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  Subjects -> FORESTS AND FORESTRY (Total: 98 journals)
Acta Silvatica et Lignaria Hungarica     Open Access  
Advance in Forestry Research     Open Access   (Followers: 4)
Advances in Forestry Letters     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Advances in Forestry Science     Open Access  
African Journal of Sustainable Development     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 6)
Agrociencia     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Agroforestry Systems     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 16)
Annals of Forest Science     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4)
Appita Journal: Journal of the Technical Association of the Australian and New Zealand Pulp and Paper Industry     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 5)
Arboricultural Journal : The International Journal of Urban Forestry     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 7)
Arboriculture and Urban Forestry     Free   (Followers: 8)
Australian Forest Grower     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Australian Forestry     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 4)
Banko Janakari     Open Access  
Boletin de la Sociedad Argentina de Botanica     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Bosque     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Canadian Journal of Forest Research     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 93)
Canadian Journal of Plant Science     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 12)
Ciência Florestal     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Ciencia forestal en México     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Colombia Forestal     Open Access  
Current Forestry Reports     Hybrid Journal  
Dissertationes Forestales     Open Access  
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: 37)
Forest Pathology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 1)
Forest Phytophthoras     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Forest Policy and Economics     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 18)
Forest Research Papers     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Forest Science     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 6)
Forest Science and Practice     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4)
Forest Science and Technology     Partially Free   (Followers: 1)
Forest Systems     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Foresta Veracruzana     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Forestry Chronicle     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 10)
Forestry Studies : Metsanduslikud Uurimused     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Forestry: An International Journal of Forest Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 11)
Forests     Open Access   (Followers: 4)
Forests, Trees and Livelihoods     Partially Free   (Followers: 3)
Ghana Journal of Forestry     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
Holzforschung     Full-text available via subscription  
iForest : Biogeosciences and Forestry     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
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: 3)
International Journal of Forest Engineering     Hybrid Journal  
International Journal of Forest, Soil and Erosion     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
International Journal of Forestry Research     Open Access   (Followers: 5)
ISRN Forestry     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Journal of Agriculture, Forestry and the Social Sciences     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Journal of Biodiversity Management & Forestry     Hybrid Journal  
Journal of Environmental Extension     Full-text available via subscription  
Journal of Forest and Livelihood     Full-text available via subscription  
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: 8)
Journal of Forestry Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6)
Journal of Horticulture and Forestry     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Journal of Natural Resources Policy Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 13)
Journal of Research in Forestry, Wildlife and Environment     Open Access  
Journal of Sustainable Forestry     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6)
Journal of Tropical Forestry and Environment     Open Access  
Journal of Wood Chemistry and Technology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 7)
Journal of Wood Science     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 3)
Jurnal Manajemen Hutan Tropika     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
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: 7)
New Forests     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2)
New Zealand Journal of Forestry Science     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Open Journal of Forestry     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Pesquisa Florestal Brasileira     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Plant Science Bulletin     Free   (Followers: 7)
Quebracho. Revista de Ciencias Forestales     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Research Journal of Forestry     Open Access   (Followers: 4)
Revista Árvore     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Revista Chapingo. Serie Ciencias Forestales y del Ambiente     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Revista Verde de Agroecologia e Desenvolvimento Sustentável     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Revue forestière française     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
Rwanda Journal     Full-text available via subscription  
Scandinavian Journal of Forest Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4)
Science, Technology and Arts Research Journal     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Small-scale Forestry     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 3)
Southern African Forestry Journal     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Southern Forests : a Journal of Forest Science     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4)
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: 7)
Veld & Flora     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Wood and Fiber Science     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
Journal Cover   Forests
  [SJR: 0.629]   [H-I: 8]   [6 followers]  Follow
  This is an Open Access Journal Open Access journal
   ISSN (Print) 1999-4907
   Published by MDPI Homepage  [124 journals]
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 533-560: Cross-Sectoral Resource Management: How
           Forest Management Alternatives Affect the Provision of Biomass and Other
           Ecosystem Services

    • Authors: Susanne Frank, Christine Fürst, Frank Pietzsch
      Pages: 533 - 560
      Abstract: Integrated forest management is faced with the challenge that the contribution of forests to economic and ecological planning targets must be assessed in a socio-ecological system context. This paper introduces a way to model spatio-temporal dynamics of biomass production at a regional scale in order to derive land use strategies that enhance biomass provision and avoid trade-offs for other ecosystem services. The software platform GISCAME was employed to bridge the gap between local land management decisions and regional planning by linking growth and yield models with an integrative mesoscale modeling and assessment approach. The model region is located in Saxony, Germany. Five scenarios were simulated, which aimed at testing different alternatives for adapted land use in the context of climate change and increasing biomass demand. The results showed, for example, that forest conversion towards climate-change-adapted forest types had positive effects on ecological integrity and landscape aesthetics. In contrast, negative impacts on landscape aesthetics must be expected if agricultural sites were converted into short rotation coppices. Uncertainties with stem from assumptions regarding growth and yield models were discussed. Future developmental steps which consider, for example, accessibility of the resources were identified.
      PubDate: 2015-02-18
      DOI: 10.3390/f6030533
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 3 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 561-580: Perspectives on Trends, Effectiveness, and
           Impediments to Prescribed Burning in the Southern U.S.

    • Authors: Leda Kobziar, Daniel Godwin, Leland Taylor, Adam Watts
      Pages: 561 - 580
      Abstract: The southern region of the U.S. uses prescribed fire as a management tool on more of its burnable land than anywhere in the U.S., with ecosystem restoration, wildlife habitat enhancement, and reduction of hazardous fuel loads as typical goals. Although the region performs more than 50,000 prescribed fire treatments each year, evaluation of their effects on wildfire suppression resources or behavior/effects is limited. To better understand trends in the use and effectiveness of prescribed fire, we conducted a region-wide survey of 523 fire use practitioners, working on both public and private lands. A 1–2 year prescribed fire interval was consistently viewed as effective in decreasing wildfire ignitions, behavior, and severity, as well as reducing suppression resources needed where wildfire occurred. Yet fewer than 15% of practitioners viewed burn intervals of 3–4 years as effective in reducing ignitions, underscoring the importance of high-frequency burning in vegetation communities where fuel recovery is rapid. Public lands managers identified limited budget and staffing as major institutional impediments to prescribed fire, in contrast to private individuals, more of whom chose liability as a key challenge. Differences in responses across ownership type, state, and vegetation type call for a broader perspective on how fire managers in the southern U.S. view prescribed fire.
      PubDate: 2015-02-25
      DOI: 10.3390/f6030561
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 3 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 581-593: A 20-Year Overview of Quercus robur L.
           Mortality and Crown Conditions in Slovenia

    • Authors: Matjaž Čater
      Pages: 581 - 593
      Abstract: Pedunculate oak (Quercus robur L.) forests in Slovenia are experiencing widespread mortality. Changes in lowlands are reflected in decline of complete forest complexes, high mortality, uneven stand structure and associated forest regeneration problems. Prediction of the present-tree response in disturbed forest ecosystems may significantly contribute to better guideline policies for the silvicultural and forest management practice in the changing environment in both stressed and stabile forest ecosystems. Data from annual crown condition surveys for the 1995–2014 period from four permanent plots have been compared with parameters from hemispherical photo analysis and hydrometeorological data. Good agreement has been confirmed between crown defoliation and total openness; all parameters from the hemispherical photo analysis, which were corrected for winter period values, also indicated a better agreement. Mortality rate and crown defoliation correlated well with extreme drought events in 2003 and 2013. Pattern of agreement among compared parameters was different for the plots Krakovski gozd, Dobrava and some other plots. Mortality is influenced by the average air temperatures much more than by precipitation and groundwater table oscillations.
      PubDate: 2015-02-27
      DOI: 10.3390/f6030581
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 3 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 594-612: Analysis of Unmanned Aerial System-Based
           CIR Images in Forestry—A New Perspective to Monitor Pest Infestation

    • Authors: Jan Lehmann, Felix Nieberding, Torsten Prinz, Christian Knoth
      Pages: 594 - 612
      Abstract: The detection of pest infestation is an important aspect of forest management. In the case of the oak splendour beetle (Agrilus biguttatus) infestation, the affected oaks (Quercus sp.) show high levels of defoliation and altered canopy reflection signature. These critical features can be identified in high-resolution colour infrared (CIR) images of the tree crown and branches level captured by Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS). In this study, we used a small UAS equipped with a compact digital camera which has been calibrated and modified to record not only the visual but also the near infrared reflection (NIR) of possibly infested oaks. The flight campaigns were realized in August 2013, covering two study sites which are located in a rural area in western Germany. Both locations represent small-scale, privately managed commercial forests in which oaks are economically valuable species. Our workflow includes the CIR/NIR image acquisition, mosaicking, georeferencing and pixel-based image enhancement followed by object-based image classification techniques. A modified Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVImod) derived classification was used to distinguish between five vegetation health classes, i.e., infested, healthy or dead branches, other vegetation and canopy gaps. We achieved an overall Kappa Index of Agreement (KIA)   of 0.81 and 0.77 for each study site, respectively. This approach offers a low-cost alternative to private forest owners who pursue a sustainable management strategy.
      PubDate: 2015-03-02
      DOI: 10.3390/f6030594
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 3 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 613-635: The Influence of Parent Material on
           Vegetation Response 15 years after the Dude Fire, Arizona

    • Authors: Jackson Leonard, Alvin Medina, Daniel Neary, Aregai Tecle
      Pages: 613 - 635
      Abstract: This study examined the effects of two types of parent material, sandstone and limestone, on the response of vegetation growth after the 1990 Dude Fire in central Arizona. The operating hypothesis of the study was that, given the right conditions, severe wildfire can trigger vegetation type conversion. Overall, three patterns emerged: (1) oak density increased by 413% from unburned sites to burned sites, with the highest densities occurring on sandstone soils; (2) weeping lovegrass (Eragrostis curvula Nees), a very aggressive non-native grass species seeded after the fire, now makes up 81% of the total herbaceous cover in the burned area; and (3) bare ground cover is 150% higher and litter cover is 50% lower in the burned area. Soil analysis was not definitive enough to differentiate impacts between parent materials however it was useful in quantifying the long-term impact of the fire on soils. The results of this study support the idea that catastrophic fire events can trigger vegetation type conversion and that perennial, non-native species used in rehabilitation efforts can persist within the ecosystem for long periods of time. Hence, the recovery period needed for the Dude Fire site to revert back to a pine-oak dominated forest could be on the scale of many decades to centuries.
      PubDate: 2015-03-04
      DOI: 10.3390/f6030613
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 3 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 636-649: Influence of Tree Spacing on Soil Nitrogen
           Mineralization and Availability in Hybrid Poplar Plantations

    • Authors: Yafei Yan, Shengzuo Fang, Ye Tian, Shiping Deng, Luozhong Tang, Dao Chuong
      Pages: 636 - 649
      Abstract: Nitrogen (N) availability and mineralization are key parameters and transformation processes that impact plant growth and forest productivity. We hypothesized that suitable plantation spacing can lead to enhanced soil N mineralization and nitrification, which in turn promote tree growth. Studies were conducted to evaluate seasonal patterns of soil inorganic N pools as well as rates of nitrification and N mineralization of three soil layers under four tree spacing treatments. Results showed tree spacing significantly affected annual net N mineralization, whereas inorganic N content in surface soils was significantly affected by tree spacing only during the growing season. The total annual cumulative net N mineralization ranged from 80.3–136.0 mg·kg−1 in the surface soils (0–20 cm), whereas the cumulative net N mineralization of 6 × 6 m and 4.5 × 8 m spacings was 65% and 24% higher than that of the 5 × 5 m, respectively. In general, tree spacing would affect N availability in soil by altering N mineralization rates, while high annual N mineralization was found in soils of low density plantations, with higher rates in square spacing than rectangular spacing. The obtained results suggest that suitable spacing could lead to enhanced N mineralization, but seasonal variation of soil N mineralization may not only be directly related to plantation productivity but also to understory vegetation productivity.
      PubDate: 2015-03-04
      DOI: 10.3390/f6030636
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 3 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 650-669: Effects of Topographic and Soil Factors on
           Woody Species Assembly in a Chinese Subtropical Evergreen Broadleaved

    • Authors: Lijuan Zhao, Wenhua Xiang, Jiaxiang Li, Pifeng Lei, Xiangwen Deng, Xi Fang, Changhui Peng
      Pages: 650 - 669
      Abstract: Evergreen broadleaved forests in subtropical China contain a complicated structure of diverse species. The impact of topographic and soil factors on the assembly of woody species in the forest has been poorly understood. We used Ripley’s K(t) function to analyze the spatial patterns and associations of dominant species and residual analysis (RDA) to quantify the contribution of topography and soil to species assembly. The 1 ha plot investigated had 4797 stems with a diameter at breast height (dbh) larger than 1 cm that belong to 73 species, 55 genera, and 38 families. All stems of the entire forest and four late successional species exhibited a reversed J shape for dbh distribution, while two early successional species showed a unimodal shape. Aggregation was the major spatial pattern for entire forests and dominant species across vertical layers. Spatial associations between inter- and intra-species were mostly independent. Topographic and soil factors explained 28.1% of species assembly. The forest was close to late succession and showed the characteristics of diverse woody species, high regeneration capacity, and aggregated spatial patterns. Topographic and soil factors affected species assembly, but together they could only explain a small part of total variance.
      PubDate: 2015-03-06
      DOI: 10.3390/f6030650
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 3 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 670-691: Harvest Regulation for Multi-Resource
           Management, Old and New Approaches (Old and New)

    • Authors: Martin Mendoza, Juan Fajardo, Gonzalo Curiel, Francisco Domínguez, Maribel Apodaca, María Rodríguez-Camarillo, Jesús Zepeta
      Pages: 670 - 691
      Abstract: Current Mexican forest management is the product of a history that dates back to 1926. Earlier approaches were directly or indirectly aimed at attaining the normal forest model. Around 1980, multi-resource and environmental impact considerations were mandated for all private timber operations. Timber-oriented silviculture was deemed insufficient to take proper care of non-timber values in the forest. Concerns about water quality, biodiversity, and natural conservation were the motives for promoting voluntary best management practices, in 2012 and afterwards. In this research, two traditional Mexican forest management schemes, Sicodesi and Plan Costa, enhanced with best management practices, are compared to Mapa, a management method specifically designed to manage landscape attributes. Results from two successive forest inventories 10 and 13 years apart show that Sicodesi and Plan Costa, even when modified to comply with best management practices, failed to maintain proper stewardship of non-timber values. Mapa, however, employed multiple means to drive forest dynamics to fulfill multi-resource objectives, constrained by self-financing and competitive profitability. These capabilities in Mapa enabled some degree of control over non-timber values, but many more important processes occur beyond the property boundary, and beyond the planning scope considered in Mapa and all other forest planning methods.
      PubDate: 2015-03-09
      DOI: 10.3390/f6030670
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 3 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 692-707: Modeling the Potential Distribution of
           Picea chihuahuana Martínez, an Endangered Species at the Sierra Madre
           Occidental, Mexico

    • Authors: Victor Aguilar-Soto, Alicia Melgoza-Castillo, Federico Villarreal-Guerrero, Chistian Wehenkel, Carmelo Pinedo-Alvarez
      Pages: 692 - 707
      Abstract: Species distribution models (SDMs) help identify areas for the development of populations or communities to prevent extinctions, especially in the face of the global environmental change. This study modeled the potential distribution of the tree Picea chihuahuana Martínez, a species in danger of extinction, using the maximum entropy modeling method (MaxEnt) at three scales: local, state and national. We used a total of 38 presence data in the Sierra Madre Occidental. At the local scale, we compared MaxEnt with the reclassification and overlay method integrated in a geographic information system. MaxEnt generated maps with a high predictive capability (AUC > 0.97). The distribution of P. chihuahuana is defined by vegetation type and minimum temperature at national and state scales. At the local scale, both models calculated similar areas for the potential distribution of the species; the variables that better defined the species distribution were vegetation type, aspect and distance to water flows. Populations of P. chihuahuana have always been small, but our results show potential habitat greater than the area of the actual distribution. These results provide an insight into the availability of areas suitable for the species’ regeneration, possibly through assisted colonization.
      PubDate: 2015-03-12
      DOI: 10.3390/f6030692
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 3 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 708-733: Climate Adaptation in Swedish Forestry:
           Exploring the Debate and Policy Process, 1990–2012

    • Authors: Johanna Ulmanen, Åsa Swartling, Oskar Wallgren
      Pages: 708 - 733
      Abstract: This paper explores how climate change adaptation concerns were integrated into the Swedish forestry debate and policy process during the period of 1990–2012, and draws lessons on barriers and opportunities identified in this process. Using a framework focusing on “advocacy coalitions”, we analyze how the adaptation debate in the forestry sector evolved over the period; who the main advocates for and against adaptation were; and which main arguments and processes affected the debate and policy. The results show that academics advocating climate change adaptation, aided by outside influences, such as political pressure for adaptation responses and the negative impacts of the 2005 storm Gudrun, contributed to an increased general awareness and understanding of adaptation issues amongst forestry stakeholders. Nonetheless, the strong dominance of actors arguing for increased forest production and the limited number and relatively poor organization of adaptation advocates have acted as barriers to mainstreaming adaptation concerns into forestry policy and practice. The dominant coalitions and their values have also determined the direction of debate and policy. The main conclusions for policymakers aiming to further this integration process are the importance of stimulating adaptation coalitions and the value of creating arenas for multiple stakeholder learning about adaptation.
      PubDate: 2015-03-16
      DOI: 10.3390/f6030708
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 3 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 734-747: Colonization with Arbuscular Mycorrhizal
           Fungi Promotes the Growth of Morus alba L. Seedlings under Greenhouse

    • Authors: Nan Lu, Xia Zhou, Ming Cui, Meng Yu, Jinxing Zhou, Yongsheng Qin, Yun Li
      Pages: 734 - 747
      Abstract: Morus alba L. is an important tree species planted widely in China because of its economic value. In this report, we investigated the influence of two arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal (AMF) species, Glomus mosseae and Glomus intraradices, alone and together, on the growth of M. alba L. seedlings under greenhouse conditions. The growth parameters and physiological performance of M. alba L. seedlings were evaluated 90 days after colonization with the fungi. The growth and physiological performance of M. alba L. seedlings were significantly affected by the AMF species. The mycorrhizal seedlings were taller, had longer roots, more leaves and a greater biomass than the non-mycorrhizae-treated seedlings. In addition, the AMF species-inoculated seedlings had increased root activity and a higher chlorophyll content compared to non-inoculated seedlings. Furthermore, AMF species colonization increased the phosphorus and nitrogen contents of the seedlings. In addition, simultaneous root colonization by the two AMF species did not improve the growth of M. alba L. seedlings compared with inoculation with either species alone. Based on these results, these AMF species may be applicable to mulberry seedling cultivation.
      PubDate: 2015-03-16
      DOI: 10.3390/f6030734
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 3 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 280-292: Changes in a Primary Resistance Parameter
           of Lodgepole Pine to Bark Beetle Attack One Year Following Fertilization
           and Thinning

    • Authors: Stephen Cook, Amy Carroll, Mark Kimsey, Terry Shaw
      Pages: 280 - 292
      Abstract: Many of the forest soils in the Intermountain West are deficient in several nutrients, including nitrogen (N), potassium (K), sulfur (S) and boron (B) and these deficiencies may impact tree resistance to insect attack. Two potential techniques for manipulating tree resistance are fertilization and thinning. We examined fertilization (both alone and in conjunction with stand thinning). Conifer resistance to bark beetles involves a three-step response, the first stage of which is resin flow. Rapid resin flow can prevent the colonization of bark beetles within a tree. Fertilization with low levels of N resulted in an increase in resin flow while high levels of N did not significantly increase resin flow in treated trees. Thinning did not result in higher concentrations of foliar K or B but did result in higher concentrations of foliar N and S. The highest concentrations of foliar N and S consistently occurred in the trees from thinned treatments, regardless of fertilization. There was a negative correlation between tree growth and resin flow one year following treatments. Increasing available nutrient levels to trees (either through fertilization or stand density management) may result in modified resistance parameters that must be considered when making management decisions.
      PubDate: 2015-01-26
      DOI: 10.3390/f6020280
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 2 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 293-310: How Tightly Linked Are Pericopsis elata
           (Fabaceae) Patches to Anthropogenic Disturbances in Southeastern

    • Authors: Nils Bourland, François Cerisier, Kasso Daïnou, Alexandre Smith, Wannes Hubau, Hans Beeckman, Yves Brostaux, Adeline Fayolle, Achille Biwolé, Fousséni Fétéké, Jean-François Gillet, Julie Morin-Rivat, Philippe Lejeune, Eric Tiba, Joris Van Acker, Jean-Louis Doucet
      Pages: 293 - 310
      Abstract: While most past studies have emphasized the relationships between specific forest stands and edaphic factors, recent observations in Central African moist forests suggested that an increase of slash-and-burn agriculture since 3000–2000 BP (Before Present) could be the main driver of the persistence of light-demanding tree species. In order to examine anthropogenic factors in the persistence of such populations, our study focused on Pericopsis elata, an endangered clustered timber species. We used a multidisciplinary approach comprised of botanical, anthracological and archaeobotanical investigations to compare P. elata patches with surrounding stands of mixed forest vegetation (“out-zones”). Charcoal samples were found in both zones, but were significantly more abundant in the soils of patches. Eleven groups of taxa were identified from the charcoals, most of them also present in the current vegetation. Potsherds were detected only inside P. elata patches and at different soil depths, suggesting a long human presence from at least 2150 to 195 BP, as revealed by our charcoal radiocarbon dating. We conclude that current P. elata patches most likely result from shifting cultivation that occurred ca. two centuries ago. The implications of our findings for the dynamics and management of light-demanding tree species are discussed.
      PubDate: 2015-01-29
      DOI: 10.3390/f6020293
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 2 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 311-327: Behavioral Modelling in a Decision Support

    • Authors: Francesca Rinaldi, Ragnar Jonsson, Ola Sallnäs, Renats Trubins
      Pages: 311 - 327
      Abstract: Considering the variety of attitudes, objectives and behaviors characterizing forest owners is crucial for accurately assessing the impact of policy and market drivers on forest resources. A serious shortcoming of existing pan-European Decision Support Systems (DSS) is that they do not account for such heterogeneity, consequently disregarding the effects that this might have on timber supply and forest development. Linking a behavioral harvesting decision model—Expected Value Asymmetries (EVA)—to a forest resource dynamics model—European Forestry Dynamics Model (EFDM)—we provide an example of how forest owner specific characterization can be integrated in a DSS. The simulation results indicate that the approach holds promise as regards accounting for forest owner behavior in simulations of forest resources development. Hence, forest owner heterogeneity makes the distribution of forestland on owner types non-trivial, as it affects harvesting intensity and, subsequently, inter-temporal forest development.
      PubDate: 2015-02-02
      DOI: 10.3390/f6020311
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 2 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 328-343: A Forest Planning Approach with Respect to
           the Creation of Overmature Reserved Areas in Managed Forests

    • Authors: Jan Kašpar, Róbert Maru&scaronk, Robert Hlavatý
      Pages: 328 - 343
      Abstract: Forest harvest planning to maximize economic benefits also has to consider additional criteria such as the biodiversity functioning of the managed forest. The biodiversity requirements are determined by the size, shape, and distribution of harvest units and forest stands. A multiple criteria approach is presented where the harvesting volume is maximized while the environmental aspects are also considered. Multiple criteria programming and integer programming techniques are used to find an optimal program of forest harvesting with respect to both economic and environmental requirements. The practicality of the model is shown in a case study for one particular forest management unit. Different optimal solutions are calculated depending on changes made to the criteria weights. This model includes strict spatial constraints, multiple objective functions with three objectives, and alternative solutions according to the real manager’s priority. The results show that the spatial pattern and other spatial demands affect the harvest possibilities. It was confirmed that a compromise solution from both forest management and nature conservation could be achieved using the presented harvest scheduling approach.
      PubDate: 2015-02-02
      DOI: 10.3390/f6020328
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 2 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 344-359: Development of Northern White-Cedar
           Regeneration Following Partial Cutting, with and without Deer Browsing

    • Authors: Catherine Larouche, Jean-Claude Ruel
      Pages: 344 - 359
      Abstract: Northern white-cedar (Thuja occidentalis L.) is an important commercial species with a high wildlife value, both as a food source and habitat for many bird and mammal species. Concerns have been expressed about its decreasing abundance across its range, and especially in mixedwood stands, where it has to compete with several other species and can suffer from heavy browsing. In this study, we quantified the development of natural northern white-cedar seedlings and saplings under various partial cutting regimes, with and without white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virgianus Zimmerman) browsing, in three selected sites in Quebec (Canada) and in Maine (USA). Our data show that northern white-cedar regeneration was present in all studied stands, but that only a few stems were taller than 30 cm on the two sites with high densities of deer. In the absence of heavy browsing, stems reached a height of 30 cm in 11 years, and 130 cm in 28 years. Height growth of northern white-cedar regeneration increased with canopy light transmittance, while ground-level diameter increment increased after partial cutting. This suggests that partial cutting can be used in mixedwood stands to release natural northern white-cedar regeneration, but also that the recruitment of northern white-cedar seedlings to larger size classes constitutes a major challenge in stands subject to heavy deer browsing.
      PubDate: 2015-02-02
      DOI: 10.3390/f6020344
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 2 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 360-379: A Process-Based Approach to Estimate
           Chinese Fir (Cunninghamia lanceolata) Distribution and Productivity in
           Southern China under Climate Change

    • Authors: Yuhao Lu, Nicholas Coops, Tongli Wang, Guangyu Wang
      Pages: 360 - 379
      Abstract: Understanding the distribution and productivity of Chinese fir (Cunninghamia lanceolata) under climate change is critical given the ecological and economic importance of the species. Recently, process-based growth models have grown in their popularity given their simplicity and data availability, and they are increasingly being used to map the distribution and productivity of tree species. In this paper, we study the extent of variation of the current range shift and the productivity of the species under a changing climate. We used the Physiological Principles in Predicting Growth (3-PG) model, which calculates the extent to which climatic variables affect photosynthesis and growth of a species. These variables were then used in a decision-tree model to develop rules to provide a basis for predicting the distribution of the species under current climatic conditions. Once the distribution model was developed the productivity of the species was then assessed. Using climate projections we then simulated the growth and distribution into the future. Results indicate a northward shift from the current range. The growth model also indicates minor increases in productivity in some of the existing distribution areas, principally in central China with limited productivity predicted in newly emerged stands. We conclude that this dual modeling approach has potential to quantify impacts of climate change on selected species and examining differences in climate projections on range and productivity estimation.
      PubDate: 2015-02-02
      DOI: 10.3390/f6020360
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 2 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 380-394: Differential Performance between Two
           Timber Species in Forest Logging Gaps and in Plantations in Central Africa

    • Authors: Adeline Fayolle, Dakis-Yaoba Ouédraogo, Gauthier Ligot, Kasso Daïnou, Nils Bourland, Patrice Tekam, Jean-Louis Doucet
      Pages: 380 - 394
      Abstract: To develop silvicultural guidelines for high-value timber species of Central African moist forests, we assessed the performance of the pioneer Milicia excelsa (iroko, Moraceae), and of the non-pioneer light demander Pericopsis elata (assamela, Fabaceae) in logging gaps and in plantations in highly degraded areas in south-eastern Cameroon. The survival and size of each seedling was regularly monitored in the silvicultural experiments. Differences in performance and allometry were tested between species in logging gaps and in plantations. The two species performance in logging gaps was significantly different from plantations and concurred with the expectations of the performance trade-off hypothesis but not with the expectations of species light requirements. The pioneer M. excelsa survived significantly better in logging gaps while the non-pioneer P. elata grew significantly faster in plantations. The high mortality and slow growth of M. excelsa in plantations is surprising for a pioneer species but could be explained by herbivory (attacks from a gall-making psyllid). Identifying high-value native timber species (i) with good performance in plantations such as P. elata is of importance to restore degraded areas; and (ii) with good performance in logging gaps such as M. excelsa is of importance to maintain timber resources and biodiversity in production forests.
      PubDate: 2015-02-02
      DOI: 10.3390/f6020380
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 2 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 395-397: Correction: Faria, M., et al. A Social
           Assessment of Forest Degradation in the “Cacheu Mangroves Natural
           Park”, Guinea-Bissau. 2014, 5, 3327-3343

    • Authors: Margarida de Faria, Pedro Ferreira, Joana Melo, Maria Vasconcelos
      Pages: 395 - 397
      Abstract: The authors would like to correct the scientific names on some of the tree species listed in this paper [1], doi:10.3390/f5123327, website: After publication we discovered that some of the vernacular names used by some communities were in fact a different species than initially anticipated. Therefore, although the vernacular is correct, the scientific name should be corrected. This confusion was due to the variety of vernacular names used for each species, which depend mostly on the ethnic group. The authors would like to apologize for any inconvenience caused to the readers by these changes.[...]
      PubDate: 2015-02-02
      DOI: 10.3390/f6020395
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 2 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 398-415: Building Resilience into Sitka Spruce
           (Picea sitchensis (Bong.) Carr.) Forests in Scotland in Response to the
           Threat of Climate Change

    • Authors: Andrew Cameron
      Pages: 398 - 415
      Abstract: It is expected that a warming climate will have an impact on the future productivity of European spruce forests. In Scotland, Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis (Bong.) Carr.) dominates the commercial forestry sector and there is growing pressure to develop alternative management strategies to limit potential economic losses through climate change. This review considers management options to increase the resilience of Sitka spruce dominated forests in Scotland. Given the considerable uncertainty over the potential long-term impacts of climate change, it is recommended that Sitka spruce should continue to be planted where it already grows well. However, new planting and restocking should be established in mixtures where silviculturally practicable, even if no-thin regimes are adopted, to spread future risks of damage. Three potentially compatible species with Sitka spruce are western hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla (Raf.) Sarg.), grand fir (Abies grandis (Lamb.) Lindl.) and Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirb.) Franco) and all form natural mixtures in its native range in North America. The predicted windier climate will require a range of management inputs, such as early cutting of extraction racks and early selective thinning, to improve stability. The potential to improve resilience to particularly abiotic damage through transforming even-aged stands into irregular structures and limiting the overall size of the growing stock is discussed.
      PubDate: 2015-02-03
      DOI: 10.3390/f6020398
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 2 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 416-432: Stand Dynamics, Humus Type and Water
           Balance Explain Aspen Long Term Productivity across Canada

    • Authors: Kenneth Anyomi, François Lorenzetti, Yves Bergeron, Alain Leduc
      Pages: 416 - 432
      Abstract: This study examined the relative importance of soil, stand development and climate hypotheses in driving productivity for a species that is widely distributed in North America. Inventory plots, 3548 of such, either dominated by aspen or made up of species mixture of which aspen occurs in dominant canopy position were sampled along a longitudinal gradient from Quebec to British Columbia. Site index (SI), was used as a measure of productivity, and soil, climate and stand attributes were correlated with site index in order to determine their effects on productivity. Results show a decline in productivity with high moisture deficit. Soil humus correlates significantly with SI but does not sufficiently capture differential rates of litter deposition and decomposition effects over the long-term. Consequently, aspen composition, stand ageing, and stand structural changes dominate variability in productivity. Within the context where deciduous cover has being increasing, there are implications for forest productivity.
      PubDate: 2015-02-09
      DOI: 10.3390/f6020416
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 2 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 433-449: Modeling Crown Biomass for Four Pine
           Species in China

    • Authors: Wen-Tao Zou, Wei-Sheng Zeng, Lian-Jin Zhang, Ming Zeng
      Pages: 433 - 449
      Abstract: To analyze the main variables affecting crown biomass, we measured crown biomass and a number of variables describing tree size, such as stem diameter at breast height (D), tree height (H), crown width (Cw) and crown length (Cl), from 754 sample trees of four pine species in China, specifically, Pinus massoniana, P. yunnanensis, P. tabulaeformis and P. elliottii. In addition, we developed individual tree crown biomass equations and compatible branch and needle biomass equations based on one-, two- and multi-variable models using nonlinear mixed-effects modeling and error-in-variable simultaneous equations. The results showed that: (i) crown biomass was strongly correlated to D and H, and the new combined variables (D4/H) and (D2/H) were suitable for modeling two- and multi-variable crown biomass equations, respectively; (ii) the four species were ranked as P. yunnanensis, P. massoniana, P. elliottii and P. tabulaeformis from small to large based on estimates from crown biomass equations, and the crown biomass estimate of P. tabulaeformis was about 60% greater than that of P. yunnanensis; (iii) the ratio of branch to crown biomass increased with increasing D, and the four species were ranked as P. elliottii, P. tabulaeformis, P. massoniana and P. yunnanensis from small to large by the proportion of the branch to crown biomass; (iv) the mean prediction errors (MPE’s) of the crown biomass equations for the four species were less than 10%, which could meet precision needs for biomass estimation.
      PubDate: 2015-02-09
      DOI: 10.3390/f6020433
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 2 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 450-463: Allometric Equations for Estimating
           Biomass of Euterpe precatoria, the Most Abundant Palm Species in the

    • Authors: Fernando Da Silva, Rempei Suwa, Takuya Kajimoto, Moriyoshi Ishizuka, Niro Higuchi, Norbert Kunert
      Pages: 450 - 463
      Abstract: Allometric models to estimate biomass components such as stem mass Ms, foliage mass Ml, root mass Mr and aboveground mass Ma, were developed for the palm species Euterpe precatoria Mart., which is the most abundant tree species in the Amazon. We harvested twenty palms including above- and below-ground parts in an old growth Amazonian forest in Brazil. The diameter at breast height D ranged from 3.9–12.7 cm, and the stem height H ranged from 2.3–16.4 m. The D, diameter at ground basis D0, crown diameter CD, H, stem specific gravity ρ, and number of fronds Nf were considered as independent variables and incorporated into a power function model. The best predictors were D2Hρ for Ms and Ma, D2HNf for Ml, and D for Mr. Slender index (H/D) ranged from 0.56–1.46 m·cm−1, and the D-H relationship suggested that the stem shape becomes more slender with increasing D. On the other hand, ρ increased with D implying a stiffening of stem tissue. The average root/shoot ratio was estimated as 0.29 which was higher than that reported for the non-palm tree species in the Amazon. Comparisons of several models to estimate Ma of different palm species, suggested that the variations of the D-H relationship and ρ should be considered to develop allometric models for estimating biomass in palm species. In particular the ρ largely varied depending on individual size, which should be important to consider, when developing the allometric models for palms.
      PubDate: 2015-02-10
      DOI: 10.3390/f6020450
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 2 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 464-491: Tenure Security and Land Appropriation
           under Changing Environmental Governance in Lowland Bolivia and Pará

    • Authors: Pablo Pacheco, José Heder Benatti
      Pages: 464 - 491
      Abstract: Appropriation of public lands associated with agricultural frontier expansion is a longstanding occurrence in the Amazon that has resulted in a highly skewed land-tenure structure in spite of recent state efforts to recognize tenure rights of indigenous people and smallholders living in or nearby forests. Growing concerns to reduce environmental impacts from agricultural development have motivated state governments to place greater attention on sustainable land management and forest conservation. This paper assesses the political and institutional conditions shaping tenure security and land appropriation in lowland Bolivia and the State of Pará in Brazil, and their links with environmental governance. The two cases show that clarifying and securing tenure rights is considered as the cornerstone for improving environmental governance. Thus, much attention has been given to the recognition of indigenous people and smallholder rights and to legalization of large-scale estates in agricultural frontiers, which have in turn influenced emerging conservation and environmental governance approaches. While policy frameworks share similar goals in the two cases, contrasting implementation approaches have been adopted: more agrarian in lowland Bolivia and more conservationist in the State of Pará.
      PubDate: 2015-02-16
      DOI: 10.3390/f6020464
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 2 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 492-509: Modeling Tree Characteristics of
           Individual Black Pine (Pinus nigra Arn.) Trees for Use in Remote
           Sensing-Based Inventory

    • Authors: Ivan Balenović, Anamarija Jazbec, Hrvoje Marjanović, Elvis Paladinić, Dijana Vuletić
      Pages: 492 - 509
      Abstract: The main aim was to develop models for predicting diameter at breast height (DBH), merchantable tree volume (V), and aboveground biomass (AGB) of individual black pine (Pinus nigra Arn.) trees grown in Sub-Mediterranean Croatian pure even-aged forests, which will be suitable for remote sensing based forest inventories. In total, eight variables obtained from field measurement, existing database, and digital terrain model were candidates for independent variables in regression analysis. DBH, V, and AGB were modeled as linear function of each of the independent variables, and all possible linear combinations thereof. Goodness of fit of every model was then evaluated using R2 statistic. Comparison between selected models showed that the variability of all dependent variables are explained best by models which include both crown diameter and tree height as independent variables with coefficients of determination of 0.83, 0.89, 0.82 for DBH, V, and AGB, respectively. Consequently, these models may be recommended as the most suited for DBH, V and AGB estimation of black pine trees grown in pure Sub-Mediterranean forest stands using high-resolution aerial images or high-density airborne laser scanning data. This assumption should be further validated by conducting remote sensing inventory and comparing the obtained results with field measurement results.
      PubDate: 2015-02-16
      DOI: 10.3390/f6020492
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 2 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 510-532: Commercial Thinning to Meet Wood
           Production Objectives and Develop Structural Heterogeneity: A Case Study
           in the Spruce-Fir Forest, Quebec, Canada

    • Authors: Martin-Michel Gauthier, Martin Barrette, Stéphane Tremblay
      Pages: 510 - 532
      Abstract: We evaluated the effectiveness of commercial thinning mainly from below (CT; 0, 26%, 32% and 40% merchantable basal area removals) in meeting wood production demands and developing structural heterogeneity in a balsam fir (Abies balsamea (L.) Mill) and spruce (Picea spp.) stand. After 10 years, 32%–40% removals showed a 12%–18% increase in mean diameter and 27%–38% increase in gross merchantable volume (GMV) per tree compared to the unthinned control. At the stand level, all thinning treatments generated as much cumulative GMV (harvested volume + GMV after 10 years) and gross sawlog volume per hectare as the unthinned control. As for stand structure, eight out of nine thinned experimental units showed increased structural heterogeneity after 10 years, i.e., irregular, positively-skewed diameter distribution with an elongated right tail toward larger trees. The diameter distribution in the unthinned control became more symmetric, unimodal and regular over time, with fewer saplings than at the beginning of the experiment and lower density of larger trees compared to CT. Regeneration density and stocking were abundant in all treatments, largely dominated by balsam fir. Results indicate that thinning can be used to meet wood production objectives and help develop structural heterogeneity in this forest.
      PubDate: 2015-02-17
      DOI: 10.3390/f6020510
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 2 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 116-132: Topography- and Species-Dependent Climatic
           Responses in Radial Growth of Picea meyeri and Larix principis-rupprechtii
           in the Luyashan Mountains of North-Central China

    • Authors: Wentao Zhang, Yuan Jiang, Mingchang Wang, Lingnan Zhang, Manyu Dong
      Pages: 116 - 132
      Abstract: Dendroecological techniques were used to examine the relationships between topographic aspects, climate factors and radial growth of Picea meyeri and Larix principis-rupprechtii in Luyashan Mountains, North-Central China. Four sites were selected at timberline and totally 67 trees and 134 cores were collected. Pearson correlation and regression surface analysis were conducted to reveal the growth-climate relationships. The results indicated that the two species both showed significant negative correlations with temperature during preceding November on the two topographic aspects. On both slope aspects, growth of P. meyeri exhibited significant negative correlations with precipitation in current June, whereas growth of L. principis-rupprechtii showed significant negative correlations with precipitation in preceding September. On north-facing slope, tree growth was limited by low temperature in early growing season, which not shown on south-facing slope. If climate warming continues, L. principis-rupprechtii may be more favored and a reverse between relationships with temperature and precipitation maybe occur in growth of trees. Treeline position on the north-facing slope may possess a greater potential for elevation shifting than the south-facing slope. Our results supply useful information for discussing the potential effect of future climate on the forest growth in North-Central China.
      PubDate: 2015-01-06
      DOI: 10.3390/f6010116
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 1 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 133-156: Case Study Report: Community-Based
           Monitoring Systems for REDD+ in Guyana

    • Authors: Helen Bellfield, David Sabogal, Lucy Goodman, Matt Leggett
      Pages: 133 - 156
      Abstract: A fundamental component of initiatives to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+); will be the development of robust and cost-effective measuring, reporting, and verification (MRV) instruments for national forest monitoring and safeguard information systems. It is increasingly recognized that community-based monitoring (CBM) offers a positive model for greater participation and engagement of indigenous and forest-dependent communities within a REDD+ framework. Yet plans for CBM within REDD+ MRV systems remain limited, and there are currently relatively few concrete examples of CBM informing national forest monitoring systems. This paper outlines findings from a community MRV project with Amerindian communities in the North Rupununi, Guyana; and demonstrates that a CBM approach can enable key REDD+ requirements: in understanding local deforestation drivers and measuring carbon stocks; and for providing information on safeguards through social and environmental assessments. In addition, the authors discuss community capacity-building on smartphone technology for monitoring as a challenging yet viable pathway for scaling the use and adoption of indigenous knowledge and local skills for REDD+ programs.
      PubDate: 2015-01-06
      DOI: 10.3390/f6010133
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 1 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 157-162: Acknowledgement to Reviewers of Forests in

    • Authors: Forest Office
      Pages: 157 - 162
      Abstract: The editors of Forests would like to express their sincere gratitude to the following reviewers for assessing manuscripts in 2014:[...]
      PubDate: 2015-01-07
      DOI: 10.3390/f6010157
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 1 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 163-182: Decision Support Systems (DSS)
           Optimal—A Case Study from the Czech Republic

    • Authors: Robert Marušák, Jan Kašpar, Petr Vopěnka
      Pages: 163 - 182
      Abstract: Forest managers have traditionally planned harvests using their expert knowledge. This applies mainly to the spatial distribution of harvest units. The amount of timber to be harvested is regulated by market demand. In addition to forest managers’ expert knowledge, there is a set of rules, which can be automatized. Computerized harvest planning will lead not only to saving time of forest managers, but it will also enable them to explore various scenarios in a matter of minutes. We introduce Optimal—GIS tool for spatial and temporal decisions of harvest scheduling. Optimal allows creating new harvest units, which reflects the forestry act and/or forest managers’ requirements. Optimal includes necessary tools for automatic controlling of harvest unit parameters. It allows alternative harvest scheduling, while taking into account different constraints. Optimal is a decision Support System designed and applied for clear-cut and shelterwood silvicultural systems with respect to the environmental and economic constraints.
      PubDate: 2015-01-08
      DOI: 10.3390/f6010163
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 1 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 183-202: Variation in Wood Quality in White Spruce
           (Picea Glauca (Moench) Voss). Part I. Defining the Juvenile–Mature
           Wood Transition Based on Tracheid Length

    • Authors: Cyriac Mvolo, Ahmed Koubaa, Jean Beaulieu, Alain Cloutier, Marc Mazerolle
      Pages: 183 - 202
      Abstract: Estimations of transition age (TA) and juvenile wood proportion (JWP) are important for wood industries due to their impact on end-product quality. However, the relationships between analytical determination of TA based on tracheid length (TL) and recognized thresholds for adequate end products have not yet been established. In this study, we used three different statistical models to estimate TA in white spruce (Picea glauca (Moench) Voss) based on TL radial variation. We compared the results with technological maturity. A two-millimeter threshold, previously suggested for good paper tear strength, was used. Tracheid length increased from pith to bark and from breast height to upper height. Juvenile wood (JW) was conical with the three models. At breast height, TA ranged from 11 to 27 years and JWP ranged from 15.3% to 47.5% across the three models. The linear mixed model produced more conservative estimates than the maximum-quadratic-linear (M_Q_L) model. Both the linear mixed model and the M_Q_L model produced more conservative TA estimates than the piecewise model. TA estimates by the MIXED model, and to a lesser extent by the M_Q_L model, were equivalent to those for real mature wood, whereas TA estimates by the piecewise model were considerably lower, falling into the transition wood area.
      PubDate: 2015-01-08
      DOI: 10.3390/f6010183
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 1 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 203-224: A Methodological Framework for Assessing
           Agents, Proximate Drivers and Underlying Causes of Deforestation: Field
           Test Results from Southern Cameroon

    • Authors: Sophia Carodenuto, Eduard Merger, Eric Essomba, Metodi Panev, Till Pistorius, Joseph Amougou
      Pages: 203 - 224
      Abstract: The international debates on REDD+ and the expectations to receive results-based payments through international climate finance have triggered considerable political efforts to address deforestation and forest degradation in many potential beneficiary countries. Whether a country will receive such REDD+ payments is largely contingent on its ability to effectively address the relevant drivers, and to govern the context-dependent agents and forces responsible for forest loss or degradation. Currently, many REDD+ countries are embarking on the necessary analytical steps for their national REDD+ strategies. In this context, a comprehensive understanding of drivers and their underlying causes is a fundamental prerequisite for developing effective policy responses. We developed a methodological framework for assessing the drivers and underlying causes of deforestation and use the Fako Division in Southern Cameroon as a case study to test this approach. The steps described in this paper can be adapted to other geographical contexts, and the results of such assessments can be used to inform policy makers and other stakeholders.
      PubDate: 2015-01-09
      DOI: 10.3390/f6010203
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 1 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 225-243: Developing a Quality Assessment Index
           System for Scenic Forest Management: A Case Study from Xishan Mountain,
           Suburban Beijing

    • Authors: Lan Gong, Zhidu Zhang, Chengyang Xu
      Pages: 225 - 243
      Abstract: The public’s demand for more and better forest landscapes is increasing as scenic forest tours flourish in China, especially in the capital, Beijing. How to improve the quality of scenic forests has become one of the greatest concerns of urban foresters. Although numerous studies have focused on scenic forest management, to date, no reports have been found on developing a quality assessment index system for scenic forest assessment. In this study, a simple and scientific index system was established using an analytical hierarchy process (AHP) to quantitatively assess scenic forest quality. The index system is composed of four scales: individual tree landscape quality, in-forest landscape quality, near-view forest landscape quality and far-view landscape quality. The in-forest landscape quality was determined by horizontal and vertical stand structures, species composition and under-canopy landscape traits. Near-view forest landscape quality was mainly determined by patch characteristics, seasonal change, visibility, color change of patches and stand age class. To test the validity of our quality assessment index system, scenic forests in Xishan were used as a case study. The results show that near-view forest landscape was the most important scale for the overall quality of the scenic forest, according to the priorities of the criterion layer, and the second most important scale was far-view forest landscape. Seasonal change, patch color contrast, patch distribution and patch shape accounted for 52.2% of the total of 13 indices in the near-view forest landscape. The integrated quality of scenic forests in Xishan was at an average level, and the in-forest landscape, near-view landscape and far-view landscape had below average quality.
      PubDate: 2015-01-13
      DOI: 10.3390/f6010225
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 1 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 244-251: Special Issue: The Potential Role for
           Community Monitoring in MRV and in Benefit Sharing in REDD+

    • Authors: Arturo Torres, Margaret Skutsch
      Pages: 244 - 251
      Abstract: Since the early design of activities to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries (REDD+) under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the need to engage local communities and indigenous groups in monitoring and reporting has been recognized. REDD+ has advanced under the UNFCCC negotiations, but most countries still need to define formally what the role of communities in their national monitoring systems will be. Previous research and experiences have shown that local communities can effectively contribute in the monitoring of natural resources. This editorial introduces a Special Issue of Forests which discusses the implications of and potential for including community based monitoring (CBM) in monitoring and benefit-sharing systems in REDD+. It outlines the main points of the nine contributions to the Special Issue which cover a wide geographical area and report on projects and research which engages more than 150 communities from eight different countries from Africa, Asia and Latin America. The editorial summarizes how the articles and reports build further understanding of the potential of CBM to contribute to the implementation, monitoring and distribution of benefits in REDD+. It also discusses the results of an on-going opinion survey on issues related to CBM and its relation to benefit sharing, which indicates that there is still disagreement on a number of key elements.
      PubDate: 2015-01-15
      DOI: 10.3390/f6010244
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 1 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 252-270: Combining Lidar and Synthetic Aperture
           Radar Data to Estimate Forest Biomass: Status and Prospects

    • Authors: Sanna Kaasalainen, Markus Holopainen, Mika Karjalainen, Mikko Vastaranta, Ville Kankare, Kirsi Karila, Batuhan Osmanoglu
      Pages: 252 - 270
      Abstract: Research activities combining lidar and radar remote sensing have increased in recent years. The main focus in combining lidar-radar forest remote sensing has been on the retrieval of the aboveground biomass (AGB), which is a primary variable related to carbon cycle in land ecosystems, and has therefore been identified as an essential climate variable. In this review, we summarize the studies combining lidar and radar in estimating forest AGB. We discuss the complementary use of lidar and radar according to the relevance of the added value. The most promising prospects for combining lidar and radar data are in the use of lidar-derived ground elevations for improving large-area biomass estimates from radar, and in upscaling of lidar-based AGB data across large areas covered by spaceborne radar missions.
      PubDate: 2015-01-16
      DOI: 10.3390/f6010252
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 1 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 271-279: Influence of Hemlock Woolly Adelgid
           Infestation Levels on Water Stress in Eastern Hemlocks within the Great
           Smoky Mountains National Park, U.S.A.

    • Authors: Carla Coots, Paris Lambdin, Jennifer Franklin, Jerome Grant, Rusty Rhea
      Pages: 271 - 279
      Abstract: Extensive mortality of eastern hemlock, Tsuga canadensis (L.) Carrière, resulting from infestation by hemlock woolly adelgid, Adelges tsugae Annand (Hemiptera: Adelgidae), has occurred throughout the eastern United States. Although imidacloprid treatment can reduce tree mortality, its effectiveness can be influenced by several factors including tree water stress. The relationship between water stress and infestation rates is unknown, and an understanding of these could greatly increase the efficiency of management for this invasive insect. The primary objective of this study was to assess water stress at three levels of hemlock woolly adelgid infestations. Water stress was measured monthly for 13 months in eastern hemlocks classified as <25%, 25%–75%, and >75% infested. The highest level of water stress was found in those trees with hemlock woolly adelgid infestation levels greater than 75%. The lowest level of water stress was found in those trees with less than 25% hemlock woolly adelgid infestation levels. Knowledge of these effects can contribute to development of more effective chemical management strategies.
      PubDate: 2015-01-20
      DOI: 10.3390/f6010271
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 1 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 1-26: Predicted Changes in Climatic Niche and
           Climate Refugia of Conservation Priority Salamander Species in the
           Northeastern United States

    • Authors: William Sutton, Kyle Barrett, Allison Moody, Cynthia Loftin, Phillip deMaynadier, Priya Nanjappa
      Pages: 1 - 26
      Abstract: Global climate change represents one of the most extensive and pervasive threats to wildlife populations. Amphibians, specifically salamanders, are particularly susceptible to the effects of changing climates due to their restrictive physiological requirements and low vagility; however, little is known about which landscapes and species are vulnerable to climate change. Our study objectives included, (1) evaluating species-specific predictions (based on 2050 climate projections) and vulnerabilities to climate change and (2) using collective species responses to identify areas of climate refugia for conservation priority salamanders in the northeastern United States. All evaluated salamander species were projected to lose a portion of their climatic niche. Averaged projected losses ranged from 3%–100% for individual species, with the Cow Knob Salamander (Plethodon punctatus), Cheat Mountain Salamander (Plethodon nettingi), Shenandoah Mountain Salamander (Plethodon virginia), Mabee’s Salamander (Ambystoma mabeei), and Streamside Salamander (Ambystoma barbouri) predicted to lose at least 97% of their landscape-scale climatic niche. The Western Allegheny Plateau was predicted to lose the greatest salamander climate refugia richness (i.e., number of species with a climatically-suitable niche in a landscape patch), whereas the Central Appalachians provided refugia for the greatest number of species during current and projected climate scenarios. Our results can be used to identify species and landscapes that are likely to be further affected by climate change and potentially resilient habitats that will provide consistent climatic conditions in the face of environmental change.
      PubDate: 2014-12-24
      DOI: 10.3390/f6010001
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 1 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 27-46: Design Features behind Success of the
           Ecosystem Management Decision Support System and Future Development

    • Authors: Keith Reynolds, Steven Paplanus, Bruce Miller, Philip Murphy
      Pages: 27 - 46
      Abstract: The Ecosystem Management Decision Support (EMDS) system is an application framework for designing and implementing spatially enabled knowledge-based decision support systems for environmental analysis and planning at any geographic scale(s). The system integrates state-of-the-art geographic information system, as well as knowledge-based reasoning and decision modeling, technologies to provide decision support for the adaptive management process of ecosystem management. It integrates a logic engine to perform landscape evaluations, and a decision engine for developing management priorities. The logic component: (1) reasons about large, abstract, multi-faceted ecosystem management problems; (2) performs useful evaluations with incomplete information; (3) evaluates the influence of missing information, and (4) determines priorities for missing information. The planning component determines priorities for management activities, taking into account not only ecosystem condition, but also criteria that account for logistical concerns of potential management actions. Both components include intuitive diagnostic features that facilitate communicating modeling results to a broad audience. Features of the system design that have figured in its success over the past 20 years are highlighted, together with design features planned for the next several versions needed to provide spatial decision support for adaptive management under climate change.
      PubDate: 2014-12-26
      DOI: 10.3390/f6010027
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 1 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 47-64: Economic Forest Sustainability: Comparison
           between Lithuania and Sweden

    • Authors: Vilis Brukas, Stasys Mizaras, Diana Mizaraitė
      Pages: 47 - 64
      Abstract: The study conceptualizes economic forest sustainability as “the forest-related income and economic well-being sustained over time” and then compares Lithuania and Sweden at different scales. Sweden adopts a holistic perspective of the forest sector, where forestry and forest industries are perceived as a well-integrated economic branch. Forestry is expected to deliver raw material to forest industries, at the same time creating good preconditions for profitable forest management. Forest owners are given large freedom to act according to market signals and their own household needs, while the resulting intensive forest management cumulatively leads to a significant contribution to the country’s welfare. Lithuania, in contrast, lacks an integrated sector perspective, forestry and forest industries being regarded as two separate realms. Private forest property rights are severely constrained by numerous legislative stipulations, leading to a significant reduction of economic value in production forests. On top of that, thirty percent of private owners face additional restrictions through forestland zoning, leading to further substantial loss of economic value. We suggest several measures for improving the economic forest sustainability in Lithuania, where a genuine national forest program could serve as a suitable bearing medium.
      PubDate: 2014-12-29
      DOI: 10.3390/f6010047
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 1 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 65-87: A Decision Support System for Assessing

    • Authors: Jordi Garcia-Gonzalo, Vladimir Bushenkov, Marc McDill, José Borges
      Pages: 65 - 87
      Abstract: Cork oak (Quercus suber L.) and holm oak (Quercus rotundifolia) ecosystems are characteristic of Mediterranean forestry in Portugal. Even though cork is the most valuable product, these ecosystems provide multiple products and services. Assessing trade-offs between multiple goals is thus critical for the effectiveness of oak ecosystem management planning. This paper focuses on the development of a decision support system for oak ecosystems’ scenario analysis including multiple criteria. It includes an innovative decision support systems (DSS) functionality to assess trade-offs between the criteria that may support negotiation and consensus building between decision-makers and forest stakeholders. Specifically, a module that encapsulates the Feasible Goals Method/Interactive Decision Maps (FGM/IDM) technique is developed for interactive visualization of the Pareto frontier. The Pareto frontier illustrates the degree to which improving one particular criterion requires accepting sacrifices in the achievements of others. It thus provides information about trade-offs between competing decision-makers’ preferences. Results are discussed for a large-scale application encompassing over 1 million ha of cork and holm oak forest ecosystems in Southern Portugal. This study demonstrates the potential of the new DSS functionality to enhance multi-objective forest planning, namely by facilitating participation by stakeholders and providing transparency to the decision-making processes.
      PubDate: 2014-12-30
      DOI: 10.3390/f6010065
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 1 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 88-115: The Challenge of Governing Africa’s
           New Agricultural Investment Landscapes: An Analysis of Policy Arrangements
           and Sustainability Outcomes in Ethiopia and Nigeria

    • Authors: George Schoneveld
      Pages: 88 - 115
      Abstract: In the context of globalization, market liberalization, and deregulation, many African governments are embracing the potential of private agricultural investment to address structural issues within their agricultural economies. Sustainably integrating these investments into target landscapes, however, poses a number of governance challenges since it requires careful reconciliation of competing needs, priorities, and land uses. This paper examines the effectiveness of existing policy arrangements in managing these conflicts within two environmentally significant investment landscapes, the Oban-Korup Forest Block, Nigeria, and Lower Baro-Akobo River Basin, Ethiopia. Findings reveal that investments tend to conflict with socially and environmentally valuable land uses, largely as a result of institutional failings. The paper identifies a number of underlying institutional challenges that need to be addressed in order to achieve sustainable development objectives within Africa’s many emerging investment landscapes. Findings have relevance for the development of sustainable landscape governance systems and the alignment of global governance innovations with landscape-level policy arrangements.
      PubDate: 2014-12-30
      DOI: 10.3390/f6010088
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 1 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 2212-2229: Governing and Delivering a Biome-Wide
           Restoration Initiative: The Case of Atlantic Forest Restoration Pact in

    • Authors: Severino Pinto, Felipe Melo, Marcelo Tabarelli, Aurélio Padovesi, Carlos Mesquita, Carlos de Mattos Scaramuzza, Pedro Castro, Helena Carrascosa, Miguel Calmon, Ricardo Rodrigues, Ricardo César, Pedro Brancalion
      Pages: 2212 - 2229
      Abstract: In many human-modified tropical landscapes, biodiversity conservation and the provision of ecosystem services require large-scale restoration initiatives. Such initiatives must be able to augment the amount and the quality of remaining natural habitats. There is thus a growing need for long-term, multi-stakeholder and multi-purpose initiatives that result in multiple ecological and socioeconomic benefits at the biome scale. The Atlantic Forest Restoration Pact (AFRP) is a coalition of 260+ stakeholders, including governmental agencies, private sector, NGOs and research institutions, aimed at restoring 15 million ha of degraded and deforested lands by 2050. By articulating, and then integrating common interests, this initiative has allowed different sectors of society to implement an ambitious vision and create a forum for public and private concerns regarding forest restoration. The AFRP adopts a set of governance tools so multiple actors can implement key processes to achieve long-term and visionary restoration goals. Having overcome some initial challenges, AFRP now has to incorporate underrepresented stakeholders and enhance its efforts to make forest restoration more economically viable, including cases where restoration could be less expensive and profitable. The AFRP experience has resulted in many lessons learned, which can be shared to foster similar initiatives across tropical regions.
      PubDate: 2014-09-19
      DOI: 10.3390/f5092212
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 9 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 2230-2252: The Inventory of Carbon Stocks in New
           Zealand’s Post-1989 Natural Forest for Reporting under the Kyoto

    • Authors: Peter Beets, Mark Kimberley, Thomas Paul, Graeme Oliver, Stephen Pearce, Joanna Buswell
      Pages: 2230 - 2252
      Abstract: To meet international greenhouse gas reporting obligations, New Zealand must report on carbon stocks in forests established after 1989 (post-1989 forest). Although predominately comprised of planted forest, post-1989 forest also contains a component of natural vegetation amounting to less than 10% by area. New Zealand undertook a national inventory of this natural stratum of post-1989 forest to provide estimates of carbon stocks and stock change in woody species over the first commitment period (2008–2012) of the Kyoto Protocol. Plots were installed on a 4-km grid, and the basal diameters and heights of trees and shrubs were measured for the first time from November 2012, to March 2013. Carbon stocks in 2012 were calculated using allometric functions developed from biomass samples from each site. Basal disc samples provided data on diameter increment and shrub and tree age annually from 1990 to 2012. These were used to predict carbon stocks per ha for individual plots in 2008 and to provide annual predictions by pool back to 1990. Carbon stocks summed across live and dead biomass pools (excluding soil) averaged 3.04, 16.70 and 28.73 t C/ha in 1990, 2008 and 2012, respectively. The disposition by pool was 2.25, 12.54 and 21.84 t C/ha in aboveground biomass, 0.56, 3.13 and 5.46 t C/ha in belowground biomass (using a root/shoot ratio of 0.25), 0.03, 0.17 and 0.23 t C/ha in deadwood, and 0.18, 0.86 and 1.21 t C/ha in litter in 1990, 2008 and 2012, respectively. In 1990, the woody biomass stock estimate per plot ranged from zero to 40 t C/ha and averaged 3.04 t C/ha across all plots. The methodology used to predict annual carbon stocks required an assumption concerning stem annual mortality. Sensitivity analysis suggested that varying this assumption had only a minor impact on predicted carbon stocks and changes. Plant age varied markedly within and between the natural forest plots, and therefore, the mean age of woody vegetation at each site was obtained by setting a threshold woody biomass carbon stock that needed to be achieved, and vegetation age was calculated as years since the threshold was achieved. This threshold approach facilitated the development of a yield table for predicting carbon (t/ha) as a function of vegetation mean age.
      PubDate: 2014-09-19
      DOI: 10.3390/f5092230
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 9 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 2253-2275: Accuracy Assessment of Timber Volume
           Maps Using Forest Inventory Data and LiDAR Canopy Height Models

    • Authors: Andreas Hill, Jochen Breschan, Daniel Mandallaz
      Pages: 2253 - 2275
      Abstract: Maps of standing timber volume provide valuable decision support for forest managers and have therefore been the subject of recent studies. For map production, field observations are commonly combined with area-wide remote sensing data in order to formulate prediction models, which are then applied over the entire inventory area. The accuracy of such maps has frequently been described by parameters such as the root mean square error of the prediction model. The aim of this study was to additionally address the accuracy of timber volume classes, which are used to better represent the map predictions. However, the use of constant class intervals neglects the possibility that the precision of the underlying prediction model may not be constant across the entire volume range, resulting in pronounced gradients between class accuracies. This study proposes an optimization technique that automatically identifies a classification scheme which accounts for the properties of the underlying model and the implied properties of the remote sensing support information. We demonstrate the approach in a mountainous study site in Eastern Switzerland covering a forest area of 2000 hectares using a multiple linear regression model approach. A LiDAR-based canopy height model (CHM) provided the auxiliary information; timber volume observations from the latest forest inventory were used for model calibration and map validation. The coefficient of determination (R2 = 0.64) and the cross-validated root mean square error (RMSECV = 123.79 m3 ha−1) were only slightly smaller than those of studies in less steep and heterogeneous landscapes. For a large set of pre-defined number of classes, the optimization model successfully identified those classification schemes that achieved the highest possible accuracies for each class.
      PubDate: 2014-09-19
      DOI: 10.3390/f5092253
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 9 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 2276-2288: Spatial and Temporal Variability of
           Channel Retention in a Lowland Temperate Forest Stream Settled by European
           Beaver (Castor fiber)

    • Authors: Mateusz Grygoruk, Magdalena Nowak
      Pages: 2276 - 2288
      Abstract: Beaver ponds remain a challenge for forest management in those countries where expansion of beaver (Castor fiber) is observed. Despite undoubted economic losses generated in forests by beaver, their influence on hydrology of forest streams especially in terms of increasing channel retention (amount of water stored in the river channel), is considered a positive aspect of their activity. In our study, we compared water storage capacities of a lowland forest stream settled by beaver in order to unravel the possible temporal variability of beaver’s influence on channel retention. We compared distribution, total damming height, volumes and areas of beaver ponds in the valley of Krzemianka (Northeast Poland) in the years 2006 (when a high construction activity of beaver was observed) and in 2013 (when the activity of beaver decreased significantly). The study revealed a significant decrease of channel retention of beaver ponds from over 15,000 m3 in 2006 to 7000 m3 in 2013. The total damming height of the cascade of beaver ponds decreased from 6.6 to 5.6 m. Abandoned beaver ponds that transferred into wetlands, where lost channel retention was replaced by soil and groundwater retention, were more constant over time and less vulnerable to the external disturbance means of water storage than channel retention. We concluded that abandoned beaver ponds played an active role in increasing channel retention of the river analyzed for approximately 5 years. We also concluded that if the construction activity of beaver was used as a tool (ecosystem service) in increasing channel retention of the river valley, the permanent presence of beaver in the riparian zone of forest streams should have been assured.
      PubDate: 2014-09-19
      DOI: 10.3390/f5092276
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 9 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 2289-2306: Effects of Harvesting Systems and Bole
           Moisture Loss on Weight Scaling of Douglas-Fir Sawlogs (Pseudotsuga
           Menziesii var. glauca Franco)

    • Authors: Jarred Saralecos, Robert Keefe, Wade Tinkham, Randall Brooks, Alistair Smith, Leonard Johnson
      Pages: 2289 - 2306
      Abstract: Characterizing the moisture loss from felled trees is essential for determining weight-to-volume (W-V) relationships in softwood sawlogs. Several factors affect moisture loss, but research to quantify the effects of bole size and harvest method is limited. This study was designed to test whether bole size, harvest method, environmental factors, and the associated changes in stem moisture content of felled Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii var. glauca Franco) affected the weight-to-volume relationship of sawlogs. Thirty trees in three size classes (12.7–25.4 cm, 25.5–38.1 cm, 38.2–50.8 cm) were felled and treated with one of two harvesting processing methods. Moisture content was sampled every two days for four weeks. Results showed 6% greater moisture loss in the crowns of stems that retained limbs after felling compared to stems with limbs removed after harvesting. Additionally, moisture loss rate increased as stem size decreased. The smallest size class lost 58% moisture content compared to 34% in the largest size class throughout the study duration. These stem moisture content changes showed a 17% reduction in average sawlog weight within the largest size class, shifting current W-V relationships from 2.33 tons m−3 to 1.94 tons m−3 during the third seasonal quarter for northern Idaho Douglas-fir and potentially altering relationships year-round.
      PubDate: 2014-09-19
      DOI: 10.3390/f5092289
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 9 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 2307-2326: Cross-Correlation of Diameter Measures
           for the Co-Registrationof Forest Inventory Plots with Airborne Laser
           Scanning Data

    • Authors: Jean-Matthieu Monnet, Éric Mermin
      Pages: 2307 - 2326
      Abstract: Continuous maps of forest parameters can be derived from airborne laser scanning (ALS) remote sensing data. A prediction model is calibrated between local point cloud statistics and forest parameters measured on field plots. Unfortunately, inaccurate positioning of field measures lead to a bad matching of forest measures with remote sensing data. The potential of using tree diameter and position measures in cross-correlation with ALS data to improve co-registration is evaluated. The influence of the correction on ALS models is assessed by comparing the accuracy of basal area prediction models calibrated or validated with or without the corrected positions. In a coniferous, uneven-aged forest with high density ALS data and low positioning precision, the algorithm co-registers 91% of plots within two meters from the operator location when at least the five largest trees are used in the analysis. The new coordinates slightly improve the prediction models and allow a better estimation of their accuracy. In a forest with various stand structures and species, lower ALS density and differential Global Navigation Satellite System measurements, position correction turns out to have only a limited impact on prediction models.
      PubDate: 2014-09-19
      DOI: 10.3390/f5092307
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 9 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 2327-2344: A Scenario-Based Method for Assessing
           the Impact of Suggested Woodland Key Habitats on Forest Harvesting Costs

    • Authors: Nils Søvde, Magne Sætersdal, Arne Løkketangen
      Pages: 2327 - 2344
      Abstract: Variable retention harvesting is acknowledged as a cost-effective conservation measure, but previous studies have focused on the environmental value and planning cost. In this study, a model is presented for optimizing harvesting cost using a high resolution map generated from airborne laser scanning data. The harvesting cost optimization model is used to calculate the objective value of different scenarios. By comparing the objective values, better estimates of the opportunity cost of woodland key habitats are found. The model can be used by a forest manager when evaluating what silvicultural treatments to implement or as an input for improving the nature reserve selection problem for woodland key habitats or retention patches. The model was tested on four real-world cases, and the results indicate that terrain transportation costs vary more than reported in the literature and that it may be worthwhile to divide the opportunity cost into its direct and indirect components.
      PubDate: 2014-09-22
      DOI: 10.3390/f5092327
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 9 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 2345-2376: China’s Conversion of Cropland to
           Forest Program for Household Delivery of Ecosystem Services: How Important
           is a Local Implementation Regime to Survival Rate Outcomes?

    • Authors: Michael Bennett, Chen Xie, Nicholas Hogarth, Daoli Peng, Louis Putzel
      Pages: 2345 - 2376
      Abstract: China’s Conversion of Cropland to Forests Program (CCFP) is the world’s largest afforestation-based Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES) program, having retired and afforested over 24 million ha involving 32 million rural households. Prior research has primarily focused on the CCFP’s rural welfare impacts, with few studies on program-induced environmental improvements, particularly at the household level. In this study, data from a 2010 survey covering 2808 rural households from across China was analyzed using an interval regression model to explain household-reported survival rates of trees planted on program-enrolled cropland. In addition to household-level factors, we explore the influence of local conditions and institutional configurations by exploiting the wide diversity of contexts covered by the data set. We find that households with more available labor and more forestry experience manage trees better, but that higher opportunity costs for both land and labor have the opposite effect. We also find that the local implementation regime- e.g., the degree of prior consultation with participants and regular monitoring - has a strong positive effect on reported survivorship. We suggest that the level of subsidy support to participating households will be key to survivorship of trees in planted CCFP forests for some time to come.
      PubDate: 2014-09-25
      DOI: 10.3390/f5092345
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 9 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 2377-2399: Local-Scale Mapping of Biomass in
           Tropical Lowland Pine Savannas Using ALOS PALSAR

    • Authors: Dimitrios Michelakis, Neil Stuart, German Lopez, Vinicio Linares, Iain Woodhouse
      Pages: 2377 - 2399
      Abstract: Fine-scale biomass maps offer forest managers the prospect of more detailed and locally accurate information for measuring, reporting and verification activities in contexts, such as sustainable forest management, carbon stock assessments and ecological studies of forest growth and change. In this study, we apply a locally validated method for estimating aboveground woody biomass (AGWB) from Advanced Land Observing Satellite (ALOS) Phased Array-type L-band Synthetic Aperture Radar (PALSAR) data to produce an AGWB map for the lowland pine savannas of Belize at a spatial resolution of 100 m. Over 90% of these woodlands are predicted to have an AGWB below 60 tha−1, with the average woody biomass of these savannas estimated at 23.5 tha−1. By overlaying these spatial estimates upon previous thematic mapping of national land cover, we derive representative average biomass values of ~32 tha−1 and ~18 tha−1 for the previously qualitative classes of “denser” and “less dense” tree savannas. The predicted average biomass, from the mapping for savannas woodlands occurring within two of Belize’s larger protected areas, agree closely with previous biomass estimates for these areas based on ground surveys and forest inventories (error ≤20%). However, biomass estimates derived for these protected areas from two biomass maps produced at coarser resolutions (500 m and 1000 m) from global datasets overestimated biomass (errors ≥275% in each dataset). The finer scale biomass mapping of both protected and unprotected areas provides evidence to suggest that protection has a positive effect upon woody biomass, with the mean AGWB higher in areas protected and managed for biodiversity (protected and passively managed (PRPM), 29.5 tha−1) compared to unprotected areas (UPR, 23.29 tha−1). These findings suggest that where sufficient ground data exists to build a reliable local relationship to radar backscatter, the more detailed biomass mapping that can be produced from ALOS and similar satellite data at resolutions of ~100 m provides more accurate and spatially detailed information that is more appropriate for supporting the management of forested areas of ~10,000 ha than biomass maps that can be produced from lower resolution, but freely available global data sets.
      PubDate: 2014-09-25
      DOI: 10.3390/f5092377
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 9 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 2947-2966: Effects of a Wildfire on Selected
           Physical, Chemical and Biochemical Soil Properties in a Pinus massoniana
           Forest in South China

    • Authors: Li Xue, Qiujing Li, Hongyue Chen
      Pages: 2947 - 2966
      Abstract: Pinus massoniana forests bordering South China are often affected by wildfires. Fires cause major changes in soil properties in many forest types but little is known about the effects of fire on soil properties in these P. massoniana forests. Such knowledge is important for providing a comprehensive understanding of wildfire effects on soil patterns and for planning appropriate long-term forest management in these forests. Changes in soil physical properties, carbon, nutrients, and enzymes were investigated in a P. massoniana forest along a wildfire-induced time span consisting of an unburned soil, and soils 0, one, four, and seven years post-fire. Soil (0–10 cm) was collected from burned and unburned sites immediately and one, four, and seven years after a wildfire. The wildfire effects on soil physical and chemical properties and enzyme activities were significantly different among treatment variation, time variation, and treatment-by-time interaction. Significant short-term effects on soil physical, chemical, and biological properties were found, which resulted in a deterioration of soil physical properties by increasing soil bulk density and decreasing macropores and capillary moisture. Soil pH increased significantly in the soil one-year post-fire. Carbon, total nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P), and available N and P increased significantly immediately and one year after the wildfire and decreased progressively to concentrations lower than in the unburned soil. Total potassium (K) and exchangeable K increased immediately after the wildfire and then continuously decreased along the burned time-span. Urease, acid phosphatase, and catalase activities significantly decreased compared to those in the unburned soil. In fire-prone P. massoniana forests, wildfires may significantly influence soil physical properties, carbon, nutrients, and enzyme activity.
      PubDate: 2014-11-25
      DOI: 10.3390/f5122947
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 12 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 2967-2979: Effects of Direct Application of
           Fertilizers and Hydrogel on the Establishment of Poplar Cuttings

    • Authors: Henrik Böhlenius, Rolf Övergaard
      Pages: 2967 - 2979
      Abstract: The aim of poplar plantations is to achieve high biomass production over a short rotation period. This requires low mortality and fast development of the transplants. The experiment described in this paper examines methods aimed at enhancing survival and development of Populus trichocarpa plants by application of fertilizers, a hydrogel or a combination of both to dormant cuttings just before planting. The experiment was carried out at two agricultural sites with different soil characteristics, a loamy sand and a silty loam. It was demonstrated that none of the treatments influenced survival or early growth at the silty loam soil site, and plant development was delayed by the solid fertilizer. At the site with loamy sand, the solid fertilizer negatively affected both survival and early growth. Hydrogel and the combination of hydrogel and the solid fertilizer also hampered early growth. Overall, treatments of poplar cuttings with hydrogel or fertilizers alone, or in combination, may not be a method to reduce poplar cutting mortality or to enhance early plant development on agricultural land. However, our results demonstrate that establishing poplar with cuttings as transplants can be used on both loamy sand and silty loam soils.
      PubDate: 2014-12-01
      DOI: 10.3390/f5122967
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 12 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 2980-2995: Former Land Use and Host Genotype
           Influence the Mycorrhizal Colonization of Poplar Roots

    • Authors: Felicia Gherghel, David Behringer, Stefanie Haubrich, Maren Schlauß, Christina Fey-Wagner, Karl-Heinz Rexer, Alwin Janßen, Gerhard Kost
      Pages: 2980 - 2995
      Abstract: The present paper analyses the community structure of ectomycorrhiza (ECM) and arbuscular mycorrhiza (AM) fungi associated with seven different poplar clone types growing in a patch system on soil from four different former land use types, originating from spruce forest, poplar stand, grassland and cornfield. We determined the extent to which ECM and AM play a role on the studied factors (genotype, former land use type and host growth). The diversity of ECM and AM fungal communities was estimated by morphological and molecular analyses of the 18S and ITS of the rDNA genes. Fifteen ECM fungal taxa and four AM groups were distinguished in the roots of the poplars grown for 18 months on soil originating from the respective land use types. The poplar clones showed significantly different rates of shoot length and AM colonization, especially concerning the occurrence of Glomus intraradices and Scutellospora sp. Populus deltoides had significantly higher Scutellospora sp. abundance. Although ECM abundance and diversity was high, no significant differences between the different land use types was found. However, some ECM fungi like Paxillus involutus, Laccaria proxima and Laccaria tortilis showed significant preferences for specific land use types. Our findings suggest that both factors, former land use type and poplar genotype, are important determinants of mycorrhizal colonization of the host plants.
      PubDate: 2014-12-04
      DOI: 10.3390/f5122980
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 12 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 2996-3021: From Co-Management to Landscape
           Governance: Whither Ghana’s Modified Taungya System?

    • Authors: Mirjam Ros-Tonen, Mercy Derkyi, Thomas Insaidoo
      Pages: 2996 - 3021
      Abstract: Natural resource management literature has documented three paradigm shifts over the past decade: from co-management to adaptive co-management and adaptive governance respectively and, more recently, towards landscape governance. The latter is conceived as a governance approach towards negotiated land use at the landscape level to deal with global challenges such as food insecurity, climate change and biodiversity loss. There is not a lot of clarity about how co-management systems could actually evolve into landscape governance. This paper aims to address the gap by exploring how a stalled co-management system for the reforestation of degraded forest areas—the modified taungya system (MTS) in Ghana—could be revitalised and redesigned as a landscape approach. Drawing on case studies and expert consultation, the performance of the national MTS and the MTS under the Community Forestry Management Project is reviewed with regard to five principles (integrated approach, multi-stakeholder negotiation, polycentric governance, continual learning and adaptive capacity) and three enabling conditions (social capital, bridging organisations and long-term funding) distilled from the literature. The authors conclude that some of these principles and conditions were met under the Community Forestry Management Project, but that continual learning, transcending jurisdictional boundaries, developing adaptive capacity, and long-term funding and benefits still pose challenges.
      PubDate: 2014-12-04
      DOI: 10.3390/f5122996
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 12 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 3022-3030: Current Challenges and Perspectives for
           Governing Forest Restoration

    • Authors: Manuel Guariguata, Pedro Brancalion
      Pages: 3022 - 3030
      Abstract: Negotiation, reconciliation of multiple scales through both ecological and social dimensions and minimization of power imbalances are considered critical challenges to overcome for effective governance of forest restoration. Finding the right mix of “command and control” in forest restoration vs. “environmental governance”, which includes non-state actors, regulatory flexibility, and market based instruments is at the heart of these challenges. This Special Issue attempts at shedding light on these challenges with case studies from South and Central America, Africa, and Asia. Some provide within-country as well as cross-country comparisons. A few others present case studies at the household level. Both policy and legal constraints towards implementing forest restoration are also discussed as a function of top down vs. bottom up approaches. The effectiveness of payments for environmental services is examined as catalyzers of forest restoration initiatives. Finally, two papers deal with the legal and policy constraints in making restoration through natural regeneration a viable and cost-effective tool. In the face of renewed perspectives for expanding forest restoration programs globally, governance issues will likely play a key role in eventually determining success. As many of the papers in this Special Issue suggest, the fate of forest restoration outcomes is, more often than not, associated with overall governance challenges, some of which are often overlooked particularly across multiple scales.
      PubDate: 2014-12-05
      DOI: 10.3390/f5123022
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 12 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 3031-3047: Enrichment of Logging Gaps with a High
           Conservation Value Species (Pericopsis elata) in a Central African Moist

    • Authors: Dakis-Yaoba Ouédraogo, Adeline Fayolle, Kasso Daïnou, Charles Demaret, Nils Bourland, Paul Lagoute, Jean-Louis Doucet
      Pages: 3031 - 3047
      Abstract: In central Africa, most of the timber species require high light at the seedling stage for survival and growth. Forest managers face a regeneration shortage of these light-demanding timber species. To achieve long-term sustainability, there is a need for enrichment methods combining low cost and high species performance. The aim of this study was to assess the performance of Pericopsis elata seedlings in enriched logging gaps in Cameroon. Over five years; the survival and size of each seedling was monitored in 27 logging gaps that were either left without maintenance or cleared. Gaps were relatively small with an average total area of 155 m2. We found that planted seedlings of P. elata performed well in logging gaps. Even without any maintenance 61% of the planted seedlings survived after five years with an average annual diameter increment of 0.28 cm. P. elata appeared to be a good candidate species for enrichment in logging gaps. We demonstrated that the seedlings of P. elata tolerated a wide range of soil conditions but that their performance was strongly influenced by light availability (gap clearance), suggesting potentially improved performance of P. elata in high light environments such as in plantation or larger gaps.
      PubDate: 2014-12-05
      DOI: 10.3390/f5123031
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 12 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 3048-3069: A Stand-Class Growth and Yield Model for
           Mexico’s Northern Temperate, Mixed and Multiaged Forests

    • Authors: José Návar
      Pages: 3048 - 3069
      Abstract: The aim of this research was to develop a stand-class growth and yield model based on the diameter growth dynamics of Pinus spp. and Quercus spp. of Mexico’s mixed temperate forests. Using a total of 2663 temporary, circular-sampling plots of 1000 m2 each, nine Weibull distribution techniques of parameter estimation were fitted to the diameter structures of pines and oaks. Statistical equations using stand attributes and the first three moments of the diameter distribution predicted and recovered the Weibull parameters. Using nearly 1200 and 100 harvested trees for pines and oaks, respectively, I developed the total height versus diameter at breast height relationship by fitting three non-linear functions. The Newnham model predicted stem taper and numerical integration was done to estimate merchantable timber volume for all trees in the stand for each diameter class. The independence of the diameter structures of pines and oaks was tested by regressing the Weibull parameters and projecting diameter structures. The model predicts diameter distributions transition from exponential (J inverse), logarithmic to well-balanced distributions with increasing mean stand diameter at breast height. Pine diameter distributions transition faster and the model predicts independent growth rates between pines and oaks. The stand-class growth and yield model must be completed with the diameter-age relationship for oaks in order to carry a full optimization procedure to find stand density and genera composition to maximize forest growth.
      PubDate: 2014-12-09
      DOI: 10.3390/f5123048
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 12 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 3070-3086: The Importance of Maintaining Upland
           Forest Habitat Surrounding Salamander Breeding Ponds: Case Study of the
           Eastern Tiger Salamander in New York, USA

    • Authors: Valorie Titus, Dale Madison, Timothy Green
      Pages: 3070 - 3086
      Abstract: Most amphibians use both wetland and upland habitats, but the extent of their movement in forested habitats is poorly known. We used radiotelemetry to observe the movements of adult and juvenile eastern tiger salamanders over a 4-year period. Females tended to move farther from the breeding ponds into upland forested habitat than males, while the distance a juvenile moved appeared to be related to body size, with the largest individuals moving as far as the adult females. Individuals chose refugia in native pitch pine—oak forested habitat and avoided open fields, roads, and developed areas. We also observed a difference in potential predation pressures in relation to the distance an individual moved from the edge of the pond. Our results support delineating forested wetland buffer zones on a case-by-case basis to reduce the impacts of concentrated predation, to increase and protect the availability of pitch pine—oak forests near the breeding pond, and to focus primarily on the habitat needs of the adult females and larger juveniles, which in turn will encompass habitat needs of adult males and smaller juveniles.
      PubDate: 2014-12-09
      DOI: 10.3390/f5123070
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 12 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 3087-3106: Dendrochronological Potential in a

    • Authors: Maaike De Ridder, Benjamin Toirambe, Jan van den Bulcke, Nils Bourland, Joris van Acker, Hans Beeckman
      Pages: 3087 - 3106
      Abstract: The long-lived pioneer species Pericopsis elata is one of the rare tropical timbers on the list of the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species, supporting the need for accurate and reliable growth data. In one planted and one natural forest in the Democratic Republic of Congo, respectively four and 37 Pericopsis stem disks were collected. The tree-ring series of planted trees were used to confirm annual tree-ring formation. For the natural forest, a tree-ring chronology with 24 stem disks ranged from 1852 up to 2008. This chronology was compared with time-series of local precipitation, resulting in a significant correlation with the second half of the rainy season (September–November). This seasonal precipitation was related with sea surface temperatures of the West Indian Ocean. Higher precipitation during El Niño years corresponded with higher tree-ring indices but differences were not significant. In addition, pointer years were rare and did not have a consistent link with extreme climatic conditions. The existence of annual tree rings encourages further tree-ring analyses of P. elata and other flagship timber species in order to further document climate-growth responses and to provide the long-term framework that is needed for sustainable management planning.
      PubDate: 2014-12-12
      DOI: 10.3390/f5123087
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 12 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 3107-3130: Biomass and Volume Yield in Mature
           Hybrid Poplar Plantations on Temperate Abandoned Farmland

    • Authors: Benoit Truax, Daniel Gagnon, Julien Fortier, France Lambert
      Pages: 3107 - 3130
      Abstract: In this study, we developed clone-specific allometric relationships, with the objective of calculating volume and biomass production after 13 years in 8 poplar plantations, located across an environmental gradient, and composed of 5 unrelated hybrid poplar clones. Allometry was found to be very similar for clones MxB-915311, NxM-3729 and DNxM-915508, all having P. maximoviczii parentage. Clones DxN-3570 and TxD-3230 also had a similar allometry; for a given DBH they have a lower stem volume, stem biomass and branch biomass than P. maximoviczii hybrids. Strong Site × Clone interactions were observed for volume and woody biomass growth, with DxN and TxD hybrids only productive on low elevation fertile sites, whereas P. maximovizcii hybrids were also very productive on higher elevation sites with moderate to high soil fertility. At the site level (5 clones mean), yield reached 27.5 and 22.7 m3/ha/yr. on the two best sites (high fertility and low elevation), confirming the great potential of southern Québec (Canada) for poplar culture. The productivity gap between the most and least productive sites has widened from year 8 to year 13, highlighting the need for high quality abandoned farmland site selection in terms of climate and soil fertility. Although clone selection could optimize yield across the studied environmental gradient, it cannot fully compensate for inadequate site selection.
      PubDate: 2014-12-12
      DOI: 10.3390/f5123107
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 12 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 3131-3146: Douglas-Fir Tussock Moth- and
           Douglas-Fir Beetle-Caused Mortality in a Ponderosa Pine/Douglas-Fir Forest
           in the Colorado Front Range, USA

    • Authors: José Negrón, Ann Lynch, Willis Jr., Javier Mercado
      Pages: 3131 - 3146
      Abstract: An outbreak of the Douglas-fir tussock moth, Orgyia pseudotsugata McDunnough, occurred in the South Platte River drainage on the Pike-San Isabel National Forest in the Colorado Front Range attacking Douglas-fir, Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirb.) Franco. Stocking levels, species composition, and tree size in heavily and lightly defoliated stands were similar. Douglas-fir tussock moth defoliation resulted in significant Douglas-fir mortality in the heavily defoliated stands, leading to a change in dominance to ponderosa pine, Pinus ponderosa Lawson. Douglas-fir beetle, Dendroctonus pseudotsuqae Hopkins, populations increased following the defoliation event but caused less mortality, and did not differ between heavily and lightly defoliated stands. Douglas-fir tussock moth-related mortality was greatest in trees less than 15 cm dbh (diameter at 1.4 m above the ground) that grew in suppressed and intermediate canopy positions. Douglas-fir beetle-related mortality was greatest in trees larger than 15 cm dbh that grew in the dominant and co-dominant crown positions. Although both insects utilize Douglas-fir as its primary host, stand response to infestation is different. The extensive outbreak of the Douglas-fir tussock moth followed by Douglas-fir beetle activity may be associated with a legacy of increased host type growing in overstocked conditions as a result of fire exclusion.
      PubDate: 2014-12-12
      DOI: 10.3390/f5123131
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 12 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 3147-3168: Multilevel Governance for Forests and
           Climate Change: Learning from Southern Mexico

    • Authors: Salla Rantala, Reem Hajjar, Margaret Skutsch
      Pages: 3147 - 3168
      Abstract: Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+) involves global and national policy measures as well as effective action at the landscape scale across productive sectors. Multilevel governance (MLG) characterizes policy processes and regimes of cross-scale and cross-sector participation by multiple public and private actors for improved legitimacy and effectiveness of policy. We examine multilevel, multi-actor engagement in REDD+ planning in Quintana Roo, Mexico, to find out how local perspectives align with the national policy approach to REDD+ as an integrating element of holistic rural development at territorial scale, and how current practices support procedurally legitimate MLG required to implement it. We find that there is wide conceptual agreement on the proposed approach by a variety of involved actors, in rejection of the business-as-usual sectoral interventions. Its implementation, however, is challenged by gaps in horizontal and vertical integration due to strong sectoral identities and hierarchies, and de facto centralization of power at the federal level. Continued participation of multiple government and civil society actors to contribute to social learning for locally appropriate REDD+ actions is likely to require a more balanced distribution of resources and influence across levels. Meaningfully engaging and ensuring the representation of local community interests in the process remains a critical challenge.
      PubDate: 2014-12-12
      DOI: 10.3390/f5123147
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 12 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 3169-3198: Evaluating an Automated Approach for
           Monitoring Forest Disturbances in the Pacific Northwest from Logging, Fire
           and Insect Outbreaks with Landsat Time Series Data

    • Authors: Christopher Neigh, Douglas Bolton, Jennifer Williams, Mouhamad Diabate
      Pages: 3169 - 3198
      Abstract: Forests are the largest aboveground sink for atmospheric carbon (C), and understanding how they change through time is critical to reduce our C-cycle uncertainties. We investigated a strong decline in Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) from 1982 to 1991 in Pacific Northwest forests, observed with the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) series of Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometers (AVHRRs). To understand the causal factors of this decline, we evaluated an automated classification method developed for Landsat time series stacks (LTSS) to map forest change. This method included: (1) multiple disturbance index thresholds; and (2) a spectral trajectory-based image analysis with multiple confidence thresholds. We produced 48 maps and verified their accuracy with air photos, monitoring trends in burn severity data and insect aerial detection survey data. Area-based accuracy estimates for change in forest cover resulted in producer’s and user’s accuracies of 0.21 ± 0.06 to 0.38 ± 0.05 for insect disturbance, 0.23 ± 0.07 to 1 ± 0 for burned area and 0.74 ± 0.03 to 0.76 ± 0.03 for logging. We believe that accuracy was low for insect disturbance because air photo reference data were temporally sparse, hence missing some outbreaks, and the annual anniversary time step is not dense enough to track defoliation and progressive stand mortality. Producer’s and user’s accuracy for burned area was low due to the temporally abrupt nature of fire and harvest with a similar response of spectral indices between the disturbance index and normalized burn ratio. We conclude that the spectral trajectory approach also captures multi-year stress that could be caused by climate, acid deposition, pathogens, partial harvest, thinning, etc. Our study focused on understanding the transferability of previously successful methods to new ecosystems and found that this automated method does not perform with the same accuracy in Pacific Northwest forests. Using a robust accuracy assessment, we demonstrate the difficulty of transferring change attribution methods to other ecosystems, which has implications for the development of automated detection/attribution approaches. Widespread disturbance was found within AVHRR-negative anomalies, but identifying causal factors in LTSS with adequate mapping accuracy for fire and insects proved to be elusive. Our results provide a background framework for future studies to improve methods for the accuracy assessment of automated LTSS classifications.
      PubDate: 2014-12-12
      DOI: 10.3390/f5123169
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 12 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 3199-3221: Transformation of a Degraded Pinus
           massoniana Plantation into a Mixed-Species Irregular Forest: Impacts on
           Stand Structure and Growth in Southern China

    • Authors: Jinghui Meng, Yuanchang Lu, Ji Zeng
      Pages: 3199 - 3221
      Abstract: We transformed a Pinus massoniana plantation, the most important conifer plantation in southern China, with four different transformation treatments, in which Pinus massoniana was thinned to a density of 70%, and then differing richness and compositions of enrichment plantings were added. In order to examine the effects of the transformation, we compared species composition, stand structure and growth pattern in transformed stands with those in control stands. The results suggested that in the transformed stands species composition was diverse with trees both from the enrichment plantings and from natural recruitment. The size structure was changed such that the diameter at breast height (DBH) distribution tended to shift from a nearly normal distribution to an irregular multi-modal distribution. Substantial new ingrowth was found in the small DBH classes. The residual trees in the transformed stands were significantly larger than in the control treatment. However, for all trees, the control stands had the largest mean size, even though the residual tree growth was significantly smaller in the control stands. Finally, transformation treatment A4, which had the smallest overall mortality rate and simultaneously the mortality rate of each tree species was smaller than the corresponding value in other transformation treatments, was identified as the optimal transformation.
      PubDate: 2014-12-12
      DOI: 10.3390/f5123199
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 12 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 3222-3240: Comparison of Three Ideal Point-Based
           Multi-Criteria Decision Methods for Afforestation Planning

    • Authors: René Estrella, Dirk Cattrysse, Jos Van Orshoven
      Pages: 3222 - 3240
      Abstract: Three ideal point-based multi-criteria decision methods (MCDM), i.e., iterative ideal point thresholding (IIPT), compromise programming (CP) and a newly-proposed CP variant, called balanced compromise programming (BCP), were applied to the Tabacay catchment in Ecuador with the aim of finding a distribution of land use types (LUT) that optimizes regional land performance. This performance was expressed in terms of several conflicting on-site ecosystem services (ESS), namely water conservation, soil protection, carbon storage and monetary income. IIPT selects the best performing LUT on a per-land unit basis, that is the assignment of a LUT to a land unit is completely independent with respect to other land units. CP and BCP, on the other hand, aim at optimizing the integrated regional performance. These methods produce a LUT distribution that is as close as possible to the absolute optimal performance that would be achieved when conflict among ESS is not considered. In general, similar results were obtained with CP and BCP. This was not the case when the results produced by these two methods were contrasted with IIPT. For most ESS under consideration, CP and BCP produced balanced results that were closer to the absolute optimal values when compared to IIPT. We conclude from our results that, when optimization of land performance at a regional scale is at stake, CP-derived models emerge as the preferable option over IIPT, especially when balanced solutions are a requirement.
      PubDate: 2014-12-15
      DOI: 10.3390/f5123222
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 12 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 3241-3256: Simulation of Quaking Aspen Potential
           Fire Behavior in Northern Utah, USA

    • Authors: R. DeRose, A. Leffler
      Pages: 3241 - 3256
      Abstract: Current understanding of aspen fire ecology in western North America includes the paradoxical characterization that aspen-dominated stands, although often regenerated following fire, are “fire-proof”. We tested this idea by predicting potential fire behavior across a gradient of aspen dominance in northern Utah using the Forest Vegetation Simulator and the Fire and Fuels Extension. The wind speeds necessary for crowning (crown-to-crown fire spread) and torching (surface to crown fire spread) were evaluated to test the hypothesis that predicted fire behavior is influenced by the proportion of aspen in the stand. Results showed a strong effect of species composition on crowning, but only under moderate fire weather, where aspen-dominated stands were unlikely to crown or torch. Although rarely observed in actual fires, conifer-dominated stands were likely to crown but not to torch, an example of “hysteresis” in crown fire behavior. Results support the hypothesis that potential crown fire behavior varies across a gradient of aspen dominance and fire weather, where it was likely under extreme and severe fire weather, and unlikely under moderate and high fire weather. Furthermore, the “fire-proof” nature of aspen stands broke down across the gradient of aspen dominance and fire weather.
      PubDate: 2014-12-15
      DOI: 10.3390/f5123241
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 12 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 3257-3273: Processes Underlying 50 Years of Local
           Forest-Cover Change in Yunnan, China

    • Authors: Jens Frayer, Daniel Müller, Zhanli Sun, Darla Munroe, Jianchu Xu
      Pages: 3257 - 3273
      Abstract: Recognition of the importance of forests for local livelihoods, biodiversity and the climate system has spurred a growing interest in understanding the factors that drive forest-cover change. Forest transitions, the change from net deforestation to net reforestation, may follow different pathways depending on a complex interplay of driving forces. However, most studies on forest transitions focus on the national level rather than the local level. Here, case studies from 10 villages in Yunnan, China, are used to clarify the complex interactions among various pathways of forest transitions, derive insights on the underlying drivers that shaped the forest transitions, and determine the importance of changes in drivers over time. The results demonstrate that China’s recent forest transition was caused by a range of interrelated pathways that were mediated by local circumstances. The degradation of forest ecosystem services caused by rampant deforestation and forest degradation created a scarcity of forest products and triggered state-initiated afforestation efforts, particularly in the 1990s, which continue to be important. More recently, economic development concomitant with smallholder intensification spurred reforestation, while the importance of state forest policy declined. The complexity of local land-use changes demonstrates the difficulty of identifying distinct transition pathways and calls for a more diverse approach that recognizes the interdependence of local processes.
      PubDate: 2014-12-16
      DOI: 10.3390/f5123257
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 12 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 3274-3294: Tree Root System Characterization and
           Volume Estimation by Terrestrial Laser Scanning and Quantitative Structure

    • Authors: Aaron Smith, Rasmus Astrup, Pasi Raumonen, Jari Liski, Anssi Krooks, Sanna Kaasalainen, Markku Åkerblom, Mikko Kaasalainen
      Pages: 3274 - 3294
      Abstract: The accurate characterization of three-dimensional (3D) root architecture, volume, and biomass is important for a wide variety of applications in forest ecology and to better understand tree and soil stability. Technological advancements have led to increasingly more digitized and automated procedures, which have been used to more accurately and quickly describe the 3D structure of root systems. Terrestrial laser scanners (TLS) have successfully been used to describe aboveground structures of individual trees and stand structure, but have only recently been applied to the 3D characterization of whole root systems. In this study, 13 recently harvested Norway spruce root systems were mechanically pulled from the soil, cleaned, and their volumes were measured by displacement. The root systems were suspended, scanned with TLS from three different angles, and the root surfaces from the co-registered point clouds were modeled with the 3D Quantitative Structure Model to determine root architecture and volume. The modeling procedure facilitated the rapid derivation of root volume, diameters, break point diameters, linear root length, cumulative percentages, and root fraction counts. The modeled root systems underestimated root system volume by 4.4%. The modeling procedure is widely applicable and easily adapted to derive other important topological and volumetric root variables.
      PubDate: 2014-12-16
      DOI: 10.3390/f5123274
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 12 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 3295-3326: Integrating CBM into Land-Use Based
           Mitigation Actions Implemented by Local Communities

    • Authors: Arturo Torres, Lucio Acuña, José Vergara
      Pages: 3295 - 3326
      Abstract: In 2009, the conference of the parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change recognized the need to engage communities and indigenous groups into the systems to monitor, report and verify the results of REDD+. Since then, many countries have started to prepare for REDD+ implementation. This article reviews early experiences under development in 11 projects financed by the Alliance Mexico REDD+ located in four Early Action Areas to identify the potential integration of Community Based Monitoring (CBM). The evaluation of the projects is made based on a multi-criteria analysis which considers the potential to produce information relevant for national monitoring systems and the prospects for sustained monitoring practices over time. Results indicate there are challenges to harmonizing monitoring practices and protocols between projects since activities proposed differ greatly from one project to another. Technical specifications for integrating local data into national systems are thus required. The results of these projects can help to identify best practices for planning and implementing REDD+. Findings indicate that in general, resources and capacities to gather, analyse and report information as part of CBM systems are in place in the projects, but usually these reside with non-local experts (i.e., NGOs and Academia); however, there are notable examples where these capacities reside in the communities. If national forest monitoring systems are geared to include information gathered through locally-driven processes REDD+ should promote activities that produce local benefits, but countries would need to build local capacities for managing and monitoring natural resources and would also need to create agreements for sharing and using local data. Otherwise, national systems may need to rely on monitoring practices external to communities, which depend on the continued availability of external financial resources.
      PubDate: 2014-12-18
      DOI: 10.3390/f5123295
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 12 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 3327-3343: A Social Assessment of Forest
           Degradation in the “Cacheu Mangroves Natural Park”,

    • Authors: Margarida de Faria, Pedro Ferreira, Joana Melo, Maria Vasconcelos
      Pages: 3327 - 3343
      Abstract: The Cacheu Mangroves Natural Park (PNTC) was established in the year 2000 with the objective of protecting the coastal forests of Northern Guinea-Bissau, which have been subject to deforestation and are at risk. Concomitantly, the need to find sustainable financial revenues to support forest conservation motivated the development of projects that explore avoidance of deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+) as a potential income possibility. The 886,150 ha of forest in the PNTC include a mosaic of different villages where communities with different cultural and socio-economic habits reside. In addition to the uncontrolled expansion of subsistence agriculture with the associated shortening of fallow periods, forests may have also been subject to degradation from selective logging, fuel wood collection, and charcoal production. To contribute to a forest degradation baseline forest uses for household fuel consumption (wood and charcoal) were surveyed using questionnaires, interviews and focus groups. The data were collected from a representative sample of circa 200 households within a 2 km buffer of the PNTC. These data are analyzed and the results are discussed according to a scenario of ethnic diversity, i.e., a diversity of approaches relating to forest conservation. Even though the results indicate that fuel wood is the main (and almost sole) source of energy for cooking, they also show that the average daily fuel consumption per capita (1.21 kg) is well below the sub-Saharan average and that fuel is obtained from downed dead wood or dead trees. Therefore, it is concluded that reported forest degradation in PNTC cannot be attributed to fuel wood consumption by local populations.
      PubDate: 2014-12-19
      DOI: 10.3390/f5123327
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 12 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 3344-3351: Facilitating Oak and Hickory
           Regeneration in Mature Central Hardwood Forests

    • Authors: Eric Holzmueller, John Groninger, Charles Ruffner
      Pages: 3344 - 3351
      Abstract: Advanced oak and hickory regeneration is often absent in mature oak-hickory forests in the Central Hardwood Region of the United States. Prescribed fire and thinning, alone and combined, are commonly prescribed silvicultural treatments that are recommended to initiate the regeneration process. This study examined the regeneration response in three mature oak stands following four treatments: (1) thin, (2) burn, (3) thinning and burning, or (4) no treatment (control). Ten years after initial treatment, results indicate that oak and hickory seedlings had greater height and diameter in the thinning and burning treatment compared to the control and that this treatment may help facilitate desirable regeneration in mature oak-hickory forests.
      PubDate: 2014-12-19
      DOI: 10.3390/f5123344
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 12 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 3352-3371: Participatory Goal Programming in Forest
           Management: An Application Integrating Several Ecosystem Services

    • Authors: Jorge Aldea, Fernando Martínez-Peña, Carlos Romero, Luis Diaz-Balteiro
      Pages: 3352 - 3371
      Abstract: In this study, we propose a procedure for integrating several ecosystem services into forest management by using the well-known multi-criteria approach called goal programming. It shows how interactions with various stakeholders are essential in order to choose the goal programming model applied, as well as some of its basic components (variant, targets, preferential weights, etc.). This methodology has been applied to a real forest management case where five criteria have been selected: timber production, wild edible mushroom production, carbon sequestration, net present value of the underlying investment, and a criterion associated with the sustainability of forest management defined by the idea of a normal forest. Given the characteristics of some of these criteria, such as mushroom production, the model has been developed in two scenarios: one deterministic and another with a Monte Carlo analysis. The results show a considerable degree of conflict between the proposed criteria. By applying several goal programming models, different Paretian efficient solutions were obtained. In addition, some results in Monte Carlo analysis for several criteria show notable variations. This fact is especially notable for the mushroom production criterion. Finally, the proposed approach seems attractive and can be directly applied to other forest management situations.
      PubDate: 2014-12-22
      DOI: 10.3390/f5123352
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 12 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 2594-2612: Why Do Some Evergreen Species Keep Their
           Leaves for a Second Winter, While Others Lose Them?

    • Authors: Peter Grubb, Christine Thompson, Geoffrey Harper
      Pages: 2594 - 2612
      Abstract: In subtropical montane semi-moist forest in SW China (SMSF), a large majority of evergreen tree and tall shrub species was found to have only one cohort of old leaves in early spring. In contrast, almost all species of evergreen tree and tall shrub in warm temperate rain forest (WTRF) in Japan and sclerophylls in Mediterranean-climate forest (MSF) of the Mediterranean Basin have two or more cohorts of old leaves in early spring; they drop their oldest cohort during or soon after leaf outgrowth in spring. Japanese WTRF has no dry season and MSF a dry summer. SMSF has a dry winter. On four evergreen Rhododendron species from SW China with only one cohort of old leaves in spring when in cultivation in Scotland, the majority of leaves in the senescing cohort fell by the end of December. We hypothesize that with dry winters, there is an advantage to dropping older leaves in autumn, because there is a low chance of appreciable positive assimilation in winter and a high chance of desiccation, reducing the resorption of dry mass and mineral nutrients from ageing leaves. Our hypothesis may be extended to cover evergreens at high altitude or high latitude that experience cold soils in winter.
      PubDate: 2014-10-30
      DOI: 10.3390/f5112594
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 11 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 2613-2625: International Market Leakage from
           China’s Forestry Policies

    • Authors: Xin Hu, Guoqing Shi, Donald Hodges
      Pages: 2613 - 2625
      Abstract: Carbon leakage can be a problem when seeking to reduce carbon emissions through forest policy. International market leakage is mainly caused by supply and demand imbalances in the timber market. This paper selects China, which is implementing forestry policy changes, as the research object. We begin by offering a brief analysis of China’s forestry policy changes, such as the logging quota and Six Key Forestry Programs to determine whether those policies affect timber supply. Second, through the use of three shock variables, carbon leakage is simulated under different scenarios by the Global Trade Analysis Project (GTAP) model. The results reveal that the magnitude of leakage caused by implementing China’s forestry policies is between 79.7% and 88.8% with carbon leakage mainly displaced to Russia, Southeast Asia, and the EU. Two effective scenarios for reducing market leakage are presented: forest tenure reform and fast growing forest projects to improve domestic timber production, and raising tariffs on timber imports to reduce imports.
      PubDate: 2014-11-05
      DOI: 10.3390/f5112613
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 11 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 2626-2646: Possibilities and Limitations of
           Spatially Explicit Site Index Modelling for Spruce Based on National
           Forest Inventory Data and Digital Maps of Soil and Climate in Bavaria (SE

    • Authors: Susanne Brandl, Wolfgang Falk, Hans-Joachim Klemmt, Georg Stricker, Andreas Bender, Thomas Rötzer, Hans Pretzsch
      Pages: 2626 - 2646
      Abstract: Combining national forest inventory (NFI) data with digital site maps of high resolution enables spatially explicit predictions of site productivity. The aim of this study is to explore the possibilities and limitations of this database to analyze the environmental dependency of height-growth of Norway spruce and to predict site index (SI) on a scale that is relevant for local forest management. The study region is the German federal state of Bavaria. The exploratory methods comprise significance tests and hypervolume-analysis. SI is modeled with a Generalized Additive Model (GAM). In a second step the residuals are modeled using Boosted Regression Trees (BRT). The interaction between temperature regime and water supply strongly determined height growth. At sites with very similar temperature regime and water supply, greater heights were reached if the depth gradient of base saturation was favorable. Statistical model criteria (Double Penalty Selection, AIC) preferred composite variables for water supply and the supply of basic cations. The ability to predict SI on a local scale was limited due to the difficulty to integrate soil variables into the model.
      PubDate: 2014-11-12
      DOI: 10.3390/f5112626
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 11 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 2647-2657: Is the Sustainability Revolution
           Devouring Its Own Children? Understanding Sustainability as a
           Travelling Concept and the Role Played by Two German Discourses on

    • Authors: Marcus Knauf
      Pages: 2647 - 2657
      Abstract: This paper examines whether the expanded meaning of the term sustainability and its broader use in society, policy and economics will actually bring about the benefits experts anticipate for the forest-based sector. It begins by defining sustainability as a travelling concept, then presents and analyzes two current lines of discourse in Germany on sustainability, both with high relevance for the forest-based sector: strong sustainability and sustainable building. The analysis shows that each discourse has developed and established a diametrically opposed meaning of sustainability. As a result, it could be argued that the two meanings pose a threat to the German forest-based sector by reducing the raw material base and ultimately minimizing market opportunities. This reasoning reveals a paradox: as the term sustainability, originally coined by the forestry sector, becomes mainstream, it could end up limiting the sector’s future growth.
      PubDate: 2014-11-12
      DOI: 10.3390/f5112647
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 11 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 2658-2678: Tending of Young Forests in Secondary
           Succession on Abandoned Agricultural Lands: An Experimental Study

    • Authors: Mateja Cojzer, Jurij Diaci, Robert Brus
      Pages: 2658 - 2678
      Abstract: In Europe the area of forested land is increasing, largely due to forest development on abandoned agricultural lands. We compared the structure and composition of woody species in young stands undergoing secondary succession and within gaps of late-successional (LS) forest in Haloze (Slovenia) to derive management options. In a subset of plots in succession, silvicultural measures were carried out in one half, while the other half was left untreated. The attributes of crop trees and their competitor trees were monitored over five years, and a study on the time investment of tending was conducted. We found lower tree density, a larger share of pioneer and shrub species, and a higher diversity of woody plants in succession compared to regeneration within LS forest gaps. Tending resulted in greater density of crop trees, their better social position, fewer competitor trees, and a larger diameter at breast height (d.b.h.) increment, while differences in crop tree stability and quality between tending and control were not confirmed. Our results indicated great structural complexity and species diversity in young successional forests. Their tending represents a cost efficient method of recovering the long-term commercial value and ecosystem services of forests, if applied less intensively than traditional tending of LS forest.
      PubDate: 2014-11-12
      DOI: 10.3390/f5112658
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 11 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 2679-2702: Environmental and Anthropogenic Factors
           Influencing Salamanders in Riparian Forests: A Review

    • Authors: Hannah Clipp, James Anderson
      Pages: 2679 - 2702
      Abstract: Salamanders and riparian forests are intimately interconnected. Salamanders are integral to ecosystem functions, contributing to vertebrate biomass and complex food webs in riparian forests. In turn, these forests are critical ecosystems that perform many environmental services, facilitate high biodiversity and species richness, and provide habitat to salamander populations. Due to the global decline of amphibians, it is important to understand, as thoroughly and holistically as possible, the roles of environmental parameters and the impact of human activities on salamander abundance and diversity in riparian forests. To determine the population responses of salamanders to a variety of environmental factors and anthropogenic activities, we conducted a review of published literature that compared salamander abundance and diversity, and then summarized and synthesized the data into general patterns. We identify stream quality, leaf litter and woody debris, riparian buffer width, and soil characteristics as major environmental factors influencing salamander populations in riparian forests, describe and explain salamander responses to those factors, and discuss the effects of anthropogenic activities such as timber harvest, prescribed fires, urbanization, road construction, and habitat fragmentation. This review can assist land and natural resource managers in anticipating the consequences of human activities and preparing strategic conservation plans.
      PubDate: 2014-11-13
      DOI: 10.3390/f5112679
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 11 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 2703-2729: Near-Term Effects of Repeated-Thinning
           with Riparian Buffers on Headwater Stream Vertebrates and Habitats in
           Oregon, USA

    • Authors: Deanna Olson, Julia Burton
      Pages: 2703 - 2729
      Abstract: We examined the effects of a second-thinning harvest with alternative riparian buffer management approaches on headwater stream habitats and associated vertebrates in western Oregon, USA. Our analyses showed that stream reaches were generally distinguished primarily by average width and depth, along with the percentage of the dry reach length, and secondarily, by the volume of down wood. In the first year post-harvest, we observed no effects of buffer treatment on stream habitat attributes after moderate levels of thinning. One of two “thin-through” riparian treatments showed stronger trends for enlarged stream channels, likely due to harvest disturbances. The effects of buffer treatments on salamanders varied among species and with habitat structure. Densities of Plethodon dunni and Rhyacotriton species increased post-harvest in the moderate-density thinning with no-entry buffers in wider streams with more pools and narrower streams with more down wood, respectively. However, Rhyacotriton densities decreased along streams with the narrowest buffer, 6 m, and P. dunni and Dicamptodon tenebrosus densities decreased in thin-through buffers. Our study supports the use of a 15-m or wider buffer to retain sensitive headwater stream amphibians.
      PubDate: 2014-11-17
      DOI: 10.3390/f5112703
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 11 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 2730-2749: The Differential Effects of the
           Blue-Stain Fungus Leptographium qinlingensis on Monoterpenes and

    • Authors: Thanh Pham, Hui Chen, Jiamin Yu, Lulu Dai, Ranran Zhang, Thi Vu
      Pages: 2730 - 2749
      Abstract: When conifers such as Chinese white pine (Pinus armandi Fr.) are attacked by insects or pathogens, they respond by increasing their content of monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes. In this study, we determined the effects of the blue-stain fungus Leptographium qinlingensis Tang and Chen on monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes in the phloem and xylem of the stem of P. armandi saplings. We found that the total monoterpene concentrations in the phloem and xylem of the stem and the total sesquiterpene concentrations in the xylem of the stem were significantly higher in L. qinlingensis-inoculated saplings than in control (mechanically wounded) saplings or untreated saplings. Additionally, the proportions of β-pinene in the xylem of the stem and limonene + β-phellandrene in the phloem and xylem of the stem were significantly higher in L. qinlingensis-inoculated saplings than in both control and untreated saplings. The proportions of individual sesquiterpenes in the phloem and xylem of the stem were significantly greater in L. qinlingensis-inoculated saplings than in untreated saplings. Based on the results of this study, we suggest that increases in total monoterpene and sesquiterpene concentrations, as well as increases in the concentrations of β-pinene and limonene + β-phellandrene, may play an important defensive role against blue-stain fungus L. qinlingensis inoculation.
      PubDate: 2014-11-17
      DOI: 10.3390/f5112730
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 11 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 2750-2772: Slow Lives in the Fast Landscape:
           Conservation and Management of Plethodontid Salamanders in Production
           Forests of the United States

    • Authors: Jessica Homyack, Andrew Kroll
      Pages: 2750 - 2772
      Abstract: Intensively-managed forest (IMF) ecosystems support environmental processes, retain biodiversity and reduce pressure to extract wood products from other forests, but may affect species, such as plethodontid salamanders, that are associated with closed canopies and possess limited vagility. We describe: (1) critical aspects of IMF ecosystems; (2) effectiveness of plethodontid salamanders as barometers of forest change; (3) two case studies of relationships between salamanders and coarse woody debris (CWD); and (4) research needs for effective management of salamanders in IMF ecosystems. Although plethodontid salamanders are sensitive to microclimate changes, their role as ecological indicators rarely have been evaluated quantitatively. Our case studies of CWD and salamanders in western and eastern forests demonstrated effects of species, region and spatial scale on the existence and strength of relationships between plethodontid species and a “critical” microhabitat variable. Oregon slender salamanders (Batrachoseps wrighti) were more strongly associated with abundance of CWD in managed second growth forests than ensatina salamanders (Ensatina eschscholtzii). Similarly, CWD was not an important predictor of abundance of Appalachian salamanders in managed hardwood forest. Gaining knowledge of salamanders in IMF ecosystems is critical to reconciling ecological and economic objectives of intensive forest management, but faces challenges in design and implementation.
      PubDate: 2014-11-17
      DOI: 10.3390/f5112750
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 11 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 2773-2792: Mapping the Global Potential
           Geographical Distribution of Black Locust (Robinia Pseudoacacia L.) Using
           Herbarium Data and a Maximum Entropy Model

    • Authors: Guoqing Li, Guanghua Xu, Ke Guo, Sheng Du
      Pages: 2773 - 2792
      Abstract: Black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia L.) is a tree species of high economic and ecological value, but is also considered to be highly invasive. Understanding the global potential distribution and ecological characteristics of this species is a prerequisite for its practical exploitation as a resource. Here, a maximum entropy modeling (MaxEnt) was used to simulate the potential distribution of this species around the world, and the dominant climatic factors affecting its distribution were selected by using a jackknife test and the regularized gain change during each iteration of the training algorithm. The results show that the MaxEnt model performs better than random, with an average test AUC value of 0.9165 (±0.0088). The coldness index, annual mean temperature and warmth index were the most important climatic factors affecting the species distribution, explaining 65.79% of the variability in the geographical distribution. Species response curves showed unimodal relationships with the annual mean temperature and warmth index, whereas there was a linear relationship with the coldness index. The dominant climatic conditions in the core of the black locust distribution are a coldness index of −9.8 °C–0 °C, an annual mean temperature of 5.8 °C–14.5 °C, a warmth index of 66 °C–168 °C and an annual precipitation of 508–1867 mm. The potential distribution of black locust is located mainly in the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, Switzerland, Australia, New Zealand, China, Japan, South Korea, South Africa, Chile and Argentina. The predictive map of black locust, climatic thresholds and species response curves can provide globally applicable guidelines and valuable information for policymakers and planners involved in the introduction, planting and invasion control of this species around the world.
      PubDate: 2014-11-18
      DOI: 10.3390/f5112773
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 11 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 2793-2809: Influence of Time since Fire and
           Micro-Habitat Availability on Terricolous Lichen Communities in Black
           Spruce (Picea mariana) Boreal Forests

    • Authors: Saliha Zouaoui, Catherine Boudreault, Pierre Drapeau, Yves Bergeron
      Pages: 2793 - 2809
      Abstract: Terricolous lichens are an important component of boreal forest ecosystems, both in terms of function and diversity. In this study, we examined the relative contribution of microhabitat characteristics and time elapsed since the last fire in shaping terricolous lichen assemblages in boreal forests that are frequently affected by severe stand-replacing fires. We sampled 12 stands distributed across five age classes (from 43 to >200 years). In each stand, species cover (%) of all terricolous lichen species and species richness were evaluated within 30 microplots of 1 m2. Our results show that time elapsed since the last fire was the factor that contributed the most to explaining terricolous lichen abundance and species composition, and that lichen cover showed a quadratic relationship with stand age. Habitat variables such as soil characteristics were also important in explaining lichen richness. These results suggest that the presence of suitable substrates is not sufficient for the conservation of late-successional terricolous lichen communities in this ecosystem, and that they also need relatively long periods of times for species dispersal and establishment.
      PubDate: 2014-11-18
      DOI: 10.3390/f5112793
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 11 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 2810-2824: The Effects of Silvicultural Treatment
           on Sirex noctilio Attacks and Tree Health in Northeastern United States

    • Authors: Kevin Dodds, Robert Cooke, Ryan Hanavan
      Pages: 2810 - 2824
      Abstract: The invasive woodwasp Sirex noctilio (Hymenoptera: Siricidae) is established in east-central North America. A replicated case study testing the effectiveness of silvicultural treatments for reducing the number of S. noctilio attacked trees in a stand was conducted in New York, USA. Silvicultural treatments reduced S. noctilio attacked trees by approximately 75% over the course of the study. There was no tree growth response to silvicultural treatments in the four years after thinning, but targeted removal of weakened trees removed potential S. noctilio habitat from treated stands. Two spectral vegetation indices were used to determine tree health in each treatment and potentially provide guidance for detection efforts. Silvicultural treatment significantly influenced the Red Edge Inflection Point, a strong indicator of chlorophyll content, and the Moisture Stress Index, a reflectance measurement sensitive to changes in foliar leaf water content, with the greatest differences occurring between control and treated blocks. Vegetation indices showed promise as a tool for aiding in stand prioritization for S. noctilio surveys or management activities.
      PubDate: 2014-11-19
      DOI: 10.3390/f5112810
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 11 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 2825-2845: Quantifying the Variability of Internode
           Allometry within and between Trees for Pinus tabulaeformis Carr. Using a
           Multilevel Nonlinear Mixed-Effect Model

    • Authors: Jun Diao, Xiangdong Lei, Jingcai Wang, Jun Lu, Hong Guo, Liyong Fu, Chenchen Shen, Wu Ma, Jianbo Shen
      Pages: 2825 - 2845
      Abstract: Allometric models of internodes are an important component of Functional-Structural Plant Models (FSPMs), which represent the shape of internodes in tree architecture and help our understanding of resource allocation in organisms. Constant allometry is always assumed in these models. In this paper, multilevel nonlinear mixed-effect models were used to characterize the variability of internode allometry, describing the relationship between the last internode length and biomass of Pinus tabulaeformis Carr. trees within the GreenLab framework. We demonstrated that there is significant variability in allometric relationships at the tree and different-order branch levels, and the variability decreases among levels from trees to first-order branches and, subsequently, to second-order branches. The variability was partially explained by the random effects of site characteristics, stand age, density, and topological position of the internode. Tree- and branch-level-specific allometric models are recommended because they produce unbiased and accurate internode length estimates. The model and method developed in this study are useful for understanding and describing the structure and functioning of trees.
      PubDate: 2014-11-21
      DOI: 10.3390/f5112825
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 11 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 2846-2864: Financial Dilemmas Associated with the
           Afforestation of Low-Productivity Farmland in Poland

    • Authors: Alina Źróbek-Różańska, Andrzej Nowak, Magdalena Nowak, Sabina Źróbek
      Pages: 2846 - 2864
      Abstract: In Poland, 82% of forests are State-owned, and only 17% of forests constitute private property. Each year, forests are converted to other land-use types, mainly for road construction. The afforestation rate on privately-owned low-productivity land is decreasing steadily. The owners and perpetual usufructuaries of this kind of land are eligible to government subsidies to cover establishment expenditures in whole or in part, provided that the afforestation scheme complies with the local zoning plan or an outline planning permission. The above creates a dilemma for farmers—is this a profitable option of managing low-productivity land? Owners of small farms particularly often face such dilemmas. Owners of small farms, which consist of low-yield agricultural land, can be regarded as investors operating on the real estate market, but those investors have features characteristic of agricultural producers. This study relied on the net present value (NPV) criterion, which is popularly used to assess the effectiveness of investments on the real estate market. A financial feasibility assessment performed with the use of such method in view of afforestation statistics and the 5% discount rate on the Polish forest market revealed the highest increase in net cumulative cash flows in the first five years, followed by a gradual decrease in successive years. The first negative cash flow was reported in year 20. NPV would remain negative because farmers would be charged with periodic maintenance expenditures until the stand reaches harvestable age at approximately 40 years. The longer the investment period, the lower the profits, even if discount rate is excluded. Investments of the type are difficult to terminate because forests younger than 20 years are difficult to sell at a price that covers growing outflows. Afforestation projects are also influenced by other economic and non-economic factors. The paper validates the research hypothesis that afforestation is a long-term investment that delivers benefits for future generations.
      PubDate: 2014-11-24
      DOI: 10.3390/f5112846
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 11 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 2865-2881: Changes in Income Structure in Frontier
           Villages and Implications for REDD+ Benefit Sharing

    • Authors: Takayuki Kurashima, Toshiya Matsuura, Asako Miyamoto, Makoto Sano, Bora Tith, Sophal Chann
      Pages: 2865 - 2881
      Abstract: A methodological characteristic of the REDD+ scheme is that it attempts to reduce deforestation by rewarding communities that change problematic land use practices. This has led to discussions on benefit sharing. This article focuses on incentives for alternative land use practices among village members living in frontier areas, especially in relation to support for sustainable land use and people’s livelihoods, and clarifies the issues that REDD+ projects are likely to face in this context. Although some documents regarding REDD+ projects have mentioned support to encourage such incentives, insufficient consideration has been given to the realities of the changes in frontier communities. REDD+ projects are unlikely to motivate members to embrace alternative land use practices if support or benefit sharing does not match members’ expectations. Here, we examine the changes in household (HH) income and structure, as well as in livelihood activities, experienced by Cambodian frontier villagers living at the site of a planned REDD+ project. During the nine years compared in this study, the frontier villages experienced broad and imbalanced changes in HH income owing to the rapid expansion of the cultivation of cash crops. Our results indicate that benefit sharing or support inevitably becomes more difficult and challenging in frontier areas than in areas where subsistence production systems still predominate, although such frontiers could, in theory, yield maximum returns with regard to forest carbon balance if the REDD+ projects addressed benefit sharing and support and came to fruition.
      PubDate: 2014-11-24
      DOI: 10.3390/f5112865
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 11 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 2882-2904: Expansion of Protected Areas under
           Climate Change: An Example of Mountainous Tree Species in Taiwan

    • Authors: Wei-Chih Lin, Yu-Pin Lin, Wan-Yu Lien, Yung-Chieh Wang, Cheng-Tao Lin, Chyi-Rong Chiou, Johnathen Anthony, Neville Crossman
      Pages: 2882 - 2904
      Abstract: Tree species in mountainous areas are expected to shift their distribution upward in elevation in response to climate change, calling for a potential redesign of existing protected areas. This study aims to predict whether or not the distributions of two high-mountain tree species, Abies (Abies kawakamii) and Tsuga (Tsuga chinensis var. formosana), will significantly shift upward due to temperature change, and whether current protected areas will be suitable for conserving these species. Future temperature change was projected for 15 different future scenarios produced from five global climate models. Shifts in Abies and Tsuga distributions were then predicted through the use of species distribution models (SDMs) which included occurrence data of Abies and Tsuga, as well as seasonal temperature, and elevation. The 25 km × 25 km downscaled General Circulation Model (GCMs) data for 2020–2039 produced by the Taiwan Climate Change Projection and Information Platform was adopted in this study. Habitat suitability in the study area was calculated using maximum entropy model under different climatic scenarios. A bootstrap method was applied to assess the parameter uncertainty of the maximum entropy model. In comparison to the baseline projection, we found that there are significant differences in suitable habitat distributions for Abies and Tsuga under seven of the 15 scenarios. The results suggest that mountainous ecosystems will be substantially impacted by climate change. We also found that the uncertainty originating from GCMs and the parameters of the SDM contribute most to the overall level of variability in species distributions. Finally, based on the uncertainty analysis and the shift in habitat suitability, we applied systematic conservation planning approaches to identify suitable areas to add to Taiwan’s protected area network.
      PubDate: 2014-11-24
      DOI: 10.3390/f5112882
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 11 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 2905-2928: Conifer Recruitment in Trembling Aspen
           (Populus Tremuloides Michx.) Stands along an East-West Gradient in the
           Boreal Mixedwoods of Canada

    • Authors: Pierre Nlungu-Kweta, Alain Leduc, Yves Bergeron
      Pages: 2905 - 2928
      Abstract: Ongoing climate change is likely to result in shifts in successional dynamics in boreal mixedwood stands. Using data from provincial forest inventory databases, we examined the occurrence and abundance of the regeneration of various coniferous species (white spruce, black spruce and balsam fir) along an east-west Canadian gradient in aspen-dominated stands. The interpretation of the results was based on environmental conditions, including climate, natural fire regime and human impacts. We found that conifer regeneration was present in aspen stands along the entire gradient, despite differences in climatic conditions and fire regimes between the west (warmer and drier, with large recurrent fires) and east (more humid with relatively long fire cycles). However, abundance and distribution varied from one conifer species to the next. The abundance of white spruce decreased towards the eastern end of the longitudinal gradient, while balsam fir and black spruce abundance decreased towards the west. Although abundance decreased, balsam fir and black spruce regeneration was still present in western Canada. This study shows that it is difficult to interpret the effects of climate change on conifer recruitment without accounting for the superimposed effects of human activities.
      PubDate: 2014-11-24
      DOI: 10.3390/f5112905
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 11 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 2929-2946: Ungulate Impact on Natural Regeneration
           in Spruce-Beech-Fir Stands in Černý důl Nature Reserve in
           the Orlické Hory Mountains, Case Study from Central Sudetes

    • Authors: Zdeněk Vacek, Stanislav Vacek, Lukáš Bílek, Jan Král, Jiří Remeš, Daniel Bulušek, Ivo Králíček
      Pages: 2929 - 2946
      Abstract: The paper presents the results of a study on tree regeneration of forest stands in the Černý důl Nature Reserve, which is situated in the Orlické hory Mountains Protected Landscape area in the Czech Republic. Research was conducted in a spruce-beech stand with an admixture of silver fir, sycamore maple and rowan on two comparative permanent research plots (PRPs) (PRP 1—fenced enclosure and PRP 2—unfenced). Typological, soil, phytosociological and stand characteristics of the two PRPs are similar. The results showed that ungulate browsing is a limiting factor for successful development of natural regeneration of autochthonous tree species. The population of tree species of natural regeneration on the fenced plot (PRP 1) is sufficient in relation to the site and stand conditions. However, natural regeneration on PRP 2 is considerably limited by browsing. Damage is greatest to fir, sycamore maple and rowan; less severe to beech; and the least to spruce.
      PubDate: 2014-11-24
      DOI: 10.3390/f5112929
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 11 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 2400-2424: REDD+ Policy Approaches in the Congo
           Basin: A Comparative Analysis of Cameroon and the Democratic Republic
           Congo (DRC)

    • Authors: Kalame Fobissie, Dieudonne Alemagi, Peter Minang
      Pages: 2400 - 2424
      Abstract: The Congo Basin forests are a prime location for implementing REDD+. National REDD+ policy processes are ongoing and many REDD+ pilot initiatives are being demonstrated. However, the level of national engagement, progress and distribution of REDD+ activities varies considerably in the different Congo Basin countries. This study therefore uses a set of criteria to assess national and international policy initiatives and approaches for advancing REDD+ implementation in Cameroon and the Democratic Republic Congo (DRC), two countries where more than two thirds of the Congo Basin forests are concentrated. Our findings show that (i) both countries have shown the highest political presence at the international climate negotiations but DRC has invested more in the size of its delegation and side events; (ii) REDD+ donors, initiatives, and funding are disproportionately skewed towards DRC making it technically more advanced; (iii) the high political interest and institutional reforms in DRC favors private sector investments in REDD+ programs; and (iv) the REDD+ policy process is internally-driven in Cameroon with a strong national ownership, while it is externally-driven in DRC with weak national ownership. To advance REDD+, the government of DRC should embark on capacity building programs that ensure the transfer of REDD+ technical know-how from international to national actors while Cameroon needs to speed-up governance reforms and be more flexible in order to attract influential international REDD+ actors. This paper further provides specific recommendations.
      PubDate: 2014-09-29
      DOI: 10.3390/f5102400
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 10 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 2425-2439: Case Study Report: REDD+ Pilot Project
           in Community Forests in Three Watersheds of Nepal

    • Authors: Shanti Shrestha, Bhaskar Karky, Seema Karki
      Pages: 2425 - 2439
      Abstract: Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+) is an international climate policy instrument that is expected to tap into the large mitigation potential for conservation and better management of the world’s forests through financial flows from developed to developing countries. This paper describes the results and lessons learned from a pioneering REDD+ pilot project in Nepal, which is based on a community forest management approach and which was implemented from 2009–2013 with support from NORAD’s Climate and Forest Initiative. The major focus of the project was to develop and demonstrate an innovative benefit-sharing mechanism for REDD+ incentives, as well as institutionally and socially inclusive approaches to local forest governance. The paper illustrates how community-based monitoring, reporting, and verification (MRV) and performance-based payments for forest management can be implemented. The lessons on REDD+ benefit sharing from this demonstration project could provide insights to other countries which are starting to engage in REDD+, in particular in South Asia.
      PubDate: 2014-09-30
      DOI: 10.3390/f5102425
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 10 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 2440-2463: Invasion of Winter Moth in New England:
           Effects of Defoliation and Site Quality on Tree Mortality

    • Authors: Michael Simmons, Thomas Lee, Mark Ducey, Kevin Dodds
      Pages: 2440 - 2463
      Abstract: Widespread and prolonged defoliation by the European winter moth, Operophtera brumata L., has occurred in forests of eastern Massachusetts for more than a decade and populations of winter moth continue to invade new areas of New England. This study characterized the forests of eastern Massachusetts invaded by winter moth and related the duration of winter moth defoliation estimated using dendrochronology to observed levels of tree mortality and understory woody plant density. Quercus basal area mortality in mixed Quercus and mixed Quercus—Pinus strobus forests in eastern Massachusetts ranged from 0–30%; mortality of Quercus in these forests was related to site quality and the number of winter moth defoliation events. In addition, winter moth defoliation events lead to a subsequent increase in understory woody plant density. Our results indicate that winter moth defoliation has been an important disturbance in New England forests that may have lasting impacts.
      PubDate: 2014-10-13
      DOI: 10.3390/f5102440
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 10 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 2464-2489: Combining Satellite Data and
           Community-Based Observations for Forest Monitoring

    • Authors: Arun Pratihast, Ben DeVries, Valerio Avitabile, Sytze de Bruin, Lammert Kooistra, Mesfin Tekle, Martin Herold
      Pages: 2464 - 2489
      Abstract: Within the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD+) framework, the involvement of local communities in national forest monitoring activities has the potential to enhance monitoring efficiency at lower costs while simultaneously promoting transparency and better forest management. We assessed the consistency of forest monitoring data (mostly activity data related to forest change) collected by local experts in the UNESCO Kafa Biosphere Reserve, Ethiopia. Professional ground measurements and high resolution satellite images were used as validation data to assess over 700 forest change observations collected by the local experts. Furthermore, we examined the complementary use of local datasets and remote sensing by assessing spatial, temporal and thematic data quality factors. Based on this complementarity, we propose a framework to integrate local expert monitoring data with satellite-based monitoring data into a National Forest Monitoring System (NFMS) in support of REDD+ Measuring, Reporting and Verifying (MRV) and near real-time forest change monitoring.
      PubDate: 2014-10-14
      DOI: 10.3390/f5102464
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 10 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 2490-2504: Microclimate and Modeled Fire Behavior
           Differ Between Adjacent Forest Types in Northern Portugal

    • Authors: Anita Pinto, Paulo Fernandes
      Pages: 2490 - 2504
      Abstract: Fire severity varies with forest composition and structure, reflecting micrometeorology and the fuel complex, but their respective influences are difficult to untangle from observation alone. We quantify the differences in fire weather between different forest types and the resulting differences in modeled fire behavior. Collection of in-stand weather data proceeded during two summer periods in three adjacent stands in northern Portugal, respectively Pinus pinaster (PP), Betula alba (BA), and Chamaecyparis lawsoniana (CL). Air temperature, relative humidity and wind speed varied respectively as CL < PP < BA, PP < CL < BA, and CL < BA < PP. Differences between PP and the other types were greatest during the warmest and driest hours of the day in a sequence of 10 days with high fire danger. Estimates of daytime moisture content of fine dead fuels and fire behavior characteristics for this period, respectively, from Behave and BehavePlus, indicate a CL < BA < PP gradient in fire potential. High stand density in CL and BA ensured lower wind speed and higher fuel moisture content than in PP, limiting the likelihood of an extreme fire environment. However, regression tree analysis revealed that the fire behavior distinction between the three forest types was primarily a function of the surface fuel complex, and more so during extreme fire weather conditions.
      PubDate: 2014-10-17
      DOI: 10.3390/f5102490
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 10 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 2505-2520: Stem Biomass Production of Paulownia
           elongata × P. fortunei under Low Irrigation in a Semi-Arid

    • Authors: Francisco García-Morote, Francisco López-Serrano, Eduardo Martínez-García, Manuela Andrés-Abellán, Tarek Dadi, David Candel, Eva Rubio, Manuel Lucas-Borja
      Pages: 2505 - 2520
      Abstract: In semi-arid regions, afforestation with fast-growing species cultured with low irrigation can be an effective approach for environmental protection. An experiment was conducted to evaluate the stem biomass production of Paulownia in a semi-arid climate and clay soils under contrasting low-irrigation and fertilization treatments. The stem biomass at the stand level was estimated by applying allometric equations fitted in sample resprouts and inventory data. The results show that biomass production improved when either irrigation or fertilizer was added, but the combination of a higher dose of irrigation and fertilization did not lead to the highest biomass production; thus water availability was the main factor controlling biomass production. Under the higher dose of irrigation, the absence of a fertilizer effect would be due in part to the fertile soil, which could supply sufficient nutrients for Paulownia growth at the higher level of soil moisture. The stem biomass estimated ranged from 2.14 to 4.50 t×ha−1 (lower irrigation dose without fertilization, and higher irrigation with fertilization). The greater production was similar to other studies in the Mediterranean area receiving more irrigation. Thus, this study permitted us to understand the potential of Paulownia to provide biomass in semi-arid environments with low irrigation due to water use restrictions.
      PubDate: 2014-10-21
      DOI: 10.3390/f5102505
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 10 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 2521-2541: Estimating the Annual Above-Ground
           Biomass Production of Various Species on Sites in Sweden on the Basis of
           Individual Climate and Productivity Values

    • Authors: Johann Trischler, Dick Sandberg, Thomas Thörnqvist
      Pages: 2521 - 2541
      Abstract: The literature contains a large number of bioclimate, climate and biometric models for estimating the production of different species or stands under specific conditions on a defined site or models giving the distribution of a single species. Depending on the model used, the amount of input data required varies considerably and often involves a large investment in time and money. The purpose of this study was to create a model to estimate the annual above-ground biomass production of various species from site conditions defined by mean annual temperature and mean annual precipitation. For this approach, the Miami model of Lieth was used as a base model with some modifications. This first version of the modified model was restricted to sites in Sweden, where changes in the soil and groundwater level were relatively small, and where the growth of land vegetation was mostly dependent on temperature. A validation of this model has shown that it seems possible to use the Miami model to estimate the annual above-ground biomass production of various species, and that it was possible to compare the annual above-ground biomass production of different species on one site, as well as the annual above-ground biomass production of different species on different sites using the modeled data.
      PubDate: 2014-10-22
      DOI: 10.3390/f5102521
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 10 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 2542-2560: Impacts of Deforestation and Climate
           Variability on Terrestrial Evapotranspiration in Subarctic China

    • Authors: Yunjun Yao, Shunlin Liang, Jie Cheng, Yi Lin, Kun Jia, Meng Liu
      Pages: 2542 - 2560
      Abstract: Although deforestation affects hydrological and climatic variables over tropical regions, its actual contributions to changes in evapotranspiration (ET) over subarctic China remain unknown. To establish a quantitative relationship between deforestation and terrestrial ET variations, we estimated ET using a semi-empirical Penman (SEMI-PM) algorithm driven by meteorological and satellite data at both local and regional scales. The results indicate that the estimated ET can be used to analyse the observed inter-annual variations. There is a statistically significant positive relationship between local-scale forest cover changes (∆F) and annual ET variations (∆ET) of the following form: ∆ET = 0.0377∆F – 2.11 (R2 = 0.43, p < 0.05). This relationship may be due to deforestation-induced increases in surface albedo and a reduction in the fractional vegetation cover (FVC). However, the El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO), rather than deforestation, dominates the multi-decadal ET variability due to regional-scale wind speed changes, but the exact effects of deforestation and ENSO on ET are challenging to quantify.
      PubDate: 2014-10-23
      DOI: 10.3390/f5102542
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 10 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 2561-2580: Seasonal Pattern of Decomposition and N,
           P, and C Dynamics in Leaf litter in a Mongolian Oak Forest and a Korean
           Pine Plantation

    • Authors: Jaeeun Sohng, Ah Han, Mi-Ae Jeong, Yunmi Park, Byung Park, Pil Park
      Pages: 2561 - 2580
      Abstract: Distinct seasons and diverse tree species characterize temperate deciduous forests in NE Asia, but large areas of deciduous forests have been converted to conifer plantations. This study was conducted to understand the effects of seasons and tree species on leaf litter decomposition in a temperate forest. Using the litterbag method, the decomposition rate and nitrogen, phosphorous, and carbon dynamics of Mongolian oak (Quercus mongolica), Korean pine (Pinus koraiensis), and their mixed leaf litter were compared for 24 months in a Mongolian oak stand, an adjacent Korean pine plantation, and a Mongolian oak—Korean pine mixed stand. The decomposition rates of all the leaf litter types followed a pattern of distinct seasonal changes: most leaf litter decomposition occurred during the summer. Tree species was less influential on the leaf litter decomposition. The decomposition rates among different leaf litter types within the same stand were not significantly different, indicating no mixed litter effect. The immobilization of leaf litter N and P lasted for 14 months. Mongolian oak leaf litter and Korean pine leaf litter showed different N and P contents and dynamics during the decomposition, and soil P2O5 was highest in the Korean pine plantation, suggesting effects of plantation on soil nutrient budget.
      PubDate: 2014-10-23
      DOI: 10.3390/f5102561
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 10 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 2581-2593: Long-Term Soil Productivity in Christmas
           Tree Farms of Oregon and Washington: A Comparative Analysis between First-
           and Multi-Rotation Plantations

    • Authors: Jeff Hatten, Chal Landgren, John Hart
      Pages: 2581 - 2593
      Abstract: Christmas tree production removes organic matter and associated nutrients from a site and can change soil physical properties, reduce mycorrhizal populations, and result in pesticide over-use/accumulation. These impacts have been implicated in potential field productivity declines. Assessing Christmas tree productivity is complicated by genetics, management, and market forces. We approached the perceived or possible productivity decline by examining soil properties on 22 pairs of sites. Each pair was comprised of an early rotation and late rotation plot with 1 and 3 or more rotations of Christmas trees, respectively. All sites were located on commercial Christmas tree plantations from the major production areas in Washington and Oregon. Chemical properties assessed to 45cm included pH, total C and N, and extractable P, K, Ca, and Mg. Soil physical properties assessed included aggregate stability and soil resistance. In general, we found little impact on soil resources that would impact long term production of Christmas trees. These impacts may have been mitigated by farmers following extension service recommendations. Nitrogen, K, and Ca appeared to be primarily affected by harvesting, but replacement by fertilizer application was probably adequate.
      PubDate: 2014-10-23
      DOI: 10.3390/f5102581
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 10 (2014)
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