest regeneration and active reforestation in Eastern Panama since 1990. It employs household surveys of agricultural landholders, interviews with community forest-restoration organisations, archival analysis of plantation reforestation interests, satellite image analysis of forest-cover change, and the consideration of State reforestation policies. Forest-cover gain reflected a convergence of interests and land-use trends amongst agents. Low social and economic costs of sustained interaction and organisation enabled extensive forest-cover gain, but low transaction costs did not. Corporate plantation reforestation rose to the fore of regional forest-cover gain via opportunistic land sales by ranchers and economic subsidies indicative of a State preference for autonomous, self-organising forest-cover gain. This reforestation follows a recent history of neoliberal frontier development in which State-backed loggers and ranchers similarly displaced agriculturalists. Community institutions, long neglected by the State, struggled to coordinate landholders and so effected far less forest-cover gain. National and international commitments to tropical forest restoration risk being similarly characterised as ineffective by a predominance of industrial plantation reforestation without greater State support for community forest management.
      PubDate: 2016-02-27
      DOI: 10.3390/f7030055
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 3 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 56: A Review of the Characteristics of Small-Leaved
           Lime (Tilia cordata Mill.) and Their Implications for Silviculture in a
           Changing Climate

    • Authors: Tanguy De Jaegere, Sebastian Hein, Hugues Claessens
      First page: 56
      Abstract: Tilia cordata Mill. is a minor European broadleaved species with a wide but scattered distribution. Given its scarcity and low value in the wood market, it has received little attention from researchers and forest managers. This review summarizes the main aspects of T. cordata ecology and growth. Its main limiting factor is its need for warm summer temperatures to ensure successful seed production. It has a height growth pattern relatively similar to that of Acer pseudoplatanus L., with a slight delay in the early stages. Yield tables report great productivity, especially in eastern Europe. T. cordata used to be a major species in Europe, in contrast to its present distribution, but it is very likely to receive renewed interest in the future. Indeed, with the potential change of competition between species in some regions and the need for important diversification in others, T. cordata may play an important role in forest adaptation to climate change, especially owing to its wide ecological tolerance and its numerous ecosystem services. It is necessary to increase our knowledge about its regeneration and its responses to environmental and silvicultural factors, to establish clear management recommendations.
      PubDate: 2016-03-01
      DOI: 10.3390/f7030056
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 3 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 57: Spatial Variation in Tree Density and Estimated
           Aboveground Carbon Stocks in Southern Africa

    • First page: 57
      Abstract: Variability in woody plant species, vegetation assemblages and anthropogenic activities derails the efforts to have common approaches for estimating biomass and carbon stocks in Africa. In order to suggest management options, it is important to understand the vegetation dynamics and the major drivers governing the observed conditions. This study uses data from 29 sentinel landscapes (4640 plots) across the southern Africa. We used T-Square distance method to sample trees. Allometric models were used to estimate aboveground tree biomass from which aboveground biomass carbon stock (AGBCS) was derived for each site. Results show average tree density of 502 trees·ha−1 with semi-arid areas having the highest (682 trees·ha−1) and arid regions the lowest (393 trees·ha−1). The overall AGBCS was 56.4 Mg·ha−1. However, significant site to site variability existed across the region. Over 60 fold differences were noted between the lowest AGBCS (2.2 Mg·ha−1) in the Musungwa plains of Zambia and the highest (138.1 Mg·ha−1) in the scrublands of Kenilworth in Zimbabwe. Semi-arid and humid sites had higher carbon stocks than sites in sub-humid and arid regions. Anthropogenic activities also influenced the observed carbon stocks. Repeated measurements would reveal future trends in tree cover and carbon stocks across different systems.
      PubDate: 2016-03-04
      DOI: 10.3390/f7030057
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 3 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 58: Calorific Value and Chemical Composition of
           Five Semi-Arid Mexican Tree Species

    • First page: 58
      Abstract: The current global energy crisis has generated growing interest in looking for alternatives to traditional fossil fuels, presenting lignocellulosic materials as a promising resource for sustainable energy production. In this paper, the calorific values and chemical composition of the trunks, branches, twigs and leaves of five timber species of the semi-arid land of Mexico (Helietta parvifolia (Gray) Benth., Ebenopsis ebano (Berl.) Barneby, Acacia berlandieri (Benth.), Havardia pallens (Benth.) Britton & Rose and Acacia wrightii (Benth.)) were determined according to international standards. The results highlighted the calorific value ranges of 17.56 to 18.61 MJ kg−1 in trunks, 17.15 to 18.45 MJ kg−1 in branches, 17.29 to 17.92 MJ kg−1 in twigs, and 17.35to 19.36 MJ kg−1 in leaves. The pH presented an acidic trend (3.95–5.64). The content of mineral elements varied in trunks (1.09%–2.29%), branches (0.86%–2.75%), twigs (4.26%–6.76%) and leaves (5.77%–11.79%), showing the higher proportion in Ca (57.03%–95.53%), followed by K (0.95%–19.21%) and Mg (0.88%–13.47%). The highest amount of extractives was obtained in the methanolic solvent (3.96%–17.03%). The lignin recorded values of 28.78%–35.84% for trunks, 17.14%–31.39% for branches and 20.61%–29.92% for twigs. Lignin showed a moderately strong correlation (r = 0.66) with calorific value, but the best mathematical model was registered with the calorific value depending on the pH and lignin (R2 = 58.86%).
      PubDate: 2016-03-04
      DOI: 10.3390/f7030058
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 3 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 59: Variation of Drying Strains between Tangential
           and Radial Directions in Asian White Birch

    • Authors: Zongying Fu, Jingyao Zhao, Yeli Yang, Yingchun Cai
      First page: 59
      Abstract: In this study, wood disks of 30 mm in thickness cut from white birch (Betula platyphylla Suk) logs were dried at a constant temperature (40 °C). The drying strains including practical shrinkage strain, elastic strain, viscoelastic creep strain and mechano-sorptive creep were measured both tangentially and radially. The effects of moisture content and radial position on each strain were also discussed qualitatively. Overall, the difference of the practical shrinkage strain between the tangential and radial directions was proportional to the distance from the pith. The tangential elastic strain and viscoelastic creep strain were higher than these strains in a radial direction, and they all decreased with the decrease of moisture content. Additionally, there were opposite mechano-sorptive creep between tangential and radial directions.
      PubDate: 2016-03-07
      DOI: 10.3390/f7030059
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 3 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 60: Managing Forests for Water in the
           Anthropocene—The Best Kept Secret Services of Forest Ecosystems

    • Authors: Irena Creed, Marian Weber, Francesco Accatino, David Kreutzweiser
      First page: 60
      Abstract: Water and forests are inextricably linked. Pressures on forests from population growth and climate change are increasing risks to forests and their aquatic ecosystem services (AES). There is a need to incorporate AES in forest management but there is considerable uncertainty about how to do so. Approaches that manage forest ecosystem services such as fiber, water and carbon sequestration independently ignore the inherent complexities of ecosystem services and their responses to management actions, with the potential for unintended consequences that are difficult to predict. The ISO 31000 Risk Management Standard is a standardized framework to assess risks to forest AES and to prioritize management strategies to manage risks within tolerable ranges. The framework consists of five steps: establishing the management context, identifying, analyzing, evaluating and treating the risks. Challenges to implementing the framework include the need for novel models and indicators to assess forest change and resilience, quantification of linkages between forest practice and AES, and the need for an integrated systems approach to assess cumulative effects and stressors on forest ecosystems and AES. In the face of recent international agreements to protect forests, there are emerging opportunities for international leadership to address these challenges in order to protect both forests and AES.
      PubDate: 2016-03-08
      DOI: 10.3390/f7030060
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 3 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 61: Estimation of Tree Stem Attributes Using
           Terrestrial Photogrammetry with a Camera Rig

    • First page: 61
      Abstract: We propose a novel photogrammetric method for field plot inventory, designed for simplicity and time efficiency on-site. A prototype multi-camera rig was used to acquire images from field plot centers in multiple directions. The acquisition time on-site was less than two minutes. From each view, a point cloud was generated using a novel, rig-based matching of detected SIFT keypoints. Stems were detected in the merged point cloud, and their positions and diameters were estimated. The method was evaluated on 25 hemi-boreal forest plots of a 10-m radius. Due to difficult lighting conditions and faulty hardware, imagery from only six field plots was processed. The method performed best on three plots with clearly visible stems with a 76% detection rate and 0% commission. Diameters could be estimated for 40% of the stems with an RMSE of 2.8–9.5 cm. The results are comparable to other camera-based methods evaluated in a similar manner. The results are inferior to TLS-based methods. However, our method is easily extended to multiple station image schemas, something that could significantly improve the results while retaining low commission errors and time on-site. Furthermore, with smaller hardware, we believe this could be a useful technique for measuring stem attributes in the forest.
      PubDate: 2016-03-08
      DOI: 10.3390/f7030061
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 3 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 62: Assessment of Forest Structure Using Two UAV
           Techniques: A Comparison of Airborne Laser Scanning and Structure from
           Motion (SfM) Point Clouds

    • First page: 62
      Abstract: This study investigates the potential of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to measure and monitor structural properties of forests. Two remote sensing techniques, airborne laser scanning (ALS) and structure from motion (SfM) were tested to capture three-dimensional structural information from a small multi-rotor UAV platform. A case study is presented through the analysis of data collected from a 30 × 50 m plot in a dry sclerophyll eucalypt forest with a spatially varying canopy cover. The study provides an insight into the capabilities of both technologies for assessing absolute terrain height, the horizontal and vertical distribution of forest canopy elements, and information related to individual trees. Results indicate that both techniques are capable of providing information that can be used to describe the terrain surface and canopy properties in areas of relatively low canopy closure. However, the SfM photogrammetric technique underperformed ALS in capturing the terrain surface under increasingly denser canopy cover, resulting in point density of less than 1 ground point per m2 and mean difference from ALS terrain surface of 0.12 m. This shortcoming caused errors that were propagated into the estimation of canopy properties, including the individual tree height (root mean square error of 0.92 m for ALS and 1.30 m for SfM). Differences were also seen in the estimates of canopy cover derived from the SfM (50%) and ALS (63%) pointclouds. Although ALS is capable of providing more accurate estimates of the vertical structure of forests across the larger range of canopy densities found in this study, SfM was still found to be an adequate low-cost alternative for surveying of forest stands.
      PubDate: 2016-03-07
      DOI: 10.3390/f7030062
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 3 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 63: Edge Influence on Diversity of Orchids in
           Andean Cloud Forests

    • First page: 63
      Abstract: Cloud forests harbor high levels of orchid diversity. However, due to the high fragmentation of these forests in the Andes, combined with the pressure for new agricultural land, orchid diversity is highly threatened. Despite this worrying scenario, few studies have assessed the effects of habitat loss specifically on orchid assemblages in the Andes. The aim of this study was to analyze the edge effect on orchids in cloud forest fragments of varying size. We measured forest structure, neighboring land cover and edge effect on orchid abundance, species richness and beta-diversity, by sampling assemblages along edge-to-interior transects in six different sized Andean (southwest Colombia) forest remnants. We recorded 11,127 stem-individuals of orchids in 141 species. Within the forest, edges sustained equal or more species than interior plots. Our results revealed neither patch metrics nor forest structure showed any significant association to orchid diversity at any scale. Nonetheless, from our observations in composition, the type of neighboring cover, particularly pastures, negatively influences interior species (richness and composition) in larger reserves. This might be due to the fact that some species found in interior plots tend to be confined, with sporadic appearances in regeneration forest and are very scarce or absent in pastures. Species richness differed significantly between matrix types. Our results suggest that (1) orchid diversity shows spatial variability in response to disturbances, but the response is independent from forest structure, patch size and patch geometry; (2) orchid communities are negatively affected by covers, and this pattern is reflected in reduced richness and high species turnover; (3) orchid richness edge effect across a pasture-interior gradient. Two forest management implications can be discerned from our results: (1) management strategies aiming to reduce edge effects may focus on improvement regeneration conditions around pasture lands; and (2) local scale management and conservation activities of natural forests in cloud forests will favor small reserves that harbor high levels of richness.
      PubDate: 2016-03-11
      DOI: 10.3390/f7030063
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 3 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 64: Application of Wildfire Risk Assessment Results
           to Wildfire Response Planning in the Southern Sierra Nevada, California,

    • Authors: Matthew Thompson, Phil Bowden, April Brough, Joe Scott, Julie Gilbertson-Day, Alan Taylor, Jennifer Anderson, Jessica Haas
      First page: 64
      Abstract: How wildfires are managed is a key determinant of long-term socioecological resiliency and the ability to live with fire. Safe and effective response to fire requires effective pre-fire planning, which is the main focus of this paper. We review general principles of effective federal fire management planning in the U.S., and introduce a framework for incident response planning consistent with these principles. We contextualize this framework in relation to a wildland fire management continuum based on federal fire management policy in the U.S. The framework leverages recent advancements in spatial wildfire risk assessment—notably the joint concepts of in situ risk and source risk—and integrates assessment results with additional geospatial information to develop and map strategic response zones. We operationalize this framework in a geographic information system (GIS) environment based on landscape attributes relevant to fire operations, and define Potential wildland fire Operational Delineations (PODs) as the spatial unit of analysis for strategic response. Using results from a recent risk assessment performed on several National Forests in the Southern Sierra Nevada area of California, USA, we illustrate how POD-level summaries of risk metrics can reduce uncertainty surrounding potential losses and benefits given large fire occurrence, and lend themselves naturally to design of fire and fuel management strategies. To conclude we identify gaps, limitations, and uncertainties, and prioritize future work to support safe and effective incident response.
      PubDate: 2016-03-10
      DOI: 10.3390/f7030064
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 3 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 65: Tree Mortality Undercuts Ability of

    • Authors: Sarah Widney, Burnell Fischer, Jess Vogt
      First page: 65
      Abstract: Trees provide numerous benefits for urban residents, including reduced energy usage, improved air quality, stormwater management, carbon sequestration, and increased property values. Quantifying these benefits can help justify the costs of planting trees. In this paper, we use i-Tree Streets to quantify the benefits of street trees planted by nonprofits in three U.S. cities (Detroit, Michigan; Indianapolis, Indiana, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) from 2009 to 2011. We also use both measured and modeled survival and growth rates to “grow” the tree populations 5 and 10 years into the future to project the future benefits of the trees under different survival and growth scenarios. The 4059 re-inventoried trees (2864 of which are living) currently provide almost $40,000 (USD) in estimated annual benefits ($9–$20/tree depending on the city), the majority (75%) of which are increased property values. The trees can be expected to provide increasing annual benefits during the 10 years after planting if the annual survival rate is higher than the 93% annual survival measured during the establishment period. However, our projections show that with continued 93% or lower annual survival, the increase in annual benefits from tree growth will not be able to make up for the loss of benefits as trees die. This means that estimated total annual benefits from a cohort of planted trees will decrease between the 5-year projection and the 10-year projection. The results of this study indicate that without early intervention to ensure survival of planted street trees, tree mortality may be significantly undercutting the ability of tree-planting programs to provide benefits to neighborhood residents.
      PubDate: 2016-03-11
      DOI: 10.3390/f7030065
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 3 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 66: Decreasing Deforestation in the Southern
           Brazilian Amazon—The Role of Administrative Sanctions in Mato Grosso

    • Authors: Paulo Sousa
      First page: 66
      Abstract: Forest conservation efforts through regulatory enforcement routinely failed to prevent large scale deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon. However, a turning point occurred in 2005, when a combination of unfavorable economic conditions and an unprecedented coordinated effort between governmental institutions resulted in a gradual slowdown in deforestation. The continuation of this deforestation slowdown in an environment of economic recovery and expansion after 2009 suggests that regulatory enforcement achieved a measure of success not experienced before. In this study, the impact of fines, embargoes on rural private properties, and confiscation of means of production and produce on deforestation in the Southern Amazon state of Mato Grosso was considered through regression and GIS-based analyses. It was found that while all three sanctions were negatively correlated with deforestation, there were important differences in their level of enforcement. Embargoes were effectively implemented and showed high deforestation deterrence effectiveness, but the actual collection of the values of fines issued was extremely low, which casts doubts on their actual effectiveness as a deforestation deterrence mechanism. The results suggest that while sanctions for illegal deforestation have played an important role in the slowdown in deforestation, measures to increase the collection of fines issued are urgently needed.
      PubDate: 2016-03-12
      DOI: 10.3390/f7030066
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 3 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 67: Short-Term vs. Long-Term Effects of Understory
           Removal on Nitrogen and Mobile Carbohydrates in Overstory Trees

    • Authors: Zhong Du, Xiaohu Cai, Weikai Bao, Huai Chen, Hongli Pan, Xue Wang, Qingxia Zhao, Wanze Zhu, Xingliang Liu, Yong Jiang, Mai-He Li
      First page: 67
      Abstract: Understory management in forest ecosystems has been applied to improve the wood production for hundreds of years worldwide. The carbon-physiological mechanisms underlying these positive effects of understory management on the growth of overstory trees have received less attention. We studied the non-structural carbohydrate (NSC) and total nitrogen (N) concentrations in tissues (needles, stem sapwood, and fine roots) of three tree species (two evergreen and one deciduous species) grown in the presence or absence (understory cut) of understory shrubs in plantations in southwestern China, to test whether understories affect the carbon and nitrogen status in the overstory trees. The concentrations of N, NSC (= soluble sugars + starch) in overstory trees varied significantly with understory treatments during the dry season rather than the wet season. Trees grown without understory shrubs had higher levels of N and NSC compared to trees grown with understories. The present study provides insight to explain the functional mechanisms for understory effects on growth of overstory trees, and indicates that the nitrogen and carbon status in overstory trees may be more strongly negatively affected by understory in stressful conditions rather than in optimal growth conditions. Moreover, the present study provides ecophysiology-based knowledge for dealing with understory vegetation management in forest ecosystems.
      PubDate: 2016-03-14
      DOI: 10.3390/f7030067
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 3 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 68: Forest Management Challenges for Sustaining
           Water Resources in the Anthropocene

    • Authors: Ge Sun, James Vose
      First page: 68
      Abstract: The Earth has entered the Anthropocene epoch that is dominated by humans who demand unprecedented quantities of goods and services from forests. The science of forest hydrology and watershed management generated during the past century provides a basic understanding of relationships among forests and water and offers management principles that maximize the benefits of forests for people while sustaining watershed ecosystems. However, the rapid pace of changes in climate, disturbance regimes, invasive species, human population growth, and land use expected in the 21st century is likely to create substantial challenges for watershed management that may require new approaches, models, and best management practices. These challenges are likely to be complex and large scale, involving a combination of direct and indirect biophysical watershed responses, as well as socioeconomic impacts and feedbacks. We discuss the complex relationships between forests and water in a rapidly changing environment, examine the trade-offs and conflicts between water and other resources, and propose new management approaches for sustaining water resources in the Anthropocene.
      PubDate: 2016-03-15
      DOI: 10.3390/f7030068
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 3 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 69: Effect of Organic Layer Thickness on Black
           Spruce Aging Mistakes in Canadian Boreal Forests

    • Authors: Ahmed Laamrani, Annie DesRochers, Line Blackburn
      First page: 69
      Abstract: Boreal black spruce (Picea mariana) forests are prone to developing thick organic layers (paludification). Black spruce is adapted to this environment by the continuous development of adventitious roots, masking the root collar and making it difficult to age trees. Ring counts above the root collar underestimate age of trees, but the magnitude of age underestimation of trees in relation to organic layer thickness (OLT) is unknown. This age underestimation is required to produce appropriate age-correction tools to be used in land resource management. The goal of this study was to assess aging errors that are done with standard ring counts of trees growing in sites with different degrees of paludification (OLT; 0–25 cm, 26–65 cm, >65 cm). Age of 81 trees sampled at three geographical locations was determined by ring counts at ground level and at 1 m height, and real age of trees was determined by cross-dating growth rings down to the root collar (root/shoot interface). Ring counts at 1 m height underestimated age of trees by a mean of 22 years (range 13–49) and 52 years (range 14–112) in null to low vs. moderately to highly paludified stands, respectively. The percentage of aging-error explained by our linear model was relatively high (R2adj = 0.71) and showed that OLT class and age at 0-m could be used to predict total aging-error while neither DBH nor geographic location could. The resulting model has important implications for forest management to accurately estimate productivity of these forests.
      PubDate: 2016-03-15
      DOI: 10.3390/f7030069
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 3 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 70: Geospatial Estimation of above Ground Forest
           Biomass in the Sierra Madre Occidental in the State of Durango, Mexico

    • First page: 70
      Abstract: Combined use of new geospatial techniques and non-parametric multivariate statistical methods enables monitoring and quantification of the biomass of large areas of forest ecosystems with acceptable reliability. The main objective of the present study was to estimate the aboveground forest biomass (AGB) in the Sierra Madre Occidental (SMO) in the state of Durango, Mexico, using the M5 model tree (M5P) technique and the analysis of medium-resolution satellite-based multi-spectral data, and field data collected from a network of 201 permanent forest growth and soil research sites (SPIFyS). Research plots were installed by systematic sampling throughout the study area in 2011. The digital levels of the images were converted to apparent reflectance (ToA) and surface reflectance (SR). The M5P technique that constructs tree-based piecewise linear models was used. The fitted model with SR and tree abundance by species group as predictive variables (ASG) explained 73% of the observed AGB variance (the root mean squared error (RMSE) = 39.40 Mg·ha−1). The variables that best discriminated the AGB, in order of decreasing importance, were the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), tree abundance of other broadleaves species (OB), Band 4 of Landsat 5 TM (Thematic Mapper) satellite and tree abundance of pines (Pinus). The results demonstrate the potential usefulness of the M5P method for estimating AGB based in the surface reflectance values (SR).
      PubDate: 2016-03-15
      DOI: 10.3390/f7030070
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 3 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 71: The Urban Environment Can Modify Drought Stress
           of Small-Leaved Lime (Tilia cordata Mill.) and Black Locust (Robinia
           pseudoacacia L.)

    • First page: 71
      Abstract: The urban environment characterized by various stresses poses challenges to trees. In particular, water deficits and high temperatures can cause immense drought stress to urban trees, resulting in reduced growth and die-off. Drought-tolerant species are expected to be resilient to these conditions and are therefore advantageous over other, more susceptible species. However, the drought tolerance of urban trees in relation to the specific growth conditions in urban areas remains poorly researched. This study aimed to analyze the annual growth and drought tolerance of two common urban tree species, namely small-leaved lime (Tilia cordata Mill. (T. cordata)) and black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia L. (R. pseudoacacia)), in two cities in southern Germany in relation to their urban growing conditions. Marked growth reductions during drought periods and subsequent fast recovery were found for R. pseudoacacia, whereas T. cordata exhibited continued reduced growth after a drought event, although these results were highly specific to the analyzed city. We further show that individual tree characteristics and environmental conditions significantly influence the growth of urban trees. Canopy openness and other aspects of the surrounding environment (water supply and open surface area of the tree pit), tree size, and tree species significantly affect urban tree growth and can modify the ability of trees to tolerate the drought stress in urban areas. Sustainable tree planting of well adapted tree species to their urban environment ensures healthy trees providing ecosystem services for a high quality of life in cities.
      PubDate: 2016-03-17
      DOI: 10.3390/f7030071
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 3 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 72: The Use of Decision Support Systems in Forest
           Management: Analysis of FORSYS Country Reports

    • Authors: Silvana Nobre, Ljusk-Ola Eriksson, Renats Trubins
      First page: 72
      Abstract: From 2009 to 2013, a group of more than 100 researchers from 26 countries, under a COST-Action project named FORSYS, worked on a review of the use of forest management decision support systems (FMDSS). Guided by a template, local researchers conducted assessments of FMDSS use in their countries; their results were documented in Country Reports. In this study, we have used the Country Reports to construct a summary of FMDSS use. For the purposes of our analysis, we conducted a two-round categorisation of the main themes to describe the most relevant aspects of FMDSS use. The material produced was used to generate quantitative summaries of (i) the types of problem where FMDSS are used, (ii) models and methods used to solve these problems, (iii) knowledge management techniques, and (iv) participatory planning techniques. Beyond this, a qualitative analysis identified and summarised the local researchers’ primary concerns, recorded in the conclusions to the Country Reports; we designated these “lessons learned”. Results from the quantitative analysis suggested that most of the participant countries were making use of latest generation FMDSS. A few did not have practical problems that justified the use of such technology or they were still at the beginning of the process of building models to solve their own forest problems.
      PubDate: 2016-03-21
      DOI: 10.3390/f7030072
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 3 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 13: Allometric Models Based on Bayesian Frameworks
           Give Better Estimates of Aboveground Biomass in the Miombo Woodlands

    • Authors: Shem Kuyah, Gudeta Sileshi, Todd Rosenstock
      First page: 13
      Abstract: The miombo woodland is the most extensive dry forest in the world, with the potential to store substantial amounts of biomass carbon. Efforts to obtain accurate estimates of carbon stocks in the miombo woodlands are limited by a general lack of biomass estimation models (BEMs). This study aimed to evaluate the accuracy of most commonly employed allometric models for estimating aboveground biomass (AGB) in miombo woodlands, and to develop new models that enable more accurate estimation of biomass in the miombo woodlands. A generalizable mixed-species allometric model was developed from 88 trees belonging to 33 species ranging in diameter at breast height (DBH) from 5 to 105 cm using Bayesian estimation. A power law model with DBH alone performed better than both a polynomial model with DBH and the square of DBH, and models including height and crown area as additional variables along with DBH. The accuracy of estimates from published models varied across different sites and trees of different diameter classes, and was lower than estimates from our model. The model developed in this study can be used to establish conservative carbon stocks required to determine avoided emissions in performance-based payment schemes, for example in afforestation and reforestation activities.
      PubDate: 2016-02-03
      DOI: 10.3390/f7020013
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 2 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 27: Effects of Forest Gaps on Litter Lignin and
           Cellulose Dynamics Vary Seasonally in an Alpine Forest

    • Authors: Han Li, Fuzhong Wu, Wanqin Yang, Liya Xu, Xiangyin Ni, Jie He, Bo Tan, Yi Hu
      First page: 27
      Abstract: To understand how forest gaps and the associated canopy control litter lignin and cellulose dynamics by redistributing the winter snow coverage and hydrothermal conditions in the growing season, a field litterbag trial was conducted in the alpine Minjiang fir (Abies faxoniana Rehder and E.H. Wilson) forest in a transitional area located in the upper reaches of the Yangtze River and the eastern Tibetan Plateau. Over the first year of litter decomposition, the litter exhibited absolute cellulose loss and absolute lignin accumulation except for the red birch litter. The changes in litter cellulose and lignin were significantly affected by the interactions among gap position, period and species. Litter cellulose exhibited a greater loss in the winter with the highest daily loss rate observed during the snow cover period. Both cellulose and lignin exhibited greater changes under the deep snow cover at the gap center in the winter, but the opposite pattern occurred under the closed canopy in the growing season. The results suggest that decreased snowpack seasonality due to winter warming may limit litter cellulose and lignin degradation in alpine forest ecosystems, which could further inhibit litter decomposition. As a result, the ongoing winter warming and gap vanishing would slow soil carbon sequestration from foliar litter in cold biomes.
      PubDate: 2016-01-27
      DOI: 10.3390/f7020027
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 2 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 28: Adaptation to Climate Change in Swedish

    • First page: 28
      Abstract: Adaptation to climate change in forestry has become a growing concern, in part due to the impact of storms and other events that have raised the awareness of such risks amongst forest owners. Sweden is one of Europe’s most densely-forested countries, with this sector playing a major role economically. However adaptation has, to a large extent, been limited to the provision of recommendations to forest managers, most of which have only been partially implemented. This paper summarizes research with direct implications for adaptation to climate change within the forestry sector in Sweden. The focus is based in particular on providing examples of adaptations that illustrate the specific Swedish orientation to adaptation, in line with its relatively intensive forest management system. The paper thus illustrates a specific Swedish orientation to adaptation through active management, which can be contrasted with approaches to adaptation in other forestry systems, in particular those with limited management or management based on maintaining natural forests in particular.
      PubDate: 2016-01-28
      DOI: 10.3390/f7020028
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 2 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 29: Impacts of Forest to Urban Land Conversion and
           ENSO Phase on Water Quality of a Public Water Supply Reservoir

    • Authors: Emile Elias, Hugo Rodriguez, Puneet Srivastava, Mark Dougherty, Darren James, Ryann Smith
      First page: 29
      Abstract: We used coupled watershed and reservoir models to evaluate the impacts of deforestation and l Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) phase on drinking water quality. Source water total organic carbon (TOC) is especially important due to the potential for production of carcinogenic disinfection byproducts (DBPs). The Environmental Fluid Dynamics Code (EFDC) reservoir model is used to evaluate the difference between daily pre- and post- urbanization nutrients and TOC concentration. Post-disturbance (future) reservoir total nitrogen (TN), total phosphorus (TP), TOC and chlorophyll-a concentrations were found to be higher than pre-urbanization (base) concentrations (p < 0.05). Predicted future median TOC concentration was 1.1 mg·L−1 (41% higher than base TOC concentration) at the source water intake. Simulations show that prior to urbanization, additional water treatment was necessary on 47% of the days between May and October. However, following simulated urbanization, additional drinking water treatment might be continuously necessary between May and October. One of six ENSO indices is weakly negatively correlated with the measured reservoir TOC indicating there may be higher TOC concentrations in times of lower streamflow (La Niña). There is a positive significant correlation between simulated TN and TP concentrations with ENSO suggesting higher concentrations during El Niño.
      PubDate: 2016-01-27
      DOI: 10.3390/f7020029
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 2 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 30: Attribution Analyses of Impacts of
           Environmental Changes on Streamflow and Sediment Load in a Mountainous
           Basin, Vietnam

    • Authors: Jie Wang, Ishidaira Hiroshi, Shaowei Ning, Timur Khujanazarov, Guiping Yin, Lijuan Guo
      First page: 30
      Abstract: Located in the southeastern China and northern Vietnam, the Red River is an important international trans-boundary river that has experienced rapid deforestation and environmental changes over the past decades. We conducted attribution analysis of impacts of various environmental changes on streamflow and sediment load. The contribution of reclassified environmental changes to total change of the streamflow and sediment load was separated. Land cover change based on climate-induced and human-induced indicators were defined. We found that human-induced land cover change was the main factor affecting changes of the streamflow and sediment load. Changes of the land cover were more pronounced in the dry season than in the wet season whereas sediment load changed more in the wet season than in the dry season. In addition, changes in sediment load were mainly caused by human-induced land cover change and the changes of land cover were more influential on sediment load than on streamflow in the Red River basin.
      PubDate: 2016-01-29
      DOI: 10.3390/f7020030
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 2 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 31: Spatial Variations of Soil Moisture under
           Caragana korshinskii Kom. from Different Precipitation Zones: Field Based
           Analysis in the Loess Plateau, China

    • Authors: Yuanxin Liu, Wenwu Zhao, Lixin Wang, Xiao Zhang, Stefani Daryanto, Xuening Fang
      First page: 31
      Abstract: Soil moisture scarcity has become the major limiting factor of vegetation restoration in the Loess Plateau of China. The aim of this study is: (i) to compare the spatial distribution of deep (up to 5 m) soil moisture content (SMC) beneath the introduced shrub Caragana korshinskii Kom. under different precipitation zones in the Loess Plateau and (ii) to investigate the impacts of environmental factors on soil moisture variability. Soil samples were taken under C. korshinskii from three precipitation zones (Semiarid-350, Semiarid-410, Semiarid-470). We found that the highest soil moisture value was in the 0–0.1 m layer with a large coefficient of variation. The soil water storage under different precipitation zones increased following the increase of precipitation (i.e., Semiarid-350 < Semiarid-410 < Semiarid-470), although the degree of SMC variation was different for different precipitation zones. The SMC in the Semiarid-350 zone initially increased with soil depth, and then decreased until it reached the depth of 2.8-m. The SMC in the Semiarid-410 zone showed a decreasing trend from the top soil to 4.2-m depth. The SMC in the Semiarid-470 zone firstly decreased with soil depth, increased, and then decreased until it reached 4.6-m depth. All SMC values then became relatively constant after reaching the 2.8-m, 4.2-m, and 4.6-m depths for Semiarid-350, Semiarid-410, and Semiarid-470, respectively. The low but similar SMC values at the stable layers across the precipitation gradient indicate widespread soil desiccation in this region. Our results suggested that water deficit occurred in all of the three precipitation zones with precipitation, latitude, field capacity, and bulk density as the main environmental variables affecting soil moisture. Considering the correlations between precipitation, SMC and vegetation, appropriate planting density and species selection should be taken into account for introduced vegetation management.
      PubDate: 2016-01-29
      DOI: 10.3390/f7020031
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 2 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 32: Developing Aboveground Biomass Equations Both
           Compatible with Tree Volume Equations and Additive Systems for
           Single-Trees in Poplar Plantations in Jiangsu Province, China

    • Authors: Chao Zhang, Dao-Li Peng, Guo-Sheng Huang, Wei-Sheng Zeng
      First page: 32
      Abstract: We developed aboveground biomass equations for poplar plantations in Jiangsu Province, China, both compatible with tree volume equations and additive systems. Biomass equations were fitted with 80 selected and previously harvested sample trees. Additivity property was assured by applying a “controlling directly under total biomass proportion function” approach. Weighted regression was used to correct heteroscedasticity. Parameters were estimated using a nonlinear error-in-variable model. The results indicated that (1), on average, stems constituted the largest proportion (71.5%) of total aboveground biomass; (2) the aboveground biomass equations, both compatible with tree volume equations and additive systems, obtained good model fitting and prediction, of which the coefficient of determination ranged from 0.903 to 0.987, and the total relative error and the mean prediction error were less than 2.0% and 10.0%, respectively; (3) adding H and CW into the additive system of biomass equations did not improve model fitting and performance as expected, especially for branches and foliage biomass; and (4) the additive systems of biomass equations presented here provided more reliable and accurate biomass predictions than the independent biomass equations fitted by ordinary least square regression. This system of additive biomass equations will prove to be applicable for estimating biomass of poplar plantations in Jiangsu Province of China.
      PubDate: 2016-01-29
      DOI: 10.3390/f7020032
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 2 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 33: An Integer Programming Model to Determine Land
           Use Trajectories for Optimizing Regionally Integrated Ecosystem Services

    • First page: 33
      Abstract: BIOLP is an Integer Programming model based on the Balanced Compromise Programming multi-criteria decision method. The aim of BIOLP is to determine how a set of land use types should be distributed over space and time in order to optimize the multi-dimensional land performance of a region. Trajectories were defined as the succession of specific land use types over 30 years, assuming that land use changes can only occur at fixed intervals of 10 years. A database that represents the Tabacay catchment (Ecuador) as a set of land units with associated performance values was used as the input for BIOLP, which was then executed to determine the trajectories distribution that optimizes regional performance. The sensitivity of BIOLP to uncertainty in the input data, simulated through random variations on the performance values, was also tested. BIOLP showed a relative stability on its results under these conditions of stochastic, restricted changes. Additionally, the behaviour of BIOLP under different settings of its balancing and relative importance parameters was studied. Stronger variations on the outcomes were observed in this case, which indicate the influential role that such parameters play. Finally, the inclusion of performance thresholds in BIOLP was tested through the addition of sample constraints that required some of the criteria at stake to exceed predefined values. The outcome of the optimization exercises makes clear that the phenomenon of trade off between the provisioning service of the land (income) and the regulation and maintenance services (runoff, sediment, SOC) is crucial. BIOLP succeeds in accounting for this complex multi-dimensional phenomenon when determining the optimal spatio-temporal distributions of land use types. Despite this complexity, it is confirmed that the weights attributed to the provisioning or to the regulation and maintenance services are the main determinants for having the land use distributions dominated by either agriculture or forest.
      PubDate: 2016-01-30
      DOI: 10.3390/f7020033
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 2 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 34: Financial Mechanisms to Improve the Supply of
           Ecosystem Services from Privately-Owned Australian Native Forests

    • Authors: Ian Ferguson, Laura Levetan, Neville Crossman, Lauren Bennett
      First page: 34
      Abstract: Much of Australia’s native forest is privately-owned and is needing investment to maintain and improve the supply of a wide range of ecosystem services. This paper reviews mechanisms presently used in Australia to improve the supply of ecosystem services, with particular emphasis on financial mechanisms. Auction, green bond and biobanking schemes are widely and, so far, successfully used in a number of States, especially in projects where the actions required and ecosystem services can be readily measured. Measurement of biodiversity and biodiversity-based services remains problematic, despite some fairly widespread application of different measurement systems. Inadequate or variable measurement systems could engender a loss of investor interest if equivalence or gains cannot be appropriately verified. A new Biodiversity Investment Scheme is proposed, based on the structure used commercially in Managed Investment Schemes. The choice of mechanism, however, will be mainly determined by landowner attitudes to assignment of property rights, and by scale, the extent of public versus private consumption goods, and the transaction costs and risks.
      PubDate: 2016-02-03
      DOI: 10.3390/f7020034
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 2 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 35: Seasonal Variations of Carbon Dioxide, Water
           Vapor and Energy Fluxes in Tropical Indian Mangroves

    • Authors: Suraj Rodda, Kiran Thumaty, Chandra Jha, Vinay Dadhwal
      First page: 35
      Abstract: We present annual estimates of the net ecosystem exchange (NEE) of carbon dioxide (CO2) accumulated over one annual cycle (April 2012 to March 2013) in the world’s largest mangrove ecosystem, Sundarbans (India), using the eddy covariance method. An eddy covariance flux tower was established in April 2012 to study the seasonal variations of carbon dioxide fluxes due to soil and vegetation-atmosphere interactions. The half-hourly maximum of the net ecosystem exchange (NEE) varied from −6 µmol·m−2·s−1 during the summer (April to June 2012) to −10 µmol·m−2·s−1 during the winter (October to December 2012), whereas the half-hourly maximum of H2O flux varied from 5.5 to 2.5 mmol·m−2·s−1 during October 2013 and July 2013, respectively. During the study period, the study area was a carbon dioxide sink with an annual net ecosystem productivity (NEP = −NEE) of 249 ± 20 g·C m−2·year−1. The mean annual evapotranspiration (ET) was estimated to be 1.96 ± 0.33 mm·day−1. The gap-filled NEE was also partitioned into Gross Primary Productivity (GPP) and Ecosystem Respiration (Re). The total GPP and Re over the study area for the annual cycle were estimated to be1271 g C m−2·year−1 and 1022 g C m−2·year−1, respectively. The closure of the surface energy balance accounted for of about 78% of the available energy during the study period. Our findings suggest that the Sundarbans mangroves are currently a substantial carbon sink, indicating that the protection and management of these forests would lead as a strategy towards reduction in carbon dioxide emissions.
      PubDate: 2016-02-06
      DOI: 10.3390/f7020035
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 2 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 36: Effects of Bentonite, Charcoal and Corncob for
           Soil Improvement and Growth Characteristics of Teak Seedling Planted on
           Acrisols in Northeast Thailand

    • Authors: Masazumi Kayama, Suchat Nimpila, Sutjaporn Hongthong, Reiji Yoneda, Wilawan Wichiennopparat, Woraphun Himmapan, Tosporn Vacharangkura, Iwao Noda
      First page: 36
      Abstract: When teak (Tectona grandis L. f.) is planted on acrisols in Northeast Thailand, its growth is suppressed by low pH, infertility, and low water holding capacity. To examine materials capable of increasing water holding capacity in soil and improving teak growth, we conducted an experiment with teak seedlings. We selected bentonite, charcoal, and corncob and added these materials at a rate of 4% to sandy soil from northeast Thailand. Teak seedlings were potted on these soils and raised from July 2013 to July 2014. We compared growth, photosynthetic rates, leaf water potential, and concentrations of elements in plant organs among bentonite, charcoal, corncob, and no addition (control) treatments. Water content in the soils was increased for the bentonite and charcoal treatments. Teak seedlings potted in these two conditions did not suffer from drought stress. Comparing the growth traits of the teak seedlings, the charcoal treatment produced larger root growth and promoted the uptake of phosphorus and potassium, whereas the bentonite treatment did not show positive effects on growth or nutrient acquisition. In contrast, the corncob treatment decreased water content in the soil, and teak seedling growth was suppressed. We concluded that charcoal was a useful material to improve teak growth in sandy soils.
      PubDate: 2016-02-04
      DOI: 10.3390/f7020036
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 2 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 37: Potential for Hybrid Poplar Riparian Buffers to
           Provide Ecosystem Services in Three Watersheds with Contrasting
           Agricultural Land Use

    • Authors: Julien Fortier, Benoit Truax, Daniel Gagnon, France Lambert
      First page: 37
      Abstract: In temperate agricultural watersheds, the rehabilitation of tree vegetation in degraded riparian zones can provide many ecosystem services. This study evaluated ecosystem service provision potential following the conversion of non-managed herbaceous buffers to hybrid poplar (Populus spp.) buffers in three watersheds (555–771 km2) of southern Québec (Canada), with contrasting agricultural land uses. To extrapolate services at the watershed level, total stream length where hybrid poplars could be established was calculated using GIS data from hydrological and land cover maps. After nine years, a 100% replacement of herbaceous buffers by hybrid poplar buffers along farm streams could lead to the production of 5280–76,151 tons of whole tree (stems + branches) biomass, which could heat 0.5–6.5 ha of greenhouses for nine years, with the potential of displacing 2–29 million litres of fuel oil. Alternatively, the production of 3887–56,135 tons of stem biomass (fuelwood) could heat 55–794 new farmhouses or 40–577 old farmhouses for nine years. Producing fuelwood in buffers rather than in farm woodlots could create forest conservation opportunities on 300–4553 ha. Replacing all herbaceous buffers by poplar buffers could provide potential storage of 2984–42,132 t C, 29–442 t N and 3–56 t P in plant biomass, if woody biomass is not harvested. The greatest potential for services provision was in the Pike River watershed where agriculture is the dominant land use. A review of the potential services of poplar buffers is made, and guidelines for managing services and disservices are provided.
      PubDate: 2016-02-04
      DOI: 10.3390/f7020037
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 2 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 38: Above- and Belowground Biomass Models for Trees
           in the Miombo Woodlands of Malawi

    • Authors: Daud Kachamba, Tron Eid, Terje Gobakken
      First page: 38
      Abstract: In this study we present general (multiple tree species from several sites) above- and belowground biomass models for trees in the miombo woodlands of Malawi. Such models are currently lacking in the country. The modelling was based on 74 trees comprising 33 different species with diameters at breast height (dbh) and total tree height (ht) ranging from 5.3 to 2 cm and from 3.0 to 25.0 m, respectively. Trees were collected from four silvicultural zones covering a wide range of conditions. We tested different models including dbh, ht and wood specific gravity ( ρ ) as independent variables. We evaluated model performance using pseudo-R2, root mean square error (RMSE), a covariance matrix for the parameter estimates, mean prediction error (MPE) and relative mean prediction error (MPE%). Computation of MPE% was based on leave-one-out cross-validation. Values of pseudo-R2 and MPE% ranged 0.82–0.97 and 0.9%–2.8%, respectively. Model performance indicated that the models can be used over a wide range of geographical and ecological conditions in Malawi.
      PubDate: 2016-02-05
      DOI: 10.3390/f7020038
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 2 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 39: Partitioning Longleaf Pine Soil Respiration
           into Its Heterotrophic and Autotrophic Components through Root Exclusion

    • Authors: Althea ArchMiller, Lisa Samuelson
      First page: 39
      Abstract: Rapid and accurate estimations of the heterotrophic and autotrophic components of total soil respiration (Rs) are important for calculating forest carbon budgets and for understanding carbon dynamics associated with natural and management-related disturbances. The objective of this study was to use deep (60 cm) root exclusion tubes and paired control (i.e., no root exclusion) collars to estimate heterotrophic respiration (Rh) and Rs, respectively, in three 26-year-old longleaf pine (Pinus palustris Mill.) stands in western Georgia. Root biomass was measured in root exclusion tubes and control collars after 102–104 days of incubation and fine root biomass loss from root exclusion was used to quantify root decay. Mean Rs from control collars was 3.3 micromol•CO2•m−2•s−1. Root exclusion tubes decreased Rs, providing an estimate of Rh. Mean Rh was 2.7 micromol•CO2•m−2•s−1 when uncorrected by pretreatment variation, root decay, or soil moisture compared to 2.1 micromol•CO2•m−2•s−1 when Rh was corrected for root decay. The corresponding ratio of Rh to Rs ranged from 66% to 82%, depending on the estimation method. This study provides an estimate of Rh in longleaf pine forests, and demonstrates the potential for deep root exclusion tubes to provide relatively rapid assessments (i.e., ~40 days post-treatment) of Rh in similar forests. The range in Rh to Rs is comparable to other reports for similar temperate coniferous ecosystems.
      PubDate: 2016-02-06
      DOI: 10.3390/f7020039
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 2 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 40: Investigating Potential Toxicity of Leachate
           from Wood Chip Piles Generated by Roadside Biomass Operations

    • First page: 40
      Abstract: Roadside processing of wood biomass leaves chip piles of varying size depending upon whether they were created for temporary storage, spillage, or equipment maintenance. Wood chips left in these piles can generate leachate that contaminates streams when processing sites are connected to waterways. Leachate toxicity and chemistry were assessed for pure aspen (Populus tremuloides Michx.), lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta Dougl.), hybrid white spruce (Picea engelmannii x glauca Parry), and black spruce (Picea mariana (Mill.) Britton) as well as from two wood chipping sites using mixes of lodgepole pine and hybrid or black spruce. Leachate was generated using rainfall simulation, a static 28-day laboratory assay, and a field-based exposure. Leachate generated by these exposures was analyzed for organic matter content, phenols, ammonia, pH, and toxicity. Findings indicate that all wood chip types produced a toxic leachate despite differences in their chemistry. The consistent toxicity response highlights the need for runoff management that will disconnect processing sites from aquatic environments.
      PubDate: 2016-02-09
      DOI: 10.3390/f7020040
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 2 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 41: Development of Ash Dieback in South-Eastern
           Germany and the Increasing Occurrence of Secondary Pathogens

    • First page: 41
      Abstract: Since its first identification in Poland in 2006, the ascomycete Hymenoscyphus fraxineus has caused massive dieback of Fraxinus excelsior in the countries of eastern, northern and central Europe. This work shows the development, expansion, and severity of the disease in south-eastern Germany for a period of four years, starting in 2010. Differences between habitats, as well as age classes have been captured. The presence and the amount of potentially resistant trees were proven over the years, to determine how high the resistance level might be. Typical disease symptoms are the wilting of leaves, necrotic lesions in the bark and reddish discolorations of branches and stems. In addition, stem necroses also appear by infection with species of Armillaria. Therefore, special attention has been given to Armillaria species in affected ash stands but also to other secondary pathogens, like ash bark beetles. It is shown that breeding galleries of Hylesinus fraxini are only found in trees that have recently died and thus Hylesinus fraxini is still acting as a secondary opportunistic pathogen. In contrast, Armillaria spp. can be considered as serious pathogens of weakened ash trees. In different ash stands, typical symptoms of infection can be found. A relationship between stem base necrotic lesions and vitality was examined. It is shown that necrotic lesions severely contribute to accelerating the mortality of ash trees. In addition to the high infection pressure by H. fraxineus, the high inoculum of Armillaria in the soil facilitates further infections and, thus, likewise endangers the survival of potentially resistant trees. In the following years, forest conversion and seed harvest in affected ash stands will have to be urgently considered to avoid tree gaps on a large scale. Furthermore, infection assays of potentially resistant trees with ensuing breeding programmes should be initially started for the conservation of this ecologically and economically important tree species.
      PubDate: 2016-02-15
      DOI: 10.3390/f7020041
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 2 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 42: Quantifying the Impact of Different Ways to
           Delimit Study Areas on the Assessment of Species Diversity of an Urban

    • Authors: Rongxiao He, Jun Yang, Xiqiang Song
      First page: 42
      Abstract: Assessing the species diversity of an urban forest is important for understanding its structure and functions, but the result can be affected by sampling methods, times, and delimitations of the study area. In this study, we examined the influence of different ways to delimit boundaries of urban areas on the assessment of species diversity of urban forests through a case study conducted in Haikou, China. We surveyed the species diversity of the urban forest in Haikou twice using the same sampling protocol but two commonly used delimitations of the urban area. The two surveys produced significantly different estimates of species richness of the urban forest. Recorded species richness was 228 (144 woody and 84 herbaceous species) and 303 (164 woody and 139 herbaceous species) for the first and the second survey, respectively. The rarefaction analysis indicated that species richness of woody plants recorded in the two surveys could converge by doubling the sample size, but species richness of herbaceous plants was significantly different between the two surveys at the 95% confidence interval even at three times the original sample size. The value of the Simpson dissimilarity index between the two surveys was 0.417 and 0.357 for woody and herbaceous plants respectively, which implied noticeable dissimilarity of species compositions of plant assemblages in the two areas. We concluded that the assessment of biodiversity of an urban forest can be affected significantly by how the boundary of an urban area is defined. Caution should be taken when comparing species diversities of urban forests reported in different studies, especially when richness measures are used.
      PubDate: 2016-02-15
      DOI: 10.3390/f7020042
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 2 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 43: Spatial Autoregressive Models for Stand Top and
           Stand Mean Height Relationship in Mixed Quercus mongolica Broadleaved
           Natural Stands of Northeast China

    • Authors: Minghua Lou, Huiru Zhang, Xiangdong Lei, Chunming Li, Hao Zang
      First page: 43
      Abstract: The relationship of stand top and stand mean height is important for forest growth and yield modeling, but it has not been explored for natural mixed forests. Observations of stand top and stand mean height can present spatial dependence or autocorrelation, which should be considered in modeling. Simultaneous autoregressive (SAR) models, including spatial lag model (SLM), spatial Durbin model (SDM) and spatial error model (SEM), within nine spatial weight matrices were utilized to model the stand top and stand mean height relationship in the mixed Quercus mongolica Fisch. ex Ledeb. broadleaved natural stands of Northeast China, using ordinary least squares (OLS) as a benchmark model. The results showed that there was a high linear relationship between stand top and stand mean height and that there was a positive spatial autocorrelation pattern in model residuals of OLS. Moreover, SEM and SDM performed better than OLS in terms of reducing the spatial dependence of model residuals and model fitting, regardless of which spatial weight matrix was used. SEM was better than SDM. SLM scarcely reduced the spatial autocorrelation of model residuals. Among nine spatial matrices in SEM, rook contiguous matrix performed best in model fitting, followed by inverse distances raised to the second power (1/d2) and local statistics model matrix (LSM).
      PubDate: 2016-02-15
      DOI: 10.3390/f7020043
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 2 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 44: High-Throughput Sequencing Shows High Fungal
           Diversity and Community Segregation in the Rhizospheres of Container-Grown
           Conifer Seedlings

    • First page: 44
      Abstract: Forest nurseries in Sweden produce ca. 360 million seedlings of Pinus sylvestris L. and Picea abies (L.) Karst. annually. Fungi represent the largest microbial component in rhizospheres and may significantly affect health and, consequently, quality of the seedlings. The aim of this study was to assess fungi focusing on pathogens in roots and the sphagnum peat growth substrate of healthy-looking P. sylvestris and P. abies seedlings from nine forest nurseries situated in northern, central and southern regions of Sweden. We hypothesized that nursery stock and the growth substrate can provide a venue for dissemination of fungal diseases. In each nursery and for each tree species, 100 seedlings with the growth substrate were collected during the dormant period. DNA was isolated from parts of root systems and from samples of the growth substrate, amplified using internal transcribed spacer of rDNA as a marker and 454-sequenced. Clustering at 98.5% similarity of 169,844 high-quality sequences resulted in 619 non-singleton fungal taxa. Although results showed that management practices in forest nurseries generally give a healthy stock, latent establishment of pathogenic fungi in both roots and the growth substrate supported the hypothesis. Furthermore, seedling roots and the growth substrate were inhabited by distinct communities of fungi, and lifestyles of these fungi largely determined community segregation into particular ecological niche.
      PubDate: 2016-02-17
      DOI: 10.3390/f7020044
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 2 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 45: Short-Term Belowground Responses to Thinning
           and Burning Treatments in Southwestern Ponderosa Pine Forests of the USA

    • Authors: Steven Overby, Stephen Hart
      First page: 45
      Abstract: Microbial-mediated decomposition and nutrient mineralization are major drivers of forest productivity. As landscape-scale fuel reduction treatments are being implemented throughout the fire-prone western United States of America, it is important to evaluate operationally how these wildfire mitigation treatments alter belowground processes. We quantified these important belowground components before and after management-applied fuel treatments of thinning alone, thinning combined with prescribed fire, and prescribed fire in ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) stands at the Southwest Plateau, Fire and Fire Surrogate site, Arizona. Fuel treatments did not alter pH, total carbon and nitrogen (N) concentrations, or base cations of the forest floor (O horizon) or mineral soil (0–5 cm) during this 2-year study. In situ rates of net N mineralization and nitrification in the surface mineral soil (0–15 cm) increased 6 months after thinning with prescribed fire treatments; thinning only resulted in net N immobilization. The rates returned to pre-treatment levels after one year. Based on phospholipid fatty acid composition, microbial communities in treated areas were similar to untreated areas (control) in the surface organic horizon and mineral soil (0–5 cm) after treatments. Soil potential enzyme activities were not significantly altered by any of the three fuel treatments. Our results suggest that a variety of one-time alternative fuel treatments can reduce fire hazard without degrading soil fertility.
      PubDate: 2016-02-18
      DOI: 10.3390/f7020045
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 2 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 46: Assessing Wildfire Risk in Cultural Heritage
           Properties Using High Spatial and Temporal Resolution Satellite Imagery
           and Spatially Explicit Fire Simulations: The Case of Holy Mount Athos,

    • Authors: Giorgos Mallinis, Ioannis Mitsopoulos, Esteban Beltran, Johann Goldammer
      First page: 46
      Abstract: Fire management implications and the design of conservation strategies on fire prone landscapes within the UNESCO World Heritage Properties require the application of wildfire risk assessment at landscape level. The objective of this study was to analyze the spatial variation of wildfire risk on Holy Mount Athos in Greece. Mt. Athos includes 20 monasteries and other structures that are threatened by increasing frequency of wildfires. Site-specific fuel models were created by measuring in the field several fuel parameters in representative natural fuel complexes, while the spatial extent of the fuel types was determined using a synergy of high-resolution imagery and high temporal information from medium spatial resolution imagery classified through object-based analysis and a machine learning classifier. The Minimum Travel Time (MTT) algorithm, as it is embedded in FlamMap software, was applied in order to evaluate Burn Probability (BP), Conditional Flame Length (CFL), Fire Size (FS), and Source-Sink Ratio (SSR). The results revealed low burn probabilities for the monasteries; however, nine out of the 20 monasteries have high fire potential in terms of fire intensity, which means that if an ignition occurs, an intense fire is expected. The outputs of this study may be used for decision-making for short-term predictions of wildfire risk at an operational level, contributing to fire suppression and management of UNESCO World Heritage Properties.
      PubDate: 2016-02-19
      DOI: 10.3390/f7020046
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 2 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 47: Evidence on the Adaptive Recruitment of Chinese
           Cork Oak (Quercus variabilis Bl.): Influence on Repeated Germination and
           Constraint Germination by Food-Hoarding Animals

    • Authors: Yifeng Zhang, Yuhua Shi, Alfred Sichilima, Meilin Zhu, Jiqi Lu
      First page: 47
      Abstract: In drought temperate forest, seedling recruitment is highly dependent on seed burial by native animal dispersers. To prolong seed storage, animals often take measures to impede seed germination. Aiming to understand the strategic balance between the natural seed germination and the role played by animals in the constraint germination procedures, we investigated the stages on the germinated acorns of Chinese cork oak (Quercus variabilis Bl.) and the rodents’ behavior on the consequential delay in developmental processes of acorns in Mt. Taihangshan area of Jiyuan, Henan, China. The results showed that (1) Apodemus peninsulae Thomas excise radicles from germinated acorns before hoarding; (2) radicle-excised acorns re-germinate successfully if the excised radicle was un-lignified, but reverse if excised radicle was lignified; and (3) seedlings derived from radicle-excised acorns produce more lateral roots than that of sound acorns. We conclude that rodents take the radicle-excision behavior as a deliberate mechanism to slow the rapid germination of acorns; nevertheless, the acorns adaptively respond to this negative treatment and counteract the constraint from rodents by regermination to preserve the viability of the seeds. Consequently, this plays a significant role in forest recruitment. This study proves the new survival model of Chinese cork oak against animal predation, and will broaden theories of animal-forest interaction, forest succession and can be used as a meaningful venture to temperate forest restoration efforts.
      PubDate: 2016-02-20
      DOI: 10.3390/f7020047
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 2 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 11: History and Productivity Determine the Spatial
           Distribution of Key Habitats for Biodiversity in Norwegian Forest

    • First page: 11
      Abstract: Retention forestry, including the retention of woodland key habitats (WKH) at the forest stand scale, has become an essential management practice in boreal forests. Here, we investigate the spatial distribution of 9470 habitat patches, mapped according to the Complementary Habitat Inventory method (CHI habitats), as potential WKHs in 10 sample areas in Norway. We ask whether there are parts of the forest landscapes that have consistently low or high density of CHI habitats compared to the surveyed landscape as a whole, and therefore have a low or high degree of conflict with harvesting, respectively. We found that there was a general pattern of clumped distribution of CHI habitats at distances up to a few kilometres. Furthermore, results showed that most types of CHI habitats were approximately two to three times as common in the 25% steepest slopes, lowest altitudes and highest site indices. CHI habitats that are most common in old-growth forests were found at longer distances from roads, whereas habitats rich in deciduous trees were found at shorter distances from roads than expected. Both environmental factors and the history of human impact are needed to explain the spatial distribution of CHI habitats. The overrepresentation of WKHs in parts of the forest landscapes represents a good starting point to develop more efficient inventory methods.
      PubDate: 2016-01-02
      DOI: 10.3390/f7010011
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 1 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 12: Propagation of Native Tree Species to Restore
           Subtropical Evergreen Broad-Leaved Forests in SW China

    • Authors: Yang Lu, Sailesh Ranjitkar, Jian-Chu Xu, Xiao-Kun Ou, Ying-Zai Zhou, Jian-Fang Ye, Xun-Feng Wu, Horst Weyerhaeuser, Jun He
      First page: 12
      Abstract: Subtropical evergreen broad-leaved forest (EBLF) is a widespread vegetation type throughout East Asia that has suffered extensive deforestation and fragmentation. Selection and successful propagation of native tree species are important for improving ecological restoration of these forests. We carried out a series of experiments to study the propagation requirements of indigenous subtropical tree species in Southwest China. Seeds of 21 tree species collected from the natural forest were materials for the experiment. This paper examines the seed germination and seedling growth performance of these species in a nursery environment. Germination percentages ranged from 41% to 96% and were ≥50% for 19 species. The median length of germination time (MLG) ranged from 24 days for Padus wilsonii to 144 days for Ilex polyneura. Fifteen species can reach the transplant size (≥15 cm in height) within 12 months of seed collection. Nursery-grown seedlings for each species were planted in degraded site. Two years after planting, the seedling survival rate was >50% in 18 species and >80% in 12 species. Based on these results, 17 species were recommended as appropriate species for nursery production in forest restoration projects. Our study contributes additional knowledge regarding the propagation techniques for various native subtropical tree species in nurseries for forest restoration.
      PubDate: 2016-01-02
      DOI: 10.3390/f7010012
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 1 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 14: Assessments of Population Structure, Diversity,
           and Phylogeography of the Swiss Needle Cast Fungus (Phaeocryptopus
           gaeumannii) in the U.S. Pacific Northwest

    • Authors: Patrick Bennett, Jeffrey Stone
      First page: 14
      Abstract: Swiss needle cast (SNC) is a foliar disease of Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) caused by Phaeocryptopus gaeumannii (Rohde) Petrak. This fungus is endemic to western North America, where it has historically had little impact in native forests. However, increasing disease severity in western Oregon since the 1990s has prompted renewed interest in P. gaeumannii and SNC. For this study, we analyze multilocus microsatellite genotypes from 482 single-spore isolates from 68 trees across 14 sites in the western Coast Range of Oregon and southwestern Washington. This study assesses genotypic variation and genetic structure at several levels of population hierarchy. Despite the observation that most of the genetic variation occurred within subpopulations, our analyses detected significant differentiation at all hierarchical levels. Clustering among the 482 isolates based on genetic distance clearly supports the existence of two previously described cryptic lineages of P. gaeumannii in the western United States. The two lineages occur in varying proportions along latitudinal and longitudinal gradients in western Oregon and Washington, suggesting a relationship between climate and phylogeography. Sites near Tillamook, Oregon, where SNC is most severe, consist of sympatric subpopulations in which the two lineages comprise roughly equal proportions.
      PubDate: 2016-01-06
      DOI: 10.3390/f7010014
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 1 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 15: Labile and Non-Labile Fractions of Phosphorus
           and Its Transformations in Soil under Eucalyptus Plantations, Brazil

    • First page: 15
      Abstract: Phosphorus (P) is the main limiting nutritional factor in the cultivation of Eucalyptus in Brazil. Despite this, little is known about the P fractions and dynamics in Eucalyptus soils in tropical regions. The aims of this study were (1) to evaluate the distribution of labile and non-labile fractions of P in soil in 10 sites of Eucalyptus in the state of São Paulo, Brazil and (2) to determine the interactions among the P fractions and to identify which fractions act as sinks or sources for the available P fraction. The P fractions were separated using the Hedley sequential extraction method, and the P transformation processes were evaluated via structural equation modeling. The labile P (resin-Pi + Pi and Po in NaHCO3) varied between 6% and 16%, the moderately labile P (Pi + Po in NaOH) varied between 28% and 40%, the occluded P (Pi + Po in Sonicate + NaOH) varied between 6% and 19%, the P associated with Ca (HCl-Pi) varied between 0.4% and 3% and the residual-P varied between 35% and 47%. The hypothetical structural model of soil P cycle was composed of four P pools (latent variables): the organic pool, occluded pool, inorganic pool, and available pool. The structural model was adequate to identify functional pools of P in soil, and to identify transformation processes of P based on the source-sink relationships. The available P pool was highly dependent on inorganic and occluded pools and the organic pool acted predominantly as a sink of P on available and inorganic pools. The results reinforce the high level of recalcitrance of the organic pool and the fact that Eucalyptus plants must access pools of limited-availability P to meet their nutritional demands.
      PubDate: 2016-01-06
      DOI: 10.3390/f7010015
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 1 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 16: Influences of Land Use Change on Baseflow in
           Mountainous Watersheds

    • Authors: Xu-Dong Huang, Zhi-Hua Shi, Nu-Fang Fang, Xuan Li
      First page: 16
      Abstract: It is crucial for effective water resource management in a watershed that the relationship between land use changes and baseflow. This study quantifies the influence of land use changes on the baseflow dynamics using a hydrological model and partial least-squares (PLS) regression in the Upper Du Watershed (8961 km2), China. Our study suggests that forest can be a major factor with a negative impact on the baseflow. Additionally, farmland and urban land have second-order negative effects on the baseflow dynamics. Baseflow increases when forest is replaced by farmland because the evapotranspiration (ET), associated with baseflow recession, is weaker and shorter in duration in the farmland than in the forest. The conversion of forest to urban land increases baseflow owing to the presence of non-contributing impervious surfaces in urban areas, which prevents the urban land from intercepting the baseflow discharge. These results indicate that the baseflow dynamics are closely associated with varying land use types within a watershed. Thus, this study is intended to provide a deeper understanding of the baseflow processes and useful quantitative information on land use factors in watersheds, enabling more informed decision-making in forest and watershed management.
      PubDate: 2016-01-06
      DOI: 10.3390/f7010016
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 1 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 17: Scientometrics of Forest Health and Tree
           Diseases: An Overview

    • Authors: Marco Pautasso
      First page: 17
      Abstract: Maintaining forest health is a worldwide challenge due to emerging tree diseases, shifts in climate conditions and other global change stressors. Research on forest health is thus accumulating rapidly, but there has been little use of scientometric approaches in forest pathology and dendrology. Scientometrics is the quantitative study of trends in the scientific literature. As with all tools, scientometrics needs to be used carefully (e.g., by checking findings in multiple databases) and its results must be interpreted with caution. In this overview, we provide some examples of studies of patterns in the scientific literature related to forest health and tree pathogens. Whilst research on ash dieback has increased rapidly over the last years, papers mentioning the Waldsterben have become rare in the literature. As with human health and diseases, but in contrast to plant health and diseases, there are consistently more publications mentioning “tree health” than “tree disease,” possibly a consequence of the often holistic nature of forest pathology. Scientometric tools can help balance research attention towards understudied emerging risks to forest trees, as well as identify temporal trends in public interest in forests and their health.
      PubDate: 2016-01-08
      DOI: 10.3390/f7010017
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 1 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 18: A Comparison of Hierarchical and
           Non-Hierarchical Bayesian Approaches for Fitting Allometric Larch
           (Larix.spp.) Biomass Equations

    • Authors: Dongsheng Chen, Xingzhao Huang, Xiaomei Sun, Wu Ma, Shougong Zhang
      First page: 18
      Abstract: Accurate biomass estimations are important for assessing and monitoring forest carbon storage. Bayesian theory has been widely applied to tree biomass models. Recently, a hierarchical Bayesian approach has received increasing attention for improving biomass models. In this study, tree biomass data were obtained by sampling 310 trees from 209 permanent sample plots from larch plantations in six regions across China. Non-hierarchical and hierarchical Bayesian approaches were used to model allometric biomass equations. We found that the total, root, stem wood, stem bark, branch and foliage biomass model relationships were statistically significant (p-values < 0.001) for both the non-hierarchical and hierarchical Bayesian approaches, but the hierarchical Bayesian approach increased the goodness-of-fit statistics over the non-hierarchical Bayesian approach. The R2 values of the hierarchical approach were higher than those of the non-hierarchical approach by 0.008, 0.018, 0.020, 0.003, 0.088 and 0.116 for the total tree, root, stem wood, stem bark, branch and foliage models, respectively. The hierarchical Bayesian approach significantly improved the accuracy of the biomass model (except for the stem bark) and can reflect regional differences by using random parameters to improve the regional scale model accuracy.
      PubDate: 2016-01-11
      DOI: 10.3390/f7010018
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 1 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 19: Environmental Drivers of Patterns of Plant

    • Authors: Chang-Bae Lee, Jung-Hwa Chun
      First page: 19
      Abstract: Understanding patterns of biodiversity and their drivers along environmental gradients is one of the central topics in ecology. However, whether diversity patterns along environmental gradients differ among diversity components as well as life forms and what kind of variables control or interact to shape the diversity patterns are poorly known. This study scrutinized the distribution patterns of three plant groups with four diversity indices and evaluated the effects of regional area, topography, topographic heterogeneity, climate, primary productivity, vegetation structure diversity and vegetation type diversity along an extensive elevational gradient on the Baekdudaegan Mountains in South Korea. Different elevational patterns, including hump-shaped, reversed hump-shaped, increasing, multimodal and no relationship, were observed among both the diversity indices and the plant groups. Regional area, habitat heterogeneity and climate were included to explain most of the elevational diversity patterns. In particular, habitat heterogeneity was the most important variable for explaining the patterns of diversity. The results suggest that patterns of elevational diversity may differ not only among plant groups but also among diversity indices and that such patterns are primarily caused by habitat heterogeneity in the Baekdudaegan Mountains because more heterogeneous and diverse habitats can support more coexisting species.
      PubDate: 2016-01-12
      DOI: 10.3390/f7010019
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 1 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 20: Quantifying the Impacts of Systemic Acquired
           Resistance to Pitch Canker on Monterey Pine Growth Rate and Hyperspectral

    • Authors: Gregory Reynolds, Thomas Gordon, Neil McRoberts
      First page: 20
      Abstract: Pitch canker, caused by Fusarium circinatum, is a disease affecting Monterey pine (Pinus radiata) and many other pine species throughout the world. The impact of pitch canker on Pinus radiata may be limited by systemic acquired resistance (SAR), a phenomenon that elevates resistance to a pathogen after initial challenge by that pathogen or another microorganism. Allocation of resources to defense, as a consequence of SAR, is presumed to reduce resources available to support growth and reproduction, but specific fitness consequences associated with SAR in P. radiata have not been measured. To quantify impacts of SAR on growth rate, a 2 × 2 factorial experiment was established in which trees were either primed for SAR or unprimed, with half the trees in each of those two groups being inoculated with the pitch canker pathogen and the other half not inoculated. Priming for SAR was accomplished by inoculating one branch with F. circinatum and removing inoculated branches prior to subsequent challenge inoculations (= disease treatments). Disease treatments included three inoculations that were removed for measurement of lesion length, and three additional inoculations that remained on the tree as a representation of persistent disease. Control trees were mock inoculated with water. Main effects of priming and disease did not result in significant effects on growth rate. Based on hyperspectral canopy reflectance data, diseased trees were associated with higher difference vegetation index values and biomass. The absence of a negative impact on growth rate associated with SAR suggests that induction of resistance may have utility as a tool for management of pitch canker in plantations.
      PubDate: 2016-01-12
      DOI: 10.3390/f7010020
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 1 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 21: Community Structure, Biodiversity, and
           Ecosystem Services in Treeline Whitebark Pine Communities: Potential
           Impacts from a Non-Native Pathogen

    • Authors: Diana Tomback, Lynn Resler, Robert Keane, Elizabeth Pansing, Andrew Andrade, Aaron Wagner
      First page: 21
      Abstract: Whitebark pine (Pinus albicaulis) has the largest and most northerly distribution of any white pine (Subgenus Strobus) in North America, encompassing 18° latitude and 21° longitude in western mountains. Within this broad range, however, whitebark pine occurs within a narrow elevational zone, including upper subalpine and treeline forests, and functions generally as an important keystone and foundation species. In the Rocky Mountains, whitebark pine facilitates the development of krummholz conifer communities in the alpine-treeline ecotone (ATE), and thus potentially provides capacity for critical ecosystem services such as snow retention and soil stabilization. The invasive, exotic pathogen Cronartium ribicola, which causes white pine blister rust, now occurs nearly rangewide in whitebark pine communities, to their northern limits. Here, we synthesize data from 10 studies to document geographic variation in structure, conifer species, and understory plants in whitebark pine treeline communities, and examine the potential role of these communities in snow retention and regulating downstream flows. Whitebark pine mortality is predicted to alter treeline community composition, structure, and function. Whitebark pine losses in the ATE may also alter response to climate warming. Efforts to restore whitebark pine have thus far been limited to subalpine communities, particularly through planting seedlings with potential blister rust resistance. We discuss whether restoration strategies might be appropriate for treeline communities.
      PubDate: 2016-01-19
      DOI: 10.3390/f7010021
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 1 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 22: A Global Index for Mapping the Exposure of
           Water Resources to Wildfire

    • First page: 22
      Abstract: Wildfires are keystone components of natural disturbance regimes that maintain ecosystem structure and functions, such as the hydrological cycle, in many parts of the world. Consequently, critical surface freshwater resources can be exposed to post-fire effects disrupting their quantity, quality and regularity. Although well studied at the local scale, the potential extent of these effects has not been examined at the global scale. We take the first step toward a global assessment of the wildfire water risk (WWR) by presenting a spatially explicit index of exposure. Several variables related to fire activity and water availability were identified and normalized for use as exposure indicators. Additive aggregation of those indicators was then carried out according to their individual weight. The resulting index shows the greatest exposure risk in the tropical wet and dry forests. Intermediate exposure is indicated in mountain ranges and dry shrublands, whereas the lowest index scores are mostly associated with high latitudes. We believe that such an approach can provide important insights for water security by guiding global freshwater resource preservation.
      PubDate: 2016-01-13
      DOI: 10.3390/f7010022
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 1 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 23: A Quantitative Assessment of Forest Cover
           Change in the Moulouya River Watershed (Morocco) by the Integration of a
           Subpixel-Based and Object-Based Analysis of Landsat Data

    • First page: 23
      Abstract: A quantitative assessment of forest cover change in the Moulouya River watershed (Morocco) was carried out by means of an innovative approach from atmospherically corrected reflectance Landsat images corresponding to 1984 (Landsat 5 Thematic Mapper) and 2013 (Landsat 8 Operational Land Imager). An object-based image analysis (OBIA) was undertaken to classify segmented objects as forested or non-forested within the 2013 Landsat orthomosaic. A Random Forest classifier was applied to a set of training data based on a features vector composed of different types of object features such as vegetation indices, mean spectral values and pixel-based fractional cover derived from probabilistic spectral mixture analysis). The very high spatial resolution image data of Google Earth 2013 were employed to train/validate the Random Forest classifier, ranking the NDVI vegetation index and the corresponding pixel-based percentages of photosynthetic vegetation and bare soil as the most statistically significant object features to extract forested and non-forested areas. Regarding classification accuracy, an overall accuracy of 92.34% was achieved. The previously developed classification scheme was applied to the 1984 Landsat data to extract the forest cover change between 1984 and 2013, showing a slight net increase of 5.3% (ca. 8800 ha) in forested areas for the whole region.
      PubDate: 2016-01-15
      DOI: 10.3390/f7010023
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 1 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 24: Exploring Opportunities for Promoting Synergies
           between Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation in Forest Carbon

    • Authors: Eugene Chia, Kalame Fobissie, Markku Kanninen
      First page: 24
      Abstract: There is growing interest in designing and implementing climate change mitigation and adaptation (M + A) in synergy in the forest and land use sectors. However, there is limited knowledge on how the planning and promotion of synergies between M + A can be operationalized in the current efforts to mitigate climate change through forest carbon. This paper contributes to fill this knowledge gap by exploring ways of planning and promoting M + A synergy outcomes in forest carbon initiatives. It examines eight guidelines that are widely used in designing and implementing forest carbon initiatives. Four guiding principles with a number of criteria that are relevant for planning synergy outcomes in forest carbon activities are proposed. The guidelines for developing forest carbon initiatives need to demonstrate that (1) the health of forest ecosystems is maintained or enhanced; (2) the adaptive capacity of forest-dependent communities is ensured; (3) carbon and adaptation benefits are monitored and verified; and (4) adaptation outcomes are anticipated and planned in forest carbon initiatives. The forest carbon project development guidelines can encourage the integration of adaptation in forest carbon initiatives. However, their current efforts guiding projects and programs to deliver biodiversity and environmental benefits, ecosystem services, and socioeconomic benefits are not considered explicitly as efforts towards enhancing adaptation. An approach for incentivizing and motivating project developers, guideline setters, and offset buyers is imperative in order to enable existing guidelines to make clear contributions to adaptation goals. We highlight and discuss potential ways of incentivizing and motivating the explicit planning and promotion of adaptation outcomes in forest carbon initiatives.
      PubDate: 2016-01-15
      DOI: 10.3390/f7010024
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 1 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 25: Synthesis and New Observations on Needle
           Pathogens of Larch in Northern Finland

    • Authors: Risto Jalkanen
      First page: 25
      Abstract: Needle pathogens of larch (Larix spp.) in the Nordic countries are under-studied. Their incidence in Finland tends to be low and local, and this may be a function of enemy release, since species of larch were introduced to the region. Here, the ecology and incidence of larch needle pathogens and the abiotic factors that also affect larch in northern Finland are reviewed. Field observations and related laboratory analyses during the past 35 years have mainly been obtained near the Kivalo Research Area within the Arctic Circle, Finnish Lapland. The relatively recent introduction of Hypodermella laricis is a primary focus. This pathogen is not only new to Nordic countries, but can cause severe outbreaks, defoliation and crown-thinning in the canopies of all ages of most planted larch species worldwide. Symptoms of H. laricis clearly differ from those of Mycosphaerella laricina; the latter has affected Larix sibirica at high latitudes for decades. The effects of Meria laricis, Lophodermium laricinum, various rust fungi, and wind and frost are also discussed.
      PubDate: 2016-01-18
      DOI: 10.3390/f7010025
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 1 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 26: Acknowledgement to Reviewers of Forests in 2015

    • Authors: Forests Editorial Office
      First page: 26
      Abstract: The editors of Forests would like to express their sincere gratitude to the following reviewers for assessing manuscripts in 2015. [...]
      PubDate: 2016-01-22
      DOI: 10.3390/f7010026
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 1 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 1: Detection of Airborne Inoculum of Hymenoscyphus
           fraxineus and H. albidus during Seasonal Fluctuations Associated with
           Absence of Apothecia

    • Authors: Milon Dvorak, Gabriela Rotkova, Leticia Botella
      First page: 1
      Abstract: Hymenoscyphus fraxineus is an invasive fungal species causing the most serious disease of ashes (Fraxinus spp.) in Europe—ash dieback. The biology of this fungus is not totally elucidated, neither its relation to the saprophytic species Hymenoscyphus albidus, native in Europe. Our study is focused on the description of seasonal spore dispersal of both fungi and its relation to meteorological conditions, which is needed for more precise and effective control of the disease. For this experiment one long time infected mixed forest in the SE Czech Republic was chosen. A seven-day automatic volumetric spore trap and a weather station were installed to continuously sample the aerospora from April to October 2014. In seven periods a rotating arm spore trap was also used to obtain 48-h air samples to compare the efficiency of these two types of air samplers. Air samples were evaluated solely by qPCR with a very low detection limit. Results show co-occurrence of inoculum of both fungi throughout the entire sampling period with peak levels in August. The origin of the inoculum sampled in the periods without apothecia is discussed. Air-inoculum occurrence of both fungi is significantly correlated with each other, suggesting their coexistence in this forest.
      PubDate: 2015-12-22
      DOI: 10.3390/f7010001
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 1 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 2: Responses of Clonal Eucalypt Plantations to N, P
           and K Fertilizer Application in Different Edaphoclimatic Conditions

    • First page: 2
      Abstract: Eucalypt plantations in Brazil have the highest mean productivity when compared to other producing countries, and fertilizer application is one of the main factors responsible for these productivities. Our aim was to identify appropriate rates of N, P and K in eucalypt plantations and their interactions with edaphoclimatic factors. Four trials with four rates and three nutrients (N, P and K) were set up. Each nutrient was studied separately, and the trees received sufficient rates of all of the other nutrients through fertilization, to avoid limitations not related to the desired nutrient. We assessed solid wood volume (SV), productivity gains (PG), leaf nutrient content and leaf area index (LAI) to determine the responses to fertilization. PG, regarding N, rates ranged from 104% to 127% at 60 months after planting. P fertilizer application led to gains in productivity in soils with levels of P-resin up to 5 mg·kg−1, but decreased with stand age. K fertilizer application responses increased within age in three sites. In Paulistania, responses to K application were close to zero. N and K responses were climate related. Leaf nutrient content and LAI were not able to predict the highest yields obtained.
      PubDate: 2015-12-22
      DOI: 10.3390/f7010002
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 1 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 3: The Interaction between FSC Certification and
           the Implementation of the EU Timber Regulation in Romania

    • Authors: Ines Gavrilut, Aureliu-Florin Halalisan, Alexandru Giurca, Metodi Sotirov
      First page: 3
      Abstract: This explorative study aims to shed light on the ways in which Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification interacts with the implementation of the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR) in Romania. To this end, the EUTR implementation process is examined, and the relationship between this implementation and FSC certification is explored. There is a particular focus on the extent to which certification has helped companies to comply with EUTR requirements. The study uses the analytical framework of Transnational Business Governance Interactions (TBGI) and a mixed research approach. It is found that FSC certification has to a large extent helped companies to prepare for and align with the EUTR’s requirements, in particular concerning risk assessment and risk mitigation procedures needed for a due diligence system (DDS), and in the context of a “policy vacuum” period related to EUTR implementation. Moreover, recent changes in the FSC standard make it theoretically in line with EUTR requirements. However, difficulties remain in relation to the lack of information, costs and bureaucracy associated with both EUTR implementation and FSC certification. Notably, in the absence of a monitoring organization, the establishment of a viable DDS is still problematic as many companies remain unprepared for developing their own systems. Finally, the EUTR and its risk management requirements may have partly fueled the increase in uptake of chain of custody (CoC) certification in Romania. However, due to the risk of CoC certificates including illegally sourced timber, this recent uptake in certification does not necessarily indicate improved sustainable forest management (SFM) or full compliance with EUTR.
      PubDate: 2015-12-22
      DOI: 10.3390/f7010003
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 1 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 4: Consequences of Shifts in Abundance and
           Distribution of American Chestnut for Restoration of a Foundation Forest

    • Authors: Harmony Dalgleish, C. Nelson, John Scrivani, Douglass Jacobs
      First page: 4
      Abstract: Restoration of foundation species, such as the American chestnut (Castanea dentata) that was devastated by an introduced fungus, can restore ecosystem function. Understanding both the current distribution as well as biogeographic patterns is important for restoration planning. We used United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service Forest Inventory and Analysis data to quantify the current density and distribution of C. dentata. We then review the literature concerning biogeographic patterns in C. dentata. Currently, 431 ± 30.2 million stems remain. The vast majority (360 ± 22 million) are sprouts <2.5 cm dbh. Although this number is approximately 10% of the estimated pre-blight population, blight has caused a major shift in the size structure. The current-day population has a larger range, particularly west and north, likely due to human translocation. While climate change could facilitate northward expansion, limited seed reproduction makes this unlikely without assisted migration. Previous research demonstrates that the current, smaller population contains slightly higher genetic diversity than expected, although little information exists on biogeographic patterns in the genetics of adaptive traits. Our research provides a baseline characterization of the contemporary population of C. dentata, to enable monitoring stem densities and range limits to support restoration efforts.
      PubDate: 2015-12-24
      DOI: 10.3390/f7010004
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 1 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 5: Managed Mixtures of Aspen and White Spruce 21 to
           25 Years after Establishment

    • Authors: Richard Kabzems, Mike Bokalo, Philip Comeau, Daniel MacIsaac
      First page: 5
      Abstract: Intimate mixtures of trembling aspen (Populus tremuloides Michx.) and white spruce (Picea glauca (Moench) Voss) are a key feature of western Canadian boreal forests. These mixtures have the potential to produce high yields of merchantable fibre and provide numerous ecological services. Achievement of this potential has been difficult, and often expensive, to realize as a regeneration goal in managed forests. We report 21 to 25 year results of managed mixtures on two study sites where the white spruce was planted, and the density of aspen natural regeneration manipulated within five years of the stand initiation disturbance. On both sites, white spruce mortality did not increase with increasing aspen density. While height and diameter growth of white spruce declined with increasing aspen density, the effect was not entirely consistent across the two sites. Abrasion from aspen branches was the most common source of damage to spruce crowns. Mixed stands had greater merchantable volume production than pure spruce stands based on model projections. Application of aspen harvest at year 60, while protecting the spruce component for a second harvest entry at year 90, was projected to optimize combined yield for the mixedwood stands.
      PubDate: 2015-12-24
      DOI: 10.3390/f7010005
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 1 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 6: Streamflow Regime Variations Following
           Ecological Management on the Loess Plateau, China

    • Authors: Jianjun Zhang, Tingting Zhang, Yongnan Lei, Xiaoping Zhang, Rui Li
      First page: 6
      Abstract: The continuous ecological management of the Loess Plateau is known throughout the world for two strategies: the integrated soil conservation project that began in the 1970s, and the “Grain for Green” project that began in the 1990s. Six sub-catchments nested in the Beiluo River basin were selected to investigate streamflow regime variations during the two project periods. The annual streamflow trends and change points were detected using a bootstrap-based Mann-Kendall test and Pettitt test. Annual streamflow (from the 1950s to 2011) exhibited significantly negative trends in five out of six catchments, varying from −0.15 to −0.30 mm/a. During the integrated soil conservation period, the annual streamflow was reduced due to high flow decreases (5% of time exceeded), whereas in the low flows (95%) it increased in all sub-catchments. During the “Grain for Green” period, the annual streamflow decreased due to daily streamflow reductions at four stations. In addition to high flow and low flow decreases at the Wuqi and Liujiahe stations during the “Grain for Green” period, it is significant that the low flows continuously increased. Compared with trends from the forestry area, which includes the Zhangcunyi and Huangling stations, incremental annual streamflow reductions were observed in other sub-catchments, which can be linked to ecological management. This result implies that streamflow can be moderated by appropriate management options, even in semiarid areas. It was concluded that a stable streamflow regime can be achieved in vegetated areas, and streamflow moderation is dependent on ecological management practices.
      PubDate: 2015-12-25
      DOI: 10.3390/f7010006
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 1 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 7: Delphinella Shoot Blight on Abies lasiocarpa
           Provenances in Norway

    • First page: 7
      Abstract: Delphinella shoot blight (Delphinella abietis) attacks true firs (Abies spp.) in Europe and North America. Especially subalpine fir (A. lasiocarpa), one of the main Christmas tree species in Norway, is prone to the disease. The fungus kills current year needles, and in severe cases entire shoots. Dead needles become covered with black fruiting bodies, both pycnidia and pseudothecia. Delphinella shoot blight has mainly been a problem in humid, coastal regions in the northwestern part of Southern Norway, but, probably due to higher precipitation in inland regions during recent years, heavy attacks were found in 2011 in a field trial with 76 provenances of subalpine fir in Southeastern Norway. However, the amount of precipitation seemed less important once the disease had established in the field. Significant differences in susceptibility between provenances were observed. In general, the more bluish the foliage was, the healthier the trees appeared. The analysis of provenance means indicated that, at least for the southern range, the disease ratings were correlated with foliage color. This study also includes isolation, identification, a pathogenicity test, a seed test and electron microscopy of the wax layer on the needles. The fungus was identified based on the morphology of spores and by sequencing the Internal Transcribed Spacer (ITS) regions of the ribosomal DNA. Koch’s postulates were fulfilled. The fungus was found present on newly harvested seeds and may therefore spread via international seed trade. When comparing the wax layers on green and blue needles, those of the latter were significantly thicker, a factor that may be involved in disease resistance.
      PubDate: 2015-12-25
      DOI: 10.3390/f7010007
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 1 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 8: Adaptation of Forest Management Regimes in
           Southern Sweden to Increased Risks Associated with Climate Change

    • First page: 8
      Abstract: Even though the growth rates of most tree species in Sweden is expected to increase in the near future as a result of climate change, increased risks of damage by storms and various pests and pathogens, notably root rot and bark beetles, may also occur. Thus, forest management practices such as changes to thinning regimes, reductions in rotation lengths, and switching to other species (native or exotic) may represent adaptive management strategies to increase the resistance and resilience of Swedish forests to climate change. Clearly, thorough analyses examining the effects of anticipated climatic changes on damage levels, and the potentially relieving effects of possible management adaptations are needed before implementing such changes. In this study, damage caused by storms, root rot and bark beetles (single and in various combinations) under selected climate and management scenarios were simulated in Norway spruce (Pice abies L. Karst) stands. The results indicate that reductions in thinning intensity and rotation lengths could improve both volume production and profitability in southern Sweden. In addition, cultivation of rapidly growing species, such as hybrid larch (Larix × marschlinsii Coaz.) and hybrid aspen (Populus tremula L. × P. tremuloides Michx.), could be as profitable as Norway spruce cultivation, or even more profitable. However, slow-growing species, such as Silver birch (Betula pendula Roth), Downy birch (Betula pubescens Ehrh.) and European beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) indicated low economic output in terms of Land Expectation Value.
      PubDate: 2015-12-25
      DOI: 10.3390/f7010008
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 1 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 9: Foundation Species Loss and Biodiversity of the
           Herbaceous Layer in New England Forests

    • Authors: Aaron Ellison, Audrey Barker Plotkin, Shah Khalid
      First page: 9
      Abstract: Eastern hemlock (Tsuga canadensis) is a foundation species in eastern North American forests. Because eastern hemlock is a foundation species, it often is assumed that the diversity of associated species is high. However, the herbaceous layer of eastern hemlock stands generally is sparse, species-poor, and lacks unique species or floristic assemblages. The rapidly spreading, nonnative hemlock woolly adelgid (Adelges tusgae) is causing widespread death of eastern hemlock. Loss of individual hemlock trees or whole stands rapidly leads to increases in species richness and cover of shrubs, herbs, graminoids, ferns, and fern-allies. Naively, one could conclude that the loss of eastern hemlock has a net positive effect on biodiversity. What is lost besides hemlock, however, is landscape-scale variability in the structure and composition of the herbaceous layer. In the Harvard Forest Hemlock Removal Experiment, removal of hemlock by either girdling (simulating adelgid infestation) or logging led to a proliferation of early-successional and disturbance-dependent understory species. In other declining hemlock stands, nonnative plant species expand and homogenize the flora. While local richness increases in former eastern hemlock stands, between-site and regional species diversity will be further diminished as this iconic foundation species of eastern North America succumbs to hemlock woolly adelgid.
      PubDate: 2015-12-25
      DOI: 10.3390/f7010009
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 1 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 10: Modeling Ecohydrological Processes and Spatial
           Patterns in the Upper Heihe Basin in China

    • Authors: Bing Gao, Yue Qin, Yuhan Wang, Dawen Yang, Yuanrun Zheng
      First page: 10
      Abstract: The Heihe River is the second largest inland basin in China; runoff in the upper reach greatly affects the socio-economic development in the downstream area. The relationship between spatial vegetation patterns and catchment hydrological processes in the upper Heihe basin has remained unclear to date. In this study, a distributed ecohydrological model is developed to simulate the hydrological processes with vegetation dynamics in the upper Heihe basin. The model is validated by hydrological observations at three locations and soil moisture observations at a watershed scale. Based on the simulated results, the basin water balance characteristics and their relationship with the vegetation patterns are analyzed. The mean annual precipitation and runoff increase with the elevation in a similar pattern. Spatial patterns of the actual evapotranspiration is mainly controlled by the precipitation and air temperature. At the same time, vegetation distribution enhances the spatial variability of the actual evapotranspiration. The highest actual evapotranspiration is around elevations of 3000–3600 m, where shrub and alpine meadow are the two dominant vegetation types. The results show the mutual interaction between vegetation dynamics and hydrological processes. Alpine sparse vegetation and alpine meadow dominate the high-altitude regions, which contribute most to the river runoff, and forests and shrub contribute relatively small amounts of water yield.
      PubDate: 2015-12-25
      DOI: 10.3390/f7010010
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 1 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 4573-4587: The Influence of Stocking and Stand

    • First page: 4573
      Abstract: We analyzed productivity, in terms of periodic annual increment (PAI) in volume, of pure and mixed unmanaged naturally regenerated boreal stands mainly comprised of Populus tremuloides Michx. (trembling aspen) and Picea glauca (Moench) Voss (white spruce) ranging from 25–260 years old, in Alberta, Canada. Measures of density, site occupancy (Reineke’s stand density index-SDI), height, and site quality were evaluated in non-linear regression models aiming to explain the variation in PAI for the separate component species and for the entire stand. Analyses also included examination of the influence of stand composition. Results indicated a positive effect of both density of deciduous trees and of the percentage of deciduous tree stand basal area on trembling aspen volume PAI. White spruce PAI was positively influenced by spruce and aspen basal area, although effects of aspen were small. Height of both aspen and spruce were the most consistent independent variables in the models tested. Maximum PAI was achieved in mixed stands when site occupancy of both species was at its maximum, indicating the ecological combining ability of these two species. Variation in maximum stocking densities (i.e., stockability) has a strong influence on increment in these forests and is a major factor leading to increased productivity of mixed compared to pure stands.
      PubDate: 2015-12-15
      DOI: 10.3390/f6124387
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 12 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 4588-4606: SLAM-Aided Stem Mapping for Forest
           Inventory with Small-Footprint Mobile LiDAR

    • First page: 4588
      Abstract: Accurately retrieving tree stem location distributions is a basic requirement for biomass estimation of forest inventory. Combining Inertial Measurement Units (IMU) with Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) is a commonly used positioning strategy in most Mobile Laser Scanning (MLS) systems for accurate forest mapping. Coupled with a tactical or consumer grade IMU, GNSS offers a satisfactory solution in open forest environments, for which positioning accuracy better than one decimeter can be achieved. However, for such MLS systems, positioning in a mature and dense forest is still a challenging task because of the loss of GNSS signals attenuated by thick canopy. Most often laser scanning sensors in MLS systems are used for mapping and modelling rather than positioning. In this paper, we investigate a Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM)-aided positioning solution with point clouds collected by a small-footprint LiDAR. Based on the field test data, we evaluate the potential of SLAM positioning and mapping in forest inventories. The results show that the positioning accuracy in the selected test field is improved by 38% compared to that of a traditional tactical grade IMU + GNSS positioning system in a mature forest environment and, as a result, we are able to produce a unambiguous tree distribution map.
      PubDate: 2015-12-17
      DOI: 10.3390/f6124390
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 12 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 4607-4616: SE Asian Palms for Agroforestry and Home

    • Authors: Anders Barfod, Manju Balhara, John Dransfield, Henrik Balslev
      First page: 4607
      Abstract: Throughout SE Asia, palms are important in agroforestry systems and homegardens. Most species are used for multiple purposes based on both physical and nutritional properties of the palms. Except for a few commodities of worldwide importance such as palm oil and coconut, many palm products either do not figure in trade statistics, or they are merged with other products in a way, which makes it difficult to assess their importance. Here we focus on these products that are not prominent in national trade statistics and we review their sustainability and economic importance in SE Asia. We rank the most important palms according to their versatility, which is an extremely important property, especially for smallholders who practice subsistence agriculture. We conclude by listing a number of recommendations for future research directions based on experiences from the recently completed EU 7th Framework project (EU-PALMS 2009-2013).
      PubDate: 2015-12-17
      DOI: 10.3390/f6124389
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 12 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 4617-4633: Dynamics of Timber Market Integration in

    • Authors: Vishal Jaunky, Robert Lundmark
      First page: 4617
      Abstract: This paper addresses the performance of the timber markets (Scots pine, Pinus silvestris L. and Norway spruce, Picea abies (L.) Karst.) by evaluating the order of market integration in three Swedish regions (Central, Northern, and Southern). Quarterly data of delivery prices are employed over the period 1999Q1–2012Q4. Various unit root and cointegration tests have been computed. The results indicate that the variables are integrated of first order and co-integrated, especially after controlling for structural breaks. This supports the law-of-one-price hypothesis (LOP). However, the effects of structural shocks on forestry are arguably significant and these are controlled for while performing a vector error-correction mechanism (VECM)-based Granger-causality test. Bi-directional causality between the Northern and central markets is uncovered in the short-run. In the long-run, a similar causal effect is detected between Northern and Southern markets while the central market emerges as the price leader. Further investigation is carried out using variance decompositions and impulse response functions and these approaches also tend to confirm the existence of a single market well, as price interdependence between markets.
      PubDate: 2015-12-17
      DOI: 10.3390/f6124391
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 12 (2015)
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