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  Subjects -> FORESTS AND FORESTRY (Total: 108 journals)
    - FORESTS AND FORESTRY (107 journals)
    - LUMBER AND WOOD (1 journals)

FORESTS AND FORESTRY (107 journals)                     

Showing 1 - 12 of 12 Journals sorted alphabetically
Acta Silvatica et Lignaria Hungarica     Open Access  
Advance in Forestry Research     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Advances in Forestry Letters     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Advances in Forestry Science     Open Access  
Agrociencia     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Agroforestry Systems     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 17)
Annals of Forest Science     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4)
Annals of Silvicultural Research     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Appita Journal: Journal of the Technical Association of the Australian and New Zealand Pulp and Paper Industry     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 4)
Arboricultural Journal : The International Journal of Urban Forestry     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6)
Arboriculture and Urban Forestry     Free   (Followers: 7)
Australian Forest Grower     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Australian Forestry     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Balduinia     Open Access  
Banko Janakari     Open Access  
Bosque     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Canadian Journal of Forest Research     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 25)
Canadian Journal of Plant Science     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 14)
Ciência Florestal     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Ciencia forestal en México     Open Access  
Colombia Forestal     Open Access  
Current Forestry Reports     Hybrid Journal  
Dissertationes Forestales     Open Access  
East African Agricultural and Forestry Journal     Hybrid Journal  
European Journal of Forest Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 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: 44)
Forest Pathology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 1)
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: 15)
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: 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: 5)
International Journal of Forest Engineering     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 1)
International Journal of Forest, Soil and Erosion     Open Access   (Followers: 4)
International Journal of Forestry Research     Open Access   (Followers: 4)
Irish Journal of Agricultural and Food Research     Open Access  
Journal of Agriculture, Forestry and the Social Sciences     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Journal of Biodiversity Management & Forestry     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 1)
Journal of Environmental Extension     Full-text available via subscription  
Journal of Forest and Livelihood     Open Access  
Journal of Forest Economics     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6)
Journal of Forest Products and Industries     Open Access  
Journal of Forest Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 3)
Journal of Forestry     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 12)
Journal of Forestry Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6)
Journal of Horticulture and Forestry     Open Access   (Followers: 4)
Journal of Natural Resources Policy Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 13)
Journal of Research in Forestry, Wildlife and Environment     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Journal of Sustainable Forestry     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 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: 6)
Journal of Wood Science     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 3)
Jurnal Ilmu Kehutanan     Open Access  
Jurnal Manajemen Hutan Tropika     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Jurnal Penelitian Kehutanan Wallacea     Open Access  
La Calera     Open Access  
Landscapes     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 18)
Lesnícky časopis     Open Access  
Maderas. Ciencia y tecnología     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Mathematical and Computational Forestry & Natural-Resource Sciences     Free  
Natural Areas Journal     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 11)
New Forests     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2)
New Zealand Journal of Forestry Science     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Open Journal of Forestry     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Pesquisa Florestal Brasileira     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Plant Science Bulletin     Free   (Followers: 9)
Quebracho. Revista de Ciencias Forestales     Open Access  
Research Journal of Forestry     Open Access   (Followers: 4)
Revista Árvore     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Revista Chapingo. Serie Ciencias Forestales y del Ambiente     Open Access  
Revista 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  
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  
Urban Forestry & Urban Greening     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 8)
Veld & Flora     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Wood and Fiber Science     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)


Journal Cover Forests
  [SJR: 0.629]   [H-I: 8]   [3 followers]  Follow
  This is an Open Access Journal Open Access journal
   ISSN (Print) 1999-4907
   Published by MDPI Homepage  [140 journals]
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 128: A Linear Programming Model to Biophysically
           Assess Some Ecosystem Service Synergies and Trade-Offs in Two Irish

    • Authors: Edwin Corrigan, Maarten Nieuwenhuis
      First page: 128
      Abstract: Ecosystem service provisions are becoming more frequently used to assess land-use related conflicts in recent decades. This study investigates the current spatial and research information available to quantify ecosystem services relative to forest land-use planning in Ireland. A model is developed using the linear-programming method in Remsoft’s Woodstock platform. This model is applied to two case study areas in Ireland: Western Peatlands and Newmarket. Each case study area was chosen to assess a unique issue in the Irish and European context on the provision of ecosystem services. Western Peatlands was chosen to assess the effects of forest and alternative land-use options and Newmarket was chosen to investigate the effect of afforestation. The synergies and trade-offs of biophysically optimising the provisions of each ecosystem service are presented and discussed. The study quantitatively determines that trade-offs among provisions of some ecosystem services are required when optimising an ecosystem service while other ecosystem services are synergistic when the provision of a single ecosystem service is optimised.
      PubDate: 2016-06-23
      DOI: 10.3390/f7070128
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 7 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 129: Spatiotemporal Variability of Wildland Fuels
           in US Northern Rocky Mountain Forests

    • Authors: Robert Keane
      First page: 129
      Abstract: Fire regimes are ultimately controlled by wildland fuel dynamics over space and time; spatial distributions of fuel influence the size, spread, and intensity of individual fires, while the temporal distribution of fuel deposition influences fire’s frequency and controls fire size. These “shifting fuel mosaics” are both a cause and a consequence of fire regimes. This paper synthesizes results from two major fuel dynamics studies that described the spatial and temporal variability of canopy and surface wildland fuel characteristics found in US northern Rocky Mountain forests. Eight major surface fuel components—four downed dead woody fuel size classes (1, 10, 100, 1000 h), duff, litter, shrub, and herb—and three canopy fuel characteristics—loading, bulk density and cover—were studied. Properties of these fuel types were sampled on nested plots located within sampling grids to describe their variability across spatiotemporal scales. Important findings were that fuel component loadings were highly variable (two to three times the mean), and this variability increased with the size of fuel particles. The spatial variability of loadings also varied by spatial scale with fine fuels (duff, litter, 1 h, 10 h) varying at scales of 1 to 5 m; coarse fuels at 10 to 150 m, and canopy fuels at 100 to 600 m. Fine fuels are more uniformly distributed over both time and space and decayed quickly, while large fuels are rare on the landscape but have a high residence time.
      PubDate: 2016-06-27
      DOI: 10.3390/f7070129
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 7 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 130: Quantitative Analysis of Uncertainty in
           Financial Risk Assessment of Road Transportation of Wood in Uruguay

    • First page: 130
      Abstract: The uncertainty in road transportation of wood is inherent to its operational costs, to the amount of transported wood, to the traveled distance, to its revenue, and more. Although it is not possible to measure this uncertainty fully, it can be quantified by the investment risk, which is the probability and degree of financial loss. The objective of this study is to quantify the financial risk of the investment in wood transportation through Monte Carlo simulation, which uses realistic situations to estimate the operational cost of vehicles used for road transportation of wood. We quantify these uncertainties by assessing financial risk and building pseudorandom scenarios with the Monte Carlo simulation method, in addition to the Net Present Value techniques, the Modified Internal Rate of Return, and the Profitability Index, all commonly used in financial investment projects. The results show that the estimated operational costs are equivalent to the actual ones, along with the evidence that the cost of fuel, the driver’s manpower, and tires are components that mainly increase the degree of financial risk for an investment project in road transportation of wood. In contrast, optimizing the amount of transported wood and maximizing wood transportation cost have a significant and positive correlation with the volume of transported wood and the average price of wood transportation, leading to a reduction in the degree of financial risk.
      PubDate: 2016-06-27
      DOI: 10.3390/f7070130
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 7 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 131: Quantifying Fire Cycle from Dendroecological
           Records Using Survival Analyses

    • Authors: Dominic Cyr, Sylvie Gauthier, Yan Boulanger, Yves Bergeron
      First page: 131
      Abstract: Quantifying fire regimes in the boreal forest ecosystem is crucial for understanding the past and present dynamics, as well as for predicting its future dynamics. Survival analyses have often been used to estimate the fire cycle in eastern Canada because they make it possible to take into account the censored information that is made prevalent by the typically long fire return intervals and the limited scope of the dendroecological methods that are used to quantify them. Here, we assess how the true length of the fire cycle, the short-term temporal variations in fire activity, and the sampling effort affect the accuracy and precision of estimates obtained from two types of parametric survival models, the Weibull and the exponential models, and one non-parametric model obtained with the Cox regression. Then, we apply those results in a case area located in eastern Canada. Our simulation experiment confirms some documented concerns regarding the detrimental effects of temporal variations in fire activity on parametric estimation of the fire cycle. Cox regressions appear to provide the most accurate and robust estimator, being by far the least affected by temporal variations in fire activity. The Cox-based estimate of the fire cycle for the last 300 years in the case study area is 229 years (CI95: 162–407), compared with the likely overestimated 319 years obtained with the commonly used exponential model.
      PubDate: 2016-06-28
      DOI: 10.3390/f7070131
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 7 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 132: Regional Differences in Upland Forest to
           Developed (Urban) Land Cover Conversions in the Conterminous U.S.,

    • Authors: Roger Auch, Mark Drummond, George Xian, Kristi Sayler, William Acevedo, Janis Taylor
      First page: 132
      Abstract: In this U.S. Geological Survey study of forest land cover across the conterminous U.S. (CONUS), specific proportions and rates of forest conversion to developed (urban) land were assessed on an ecoregional basis. The study period was divided into six time intervals between 1973 and 2011. Forest land cover was the source of 40% or more of the new urban land in 35 of the 84 ecoregions located within the CONUS. In 11 of these ecoregions this threshold exceeded in every time interval. When the percent of change, forest to urban, was compared to the percent of forest in each ecoregion, 58 ecoregions had a greater percent of change and, in six of those, change occurred in every time interval. Annual rates of forest to urban land cover change of 0.2% or higher occurred in 12 ecoregions at least once and in one ecoregion in all intervals. There were three ecoregions where the above conditions were met for nearly every time interval. Even though only a small number of the ecoregions were heavily impacted by forest loss to urban development within the CONUS, the ecosystem services provided by undeveloped forest land cover need to be quantified more completely to better inform future regional land management.
      PubDate: 2016-06-28
      DOI: 10.3390/f7070132
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 7 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 133: Correction: Trishkin, M., et al. Assessment of
           a Company’s Due Diligence System against the EU Timber Regulation: A
           Case Study from Northwestern Russia. Forests 2015, 6, 1380–1396

    • Authors: Maxim Trishkin, Eugene Lopatin, Timo Karjalainen
      First page: 133
      Abstract: The authors wish to make the following corrections to this paper [1]: The authors would like to apologize for any inconvenience caused to the readers by these changes.[...]
      PubDate: 2016-06-28
      DOI: 10.3390/f7070133
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 7 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 110: Seedling Growth and Physiological Responses of
           Sixteen Eucalypt Taxa under Controlled Water Regime

    • Authors: Paulo Silva, Otavio Campoe, Rinaldo de Paula, David Lee
      First page: 110
      Abstract: We assessed growth and physiological responses of Eucalyptus and Corymbia species to water limitation aiming to widen possibilities for plantations in dry climatic conditions. We selected 16 taxa: 4 Corymbia and 12 Eucalyptus species from the Subgenera Symphyomyrtus. Seedlings were evaluated from 100 to 170 days after sowing. Growth and physiological traits showed significant differences among taxa and between two levels of water availability. Water limitation significantly impacted biomass production and physiological characteristics, however in different levels. Leaf area and biomass production decreased 15%–48% under water limitation among taxa. Eucalyptus moluccana, CCV 2, and VM1 (drought tolerant clone) showed the largest decrease in leaf area. Transpiration across taxa decreased 30%–57% and photosynthesis 14%–48% under water limited condition. Taxa from cold environments were less responsive in leaf area reduction under water limitation, and taxa from Exsertaria section showed lower reduction in photosynthesis (E. camaldulensis showed the lowest reduction). Responses to water limitation are related to the environment of origin. E. molucana, the only Adnataria species from a high precipitation region (>1500 mm year−1), was one of the most sensitive in reduction of biomass production, different behavior from the other Adnataria species, originated in regions with rainfall <750 mm year−1. Water limitation increased leaf-level water use efficiency by 18% on average, 8% in E. longirostrata, and 28% in E. camaldulensis, E. brassiana, and E. crebra. Growth and physiological responses observed show the potential of different eucalypts taxa to tolerate water limited environments.
      PubDate: 2016-05-24
      DOI: 10.3390/f7060110
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 6 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 111: Tree Species and Their Space Requirements in
           Six Urban Environments Worldwide

    • First page: 111
      Abstract: Urban trees have gained in importance during recent decades, but little is known about the temporal dynamic of tree growth in urban areas. The present study investigated the allometric relationships of stem diameter, tree height, and crown radius for six different tree species in six metropolises worldwide. Increment cores of the trees were used for identifying the relationship of basal area and basal area increment and for extrapolating the temporal dynamics for each species in relation to the allometric parameters and growth extensions. Space limitation and its direct influence on growth were quantified, as well as the aboveground woody biomass and the carbon storage capacity. The results show that, among the investigated species, Quercus nigra and Khaya senegalensis have the highest growth rates for stem diameter and crown radius, whereas Tilia cordata and Aesculus hippocastanum remain on a lower level. A significant reduction of tree growth due to restricted non-paved area was found for Aesculus hippocastanum and Khaya senegalensis. Estimations of aboveground biomass were highest for Quercus nigra and lowest for Tilia cordata. These results show the species-specific allometries of urban trees over a projected time period. Thus, the data set is highly relevant for planners and urban green managers.
      PubDate: 2016-05-25
      DOI: 10.3390/f7060111
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 6 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 112: Soil Enzyme Activities in Pinus tabuliformis
           (Carriére) Plantations in Northern China

    • Authors: Weiwei Wang, Deborah Page-Dumroese, Ruiheng Lv, Chen Xiao, Guolei Li, Yong Liu
      First page: 112
      Abstract: Changes in forest stand structure may alter the activity of invertase, urease, catalase and phenol oxidase after thinning Pinus tabuliformis (Carriére) plantations in Yanqing County of Beijing, China. We examined changes in these soil enzymes as influenced by time since thinning (24, 32, and 40 years since thinning) for 3 seasons (spring, summer and autumn) following harvesting at two depths in the mineral soil (0–10 cm and 10–20 cm). Invertase and urease increased significantly with time since thinning. Catalase activity was highest in the 24-year-old stand and there were no statistically significant differences between the 32- and 40-year-old stands. In addition, maximum invertase, urease, catalase, and phenol oxidase activities occurred during the summer; minimum activities occurred in autumn. Invertase and urease were positively correlated with each other, as were catalase and phenol oxidase. Most soil enzyme activity was higher in the 0–10 cm layer than at the 10–20 cm depth. As time from thinning increased, differences among soil depth became less significant. These results suggest that seasonal changes of these enzymes have different roles, as the time since thinning and thinning treatments may have both short- and long-term impacts on soil microbial activity.
      PubDate: 2016-05-26
      DOI: 10.3390/f7060112
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 6 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 113: Public Opinions and Use of Various Types of
           Recreational Infrastructure in Boreal Forest Settings

    • Authors: Vegard Gundersen, Odd Vistad
      First page: 113
      Abstract: We have investigated public preferences for use intensity and visual quality of forest recreational infrastructure. Forest infrastructure covers five classes, along a continuum from unmarked paths to paved walkways. Altogether, 39 sites were categorized into the five classes and measured with automatic counters. A sample of 545 respondents living in southeastern and middle Norway were asked to rate 15 forest scenes and 35 preconceptions of recreational settings. The path scenarios were depicted as digitally calibrated photos that systematically displayed physical path feature in boreal, semi-natural settings. Survey participants showed a clearly greater preference for photos and preconceptions of forests settings containing minor elements of forest infrastructure; unmarked paths received the highest score and forest roads/walkways/bikeways the lowest. We identified a clear mismatch between public preferences for forest infrastructure and the intensity of use; the less appreciated infrastructure was the most used. Planning and management has to consider these different needs for recreational infrastructure, and we propose an area zoning system that meets the different segments of forest visitors.
      PubDate: 2016-05-31
      DOI: 10.3390/f7060113
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 6 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 114: Socioeconomic Predictors of Family Forest
           Owner Awareness and Use of U.S. Federal Income Tax Provisions

    • Authors: John Hatcher, Thomas Straka, Tamara Cushing, John Greene, William Bridges
      First page: 114
      Abstract: Family forest owners (FFOs) control a majority of private forestland in the United States and have widely diverse ownership and management objectives. Many FFOs manage their holdings for timber production and, thus, are concerned with issues such as reforestation incentives and tax treatment of timber revenues. Their actual knowledge of the tax aspects of timber management varies, with some owners even unaware of the federal income tax provisions that apply to timber. This research used econometric techniques to establish socioeconomic predictors of FFO awareness and use of federal income tax provisions. Socioeconomic factors (such as size of forest holding, ownership objective, education, age, and income) were evaluated in terms of association with awareness and use of income tax provisions. Data were obtained from a survey of 1350 South Carolina FFOs (472 useable responses). A two-step sample selection methodology revealed that membership in a landowner organization and size of forest holding positively influence landowner awareness of the seven tax provisions, while ownership objective and level of education exhibited varying degrees of influence. Overall, the findings suggest that size of forest holding is the key determinant that influences landowner use of the provisions. These tax incentives are one of the foundations of federal policies encouraging active forest management by FFOs and the effectiveness of the various incentives has crucial implications for forest policy analysis.
      PubDate: 2016-05-28
      DOI: 10.3390/f7060114
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 6 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 115: Surface Soil Carbon Storage in Urban Green
           Spaces in Three Major South Korean Cities

    • Authors: Tae Yoon, Kyung Seo, Gwan Park, Yeong Son, Yowhan Son
      First page: 115
      Abstract: Quantifying and managing carbon (C) storage in urban green space (UGS) soils is associated with the ecosystem services necessary for human well-being and the national C inventory report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Here, the soil C stocks at 30-cm depths in different types of UGS’s (roadside, park, school forest, and riverside) were studied in three major South Korean cities that have experienced recent, rapid development. The total C of 666 soil samples was analyzed, and these results were combined with the available UGS inventory data. Overall, the mean soil bulk density, C concentration, and C density at 30-cm depths were 1.22 g·cm−3, 7.31 g·C·kg−1, and 2.13 kg·C·m−2, respectively. The UGS soil C stock (Gg·C) at 30-cm depths was 105.6 for Seoul, 43.6 for Daegu, and 26.4 for Daejeon. The lower C storage of Korean UGS soils than those of other countries is due to the low soil C concentration and the smaller land area under UGS. Strategic management practices that augment the organic matter supply in soil are expected to enhance C storage in South Korean UGS soils.
      PubDate: 2016-05-28
      DOI: 10.3390/f7060115
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 6 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 116: Carbon Sequestration and Sedimentation in
           Mangrove Swamps Influenced by Hydrogeomorphic Conditions and Urbanization
           in Southwest Florida

    • Authors: Daniel Marchio, Michael Savarese, Brian Bovard, William Mitsch
      First page: 116
      Abstract: This study compares carbon sequestration rates along two independent tidal mangrove creeks near Naples Bay in Southwest Florida, USA. One tidal creek is hydrologically disturbed due to upstream land use changes; the other is an undisturbed reference creek. Soil cores were collected in basin, fringe, and riverine hydrogeomorphic settings along each of the two tidal creeks and analyzed for bulk density, total organic carbon profiles, and sediment accretion. Radionuclides 137Cs and 210Pb were used to estimate recent sediment accretion and carbon sequestration rates. Carbon sequestration rates (mean ± standard error) for seven sites in the two tidal creeks on the Naples Bay (98 ± 12 g-C m−2·year−1 (n = 18)) are lower than published global means for mangrove wetlands, but consistent with other estimates from the same region. Mean carbon sequestration rates in the reference riverine setting were highest (162 ± 5 g-C m−2·year−1), followed by rates in the reference fringe and disturbed riverine settings (127 ± 6 and 125 ± 5 g-C m−2·year−1, respectively). The disturbed fringe sequestered 73 ± 10 g-C m−2·year−1, while rates within the basin settings were 50 ± 4 g-C m−2·year−1 and 47 ± 4 g-C m−2·year−1 for the reference and disturbed creeks, respectively. These data support our hypothesis that mangroves along a hydrologically disturbed tidal creek sequestered less carbon than did mangroves along an adjacent undisturbed reference creek.
      PubDate: 2016-05-30
      DOI: 10.3390/f7060116
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 6 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 117: Fertilization Response, Light Use, and Growth
           Efficiency in Eucalyptus Plantations across Soil and Climate Gradients in

    • First page: 117
      Abstract: Fertilization increases productivity in Eucalyptus plantations, but losses in productivity associated with soil fertility continue at operational scales. In this study, we evaluated the fertilization response (FR), light use efficiency (LUE) and growth efficiency (GE), i.e., the amount of wood biomass accumulated per unit of light absorbed (LUE) and per unit of leaf area index of Eucalyptus plantations. We used a “twin plot” approach, with 161 blocks representing 52,700 ha of planted forests that spanned a broad range of edaphoclimatic conditions in southeastern Brazil. The normal plots (NP) were part of a permanent inventory network, whereas the twin plots (TP) received extra high levels of fertilization and extra weed control after fertilization. The intensive management (twin plots) led to a large increase of 5.3 Mg·ha−1·year−1 of wood increment. The region without dry periods and with soils with high clay content was most responsive to fertilization, with a 15% increment in the LUE and 10% increase in the GE of the TPs compared with those of the NPs. Our results suggested that water availability was the primary element affecting productivity and potential response to fertilization. With this information, decisions can be made on which regions should receive priority fertilization investments. However, more research is required to determine the most limiting nutrient in each type of environment.
      PubDate: 2016-05-31
      DOI: 10.3390/f7060117
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 6 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 118: Innovation Strategy in Slovak Forest
           Contractor Firms—A SWOT Analysis

    • First page: 118
      Abstract: The aim of the study is to determine the innovation strategy of contractor firms in the Slovak forestry service sector in the area of further innovation activities development. The strategy identification was based on the analysis of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats in this sector. The results indicate that weaknesses of contractor firms exceed their strengths and, considering the degree and importance of their impact, opportunities exceed identified threats. Based on these findings revealing the relations in the area of innovation activities of forestry service contractors, the “Strategy of Partnership” was suggested as the most suitable type of strategy. It can be concluded that such a form of grouping cooperation brings many benefits to contractors in the form of information availability, guidance, training, and management of conflicts, risks and uncertainty, which are associated with the innovation process.
      PubDate: 2016-05-31
      DOI: 10.3390/f7060118
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 6 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 119: Managing Tree Diversity: A Comparison of
           Suburban Development in Two Canadian Cities

    • Authors: Sophie Nitoslawski, Peter Duinker
      First page: 119
      Abstract: Is (sub)urban forest diversity shaped by previous land use? This study was designed to quantitatively assess the impacts of subdivision development on urban tree-species composition in two Canadian cities: Halifax, Nova Scotia, and London, Ontario. The main goal was to determine whether cities with contrasting pre-urbanized or pre-settlement landscapes—woodlands in Halifax and agricultural fields in London—also revealed differences in urban tree diversity losses and/or gains due to urbanization. In each city, four residential neighbourhoods representing two age categories, older and newer (40–50 years, <15 years), were examined and trees on three land types were sampled: public (street), private (residential), and remnant (woodland). All public street trees within the chosen neighbourhoods were inventoried and approximately 10% of the residential property lots were sampled randomly. Plots were examined in remnant forests in or near each city, representing the original forest habitats prior to agricultural and/or urban landscape transformations. Diameter at breast height, species richness and evenness, and proportions of native and non-native trees were measured. In both cities, streetscapes in newer neighbourhoods exhibit greater species richness and evenness, and are characterized by substantially more native trees. Despite this trend, developers and home owners continue to intensively plant non-native species on newer and smaller property lots. Older neighbourhoods in Halifax containing remnant forest stands hold the greatest number of native trees on private property, alluding to the importance of residual forest buffers and patches in promoting naturalness in the private urban forest. These results suggest that identifying and quantifying flows of species between green spaces during and after development is valuable in order to effectively promote native species establishment and enhance overall urban forest diversity.
      PubDate: 2016-05-31
      DOI: 10.3390/f7060119
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 6 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 120: How Do Urban Forests Compare? Tree
           Diversity in Urban and Periurban Forests of the Southeastern US

    • Authors: Amy Blood, Gregory Starr, Francisco Escobedo, Art Chappelka, Christina Staudhammer
      First page: 120
      Abstract: There is a need to understand how anthropogenic influences affect urban and periurban forest diversity at the regional scale. This study aims to compare urban and periurban tree composition along a geographic gradient, and test hypotheses about species composition and ecological homogeneity. We paired urban forest (UF) data from eight cities across the southeastern US with periurban forest (PF) data from the USDA Forest Service Forest Inventory and Analysis program. We found that tree diversity, as well as both observed and estimated species richness values were greater in UF versus PF. Community size structure analysis also indicated a greater proportion of large trees and greater numbers of non-native, invasive, and unclassified tree species in the UF versus the PF, regardless of location. Both forest type and ecological province had a significant effect on community species composition, with forests closer together in space being more similar to each other than those more distant. While land use change and management has been associated with ecological homogenization in human dominated landscapes, we found that species composition was more dissimilar along latitudinal lines than compared to between forest types, refuting this hypothesis, at least in terms of tree diversity.
      PubDate: 2016-06-09
      DOI: 10.3390/f7060120
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 6 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 121: Spatio-Temporal Changes in Structure for a
           Mediterranean Urban Forest: Santiago, Chile 2002 to 2014

    • Authors: Francisco Escobedo, Sebastian Palmas-Perez, Cynnamon Dobbs, Salvador Gezan, Jaime Hernandez
      First page: 121
      Abstract: There is little information on how urban forest ecosystems in South America and Mediterranean climates change across both space and time. This study statistically and spatially analyzed the spatio-temporal dynamics of Santiago, Chile’s urban forest using tree and plot-level data from permanent plots from 2002 to 2014. We found mortality, ingrowth, and tree cover remained stable over the analysis period and similar patterns were observed for basal area (BA) and biomass. However, tree cover increased, and was greater in the highest socioeconomic stratum neighborhoods while it dropped in the medium and low strata. Growth rates for the five most common tree species averaged from 0.12 to 0.36 cm·year−1. Spatially, tree biomass and BA were greater in the affluent, northeastern sections of the city and in southwest peri-urban areas. Conversely, less affluent central, northwest, and southern areas showed temporal losses in BA and biomass. Overall, we found that Santiago’s urban forest follows similar patterns as in other parts of the world; affluent areas tend to have more and better managed urban forests than poorer areas, and changes are primarily influenced by social and ecological drivers. Nonetheless, care is warranted when comparing urban forest structural metrics measured with similar sampling-monitoring approaches across ecologically disparate regions and biomes.
      PubDate: 2016-06-11
      DOI: 10.3390/f7060121
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 6 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 122: Object-Based Tree Species Classification in
           Urban Ecosystems Using LiDAR and Hyperspectral Data

    • Authors: Zhongya Zhang, Alexandra Kazakova, Ludmila Moskal, Diane Styers
      First page: 122
      Abstract: In precision forestry, tree species identification is key to evaluating the role of forest ecosystems in the provision of ecosystem services, such as carbon sequestration and assessing their effects on climate regulation and climate change. In this study, we investigated the effectiveness of tree species classification of urban forests using aerial-based HyMap hyperspectral imagery and light detection and ranging (LiDAR) data. First, we conducted an object-based image analysis (OBIA) to segment individual tree crowns present in LiDAR-derived Canopy Height Models (CHMs). Then, hyperspectral values for individual trees were extracted from HyMap data for band reduction through Minimum Noise Fraction (MNF) transformation which allowed us to reduce the data to 20 significant bands out of 118 bands acquired. Finally, we compared several different classifications using Random Forest (RF) and Multi Class Classifier (MCC) methods. Seven tree species were classified using all 118 bands which resulted in 46.3% overall classification accuracy for RF versus 79.6% for MCC. Using only the 20 optimal bands extracted through MNF, both RF and MCC achieved an increase in overall accuracy to 87.0% and 88.9%, respectively. Thus, the MNF band selection process is a preferable approach for tree species classification when using hyperspectral data. Further, our work also suggests that RF is heavily disadvantaged by the high-dimensionality and noise present in hyperspectral data, while MCC is more robust when handling high-dimensional datasets with small sample sizes. Our overall results indicated that individual tree species identification in urban forests can be accomplished with the fusion of object-based LiDAR segmentation of crowns and hyperspectral characterization.
      PubDate: 2016-06-11
      DOI: 10.3390/f7060122
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 6 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 123: Correction: Wang, J.S., et al. Effects of
           Nitrogen Addition on Leaf Decomposition of Single-Species and Litter

    • Authors: Jinsong Wang, Wensheng Bu, Bo Zhao, Xiuhai Zhao, Chunyu Zhang, Juan Fan, Klaus Gadow
      First page: 123
      Abstract: We discovered typographical errors in two sentences and, therefore, changes are needed to our published manuscript [1].[...]
      PubDate: 2016-06-14
      DOI: 10.3390/f7060123
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 6 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 124: Enhancing Stand Structure through Snag
           Creation in Northeastern U.S. Forests: Using Ethanol Injections and Bark
           Beetle Pheromones to Artificially Stress Red Maple and White Pine

    • Authors: Kevin Dodds, Ryan Hanavan, Tom Wansleben
      First page: 124
      Abstract: We investigated two methods to create white pine and red maple snags in a forested setting. The first involved injecting trees with ethanol at two times (single Ethanol (ETOH) and double ETOH injections) to increase attractiveness to insects and elicit attacks on trees. The second method was unique to white pines and involved both injection treatments in combination with baiting trees with Ips-specific pheromones. Three of five white pines from the double ETOH treatment died in the second year. Species including Ips pini (Say), Ips grandicollis Eichhoff, Orthotomicus caelatus Eichhoff, Crypturgus borealis Swaine and Monochamus notatus (Drury) responded more strongly to at least one of the treatments over control trees. However, there were no differences found in individual Scolytinae or Cerambycidae species response to treatments in red maple. Fitness (FV/FM) and vitality (PIabs) were both significantly reduced in both ETOH treatments compared to controls in white pine. In red maple, fitness was reduced in the double ETOH treated trees but the final mean FV/FM values were within the approximate optimal of health. Ethanol injections, in combination with Ips-specific semiochemicals, show promise for creating standing coarse woody debris (CWD) in white pine. Injecting ethanol was not effective for stressing red maple.
      PubDate: 2016-06-15
      DOI: 10.3390/f7060124
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 6 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 125: Wildfires Dynamics in Siberian Larch Forests

    • Authors: Evgenii Ponomarev, Viacheslav Kharuk, Kenneth Ranson
      First page: 125
      Abstract: Wildfire number and burned area temporal dynamics within all of Siberia and along a south-north transect in central Siberia (45°–73° N) were studied based on NOAA/AVHRR (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/ Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer) and Terra/MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) data and field measurements for the period 1996–2015. In addition, fire return interval (FRI) along the south-north transect was analyzed. Both the number of forest fires and the size of the burned area increased during recent decades (p < 0.05). Significant correlations were found between forest fires, burned areas and air temperature (r = 0.5) and drought index (The Standardized Precipitation Evapotranspiration Index, SPEI) (r = −0.43). Within larch stands along the transect, wildfire frequency was strongly correlated with incoming solar radiation (r = 0.91). Fire danger period length decreased linearly from south to north along the transect.  Fire return interval increased from 80 years at 62° N to 200 years at the Arctic Circle (66°33’ N), and to about 300 years near the northern limit of closed forest stands (about 71°+ N). That increase was negatively correlated with incoming solar radiation (r = −0.95).
      PubDate: 2016-06-17
      DOI: 10.3390/f7060125
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 6 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 126: Influence of Starvation on the Structure of
           Gut-Associated Bacterial Communities in the Chinese White Pine Beetle
           (Dendroctonus armandi)

    • Authors: Xia Hu, Ming Li, Feiping Zhang, Hui Chen
      First page: 126
      Abstract: This study investigated the influence of starvation on the structure of the gut bacterial community in the Chinese white pine beetle (Dendroctonus armandi). A total of 14 operational taxonomic units (OTUs0.03) clusters belonging to nine genera were identified. Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) profiles of bacterial PCR-amplified 16S rRNA gene fragments from the guts of starved male and female adults revealed that the bacterial community diversity increased after starvation. The dominant genus Citrobacter decreased significantly, whereas the genus Serratia increased in both starved female and starved male adults. The most predominant bacterial genus in D. armandi adults was Citrobacter, except for starved male adults, in which Serratia was the most abundant genus (27%). Our findings reveal that starvation affects gut bacterial dynamics in D. armandi, as has been observed in other insect species.
      PubDate: 2016-06-20
      DOI: 10.3390/f7060126
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 6 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 127: Forest Inventory with Terrestrial LiDAR: A
           Comparison of Static and Hand-Held Mobile Laser Scanning

    • First page: 127
      Abstract: The application of static terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) in forest inventories is becoming more effective. Nevertheless, the occlusion effect is still limiting the processing efficiency to extract forest attributes. The use of a mobile laser scanner (MLS) would reduce this occlusion. In this study, we assessed and compared a hand-held mobile laser scanner (HMLS) with two TLS approaches (single scan: SS, and multi scan: MS) for the estimation of several forest parameters in a wide range of forest types and structures. We found that SS is competitive to extract the ground surface of forest plots, while MS gives the best result to describe the upper part of the canopy. The whole cross-section at 1.3 m height is scanned for 91% of the trees (DBH > 10 cm) with the HMLS leading to the best results for DBH estimates (bias of −0.08 cm and RMSE of 1.11 cm), compared to no fully-scanned trees for SS and 42% fully-scanned trees for MS. Irregularities, such as bark roughness and non-circular cross-section may explain the negative bias encountered for all of the scanning approaches. The success of using MLS in forests will allow for 3D structure acquisition on a larger scale and in a time-efficient manner.
      PubDate: 2016-06-21
      DOI: 10.3390/f7060127
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 6 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 92: A Multidimensional Environmental Value
           Orientation Approach to Forest Recreation Area Tourism Market Segmentation

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

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

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

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

    • Authors: Anil Kizha, Han-Sup Han
      First page: 96
      Abstract: Biomass amounts predicted by generalized models are often not applicable for small regions. Localized allometric models were developed relating tree/biomass components to diameter at breast height (dbh) for coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens (D. Don) Endl.) from an industrial timberland in northwestern California, USA. dbh for the candidate trees ranged from 2.54 cm to 84.07 cm. Biomass of tree components, such as bole, foliage, bark, live and dead branches, along with the total aboveground biomass (TAGB) were estimated. Other tree dimensions such as tree height, height to live crown, weight and volume of bole wood were also modeled. Localized allometric models were able to explain more than 93% of the variability for most of the tree components (p < 0.001). Biomass amounts predicted from the widely used generalized models were different from that estimated by the localized allometric model developed from this study. However, the results presented in this study should be used carefully to predict the biomass components, if applied outside the stated dbh range or stand conditions on which this study was based.
      PubDate: 2016-04-27
      DOI: 10.3390/f7050096
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 5 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 97: A Decade Trend of Total Factor Productivity of
           Key State-Owned Forestry Enterprises in China

    • Authors: Hongqiang Yang, Tian Yuan, Xiaobiao Zhang, Suyan Li
      First page: 97
      Abstract: State-owned forestry enterprises are important elements of the forestry economy in China. The operational efficiency of such enterprises depends on technological progress and other input factors. Total factor productivity (TFP) is an important means to evaluate the efficiency of technical elements. The growth of production efficiency can be classified into efficiency variation and technical variation. The TFP of 135 key state-owned forestry enterprises in the northeast, southwest, and northwest regions of China in 2001–2011 was measured through Malmquist–data envelopment analysis. The technological progress of the state-owned forestry enterprises positively affected TFP variation, but technical efficiency only slightly increased and scale efficiency even negatively affected TFP variation. The average growth rate of TFP in the northwest region is higher than those in the northeast and southwest regions. The Western Development Program of China increasingly contributes to the economic development of western areas. The increasing investment of the government in science and technology accelerates the development of forestry economy in China.
      PubDate: 2016-04-29
      DOI: 10.3390/f7050097
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 5 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 98: Carbon Dynamics of Pinus palustris Ecosystems
           Following Drought

    • Authors: Gregory Starr, Christina Staudhammer, Susanne Wiesner, Sujit Kunwor, Henry Loescher, Andres Baron, Andrew Whelan, Robert Mitchell, Lindsay Boring
      First page: 98
      Abstract: Drought can affect forest structure and function at various spatial and temporal scales. Forest response and recovery from drought may be a result of position within landscape. Longleaf pine forests in the United States have been observed to reduce their carbon sequestration capacity during drought. We collected eddy covariance data at the ends of an edaphic longleaf pine gradient (xeric and mesic sites) over seven years; two years of normal rainfall were followed by 2.5 years of drought, then 2.5 years of normal or slightly above-average rainfall. Drought played a significant role in reducing the physiological capacity of the sites and was compounded when prescribed fire occurred during the same periods. The mesic site has a 40% greater basal area then the xeric site, which accounts for its larger sequestration capacity; however, both sites show the same range of variance in fluxes over the course of the study. Following drought, both sites became carbon sinks. However, the xeric site had a longer carry-over effect and never returned to pre-drought function. Although this study encompassed seven years, we argue that longer studies with greater spatial variance must be undertaken to develop a more comprehensive understanding of forest response to changing climate.
      PubDate: 2016-04-29
      DOI: 10.3390/f7050098
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 5 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 99: The Speed of Invasion: Rates of Spread for
           Thirteen Exotic Forest Insects and Diseases

    • Authors: Alexander Evans
      First page: 99
      Abstract: Invasive, exotic insects and diseases have a devastating effect on North American forests. The rate of spread, or range expansion, is one of the main determinants of an invasive organism’s impact, and can play a major role in structuring management response options. To better understand how exotic organisms have spread through our forests, this study employs a consistent, rigorous analytical framework to analyze a comprehensive geospatial database for the spread of seven exotic insects and six diseases. This study includes new data for six insects and two diseases in combination with five invasive species previously analyzed using the same technique. The quantile regression analysis of over 3000 records of infestation over the preceding century show that the rate of spread of invasive forest insects and diseases ranges from 4.2 km·year−1 to 57.0 km·year−1. The slowest disease spread was white pine blister rust (Cronartium ribicola) at 7.4 km·year−1 while the most rapid disease spread was chestnut blight (Cryphonectria parasitica) at 31.3 km·year−1. The slowest insect spread was balsam woolly adelgid (Adelges piceae) (4.2 km·year−1) while the fastest was emerald ash borer (Agrilus planipennis) at 57.0 km·year−1. Species that can fly long distances or are vectored by flying insects have spread faster than those that are passively dispersed. This analysis highlights the difficulty of estimating spread rates from studies of individual dispersal or flight distances, but the estimated spread rates in this study are generally in line with previous estimates.
      PubDate: 2016-05-04
      DOI: 10.3390/f7050099
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 5 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 100: Decision Support for Participatory Forest
           Planning Using AHP and TOPSIS

    • First page: 100
      Abstract: Long-term forest management planning often involves several stakeholders with conflicting objectives, creating a complex decision process. Multiple-criteria decision analysis (MCDA) presents a promising framework for finding solutions in terms of suitable trade-offs among the objectives. However, many of the MCDA methods that have been implemented in forest management planning can only be used to compare and evaluate a limited number of management plans, which increases the risk that the most suitable plan is not included in the decision process. The aim of this study is to test whether the combination of two MCDA methods can facilitate the evaluation of a large number of strategic forest management plans in a situation with multiple objectives and several stakeholders. The Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) was used to set weights for objectives based on stakeholder preferences and the Technique for Order Preference by Similarity to Ideal Solution (TOPSIS) was used to produce an overall ranking of alternatives. This approach was applied to a case study of the Vilhelmina municipality, northern Sweden. The results show that the combination of AHP and TOPSIS is easy to implement in participatory forest planning and takes advantage of the capacity of forest decision support systems to create a wide array of management plans. This increases the possibility that the most suitable plan for all stakeholders will be identified.
      PubDate: 2016-05-05
      DOI: 10.3390/f7050100
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 5 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 101: Pattern and Drivers of White-Tailed Deer
           (Odocoileus virginianus) Herbivory on Tree Saplings across a Plateau

    • Authors: Jonathan Evans, Callie Oldfield, Kristen Cecala, John Hiers, Chris Van De Ven, Meg Armistead
      First page: 101
      Abstract: White-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) populations are impacting long-term regeneration across eastern United States forests. Deer distribution and resulting herbivory patterns are variable across a landscape due to habitat patchiness and topography. It is poorly understood how features associated with topography control deer herbivory. We examined the heterogeneity of deer herbivory as it affects sapling densities across a single forest-type landscape on the Cumberland Plateau. The 1242 hectare site represented a peninsula of tableland that transitioned from developed land to forest and was surrounded on three sides by a bluff, irregularly punctuated by drainages. We examined the spatial variability of deer impacts on sapling density and modeled the relative importance of plateau accessibility features related to topography, proximity to edge, and deer culling as predictors of sapling variation. We used a stratified random design to sample sapling density across the landscape in 2012 and 2015. The intensity of deer herbivory on saplings varied, with the fewest saplings in forests surrounded by residential development. Our model predicted that plateau accessibility measures best determined sapling densities, followed by distance from edge and deer culling measures. Our results suggest that herbivory impacts may not be homogeneous in a contiguous uniform landscape if there are topographic barriers.
      PubDate: 2016-05-06
      DOI: 10.3390/f7050101
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 5 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 102: Time Efficiency of Selected Types of Adjacency
           Constraints in Solving Unit Restriction Models

    • First page: 102
      Abstract: Spatial restrictions of harvesting have been extensively studied due to a number of environmental, social and legal regulations. Many spatial restrictions are defined by adjacency constraints, for which a number of algorithms have been developed. Research into the unit restriction model (URM) using a branch and bound algorithm focused on decreasing the number of adjacency constraints in harvest scheduling models, since the early solvers have been limited by the number of constraints and integer decision variables. However, this approach can lead to a loss of efficiency in solving mixed integer models. Recent improvements in commercial solvers and personal computers have made the reduction of constraints less relevant, since many solvers now accept an unlimited number of constraints and decision variables. The aim of this paper was to compare the time efficiency of solving unit restriction harvest scheduling models with different types of adjacency constraints using a commercial solver. The presented results indicate that the type of adjacency constraints can have a significant effect on the solving time and therefore could be a crucial factor of the time required for developing forest plans. We note that pairwise adjacency constraints may be sufficient today for addressing unit restriction forest harvest scheduling problems.
      PubDate: 2016-05-11
      DOI: 10.3390/f7050102
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 5 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 103: Regional Instability in the Abundance of Open
           Stands in the Boreal Forest of Eastern Canada

    • First page: 103
      Abstract: Fires are a key disturbance of boreal forests. In fact, they are the main source of renewal and evolution for forest stands. The variability of fire through space and time results in a diversified forest mosaic, altering their species composition, structure and productivity. A resilient forest is assumed to be in a state of dynamic equilibrium with the fire regime, so that the composition, age structure and succession stages of forests should be consistent with the fire regime. Dense spruce-moss stands tend, however, to diminish in favour of more open stands similar to spruce-lichen stands when subjected to more frequent and recurring disturbances. This study therefore focused on the effects of spatial and temporal variations in burn rates on the proportion of open stands over a large geographic area (175,000 km2) covered by black spruce (Picea mariana (Mill.) Britton, Sterns, Poggenb.). The study area was divided into 10 different zones according to burn rates, as measured using fire-related data collected between 1940 and 2006. To test if the abundance of open stands was unstable over time and not in equilibrium with the current fire regime, forest succession was simulated using a landscape dynamics model that showed that the abundance of open stands should increase progressively over time in zones where the average burn rate is high. The proportion of open stands generated during a specific historical period is correlated with the burn rate observed during the same period. Rising annual burn rates over the past two decades have thereby resulted in an immediate increase in the proportion of open stands. There is therefore a difference between the current proportion of open stands and the one expected if vegetation was in equilibrium with the disturbance regime, reflecting an instability that may significantly impact the way forest resources are managed. It is apparent from this study that forestry planning should consider the risks associated with the temporal variability of fire regimes on the forest ecosystem, as the resulting changes can have a significant impact on biodiversity and allowable cut estimates.
      PubDate: 2016-05-12
      DOI: 10.3390/f7050103
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 5 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 104: Joining Criteria for Harmonizing European
           Forest Available for Wood Supply Estimates. Case Studies from National
           Forest Inventories

    • First page: 104
      Abstract: For national and international reporting on forest available for wood supply (FAWS), harmonized data are needed. This information is required as forests provide goods for various sectors like the timber industry or the bioenergy sector. The effect of applying different thresholds to the three restriction classes (environmental, social and economic restriction) within the proposed reference definition for FAWS was evaluated. We applied the reference definition for FAWS to national data sets provided by five European National Forest Inventories using harmonized thresholds. The effects on FAWS area and growing stock were evaluated for each restriction and threshold. All countries within this study could report on protected areas. Social restrictions were not applied in any country, data on other restrictions are available but definitions vary. The application of common thresholds for restrictions proved difficult as effects vary between countries. The economic restriction is the most challenging to assess as many countries do not have corresponding data for direct calculation of, e.g., harvesting costs. Using proxies for harvesting costs was difficult, as common thresholds may not be applied in different countries. For standardized reporting, a FAWS definition should be developed that utilizes existing, harmonized indicators to describe restrictions.
      PubDate: 2016-05-12
      DOI: 10.3390/f7050104
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 5 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 105: Vulnerability of Commercial Tree Species to
           Water Stress in Logged Forests of the Guiana Shield

    • First page: 105
      Abstract: The future of tropical managed forests is threatened by climate change. In anticipation of the increase in the frequency of drought episodes predicted by climatic models for intertropical regions, it is essential to study commercial trees’ resilience and vulnerability to water stress by identifying potential interaction effects between selective logging and stress due to a lack of water. Focusing on 14 species representing a potential or acknowledged commercial interest for wood production in the Guiana Shield, a joint model coupling growth and mortality for each species was parametrized, including a climatic variable related to water stress and the quantity of aboveground biomass lost after logging. For the vast majority of the species, water stress had a negative impact on growth rate, while the impact of logging was positive. The opposite results were observed for the mortality. Combining results from growth and mortality models, we generate vulnerability profiles and ranking from species apparently quite resistant to water stress (Chrysophyllum spp., Goupia glabra Aubl., Qualea rosea Aubl.), even under logging pressure, to highly vulnerable species (Sterculia spp.). In light of our results, forest managers in the Guiana Shield may want to conduct (i) a conservation strategy of the most vulnerable species and (ii) a diversification of the logged species. Conservation of the already-adapted species may also be considered as the most certain way to protect the tropical forests under future climates.
      PubDate: 2016-05-12
      DOI: 10.3390/f7050105
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 5 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 106: What Are the Impacts of Deforestation on the
           Harvest of Non-Timber Forest Products in Central Africa?

    • First page: 106
      Abstract: The objective of the study is to evaluate the impact of forest transition on non-timber forest product (NTFP) harvesting in Central Africa. We analyze the evolution of several parameters, including distance from NTFP harvest site to road, proportion of dietary intake and villagers’ incomes. The research is based on field surveys, participatory mapping and the geolocation of activities in three study sites representing different stages along the Mather’s forest transition curve: (i) intact forest; (ii) partially degraded forest; and (iii) small areas of degraded forest with plantations of useful trees. The results show that the maximum distance from harvest site to road is higher in Site 2 compared to Site 1 as a consequence of a lower availability of NTFPs; and that this distance is significantly lower in Site 3 due to a drastically smaller village territory. The diversity of bushmeat decreases as game evolves from large to small species, commensurate with the progression of forest transition. As a consequence, there is also a reduction in the proportion of these products represented both in household dietary intake and cash income. This analysis establishes a strong link between the Mather’s forest transition curve and a decline in the importance of NTFPs in village production and livelihoods.
      PubDate: 2016-05-12
      DOI: 10.3390/f7050106
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 5 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 107: Rating a Wildfire Mitigation Strategy with an
           Insurance Premium: A Boreal Forest Case Study

    • First page: 107
      Abstract: Risk analysis entails the systematic use of historical information to determine the frequency, magnitude and effects of unexpected events. Wildfire in boreal North America is a key driver of forest dynamics and may cause very significant economic losses. An actuarial approach to risk analysis based on cumulative probability distributions was developed to reduce the adverse effects of wildfire. To this effect, we developed spatially explicit landscape models to simulate the interactions between harvest, fire and forest succession over time in a boreal forest of eastern Canada. We estimated the amount of reduction of timber harvest necessary to build a buffer stock of sufficient size to cover fire losses and compared it to an insurance premium estimated in units of timber volume from the probability of occurrence and the amount of damage. Overall, the timber harvest reduction we applied was much more costly than the insurance premium even with a zero interest rate. This is due to the fact that the insurance premium is directly related to risk while the timber harvest reduction is not and, as a consequence, is much less efficient. These results, especially the comparison with a standard indicator such as an insurance premium, have useful implications at the time of choosing a mitigation strategy to protect timber supplies against risk without overly diminishing the provision of services from the forest. They are also promoting the use of insurance against disastrous events in forest management planning.
      PubDate: 2016-05-13
      DOI: 10.3390/f7050107
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 5 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 108: Changes of Chemical and Biological Properties
           of Distinct Forest Floor Layers after Wood Ash Application in a Norway
           Spruce Stand

    • First page: 108
      Abstract: The effect of wood ash (WA) fertilisation on chemical and biological properties of forest floor layers was studied in a Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst.) stand in the central part of Slovakia at an altitude of 1300 m above sea level. In the forest floor, litter (OL), fragmented (OF), and humic (OH) horizons with average thickness of 1.5, 2, and 4 cm, respectively, could be distinguished. Three replicates of two wood ash treatments (3 and 6 t·ha−1) and a control were established in the autumn of 2012. Soil samples from OL, OF, OH and A-horizon were taken 0.5, 1, 6 and 12 months after the WA application. In soil samples chemical (pH, C and N content, C:N ratio, concentration of exchangeable Ca, Mg and K) and microbial properties (basal respiration, catalase activity, structure of microbial community based on BIOLOG assay) were determined. Our results showed that the changes in microbial and chemical properties do not occur simultaneously in particular horizons. WA application in autumn lead to a significant increase in pH, base cation concentration, and distinct losses in C and N content in the OL layer in the first month; however, at the beginning of the vegetation period, the most pronounced effect of WA was observed in OF and especially OH horizons; no changes were found in the A-horizon. Different properties of particular forest floor horizons led to a vertical stratification of the microbial community. Each forest floor horizon had particular properties, leading to a vertical stratification of the microbial community; deeper horizons had more homogenous functional groups.
      PubDate: 2016-05-21
      DOI: 10.3390/f7050108
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 5 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 109: The Effects of Disturbance History on
           Ground-Layer Plant Community Composition in British Columbia

    • Authors: Michael Ton, Meg Krawchuk
      First page: 109
      Abstract: Plant communities are sensitive to perturbations and may display alternative recovery pathways depending on disturbance history. In sub-boreal lodgepole pine forests of central interior British Columbia, Canada, fire and logging are two widespread landscape disturbances that overlap in many regions. We asked whether cumulative, short-interval disturbance from logging and fire resulted in different ground-layer plant communities than resulted from fire alone. Using field-collected data, we compared the taxonomic composition and functional traits of 3-year old plant communities that were either harvested 6-to-13 years prior, or not harvested prior to being burned in a large stand-replacing fire. The taxonomic composition diverged between the two treatments, driven primarily by differences in a few key indicator species such as Petasites frigidus and Vaccinium membranaceum. Analysis of individual species’ morphological traits indicated that only a few species vary in size in relation to disturbance history. Our data suggest that a history of forest harvest leaves a subtle footprint on post-fire ground-layer plant communities at early stages of succession.
      PubDate: 2016-05-21
      DOI: 10.3390/f7050109
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 5 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 73: Spatial Patterns of Irradiance and Advanced
           Reproduction along a Canopy Disturbance Severity Gradient in an Upland
           Hardwood Stand

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • Authors: Shem Kuyah, Gudeta Sileshi, Todd Rosenstock
      First page: 13
      Abstract: The miombo woodland is the most extensive dry forest in the world, with the potential to store substantial amounts of biomass carbon. Efforts to obtain accurate estimates of carbon stocks in the miombo woodlands are limited by a general lack of biomass estimation models (BEMs). This study aimed to evaluate the accuracy of most commonly employed allometric models for estimating aboveground biomass (AGB) in miombo woodlands, and to develop new models that enable more accurate estimation of biomass in the miombo woodlands. A generalizable mixed-species allometric model was developed from 88 trees belonging to 33 species ranging in diameter at breast height (DBH) from 5 to 105 cm using Bayesian estimation. A power law model with DBH alone performed better than both a polynomial model with DBH and the square of DBH, and models including height and crown area as additional variables along with DBH. The accuracy of estimates from published models varied across different sites and trees of different diameter classes, and was lower than estimates from our model. The model developed in this study can be used to establish conservative carbon stocks required to determine avoided emissions in performance-based payment schemes, for example in afforestation and reforestation activities.
      PubDate: 2016-02-03
      DOI: 10.3390/f7020013
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 2 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 35: Seasonal Variations of Carbon Dioxide, Water
           Vapor and Energy Fluxes in Tropical Indian Mangroves

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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