for Journals by Title or ISSN
for Articles by Keywords
  Subjects -> FORESTS AND FORESTRY (Total: 109 journals)
    - FORESTS AND FORESTRY (108 journals)
    - LUMBER AND WOOD (1 journals)

FORESTS AND FORESTRY (108 journals)                     

Showing 1 - 12 of 12 Journals sorted alphabetically
Acta Silvatica et Lignaria Hungarica     Open Access  
Advance in Forestry Research     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Advances in Forestry Letters     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Advances in Forestry Science     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Agrociencia     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Agroforestry Systems     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 20)
Annals of Forest Science     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4)
Annals of Silvicultural Research     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Appita Journal: Journal of the Technical Association of the Australian and New Zealand Pulp and Paper Industry     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 5)
Arboricultural Journal : The International Journal of Urban Forestry     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6)
Arboriculture and Urban Forestry     Free   (Followers: 7)
Australian Forest Grower     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Australian Forestry     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Balduinia     Open Access  
Banko Janakari     Open Access  
Bosque     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Canadian Journal of Forest Research     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 25)
Canadian Journal of Plant Science     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 15)
Ciência Florestal     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Ciencia forestal en México     Open Access  
Colombia Forestal     Open Access  
Current Forestry Reports     Hybrid Journal  
Dissertationes Forestales     Open Access  
East African Agricultural and Forestry Journal     Hybrid Journal  
European Journal of Forest Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 5)
Expert Opinion on Environmental Biology     Hybrid Journal  
Floresta e Ambiente     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Folia Forestalia Polonica     Open Access  
Forest Ecology and Management     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 48)
Forest Pathology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2)
Forest Phytophthoras     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Forest Policy and Economics     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 22)
Forest Research Papers     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Forest Science     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 5)
Forest Science and Practice     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2)
Forest Science and Technology     Partially Free   (Followers: 2)
Forest Systems     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Foresta Veracruzana     Open Access  
Forestry Chronicle     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 10)
Forestry Letters     Open Access  
Forestry Studies : Metsanduslikud Uurimused     Open Access  
Forestry: An International Journal of Forest Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 16)
Forests     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Forests, Trees and Livelihoods     Partially Free   (Followers: 5)
Ghana Journal of Forestry     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
Holzforschung     Hybrid Journal  
iForest : Biogeosciences and Forestry     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Indian Forester     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
Indonesian Journal of Forestry Research     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
INNOTEC : Revista del Laboratorio Tecnológico del Uruguay     Open Access  
International Forestry Review     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 7)
International Journal of Agriculture and Forestry     Open Access   (Followers: 7)
International Journal of Forest Engineering     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 1)
International Journal of Forest, Soil and Erosion     Open Access   (Followers: 4)
International Journal of Forestry Research     Open Access   (Followers: 4)
Irish Journal of Agricultural and Food Research     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Journal of Agriculture, Forestry and the Social Sciences     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
Journal of Biodiversity Management & Forestry     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 3)
Journal of Environmental Extension     Full-text available via subscription  
Journal of Forest and Livelihood     Open Access  
Journal of Forest Economics     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6)
Journal of Forest Products and Industries     Open Access  
Journal of Forest Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 3)
Journal of Forestry     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 13)
Journal of Forestry Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6)
Journal of Horticulture and Forestry     Open Access   (Followers: 6)
Journal of Natural Resources Policy Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 13)
Journal of Research in Forestry, Wildlife and Environment     Open Access   (Followers: 4)
Journal of Sustainable Forestry     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 7)
Journal of the Faculty of Forestry Istanbul University     Open Access  
Journal of Tropical Forestry and Environment     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Journal of Wood Chemistry and Technology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 7)
Journal of Wood Science     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4)
Jurnal Ilmu Kehutanan     Open Access  
Jurnal Manajemen Hutan Tropika     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Jurnal Penelitian Kehutanan Wallacea     Open Access  
La Calera     Open Access  
Landscapes     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 19)
Lesnícky časopis     Open Access  
Maderas. Ciencia y tecnología     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Mathematical and Computational Forestry & Natural-Resource Sciences     Free  
Natural Areas Journal     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 11)
New Forests     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2)
New Zealand Journal of Forestry Science     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Open Journal of Forestry     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Plant Science Bulletin     Free   (Followers: 9)
Quebracho. Revista de Ciencias Forestales     Open Access  
Research Journal of Forestry     Open Access   (Followers: 4)
Revista Árvore     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Revista Chapingo. Serie Ciencias Forestales y del Ambiente     Open Access  
Revista de Agricultura Neotropical     Open Access  
Revista Ecologia e Nutrição Florestal - ENFLO     Open Access  
Revista Verde de Agroecologia e Desenvolvimento Sustentável     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Revue forestière française     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
Rural Sustainability Research     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Rwanda Journal     Full-text available via subscription  
Scandinavian Journal of Forest Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4)
Science, Technology and Arts Research Journal     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Silva Lusitana     Open Access  
Small-scale Forestry     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2)
Southern African Forestry Journal     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
Southern Forests : a Journal of Forest Science     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6)
Tanzania Journal of Forestry and Nature Conservation     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Trees     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 5)
Turkish Journal of Agriculture and Forestry     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Urban Forestry & Urban Greening     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 9)
Veld & Flora     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Wood and Fiber Science     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)


Journal Cover Forests
  [SJR: 0.63]   [H-I: 16]   [3 followers]  Follow
  This is an Open Access Journal Open Access journal
   ISSN (Print) 1999-4907
   Published by MDPI Homepage  [147 journals]
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 183: Ecosystem Services and Disservices of Mangrove
           Forests: Insights from Historical Colonial Observations

    • Authors: Daniel Friess
      First page: 183
      Abstract: Ecosystem services are now strongly applied to mangrove forests, though they are not a new way of viewing mangrove-people interactions; the benefits provided by such habitats, and the negative interactions (ecosystem disservices) between mangroves and people have guided perceptions of mangroves for centuries. This study quantified the ecosystem services and disservices of mangroves as written by colonial explorers from 1823–1883 through a literature survey of 96 expedition reports and studies. Ecosystem disservices were most commonly discussed (60%), with settlers considering mangroves as reservoirs of diseases such as malaria, with wide-ranging implications, such as the global drainage of wetlands in the 19th–20th centuries. Multiple ecosystem services were discussed, especially provisioning services for export, representing colonial views of new lands as ripe for economic use. Interestingly, regulating services of mangroves such as erosion control and sediment accretion that are a focus of much contemporary research were recognized as early as 1865. This study shows that the ecosystem service paradigm has a long history in mangroves. We should not underestimate mangrove ecosystem disservices, and how contemporary perceptions of mangroves may be influenced by such historical viewpoints. Archival materials provide a rich resource to study human-environment interactions, and how they change through time.
      PubDate: 2016-08-24
      DOI: 10.3390/f7090183
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 9 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 184: Practitioner Perceptions of Wildland Fire
           Management across South Europe and Latin America

    • Authors: Domingo Molina-Terrén, Adrian Cardil, Leda Kobziar
      First page: 184
      Abstract: Wildfire presents a challenge to natural resource managers the world over, and the intentional setting of fires can be used to alleviate some of the challenges associated with wildfire management. Prescribed burning can be used prior to wildfires to reduce fuel loads and promote ecological integrity in fire-adapted systems, while suppression burning can help firefighters control the direction, extent, and intensity of wildfire behavior under extreme conditions. In both cases, the success of intentional fire use depends on training, knowledge, experience, and institutional and social support. The influence of these factors can significantly impact whether fire use is perceived as positive or negative, increasing or decreasing, and whether managers are supportive of its incorporation into their management planning and decision-making. Perceived impediments to fire use are likely to differ based on location, level of training and experience, and even the social context of fire management specific to different job positions in natural resource management. In order to explore how managers and stakeholders across the world perceive fire use, we surveyed over 700 respondents from 12 countries and three continents. This study represents the largest survey of perceptions on managed fire use ever conducted. Perceptions differed across age categories, job positions, and regions. Countries or regions with larger amounts of wildfire area burned tended to be more supportive of fire use for suppression, while countries with less wildfire had less positive perceptions of fire use for either prescribed or suppression burning. Bureaucracy and social perceptions were identified as impediments to using prescribed fire prior to wildfire occurrence, but neither were identified as impediments to fire use during suppression procedures. Across the countries, fire use in suppression was viewed more positively than prescribed fire use prior to wildfire occurrence.
      PubDate: 2016-08-24
      DOI: 10.3390/f7090184
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 9 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 185: Spatio-Temporal Configurations of Human-Caused
           Fires in Spain through Point Patterns

    • Authors: Sergi Costafreda-Aumedes, Carles Comas, Cristina Vega-Garcia
      First page: 185
      Abstract: Human-caused wildfires are often regarded as unpredictable, but usually occur in patterns aggregated over space and time. We analysed the spatio-temporal configuration of 7790 anthropogenic wildfires (2007–2013) in nine study areas distributed throughout Peninsular Spain by using the Ripley’s K-function. We also related these aggregation patterns to weather, population density, and landscape structure descriptors of each study area. Our results provide statistical evidence for spatio-temporal structures around a maximum of 4 km and six months. These aggregations lose strength when the spatial and temporal distances increase. At short time lags after a wildfire (<1 month), the probability of another fire occurrence is high at any distance in the range of 0–16 km. When considering larger time lags (up to two years), the probability of fire occurrence is high only at short distances (>3 km). These aggregated patterns vary depending on location in Spain. Wildfires seem to aggregate within fewer days (heat waves) in warm and dry Mediterranean regions than in milder Atlantic areas (bimodal fire season). Wildfires aggregate spatially over shorter distances in diverse, fragmented landscapes with many small and complex patches. Urban interfaces seem to spatially concentrate fire occurrence, while wildland-agriculture interfaces correlate with larger aggregates.
      PubDate: 2016-08-26
      DOI: 10.3390/f7090185
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 9 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 186: From Litter to Humus in a Norwegian Spruce
           Forest: Long-Term Studies on the Decomposition of Needles and Cones

    • Authors: Sigmund Hågvar
      First page: 186
      Abstract: The aim of this review and synthesis is to illustrate the gradual transformation of needles and cones from litter to humus. Individual needles may follow quite different decomposition pathways, which contributes to a diverse humus structure. In the litter layer (Oi), about 40% of the needles were excavated by special mites that produced slowly decomposable excrements. In the fermentation layer (Oe), needles which happened to be in close contact with fine roots decomposed more rapidly. Cones decomposed slower than needles during the first 3–5 years, so the role of cones in carbon (C) storage may be greater than indicated by their fraction of fresh litter. Over a 13 years period, potassium (K), magnesium (Mg) and phosphorus (P) in cones was released, while the total amount of calcium (Ca), manganese (Mn), iron (Fe) and aluminium (Al) increased strongly. Nitrogen concentration increased but the total nitrogen content remained rather constant. After 13 years, the cones had sunk about 6 cm into the soil and lost 60% of their dry weight but were morphologically intact. A cone monitored for 28 years was fully recognizable and had not yet reached the stable Oa layer. The most inert decomposition products in the Oa layer were fragments of needles and cone scales, microarthropod excrements and chitinous insect remains.
      PubDate: 2016-08-25
      DOI: 10.3390/f7090186
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 9 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 187: Vegetation Mortality within Natural Wildfire
           Events in the Western Canadian Boreal Forest: What Burns and Why?

    • Authors: Colin Ferster, Bianca Eskelson, David Andison, Valerie LeMay
      First page: 187
      Abstract: Wildfires are a common disturbance event in the Canadian boreal forest. Within event boundaries, the level of vegetation mortality varies greatly. Understanding where surviving vegetation occurs within fire events and how this relates to pre-fire vegetation, topography, and fire weather can inform forest management decisions. We used pre-fire forest inventory data, digital elevation maps, and records of fire weather for 37 naturally-occurring wildfires (1961 to 1982; 30 to 5500 ha) covering a wide range of conditions in the western Canadian boreal forest to investigate these relationships using multinomial logistic models. Overall, vegetation mortality related to a combination of factors representing different spatial scales. Lower vegetation mortality occurred where there was lower fuel continuity and when fires occurred under non-drought conditions. Higher classification accuracy occurred for class extremes of no mortality (i.e., unburned areas within the burn event) and high mortality; partial vegetation mortality classes were harder to distinguish. This research contributes to the knowledge required for natural pattern emulation strategies, and developing responses to climate change.
      PubDate: 2016-08-26
      DOI: 10.3390/f7090187
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 9 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 188: Analyzing the Efficiency of a Start-Up Cable
           Yarding Crew in Southern China under New Forest Management Perspectives

    • Authors: Stephan Hoffmann, Dirk Jaeger, Marcus Lingenfelder, Siegmar Schoenherr
      First page: 188
      Abstract: This case study analyzed the performance of a start-up cable yarding crew in southern China through operational monitoring by consecutive time studies, long-term log book recordings and efficiency evaluation by stochastic frontier analysis (SFA). The crew, which used a KOLLER K303 H mobile tower yarder, was monitored for two years. During this period, detailed data recordings of 687 yarding cycles of 12 yarding corridors as well as log book recordings of an additional 1122 scheduled system hours (SSH, including all delays) were generated. Mean extraction productivity of the system ranged between 5.23 and 6.40 m3 per productive system hour (PSH0, excluding all delays), mostly depending on slope yarding distance and lateral distance. Corresponding gross-productivity ranged from 1.91 to 2.24 m3/SSH, with an overall mean machine utilization rate of 31%. Unproductive yarding times and delays associated with the relative low utilization rate were mainly caused by lengthy rigging processes, as well as organizational deficiencies and not yet fully developed skill sets of the operating crew. The latter was reflected in a mean efficiency effect frontier value of 0.62 based on evaluation of data sets of individual yarding cycles recorded during detailed assessments, suggesting a mean improvement potential of 38% based on the SFA, translating in a potentially achievable gross-productivity of 2.64 to 3.09 m3/SSH. We conclude that current local operating conditions including insufficient planning, implementation and logistics and in particular, frequent discontinuations of system operations of up to three months all resulting in generally low operation hours per shift and per year, inhibit efficient operations and rapid skill development. These circumstances also inhibit an economic utilization of the equipment. Nevertheless, from a technical perspective, yarding systems have a promising potential in southern China.
      PubDate: 2016-08-27
      DOI: 10.3390/f7090188
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 9 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 189: 350 Years of Fire-Climate-Human Interactions
           in a Great Lakes Sandy Outwash Plain

    • Authors: Richard Guyette, Michael Stambaugh, Daniel Dey, Joseph Marschall, Jay Saunders, John Lampereur
      First page: 189
      Abstract: Throughout much of eastern North America, quantitative records of historical fire regimes and interactions with humans are absent. Annual resolution fire scar histories provide data on fire frequency, extent, and severity, but also can be used to understand fire-climate-human interactions. This study used tree-ring dated fire scars from red pines (Pinus resinosa) at four sites in the Northern Sands Ecological Landscapes of Wisconsin to quantify the interactions among fire occurrence and seasonality, drought, and humans. New methods for assessing the influence of human ignitions on fire regimes were developed. A temporal and spatial index of wildland fire was significantly correlated (r = 0.48) with drought indices (Palmer Drought Severity Index, PDSI). Fire intervals varied through time with human activities that included early French Jesuit missions, European trade (fur), diseases, war, and land use. Comparisons of historical fire records suggest that annual climate in this region has a broad influence on the occurrence of fire years in the Great Lakes region.
      PubDate: 2016-08-27
      DOI: 10.3390/f7090189
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 9 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 190: Strategies to Combat Mycosphaerella Leaf
           Disease in Eucalyptus globulus Plantations in Northern Spain

    • Authors: Severiano Pérez, Carlos Renedo, Alfredo Ortiz, Felix Ortiz, Carlos Tejedor
      First page: 190
      Abstract: Eucalyptus globulus is widely planted in temperate regions to produce pulp for its high performance but few studies of the impact of Mycosphaerella Leaf Disease (MLD) have been documented. This study aimed to explore and provide knowledge on disease in the management of young Eucalyptus globulus stands in the north of Spain. The influences of subspecies, cloning, and fertilization on the degree of severity of the disease were analyzed. The study was conducted with different material plants of Eucalyptus globulus, of Australian origin, from other sources, open-pollinated families, clones, and families of controlled pollination. Each series tested different vegetal material, except for a number of control codes that were used as reference samples for MLD evaluation. Severity, height at which foliage changes from juvenile to adult, total height, and volume were all measured. There were significant correlations in the average MLD severity of families and provenances obtained from the different trials. ANOVA revealed important differences between subspecies of E. globulus. A correlation was found between the percentage of adult leaf and the severity. There were differences in the impact of MLD between plant material non-selected and selected by its tolerance (p < 0.0001). There was a significant effect on the severity between mature cuttings and families from seed non-selected in their tolerance to MLD. Their tolerance was lower than that achieved from seed selected by its tolerance to MLD. Genetic selection was shown as the best strategy since there are individuals exceptionally tolerant to MLD.
      PubDate: 2016-08-29
      DOI: 10.3390/f7090190
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 9 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 191: Eliminating Illegal Timber Consumption or

    • Authors: Xiaobiao Zhang, Bin Xu, Lei Wang, Aijun Yang, Hongqiang Yang
      First page: 191
      Abstract: Illegal logging, with its related trade of illegally harvested timber, is one of the main environmental and economic problems worldwide. Eliminating illegal timber consumption and production are two practical means to reduce illegal logging. However, the problem of determining which of the two means is more economical remains to be analyzed. In this study, an input–output analysis was conducted to evaluate the consumption and production of illegal timber in different countries. The Global Forest Products Model (GFPM) was employed to analyze the effects of eliminating illegal timber consumption and production on the added value of the forest sector at global and national levels. Results indicated that eliminating illegal timber production is more economical than eliminating consumption at the global level. The former is estimated to decrease the added value of the global forest sector only by 3.37% compared to 7.31% by the latter in 2030. Eliminating the production of illegal timber will result in uneven distribution of social wealth in the forest sector, and will pass the cost of reducing illegal logging onto developing countries. Developed countries would gain more added value and market scale than the global average, whereas developing countries would suffer a loss if illegal timber production is eliminated. Hence, developed countries are encouraged to provide financial support to help developing countries reduce illegal logging.
      PubDate: 2016-08-29
      DOI: 10.3390/f7090191
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 9 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 192: Variation in the Growth Traits and Wood
           Properties of Chinese Fir from Six Provinces of Southern China

    • Authors: Hongjing Duan, Sen Cao, Huiquan Zheng, Dehuo Hu, Jun Lin, Huazhong Lin, Ruiyang Hu, Yuhan Sun, Yun Li
      First page: 192
      Abstract: To determine the phenotypic variation in 700 ten-year grafted Chinese fir collected from six provinces in southern China, 10 phenotypic traits were investigated: tree height, diameter at breast height, bark thickness, volume of timber, heartwood ratio, density of wood, hygroscopicity, tracheid length, tracheid diameter, and ratio of tracheid length to tracheid diameter. Abundant phenotypic variation was found among the six populations; the phenotypic variation coefficients all exceeded 10%, and the largest was for volume of timber. Significant variation (p < 0.01 or 0.05) in traits was found among the populations, except for diameter at breast height, heartwood ratio, and tracheid diameter, while all traits differed significantly (p < 0.01) within populations. The high value of repeatability (broad-sense heritability) suggested moderate genetic control of the traits. The 10 traits were strongly correlated within the entire population; strong positive correlations (p < 0.01) were observed between growth traits, and significant negative correlations (p < 0.01 or 0.05) were found between the density of wood and most other characteristics, except for heartwood ratio and ratio of tracheid length to tracheid diameter. Using diameter at breast height and density of wood as criteria, 98 relatively fast-growing genotypes with relatively high wood basic density were identified.
      PubDate: 2016-08-31
      DOI: 10.3390/f7090192
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 9 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 193: Smallholder Forestry in the Western Amazon:
           Outcomes from Forest Reforms and Emerging Policy Perspectives

    • Authors: Pablo Pacheco, Elena Mejía, Walter Cano, Wil de Jong
      First page: 193
      Abstract: The forest reforms unfolding during the last two decades in the western Amazon have embraced policy regimes founded on the principles of sustainable forest management. The policy frameworks adopted for smallholder forestry aimed to clarify forest rights including those of the indigenous people and smallholders, support the adoption of sustainable forest management and put a system in place to assure a legal timber supply. The emerging forest policy regimes have significantly shaped who has access to the forest, how the forest resources are used and the benefits that are utilized. We argue that forest reforms have not addressed some critical constraints facing smallholders in managing their forests either individually or collectively. Informal timber extraction persists with contradictory effects on smallholders and forests. Local participants continue to make a significant contribution in meeting a growing demand for timber through vigorous market networks that combine legal and illegal sources of timber supply. Some recent changes to forest policy frameworks emphasize approaches towards additional integrated forest management, simplification of regulations and incentives for improved forest management. We critically reflect on the scope, implementation and expected outcomes of these policy frameworks.
      PubDate: 2016-08-31
      DOI: 10.3390/f7090193
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 9 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 194: Developing an Improved Parameter Estimation
           Method for the Segmented Taper Equation through Combination of Constrained
           Two-Dimensional Optimum Seeking and Least Square Regression

    • Authors: Lifeng Pang, Yongpeng Ma, Ram Sharma, Shawn Rice, Xinyu Song, Liyong Fu
      First page: 194
      Abstract: The segmented taper equation has great flexibility and is widely applied in exiting taper systems. The unconstrained least square regression (ULSR) was generally used to estimate parameters in previous applications of the segmented taper equations. The joint point parameters estimated with ULSR may fall outside the feasible region, which leads to the results of the segmented taper equation being uncertain and meaningless. In this study, a combined method of constrained two-dimensional optimum seeking and least square regression (CTOS & LSR) was proposed as an improved method to estimate the parameters in the segmented taper equation. The CTOS & LSR was compared with ULSR for both individual tree-level equation and the population average-level equation using data from three tropical precious tree species (Castanopsis hystrix, Erythrophleum fordii, and Tectona grandis) in the southwest of China. The differences between CTOS & LSR and ULSR were found to be significant. The segmented taper equation estimated using CTOS & LSR resulted in not only increased prediction accuracy, but also guaranteed the parameter estimates in a more meaningful way. It is thus recommended that the combined method of constrained two-dimensional optimum seeking and least square regression should be a preferred choice for this application. The computation procedures required for this method is presented in the article.
      PubDate: 2016-08-31
      DOI: 10.3390/f7090194
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 9 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 195: Does REDD+ Ensure Sectoral Coordination and
           Stakeholder Participation? A Comparative Analysis of REDD+ National
           Governance Structures in Countries of Asia-Pacific Region

    • Authors: Taiji Fujisaki, Kimihiko Hyakumura, Henry Scheyvens, Tim Cadman
      First page: 195
      Abstract: Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries (REDD+) requires harmonizing different policy sectors and interests that have impacts on forests. However, these elements have not been well-operationalized in environmental policy-making processes of most developing countries. Drawing on five cases—Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Papua New Guinea, and Vietnam, this article aims to determine whether emerging governance arrangements help REDD+ development by delivering participatory mechanisms for policy coordination. Building upon literature on environmental governance and stakeholder participation, the article examines national governance structures for REDD+ and identifies who participates where, and what decision-making powers they have. Despite structural differences between the countries, our analysis illustrates that REDD+ potentially encourages a new form of environmental governance promoting a cross-sectoral approach and stakeholder participation. Cohesiveness of the structures within a broader governance system is key to defining the capacity of REDD+ governance. The result also poses a question as to the inclusiveness of the state actors involved in order to tackle the different pressure on forests. Considering structural inequalities, the analysis further suggests a need of policy support for those who are affected by REDD+ to ensure that their voices could be heard in decision-making processes.
      PubDate: 2016-08-31
      DOI: 10.3390/f7090195
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 9 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 196: Correction: Lopatin, E., et al. Assessment of
           Compliance with PEFC Forest Certification Indicators with Remote Sensing.
           Forests 2016, 7, 85

    • Authors: Eugene Lopatin, Maxim Trishkin, Olga Gavrilova
      First page: 196
      Abstract: The authors wish to make the following correction to their paper [1].[...]
      PubDate: 2016-09-01
      DOI: 10.3390/f7090196
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 9 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 197: Genetic Diversity of the Black Mangrove
           Avicennia germinans (L.) Stearn in Northwestern Mexico

    • Authors: Olivia Millán-Aguilar, Marlenne Manzano-Sarabia, Alejandro Nettel-Hernanz, Richard Dodd, Miguel Hurtado-Oliva, Ernesto Velázquez-Velázquez
      First page: 197
      Abstract: Mangrove forests of Mexico have been threatened by the effects of anthropogenic activities during the last decades, mostly related to aquaculture, agriculture, livestock and urban development. Genetic diversity and fine-scale genetic structure of two generations of the black mangrove Avicennia germinans (L.) Stearn were investigated in perturbed and preserved sites from three lagoon systems in Sinaloa, Mexico. Genetic diversity and overall genetic structure were similar between perturbed and preserved sites. However, lower levels of fine-scale spatial genetic structure were observed in two of the younger (sapling) generations. We attribute this to differences in local dynamics of each lagoon system, their status of conservation and levels of fragmentation. Also, low connectivity and the effects of disturbance could restrict the movement of pollinators and seed dispersal capabilities, resulting in low levels of genetic diversity and signs of inbreeding. Perturbed populations of A. germinans may play an important role in in situ conservation of this complex ecosystem.
      PubDate: 2016-09-03
      DOI: 10.3390/f7090197
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 9 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 198: Full-Waveform Airborne Laser Scanning in
           Vegetation Studies—A Review of Point Cloud and Waveform Features for
           Tree Species Classification

    • Authors: Kristina Koenig, Bernhard Höfle
      First page: 198
      Abstract: In recent years, small-footprint full-waveform airborne laser scanning has become readily available and established for vegetation studies in the fields of forestry, agriculture and urban studies. Independent of the field of application and the derived final product, each study uses features to classify a target object and to assess its characteristics (e.g., tree species). These laser scanning features describe an observable characteristic of the returned laser signal (e.g., signal amplitude) or a quantity of an object (e.g., height-width ratio of the tree crown). In particular, studies dealing with tree species classification apply a variety of such features as input. However, an extensive overview, categorization and comparison of features from full-waveform airborne laser scanning and how they relate to specific tree species are still missing. This review identifies frequently used full-waveform airborne laser scanning-based point cloud and waveform features for tree species classification and compares the applied features and their characteristics for specific tree species detection. Furthermore, limiting and influencing factors on feature characteristics and tree classification are discussed with respect to vegetation structure, data acquisition and processing.
      PubDate: 2016-09-06
      DOI: 10.3390/f7090198
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 9 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 199: Failure to Communicate: Inefficiencies in
           Voluntary Incentive Programs for Private Forest Owners in Michigan

    • Authors: Mark Rouleau, Jennifer Lind-Riehl, Miranda Smith, Audrey Mayer
      First page: 199
      Abstract: Coordinating forest management across thousands of nonindustrial private forest (NIPF) owners is a difficult yet necessary task for state land management agencies. Voluntary Incentive Programs (VIPs) can coordinate the decentralized activities of these owners in return for services or financial incentives. However, many VIPs typically have low enrollment. Our study investigates the implementation of VIPs to increase forest management coordination among NIPFs in Michigan. We present findings from 20 semi-structured interviews with leaders of state and local land management organizations, and government officials at state natural resource agencies, and contrast their answers with those recorded from 37 interviews of NIPF owners regarding their knowledge and attitudes toward VIPs. Our interviews highlight a critical disconnect between NIPF owner motivations and VIP incentives, as well as misallocated resources for VIP promotion by state agencies, driving low enrollment. At the core, low enrollment in VIPs is generated by inadequate communication between NIPF owners and program managers, along with distrust of government agency objectives. Viewing managers as “street level bureaucrats”, civil servants whose job discretion is impacted heavily by available resources, may increase our understanding of the issues plaguing VIPs and help identify improvements to VIP design and implementation.
      PubDate: 2016-09-06
      DOI: 10.3390/f7090199
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 9 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 200: Quantifying Tree and Soil Carbon Stocks in a
           Temperate Urban Forest in Northeast China

    • Authors: Hailiang Lv, Wenjie Wang, Xingyuan He, Lu Xiao, Wei Zhou, Bo Zhang
      First page: 200
      Abstract: Society has placed greater focus on the ecological service of urban forests; however, more information is required on the variation of carbon (C) in trees and soils in different functional forest types, administrative districts, and urban-rural gradients. To address this issue, we measured various tree and soil parameters by sampling 219 plots in the urban forest of the Harbin city region. Averaged tree and soil C stock density (C stocks per unit tree cover) for Harbin city were 7.71 (±7.69) kg C·m−2 and 5.48 (±2.86) kg C·m−2, respectively. They were higher than those of other Chinese cities (Shenyang and Changchun), but were much lower than local natural forests. The tree C stock densities varied 2.3- to 3.2-fold among forest types, administrative districts, and ring road-based urban-rural gradients. In comparison, soil organic C (SOC) densities varied by much less (1.4–1.5-fold). We found these to be urbanization-dependent processes, which were closely related to the urban-rural gradient data based on ring-roads and settlement history patterns. We estimated that SOC accumulation during the 100-year urbanization of Harbin was very large (5 to 14 thousand tons), accounting for over one quarter of the stored C in trees. Our results provide new insights into the dynamics of above- and below-ground C (especially in soil) during the urbanization process, and that a city’s ability to provide C-related ecosystem services increases as it ages. Our findings highlight that urbanization effects should be incorporated into calculations of soil C budgets in regions subject to rapid urban expansion, such as China.
      PubDate: 2016-09-10
      DOI: 10.3390/f7090200
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 9 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 201: How Time since Forest Fire Affects Stand
           Structure, Soil Physical-Chemical Properties and Soil CO2 Efflux in
           Hemiboreal Scots Pine Forest Fire Chronosequence?

    • Authors: Kajar Köster, Egle Köster, Argo Orumaa, Kristi Parro, Kalev Jõgiste, Frank Berninger, Jukka Pumpanen, Marek Metslaid
      First page: 201
      Abstract: We compared the changes in aboveground biomass and initial recovery of C pools and CO2 efflux following fire disturbances in Scots pine (Pinus sylvesteris L.) stands with different time since stand-replacing fire. The study areas are located in hemiboreal vegetation zone, in north-western Estonia, in Vihterpalu. Six areas where the last fire occurred in the year 1837, 1940, 1951, 1982, 1997, and 2008 were chosen for the study. Our results show that forest fire has a substantial effect on the C content in the top soil layer, but not in the mineral soil layers. Soil respiration showed a chronological response to the time since the forest fire and the values were lowest in the area where the fire was in the year 2008. The respiration values also followed seasonal pattern being highest in August and lowest in May and November. The CO2 effluxes were lowest on the newly burned area through the entire growing season. There was also a positive correlation between soil temperature and soil respiration values in our study areas.
      PubDate: 2016-09-12
      DOI: 10.3390/f7090201
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 9 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 202: Natural and Anthropogenic Transformations of A
           Baltic Raised Bog (Bagno Kusowo, North West Poland) in the Light of
           Dendrochronological Analysis of Pinus sylvestris L.

    • Authors: Anna Cedro, Zofia Sotek
      First page: 202
      Abstract: This study was conducted in a drained, exploited, and afforested Baltic bog Bagno Kusowo, located in North West Poland. The study aimed (i) to assess if human activity has a stronger impact on tree-ring width of Pinus sylvestris than climatic conditions in this transformed Baltic bog; (ii) to investigate how much the human modification of the ecosystem has influenced tree growth; (iii) to use this knowledge to reconstruct changes in the ecosystem further back in time, in the study area and its immediate neighbourhood. Wood samples for dendrochronological analyses were collected from 45 trees. Next, using classic dating methods and standard procedures (cross-dating methods, COFECHA program), chronologies were constructed (raw tree-ring width and residual chronologies: de-trended, autocorrelation removed, ARSTAN program). They formed a basis for further analyses: signature years, correlation and response function, as well as percentage growth change. The results of dendroclimatological analyses show weak increment–climate relationships and the analysis of weather conditions in the identified signature years did not detect any unambiguous relations with tree-ring width. However, results of the analyses indicate that the dominant factors affecting tree growth dynamics in the bog are changes in the hydrological system. Moreover, our results show many phases of human impact on environmental changes. Dendrochronological methods, combined with an analysis of old maps and other historical records, allowed us to reconstruct transformations of the ecosystem with a high resolution.
      PubDate: 2016-09-13
      DOI: 10.3390/f7090202
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 9 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 203: Response of Mid-Rotation Loblolly Pine (Pinus
           taeda L.) Physiology and Productivity to Sustained, Moderate Drought on
           the Western Edge of the Range

    • Authors: Adam Maggard, Rodney Will, Duncan Wilson, Cassandra Meek
      First page: 203
      Abstract: The productivity of the approximately 11 million ha of loblolly pine plantations in the southeastern USA could be threatened by decreased water availability in a future climate. To determine the effects of sustained drought on leaf gas exchange, whole-tree water use, and individual tree growth, we examined the response of loblolly pine trees to 100% throughfall exclusion cumulatively spanning the sixth and seventh growing seasons of a plantation in southeastern Oklahoma. Throughfall exclusion reduced volumetric soil water content for 0–12 cm soil depth from 10.8% to 4.8% and for 12–45 cm soil depth from 24.2% to 15.6%. Compared to ambient throughfall trees, leaf water potential of the throughfall exclusion trees became more negative, −0.9 MPa vs. −1.3 MPa for predawn measurements and −1.5 MPa vs. −1.9 MPa for midday measurements. Throughfall exclusion did not significantly reduce leaf gas exchange or tree water use. However, throughfall exclusion significantly reduced leaf biomass by 21% and stem volume growth by 23%. These results indicate that sustained drought may cause downward shifts in leaf quantity to conserve water rather than reducing leaf-level water use.
      PubDate: 2016-09-14
      DOI: 10.3390/f7090203
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 9 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 204: A Simulation of Image-Assisted Forest
           Monitoring for National Inventories

    • Authors: Francis Roesch
      First page: 204
      Abstract: The efficiency of national forest monitoring efforts can be increased by the judicious incorporation of ancillary data. For instance, a fixed number of ground plots might be used to inform a larger set of annual estimates by observing a smaller proportion of the plots each year while augmenting each annual estimate with ancillary data in order to reduce overall costs while maintaining a desired level of accuracy. Differencing successive geo-rectified remotely sensed images can conceivably provide forest change estimates at a scale and level of accuracy conducive to the improvement of temporally relevant forest attribute estimates. Naturally, the degree of improvement in the desired estimates is highly dependent on the relationships between the spatial-temporal scales of ground plot and remotely sensed observations and the desired spatial-temporal scale of estimation. In this paper, fixed scales of observation for each data source are used to explore the value of three different levels of information available from the remotely sensed image-change estimates. Four populations are simulated and sampled under four sampling error structures. The results show that the image change estimates (ICE) can be used to significantly reduce bias for annual estimates of harvest and mortality and that improved estimation of harvest and mortality can sometimes, but not always, contribute to better estimates of standing volume.
      PubDate: 2016-09-15
      DOI: 10.3390/f7090204
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 9 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 205: Fires of the Last Millennium Led to Landscapes
           Dominated by Early Successional Species in Québec’s Clay Belt Boreal
           Forest, Canada

    • Authors: Maxime Asselin, Pierre Grondin, Martin Lavoie, Bianca Fréchette
      First page: 205
      Abstract: This study presents the long-term (over the last 8000 years) natural variability of a portion of the Picea mariana-moss bioclimatic domain belonging to Québec’s Clay Belt. The landscapes are dominated by mesic-subhydric clay and early successional forests composed of Populus tremuloides, Pinus banksiana and Picea mariana. The natural variability (fires and vegetation) of one of these landscapes was reconstructed by means of pollen and macroscopic charcoal analysis of sedimentary archives from two peatlands in order to assess when and how such landscapes were formed. Following an initial afforestation period dominated by Picea (8000–6800 cal. Years BP), small and low-severity fires favored the development and maintenance of landscapes dominated by Picea and Abies balsamea during a long period (6800–1000 BP). Over the last 1000 years, fires have become more severe and covered a larger area. These fires initiated a recurrence dynamic of early successional stands maintained until today. A decline of Abies balsamea has occurred over the last centuries, while the pollen representation of Pinus banksiana has recently reached its highest abundance. We hypothesize that the fire regime of the last millennium could characterize Québec’s Clay Belt belonging to the western Picea mariana-moss and Abies balsamea-Betula papyrifera domains.
      PubDate: 2016-09-15
      DOI: 10.3390/f7090205
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 9 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 206: Tree Stem Diameter Estimation from Mobile
           Laser Scanning Using Line-Wise Intensity-Based Clustering

    • Authors: Mona Forsman, Johan Holmgren, Kenneth Olofsson
      First page: 206
      Abstract: Diameter at breast height has been estimated from mobile laser scanning using a new set of methods. A 2D laser scanner was mounted facing forward, tilted nine degrees downwards, on a car. The trajectory was recorded using inertial navigation and visual SLAM (simultaneous localization and mapping). The laser scanner data, the trajectory and the orientation were used to calculate a 3D point cloud. Clusters representing trees were extracted line-wise to reduce the effects of uncertainty in the positioning system. The intensity of the laser echoes was used to filter out unreliable echoes only grazing a stem. The movement was used to obtain measurements from a larger part of the stem, and multiple lines from different views were used for the circle fit. Two trigonometric methods and two circle fit methods were tested. The best results with bias 2.3% (6 mm) and root mean squared error 14% (37 mm) were acquired with the circle fit on multiple 2D projected clusters. The method was evaluated compared to field data at five test areas with approximately 300 caliper-measured trees within a 10-m working range. The results show that this method is viable for stem measurements from a moving vehicle, for example a forest harvester.
      PubDate: 2016-09-16
      DOI: 10.3390/f7090206
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 9 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 207: Single Tree Stem Profile Detection Using
           Terrestrial Laser Scanner Data, Flatness Saliency Features and Curvature

    • Authors: Kenneth Olofsson, Johan Holmgren
      First page: 207
      Abstract: A method for automatic stem detection and stem profile estimation based on terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) was validated. The root-mean-square error was approximately 1 cm for stem diameter estimations. The method contains a new way of extracting the flatness saliency feature using the centroid of a subset of a point cloud within a voxel cell that approximates the point by point calculations. The loss of accuracy is outweighed by a much higher computational speed, making it possible to cover large datasets. The algorithm introduces a new way to connect surface patches belonging to a stem and investigates if they belong to curved surfaces. Thereby, cylindrical objects, like stems, are found in the pre-filtering stage. The algorithm uses a new cylinder fitting method that estimates the axis direction by transforming the TLS points into a radial-angular coordinate system and evaluates the deviations by a moving window convex hull algorithm. Once the axis direction is found, the cylinder center is chosen as the position with the smallest radial deviations. The cylinder fitting method works on a point cloud in both the single-scan setup, as well as a multiple scan setup of a TLS system.
      PubDate: 2016-09-16
      DOI: 10.3390/f7090207
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 9 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 208: Urban Forest Indicators for Planning and
           Designing Future Forests

    • Authors: Sara Barron, Stephen Sheppard, Patrick Condon
      First page: 208
      Abstract: This paper describes a research project exploring future urban forests. This study uses a Delphi approach to develop a set of key indicators for healthy, resilient urban forests. Two groups of experts participated in the Delphi survey: International academics and local practitioners. The results of the Delphi indicate that “urban tree diversity” and “physical access to nature” are indicators of high importance. “Tree risk” and “energy conservation” were rated as indicators of relatively low importance. Results revealed some differences between academics and practitioners in terms of their rating of the indicators. The research shows that some indicators rated as high importance are not necessarily the ones measured or promoted by many municipal urban forestry programs. In particular, social indicators of human health and well-being were rated highly by participants, but not routinely measured by urban forestry programs.
      PubDate: 2016-09-16
      DOI: 10.3390/f7090208
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 9 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 209: Incentives and Constraints of Community and
           Smallholder Forestry

    • Authors: Wil de Jong, Glenn Galloway, Pia Katila, Pablo Pacheco
      First page: 209
      Abstract: This editorial introduces the special issue: Incentives and constraints of community and smallholder forestry. The special issue contains nine papers, listed in a table in the main text. The editorial reviews briefly some key elements of our current understanding of community and smallholder forestry. The editorial also briefly introduces the nine papers of the special issue and points out how they link to the debate among academics and specialists on community and smallholder forestry. Finally, the editorial highlights the new elements that the nine papers contribute to our understanding of community and smallholder forestry, before it concludes at the end.
      PubDate: 2016-09-16
      DOI: 10.3390/f7090209
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 9 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 152: Timber Regulation and Value Chain in
           Community-Based Timber Enterprise and Smallholder Forestry in the

    • Authors: Juan Pulhin, Mark Ramirez
      First page: 152
      Abstract: Forest tenure reform has no doubt attained significant gains in promoting social justice and equity in the forest sector, through legal recognition of the communities’ property rights over forest lands in many developing countries. This includes the right to harvest and market trees that the communities planted. Along these lines, the Philippines’ community-based forest management (CBFM) and smallholder forestry have the potential to meet the country’s wood demand and contribute to its poverty alleviation goal. Realities on the ground, however, make this lofty aspiration seems too far-fetched. Formal and informal barriers along the timber value chain restrict the growth and obstruct opportunities for community-based timber enterprises (CBTEs) and smallholder forestry. Using the case of CBFM and smallholder forestry in the Visayas and Mindanao Islands in the Philippines, respectively, this paper examines the hurdles posed by regulations and informal practices, such as restrictive policies and increased transaction costs, through a segment analysis of the timber value chain. It argues that failure to address these barriers would lead to the decline of CBTEs and smallholder enterprises, thus undermining the merits of the forest tenure reform.
      PubDate: 2016-07-25
      DOI: 10.3390/f7080152
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 8 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 153: Soil Respiration at Different Stand Ages (5,
           10, and 20/30 Years) in Coniferous (Pinus tabulaeformis Carrière) and

    • Authors: Xin Zhao, Fadong Li, Wanjun Zhang, Zhipin Ai, Huitao Shen, Xiuping Liu, Jiansheng Cao, Kiril Manevski
      First page: 153
      Abstract: Understanding the effects of stand age and forest type on soil respiration is crucial for predicting the potential of soil carbon sequestration. Thus far, however, there is no consensus regarding the variations in soil respiration caused by stand age and forest type. This study investigated soil respiration and its temperature sensitivity at three stand ages (5, 10, and 20 or 30 years) in two plantations of coniferous (Pinus tabulaeformis Carrière) and deciduous (Populus davidiana Dode) species using an automated chamber system in 2013 in the Beijing-Tianjin sandstorm source area. Results showed that mean soil respiration in the 5-, 10-, and 20/30-year-old plantations was 3.37, 3.17, and 2.99 μmol·m−2·s−1 for P. tabulaeformis and 2.92, 2.85, and 2.57 μmol·m−2·s−1 for P. davidiana, respectively. Soil respiration decreased with stand age for both species. There was no significant difference in soil respiration between the two plantation species at ages 5 and 10 years (p > 0.05). Temperature sensitivity of soil respiration, which ranged from 1.85–1.99 in P. tabulaeformis and 2.20–2.46 in P. davidiana plantations, was found to increase with stand age. Temperature sensitivity was also significantly higher in P. davidiana plantations and when the soil water content was below 12.8%. Temperature sensitivity incorporated a combined response of soil respiration to soil temperature, soil water content, soil organic carbon, and fine root biomass and, thus, provided an ecological metric for comparing forest carbon dynamics of these species.
      PubDate: 2016-07-25
      DOI: 10.3390/f7080153
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 8 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 154: Spatial Variability of Soil Moisture in a
           Forest Catchment: Temporal Trend and Contributors

    • Authors: Zhenyang Peng, Fuqiang Tian, Hongchang Hu, Sihan Zhao, Qiang Tie, Hao Sheng, Christophe Darnault, Hui Lu
      First page: 154
      Abstract: Understanding the spatio-temporal dynamic of soil moisture is critical in hydrological and other land surface related studies. Until recently, however, there have been controversies about the relationship between spatial mean and spatial variance of soil moisture and the contributions of each of these factors to spatial variability. Therefore, in this study, spatial variability of soil moisture in a 7 km2 forest catchment is analyzed by time-series data on soil moisture obtained at a total of 12 observation sites. Results showed that soil moisture spatial mean and spatial variance varied almost synchronously and in three cyclic patterns during the monitoring period from 1 April 2015 to 31 October 2015. The spatial mean-variance relationship during the ascending and descending periods of spatial mean could be well-fitted by upward and downward convex quadratic curves, respectively, indicating possible clockwise hysteresis of this relationship. It was found that all through the monitoring period, contributions of time-invariant factors on total spatial variance increased from 68.9% to 88.2% with depth, and temporally stable ranking of sites was obtained. Because of the high spatial variation of soil moisture in our study area, it should be noted that a large number of sample plots would be needed to adequately estimate the spatial variability of soil moisture.
      PubDate: 2016-07-28
      DOI: 10.3390/f7080154
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 8 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 155: Swiss Needle Cast in Western Oregon
           Douglas-Fir Plantations: 20‐Year Monitoring Results

    • Authors: Gabriela Ritóková, David Shaw, Greg Filip, Alan Kanaskie, John Browning, Danny Norlander
      First page: 155
      Abstract: Swiss needle cast (SNC), a foliar disease specific to Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii), is caused by an endemic Ascomycete fungus (Phaeocryptopus gaeumannii). In the late 1980s and early 1990s significant symptoms began to appear in coastal Oregon, and these have been associated with the planting of Douglas-fir in the Sitka spruce zone, leaf wetness during potential spore dispersal in May–August, and mild winter temperature. The first annual aerial survey was initiated in 1996 and has continued through 2015, which indicates a significant increase in area of visible symptoms from the air, increasing from 53,050 ha in 1996 to 238,705 ha in 2015. Monitoring plots in the NW Oregon Coast Range verified impacts of SNC on tree growth and productivity, with growth reductions averaging about 23% in the epidemic area linked to needle retention. A series of monitoring plots was set up in the western Cascade Mountains of Oregon and 590 10–23-year old Douglas-fir trees in 59 stands were tracked for 10 years, measured in 2001, 2006, and 2011. No measureable growth impacts were noted in this region of Oregon. A new plot network is being installed throughout the Oregon and southwest Washington coastal ranges as a means of monitoring future disease impact and providing framework for additional studies.
      PubDate: 2016-07-26
      DOI: 10.3390/f7080155
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 8 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 156: Salinity Differentially Affects Growth and
           Ecophysiology of Two Mastic Tree (Pistacia lentiscus L.) Accessions

    • Authors: Giuseppe Cristiano, Salvatore Camposeo, Mariano Fracchiolla, Gaetano Vivaldi, Barbara De Lucia, Eugenio Cazzato
      First page: 156
      Abstract: Pistacia lentiscus (Anacardiaceae; mastic tree) is an evergreen sclerophyll species, largely distributed in dry areas of the Mediterranean basin and well-adapted to severe conditions of drought in very unfertile soils. In the present study, we evaluated the growing responses of two accessions of P. lentiscus to three different levels of salinity under nursery conditions. The two mastic tree accessions (Manfredonia and Specchia) were collected from individual trees in two different sites in the Apulia region (Southern Italy) and subjected to three different levels of salinization by adding 0, 400, and 800 g of salts 100 L−1 of substrate, respectively. The following parameters were recorded: plant height; survival of plants and total root length; total biomass; number of leaves per plant and leaf area; as well as various ecophysiological traits. Salinity reduced the values of all the examined parameters, both morphological and physiological. Results suggested that P. lentiscus can tolerate and accumulate salt at high concentrations in nursery conditions. As a result, it is important to identify germplasm that is highly tolerant to salinity for the production of nursery seedlings that will be planted in saline soils.
      PubDate: 2016-07-27
      DOI: 10.3390/f7080156
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 8 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 157: Mapping Local Effects of Forest Properties on
           Fire Risk across Canada

    • Authors: Pierre Bernier, Sylvie Gauthier, Pierre-Olivier Jean, Francis Manka, Yan Boulanger, André Beaudoin, Luc Guindon
      First page: 157
      Abstract: Fire is a dominant mechanism of forest renewal in most of Canada’s forests and its activity is predicted to increase over the coming decades. Individual fire events have been considered to be non-selective with regards to forest properties, but evidence now suggests otherwise. Our objective was therefore to quantify the effect of forest properties on fire selectivity or avoidance, evaluate the stability of these effects across varying burn rates, and use these results to map local fire risk across the forests of Canada. We used Canada-wide MODIS-based maps of annual fires and of forest properties to identify burned and unburned pixels for the 2002–2011 period and to bin them into classes of forest composition (% conifer and broadleaved deciduous), above-ground tree biomass and stand age. Logistic binomial regressions were then used to quantify fire selectivity by forest properties classes and by zones of homogeneous fire regime (HFR). Results suggest that fire exhibits a strong selectivity for conifer stands, but an even stronger avoidance of broadleaved stands. In terms of age classes, fire also shows a strong avoidance for young (0 to 29 year) stands. The large differences among regional burn rates do not significantly alter the overall preference and avoidance ratings. Finally, we combined these results on relative burn preference with regional burn rates to map local fire risks across Canada.
      PubDate: 2016-07-27
      DOI: 10.3390/f7080157
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 8 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 158: Estimates of Wildfire Emissions in Boreal
           Forests of China

    • Authors: Kunpeng Yi, Yulong Bao
      First page: 158
      Abstract: Wildfire emissions in the boreal forests yield an important contribution to the chemical budget of the troposphere. To assess the contribution of wildfire to the emissions of atmospheric trace species in the Great Xing’an Mountains (GXM), which is also the most severe fire-prone boreal forest region in China, we estimated various wildfire activities by combining explicit spatio-temporal remote sensing data with fire-induced emission models. We observed 9998 fire scars with 46,096 km2 in the GXM between the years 1986 and 2010. The years 1987 and 2003 contributed 33.2% and 22.9%, respectively, in burned area during the 25 years. Fire activity is the strongest in May. Most large fires occurred in the north region of the GXM between 50° N and 54° N latitude due to much drier weather and higher fire danger in the northern region than in the southern region of the study domain. Evergreen and deciduous needleleaf forest and deciduous broadleaf forest are the main sources of emissions, accounting for 84%, 81%, 84%, 87%, 89%, 86%, 85% and 74% of the total annual CO2, CH4, CO, PM10, PM2.5, SO2, BC and NOx emissions, respectively. Wildfire emissions from shrub, grassland and cropland only account for a small fraction of the total emissions level (approximately 4%–11%). Comparisons of our results with other published estimates of wildfire emissions show reasonable agreement.
      PubDate: 2016-08-01
      DOI: 10.3390/f7080158
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 8 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 159: Soil Elements Influencing Community Structure
           in an Old-Growth Forest in Northeastern China

    • Authors: Wei Xu, Minhui Hao, Juan Wang, Chunyu Zhang, Xiuhai Zhao, Klaus Gadow
      First page: 159
      Abstract: This study uses detailed soil and vegetation data collected in a 30-ha old-growth broad-leaved Korean pine forest to study the effect of soil properties on tree community structures. Spatial distribution patterns are simulated using a homogeneous Poisson process (HomP) and a homogeneous Thomas process (HomT). The simulated distributions are compared with the observed ones to explore correlations between certain tree species and several soil elements. The HomP model shows that all tested tree species are significantly correlated with at least one principal component in the upper-layer soil elements. The HomT model shows that only 36.4% of tree species are significantly correlated with the principal component of at least one upper-layer soil element. This result shows that the impact of dispersal limitation is greater than impact of environmental heterogeneity on species spatial distributions. The spatial autocorrelation of species induced by the dispersal limitation will largely conceal the plant-soil relationships caused by the heterogeneity of soil elements. An additional analysis shows that the elements in the upper soil layer which have the greatest impact on community niche structure are Pb, total phosphorus (TP), total nitrogen (TN), Cu, Cr, Zn and available nitrogen (AN). The corresponding elements in the lower soil layers are Pb, TP, Cu, organic carbon (OC), Mn, total potassium (TK) and AN. Different species seem to be complementary regarding the demands on the available soil resources. The results of this study show that the tree species in the different growth groups have different habitat preferences. Compared with subcanopy and shrub species, the canopy species have more significant correlations with the soil elements.
      PubDate: 2016-07-28
      DOI: 10.3390/f7080159
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 8 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 160: Assessing the Genetic Diversity and
           Genealogical Reconstruction of Cypress (Cupressus funebris Endl.) Breeding
           Parents Using SSR Markers

    • Authors: Hanbo Yang, Rui Zhang, Guoqing Jin, Zhongping Feng, Zhichun Zhou
      First page: 160
      Abstract: To identify genetic diversity, genetic structure and the relationship among accessions, and further establish a core collection for the long-term breeding of cypress (Cupressus funebris Endl.), the genealogy of breeding parents was reconstructed using simple sequence repeat (SSR) molecular markers. Seventeen SSR markers were used to detect molecular polymorphisms among 290 cypress accessions from five provinces and 53 accessions with unknown origin in China. A total of 92 alleles (Na) were detected with 5.412 alleles per locus and an average polymorphism information content (PIC) of 0.593. The haplotype diversity (H) ranged from 0.021 to 0.832, with an average of 0.406. The number of alleles (Na) and the effective number of alleles (Ne) ranged from 4.294 to 5.176 and from 2.488 to 2.817 among five populations, respectively. The pairwise population matrix of Nei’s genetic distance ranged from 0.008 to 0.023. Based on the results of unweighted pair group method average (UPGMA) cluster and population structure analyses, 343 breeding parents were divided into two major groups. Lower genetic differentiation coefficients and closer genetic relationships were observed among cypress breeding parents, suggesting that the genetic basis was narrow, and the genetic relationship was confused by frequent introduction and wide cultivation. Moreover, we reconstructed the genealogy between breeding parents and 30 accessions of breeding parents from an identified core collection. According to the present study, not only geographic origin but also the relationship of the individuals should be considered in future crossbreeding work.
      PubDate: 2016-07-28
      DOI: 10.3390/f7080160
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 8 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 161: Diurnal Freeze-Thaw Cycles Modify Winter Soil
           Respiration in a Desert Shrub-Land Ecosystem

    • Authors: Peng Liu, Tianshan Zha, Xin Jia, Ben Wang, Xiaonan Guo, Yuqing Zhang, Bin Wu, Qiang Yang, Heli Peltola
      First page: 161
      Abstract: Winter soil respiration (Rs) is becoming a significant component of annual carbon budgets with more warming in winter than summer. However, little is known about the controlling mechanisms of winter Rs in dryland. We made continuous measurements of Rs in four microsites (non-crust (BS), lichen (LC), moss (MC), and a mixture of moss and lichen (ML)) in a desert shrub-land ecosystem northern China, to investigate the causes of Rs dynamics in winter. The mean winter Rs ranged from 0.10 to 0.17 µmol CO2 m−2·s−1 across microsites, with the highest value in BS. Winter Q10 (known as the increase in respiration rate per 10 °C increase in temperature) values (2.8–19) were much higher than those from the growing season (1.5). Rs and Q10 were greatly enhanced in freeze-thaw cycles compared to frozen days. Diurnal patterns of Rs between freeze-thaw and frozen days differed. Although the freeze-thaw period was relatively short, its cumulative Rs contributed significantly to winter Rs. The presence of biocrust might induce lower temperature, thus having fewer freeze-thaw cycles relative to bare soil, leading to the lower Rs for microsites with biocrusts. In conclusion, winter Rs in drylands was sensitive to soil temperature (Ts) and Ts-induced freeze-thaw cycles. The temperature impact on Rs varied among soil cover types. Winter Rs in drylands may become more important as the climate is continuously getting warmer.
      PubDate: 2016-07-29
      DOI: 10.3390/f7080161
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 8 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 162: Exploring Relationships between Socioeconomic
           Background and Urban Greenery in Portland, OR

    • Authors: Lorien Nesbitt, Michael Meitner
      First page: 162
      Abstract: Do urban residents experience societal benefits derived from urban forests equitably? We conducted a broad-scale spatial analysis of the relationship between urban greenery and socioeconomic factors in the Portland metropolitan area. The Normalized Difference Vegetation Index was derived from National Agriculture Imagery Program images to map urban vegetation cover, and Outdoor Recreation and Conservation Area data were used to identify green spaces. These measures of urban greenery were correlated with census data to identify socioeconomic factors associated with high levels of green inequity. Population density, house age, income, and race were strongly correlated with vegetation cover. However, the distribution of green spaces showed a much weaker relationship with socioeconomic factors. These results highlight the importance of different measures of access to urban greenery and suggest potential solutions to the problem of urban green inequity. Cities can use our methods to conduct targeted urban forest management to maximize urban forest benefits received by residents.
      PubDate: 2016-07-29
      DOI: 10.3390/f7080162
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 8 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 163: Functional Diversity of Small and Large Trees
           along Secondary Succession in a Tropical Dry Forest

    • Authors: Lucía Sanaphre-Villanueva, Juan Dupuy, José Andrade, Casandra Reyes-García, Horacio Paz, Paula Jackson
      First page: 163
      Abstract: Functional Diversity is considered an important driver of community assembly in environmental and successional gradients. To understand tree assembly processes in a semideciduous tropical forest, we analyzed the variation of Functional Richness (FRic), Functional Divergence (FDiv), and Functional Evenness (FEve) of small vs. large trees in relation to fallow age after slash-and-burn agriculture and topographical position (flat sites vs. hills). FRic of small trees was lower than null model predicted values across the successional gradient, and decreased unexpectedly in older successional ages. FRic of large trees was higher than null model predictions early in succession and lower in late-successional stands on hills. Dominant species were more similar (low FDiv) in early and intermediate successional stands for small trees, and on hills for large trees, suggesting that species that are best adapted to harsh conditions share similar traits. We also found evidence of competitive exclusion among similar species (high FEve) for small trees in early successional stands. Overall, our results indicate that community assembly of small trees is strongly affected by the changing biotic and abiotic conditions along the successional and topographical gradient. For large trees, hills may represent the most stressful conditions in this landscape.
      PubDate: 2016-07-30
      DOI: 10.3390/f7080163
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 8 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 164: Long-Term Forest Paired Catchment Studies:
           What Do They Tell Us That Landscape-Level Monitoring Does Not?

    • Authors: Daniel Neary
      First page: 164
      Abstract: Forested catchments throughout the world are known for producing high quality water for human use. In the 20th Century, experimental forest catchment studies played a key role in studying the processes contributing to high water quality. The hydrologic processes investigated on these paired catchments have provided the science base for examining water quality responses to natural disturbances such as wildfire, insect outbreaks, and extreme hydrologic events, and human-induced disturbances such as timber harvesting, site preparation, prescribed fires, fertilizer applications, pesticide usage, rainfall acidification, and mining. This paper compares and contrasts the paired catchment approach with landscape-level water resource monitoring to highlight the information on hydrologic processes provided by the paired catchment approach that is not provided by the broad-brush landscape monitoring.
      PubDate: 2016-07-29
      DOI: 10.3390/f7080164
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 8 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 165: Forest Stand Inventory Based on Combined
           Aerial and Terrestrial Close-Range Photogrammetry

    • Authors: Tomáš Mikita, Přemysl Janata, Peter Surový
      First page: 165
      Abstract: In this article we introduce a new method for forest management inventories especially suitable for highly-valued timber where the precise estimation of stem parameters (diameter, form, and tapper) plays the key role for market purposes. The unmanned aerial system (UAS)-based photogrammetry is combined with terrestrial photogrammetry executed by walking inside the stand and the individual tree parameters are estimated. We compare two automatic methods for processing of the point clouds and the delineation of stem circumference at breast height. The error of the diameter estimation was observed to be under 1 cm root mean square error (RMSE) and the height estimation error was 1 m. Apart from the mentioned accuracy, the main advantage of the proposed work is shorter time demand for field measurement; we could complete both inventories of 1 hectare forest stand in less than 2 h of field work.
      PubDate: 2016-07-30
      DOI: 10.3390/f7080165
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 8 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 166: Small-Scale Effect of Pine Stand Pruning on
           Snowpack Distribution in the Pyrenees Observed with a Terrestrial Laser

    • Authors: Jesús Revuelto, Juan-Ignacio López-Moreno, Cesar Azorin-Molina, Esteban Alonso-González, Alba Sanmiguel-Vallelado
      First page: 166
      Abstract: Forests in snow-dominated areas have substantial effects on the snowpack and its evolution over time. Such interactions have significant consequences for the hydrological response of mountain rivers. Thus, the impact of forest management actions on the snow distribution, and hence the storage of water in the form of snow during winter and spring, is a major concern. The results of this study provide the first detailed comparison of the small-scale effect of forest characteristics on the snowpack distribution, assessed prior to and following major modification of the structure of the canopy by pruning of the lower branches of the trees to 3 m above the ground. This is a common management practice aimed at reducing the spread of forest fires. The snowpack distribution was determined using terrestrial laser scanning (LiDAR technology) at a high spatial resolution (0.25 m) over a 1000 m2 study area during 23 survey dates over three snow seasons in a small study area in the central Pyrenees. The pruning was conducted during summer following the snow season in the second year of the study (i.e., the study duration encompassed two seasons prior to canopy pruning and one following). Principal component analysis (PCA) was used to identify recurring spatial patterns of snow distribution. The results showed that pruning reduced the average radius of the canopy of trees by 1.2 m, and increased the clearance around the trunks, as all the branches that formerly contacted the ground were removed. However, the impact on the snowpack was moderate. The PCA revealed that the spatial configuration of the snowpack did not change significantly, as the principal components included survey days from different periods of the snow season, and did not discriminate days surveyed prior to and following pruning. Nevertheless, removal of the lower branches reduced the area beneath the canopy by 36%, and led to an average increase in total snow depth of approximately 14%.
      PubDate: 2016-07-29
      DOI: 10.3390/f7080166
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 8 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 167: Towards Harmonizing Leas Litter Decomposition
           Studies Using Standard Tea Bags—A Field Study and Model Application

    • Authors: Markus Didion, Anna Repo, Jari Liski, Martin Forsius, Michael Bierbaumer, Ika Djukic
      First page: 167
      Abstract: Decomposition of plant litter is a key process for the transfer of carbon and nutrients in ecosystems. Carbon contained in the decaying biomass is released to the atmosphere as respired CO2, and may contribute to global warming. Litterbag studies have been used to improve our knowledge of the drivers of litter decomposition, but they lack comparability because litter quality is plant species-specific. The use of commercial tea bags as a standard substrate was suggested in order to harmonize studies, where green tea and rooibos represent more labile and more recalcitrant C compounds as surrogates of local litter. Here we examine the potential of the use of standardized material for improving our understanding of litter decomposition across climate regions, and to further develop pertinent models. We measured the decomposition of incubated local and standard litters over two years along an elevation gradient in the Austrian Limestone Alps. The similar response to changes in temperature and precipitation of the pairs of local and standard litter—i.e., Fagus sylvatica and green tea, and Pinus nigra and rooibos tea, respectively—suggests the suitability of the standard litters for further examining the role of environmental drivers of decomposition. Harmonized data obtained from standardized litter experiments would provide a key prerequisite for further developing simulation models for the estimation of the C balance of ecosystem litter pools.
      PubDate: 2016-08-01
      DOI: 10.3390/f7080167
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 8 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 168: Physical, Chemical, and Biological Properties
           of Soil under Decaying Wood in a Tropical Wet Forest in Puerto Rico

    • Authors: Marcela Zalamea, Grizelle González, Deborah Lodge
      First page: 168
      Abstract: Decaying wood is related to nutrient cycling through its role as either a sink or source of nutrients. However, at micro scales, what is the effect of decaying logs on the physical, chemical, and biotic characteristics of the soil underneath? We took samples from a 0 to 5 cm depth under and a 50 cm distance away from decaying logs (Dacryodes excelsa and Swietenia macrophylla) at 2 stages of decay, and measured soil temperature, total and available nutrients, and root length in a tropical wet forest. We found decaying wood affected physical, chemical, and biotic properties of the underlying soil. Soil temperature was less variable under the decaying logs than away from the logs. Soil under the decaying wood had fewer roots, and lower NO3− and Mg2+ availability than samples collected a distance of 50 cm away from the logs. Tree species and decay stage were important factors defining the effect of decaying wood on the distribution of available nutrients. Ca2+, Mg2+, and K+ levels were higher in the soil associated with the youngest logs, and were higher near S. macrophylla logs. Heavy metals were also higher in the soil located near the younger logs independent of the species; other metal ions such as Al3+ and Fe3+ were higher in the soil associated with D. excelsa and the oldest logs. These results indicate decaying wood can contribute to and generate spatial heterogeneity of soil properties.
      PubDate: 2016-08-04
      DOI: 10.3390/f7080168
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 8 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 169: Improved Multi-Sensor Satellite-Based
           Aboveground Biomass Estimation by Selecting Temporally Stable Forest
           Inventory Plots Using NDVI Time Series

    • Authors: Mikhail Urbazaev, Christian Thiel, Mirco Migliavacca, Markus Reichstein, Pedro Rodriguez-Veiga, Christiane Schmullius
      First page: 169
      Abstract: Accurate estimates of aboveground biomass (AGB) are crucial to assess terrestrial C-stocks and C-emissions as well as to develop sustainable forest management strategies. In this study we used Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) data acquired at L-band and the Landsat tree cover product together with Moderate Resolution Image Spectroradiometer (MODIS) normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) time series data to improve AGB estimations over two study areas in southern Mexico. We used Mexican National Forest Inventory (INFyS) data collected between 2005 and 2011 to calibrate AGB models as well as to validate the derived AGB products. We applied MODIS NDVI time series data analysis to exclude field plots in which abrupt changes were detected. For this, we used Breaks For Additive Seasonal and Trend analysis (BFAST). We modelled AGB using an original field dataset and BFAST-filtered data. The results show higher accuracies of AGB estimations using BFAST-filtered data than using original field data in terms of R2 and root mean square error (RMSE) for both dry and humid tropical forests of southern Mexico. The best results were found in areas with high deforestation rates where the AGB models based on the BFAST-filtered data substantially outperformed those based on original field data (R2BFAST = 0.62 vs. R2orig = 0.45; RMSEBFAST = 28.4 t/ha vs. RMSEorig = 33.8 t/ha). We conclude that the presented method shows great potential to improve AGB estimations and can be easily and automatically implemented over large areas.
      PubDate: 2016-08-04
      DOI: 10.3390/f7080169
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 8 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 170: The Place of Community Forest Management in
           the REDD+ Landscape

    • Authors: Johanne Pelletier, Nancy Gélinas, Margaret Skutsch
      First page: 170
      Abstract: Community forest management (CFM) is identified by many actors as a core strategy for reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries (REDD+). Others however see REDD+ as a danger to CFM. In response to these contrasting views, we carried out a systematic review of CFM case studies to look at CFM’s potential role in achieving forest carbon benefits and social co-benefits for forest communities. We evaluated the potential impacts of REDD+ on CFM. Our review showed that there is strong evidence of CFM’s role in reducing degradation and stabilizing forested landscapes; however, the review also showed less evidence about the role of CFM in reducing deforestation. For social benefits, we found that CFM contributes to livelihoods, but its effect on poverty reduction may be limited. Also, CFM may not deal adequately with the distribution of benefits within communities or user groups. These insights are important for CFM-based REDD+ intervention; measures should be adopted to overcome these gaps. Innovative incentive structures to existing CFM are discussed. The recognition of rights for forest communities is one first step identified in promoting CFM. We call for sound empirical impact evaluations that analyze CFM and CFM-based REDD+ interventions by looking at both biophysical and social outcomes.
      PubDate: 2016-08-04
      DOI: 10.3390/f7080170
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 8 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 171: Aftermath of Mountain Pine Beetle Outbreak in
           British Columbia: Stand Dynamics, Management Response and Ecosystem

    • Authors: Amalesh Dhar, Lael Parrott, Christopher Hawkins
      First page: 171
      Abstract: The mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae Hopkins) (MPB) has infested and killed millions of hectares of lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta var. latifolia Engelm) forests in British Columbia, Canada, over the past decade. It is now spreading out of its native range into the Canadian boreal forest, with unknown social, economic and ecological consequences. This review explores the ramifications of the MPB epidemic with respect to mid-term timber supply, forest growth, structure and composition, vegetation diversity, forest fire, climate change, and ecosystem resilience. Research confirms that, in British Columbia, all of these variables are more significantly impacted when salvage logging is used as management response to the outbreak. We conclude that appropriate management in response to MPB is essential to ensuring ecologically resilient future forests and reliable mid-term timber supplies for affected human communities. We highlight knowledge gaps and avenues for research to advance our understanding in support of sustainable post-disturbance forest management policies in British Columbia and elsewhere.
      PubDate: 2016-08-05
      DOI: 10.3390/f7080171
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 8 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 172: Baseline Mortality Analysis Reveals Legacy of
           Contrasting Land Use Practices on the Structural Sustainability of
           Endangered Moroccan and Spanish Mountain Forests

    • Authors: John Castello, Jonathan Cale, Cortney D’Angelo, Juan Linares
      First page: 172
      Abstract: Disturbances can affect forest health and are important modulating factors of tree responses to environmental changes. However, standard methods are needed to assess and elucidate the relative effects of disturbance legacies on forest health among species. Here, structural sustainability was used to evaluate and to compare the impacts of contrasting disturbances on the health of Quercus ilex, Cedrus atlantica, and Abies pinsapo forest stands in Morocco and Spain. Disturbance effects on structural sustainability were related to type, severity, and land-use history, and showed inter-regional variability. Cedrus atlantica was structurally sustainable in its core distribution in Morocco, but not at its southern and northernmost geographical range limits. Quercus ilex was structurally sustainable in Morocco. Abies pinsapo was structurally sustainable at optimal elevation sites in Morocco (Rif Mts.), but considering the whole A. pinsapo dataset including Morocco and Spain, the species is structurally unsustainable due to excessive mortality. However, at the lower elevation plots in Spain, unsustainability was due to insufficient mortality. Although some forests were structurally sustainable, none of them were deemed healthy because none met their management objectives. Results also support the key role of disturbance regimes as drivers of forest structural sustainability and adaptive capacity.
      PubDate: 2016-08-05
      DOI: 10.3390/f7080172
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 8 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 173: Forest Biomass and Net Primary Productivity in
           Southwestern China: A Meta-Analysis Focusing on Environmental Driving

    • Authors: Li Liu, Hua Yang, Yue Xu, Yin Guo, Jian Ni
      First page: 173
      Abstract: Biomass and net primary productivity (NPP) are important factors for studying terrestrial carbon storage and the carbon cycle. Using data from existing literature, this study synthesized and analyzed a comprehensive database of direct field observations of forest biomass and NPP for Southwestern China. The biomass of mature natural forests and mature planted forests range from 81.2 Mg·ha−1 to 692.6 Mg·ha−1 (mean = 288.1 Mg·ha−1) and from 76.8 Mg·ha−1 to 670.1 Mg·ha−1 (mean = 181.5 Mg·ha−1), respectively. Mature natural forests have higher biomass than mature planted ones. The NPP values of natural and planted forests range from 1.4 Mg·ha−1·year−1 to 29.6 Mg·ha−1·year−1 (mean = 13.6 Mg·ha−1·year−1) and from 0.6 Mg·ha−1·year−1 to 26.5 Mg·ha−1·year−1 (mean = 9.9 Mg·ha−1·year−1), respectively. Correlations among biomass, NPP, and environmental factors show that NPP significantly decreases with latitude and increases with mean annual temperature, mean annual precipitation, growing degree-days on a 0 °C base, and mean annual drought index, whereas biomass positively correlates with stand age and leaf area index strongly. Karst forests exhibit almost the same NPP as non-karst forests, but the former have significantly lower biomass compared to the latter. Comprehensive regional data synthesis and analysis based on direct field observations of forest biomass and NPP are important for benchmarking global and regional vegetation and carbon models, estimating regional carbon content, restoring vegetation, and mitigating climate change.
      PubDate: 2016-08-06
      DOI: 10.3390/f7080173
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 8 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 174: Major Changes in Growth Rate and Growth
           Variability of Beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) Related to Soil Alteration and
           Climate Change in Belgium

    • Authors: Nicolas Latte, Jérôme Perin, Vincent Kint, François Lebourgeois, Hugues Claessens
      First page: 174
      Abstract: Global change—particularly climate change, forest management, and atmospheric deposition—has significantly altered forest growing conditions in Europe. The influences of these changes on beech growth (Fagus sylvatica L.) were investigated for the past 80 years in Belgium, using non-linear mixed effects models on ring-width chronologies of 149 mature and dominant beech trees (87–186 years old). The effects of the developmental stage (i.e., increasing tree size) were filtered out in order to focus on time-dependent growth changes. Beech radial growth was divided into a low-frequency signal (=growth rate), mainly influenced by forest management and atmospheric deposition, and into a high-frequency variability (≈mean sensitivity), mainly influenced by climate change. Between 1930 and 2008, major long-term and time-dependent changes were highlighted. The beech growth rate has decreased by about 38% since the 1950–1960s, and growth variability has increased by about 45% since the 1970–1980s. Our results indicate that (1) before the 1980s, beech growth rate was not predominantly impacted by climate change but rather by soil alteration (i.e., soil compaction and/or nitrogen deposition); and (2) since the 1980s, climate change induced more frequent and intense yearly growth reductions that amplified the growth rate decrease. The highlighted changes were similar in the two ecoregions of Belgium, although more pronounced in the lowlands than in the uplands.
      PubDate: 2016-08-08
      DOI: 10.3390/f7080174
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 8 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 175: Optimum Vegetation Conditions for Successful
           Establishment of Planted Eastern White Pine (Pinus strobus L.)

    • Authors: Douglas Pitt, Michael Hoepting, William Parker, Andrée Morneault, Len Lanteigne, Al Stinson, James Farrell
      First page: 175
      Abstract: The 10th-growing season performance of planted eastern white pine (Pinus strobus L.) seedlings was evaluated in response to herbaceous and woody vegetation control treatments within a clearcut and two variants of the uniform shelterwood regeneration system (single vs. multiple future removal cuts). Herbaceous vegetation control involved the suppression of grasses, forbs, ferns and low shrubs for the first 2 or 4 growing seasons after planting. Deciduous woody vegetation control treatments, conducted in combination with the herbaceous treatments within a response-surface design, involved the permanent removal of all tall shrubs and deciduous trees at the time of planting, at the end of the 2nd or 5th growing seasons, or not at all. In general, the average size of planted pine was related positively to the duration of herbaceous vegetation control and negatively to delays in woody control. White pine weevil (Pissodes strobi Peck) altered these trends, reducing the height of pine on plots with little or no overtopping deciduous woody vegetation or mature tree cover. Where natural pine regeneration occurred on these plots, growth was similar but subordinate to the planted pine. Data from the three sites indicate that at least 60% of planted pine may be expected to reach an age-10 height target of 2.5 m when overtopping cover (residual overstory + regenerating deciduous) is managed at approximately 65% ± 10%, and total herbaceous cover is suppressed to levels not exceeding 50% in the first five years. On productive sites, this combination may be difficult to achieve in a clearcut, and requires fairly rigorous vegetation management in shelterwood regeneration systems. Currently, synthetic herbicides offer the only affordable and effective means of achieving such vegetation control.
      PubDate: 2016-08-13
      DOI: 10.3390/f7080175
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 8 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 176: Cellulose Dynamics during Foliar Litter
           Decomposition in an Alpine Forest Meta-Ecosystem

    • Authors: Kai Yue, Fuzhong Wu, Wanqin Yang, Chuan Zhang, Yan Peng, Bo Tan, Zhenfeng Xu, Chunping Huang
      First page: 176
      Abstract: To investigate the dynamics and relative drivers of cellulose degradation during litter decomposition, a field experiment was conducted in three individual ecosystems (i.e., forest floor, stream, and riparian zone) of an alpine forest meta-ecosystem on the eastern Tibetan Plateau. Four litter species (i.e., willow: Salix paraplesia, azalea: Rhododendron lapponicum, cypress: Sabina saltuaria, and larch: Larix mastersiana) that had varying initial litter chemical traits were placed separately in litterbags and then incubated on the soil surface of forest floor plots or in the water of the stream and riparian zone plots. Litterbags were retrieved five times each year during the two-year experiment, with nine replicates each time for each treatment. The results suggested that foliar litter lost 32.2%–89.2% of the initial dry mass depending on litter species and ecosystem type after two-year’s incubation. The cellulose lost 60.1%–96.8% of the initial mass with degradation rate in the order of stream > riparian zone > forest floor. Substantial cellulose degradation occurred at the very beginning (i.e., in the first pre-freezing period) of litter decomposition. Litter initial concentrations of phosphorus (P) and lignin were found to be the dominant chemical traits controlling cellulose degradation regardless of ecosystems type. The local-scale environmental factors such as temperature, pH, and nutrient availability were important moderators of cellulose degradation rate. Although the effects of common litter chemical traits (e.g., P and lignin concentrations) on cellulose degradation across different individual ecosystems were identified, local-scale environmental factors such as temperature and nutrient availability were found to be of great importance for cellulose degradation. These results indicated that local-scale environmental factors should be considered apart from litter quality for generating a reliable predictive framework for the drivers of cellulose degradation and further on litter decomposition at a global scale.
      PubDate: 2016-08-19
      DOI: 10.3390/f7080176
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 8 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 177: Diameter Growth, Biological Rotation Age and
           Biomass of Chinese Fir in Burning and Clearing Site Preparations in
           Subtropical China

    • Authors: Hua Zhou, Shengwang Meng, Qijing Liu
      First page: 177
      Abstract: Sustained forest management of Cunninghamia lanceolata (Chinese fir) plantations in subtropical China is restricted by the limited availability of quantitative data. This study combines inventory data and tree-ring analysis of Chinese fir from natural and plantation forests that were subjected to controlled burning or brush clearing site preparations. Inter-annual variation of Chinese fir tree-ring widths were measured for the controlled burning, brush clearing and natural forest sites. The mean annual diametric growth of Chinese fir was 0.56 cm·year−1 for the natural forest, 0.80 cm·year−1 for the brush clearing site and 1.10 cm·year−1 for the controlled burning site. The time needed to reach the minimum cutting/logging diameter of 15 cm was 14 years in the controlled burning site, 19 years in the brush clearing site and >40 years in the natural forest. The biological rotation ages for the burning, cutting and natural forest sites were 15, 26 and >100 years, respectively. The total aboveground biomasses for the burning and clearing sites were 269.8 t·ha−1 and 252 t·ha−1, respectively. These results suggest that the current 25-year cutting cycle greatly underestimates the growth rate of Chinese fir plantations.
      PubDate: 2016-08-18
      DOI: 10.3390/f7080177
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 8 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 178: Reproductive Success and Inbreeding Differ in
           Fragmented Populations of Pinus rzedowskii and Pinus ayacahuite var.
           veitchii, Two Endemic Mexican Pines under Threat

    • Authors: Paty Sánchez, Patricia Delgado Valerio, Cuauhtémoc Sáenz-Romero, Yvonne Herrerías Diego
      First page: 178
      Abstract: Seed production, quality, germination and seedling establishment are indicators of reproductive success in conifers. Monitoring of these parameters is essential to determine the viability of populations for the purposes of conservation. We analyze cone and seed traits as indicators of reproductive success in the endangered Rzedowski´s pine (Pinus rzedowskii (Madrigal et Caballero) and near-threatened veitchii pine (Pinus ayacahuite var. veitchii (Shaw)) in west-central Michoacán, Mexico. These traits were systematically quantified and their variation assessed using Generalized Linear Mixed Models (GLMMs). We found that the reproductive success of Rzedowski’s pine seems to be critical, presenting low seed efficiency (17.10%), germination (5.0%) and seedling establishment (27.7%), with high levels of inbreeding (0.79). In contrast, veitchii pine presents moderate seed efficiency (54.9%), high germination (71.5%) and seedling establishment (84%–97%) and low inbreeding (0.33). Reproductive indicators differed significantly among zones and populations for each species, where fragment sizes mainly affected seed production and efficiency. This result indicates that fragmentation has played a more important role in the reproductive success of Rzedowski’s pine than in veitchii pine, perhaps by limiting pollen flow among zones and populations and producing higher levels of inbreeding and lower seed efficiency in the former species. We propose a conservation strategy for these important pine species in order to increase their long-term genetic viability.
      PubDate: 2016-08-18
      DOI: 10.3390/f7080178
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 8 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 179: Variation in Mountain Vegetation Composition
           between the East and the West Sides of Southern Taiwan

    • Authors: Yi-Shin Chian, Ching-Long Yeh, Chih-Chiang Wang
      First page: 179
      Abstract: In this study, we classified twenty associations, 179 families, 810 genera, 1897 species, and identified 291 rare species. The vegetation units were named following floristic-sociological approach. A cocktail determination key was used to classify the following vegetation units of association. More of the west side than the east side of the study area was at a higher altitude, and the vegetation experienced significant compression. Follow the result of detrended correspondence analysis (DCA), winter rainfall and average January temperature were the main environmental factors affecting variation in vegetation distribution by elevation gradient in this area. The particular association type on the eastern side of the study area is attributable to the northeast monsoon experienced year-round in this area, which causes relatively low temperature and humidity and wind rush, as well as the compression of the elevation range in each forest. The monsoon deciduous vegetation area exists only on the west of the low altitude mountains.
      PubDate: 2016-08-18
      DOI: 10.3390/f7080179
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 8 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 180: Allometric Equations for Estimating Tree
           Aboveground Biomass in Tropical Dipterocarp Forests of Vietnam

    • Authors: Bao Huy, Krishna Poudel, Karin Kralicek, Nguyen Hung, Phung Khoa, Vu Phương, Hailemariam Temesgen
      First page: 180
      Abstract: There are few allometric equations available for dipterocarp forests, despite the fact that this forest type covers extensive areas in tropical Southeast Asia. This study aims to develop a set of equations to estimate tree aboveground biomass (AGB) in dipterocarp forests in Vietnam and to validate and compare their predictive performance with allometric equations used for dipterocarps in Indonesia and pantropical areas. Diameter at breast height (DBH), total tree height (H), and wood density (WD) were used as input variables of the nonlinear weighted least square models. Akaike information criterion (AIC) and residual plots were used to select the best models; while percent bias, root mean square percentage error, and mean absolute percent error were used to compare their performance to published models. For mixed-species, the best equation was AGB = 0.06203 × DBH 2.26430 × H 0.51415 × WD 0.79456 . When applied to a random independent validation dataset, the predicted values from the generic equations and the dipterocarp equations in Indonesia overestimated the AGB for different sites, indicating the need for region-specific equations. At the genus level, the selected equations were AGB = 0.03713 × DBH 2.73813 and AGB = 0.07483 × DBH 2.54496 for two genera, Dipterocarpus and Shorea, respectively, in Vietnam. Compared to the mixed-species equations, the genus-specific equations improved the accuracy of the AGB estimates. Additionally, the genus-specific equations showed no significant differences in predictive performance in different regions (e.g., Indonesia, Vietnam) of Southeast Asia.
      PubDate: 2016-08-22
      DOI: 10.3390/f7080180
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 8 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 181: C Stocks in Forest Floor and Mineral Soil of
           Two Mediterranean Beech Forests

    • Authors: Anna De Marco, Antonietta Fioretto, Maria Giordano, Michele Innangi, Cristina Menta, Stefania Papa, Amalia Virzo De Santo
      First page: 181
      Abstract: This study focuses on two Mediterranean beech forests located in northern and southern Italy and therefore subjected to different environmental conditions. The research goal was to understand C storage in the forest floor and mineral soil and the major determinants. Relative to the northern forest (NF), the southern forest (SF) was found to produce higher amounts of litterfall (4.3 vs. 2.5 Mg·ha−1) and to store less C in the forest floor (~8 vs. ~12 Mg·ha−1) but more C in the mineral soil (~148 vs. ~72 Mg·ha−1). Newly-shed litter of NF had lower P (0.4 vs. 0.6 mg·g−1) but higher N concentration (13 vs. 10 mg·g−1) than SF. Despite its lower Mn concentration (0.06 vs. 0.18 mg·g−1), SF litter produces a Mn-richer humus (0.32 vs. 0.16 mg·g−1) that is less stable. The data suggest that decomposition in the NF forest floor is limited by the shorter growing season (178 days vs. 238 days) and the higher N concentrations in newly shed litter and forest floor. Differences in C stock in the mineral soil reflect differences in ecosystem productivity and long-term organic-matter accumulation. The vertical gradient of soluble and microbial fractions in the soil profile of SF was consistent with a faster turnover of organic matter in the forest floor and greater C accumulation in mineral soil relative to NF. With reference to regional-scale estimates from Italian National Forest Inventory data, the C stock in the mineral soil and the basal area of Italian beech forests were found to be significantly related, whereas C stock in the forest floor and C stock in the mineral soil were not.
      PubDate: 2016-08-22
      DOI: 10.3390/f7080181
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 8 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 182: Analysis of the Mechanism Hindering
           Sustainable Forestry Operations: A Case Study of Japanese Forest

    • Authors: Yukari Fuchigami, Keishiro Hara, Michinori Uwasu, Shuji Kurimoto
      First page: 182
      Abstract: We investigated local forest management practices in Osaka, Japan aiming to clarify mechanisms that hinder long-term, sustainable forestry operation by carrying out forest surveys and interview surveys. Because mountain districts in Japan now face declining and aging populations, forestry work has shifted to forest owners’ associations, with efficient forest management being required on an ad hoc basis as a result of the subsidy system. We found that the forest management plan for the study site utilized only one-seventh of the economic value of the forest, mainly due to the local forestry structure and an inefficient subsidy system that requires efficiency. The income yielded by timber undergoing such forest management and distribution processes is too low to permit forest owners to carry out sufficient forest cultivation. To effectively utilize the wood, a subsidy system that takes a long-term view and a timber market that puts an appropriate price on wood are needed. We argue that it is important to bolster the management position of the Japanese Forest Owners’ Associations for design an institutional scheme that enables to practice forestry management from a long-term perspective.
      PubDate: 2016-08-22
      DOI: 10.3390/f7080182
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 8 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 149: Cost-Effectiveness of Fuel Removals in
           Mediterranean Wildland-Urban Interfaces Threatened by Wildfires

    • Authors: Mario Elia, Raffaella Lovreglio, Nicola Ranieri, Giovanni Sanesi, Raffaele Lafortezza
      First page: 149
      Abstract: One of the most important environmental issues in Europe is the expansion of wildland-urban interfaces (WUIs) and how this trend may affect the occurrence of wildfires. Land use changes, the abandonment of farmland, and reduced grazing has led to an increase in forested areas with an accumulation and continuity of surface fuels available for combustion. Policies based exclusively on extensive fire suppression have become ineffective in different parts of Europe. To reduce the threat of damaging and costly wildfires, European countries must develop integrated fuel management programs. This approach has proven to be one of the most cost-effective for preventing wildfires and reducing economic loss. To this end, we have conducted a cost-effectiveness analysis to estimate how much fuel must be treated to determine fuel load removals with the lowest cost per hectare of unaffected WUIs threatened by wildfires in southern Italy (Apulia region). The analysis was carried out in three stages: (i) simulation of fire behavior in different fuel load reduction and wind direction scenarios; (ii) estimation of WUIs affected by wildfires within the study landscape; and (iii) the application of a cost-effectiveness ratio. Our results highlight the need to provide a method to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of fuel removal given the increasing number and extent of WUIs in the Mediterranean landscape of Europe. Optimizing the cost-effectiveness analysis of fuel removals offers the basis for appropriately assessing wildfire prevention and budgeting financial resources. Further, this method may be readily applied toward allocating any type of intervention in landscape management.
      PubDate: 2016-07-20
      DOI: 10.3390/f7070149
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 7 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 150: Removal of PM10 by Forests as a Nature-Based
           Solution for Air Quality Improvement in the Metropolitan City of Rome

    • Authors: Federica Marando, Elisabetta Salvatori, Lina Fusaro, Fausto Manes
      First page: 150
      Abstract: Nature-based solutions have been identified by the European Union as being critical for the enhancement of environmental qualities in cities, where urban and peri-urban forests play a key role in air quality amelioration through pollutant removal. A remote sensing and geographic information system (GIS) approach was applied to the Metropolitan City (MC) of Rome to assess the seasonal particulate matter (PM10) removal capacity of evergreen (broadleaves and conifers) and deciduous species. Moreover, a monetary evaluation of PM10 removal was performed on the basis of pollution externalities calculated for Europe. Deciduous broadleaves represent the most abundant tree functional group and also yielded the highest total annual PM10 deposition values (1769 Mg). By contrast, PM10 removal efficiency (Mg·ha−1) was 15%–22% higher in evergreen than in deciduous species. To assess the different removal capacity of the three functional groups in an area with homogeneous environmental conditions, a study case was performed in a peri-urban forest protected natural reserve (Castelporziano Presidential Estate). This study case highlighted the importance of deciduous species in summer and of evergreen communities as regards the annual PM10 removal balance. The monetary evaluation indicated that the overall PM10 removal value of the MC of Rome amounted to 161.78 million Euros. Our study lends further support to the crucial role played by nature-based solutions for human well-being in urban areas.
      PubDate: 2016-07-21
      DOI: 10.3390/f7070150
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 7 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 151: Spatial Heterogeneity of Climate Change
           Effects on Dominant Height of Larch Plantations in Northern and
           Northeastern China

    • Authors: Hao Zang, Xiangdong Lei, Wu Ma, Weisheng Zeng
      First page: 151
      Abstract: Determining the response of dominant height growth to climate change is important for understanding adaption strategies. Based on 550 permanent plots from a national forest inventory and climate data across seven provinces and three climate zones, we developed a climate-sensitive dominant height growth model under a mixed-effects model framework. The mean temperature of the wettest quarter and precipitation of the wettest month were found to be statistically significant explanatory variables that markedly improved model performance. Generally, future climate change had a positive effect on stand dominant height in northern and northeastern China, but the effect showed high spatial variability linked to local climatic conditions. The range in dominant height difference between the current climate and three future BC-RCP scenarios would change from −0.61 m to 1.75 m (−6.9% to 13.5%) during the period 2041–2060 and from −1.17 m to 3.28 m (−9.1% to 41.0%) during the period 2061–2080 across provinces. The impacts of climate change on stand dominant height decreased as stand age increased. Forests in cold and warm temperate zones had a smaller decrease in dominant height, owing to climate change, compared with those in the mid temperate zone. Overall, future climate change could impact dominant height growth in northern and northeastern China. As spatial heterogeneity of climate change affects dominant height growth, locally specific mitigation measures should be considered in forest management.
      PubDate: 2016-07-22
      DOI: 10.3390/f7070151
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 7 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 210: Environmental Factors Effect on Stem Radial
           Variations of Picea crassifolia in Qilian Mountains, Northwestern China

    • Authors: Wenbin Wang, Fen Zhang, Liming Yuan, Qingtao Wang, Kai Zheng, Chuanyan Zhao
      First page: 210
      Abstract: Picea crassifolia Komarov (Qinghai spruce) is an endemic tree species in China and is widespread in the Qilian Mountains, in northwestern China. High temporal resolution changes of Qinghai spruce tree stem growth remain poorly investigated and the relationships between the species growth and climate are still not completely understood. In this study, we assessed the daily and seasonal stem radial variations, and analyzed the relationships between stem radial increment of Qinghai spruce and environmental factors during the main growing period (June–August). We have found that the stem radial variations of Qinghai spruce can be divided into three phases according to the air temperature and that Qinghai spruce has two diurnal cycle patterns. The main growing period of Qinghai spruce is 30 May–31 August according to micro-core measurements, in conformity with the daily mean air temperature keeping above 5 °C. Precipitation and relative humidity have positive effects on the growth of Qinghai spruce, and we develop a multiple linear regression model that can explain 63% of the stem radial increment over the main growing period.
      PubDate: 2016-09-23
      DOI: 10.3390/f7100210
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 10 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 211: Fire Regime along Latitudinal Gradients of
           Continuous to Discontinuous Coniferous Boreal Forests in Eastern Canada

    • Authors: Jeanne Portier, Sylvie Gauthier, Alain Leduc, Dominique Arseneault, Yves Bergeron
      First page: 211
      Abstract: Fire is the main disturbance in North American coniferous boreal forests. In Northern Quebec, Canada, where forest management is not allowed, the landscape is gradually constituted of more opened lichen woodlands. Those forests are discontinuous and show a low regeneration potential resulting from the cumulative effects of harsh climatic conditions and very short fire intervals. In a climate change context, and because the forest industry is interested in opening new territories to forest management in the north, it is crucial to better understand how and why fire risk varies from the north to the south at the transition between the discontinuous and continuous boreal forest. We used time-since-fire (TSF) data from fire archives as well as a broad field campaign in Quebec’s coniferous boreal forests along four north-south transects in order to reconstruct the fire history of the past 150 to 300 years. We performed survival analyses in each transect in order to (1) determine if climate influences the fire risk along the latitudinal gradient; (2) fractionate the transects into different fire risk zones; and (3) quantify the fire cycle—defined as the time required to burn an area equivalent to the size of the study area—of each zone and compare its estimated value with current fire activity. Results suggest that drought conditions are moderately to highly responsible for the increasing fire risk from south to north in the three westernmost transects. No climate influence was observed in the last one, possibly because of its complex physical environment. Fire cycles are shortening from south to north, and from east to west. Limits between high and low fire risk zones are consistent with the limit between discontinuous and continuous forests, established based on recent fire activity. Compared to the last 40 years, fire cycles of the last 150–300 years are shorter. Our results suggest that as drought episodes are expected to become more frequent in the future, fire activity might increase significantly, possibly leading to greater openings within forests. However, if fire activity increases and yet remains within the range of variability of the last 150–300 years, the limit between open and closed forests should stay relatively stable.
      PubDate: 2016-09-24
      DOI: 10.3390/f7100211
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 10 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 212: Governance Values in the Climate Change

    • Authors: Timothy Cadman, Tek Maraseni, Hugh Breakey, Federico López-Casero, Hwan Ma
      First page: 212
      Abstract: This paper presents the results of two national-level studies of REDD+ governance values in Nepal and Papua New Guinea (PNG), using a hierarchical framework of principles, criteria, and indicators (PC&I), with evaluation at the indicator level. The research was conducted by means of an online survey to determine general perspectives on the governance quality of REDD+, as well as stakeholder workshops, in which participants were asked to rank indicators on the basis of perceived national significance. In the online survey, respondents in both countries identified inclusiveness and resources as the highest and lowest scoring governance values, while inclusiveness, resources, accountability, and transparency, were given priority, although their relative importance differed between countries given national circumstances. The reasons for the commonalities and differences of perceptions between these countries are discussed. The findings suggest that while a generic set of governance values may be usefully applied for determining the institutional legitimacy of REDD+, their relative importance is different. This leads to the conclusion that it may not be appropriate to use a simplified approach to REDD+ governance, focusing for example on safeguards, given different national priorities and contexts.
      PubDate: 2016-09-23
      DOI: 10.3390/f7100212
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 10 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 213: The Alleviation of Nutrient Deficiency
           Symptoms in Changbai Larch (Larix olgensis) Seedlings by the Application
           of Exogenous Organic Acids

    • Authors: Jinfeng Song, Daniel Markewitz, Yong Liu, Xingping Liu, Xiaoyang Cui
      First page: 213
      Abstract: Exogenous organic acids are beneficial in protecting plants from the stress of heavy metal toxins (e.g., Pb) in soils. This work focuses on the potential role of organic acids in protecting Changbai larch (Larix olgensis) seedlings from the stress of growing in nutrient deficient soil. The seedlings were planted in a nutrient rich or deficient soil (A1 horizon of a Haplic Cambisol without organic acid as the nutrient rich control, or fully-mixed A1 + B horizons in a proportion of 1:2 as deficient) in pots in a greenhouse. In A1 + B horizons the seedlings were treated daily with concentrations of oxalic or citric acid (OA or CA) at a rate approximately equivalent to 0, 0.04, 0.2, 1.0, or 2.0 mmol·kg−1 of soil for 10, 20, and 30 days. Nutrient deficiency stressed the seedlings as indicated by lipid peroxidation and malondialdehyde (MDA) content in leaves significantly increasing, and superoxide dismutase (SOD) activities, proline, photosynthetic pigment contents, and chlorophyll fluorescence (Fv/Fm) decreasing. The stress increased in controls over the application periods. When nutrient deficient plants were exposed to an organic acid (especially 5.0 or 10.0 mmol·L−1 for 20 days), the stress as indicated by the physiological parameters was reversed, and survival rate of seedlings, and biomass of root, stem, and leaf significantly increased; CA was more effective than OA. The results demonstrate that exogenous organic acids alleviate nutrient deficiency-induced oxidative injuries and improve the tolerance of L. olgensis seedlings to nutrient deficiency.
      PubDate: 2016-09-26
      DOI: 10.3390/f7100213
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 10 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 214: Loblolly Pine Productivity and Water Relations
           in Response to Throughfall Reduction and Fertilizer Application on a
           Poorly Drained Site in Northern Florida

    • Authors: Maxwell Wightman, Timothy Martin, Carlos Gonzalez-Benecke, Eric Jokela, Wendell Cropper, Eric Ward
      First page: 214
      Abstract: Loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.) forests are of great ecological and economic value in the southeastern United States, where nutrient availability frequently limits productivity. The impact of fertilizer application on the growth and water relations of loblolly pine has been investigated by numerous studies; however, few field experiments have examined the effects of drought. Drought is of particular interest due to the potential for climate change to alter soil water availability. In this study, we investigated the impact of fertilizer application and a 30% reduction in throughfall on loblolly pine productivity, transpiration, hydraulic conductance, and stomatal conductance. The study was installed in a ten-year-old loblolly pine plantation on a somewhat poorly drained site in northern Florida. Throughfall reduction did not impact tree productivity or water relations of the trees. This lack of response was attributed to abundant rainfall and the ability of trees to access the shallow water table at this site. Fertilizer application increased basal area production by 20% and maximum leaf area index by 0.5 m2∙m−2, but it did not affect whole-tree hydraulic conductance or the sensitivity of stomatal conductance to vapor pressure deficit. During the spring, when leaf area and vapor pressure deficit were high, the fertilizer-only treatment increased monthly transpiration by 17% when compared to the control. This relationship, however, was not significant during the rest of the year.
      PubDate: 2016-09-26
      DOI: 10.3390/f7100214
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 10 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 215: Effects of Temporal and Interspecific
           Variation of Specific Leaf Area on Leaf Area Index Estimation of Temperate
           Broadleaved Forests in Korea

    • Authors: Boram Kwon, Hyun Kim, Jihyeon Jeon, Myong Yi
      First page: 215
      Abstract: This study investigated the effects of interspecific and temporal variation of specific leaf area (SLA, cm2·g−1) on leaf area index (LAI) estimation for three deciduous broadleaved forests (Gwangneung (GN), Taehwa (TH), and Gariwang (GRW)) in Korea with varying ages and composition of tree species. In fall of 2014, fallen leaves were periodically collected using litter traps and classified by species. LAI was estimated by obtaining SLAs using four calculation methods (A: including both interspecific and temporal variation in SLA; B: species specific mean SLA; C: period-specific mean SLA; and D: overall mean), then multiplying the SLAs by the amount of leaves. SLA varied across different species in all plots, and SLAs of upper canopy species were less than those of lower canopy species. The LAIs calculated using method A, the reference method, were GN 6.09, TH 5.42, and GRW 4.33. LAIs calculated using method B showed a difference of up to 3% from the LAI of method A, but LAIs calculated using methods C and D were overestimated. Therefore, species specific SLA must be considered for precise LAI estimation for broadleaved forests that include multiple species.
      PubDate: 2016-09-28
      DOI: 10.3390/f7100215
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 10 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 216: Spatial Heterogeneity in Tree Diversity and
           Forest Structure of Evergreen Broadleaf Forests in Southern China along an
           Altitudinal Gradient

    • Authors: Wei Cui, Xiao-Xian Zheng
      First page: 216
      Abstract: We studied the influence of altitude on the spatial heterogeneity of tree diversity and forest structure in a subtropical evergreen broadleaf forest in southern China. Significant positive correlation was found between tree species diversity, basal area and altitude, but negative correlation between slenderness of trunks and altitude. According to topography, tree species diversity, diameter at breast height, height and basal area increased from ridges to valleys, while slenderness and stem density did not differ significantly with topography. Redundancy analysis (RDA) was employed to clarify relationships between tree species diversity and environmental factors (topography and soil water holding capacity). Topography and water conditions jointly explained 57.8% of the diversity variation. Tree species diversity was significantly correlated with altitude, slope and bulk density (Monte Carlo permutation test with 999 permutations, p < 0.05). A positive relationship existed between altitude, soil non-capillary porosity and diversity, while slope, aspect and soil water content were the opposite. Our results show that soil water holding capacity has a positive effect on maintaining species diversity. When comparing with topographic factors—the main driving forces affecting the pattern of tree species diversity—the effect of soil water holding capacity was weak.
      PubDate: 2016-09-30
      DOI: 10.3390/f7100216
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 10 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 217: Forest Management Influences Aboveground
           Carbon and Tree Species Diversity in Myanmar’s Mixed Deciduous Forests

    • Authors: Kyaw Sein Win Tun, Julian Di Stefano, Liubov Volkova
      First page: 217
      Abstract: Declines in the global extent and condition of tropical forests have reduced carbon storage potential and caused biodiversity loss. However, the magnitude of these problems within individual countries may depend on the extent of the reserved forest estate, and the particular rules put in place to manage resource use in these areas. To test this hypothesis, aboveground carbon stocks and indices of tree diversity were derived for two reserved (highly regulated) sites and a protected public (less regulated) site in the mixed deciduous forests of Myanmar. Aboveground tree carbon stocks were around three times higher in the reserved forests than in the public forest, a difference driven by the near absence of trees >40 cm DBH at the public forest site. The species composition of large (≥20 cm DBH) trees differed substantially between all three sites. In contrast, the species composition of small (<20 cm DBH) trees differed between the reserved and public forest in the case of one reserved site but not the other. Both species richness and diversity of large (≥20 cm DBH) trees was about five times higher in the reserved forest than in the public forest. This was not the case for small (<20 cm DBH) trees, where estimates of both richness and diversity were similar at all three sites. These findings suggest that both carbon storage potential and large-tree diversity are influenced by forest protection status. This has important implications for national carbon storage estimates as forest protection status is not currently considered as part of the standard carbon accounting procedure.
      PubDate: 2016-09-29
      DOI: 10.3390/f7100217
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 10 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 218: Has China’s Natural Forest Protection
           Program Protected Forests?—Heilongjiang’s Experience

    • Authors: Miaoying Shi, Jiaguo Qi, Runsheng Yin
      First page: 218
      Abstract: Since the late 1990s, China has been implementing one of the largest ecological restoration initiatives in not only the country but also the world—the Natural Forest Protection Program (NFPP). An overarching question is how severe the regional deforestation had become before the NFPP was initiated and whether the forest condition in the protected area has significantly improved afterwards. The goal of this study was to assess the land use and land cover changes (LULCC) and the interplays between different land uses in northeast China from the late 1970s to 2013. Classification results were validated through accuracy assessments using the rule-based rationality evaluation scheme and the spatially balanced sampling method. It was found that the regional forestland suffered significant and persistent decline, about 20.4% loss, before 2000 when the NFPP was launched; thereafter, however, the forestland became gradually stabilized and reforestation became more prevalent. Further examination based on extended conversion matrixes revealed that the largest proportional decline came from wetland, instead of forestland, due to farmland encroachment.
      PubDate: 2016-09-29
      DOI: 10.3390/f7100218
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 10 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 219: Fire Regime in Marginal Jack Pine Populations
           at Their Southern Limit of Distribution, Riding Mountain National Park,
           Central Canada

    • Authors: Jacques Tardif, Stephen Cornelsen, France Conciatori, Eben Hodgin, Marlow Pellatt
      First page: 219
      Abstract: In central Canada, long fire history reconstructions are rare. In a context where both anthropogenic and climate influences on fire regime have changed, Parks Canada has a mandate to maintain ecological integrity. Here we present a fire history derived from fire-scarred jack pine (Pinus banksiana Lamb.) trees growing at their southern distribution limit in Riding Mountain National Park (RMNP). In Lake Katherine Fire Management Unit (LKFMU), a subregion within the park, fire history was reconstructed from archival records, tree-ring records, and charcoal in lake sediment. From about 1450 to 1850 common era (CE) the fire return intervals varied from 37 to 125 years, according to models. During the period 1864–1930 the study area burned frequently (Weibull Mean Fire Intervals between 2.66 and 5.62 years); this period coincided with the end of First Nations occupation and the start of European settlement. Major recruitment pulses were associated with the stand-replacing 1864 and 1894 fires. This period nevertheless corresponded to a reduction in charcoal accumulation. The current fire-free period in LKFMU (1930–today) coincides with RMNP establishment, exclusion of First Nations land use and increased fire suppression. Charcoal accumulation further decreased during this period. In the absence of fire, jack pine exclusion in LKFMU is foreseeable and the use of prescribed burning is advocated to conserve this protected jack pine ecosystem, at the southern margins of its range, and in the face of potential climate change.
      PubDate: 2016-09-30
      DOI: 10.3390/f7100219
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 10 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 220: Using Spatial Optimization to Create Dynamic
           Harvest Blocks from LiDAR-Based Small Interpretation Units

    • Authors: Adrián Pascual, Timo Pukkala, Francisco Rodríguez, Sergio de-Miguel
      First page: 220
      Abstract: Spatial and temporal differences in forest features occur on different scales as forest ecosystems evolve. Due to the increased capacity of remote sensing methods to detect these differences, forest planning may now consider forest compartments as transient units which may change in time and depend on the management objectives. This study presents a methodology for implementing these transient units, referred to as dynamic treatment units (DTU). LiDAR (Light Detecting and Ranging) data and field sample plots were used to estimate forest stand characteristics for 500-m2 pixels and compartments, and a set of models was developed to enable growth simulations. The DTUs were obtained by maximizing a utility function which aimed at maximizing the aggregation of harvest areas and the ending growing stock volume with even-flow cutting targets for three 10-year periods. Remote sensing techniques, modeling, simulation, and spatial optimization were combined with the aim of having an efficient methodology for assigning cutting treatments to forest stands and delineating compact harvest blocks. Pixel-based planning led to more accurate estimation of stand characteristics and more homogeneity inside the delineated harvest blocks while the compartment-based planning resulted in larger and higher area/perimeter ratio.
      PubDate: 2016-09-30
      DOI: 10.3390/f7100220
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 10 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 221: Soil CO2 Efflux and Root Productivity in a
           Switchgrass and Loblolly Pine Intercropping System

    • Authors: Paliza Shrestha, John Seiler, Brian Strahm, Eric Sucre, Zakiya Leggett
      First page: 221
      Abstract: Switchgrass intercropped with loblolly pine plantations can provide valuable feedstock for bioenergy production while providing ancillary benefits like controlling competing vegetation and enhancing soil C. Better understanding of the impact of intercropping on pine and switchgrass productivity is required for evaluating the long-term sustainability of this agroforestry system, along with the impacts on soil C dynamics (soil CO2 efflux; RS). RS is the result of root respiration (RA) and heterotrophic respiration (RH), which are used to estimate net C ecosystem exchange. We measured RS in intercropped and monoculture stands of loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.) and switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.). The root exclusion core technique was used to estimate RA and RH. The results showed pure switchgrass had significantly higher RS rates (July, August and September), root biomass and length relative to intercropped switchgrass, while there were no significant changes in RS and roots between intercropped and monoculture loblolly pine stands. A significant decrease in switchgrass root productivity in the intercropped stands versus monoculture stands could account for differences in the observed RS. The proportions of RS attributed to RA in the intercropped stand were 31% and 22% in the summer and fall respectively, indicating that the majority of the RS was heterotrophic-driven. Ancillary benefits provided by planting switchgrass between unutilized pine rows can be considered unless the goal is to increase switchgrass production.
      PubDate: 2016-09-30
      DOI: 10.3390/f7100221
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 10 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 222: Effects of Topographical and Edaphic Factors
           on Tree Community Structure and Diversity of Subtropical Mountain Forests
           in the Lower Lancang River Basin

    • Authors: Changshun Zhang, Xiaoying Li, Long Chen, Gaodi Xie, Chunlan Liu, Sha Pei
      First page: 222
      Abstract: We investigated community structure and tree species diversity of six subtropical mountain forests in relation to 11 topographical and edaphic factors in Lower Lancang River Basin, Yunnan Province, China, based on a census of all trees with diameter at breast height ≥5 cm in 45 0.06-ha plots. The forests were as follows: a river valley monsoon forest, semi-humid evergreen broad-leaved forest, monsoon evergreen broad-leaved forest, mid-mountain humid evergreen broad-leaved forest, summit mossy dwarf forest, and warm needle-leaved forest. Owing to the variation in microenvironment, forest structure (tree density, mean height, mean diameter at breast height, mean basal area at breast height) and tree diversity indices (the number of species, Margalef richness, Shannon-Wiener diversity, Simpson’s index, and Pielou’s evenness) differed significantly among forest types but did not differ among sites. We recorded a total of 5155 canopy trees belonging to 204 tree species, 104 genera, and 50 families at three sites, and the co-occurrence of tree species between adjacent communities was higher. A clear forest community distribution along an altitudinal gradient suggested that elevation was important in tree species distribution. Ordination identified elevation, slope degree, slope position, soil pH, organic matter, total nitrogen, and available nitrogen as significant explanatory variables of tree species distribution and showed that elevation was more important than the rest of the environmental variables in affecting local woody plant distribution. Understanding relationships between tree species distribution and environmental factors in subtropical mountain forests of the Lower Lancang River Basin would enable us to apply these findings to forest management and vegetation restoration.
      PubDate: 2016-10-01
      DOI: 10.3390/f7100222
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 10 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 223: Simulating the Potential Effects of a Changing
           Climate on Black Spruce and Jack Pine Plantation Productivity by Site
           Quality and Locale through Model Adaptation

    • Authors: Peter Newton
      First page: 223
      Abstract: Modifying the stand dynamic functional determinates of structural stand density management models (SSDMMs) through the incorporation of site-specific biophysical height-age equations enabled the simulation of the effects of increasing mean temperature and precipitation during the growing season on black spruce (Picea mariana (Mill.) BSP) and jack pine (Pinus banksiana Lamb.) plantation productivity. The analytical approach consisted of calculating future values of growing season mean temperature and precipitation rates under three emissions scenarios (no change (NC); B1; and A2), spanning three continuous commitment periods (2011–2040; 2041–2070; and 2071–2100), for three geographically separated sites throughout the central portion of the Canadian Boreal Forest Region (north-eastern (Kirkland Lake); north-central (Thunder Bay); and north-western (Dryden) Ontario, Canada), using the Canadian Coupled Global Climate Model (CGCM3) in conjunction with a geographic-referencing climatic surface model. These estimates were entered into the embedded biophysical equations in the SSDMMs in order to forecast emission-scenario-specific developmental patterns of plantations managed under a conventional density management regime by species and site quality (poor-to-medium and good-to-excellent) at each locale; from which stand development rates and associated productivity metrics over 75 year-long rotations were estimated and compared (e.g., mean sizes, volumetric, biomass and carbon yields, end-products, economic worth, stand stability, wood quality indices, and operability status). Simulation results indicated that black spruce plantations situated on both site qualities at the north-western location and on the lower site quality at the north-eastern location were negatively affected from the predicted increased warming and rainfall as evidenced from consequential declines in stand development rates and resultant decreases in rotational mean sizes, biomass yields, recoverable end-product volumes, and economic worth (A2 > B1). Conversely, black spruce plantations situated on both site qualities at the north-central location and on the higher site quality at the north-eastern location were minimally and positively affected under the A2 and B1 scenarios, respectively. Jack pine plantations situated on both site qualities at all three locations were negatively affected as evidentby the reductions in stand development rates and rotational mean sizes, biomass yields, recoverable end-product volumes, and economic worth (A2 > B1). Collectively, these response patterns suggest that stand-level productivity under a changing climate will vary by species, site quality, geographic locale, and emission scenario, potentially resulting in a landscape-level mosaic of both negative and positive productivity impacts in the case of black spruce, and mostly negative impacts in the case of jack pine. As demonstrated, modelling stand-level responses to projected increases in thermal and moisture regimesthrough the modification of existing stand-level forecasting models, and accounting for divergent effects due to species, site quality, and geographic locale differences, is a viable and efficient alternative approach for projecting productivity outcomes arising from anthropogenic-induced changes in growing conditions.
      PubDate: 2016-10-02
      DOI: 10.3390/f7100223
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 10 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 224: Fire Regimes of Remnant Pitch Pine Communities
           in the Ridge and Valley Region of Central Pennsylvania, USA

    • Authors: Joseph Marschall, Michael Stambaugh, Benjamin Jones, Richard Guyette, Patrick Brose, Daniel Dey
      First page: 224
      Abstract: Many fire-adapted ecosystems in the northeastern U.S. are converting to fire-intolerant vegetation communities due to fire suppression in the 20th century. Prescribed fire and other vegetation management activities that increase resilience and resistance to global changes are increasingly being implemented, particularly on public lands. For many fire-dependent communities, there is little quantitative data describing historical fire regime attributes such as frequency, severity, and seasonality, or how these varied through time. Where available, fire-scarred live and remnant trees, including stumps and snags, offer valuable insights into historical fire regimes through tree-ring and fire-scar analyses. In this study, we dated fire scars from 66 trees at two sites in the Ridge and Valley Province of the Appalachian Mountains in central Pennsylvania, and described fire frequency, severity, and seasonality from the mid-17th century to 2013. Fires were historically frequent, of low to moderate severity, occurred mostly during the dormant season, and were influenced by aspect and topography. The current extended fire-free interval is unprecedented in the previous 250–300 years at both sites.
      PubDate: 2016-10-02
      DOI: 10.3390/f7100224
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 10 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 225: Overstory Tree Mortality in Ponderosa Pine and
           Spruce-Fir Ecosystems Following a Drought in Northern New Mexico

    • Authors: Brian Oswald, Sean Dugan, Randy Balice, Daniel Unger
      First page: 225
      Abstract: Drought-caused tree dieback is an issue around the world as climates change and many areas become dryer and hotter. A drought from 1998–2004 resulted in a significant tree dieback event in many of the wooded areas in portions of the Jemez Mountains and the adjacent Pajarito Plateau in northern New Mexico. The objectives of this study were to evaluate and quantify the differences in tree mortality before and after a recent drought in ponderosa pine and spruce-fir ecosystems, and to assess the effect of mechanical thinning on ponderosa pine mortality. Significant increases in mortality were observed in the unthinned ponderosa pine ecosystem. Mortality varied significantly between species and within size classes. Mechanical thinning of ponderosa pines reduced overstory mortality to non-significant levels. A lack of rainfall, snowfall, and increases in daily minimum temperature contributed most to the mortality. Adaptive management, including the use of thinning activities, appear to moderate the impact of climate change on ponderosa pine forests in this region, increasing the long-term health of the ecosystem. The impact of climate change on the spruce-fir ecosystems may accelerate successional changes.
      PubDate: 2016-10-02
      DOI: 10.3390/f7100225
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 10 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 226: Assessment of Red-Edge Position Extraction
           Techniques: A Case Study for Norway Spruce Forests Using HyMap and
           Simulated Sentinel-2 Data

    • Authors: Asa Gholizadeh, Jan Mišurec, Veronika Kopačková, Christian Mielke, Christian Rogass
      First page: 226
      Abstract: Systematic quantification and monitoring of forest biophysical and biochemical variables is required to assess the response of ecosystems to climate change and gain a deeper understanding of the carbon cycle. Red-Edge Position (REP) is a hyperspectrally detectable parameter, which is sensitive to Chlorophyll (Chl) content. In the current study, REP was modelled for Norway spruce Forest canopy Reflectance and Transmittance (FRT) using Radiative Transfer Modelling (RTM) (resampled to HyMap and Sentinel-2 spectral resolution) as well as calculated from the real HyMap and simulated Sentinel-2 image data. Different REP extraction methods (PF, LE, 4PLI and its optimized versions for HyMap and Sentinel-2 spectral resolution) were assessed. The lowest differences in REP values calculated from image-extracted spectra and from the theoretical RTM simulations were found for the 4PLI method including its HyMap and Sentinel-2 optimized versions (4PLIH and 4PLIS). Despite its simplicity, the 4PLI REP extraction technique demonstrated its potential usefulness for estimating canopy chlorophyll (Chl × LAI) content using both airborne hyperspectral (HyMap) data as well as space-borne Sentinel-2 image data.
      PubDate: 2016-10-09
      DOI: 10.3390/f7100226
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 10 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 227: Sapflow-Based Stand Transpiration in a
           Semiarid Natural Oak Forest on China’s Loess Plateau

    • Authors: Mei-Jie Yan, Jian-Guo Zhang, Qiu-Yue He, Wei-Yu Shi, Kyoichi Otsuki, Norikazu Yamanaka, Sheng Du
      First page: 227
      Abstract: The semi-arid region of China’s Loess Plateau is characterized by fragile ecosystems and a shortage of water resources. The major natural forest type in this region is the secondary forest with the flora dominated by the Liaodong oak (Quercus liaotungensis Koidz.). To understand its transpiration water use in relation to environmental factors, we applied Granier-type thermal dissipation probes to monitor stem sap flows of 21 sample trees, representing different classes of diameter at breast height in a permanent plot. The stem- and stand-scale transpiration values during the 2008–2010 growing seasons were estimated using measurements of sap flux densities and corresponding sapwood areas. The dominant factors affecting stand-scale transpiration varied with time scales. Daily stand transpiration correlated with daily solar radiation and daytime average vapor pressure deficit. Seasonal and interannual changes in stand transpiration were closely related to leaf area index (LAI) values. No obvious relationship was observed between monthly stand transpiration and soil moisture or precipitation during the period, probably as a result of both the hysteretic effect of precipitation on transpiration, and changes in LAI throughout the growing season. Stand transpiration during the three growing seasons ranged from 75 to 106 mm, representing low to normal values for the semi-arid forest. The proportion of transpiration by oak trees in the stand was stable ranging from 60% to 66% and corresponded to their basal area proportion of approximately 59%. The results suggest that the natural forest consisting mainly of oak trees is in a formal stage of forest development that maintains a normal magnitude of annual water consumption.
      PubDate: 2016-10-09
      DOI: 10.3390/f7100227
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 10 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 228: Partitioning Tree Species Diversity and
           Developmental Changes in Habitat Associations in a Subtropical Evergreen
           Broadleaf Secondary Forest in Southern China

    • Authors: Wei Cui, Xiao-Xian Zheng
      First page: 228
      Abstract: The classical environmental control model assumes that species diversity is primarily determined by environmental conditions (e.g., microclimate and soil) on the local scale. This assumption has been challenged by the neutral theory that assumes that the maintenance of biodiversity mainly depends on the ecological drift and dispersal limitation. Understanding the mechanisms that maintain biodiversity depends on decomposing the variation of species diversity into the contributions from the various components that affect it. We investigated and partitioned the effects of the biotic component (productivity, forest spatial structure) and the environmental component (topography and soil fertility) on the distribution of tree species richness jointly (the combined effect of environment and biotic process) and separately (the effect of environment or biotic process alone) in 25 permanent plots of 600 m2 in a subtropical evergreen broadleaf secondary forest in southern China. The analysis was also completed for trees at different growth stages based on diameter breast height (young trees: 5 cm ≤ DBH < 10 cm, mature trees: 10 cm < DBH ≤ 20 cm, old trees: DBH > 20 cm) within each plot. Our results indicated that (1) tree species richness had significant negative relationship with productivity and a unimodal relationship with its spatially structured distribution; (2) biotic and environmental factors both have significant influence on species richness and jointly explain ~60% of the variation for the overall tree assemblage, and the variation explained by the two components jointly increased across growth stages (34%, 44%, and 75%, respectively); (3) additive variation partitioning revealed that the tree species richness was dominantly controlled by environmental factors (32%), while the biotic component also independently contributed a non-negligible effect (16%); and (4) the dominant fraction changed from the biotic component to the environmental component across growth stages. Results suggest that the tree species richness may be governed from neutral process to environmental control during tree life span in subtropical evergreen broadleaf secondary forests.
      PubDate: 2016-10-14
      DOI: 10.3390/f7100228
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 10 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 229: Operational Research Techniques Used for
           Addressing Biodiversity Objectives into Forest Management: An Overview

    • Authors: Marta Ezquerro, Marta Pardos, Luis Diaz-Balteiro
      First page: 229
      Abstract: The integration of biodiversity into forest management has traditionally been a challenge for many researchers and practitioners. In this paper, we have provided a survey of forest management papers that use different Operations Research (OR) methods in order to integrate biodiversity objectives into their planning models. One hundred and seventy-nine references appearing in the ISI Web of Science database in the last 30 years have been categorized and evaluated according to different attributes like model components, forest management elements, or biodiversity issues. The results show that many OR methods have been applied to deal with this challenging objective. Thus, up to 18 OR techniques, divided into four large groups, which have been employed in four or more articles, have been identified. However, it has been observed how the evolution of these papers in time apparently tended to increase only until 2008. Finally, two clear trends in this set of papers should be highlighted: the incorporation of spatial analysis tools into these operational research models and, second, the setting up of hybrid models, which combine different techniques to solve this type of problem.
      PubDate: 2016-10-12
      DOI: 10.3390/f7100229
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 10 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 230: Three-Year Study on Diurnal and Seasonal CO2
           Sequestration of a Young Fraxinus griffithii Plantation in Southern Taiwan

    • Authors: Chung-I Chen, Ya-Nan Wang, Hsueh-Wen Lih, Jui-Chu Yu
      First page: 230
      Abstract: This study examined monthly carbon sequestration of the Himalayan ash (Fraxinus griffithii C. B. Clarke), an important plantation species in Taiwan. From January 2010 to December 2012, data were collected from an F. griffithii plantation in southern Taiwan, which experiences a typical Southeast Asia monsoon climate. To estimate CO2 sequestration rate, we conducted diurnal measurements of photosynthetic rates and seasonal measurements of photosynthetic light response curves. We also calculated leaf area index to estimate the total leaf area of individual trees. The diurnal variation in photosynthetic rate, stomatal conductance, and transpiration exhibited seasonal and annual differences. The range of net CO2 assimilation rates was 1.34–8.68 µmol·m−2·s−1 in 2010, 1.02–6.60 µmol·m−2·s−1 in 2011, and 1.13–4.45 µmol·m−2·s−1 in 2012. A single F. griffithii tree sequestrated 12.21 kg·year−1 CO2 on average. Annual CO2 sequestration occurred primarily during the summer for all years, averaging 14.89 Mg·ha−1·year−1 for three years. Correlation analyses between various environmental variables and CO2 sequestration rates indicated that air temperature and soil water content were likely the main factors influencing carbon sequestration of F. griffithii at this study site.
      PubDate: 2016-10-14
      DOI: 10.3390/f7100230
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 10 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 231: Long-Term (13 Years) Decomposition Rates of
           Forest Floor Organic Matter on Paired Coniferous and Deciduous Watersheds
           with Contrasting Temperature Regimes

    • Authors: Robert Qualls
      First page: 231
      Abstract: Two sets of paired watersheds on north and South facing slopes were utilized to simulate the effects of temperature differences that are on the scale of those expected with near-term climatic warming on decomposition. Two watersheds were pine plantations (Pinus strobus L.) and two were mature deciduous forests established at similar elevation ranges and precipitation at the Coweeta Hydrologic Laboratory, but they differed in slope aspect (north vs. South facing), solar radiation, and litter temperature by about 2.0 °C. Nylon netting was placed on plots each year for 13 years and litterfall was measured. This time span in which decomposition rate was measured encompassed the time until less than 8% of the initial C remained. Decomposition rates of foliar litter were significantly faster on the slightly warmer watersheds, in both the coniferous and deciduous forests (Analysis of Variance). The turnover rate (year−1) was 0.359 (±0.006) for the South facing vs. 0.295 (±0.011) for the North facing coniferous watersheds, and 0.328 (±0.011) vs. 0.297 (±0.012) for the corresponding deciduous watersheds. Turnover rates of pine vs. deciduous broadleaf litter over 13 years were not significantly different because of the high proportion of relatively refractory Quercus spp. in the deciduous litterfall and because of a trend towards convergence of the rates after two years. After a greater decomposition rate in the first year or two, years 2–13 fit a negative exponential curve well (a timespan not well represented in literature) and there was only a small accumulation of humus older than 13 years. The fate of C in litterfall in the South facing deciduous forest was as follows: 14.3% was lost as leaching of dissolved organic C, 2.2% was lost as downward fine particulate matter flux from the bottom of the forest floor, 78.2% was mineralized (by mass balance), leaving only 5.4% of foliar litter after 13 years of decomposition. In these soils with a mor type O horizon, there was evidence that translocation of DOC and in-situ root production must be more important sources of mineral soil organic matter than downward migration of particulate humus.
      PubDate: 2016-10-12
      DOI: 10.3390/f7100231
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 10 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 232: Spatial Heterogeneity in Chinese Forest Area
           Change in the Early 21st Century

    • Authors: Jiayue Wang, Liangjie Xin, Minghong Tan, Yahui Wang
      First page: 232
      Abstract: A comprehensive set of 30-m resolution land coverage data of 2000 and 2010 was used for an analysis of the spatial heterogeneity of forest area change in early 21st century China. Four regression models were built to determine the current situation of the ‘forest transition’ in China. The results show that forest area in China has grown rapidly over this period such that total forest area has increased by 102,500 km2 and forest cover has increased by 1.06%. Our results demonstrate the presence of a ‘U-shaped’ relationship, the so-called ‘forest transition’, between forest area change and per capita gross domestic product (GDP). We estimate that the inflection point in the Chinese ‘forest transition’ will be at a per capita GDP of 50,522 yuan. In the future, regions with lower elevations, or slope, should be the focus of attention because of dramatic recent forest changes. In particular, forest areas in the regions of the Xiaoxing’anling-Changbaishan Mountains and in South China have markedly decreased, and these are areas of concern. In the meantime, the government needs to strengthen the management of large-scale interconversions between forest and grassland.
      PubDate: 2016-10-12
      DOI: 10.3390/f7100232
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 10 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 233: Comparative Study of Local and National Media
           Reporting: Conflict around the TV Oak in Stockholm, Sweden

    • Authors: Johan Östberg, Daniela Kleinschmit
      First page: 233
      Abstract: The TV oak (Television Oak) conflict concerned felling an old tree in a wealthy area of Stockholm. The case received great public attention in different media formats with different scopes (e.g., newspapers, television, internet). The TV Oak issue involved actors with different, partly conflicting perceptions. Assuming that the relevance of urban tree management issues in particular leads to increased interest among the local audience, this paper compared differences in reporting on the TV Oak case in local and national newspapers. The comparison comprised the actors “speaking” in the newspapers, the interest roles attributed to different actors and the frames used. The empirical materials used were articles concerning the TV Oak published between October 2011 and June 2012 in one local and two national Swedish newspapers. Quantitative analysis of statements in these articles showed that the geographical scope of the newspaper was not the major driving force framing the TV Oak conflict and that variety of framings, ranging from a humanised perception of the oak to a more analytical hazard perception, were used. Differences between the interest roles allocated to different actors (e.g., in terms of victim, causer, and helper in the oak conflict) showed that the framing of conflicts very much depended on single actors, in particular a high profile journalist in the national newspapers and private individuals writing letters to the editor in the local newspaper.
      PubDate: 2016-10-13
      DOI: 10.3390/f7100233
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 10 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 234: Early Stage Fine-Root Decomposition and Its
           Relationship with Root Order and Soil Depth in a Larix gmelinii Plantation

    • Authors: Tao Sun, Lili Dong, Lili Zhang, Zhijie Wu, Qingkui Wang, Yuanyuan Li, Hongguang Zhang, Zhengwen Wang
      First page: 234
      Abstract: Characterization of decomposition dynamics of fine roots is essential for understanding vegetation–soil feedbacks and predicting ecosystem responses to future climate scenarios, given their more rapid turnover rates. Using a branch-order classification, we separated the fine root systems of Larix gmelinii into two classes: first- and second-order roots combined into one (lower-order); third- and fourth-order roots combined into another (higher-order). In a field experiment, we conducted a litterbag study to investigate fine root decomposition and its relationship with root order class and soil depth over 17 months. Despite their lower C:N ratio and smaller diameter, lower-order roots decomposed more slowly compared with higher-order roots over this period. This pattern also seems to hold true at each different depths (10, 20 and 30 cm) in the soil profile. Our data suggest that the slow decomposition rate of lower-order roots may result from their poor carbon quality. Moreover, we found that the decomposition rates of both lower-order and higher-order roots decreased linearly from 10 cm to 30 cm, which implied that a substantially larger fraction of fine root mass would be stabilized as soil organic carbon in the deeper rather than the upper soil layers.
      PubDate: 2016-10-13
      DOI: 10.3390/f7100234
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 10 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 235: Climatic Sensitivity of a Mixed Forest
           Association of White Spruce and Trembling Aspen at Their Southern Range

    • Authors: Sophan Chhin, G. Wang
      First page: 235
      Abstract: Climatic sensitivity of white spruce (Picea glauca (Moench) Voss) was examined growing in association with trembling aspen (Populus tremuloides Michx.) at their southern limit of distribution in a transitional ecotone between the southern boreal forest and northern prairie region. The study was carried out in the Spruce Woods Provincial Park (SWPP) located in southwestern Manitoba, Canada. The dry regional climate restricted trembling aspen growth during the growing season via moisture deficiency and temperature induced drought stress. Warm, mild winters also negatively affected radial growth of trembling aspen. Growth of white spruce was moderated by conditions within the aspen stands as radial growth patterns showed low variability from year to year, a low common growth signal, and a stronger response to temperature than to precipitation. Nonetheless, the dry regional climate still restricted growth of white spruce during the growing season via temperature induced drought stress. The findings of the study for white spruce support the stress gradient hypothesis in which facilitative interactions between tree species are expected under harsher environmental conditions.
      PubDate: 2016-10-14
      DOI: 10.3390/f7100235
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 10 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 236: The Dynamic Trend of Soil Water Content in
           Artificial Forests on the Loess Plateau, China

    • Authors: Yu Wang, Qing-Ke Zhu, Wei-Jun Zhao, Huan Ma, Rui Wang, Ning Ai
      First page: 236
      Abstract: Extensive vegetation restoration projects have been widely implemented on the Loess Plateau, China, since 1998. In addition, increasing attention has been paid to the influence of revegetation on soil water. However, the response of the soil water content (SWC) to vegetation construction and management has not been adequately studied. In this study, three types of typical artificial vegetation on level bench land were selected, including Pinus tabulaeformis Carr., Prunus sibirica L., and Hippophae rhamnoides Linn., with the natural grassland used as a control group in Wuqi County. The 0–160 cm SWC was monitored biweekly from August 2010 to June 2013 using a portable time domain reflectometry system. The serial autocorrelation test, Mann–Kendall trend test, and prewhitening Mann–Kendall test were employed to systematically analyze the trends in soil water dynamics. The results show that the SWC of the three selected artificial forests/shrub had a significant accumulation process in the 0–160 cm profile during the monitoring period, whereas such an increasing tendency was not observed for natural grassland. Furthermore, the greatest responses were observed in the Pinus tabulaeformis Carr. plantation.
      PubDate: 2016-10-14
      DOI: 10.3390/f7100236
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 10 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 237: Beyond Fuel Treatment Effectiveness:
           Characterizing Interactions between Fire and Treatments in the US

    • Authors: Kevin Barnett, Sean Parks, Carol Miller, Helen Naughton
      First page: 237
      Abstract: In the United States, fuel reduction treatments are a standard land management tool to restore the structure and composition of forests that have been degraded by past management. Although treatments can have multiple purposes, their principal objective is to create landscape conditions where wildland fire can be safely managed to help achieve long-term land management goals. One critique is that fuel treatment benefits are unlikely to transpire due to the low probability that treated areas will be burned by a subsequent fire within a treatment’s lifespan, but little quantitative information exists to corroborate this argument. We summarized the frequency, extent, and geographic variation of fire and fuel treatment interactions on federal lands within the conterminous United States (CONUS). We also assessed how the encounters between fuel treatments and fires varied with treatment size, treatment age, and number of times treated. Overall, 6.8% of treatment units evaluated were encountered by a subsequent fire during the study period, though this rate varied among ecoregions across the CONUS. Larger treatment units were more likely to be encountered by a fire, and treatment units were most frequently burned within one year of the most recent treatment, the latter of which is likely because of ongoing maintenance of existing treatments. Our results highlight the need to identify and prioritize additional opportunities to reduce fuel loading and fire risk on the millions of hectares of federal lands in the CONUS that are in need of restoration.
      PubDate: 2016-10-14
      DOI: 10.3390/f7100237
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 10 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 238: Individual-Tree Competition Indices and
           Improved Compatibility with Stand-Level Estimates of Stem Density and
           Long-Term Production

    • Authors: John McTague, Aaron Weiskittel
      First page: 238
      Abstract: When explaining the dynamics of individual trees, the incorporation of size and distance of neighboring trees into a model can improve the prediction of growth and mortality. Several methods have been proposed to define the number of competing trees based on variable zone radii and the principles of angle count sampling. The task of measuring position-dependent competition indices appears to be ideally suited for permanent sample plots and long-term studies of growth and yield (production), where the marginal effort of remeasurement is concentrated on measuring size attributes of survivor trees and the occasional distance of a new sample tree. The proposed competition index is based on point sampling with a variable basal area factor (BAFV) that is partially derived from the Spurr (1962) competition index. Point sampling is a fast, easy, and inexpensive methodology for selecting the number of competing trees, and the new BAFV methodology proved to be very efficient for estimating growth. With the selection of an appropriate basal area factor, it is possible to reduce the number of subject trees and competition trees in the sample, and eliminate the need for edge correction methods. Although the index value assigned to the subject tree using the BAFV is biased, an appropriate correction is presented and discussed. The average competition index obtained from using the corrected value for the subject tree and the BAFV for the competing trees equals the stand level estimate of basal area.
      PubDate: 2016-10-15
      DOI: 10.3390/f7100238
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 10 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 239: Effects of Drought and Rewetting on Growth and
           Gas Exchange of Minor European Broadleaved Tree Species

    • Authors: Jörg Kunz, Annemarie Räder, Jürgen Bauhus
      First page: 239
      Abstract: Widespread and economically important European tree species such as Norway spruce, Scots pine, and European beech are projected to be negatively affected by the increasing intensity and frequency of dry and hot conditions in a future climate. Hence, there is an increasing need to investigate the suitability of presumably more drought tolerant species to ensure future ecological stability, biodiversity, and productivity of forests. Based on their distribution patterns and climatic envelopes, the rare, minor broadleaved tree species Sorbus torminalis ((L.) CRANTZ), S. domestica (L.), Acer campestre (L.), and A. platanoides (L.) are assumed to be drought tolerant, however, there is only limited experimental basis to support that notion. This study aimed at quantifying growth and gas exchange of seedlings of these species during drought conditions, and their capacity to recover following drought. For that purpose, they were compared to the common companion species Quercus petraea ((MATTUSCHKA) LIEBL.) and Fagus sylvatica (L.). Here, potted seedlings of these species were exposed to water limitation followed by rewetting cycles in a greenhouse experiment. Photosynthesis and transpiration rates, stomatal conductance as well as root and shoot growth rates indicated a high drought resistance of A. campestre and A. platanoides. Sorbus domestica showed a marked ability to recover after drought stress. Therefore, we conclude that these minor tree species have the potential to enrich forests on drought-prone sites. Results from this pot experiment need to be complemented by field studies, in which the drought response of the species is not influenced by restrictions to root development.
      PubDate: 2016-10-15
      DOI: 10.3390/f7100239
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 10 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 240: Radial Growth Response of Black Spruce Stands
           Ten Years after Experimental Shelterwoods and Seed-Tree Cuttings in Boreal

    • Authors: Miguel Montoro Girona, Hubert Morin, Jean-Martin Lussier, Denis Walsh
      First page: 240
      Abstract: Partial cutting is thought to be an alternative to achieve sustainable management in boreal forests. However, the effects of intermediate harvest intensity (45%–80%) on growth remain unknown in black spruce (Picea mariana (Mill.) B.S.P.) stands, one of the most widely distributed boreal species with great commercial interest. In this study, we analysed the effect of three experimental shelterwood and one seed-tree treatments on tree radial growth in even-aged black spruce stands, 10 years after intervention. Our results show that radial growth response 8–10 years after cutting was 41% to 62% higher than in untreated plots, with stand structure, treatment, tree position relative to skidding trails, growth before cutting and time having significant interactions. The stand structure conditioned tree growth after cutting, being doubled in younger and denser stands. Tree spatial position had a pronounced effect on radial growth; trees at the edge of the skidding trails showed twice the increase in growth compared to interior trees. Dominant trees before cutting located close to the skidding trails manifested the highest growth response after cutting. This research suggests that the studied treatments are effective to enhance radial wood production of black spruce especially in younger stands, and that the edge effect must be considered in silvicultural management planning.
      PubDate: 2016-10-15
      DOI: 10.3390/f7100240
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 10 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 241: How Biotic Differentiation of Human Impacted
           Nutrient Poor Deciduous Forests Can Affect the Preservation Status of
           Mountain Forest Vegetation

    • Authors: Tomasz Durak, Roma Durak
      First page: 241
      Abstract: A significant loss of biodiversity resulting from human activity has caused biotic homogenisation to become the dominant process shaping forest communities. In this paper, we present a rare case of biotic differentiation in European temperate deciduous forest herb layer vegetation. The process is occurring in nutrient poor oak-hornbeam forests in mountain areas (Polish Eastern Carpathians, Central Europe) where non-timber use was converted into conventional forest management practice. This change contributed to increases in the nitrogen content and pH reaction of the soil that, contrary to predominant beliefs on the negative impact of habitat eutrophication on diversity, did not result in a decrease in the latter. We discuss possible reasons for this phenomenon that indicate the important role of tree stand composition (an increasing admixture of beech worsening the trophic properties of the soil). The second issue considered involves the effect of the changes in herb species composition of oak-hornbeam forest on its distinctiveness from the beech forest predominating in the Polish Eastern Carpathians. Unfortunately, despite the increase in the species compositional dissimilarity of oak-hornbeam forest, a reduction in their distinctiveness in relation to the herb species composition of beech forest was found. Such a phenomenon is an effect of the major fragmentation of oak-hornbeam forests, a spread of beech forest-type species, and forest management that gives preference to beech trees. Consequently, it can be expected that changes occurring in oak-hornbeam forest vegetation will contribute to a decrease in the forest vegetation variability at the regional scale.
      PubDate: 2016-10-19
      DOI: 10.3390/f7100241
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 10 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 242: Tropical Forestry Handbook, Second Edition.
           Edited by Laslo Pancel and Michael Köhl, Springer-Verlag, 2016; 3633
           pages, 4 Volumes. Price: $2,500.00, ISBN 978-3-642-54600-6

    • Authors: Shu-Kun Lin
      First page: 242
      Abstract: n/a
      PubDate: 2016-10-20
      DOI: 10.3390/f7100242
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 10 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 243: Can Retention Harvest Maintain Natural
           Structural Complexity? A Comparison of Post-Harvest and Post-Fire Residual
           Patches in Boreal Forest

    • Authors: Louiza Moussaoui, Nicole Fenton, Alain Leduc, Yves Bergeron
      First page: 243
      Abstract: Variable retention harvest promotes biodiversity conservation in managed boreal forests by ensuring forest continuity and structural complexity. However, do post-harvest and post-fire patches maintain the same structural complexity? This study compares post-harvest and post-fire residual patches and proposes retention modalities that can maintain the same structural complexity as in natural forests, here considering both continuous forest stands and post-fire residual patches. In boreal black spruce forests, 41 post-fire residual patches, and 45 post-harvest retention patches of varying size and ages (exposure time to disturbed matrix) and 37 continuous forest stands were classified into six diameter structure types. Types 1 (inverted-J) and 2 (trunked-unimodal) characterized stands dominated by small trees. The abundance of small trees decreased and the abundance of large trees increased from Type 1 to Type 6. Type 6 had the most irregular structure with a wide range of diameters. This study indicates that: (1) old post-harvest residual retentions maintained the range of structural complexity found in natural stands; (2) Types 1 and 2 were generally associated with young post-fire patches and post-harvest retention clumps; (3) the structure of residual patches containing only small trees was usually younger (in terms of the age of the original forest from which residual patches were formed) than those with larger trees. To avoid the risk of simplifying the structure, retention patches should be intentionally oriented towards Types 3–6, dominated by intermediate and large trees.
      PubDate: 2016-10-21
      DOI: 10.3390/f7100243
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 10 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 244: Effect of 40 and 80 Years of Conifer Regrowth
           on Soil Microbial Activities and Community Structure in Subtropical Low
           Mountain Forests

    • Authors: Ed-Haun Chang, Tsai-Huei Chen, Guang-long Tian, Chun-Kai Hsu, Chih-Yu Chiu
      First page: 244
      Abstract: The effects of long-term reforestation on soil microbial communities and biomass are poorly understood. This study was conducted on two coniferous plantations: Cunninghamia konishii Hayata, planted 40 years ago (CONIF-40), and Calocedrus formosana (Florin) Florin, planted 80 years ago (CONIF-80). An adjacent natural broadleaf forest (BROAD-Nat) was used as a control. We determined microbial biomass C and N contents, enzyme activities, and community composition (via phospholipid fatty acid [PLFA] assessment). Both microbial biomass and PLFA content were higher in the summer than in the winter and differed among the forests in summer only. Total PLFA, total bacterial, gram-positive bacterial, gram-negative bacterial, and vesicular arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal contents followed the same pattern. Total fungal content and the ratios of fungi to bacteria and of gram-positive to gram-negative bacteria were highest in CONIF-40, with no difference between the other forests. Principal component analysis of PLFA contents revealed that CONIF-40 communities were distinct from those of CONIF-80 and BROAD-Nat. Our results suggest that vegetation replacement during reforestation exerts a prolonged impact on the soil microbial community. The understory broadleaf shrubs and trees established after coniferous plantation reforestation may balance out the effects of coniferous litter, contributing to bacterial recovery.
      PubDate: 2016-10-21
      DOI: 10.3390/f7100244
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 10 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 245: Deep Soil Conditions Make Mediterranean Cork
           Oak Stem Growth Vulnerable to Autumnal Rainfall Decline in Tunisia

    • Authors: Lobna Zribi, Florent Mouillot, Frederic Guibal, Salwa Rejeb, Mohamed Rejeb, Fatma Gharbi
      First page: 245
      Abstract: Tree rings provide fruitful information on climate features driving annual forest growth through statistical correlations between annual tree growth and climate features. Indices built upon tree growth limitation by carbon sequestration (source hypothesis) or drought-driven cambial phenology (sink hypothesis) can be used to better identify underlying processes. We used both analytical frameworks on Quercus suber, a sparsely studied species due to tree ring methodological issues, and growing on a favorable sub-humid Mediterranean climate and deep soil conditions in Tunisia (North Africa). Statistical analysis revealed the major role of autumnal rainfall before the growing season on annual tree growth over the 1918–2008 time series. Using a water budget model, we were able to explain the critical role of the deep soil water refill during the wet season in affecting both the drought onset controlling growth phenology and the summer drought intensity affecting carbon assimilation. Analysis of recent climate changes in the region additionally illustrated an increase in temperatures enhancing the evaporative demand and advancing growth start, and a decline in rainfalls in autumn, two key variables driving stem growth. We concluded on the benefits of using process-based indices in dendrochronological analysis and identified the main vulnerability of this Mediterranean forest to autumnal rainfall decline, a peculiar aspect of climate change under summer-dry climates.
      PubDate: 2016-10-21
      DOI: 10.3390/f7100245
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 10 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 246: Burning Potential of Fire Refuges in the
           Boreal Mixedwood Forest

    • Authors: Samira Ouarmim, Laure Paradis, Hugo Asselin, Yves Bergeron, Adam Ali, Christelle Hély
      First page: 246
      Abstract: In boreal ecosystems, wildfire severity (i.e., the extent of fire-related tree mortality) is affected by environmental conditions and fire intensity. A burned area usually includes tree patches that partially or entirely escaped fire. There are two types of post-fire residual patches: (1) patches that only escaped the last fire; and (2) patches with lower fire susceptibility, also called fire refuges, that escaped several consecutive fires, likely due to particular site characteristics. The main objective of this study was to test if particular environmental conditions and stand characteristics could explain the presence of fire refuges in the mixedwood boreal forest. The FlamMap3 fire behavior model running at the landscape scale was used on the present-day Lake Duparquet forest mosaic and on four other experimental scenarios. FlamMap3 was first calibrated using BehavePlus and realistic rates of fire spread obtained from the Canadian Fire Behavior Prediction system. The results, based on thousands of runs, exclude the effects of firebreaks, topography, fuel type, and microtopography to explain the presence of fire refuges, but rather highlight the important role of moisture conditions in the fuel beds. Moist conditions are likely attributed to former small depressions having been filled with organic matter rather than present-day variations in ground surface topography.
      PubDate: 2016-10-21
      DOI: 10.3390/f7100246
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 10 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 247: De Novo Assembly and Characterization of Bud,
           Leaf and Flowers Transcriptome from Juglans Regia L. for the
           Identification and Characterization of New EST-SSRs

    • Authors: Meng Dang, Tian Zhang, Yiheng Hu, Huijuan Zhou, Keith Woeste, Peng Zhao
      First page: 247
      Abstract: Persian walnut (Juglans regia L.), valued for both its nut and wood, is an ecologically important temperate tree species native to the mountainous regions of central Asia. Despite its importance, there are still few transcriptomic resources in public databases for J. regia, limiting gene discovery and breeding. Here, more than 49.9 million sequencing reads were generated using Illumina sequencing technology in the characterization of the transcriptome of four J. regia organs (bud, leaf, female flowers, and male flowers). De novo assembly yielded 117,229 unigenes with an N50 of 1955 bp. Based on sequence similarity searches against known proteins, a total of 20,413 (17.41%) genes were identified and annotated. A set of 27,584 unigenes with SSR (simple sequence repeats) motifs were identified as potential molecular markers, and a sample of 77 of these EST-SSRs (express sequence tags) were further evaluated to validate their amplification and assess their polymorphism. Next, we developed 39 polymorphic microsatellite markers to screen 88 Persian walnut individuals collected from 11 populations. These markers and transcriptomic resources will be useful for future studies of population genetic structure, evolutionary ecology, and breeding of Persian walnut and other Juglans species.
      PubDate: 2016-10-21
      DOI: 10.3390/f7100247
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 10 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 248: Host Defense Mechanisms against Bark Beetle
           Attack Differ between Ponderosa and Lodgepole Pines

    • Authors: Daniel West, Elisa Bernklau, Louis Bjostad, William Jacobi
      First page: 248
      Abstract: Conifer defenses against bark beetle attack include, but are not limited to, quantitative and qualitative defenses produced prior to attack. Our objective was to assess host defenses of lodgepole pine and ponderosa pine from ecotone stands. These stands provide a transition of host species for mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae; MPB). We asked two questions: (1) do the preformed quantitative host defenses (amount of resin) and (2) the preformed qualitative host defenses (monoterpene constituents) differ between lodgepole and ponderosa pines. We collected oleoresins at three locations in the Southern Rocky Mountains from 56 pairs of the pine species of similar size and growing conditions. The amount of preformed-ponderosa pine oleoresins exuded in 24 h (mg) was almost four times that of lodgepole pine. Total qualitative preformed monoterpenes did not differ between the two hosts, though we found differences in all but three monoterpenes. No differences were detected in α-pinene, γ-terpinene, and bornyl acetate. We found greater concentrations of limonene, β-phellandrene, and cymene in lodgepole pines, whereas β-pinene, 3-carene, myrcene, and terpinolene were greater in ponderosa pine. Although we found differences both in quantitative and qualitative preformed oleoresin defenses, the ecological relevance of these differences to bark beetle susceptibility have not been fully tested.
      PubDate: 2016-10-21
      DOI: 10.3390/f7100248
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 10 (2016)
School of Mathematical and Computer Sciences
Heriot-Watt University
Edinburgh, EH14 4AS, UK
Tel: +00 44 (0)131 4513762
Fax: +00 44 (0)131 4513327
Home (Search)
Subjects A-Z
Publishers A-Z
Your IP address:
About JournalTOCs
News (blog, publications)
JournalTOCs on Twitter   JournalTOCs on Facebook

JournalTOCs © 2009-2016