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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: 5)
Advances in Forestry Science     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Agrociencia     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Agroforestry Systems     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 19)
Annals of Forest Research     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Annals of Forest Science     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6)
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: 10)
Arboricultural Journal : The International Journal of Urban Forestry     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 7)
Arboriculture and Urban Forestry     Partially Free   (Followers: 7)
Australian Forest Grower     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 4)
Australian Forestry     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Balduinia     Open Access  
Banko Janakari     Open Access  
Bosque     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Bulletin of University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine Cluj-Napoca. Horticulture     Open Access  
Canadian Journal of Forest Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 27)
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: 8)
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: 58)
Forest Ecosystems     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Forest Pathology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2)
Forest Phytophthoras     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Forest Policy and Economics     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 23)
Forest Research     Open Access  
Forest Research Papers     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Forest Science     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 6)
Forest Science and Practice     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2)
Forest Science and Technology     Partially Free   (Followers: 1)
Forest Systems     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Forest@ : Journal of Silviculture and Forest Ecology     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Foresta Veracruzana     Open Access  
Forestry Chronicle     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 11)
Forestry Letters     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Forestry Studies : Metsanduslikud Uurimused     Open Access  
Forestry: An International Journal of Forest Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 16)
Forests     Open Access   (Followers: 4)
Forests, Trees and Livelihoods     Partially Free   (Followers: 5)
Ghana Journal of Forestry     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Holzforschung     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 1)
iForest : Biogeosciences and Forestry     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Indonesian Journal of Forestry Research     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
INNOTEC : Revista del Laboratorio Tecnológico del Uruguay     Open Access  
International Forestry Review     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 7)
International Journal of Agriculture and Forestry     Open Access   (Followers: 8)
International Journal of Forest Engineering     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 1)
International Journal of Forestry Research     Open Access   (Followers: 4)
Irish Journal of Agricultural and Food Research     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Journal of Agriculture, Forestry and the Social Sciences     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
Journal of Biodiversity Management & Forestry     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4)
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 Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 3)
Journal of Forestry     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 15)
Journal of Forestry Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4)
Journal of Horticulture and Forestry     Open Access   (Followers: 5)
Journal of Natural Resources Policy Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 13)
Journal of Research in Forestry, Wildlife and Environment     Open Access   (Followers: 4)
Journal of Sustainable Forestry     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 7)
Journal of the Faculty of Forestry Istanbul University     Open Access  
Journal of Wood Chemistry and Technology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 10)
Journal of Wood Science     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4)
Jurnal Ilmu Kehutanan     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Jurnal Manajemen Hutan Tropika     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Jurnal Penelitian Kehutanan Wallacea     Open Access  
La Calera     Open Access  
Landscapes     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 19)
Lesnícky časopis     Open Access  
Maderas. Ciencia y tecnología     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Mathematical and Computational Forestry & Natural-Resource Sciences     Free  
Natural Areas Journal     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 12)
New Forests     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2)
New Zealand Journal of Forestry Science     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Open Journal of Forestry     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
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   (Followers: 1)
Revista Ecologia e Nutrição Florestal - ENFLO     Open Access  
Revista Verde de Agroecologia e Desenvolvimento Sustentável     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Revue forestière française     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 4)
Rural Sustainability Research     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Rwanda Journal     Full-text available via subscription  
Scandinavian Journal of Forest Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4)
Science, Technology and Arts Research Journal     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Silva Lusitana     Open Access  
Small-scale Forestry     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2)
Southern African Forestry Journal     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
Southern Forests : a Journal of Forest Science     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 5)
Tanzania Journal of Forestry and Nature Conservation     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Trees     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 5)
Urban Forestry & Urban Greening     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 9)
Veld & Flora     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Wahana Forestra : Jurnal Kehutanan     Open Access  
Wood and Fiber Science     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 4)


Journal Cover Forests
  [SJR: 0.63]   [H-I: 16]   [4 followers]  Follow
  This is an Open Access Journal Open Access journal
   ISSN (Print) 1999-4907
   Published by MDPI Homepage  [156 journals]
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 343: Forest Structure Estimation from a UAV-Based
           Photogrammetric Point Cloud in Managed Temperate Coniferous Forests

    • Authors: Tetsuji Ota, Miyuki Ogawa, Nobuya Mizoue, Keiko Fukumoto, Shigejiro Yoshida
      First page: 343
      Abstract: Here, we investigated the capabilities of a lightweight unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) photogrammetric point cloud for estimating forest biophysical properties in managed temperate coniferous forests in Japan, and the importance of spectral information for the estimation. We estimated four biophysical properties: stand volume (V), Lorey’s mean height (HL), mean height (HA), and max height (HM). We developed three independent variable sets, which included a height variable, a spectral variable, and a combined height and spectral variable. The addition of a dominant tree type to the above data sets was also tested. The model including a height variable and dominant tree type was the best for all biophysical property estimations. The root-mean-square errors (RMSEs) for the best model for V, HL, HA, and HM, were 118.30, 1.13, 1.24, and 1.24, respectively. The model including a height variable alone yielded the second highest accuracy. The respective RMSEs were 131.74, 1.21, 1.31, and 1.32. The model including a spectral variable alone yielded much lower estimation accuracy than that including a height variable. Thus, a lightweight UAV photogrammetric point cloud could accurately estimate forest biophysical properties, and a spectral variable was not necessarily required for the estimation. The dominant tree type improved estimation accuracy.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-09-13
      DOI: 10.3390/f8090343
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 9 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 344: Relationships between Plant Species Richness
           and Terrain in Middle Sub-Tropical Eastern China

    • Authors: Chuangye Song, Mingchang Cao
      First page: 344
      Abstract: The objective of this research was to study the relation between species richness and topography in the middle sub-tropical area of Eastern China. A species richness survey was conducted along altitude in Kaihua County, Zhejiang Province, Eastern China. Topographic variables, such as altitude, slope, aspect, terrain roughness, relief degree and the topographical wetness index, were extracted from the digital elevation model. The Generalized Additive Model (GAM), the linear model and the quadratic model were used to fit response curves of species richness to topographic variables. The results indicated that altitude and the topographical wetness index have a significant relation to species richness. Species richness has a unimodal response to altitude and a linear response to the topographical wetness index. However, no significant correlations were observed between slope, aspect and species richness. The predicted species richness by GAM is significantly correlated with the observed species richness, whereas the prediction error tends to increase with the increment of species richness. This study furthered insights into the relationship between topography and plants’ diversity in the middle sub-tropical area of Eastern China.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-09-14
      DOI: 10.3390/f8090344
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 9 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 345: Towards a Theoretical Construct for Modelling
           Smallholders’ Forestland-Use Decisions: What Can We Learn from
           Agriculture and Forest Economics'

    • Authors: Kahlil Baker, Gary Bull, Kathy Baylis, Richard Barichello
      First page: 345
      Abstract: Academic research on smallholders’ forestland-use decisions is regularly addressed in different streams of literature using different theoretical constructs that are independently incomplete. In this article, we propose a theoretical construct for modelling smallholders’ forestland-use decisions intended to serve in the guidance and operationalization of future models for quantitative analysis. Our construct is inspired by the sub-disciplines of forestry and agricultural economics with a crosscutting theme of how transaction costs drive separability between consumption and production decisions. Our results help explain why exogenous variables proposed in the existing literature are insufficient at explaining smallholders’ forestland-use decisions, and provide theoretical context for endogenizing characteristics of the household, farm and landscape. Smallholders’ forestland-use decisions are best understood in an agricultural context of competing uses for household assets and interdependent consumption and production decisions. Forest production strategies range from natural regeneration to intensive management of the forest resource to co-jointly produce market and non-market values. Due to transaction costs, decision prices are best represented by their shadow as opposed to market prices. Shadow prices are shaped by endogenous smallholder-specific preferences for leisure, non-market values, time, risk, and uncertainty. Our proposed construct is intended to provide a theoretical basis to assist modellers in the selection of variables for quantitative analysis.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-09-14
      DOI: 10.3390/f8090345
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 9 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 346: Patterns of Early Postfire Succession of
           Alpine, Subalpine and Lichen-Woodland Vegetation: 21 Years of Monitoring
           from Permanent Plots

    • Authors: François Girard, Serge Payette, Ann Delwaide
      First page: 346
      Abstract: Field observations using chronosequences are helpful to study vegetation succession. This method allows to establish comparisons based on soil composition, stand structure, micro- and macrofossil remains from sites of different ages but on similar edaphic and topographic conditions. In the boreal forest, post-fire succession through time is triggered by climate, disturbance history (insect epidemics, fire and logging), latitude and altitude. The main objective of this research is to identify the main patterns of early post-fire succession, including similarities and differences in vegetation composition and attributes, of three contrasted ecosystems distributed along an altitudinal gradient. To do so, we have monitored the successional development of the alpine, subalpine and boreal lichen-woodland sites during the first 21 years (1991 to 2011) of post-fire sequence in eastern Canada 1991 to 2011. Each site was characterized by a different functional group that became established following fire. A rapid resurgence of ericaceous shrubs and lichens was observed in the lichen woodland and subalpine sites. Bryophyte and lichen species were not an important component of vegetation communities during the earlier stages of post-fire succession. For all three sites monitored, lichens were the last functional group to establish in the chronosequences. Herbs and mosses characterized the post-fire succession in alpine areas, the latter functional group established late in the chronosequence to cover >25% of the site after 15 years. Post-fire chronosequences in the three contrasted environments indicate that plant succession is a repetitive process often involving similar resilient plant assemblages.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-09-15
      DOI: 10.3390/f8090346
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 9 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 347: Rapid Shifts in Soil Nutrients and
           Decomposition Enzyme Activity in Early Succession Following Forest Fire

    • Authors: Joseph Knelman, Emily Graham, Scott Ferrenberg, Aurélien Lecoeuvre, Amanda Labrado, John Darcy, Diana Nemergut, Steven Schmidt
      First page: 347
      Abstract: While past research has studied forest succession on decadal timescales, ecosystem responses to rapid shifts in nutrient dynamics within the first months to years of succession after fire (e.g., carbon (C) burn-off, a pulse in inorganic nitrogen (N), accumulation of organic matter, etc.) have been less well documented. This work reveals how rapid shifts in nutrient availability associated with fire disturbance may drive changes in soil enzyme activity on short timescales in forest secondary succession. In this study, we evaluate soil chemistry and decomposition extracellular enzyme activity (EEA) across time to determine whether rapid shifts in nutrient availability (1–29 months after fire) might control microbial enzyme activity. We found that, with advancing succession, soil nutrients correlate with C-targeting β-1,4-glucosidase (BG) EEA four months after the fire, and with N-targeting β-1,4-N-acetylglucosaminidase (NAG) EEA at 29 months after the fire, indicating shifting nutrient limitation and decomposition dynamics. We also observed increases in BG:NAG ratios over 29 months in these recently burned soils, suggesting relative increases in microbial activity around C-cycling and C-acquisition. These successional dynamics were unique from seasonal changes we observed in unburned, forested reference soils. Our work demonstrates how EEA may shift even within the first months to years of ecosystem succession alongside common patterns of post-fire nutrient availability. Thus, this work emphasizes that nutrient dynamics in the earliest stages of forest secondary succession are important for understanding rates of C and N cycling and ecosystem development.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-09-15
      DOI: 10.3390/f8090347
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 9 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 348: Long Non-Coding RNAs Responsive to Witches’
           Broom Disease in Paulownia tomentosa

    • Authors: Zhe Wang, Xiaoqiao Zhai, Yabing Cao, Yanpeng Dong, Guoqiang Fan
      First page: 348
      Abstract: Paulownia witches’ broom (PaWB) disease caused by phytoplasmas is a fatal disease that leads to considerable economic losses. Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) have been demonstrated to play critical regulatory roles in posttranscriptional and transcriptional regulation. However, lncRNAs and their functional roles remain poorly characterized in Paulownia. To identify lncRNAs and investigate their roles in the response to PaWB phytoplasmas, RNA sequencing was performed for healthy Paulownia tomentosa, PaWB-infected P. tomentosa, and for healthy and PaWB-infected P. tomentosa treated with 100 mg L−1 rifampicin. A total of 28,614 unique mRNAs and 3693 potential lncRNAs were identified. Comparisons between lncRNAs and coding genes indicated that lncRNAs tended to have shorter transcripts and fewer exon numbers, and displayed significant expression specificity. Based on our comparison scheme, 1063 PaWB-related mRNAs and 110 PaWB-related lncRNAs were identified; among them, 12 PaWB-related candidate target genes that were regulated by nine PaWB-related lncRNAs were characterized. This study provides the first catalog of lncRNAs expressed in Paulownia and gives a revealing insight into the molecular mechanism responsible for PaWB.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-09-15
      DOI: 10.3390/f8090348
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 9 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 349: Structure and Composition of a Dry
           Mixed-Conifer Forest in Absence of Contemporary Treatments, Southwest, USA

    • Authors: Douglas Cram, Pradip Saud, Terrell Baker
      First page: 349
      Abstract: Dry mixed-conifer forests in the Southwest occupy an important ecological and hydrological role in upper watersheds. In the absence of reoccurring fire and silvicultural treatments over the last 50 years, we quantified forest structure and composition on prevailing north and south aspects of a dry mixed-conifer forest in southcentral New Mexico using mixed models and ordination analysis in preparation for an experiment in ecological restoration. Results indicated overstory and midstory were dominated by Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) and shade tolerant/fire intolerant white fir (Abies concolor) with interspersed mature aspen on north aspects, and Douglas-fir and Southwestern white pine (Pinus strobiformis) on south aspects. Ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa), which was historically co-dominant with Douglas-fir on north and south aspects, was subdominant on south aspects and almost entirely absent on north aspects. Regeneration was dominated by white fir saplings and seedlings on north aspects while ponderosa pine was completely absent. South aspect saplings and seedlings were characterized by Douglas-fir and Southwestern white pine, but almost no ponderosa pine. Ordination analysis characterized the effect of aspect on species composition. Understanding contemporary forest structure and composition is important when planning for desired future conditions that are to be achieved through ecological restoration using silvicultural techniques designed to foster resilience.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-09-16
      DOI: 10.3390/f8090349
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 9 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 350: How Reliable Are Heat Pulse Velocity Methods
           for Estimating Tree Transpiration'

    • Authors: Michael Forster
      First page: 350
      Abstract: Transpiration is a significant component of the hydrologic cycle and its accurate quantification is critical for modelling, industry, and policy decisions. Sap flow sensors provide a low cost and practical method to measure transpiration. Various methods to measure sap flow are available and a popular family of methods is known as heat pulse velocity (HPV). Theory on thermal conductance and convection, that underpins HPV methods, suggests transpiration can be directly estimated from sensor measurements without the need for laborious calibrations. To test this accuracy, transpiration estimated from HPV sensors is compared with an independent measure of plant water use such as a weighing lysimeter. A meta-analysis of the literature that explicitly tested the accuracy of a HPV sensors against an independent measure of transpiration was conducted. Data from linear regression analysis was collated where an R2 of 1 indicates perfect precision and a slope of 1 of the linear regression curve indicates perfect accuracy. The average R2 and slope from all studies was 0.822 and 0.860, respectively. However, the overall error, or deviation from real transpiration values, was 34.706%. The results indicate that HPV sensors are precise in correlating heat velocity with rates of transpiration, but poor in quantifying transpiration. Various sources of error in converting heat velocity into sap velocity and sap flow are discussed including probe misalignment, wound corrections, thermal diffusivity, stem water content, placement of sensors in sapwood, and scaling of point measurements to whole plants. Where whole plant water use or transpiration is required in a study, it is recommended that all sap flow sensors are calibrated against an independent measure of transpiration.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-09-18
      DOI: 10.3390/f8090350
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 9 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 351: Revisiting Wildland Fire Fuel Quantification
           Methods: The Challenge of Understanding a Dynamic, Biotic Entity

    • Authors: Thomas Duff, Robert Keane, Trent Penman, Kevin Tolhurst
      First page: 351
      Abstract: Wildland fires are a function of properties of the fuels that sustain them. These fuels are themselves a function of vegetation, and share the complexity and dynamics of natural systems. Worldwide, the requirement for solutions to the threat of fire to human values has resulted in the development of systems for predicting fire behaviour. To date, regional differences in vegetation and independent fire model development has resulted a variety of approaches being used to describe, measure and map fuels. As a result, widely different systems have been adopted, resulting in incompatibilities that pose challenges to applying research findings and fire models outside their development domains. As combustion is a fundamental process, the same relationships between fuel and fire behaviour occur universally. Consequently, there is potential for developing novel fuel assessment methods that are more broadly applicable and allow fire research to be leveraged worldwide. Such a movement would require broad cooperation between researchers and would most likely necessitate a focus on universal properties of fuel. However, to truly understand fuel dynamics, the complex biotic nature of fuel would also need to remain a consideration—particularly when looking to understand the effects of altered fire regimes or changing climate.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-09-18
      DOI: 10.3390/f8090351
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 9 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 352: Environmental Performance of Eastern Canadian
           Wood Pellets as Measured Through Life Cycle Assessment

    • Authors: Alejandro Padilla-Rivera, Julie Barrette, Pierre Blanchet, Evelyne Thiffault
      First page: 352
      Abstract: Global demand for renewable energy has increased drastically over the last decade due to new climate change policies implemented in many jurisdictions. Wood pellets made from primary wood processing mill residues represent an attractive source of renewable energy that can be used in the environmental global challenge. However, the environmental impacts involved in their manufacture must be considered to measure the real benefits they can provide to the atmosphere. The general aim of this study was to evaluate the environmental impacts of wood pellet production at two Quebec plants using the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) methodology and considering a gate-to-gate approach. The paper focuses on the different stages involved in wood pellet production; from the recovery of mill residues, through the pelletization process, to pellet bagging. The paper further expands to a cradle-to-grave analysis comparing the environmental footprints of producing and combusting 1 GJ of energy from wood pellets, natural gas and fossil fuel oil. The analysis suggested that the drying and the pelletizing stages were the largest negative factors affecting the environmental performance of wood pellet production. The comparison demonstrated the environmental advantage of using renewable rather than fossil sources of energy. Considering the growing interest in renewable energy, biomass in particular, and the lack of environmental information on wood pellets, this study could be useful not only for forest sector-related industries but also for the energy sector and policymakers.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-09-19
      DOI: 10.3390/f8090352
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 9 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 353: Direct Seeding of Pinus halepensis Mill. for
           Recovery of Burned Semi-Arid Forests: Implications for Post-Fire
           Management for Improving Natural Regeneration

    • Authors: Francisco García-Morote, Eduardo Martínez-García, Manuela Andrés-Abellán, Eva Caballero, Heli Miettinen, Francisco López-Serrano
      First page: 353
      Abstract: Background: In order to maximize the resiliency of Pinus halepensis in semiarid forests, we analyzed direct seeding methods to recover burned stands by simulating post-fire soil treatments. Methods: Seeding was done by installing spot seeding (100 seeds in a 50 × 50 cm plot), using five methods: (1) covering seeding with wood chips; (2) seeding in branch piles; (3) seeding along trunks on contour-felled logs (on the shaded side); (4) seeding next to grass (Stipa tenacissima); and (5) seeding on the bare ground (control). The experiment was replicated according to aspect (northern and southern aspects). The response variables were seed germination (%), and seedling survival after the summer (measured in autumn 2015 and 2016). Direct seeding was carried out in 32 plots with 160-spot seeding, and data were analyzed using general linear models, including nested random effects. Results: Wood chips as a surface-covering material represented the only treatment that significantly improved seed germination and seedling survival (by 12.4%, and 17.4 seedlings m−2 in year 2, respectively) compared with the control in the two topographic aspects. Conclusions: Covering seeding with wood chips, and thus chipping wood within the burned stand, form a recommended post-fire treatment to improve regeneration in Pinus halepensis semiarid stands.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-09-20
      DOI: 10.3390/f8090353
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 9 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 405: Germination of Seeds of Melanoxylon brauna
           Schott. under Heat Stress: Production of Reactive Oxygen Species and
           Antioxidant Activity

    • Authors: Marcone Santos, Eduardo Borges, Glauciana Ataíde, Genaina Souza
      First page: 405
      Abstract: In this article, the authors aimed to analyze the physiological and biochemical alterations in Melanoxylon brauna seeds subjected to heat stress. For this, seed germination, electric conductivity (EC), the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS), and the activity of antioxidant enzymes were assessed. Seeds were incubated at constant temperatures of 25, 35, and 45 °C. Independent samples were first incubated at 35 and 45 °C and then transferred to 25 °C after the intervals of 24, 48, 72, and 96 h. To evaluate EC, seeds were soaked for 0, 24, 48, and 72 h, at 25, 35, and 45 °C and then transferred to Erlenmeyer flasks containing 75 mL of deionized water at 25 °C, for 24 h. ROS production and enzyme activity were assessed every 24 h in seeds soaked at the aforementioned temperatures. Germination did not occur at 45 °C. Seeds soaked at 35 °C for 72 h and then transferred to 25 °C showed higher percentages of germination and a higher germination speed. Seed soaking at 45 °C increased peroxide production, which compromised the antioxidant enzyme system due to a reduction in the activity of enzymes APX, POX, and CAT, thus ultimately also compromising the cell membrane system.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-10-25
      DOI: 10.3390/f8110405
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 11 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 406: Wild Apple Growth and Climate Change in
           Southeast Kazakhstan

    • Authors: Irina Panyushkina, Nurjan Mukhamadiev, Ann Lynch, Nursagim Ashikbaev, Alexis Arizpe, Christopher O’Connor, Danyar Abjanbaev, Gulnaz Mengdіbayeva, Abay Sagitov
      First page: 406
      Abstract: Wild populations of Malus sieversii [Ldb.] M. Roem are valued genetic and watershed resources in Inner Eurasia. These populations are located in a region that has experienced rapid and on-going climatic change over the past several decades. We assess relationships between climate variables and wild apple radial growth with dendroclimatological techniques to understand the potential of a changing climate to influence apple radial growth. Ring-width chronologies spanning 48 to 129 years were developed from 12 plots in the Trans-Ili Alatau and Jungar Alatau ranges of Tian Shan Mountains, southeastern Kazakhstan. Cluster analysis of the plot-level chronologies suggests different temporal patterns of growth variability over the last century in the two mountain ranges studied. Changes in the periodicity of annual ring-width variability occurred ca. 1970 at both mountain ranges, with decadal-scale variability supplanted by quasi-biennial variation. Seascorr correlation analysis of primary and secondary weather variables identified negative growth associations with spring precipitation and positive associations with cooler fall-winter temperatures, but the relative importance of these relationships varied spatially and temporally, with a shift in the relative importance of spring precipitation ca. 1970 at Trans-Ili Alatau. Altered apple tree radial growth patterns correspond to altered climatology in the Lake Balkhash Basin driven by unprecedented intensified Arctic Oscillations after the late 1970s.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-10-26
      DOI: 10.3390/f8110406
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 11 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 407: Taxon-Independent and Taxon-Dependent
           Responses to Drought in Seedlings from Quercus robur L., Q. petraea
           (Matt.) Liebl. and Their Morphological Intermediates

    • Authors: Kristine Vander Mijnsbrugge, Arion Turcsán, Jorne Maes, Nils Duchêne, Steven Meeus, Beatrijs Van der Aa, Kathy Steppe, Marijke Steenackers
      First page: 407
      Abstract: The increasing severity and frequency of summer droughts at mid-latitudes in Europe may impact forest regeneration. We investigated whether the sympatric species Quercus robur L., Q. petraea (Matt.) Liebl., and their morphological intermediates respond differentially to water deficit. Acorns were sourced from a naturally mixed population. Half of the potted seedlings were subjected to two successive drought periods during the first growing season, each followed by a plentiful re-watering. The surviving drought-exposed seedlings subsisted independent of the taxon of the mother tree. The phenological responses were also taxon-independent. However, drought-exposed plants showed a retarded height growth in the year following the treatment which was taxon-dependent. Offspring from Q. robur and from trees with leaves resembling Q. robur leaves and infructescences resembling Q. petraea infructescences showed a stronger decrease in height growth compared to the offspring from Q. petraea and from trees with leaves resembling Q. petraea leaves and infructescences resembling Q. robur infructescences. Diameter growth in the year following the drought treatment showed a weak taxon-dependent response. Together, our results may suggest that the composition of oak species and their hybrids in natural oak forests could be altered upon prolonged periods of precipitation deficit.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-10-27
      DOI: 10.3390/f8110407
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 11 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 408: Visual Assessment of Surface Fuel Loads Does
           Not Align with Destructively Sampled Surface Fuels

    • Authors: Sarah McColl-Gausden, Trent Penman
      First page: 408
      Abstract: Fuel load and structure are fundamental drivers of fire behaviour. Accurate data is required for managers and researchers to better understand our ability to alter fire risk. While there are many ways to quantify fuel, visual assessment methods are generally considered the most efficient. Visual hazard assessments are commonly used by managers, government agencies and consultants to provide a fuel hazard score or rating but not a quantity of fuel. Many systems attempt to convert the hazard score or rating to a fuel load for use in fire behaviour models. Here we investigate whether the conversion table in the widely used Overall Fuel Hazard Guide (OFHG) matches destructively sampled fuel loads from 116 sites across five forest types. We specifically examine whether there are quantifiable differences that can be attributed to forest type. We found there is overlap between the two methods for low, moderate and high hazard categories, however for the very high and extreme hazard categories, visual assessment overestimated fuel load in four of the five forest types. Using a commonly applied fire behaviour model, we found that the overestimation of fuel load in very high and extreme hazard categories leads to an overestimation of fire behavior in these hazard categories.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-10-27
      DOI: 10.3390/f8110408
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 11 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 409: Genetic Variation, Heritability and Genotype
           × Environment Interactions of Resin Yield, Growth Traits and Morphologic
           Traits for Pinus elliottii at Three Progeny Trials

    • Authors: Meng Lai, Leiming Dong, Min Yi, Shiwu Sun, Yingying Zhang, Li Fu, Zhenghua Xu, Lei Lei, Chunhui Leng, Lu Zhang
      First page: 409
      Abstract: To better understand the genetic control of resin yield, growth traits and morphologic traits for Pinus elliottii families, genetic relationships among these traits were examined in three 27-year-old progeny trials located in Jingdezhen, Jian and Ganzhou, Jiangxi Province, China. In total, 3695 trees from 112 families were assessed at the three sites. Significant site, family and family × site effects were found for resin yield, growth traits and morphologic traits. Resin yield and growth traits were found to be under moderate genetic control for the three sites combined, with family heritability and individual narrow-sense heritability ranging from 0.41 to 0.55 and 0.11 to 0.27, respectively. The coefficient of genotypic variation (CVG) of stem volume (SV) and crown surface area (CSA) were higher than those of other traits at each site. Genetic correlation estimates indicated that selection for growth traits might lead to a large increment in resin yield (RY), and most morphologic traits had moderate to strong correlations with growth traits at each individual site. One possible strategy in tree breeding would be to maximize resin production through selection for growth traits.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-10-30
      DOI: 10.3390/f8110409
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 11 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 410: Deterministic Models of Growth and Mortality
           for Jack Pine in Boreal Forests of Western Canada

    • Authors: Vlad Strimbu, Mike Bokalo, Philip Comeau
      First page: 410
      Abstract: We developed individual tree deterministic growth and mortality models for jack pine (Pinus banksiana Lamb.) using data from permanent sample plots in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, Canada. Height and diameter increment equations were fitted using nonlinear mixed effects models. Logistic mixed models were used to estimate jack pine survival probability based on tree and stand characteristics. The resulting models showed that (1) jack pine growth is significantly influenced by competition; (2) competitive effects differ between species groups; and (3) survival probability is affected by tree size and growth, stand composition, and stand density. The estimated coefficients of selected growth and mortality functions were implemented into the Mixedwood Growth Model (MGM) and the simulated predictions were evaluated against independently measured data. The validation showed that the MGM can effectively model jack pine trees and stands, providing support for its use in management planning.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-10-30
      DOI: 10.3390/f8110410
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 11 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 411: Dispersal Patterns of Pine Wilt Disease in the
           Early Stage of Its Invasion in South Korea

    • Authors: Won Il Choi, Hye Jung Song, Dong Soo Kim, Dae-Sung Lee, Cha-Young Lee, Youngwoo Nam, Joon-Bum Kim, Young-Seuk Park
      First page: 411
      Abstract: We characterized the dispersal patterns of pine wilt disease (PWD) in the early stage of its invasion in the South Korea, and estimated the influence of environmental factors on the dispersal of PWD. Data were obtained in 10 regions with at least five consecutive years of data for 10 years from 1994 to 2005. The dispersal patterns of PWD were categorized into four types: type 1 is a jumping type of dispersal, forming new patches; type 2 infestations are ones without any expansion of patch size; and types 3 and 4, respectively, show uni-directional or multi-directional dispersal outward from an existing patch. Dispersal patterns changed during different phases of the pathogen’s invasion history: type 1 was the most frequent in the early invasion stage. Annual dispersal distance showed regional variations. Human population density had a positive correlation with the dispersal distance of PWD, indicating that anthropogenic factors can contribute to the dispersal of PWD. Our results suggested that dispersal through jumping from areas occupied by PWD was the main dispersal route in the early stage of invasion and that after this phase, the existing colonies expanded and merged. These results supported the existence of stratified dispersal patterns of PWD.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-10-30
      DOI: 10.3390/f8110411
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 11 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 412: Decomposition of Leaves and Fine Roots in
           Three Subtropical Plantations in China Affected by Litter Substrate
           Quality and Soil Microbial Community

    • Authors: Da Luo, Ruimei Cheng, Zuomin Shi, Weixia Wang
      First page: 412
      Abstract: Leaf and root litter decomposition has been a major research focus. However, the possible effects of belowground microbial community structure and diversity on this process are poorly understood. Understanding the biochemical mechanisms controlling aboveground decomposition processes is important to predict the changes of soil carbon and nutrient cycling in response to changes of forest management regimes. Here, we explore the biochemical controls of leaf and fine root decomposition in three subtropical plantations (Ford Erythrophleum (Erythrophleum fordii Oliver), Masson Pine (Pinus massoniana Lamb.)), and a mixed plantation containing both species) using the litterbag method, and soil microbial communities were determined using phospholipid fatty acid profiles. Overall, leaves decomposed more rapidly than fine roots, potentially due to the faster degradation of their cellulose component, but not lignin. In addition, leaf and fine root decomposition rates varied among plantations, being higher in E. fordii and lower in P. massoniana. Substrate quality such as N, Ca, lignin concentration, and C/N ratio were responsible for the decomposition rate changes among plantation types. Moreover, we used redundancy analysis to examine the relationships between litter decomposition and soil microbial community composition and diversity. Results revealed that actinobacteria and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi community were the key determinants affecting leaf and fine root litter decomposition, respectively. Our work demonstrates that litter decomposition was linked to substrate quality and to the structure of soil microbial communities, and evidences the probable role of E. fordii in increasing soil nutrient availability, especially N, P and Ca. Additional data on phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) or DNA marker groups within the litterbags over time may provide insights into litter decomposition dynamics, which represents potential objectives for future long-term decomposition studies.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-10-30
      DOI: 10.3390/f8110412
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 11 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 413: Low Light Availability Associated with
           American Beech Is the Main Factor for Reduced Sugar Maple Seedling
           Survival and Growth Rates in a Hardwood Forest of Southern Quebec

    • Authors: Alexandre Collin, Christian Messier, Steven Kembel, Nicolas Bélanger
      First page: 413
      Abstract: Several recent studies have reported a marked increase in American beech dominance (Fagus grandifolia Ehrh.) relative to sugar maple (Acer saccharum Marsh.) in late successional forests of North America. However, many factors have been proposed to explain this sudden shift in tree species composition. We investigated the microsite factors responsible for maple regeneration failure under maple-beech stands, focusing on both light availability and soil conditions. The survival and growth of maple seedlings planted in the natural soil and in pots with enriched soil were monitored for two years, as well as foliar nutrition and herbivory damages of natural seedlings. The results indicate that low light availability associated with the presence of beech is the primary factor leading to maple regeneration failures. Soil nutrient availability and foliar nutrition of natural seedlings did not differ between forest types. Yet, the results indicate that factors such as allelopathy and preferential herbivory on maple seedlings under beech could be superimposed effects that hinder maple regeneration. Under similar forests, a control of beech sapling abundance in the understory followed by selection cutting could be one way to promote and maintain maple populations in the longer term.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-10-31
      DOI: 10.3390/f8110413
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 11 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 414: Climate Impacts on Tree Growth in the Sierra

    • Authors: Mélaine Aubry-Kientz, Emily Moran
      First page: 414
      Abstract: Rising temperatures and aridity may negatively impact tree growth, and therefore ecosystem services like carbon sequestration. In the Sierra Nevada in California, annual variation in precipitation is high, and forests have already been impacted by several recent severe droughts. In this study, we used growth census data from long-term plots in the Sierra Nevada to calibrate an annual climate-dependent growth model. Our results highlight a high diversity of responses to climate, although the effects of climate are small compared to those of tree size and competition. Some species grow less during dry years (Pinus contorta and Calocedrus decurrens) but, surprisingly, other species exhibit higher growth during dry years (Pinus monticola, Abies magnifica, Pinus jeffreyi, Quercus kelloggii). These results emphasize the need for growth models to take into account species variability, as well as spatial heterogeneity, when studying mixed conifer forests. So far, temperatures have increased in California, and tree growth of some species may drastically decrease in the Sierra Nevada if warming continues, leading to changes in forest structure and composition as well as potential changes in wood production and carbon sequestration.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-11-01
      DOI: 10.3390/f8110414
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 11 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 415: Impacts of Early Thinning of a Eucalyptus
           globulus Labill. Pulplog Plantation in Western Australia on Economic
           Profitability and Harvester Productivity

    • Authors: Mauricio Acuna, Martin Strandgard, John Wiedemann, Rick Mitchell
      First page: 415
      Abstract: The impact of the manipulation of plantation stocking density on individual tree size can affect final harvest costs and machine productivity. This paper investigated the impact of four early-age thinning treatments applied to a Eucalyptus globulus Labill. pulplog plantation in south-west Western Australia on economic profitability and harvester productivity. Eighteen sample plots were randomly laid out in the study area. The nominal 700, 500, and 400 stems per hectare (sph) plots were thinned to waste 3.2 years after establishment while the nominal 1000 sph (UTH) plots were left unthinned. The economic analysis showed that all thinning treatments resulted in a lower Land Expectation Value (LEV) and net financial loss over the full rotation at their theoretical optimal rotation age when compared with the unthinned control treatment. Tree growth and form were positively impacted by thinning. However, associated reductions in harvesting costs were less than the value losses resulting from reduced per hectare yield.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-11-01
      DOI: 10.3390/f8110415
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 11 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 416: Soil Nitrogen Storage, Distribution, and
           Associated Controlling Factors in the Northeast Tibetan Plateau Shrublands

    • Authors: Xiuqing Nie, Feng Xiong, Lucun Yang, Changbin Li, Guoying Zhou
      First page: 416
      Abstract: Although the soils in the Tibetan Plateau shrublands store large amounts of total nitrogen (N), the estimated values remain uncertain because of spatial heterogeneity and a lack of field observations. In this study, we quantified the regional soil N storage, spatial and vertical density distributions, and related climatic controls using 183 soil profiles sampled from 61 sites across the Northeast Tibetan Plateau shrublands during the period of 2011–2013. Our analysis revealed a soil N storage value of 132.40 Tg at a depth of 100 cm, with an average density of 1.21 kg m−2. Soil N density was distributed at greater levels in alpine shrublands, compared with desert shrublands. Spatially, soil N densities decreased from south to north and from east to west, and, vertically, the soil N in the upper 30 and 50 cm accounted for 42% and 64% of the total soil N stocks in the Tibetan Plateau. However, compared with desert shrublands, the surface layers in alpine shrublands exhibited a larger distribution of soil N stocks. Overall, the soil N density in the top 30 cm increased significantly with the mean annual precipitation (MAP) and tended to decrease with the mean annual temperature (MAT), although the dominant climatic controls differed among shrubland types. Specifically, MAP in alpine shrublands, and MAT in desert shrubland, had a weak effect on N density. Soil pH can significant affect soil N density in the Tibetan Plateau shrublands. In conclusion, changes in soil N density should be monitored over the long term to provide accurate information about the effects of climatic factors.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-11-01
      DOI: 10.3390/f8110416
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 11 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 417: Compatible System for Predicting Total and
           Merchantable Stem Volume over and under Bark, Branch Volume and Whole-Tree
           Volume of Pine Species

    • Authors: José Corral-Rivas, Daniel Vega-Nieva, Roque Rodríguez-Soalleiro, Carlos López-Sánchez, Christian Wehenkel, Benedicto Vargas-Larreta, Juan Álvarez-González, Ana Ruiz-González
      First page: 417
      Abstract: Accurate quantification of branch volume in trees is important for sustainable forest management, especially as these fractions are increasingly used for bioenergy, and for precise forest CO2 quantification. Whereas a large focus has been placed on the compatible estimation of tree taper and bole volume with and without bark, little effort has been made to develop models that allow a simultaneous prediction of these variables together with tree branch volume. In this study, 595 Pinus cooperi trees and 700 Pinus durangensis trees were sampled in pine-oak forests in the Sierra Madre Occidental, Mexico. A compatible system for predicting two segmented taper functions, over and under bark; the corresponding merchantable volumes; coarse branch volume and whole-tree volume was fitted using a modified continuous autoregressive structure to account for autocorrelation. The proposed compatible equations explained more than 97% of the observed variability in diameter over and under bark, volume over and under bark, and total tree volume and more than 64% of the observed variability in branch volume in both species. The method described can theoretically be replicated for any tree species, thus providing a better understanding of the patterns of volume distribution by components, potentially improving carbon accounting system and forest bioenergy planning.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-11-01
      DOI: 10.3390/f8110417
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 11 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 418: Growth and Its Relationship to Individual
           Genetic Diversity of Mountain Hemlock (Tsuga mertensiana) at Alpine
           Treeline in Alaska: Combining Dendrochronology and Genomics

    • Authors: Jeremy Johnson, Parveen Chhetri, Konstantin Krutovsky, David Cairns
      First page: 418
      Abstract: Globally, alpine treelines are characterized as temperature-limited environments with strong controls on tree growth. However, at local scales spatially heterogeneous environments generally have more variable impacts on individual patterns of tree growth. In addition to the landscape spatial heterogeneity there is local variability in individual tree genetic diversity (level of individual heterozygosity). It has been hypothesized that higher individual heterozygosity will result in more consistent patterns of growth. In this article, we combine genomics and dendrochronology to explore the relationship between individual genetic diversity and tree growth at a mountain hemlock (Tsuga mertensiana Bong. Carr) alpine treeline on the Kenai Peninsula, Alaska, USA. We correlated average observed individual heterozygosity with average tree-ring width and variance in tree-ring width within individuals to test the hypothesis that trees with higher individual heterozygosity will also have more consistent growth patterns, suggesting that they may be more resilient to climate and environmental fluctuations at the alpine treeline. Our results showed that there was no significant relationship between tree growth and individual heterozygosity. However, there was a significant positive relationship between average tree-ring width and variance in tree-ring width implying that overall, fast growing trees in stressful environments, such as the alpine treeline, grow unstably regardless of the level of individual heterozygosity.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-11-02
      DOI: 10.3390/f8110418
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 11 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 419: Dynamics of Understory Shrub Biomass in Six
           Young Plantations of Southern Subtropical China

    • Authors: Yuanqi Chen, Xi’an Cai, Yanju Zhang, Xingquan Rao, Shenglei Fu
      First page: 419
      Abstract: Understory shrubs are an important component of forest ecosystems and drive ecosystem processes, such as ecosystem carbon cycling. However, shrub biomass carbon stocks have rarely been reported, which limits our understanding of ecosystem C stock and cycling. In this study, we evaluated carbon accumulation of shrub species using allometric equations based on height and basal diameter in six subtropical plantations at the age of 1, 3, 4 and 6 years. The results showed that plantation type did not significantly affect the total biomass of shrubs, but it significantly affected the biomass of Rhodomyrtus tomentosa, Ilex asprella, Clerodendrum fortunatum and Baeckea frutescens. The biomass of dominant shrub species R. tomentosa, I. asprella, Gardenia jasminoides and Melastoma candidum increased with stand age, while the biomass of C. fortunatum and B. frutescens decreased. The inconsistent biomass-time patterns of different shrub species may be the primary reason for the altered total shrub biomass in each plantation. Consequently, we proposed that R. tomentosa, I. asprella, G. jasminoides and M. candidum could be preferable for understory carbon accumulation and should be maintained or planted because of their important functions in carbon accumulation and high economic values in the young plantations of southern subtropical China.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-11-02
      DOI: 10.3390/f8110419
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 11 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 420: Transcriptome Characterization of the Chinese
           Fir (Cunninghamia lanceolata (Lamb.) Hook.) and Expression Analysis of
           Candidate Phosphate Transporter Genes

    • Authors: Ming Li, Suo-Suo Su, Peng-Fei Wu, Kenneth Cameron, Ying Zhang, Wan-Ting Chen, Xiang-Qing Ma
      First page: 420
      Abstract: Chinese fir (Cunninghamia lanceolata (Lamb.) Hook.) is the most important afforestation tree species in China because of its excellent timber quality and high yield. However, the limited availability of phosphorus in forest soils is widespread and has become an important factor in the declining productivity of Chinese fir plantations. Here we used the Illumina HiSeq™ 2000 DNA sequencing platform to sequence root, stem, and leaf transcriptomes of one-year old Chinese fir clones with phosphorus treatment. Approximately 236,529,278 clean reads were obtained and generated 35.47 G of sequencing data. These reads were assembled into 413,806 unigenes with a mean length of 520 bp. In total, 109,596 unigenes were annotated in the NR (NCBI non-redundant) database, 727,287 genes were assigned for GO (Gene Ontology) terms, information for 92,001 classified unigenes was assigned to 26 KOG (Karyotic Orthologous Groups) categories, and 57,042 unigenes were significantly matched with 132 KEGG (Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes) predicted pathways. In total, 49 unigenes were identified as exhibiting inorganic phosphate transporter activity, and 14 positive genes’ expression patterns in different phosphorus deficiency treatments were analyzed by qRT-PCR to explore their putative functions. This study provides a basic foundation for functional genomic studies of the phosphate transporter in Chinese fir, and also presents an extensive annotated sequence resource for molecular research.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-11-03
      DOI: 10.3390/f8110420
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 11 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 421: Effects of Reforestation and Site Preparation
           Methods on Early Growth and Survival of Scots Pine (Pinus sylvestris L.)
           in South-Eastern Poland

    • Authors: Marta Aleksandrowicz-Trzcińska, Stanisław Drozdowski, Zbigniew Wołczyk, Kamil Bielak, Henryk Żybura
      First page: 421
      Abstract: Successful tree regeneration is a key process in ensuring forest sustainability and one of the most crucial investments made in silviculture. This study compared the effects of three reforestation methods (planting, direct seeding, and natural regeneration) and three mechanical site preparation methods (double mould-board forest plough (FP); active plough (AP); and forest mill (FM)) on biometric parameters, survival, and density of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) seedlings in the first 4 years of growth in a clear-cut area in south-eastern Poland. Planted seedlings were higher, thicker in root collar, and had higher survival rates after the fourth growing season than trees from natural regeneration and direct seeding. Site preparation methods did not affect the density of planted seedlings. After natural regeneration and direct seeding, seedling density was lower and less homogeneous (plots with no seedlings) in FM soil preparation in comparison to other methods. The survival of pines in all reforestation methods was not affected significantly by site preparation methods. Our results indicate that the best mechanical site preparation method for planting is FM, as this is the one that least disturbs the soil environment. For direct seeding the best results were achieved after AP preparation. Natural regeneration of Scots pine was most effective after FP use, and in relatively wet years also after AP use.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-11-04
      DOI: 10.3390/f8110421
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 11 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 422: Differences in Human versus Lightning Fires
           between Urban and Rural Areas of the Boreal Forest in Interior Alaska

    • Authors: Monika Calef, Anna Varvak, A. McGuire
      First page: 422
      Abstract: In western North America, the carbon-rich boreal forest is experiencing warmer temperatures, drier conditions and larger and more frequent wildfires. However, the fire regime is also affected by direct human activities through suppression, ignition, and land use changes. Models are important predictive tools for understanding future conditions but they are based on regional generalizations of wildfire behavior and weather that do not adequately account for the complexity of human–fire interactions. To achieve a better understanding of the intensity of human influence on fires in this sparsely populated area and to quantify differences between human and lightning fires, we analyzed fires by both ignition types in regard to human proximity in urban (the Fairbanks subregion) and rural areas of interior Alaska using spatial (Geographic Information Systems) and quantitative analysis methods. We found substantial differences in drivers of wildfire: while increases in fire ignitions and area burned were caused by lightning in rural interior Alaska, in the Fairbanks subregion these increases were due to human fires, especially in the wildland urban interface. Lightning fires are starting earlier and fires are burning longer, which is much more pronounced in the Fairbanks subregion than in rural areas. Human fires differed from lightning fires in several ways: they started closer to settlements and highways, burned for a shorter duration, were concentrated in the Fairbanks subregion, and often occurred outside the brief seasonal window for lightning fires. This study provides important insights that improve our understanding of the direct human influence on recently observed changes in wildfire regime with implications for both fire modeling and fire management.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-11-04
      DOI: 10.3390/f8110422
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 11 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 423: Soil Preferences in Germination and Survival
           of Limber Pine in the Great Basin White Mountains

    • Authors: Brian Smithers
      First page: 423
      Abstract: In the Great Basin, limber pine is a sub-alpine tree species that is colonizing newly available habitat above treeline in greater numbers than treeline-dominating Great Basin bristlecone pine, especially on dolomite soil, where few plants are able to grow and where limber pine adults are rare. To examine the role of soil type on germination and establishment of limber pine, I sowed limber pine seeds in containers of the three main White Mountains soil types in one location while measuring soil moisture and temperature. I found that dolomite soil retains water longer, and has higher soil water content, than quartzite and granite soils and has the coolest maximum growing season temperatures. Limber pine germination and survival were highest in dolomite soil relative to quartzite and granite where limber pine adults are more common. While adult limber pines are rare on dolomite soils, young limber pines appear to prefer them. This indicates that limber pine either has only recently been able to survive in treeline climate on dolomite or that bristlecone pine has some long-term competitive advantage on dolomite making limber pine, a species with 1500 year old individuals, an early succession species in Great Basin sub-alpine forests.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-11-05
      DOI: 10.3390/f8110423
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 11 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 424: Genetic Differentiation and Population Genetic
           Structure of the Chinese Endemic Dipteronia Oliv. Revealed by cpDNA and
           AFLP Data

    • Authors: Guoqing Bai, Tao Zhou, Xiao Zhang, Xiaodan Chen, Jia Yang, Zhonghu Li, Guifang Zhao
      First page: 424
      Abstract: Dipteronia Oliv. is an endangered genus found in China with two species, D. sinensis and D. dyeriana. Previous morphological, cytogenetic, and molecular studies have suggested that D. dyeriana is a species related to D. sinensis. However, it is unclear how the two species diverged and whether gene flow exists between these two species. Here, we performed a molecular study at the population level to characterize genetic differentiation and decipher the phylogeographic history for Dipteronia species based on newly sequenced chloroplast DNA (cpDNA) and amplified fragment length polymorphisms (AFLP) date retrieved from our previous studies. No haplotype was shared between the two species in the cpDNA network. However, the phylogenetic analysis suggested that a haplotype found in D. sinensis (H4) showed a closer relationship with haplotypes of D. dyeriana. Based on our estimated time of divergence, these two cpDNA haplotype lineages of Dipteronia diverged at about 31.19 Ma. Furthermore, two genetic clusters with asymmetric gene flow were supported based on the structure analysis, which corresponded with the two Dipteronia species, and we also detected a low level of asymmetric gene flow between these two species according to the MIGRATE analysis using AFLP data. During the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM, c.21 kya BP), the genus’ predicted distribution was more or less similar to that at present, which was also supported by the mismatch analyses that showed no population expansion of the two Dipteronia populations after the LGM. The combined cpDNA and AFLP data revealed significant genetic differentiation between the two Dipteronia species with asymmetric gene flow, which can be explained by the varying phylogeographical histories of these two species.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-11-06
      DOI: 10.3390/f8110424
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 11 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 425: The Effect of Logging and Strip Cutting on
           Forest Floor Light Condition and Following Change

    • Authors: Tomoya Inada, Kaoru Kitajima, Suryo Hardiwinoto, Mamoru Kanzaki
      First page: 425
      Abstract: We monitored changes in light conditions at a primary forest and two managed forest sites (one with line planting) after reduced-impact logging in Central Kalimantan, Indonesia. We also assessed the effect of the light conditions on seedlings in the planting lines. Hemispherical photographs were taken over a period of 31 months in three 50 × 50-m quadrats at each site and in three 100-m transects along the planting lines. The location of each photo was categorized according to the corresponding type of disturbance, including skid trails, logging gaps, and planting lines. Following logging, the level of canopy openness (CO) increased at both managed forest sites and did not differ significantly between the two. However, CO was greater in skid trails and logging gaps than in planting lines. After 31 months, the mean level of CO at each managed site had decreased significantly due to the establishment of new seedlings. Correlations between changes in CO and the growth of planted seedlings suggested that growth was inhibited by the invasion of the new species. However, the level of CO along the planting lines was greater than that at other disturbed locations. A high level of CO promoted invasion by new species that colonized the space. Line planting may influence forest dynamics and maintain a high level of CO.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-11-07
      DOI: 10.3390/f8110425
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 11 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 426: Treefall Gap Mapping Using Sentinel-2 Images

    • Authors: Iván Barton, Géza Király, Kornél Czimber, Markus Hollaus, Norbert Pfeifer
      First page: 426
      Abstract: Proper knowledge about resources in forest management is fundamental. One of the most important parameters of forests is their size or spatial extension. By determining the area of treefall gaps inside the compartments, a more accurate yield can be calculated and the scheduling of forestry operations could be planned better. Several field- and remote sensing-based approaches are in use for mapping but they provide only static measurements at high cost. The Earth Observation satellite mission Sentinel-2 was put in orbit as part of the Copernicus programme. With the 10-m resolution bands, it is possible to observe small-scale forestry operations like treefall gaps. The spatial extension of these gaps is often less than 200 m2, thus their detection can only be done on sub-pixel level. Due to the higher temporal resolution of Sentinel-2, multiple observations are available in a year; therefore, a time series evaluation is possible. The modelling of illumination can increase the accuracy of classification in mountainous areas. The method was tested on three deciduous forest sites in the Börzsöny Mountains in Hungary. The area evaluation produced less than 10% overestimation with the best possible solutions on the sites. The presented work shows a low-cost method for mapping treefall gaps which delivers annual information about the gap area in a deciduous forest.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-11-07
      DOI: 10.3390/f8110426
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 11 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 427: Monetary Valuation of Natural Forest Habitats
           in Protected Areas

    • Authors: Vilem Pechanec, Ivo Machar, Lenka Sterbova, Marcela Prokopova, Helena Kilianova, Karel Chobot, Pavel Cudlin
      First page: 427
      Abstract: The progressive development of economic valuations of biodiversity in recent decade enables the application of the concept of payments for ecosystem services (PES) in order to conservation of forest biodiversity in protected areas. In this article, the PES concept principles are applied for the monetary valuation of natural forest habitats, which were mapped in the Czech Republic in order to create the Natura 2000 European network. The method is based on expert evaluation of every type of mapped habitat by a point value (ranging from 1 to 6 points) for specific ecological evaluating criteria. The monetary value of every point of specific natural forest habitats was defined from the economic analysis of financial expenses of realised ecological restoration projects in the Czech Republic. This method is therefore based on a rather exceptional application of the PES concept, which is still rare in literature because it is based on actual invested financial means, not only on the potential willingness to spend these financial means. The presented results of the monetary valuation of the natural forest habitats in the Czech Republic indicate that the method used for the monetization of forest biodiversity in protected areas can represent a promising decision support tool in countries where habitat mapping results are available.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-11-10
      DOI: 10.3390/f8110427
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 11 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 428: Short-Term Effects of Low Intensity Thinning
           on the Fine Root Dynamics of Pinus massoniana Plantations in the Three
           Gorges Reservoir Area, China

    • Authors: Yafei Shen, Na Wang, Ruimei Cheng, Wenfa Xiao, Shao Yang, Yan Guo
      First page: 428
      Abstract: Fine roots play an important role in plant growth as well as carbon (C) and nutrient cycling in terrestrial ecosystems. Fine roots are important for understanding the contribution of forests to the global C cycle. Knowledge about this topic is still limited, especially regarding the effects of different forest management practices. This study investigated the seasonal dynamics of fine roots (<2 mm) in masson pine (P. massoniana) plantations for one year after low intensity thinning by using a sequential soil coring method. The fine roots showed pronounced seasonal dynamics, with a peak of fine root biomass (FRB) occurring in September. Significant differences were noted in the seasonal dynamics of FRB for the different diameter size sub-classes (≤0.5 mm, 0.5–1 mm and 1–2 mm); also FRB was inversely related to soil depth. Moreover, the FRB (≤0.5 mm and 0.5–1 mm except 1–2 mm) in the thinning plots was greater than that in the control only in the upper soil layer (0–10 cm). Furthermore, the FRB varied significantly with soil temperature, moisture and nutrients depended on the diameter sub-class considered. Significant differences in the soil temperature and moisture levels were noted between low-intensity thinned and control plots. Soil nutrient levels slightly decreased after low-intensity thinning. In addition, there was a more sensitive relationship between the very fine roots (diameter < 0.5 mm) and soil nutrients. Our results showed an influence of low-intensity thinning on the fine root dynamics with a different magnitude according to fine root diameter sub-classes. These results provide a theoretical basis to promote the benefits of C cycling in the management of P. massoniana forests.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-11-12
      DOI: 10.3390/f8110428
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 11 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 429: Carbon Sequestration in Protected Areas: A
           Case Study of an Abies religiosa (H.B.K.) Schlecht. et Cham Forest

    • Authors: Pablo Fragoso-López, Rodrigo Rodríguez-Laguna, Elena Otazo-Sánchez, César González-Ramírez, José Valdéz-Lazalde, Hermann Cortés-Blobaum, Ramón Razo-Zárate
      First page: 429
      Abstract: The effects of global climate change have highlighted forest ecosystems as a key element in reducing the amount of atmospheric carbon through photosynthesis. The objective of this study was to estimate the amount of carbon content and its percentage capture in a protected Abies religiosa forest in which the study area was zoned with satellite image analysis. Dendrometric and epidometric variables were used to determine the volume and increase of aerial biomass, and stored carbon and its capture rate using equations. The results indicate that this forest contains an average of 105.72 MgC ha−1, with an estimated sequestration rate of 1.03 MgC ha−1 yr−1. The results show that carbon capture increasing depends on the increase in volume. Therefore, in order to achieve the maximum yield in a forest, it is necessary to implement sustainable forest management that favors the sustained use of soil productivity.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-11-12
      DOI: 10.3390/f8110429
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 11 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 430: Comparisons of Soil Properties, Enzyme
           Activities and Microbial Communities in Heavy Metal Contaminated Bulk and
           Rhizosphere Soils of Robinia pseudoacacia L. in the Northern Foot of
           Qinling Mountain

    • Authors: Yurong Yang, Miao Dong, Yaping Cao, Jinlong Wang, Ming Tang, Yihui Ban
      First page: 430
      Abstract: The toxic effects of heavy metal (HM) contamination on plant metabolism and soil microorganisms have been emphasized recently; however, little is known about the differences in soil physical, chemical, and biological properties between bulk and rhizosphere soils contaminated with HMs in forest ecosystem. The present study was conducted to evaluate the rhizosphere effect on soil properties, enzyme activities and bacterial communities associated with Robinia pseudoacacia L. along a HM contamination gradient. Soil organic matter (SOM), available nitrogen (AN) and phosphorus (AP) contents were significantly higher in rhizosphere soil than those in bulk soil at HM contaminated sites (p < 0.05). Compared to bulk soil, activities of four soil enzymes indicative of C cycle (β-glucosidase), N cycle (protease, urease) and P cycle (alkaline phosphatase) in rhizosphere soil across all study sites increased by 47.5%, 64.1%, 52.9% and 103.8%, respectively. Quantitative PCR (qPCR) and restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) were used to determine the relative abundance, composition and diversity of bacteria in both bulk and rhizosphere soils, respectively. The copy number of bacterial 16S rRNA gene in bulk soil was significantly lower than that in rhizosphere soil (p < 0.05), and it had significantly negative correlations with total/DTPA-extractable Pb concentrations (p < 0.01). Alphaproteobacteria, Gammaproteobacteria and Firmicutes were the most dominant groups of bacteria at different study sites. The bacterial diversity index of Species richness (S) and Margalef (dMa) were significantly higher in rhizosphere soil compared with those in bulk soil, although no difference could be found in Simpson index (D) between bulk and rhizosphere soils (p > 0.05). Redundancy analysis (RDA) results showed that soil pH, EC, SOM and total/DTPA-extractable Pb concentrations were the most important variables affecting relative abundance, composition and diversity of bacteria (p < 0.05). Our study highlights the importance of rhizosphere effect on soil nutrient content, enzyme activity, bacterial abundance and community in HM contaminated forest soils. Further study is still required to understand the specific processes in the rhizosphere to achieve a suitable rhizosphere biotechnology for restoration of degraded forest ecosystem.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-11-12
      DOI: 10.3390/f8110430
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 11 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 431: Forest Certification and Country of Origin:
           Choice Experiment Analysis of Outdoor Decking Material Selection in
           E-Commerce Market in Finland

    • Authors: Jani Holopainen, Anne Toppinen, Katja Lähtinen, Mika Rekola
      First page: 431
      Abstract: Since the early 1990s, there has been hope that the uptake of certified forest products would ensure more sustainable forest management and also deliver business benefits along the value chain. Our study applies a Discrete Choice Experiment (DCE) to model an e-commerce purchase in the case of multiple products with various attribute and certification combinations in the Finnish retail outdoor decking material market. We received 2772 responses from 231 participants in an online survey. Applying conditional logit and latent class models, we were able to assess the relative importance of attributes, identify various consumer segments, and simulate various scenarios for communicating the certification and origin of forest products and competing materials. Our results show that the most important attribute for consumer decision-making was the outdoor decking material followed by price, origin, and certification. Some consumer segments showed a habit of only choosing certain materials or domestic products, while paying less attention to other product attributes. Simulations for an e-commerce purchase situation also implied that communications concerning intangible product attributes, such as domestic origin and environmental certifications, could be used in the brand building of the forest sector to gain competitive advantage and increased market shares over other sectors. The results suggest that the conventional and constantly developing e-commerce marketing tools should be harnessed also in forest product and more general environmental marketing.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-11-11
      DOI: 10.3390/f8110431
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 11 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 432: Spore Dispersal Patterns of Fusarium
           circinatum on an Infested Monterey Pine Forest in North-Western Spain

    • Authors: Miloň Dvořák, Patrik Janoš, Leticia Botella, Gabriela Rotková, Rafael Zas
      First page: 432
      Abstract: The airborne inoculum of Fusarium circinatum Nirenberg & O’Donnell, the fungal pathogen causing Pine Pitch Canker (PPC), is one of the main means of spread of the disease in forest stands and forest nurseries. Since this world-wide known pathogen was introduced in Europe, its biology in this newly infested area still remains scarcely known. To shed more light on this topic, we set up an experiment on a naturally PPC infested forest of Monterey pine in Galicia (NW Spain) with the following two goals: (i) to describe the seasonal spore dispersal pattern during one year of regular sampling and (ii) to assess the spatial spore dispersal pattern around the infested plot. Portable rotating arm spore traps were used and complemented with meteorological measurements. The abundance of F. circinatum spores in the samples was assessed by quantitative PCR (qPCR) with a hydrolysis probe. The results showed almost permanent occurrence of the air inoculum throughout the whole year, being detected in 27 of the 30 samplings. No clear temporal trends were observed, but a higher air inoculum was favoured by previous lower air temperatures and lower leaf wetness. Conversely, neither rainfall nor air humidity seemed to have any significant importance. The spatial spread of the inoculum was noted to be successful up to a distance of 1000 m in the wind direction, even with winds of just 5 m·s−1. Our study shows that rotating arm spore traps combined with qPCR may be an efficient tool for F. circinatum detection.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-11-15
      DOI: 10.3390/f8110432
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 11 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 433: Lab and Field Warming Similarly Advance
           Germination Date and Limit Germination Rate for High and Low Elevation
           Provenances of Two Widespread Subalpine Conifers

    • Authors: Lara Kueppers, Akasha Faist, Scott Ferrenberg, Cristina Castanha, Erin Conlisk, Jennifer Wolf
      First page: 433
      Abstract: Accurately predicting upslope shifts in subalpine tree ranges with warming requires understanding how future forest populations will be affected by climate change, as these are the seed sources for new tree line and alpine populations. Early life history stages are particularly sensitive to climate and are also influenced by genetic variation among populations. We tested the climate sensitivity of germination and initial development for two widely distributed subalpine conifers, using controlled-environment growth chambers with one temperature regime from subalpine forest in the Colorado Rocky Mountains and one 5 °C warmer, and two soil moisture levels. We tracked germination rate and timing, rate of seedling development, and seedling morphology for two seed provenances separated by ~300 m elevation. Warming advanced germination timing and initial seedling development by a total of ~2 weeks, advances comparable to mean differences between provenances. Advances were similar for both provenances and species; however, warming reduced the overall germination rate, as did low soil moisture, only for Picea engelmannii. A three-year field warming and watering experiment planted with the same species and provenances yielded responses qualitatively consistent with the lab trials. Together these experiments indicate that in a warmer, drier climate, P. engelmannii germination, and thus regeneration, could decline, which could lead to declining subalpine forest populations, while Pinus flexilis forest populations could remain robust as a seed source for upslope range shifts.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-11-11
      DOI: 10.3390/f8110433
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 11 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 434: Policy Recommendation from Stakeholders to
           Improve Forest Products Transportation: A Qualitative Study

    • Authors: Anil Koirala, Anil Kizha, Sandra De Urioste-Stone
      First page: 434
      Abstract: With recently announced federal funding and subsidies to redevelop vacant mills and the communities they were in, the forest products industry in Maine is poised to gain its momentum once again. One of the important components influencing the cost of delivered forest products is transportation. A recent study in the region has shown that the location and availability of markets along with lack of skilled labor force are the major challenges faced by the forest products transportation sector in Maine. This study was focused on developing a management guideline which included various field level options for improving trucking enterprises in Maine. For this, a qualitative research approach utilizing a case study research tradition was employed, with in-depth semi-structured interviews with professionals directly related to the forest products transportation sector used for data generation. Thirteen semi-structured interviews were conducted, with each being audio recorded and later transcribed verbatim. Interview transcriptions were analyzed using NVivo 11. Suggestions, like increasing benefits to drivers and providing training, were proposed for challenges related to manpower shortage, while the marketing of new forest products and adjustment in some state-level policies were proposed for challenges related to the forest products market condition of the state.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-11-12
      DOI: 10.3390/f8110434
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 11 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 435: De Novo Transcriptome Sequencing in Passiflora
           edulis Sims to Identify Genes and Signaling Pathways Involved in Cold

    • Authors: Sian Liu, Anding Li, Caihui Chen, Guojun Cai, Limin Zhang, Chunyan Guo, Meng Xu
      First page: 435
      Abstract: The passion fruit (Passiflora edulis Sims), also known as the purple granadilla, is widely cultivated as the new darling of the fruit market throughout southern China. This exotic and perennial climber is adapted to warm and humid climates, and thus is generally intolerant of cold. There is limited information about gene regulation and signaling pathways related to the cold stress response in this species. In this study, two transcriptome libraries (KEDU_AP vs. GX_AP) were constructed from the aerial parts of cold-tolerant and cold-susceptible varieties of P. edulis, respectively. Overall, 126,284,018 clean reads were obtained, and 86,880 unigenes with a mean size of 1449 bp were assembled. Of these, there were 64,067 (73.74%) unigenes with significant similarity to publicly available plant protein sequences. Expression profiles were generated, and 3045 genes were found to be significantly differentially expressed between the KEDU_AP and GX_AP libraries, including 1075 (35.3%) up-regulated and 1970 (64.7%) down-regulated. These included 36 genes in enriched pathways of plant hormone signal transduction, and 56 genes encoding putative transcription factors. Six genes involved in the ICE1–CBF–COR pathway were induced in the cold-tolerant variety, and their expression levels were further verified using quantitative real-time PCR. This report is the first to identify genes and signaling pathways involved in cold tolerance using high-throughput transcriptome sequencing in P. edulis. These findings may provide useful insights into the molecular mechanisms regulating cold tolerance and genetic breeding in Passiflora spp.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-11-12
      DOI: 10.3390/f8110435
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 11 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 436: Forest Type and Tree Characteristics Determine
           the Vertical Distribution of Epiphytic Lichen Biomass in Subtropical

    • Authors: Su Li, Shuai Liu, Xian-Meng Shi, Wen-Yao Liu, Liang Song, Hua-Zheng Lu, Xi Chen, Chuan-Sheng Wu
      First page: 436
      Abstract: Epiphytic lichens are an important component in subtropical forests and contribute greatly to forest biodiversity and biomass. However, information on epiphytic lichens still remains scarce in forest conservation owing to the difficulty of accessing all canopy layers for direct observation. Here, epiphytic lichens were quantified on 73 whole trees in five forest types in Southwest China to clarify the vertical stratification of their biomass in subtropical forests. Lichen biomass was significantly influenced by forest type and host attributes, varying from 187.11 to 8.55 g∙tree−1 among forest types and from 289.81 to <0.01 g∙tree−1 among tree species. The vertical stratification of lichen biomass was also determined by forest type, which peaked at the top in primary Lithocarpus forest and middle-aged oak secondary forest and in the middle upper heights in other forests. Overall, the proportion of lichen biomass accounted for 73.17–100.00% of total lichen biomass on branches and 0.00–26.83% on trunks in five forests, and 64.53–100.00% and 0.00–35.47% on eight host species. Seven functional groups showed marked and various responses to tree height between and among forest types. This information improves our understanding of the distribution of epiphytic lichens in forest ecosystems and the promotion of forest management in subtropical China.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-11-12
      DOI: 10.3390/f8110436
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 11 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 437: Planting Waterscapes: Green Infrastructures,
           Landscape and Hydrological Modeling for the Future of Santa Cruz de la
           Sierra, Bolivia

    • Authors: Giulio Castelli, Cristiano Foderi, Boris Guzman, Lorenzo Ossoli, Yandery Kempff, Elena Bresci, Fabio Salbitano
      First page: 437
      Abstract: The expansion of cities is an emerging and critical issue for the future of the planet. Water is one of the most important resources provided by urban and peri-urban landscapes, as it is directly or indirectly connected with the quality of the environment and life. Santa Cruz de la Sierra is the leading city in Bolivia (and the second in Latin America) in regard to population growth and soil sealing. Water is available to the city mostly from the Piraí River basin, and is expected to be totally inadequate to support such powerful urban development. The project Aguacruz, which is financed by the Italian Agency for Cooperation and Development, aimed to (1) restructure and harmonize existing data on the landscape ecology, hydrological features, and functional aspects of the Piraí River; (2) build hydrological scenarios for the future of the basin by introducing a landscape ecology approach, and (3) involve stakeholders and local actors in decision-making processes oriented to increase the resilience of the urban–rural landscape of the Piraì River and the city of Santa Cruz. SWAT (Soil and Water Assessment Tools) tested five scenarios through simulating different landscape settings, from the current previsions for urban expansion to a sound implementation of green infrastructures, agroforestry, and regreening. The results indicate that integrated actions in rural–urban systems can lead to a substantial reversal of the trend toward a decline in water supply for the city. From a governance and planning perspective, the proposed actions have been configured as to induce (i) integrated waterscape ecological planning; and (ii) the preparation and approval of departmental regulations for the incorporation of green infrastructures in the municipalities.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-11-13
      DOI: 10.3390/f8110437
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 11 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 439: Product and Residue Biomass Equations for
           Individual Trees in Rotation Age Pinus radiata Stands under Three Thinning
           Regimes in New South Wales, Australia

    • Authors: Xin Wang, Huiquan Bi, Fabiano Ximenes, Jorge Ramos, Yun Li
      First page: 439
      Abstract: Using data from 239 trees that were destructively sampled and completely weighed in the field, four systems of nonlinear additive equations were developed for the estimation of product and residue fresh and dry weight of individual trees in rotation age (28 to 42 years) Pinus radiata stands under three thinning regimes: unthinned (T0), one thinning (T1) and two thinnings (T2). To cater for all practical applications, the four systems of equations included diameter at breast height overbark (DBHOB) as the only independent variable or both DBHOB and total tree height as predictors either with or without the incorporation of dummy variables for stand types. For all systems, the property of additivity was guaranteed by placing constraints on the structural parameters of the system equations. The parameter estimates were obtained by the generalized methods of moments (GMM) following a comparison with weighted nonlinear seemingly unrelated regression (WNSUR). Based on the predicted values from the system that had DBHOB as the predictor and dummy variables for stand types, the percentage of total tree fresh weight accounted for by residues increased from 14.8% to 20.5%, from 15.6% to 22.2% and from 13.9% to 18.7% for trees in the T0, T1 and T2 stands, respectively, as DBHOB increased from 15 to 70 cm. The corresponding changes in the percentage of residue dry weight were from 15.1% to 16.1%, from 15.7% to 17.1% and from 14.9% to 15.8% for the three stand types. In addition, two systems of allocative equations were developed to allocate the predicted product and residue biomass to their respective subcomponents. The system of allocative equations for product biomass predicted that sawlogs with bark accounted for 83% to 85% of product fresh weight and 82% to 87% of product dry weight over the same range of DBHOB. The predicted allocation of total residue dry weight to stump changed little, between 12% and 13%, over the same diameter range, but it was slightly higher for trees with DBHOB between 30 and 45 cm. The predicted allocation of total residue biomass to branches increased from 18% to 65% in fresh weight and from 18% to 57% in dry weight and that to waste decreased from 71% to 27% in fresh weight and from 70% to 32% in dry weight as DBHOB increased from 15 to 70 cm. Among the five biomass components, prediction accuracy was the lowest for pulpwood and waste. The systems of additive and allocative biomass equations developed in this study provided the first example of how the two approaches could be used together for the estimation of total tree, major and sub-component biomass. They will provide forest management with an enhanced capacity to more accurately estimate product and residue biomass of rotation age trees and thus to include the production of biomass for renewable energy generation in their management systems for P. radiata plantations.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-11-14
      DOI: 10.3390/f8110439
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 11 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 440: Occupational Safety and Health Concerns in
           Logging: A Cross-Sectional Assessment in Virginia

    • Authors: Sunwook Kim, Maury Nussbaum, Ashley Schoenfisch, Scott Barrett, Michael Bolding, Deborah Dickerson
      First page: 440
      Abstract: Increased logging mechanization has helped improve logging safety and health, yet related safety risks and concerns are not well understood. A cross-sectional study was completed among Virginia loggers. Participants (n = 122) completed a self-administered questionnaire focusing on aspects of safety and health related to logging equipment. Respondents were at a high risk of workplace injuries, with reported career and 12-month injury prevalences of 51% and 14%, respectively. Further, nearly all (98%) respondents reported experiencing musculoskeletal symptoms. Over half (57.4%) of respondents reported symptoms related to diesel exhaust exposure in their career. Few (15.6%), however, perceived their jobs to be dangerous. Based on the opinions and suggestions of respondents, three priority areas were identified for interventions: struck-by/against hazards, situational awareness (SA) during logging operations, and visibility hazards. To address these hazards, and to have a broader and more substantial positive impact on safety and health, we discuss the need for proactive approaches such as incorporating proximity technologies in a logging machine or personal equipment, and enhancing logging machine design to enhance safety, ergonomics, and SA.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-11-15
      DOI: 10.3390/f8110440
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 11 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 441: Variability and Disturbances as Key Factors in
           Forest Pathology and Plant Health Studies

    • Authors: Matteo Garbelotto, Paolo Gonthier
      First page: 441
      Abstract: The plant disease triangle (PDT) is as old as the field of modern plant pathology, and it postulates that any plant disease is the outcome of the interaction between a pathogen, a host, and the environment. Recently, the need has emerged to study not only how the three elements of the PDT directly influence disease, but to focus on how they indirectly affect one another, consequently modifying the final outcome. It is also essential to structure such analyses within three major external frameworks provided by landscape level disturbances, climate change, and anthropogenic effects. The studies included in this issue cover a wide range of topics using an equally varied list of approaches, and they showcase the important role these indirect and often non-linear processes have on the development of forest diseases.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-11-15
      DOI: 10.3390/f8110441
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 11 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 442: The Optimum Slash Pile Size for Grinding
           Operations: Grapple Excavator and Horizontal Grinder Operations Model
           Based on a Sierra Nevada, California Survey

    • Authors: Takuyuki Yoshioka, Rin Sakurai, Shohei Kameyama, Koki Inoue, Bruce Hartsough
      First page: 442
      Abstract: The processing of woody biomass waste piles for use as fuel instead of burning them was investigated. At each landing of slash pile location, a 132 kW grapple excavator was used to transfer the waste piles into a 522 kW horizontal grinder. Economies of scale could be expected when grinding a larger pile, although the efficiency of the loading operation might be diminished. Here, three piles were ground and the operations were time-studied: Small (20 m long × 15 m wide × 4 m high), Medium (30 × 24 × 4 m), and Large (35 × 30 × 4 m) piles. Grinding the Medium pile was found to be the most productive at 30.65 bone dry tons per productive machine hour without delay (BDT/PMH0), thereby suggesting that there might be an optimum size of slash pile for a grinding operation. Modeling of the excavator and grinder operations was also examined, and the constructed simulation model was observed to well-replicate the actual operations. Based on the modeling, the productivity of grinding at a landing area of 710 m2 of slash pile location was estimated to be 31.24 BDT/PMH0, which was the most productive rate.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-11-15
      DOI: 10.3390/f8110442
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 11 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 443: Assessment of Flammability of Moroccan Forest
           Fuels: New Approach to Estimate the Flammability Index

    • Authors: Salaheddine Essaghi, M’hamed Hachmi, Mohammed Yessef, Mohammed Dehhaoui, Fahed El Amarty
      First page: 443
      Abstract: A new flammability index (FI) was developed, which integrated two parameters that are highly correlated to fuel moisture content (MC). These parameters are time-to-ignition and flame height. The newly obtained FI-values belong to the variation interval of {0; 20}. In addition to the six flammability classes defined in the earlier work, a seventh class (FI > 16.5) was proposed to include fuel species with a high content of volatile flammable-compounds. Flammability testing and MC measurement were performed at a range of MC obtained through a drying process of samples. As a result, FI was statistically highly correlated with MC for all 13 Moroccan forest fuels tested in this study. Following this, linear regression equations were established to predict the FI-value as a function of MC. Therefore, the classification of flammability would depend on the species as well as the MC-value of the samples and the season in which they were collected.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-11-15
      DOI: 10.3390/f8110443
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 11 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 354: Variability in Larch (Larix Decidua Mill.)
           Tree-Ring Growth Response to Climate in the Polish Carpathian Mountains

    • Authors: Małgorzata Danek, Monika Chuchro, Adam Walanus
      First page: 354
      Abstract: The climate–growth relationship of larch (Larix decidua Mill.) in the Polish Carpathian Mountains was studied. We explored the spatial variability of the common signal observed in larch tree-ring growth, distinguished regions with uniform tree-ring growth patterns (dendrochronological signal), and determined the climatic factors that are particularly important for the growth of larch in this area. Uniformity in the growth reaction across the analyzed area was found in the positive response to May temperatures (significant correlation values range from 0.21 to 0.48); this indicates that the warm beginning of the growing season is important for larch growth across the study area. The signal variability from west to east found in the principal components analysis (PCA) results and differences in climate response between analyzed sites suggest their relation to increasing influence of the continental climate to the east. However, the observed relationship is not stable and does not occur systematically. Although the climate–growth response of larch at lower elevations is highly variable, a positive influence of July precipitation and a negative influence of April precipitation, and previous May and July temperature can be observed. The growth of larch from the highest study sites (Tatra Mountains, above 950 m a.s.l.) is related to temperature. This is manifested by a strong positive correlation with temperature during late spring, early summer, and the end of the previous growing season, and a negative or no response to late spring/summer precipitation. No relation between the observed correlations and slope aspect was found.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-09-21
      DOI: 10.3390/f8100354
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 10 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 355: Does the Slope of the Self-thinning Line
           Remain a Constant Value across Different Site Qualities'—An
           Implication for Plantation Density Management

    • Authors: Fangxing Ge, Weisheng Zeng, Wu Ma, Jinghui Meng
      First page: 355
      Abstract: The self-thinning rule is regarded as one of the most important principles in plantation management. This rule, involving the assumption of a constant slope coefficient, has been universally applied when regulating stand density. In this study, we hypothesized that the slope coefficient can change significantly with changes in site quality. To test this hypothesis, we first grouped forest plots into 5 categories based on site index. Second, we produced the self-thinning line represented by the Reineke function for each of the 5 site categories, selecting fully stocked plots using reduced major axis regression. Third, the slope coefficients for the different categories were tested for significant differences. The results indicated that in general, the slope was significantly different with different site quality. In addition, we observed that the slope of the self-thinning line exhibited a steeper trend for sites of lower quality, which indicated increased self-thinning or reduced self-tolerance. Finally, we concluded that it is imperative to produce specific self-thinning lines for different site quality categories.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-09-21
      DOI: 10.3390/f8100355
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 10 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 356: Population Spatial Dynamics of Larix potaninii
           in Alpine Treeline Ecotone in the Eastern Margin of the Tibetan Plateau,

    • Authors: Jia’nan Cui, Jihong Qin, Hui Sun
      First page: 356
      Abstract: The high-altitude treeline is known to be sensitive to climate variability, and is thus considered as a bio-monitoring indicator of climate change. However, our understanding of the population dynamics and the cumulative climate-change effects on the alpine treeline ecotone in recent decades is limited. Here, we investigated the population dynamics of Larix potainii on the south- and north-facing slopes in the alpine treeline ecotone in the eastern margin of the Tibetan Plateau, China, including treeline position, population density, and tree recruitment. Results showed that on both south- and north-facing slopes, the treeline did not show a significant advancement in the past four decades. The population was dominated by young individuals, which tend to be established in the lower areas. Larix, here, tends to be clustered, especially in the upper areas. However, population density increased dramatically only on north-facing slopes. Larix here suffer from the stressful environment, but the warmer winter due to climate warming could facilitate the vertical growth of seedlings and saplings. Aggregated spatial patterns also provide a positive feedback in ameliorating the harsh environment. The slope-climate-moisture interactions have a pronounced impact on tree recruitment, including snow-limited tree establishment on the north-facing slopes and moisture-limited tree establishment on the south-facing slopes.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-09-22
      DOI: 10.3390/f8100356
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 10 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 357: Characterizing Rigging Crew Proximity to
           Hazards on Cable Logging Operations Using GNSS-RF: Effect of GNSS
           Positioning Error on Worker Safety Status

    • Authors: Ann Wempe, Robert Keefe
      First page: 357
      Abstract: Logging continues to rank among the most lethal occupations in the United States. Though the hazards associated with fatalities are well-documented and safe distances from hazards is a common theme in safety education, positional relationships between workers and hazards have not been quantified previously. Using GNSS-RF (Global Navigation Satellite System-Radio Frequency) transponders that allow real-time monitoring of personnel, we collected positioning data for rigging crew workers and three common cable logging hazards: a log loader, skyline carriage, and snag. We summarized distances between all ground workers and each hazard on three active operations and estimated the proportion of time crew occupied higher-risk areas, as represented by geofences. We then assessed the extent to which positioning error associated with different stand conditions affected perceived worker safety status by applying error sampled in a separate, controlled field experiment to the operational data. Root mean squared error was estimated at 11.08 m in mature stands and 3.37 m in clearcuts. Simulated error expected for mature stands altered safety status in six of nine treatment combinations, whereas error expected for clearcuts affected only one. Our results show that canopy-associated GNSS error affects real-time geofence safety applications when using single-constellation American Global Positioning System transponders.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-09-23
      DOI: 10.3390/f8100357
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 10 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 358: Available Nutrients Can Accumulate in
           Permanent Skid Trails

    • Authors: Kenton Stutz, Helmer Schack-Kirchner, Gerald Kändler, Lea Landes, Martin Linz, Hannes Warlo, Friederike Lang
      First page: 358
      Abstract: Forest harvesting removes and redistributes nutrients through felling and forwarding. Substantial quantities of nutrients can accumulate in brash mats on permanent skid trails, but their availability and uptake after multiple thinnings on soils susceptible to leaching are unknown. In this study, we modeled the deposition of base cations and phosphorus on a permanent skid trail after five thinnings of a Picea abies (L.) Karst. stand, and measured the resulting nutrient stocks in both the forest floor and mineral soil. An estimated 35%, 44%, 41%, and 61% of harvested Ca, K, Mg, and P, respectively, were redistributed to the skid trail. Of those deposited stocks, 32–65% of nutrients remained in decomposed brash material on the skid trail. Mineral soil stocks for Ca, K, and P were significantly higher in the skid trail than in the stand, which included minor increases in bioavailable pools. Skid trail root densities were not lower than the stand while bulk densities were only partially higher. Both would not limit nutrient uptake. There were no significant relations between needle nutrient concentrations and distance to the skid trail. Altogether, these results indicate that nutrient uptake from the skid trail was minimal despite their accumulation, chemical availability, and physical accessibility. This suggests that other factors such as liming and frequent thinning disturbances can repress uptake of available nutrients on skid trails.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-09-23
      DOI: 10.3390/f8100358
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 10 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 359: Climate-Induced Tree Growth Variations under
           the RCP 2.6 Scenario: A Case Study on the Southeastern Tibetan Plateau

    • Authors: Xianliang Zhang, Fenghua Zou, Zhenju Chen
      First page: 359
      Abstract: The relationship between climate and radial tree growth is traditionally used to reconstruct past climate conditions based on interannual tree-ring variations. However, few studies have used these climate-growth relationships to model the radial tree growth based on future climate projections. To detect the future forest dynamics, the climate-induced tree growth from 2006 to 2100 was projected using temperature changes under representative concentration pathway (RCP) 2.6 for the southeastern Tibetan Plateau. Radial tree growth was mainly controlled by annual mean temperature in this region. Based on the relationship between regional annual mean temperature and radial tree growth, a regression model was built that explained 62.5% of variance in the observed temperature record over the period 1911–2005. A period of unprecedented radial tree growth was found after 1998 when compared with the tree growth in the past 700 years. We found that radial tree growth would increase in the period 2006–2045 and decline after that period due to the projected temperature decrease. As forest productivity and biomass are expected to increase with the increased tree growth, these results suggest that temperature-limited systems could see future increases in productivity as growth limitations are lessened. The results of this research could be used to predict regional forest dynamics in the future.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-09-23
      DOI: 10.3390/f8100359
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 10 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 360: The Effect of Customer–Contractor Alignment
           in Forest Harvesting Services on Contractor Profitability and the Risk for
           Relationship Breakdown

    • Authors: Mattias Eriksson, Luc LeBel, Ola Lindroos
      First page: 360
      Abstract: In forest operations, the interface between forest companies and harvesting contractors is of special importance, considering that it is the first link in the forest industry’s supply chains. Supply operations account for a significant share of the final costs of wood products (up to 50%). This study investigates the effect of customer–contractor alignment on contractors’ profit margins and on the risk for business relationship breakdown. Alignment is empirically measured for a Swedish forest company and 74 of its harvesting contractors, who were monitored during a four-year period. Two measures of alignment are employed: (1) the customer-perceived value of the contractors’ services; and (2) the contractors’ perceived alignment with the forest company expectations. Results indicate that the two measures of alignment are largely independent from each other, and that customer-perceived value affects both contractor profitability and the risk of relationship breakdown. Conflict between the two parties and lack of trust for the customer were found to be common complaints among contractors who ceased working for the studied forest company. Consequently, customer–contractor alignment should be considered a key objective by contractors who strive for business success, and also by forest companies who wish to improve their supply chain performance.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-09-25
      DOI: 10.3390/f8100360
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 10 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 361: Nonlinear Variations of Net Primary
           Productivity and Its Relationship with Climate and Vegetation Phenology,

    • Authors: Jian Yang, Xin Zhang, Zhao Luo, Xi Yu
      First page: 361
      Abstract: Net primary productivity (NPP) is an important component of the terrestrial carbon cycle. In this study, NPP was estimated based on two models and Moderate Resolution Imaging Spaectroradiometer (MODIS) data. The spatiotemporal patterns of NPP and the correlations with climate factors and vegetation phenology were then analyzed. Our results showed that NPP derived from MODIS performed well in China. Spatially, NPP decreased from the southeast toward the northwest. Temporally, NPP showed a nonlinear increasing trend at a national scale, but the magnitude became slow after 2004. At a regional scale, NPP in Northern China and the Tibetan Plateau showed a nonlinear increasing trend, while the NPP decreased in most areas of Southern China. The decreases in NPP were more than offset by the increases. At the biome level, all vegetation types displayed an increasing trend, except for shrub and evergreen broad forests (EBF). Moreover, a turning point year occurred for all vegetation types, except for EBF. Generally, climatic factors and Length of Season were all positively correlated with the NPP, while the relationships were much more diverse at a regional level. The direct effect of solar radiation on the NPP was larger (0.31) than precipitation (0.25) and temperature (0.07). Our results indicated that China could mitigate climate warming at a regional and/or global scale to some extent during the time period of 2001–2014.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-09-25
      DOI: 10.3390/f8100361
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 10 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 362: Pre-Infection Stages of Austropuccinia psidii
           in the Epidermis of Eucalyptus Hybrid Leaves with Different Resistance

    • Authors: Renata Silva-Souza, André Silva, Roberto Rodella, José Serrão, José Zanuncio, Edson Furtado
      First page: 362
      Abstract: Rust is a major Eucalyptus spp. disease, which is especially damaging for early-stage plants. The aim of this study was to verify the pre-infection process of Austropuccinia psidii (A. psidii) in the leaves of three phenological stages of Eucalyptus clones with different resistance levels. Plants from the hybrids of Eucalyptus urophylla × Eucalyptus grandis (E. grandis) with variable levels of resistance to this disease were used. The pathogen was inoculated in vitro on abaxial leaf discs of first, third, and fifth leaf stages and maintained under conditions suitable for disease development. Subsequently, samples from these discs were collected 24 and 120 h after inoculation and processed using scanning electron microscopy analysis. No symptoms were seen in any leaf stage of the resistant clone. Additionally, a low incidence of A. psidii germination (1.3–2%) and appressoria (0–0.5%) in three leaf stages was observed. However, the first leaf stage of the susceptible clone presented germination of large numbers of urediniospores (65%) with appressoria (55%) and degradation of the cuticle and wax. From the third stage, the percentage of germinated urediniospores (<15%) and appressoria (<2%) formation of this clone decreased. Protrusions on the leaf surface, associated with the pathogen, were observed on the first and third leaf stages of the resistant clone and on the fifth stage of the susceptible clone, suggesting a possible defensive plant reaction.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-10-17
      DOI: 10.3390/f8100362
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 10 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 363: Tree Species Selection in the Face of Drought
           Risk—Uncertainty in Forest Planning

    • Authors: Matthias Albert, Ralf-Volker Nagel, Robert Nuske, Johannes Sutmöller, Hermann Spellmann
      First page: 363
      Abstract: Rapid climate change leads to significant shifts in the site-productivity relationship of tree species and alters abiotic and biotic risks well beyond classical rotation ages on many forest sites worldwide. Forest conversion may be an adequate measure to counter possible negative effects of climate change. Unfortunately, climate-driven changes in abiotic and biotic risks bear a significant source of intrinsic uncertainty inherent in climate projections. It is our goal to appraise uncertainty in species selection under drought stress, one of the most important risk factors for many forests. We derive a method to assess drought restrictions and demonstrate the uncertainty in the process of species selection by applying three climate scenarios. Furthermore, we interpret the consequences of climate uncertainty in the light of different management goals, i.e., a business-as-usual silviculture, a climate protection strategy favoring CO2 sequestration and a biodiversity strategy increasing diversity. The methods are applied to two representative regions in the North German Plain. The results clearly show the strong need for adaptive planning when drought restrictions are considered. However, different silvicultural management objectives may alter the extent of adaptive planning. The uncertainty in the planning process arising from different underlying climate projections strongly depends on the regional site characteristics and on forest management strategy. In conclusion, it is most important in forest planning to clearly state the management goals and to carefully explore if the goals can be met under climate change and if the uncertainty due to climate projections significantly affects the results of species selection.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-09-26
      DOI: 10.3390/f8100363
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 10 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 364: Forest Certification Perspectives in the Wood
           Products Supply Chain in Virginia, U.S.A.

    • Authors: John Munsell, Adrian Ares, Scott Barrett, Brian Bond, Jennifer Gagnon
      First page: 364
      Abstract: Participation among private forest owners, logging contractors, and wood products manufacturers in the forest certification sector remains low. Those that enroll are mainly large-acreage owners and specialized manufacturers. Little is known about certification perspectives across the supply chain and how they relate. Comparing what owners, contractors, and manufacturers think about certification would increase insight regarding sector growth. In this study, 2741 private forest owners, logging contractors, and wood products manufacturers in Virginia, U.S.A. were surveyed about their beliefs regarding the impact of certification on economic opportunities and image and the extent to which they think it positively affects the forestry sector and understand how to certify forestland. Co-orientation was used to map alignment and predictions between respondents. Owner and contractor responses were similar and predictions about each other mostly accurate, but manufacturer responses and predictions were largely incongruent. Manufacturers generally aligned more so with contractors than owners but contractors identified slightly more with owners. Owners and contractors shared perspectives and a discernable identity, whereas manufacturers viewed certification in a less positive light. Implications for participation in forest certification focus largely on interrelationships of actor perspectives regardless of scale and emphasize the roles each can play in the forest certification sector.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-09-26
      DOI: 10.3390/f8100364
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 10 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 365: Monitoring Changes in Water Use Efficiency to
           Understand Drought Induced Tree Mortality

    • Authors: Sparkle Malone
      First page: 365
      Abstract: Forests are becoming increasingly vulnerable to rising tree mortality rates in response to warming and drought. In California, the most severe drought on record occurred from 2012–2016 and high tree mortality rates were observed in response to this prolonged drought. Differences in satellite-derived estimates of water-use efficiency (WUE) under normal (i.e., WUEBASELINE) and drought conditions (ΔWUE = WUE2014 − WUEBASELINE) captured variation in drought resilience, and is used here to understand patterns in tree mortality. Across California forests, a low WUEBASELINE under normal conditions was indicative of a low drought resilience and was associated with increasing tree mortality rates. Forested areas with high drought frequency in recent years (2002–2015) and lower WUEBASELINE were the most vulnerable to high post-drought tree mortality. Post drought tree mortality peaked in 2015 and tree mortality was detected in areas where bark beetles were active. Our results show that spatial and temporal changes in WUE can signal shifts in ecosystem resilience and that water-limited forests are sensitive to temperature- and precipitation-driven drought stress. Considering that forests with low resilience will be poised for dieback in the future if climates continue to feature rising temperatures without compensating increases in precipitation, it is becoming increasingly important that we understand drought vulnerability at the ecosystem level and how it changes over time with climate conditions.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-09-26
      DOI: 10.3390/f8100365
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 10 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 366: Correction: Schelfhout, S.; et al. Tree
           Species Identity Shapes Earthworm Communities. Forests 2017, 8, 85

    • Authors: Stephanie Schelfhout, Jan Mertens, Kris Verheyen, Lars Vesterdal, Lander Baeten, Bart Muys, An De Schrijver
      First page: 366
      Abstract: It has come to our attention that there was a mistake in this paper [1]:[...]
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-09-27
      DOI: 10.3390/f8100366
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 10 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 367: Pine Nuts: A Review of Recent Sanitary
           Conditions and Market Development

    • Authors: Hafiz Awan, Davide Pettenella
      First page: 367
      Abstract: Pine nuts are non-wood forest products (NWFP) with a constantly growing market notwithstanding a series of phytosanitary issues and related trade problems. The aim of this paper is to review the literature on the relationship between phytosanitary problems and trade development. Production and trade of pine nuts in Mediterranean Europe have been negatively affected by the spreading of Diplodia sapinea (a fungus) associated with an adventive insect Leptoglossus occidentalis (fungal vector), with impacts on forest management, production and profitability and thus in value chain organization. Reduced availability of domestic production in markets with a growing demand has stimulated the import of pine nuts. China has become a leading exporter of pine nuts, but its export is affected by a symptom caused by the nuts of some pine species: ‘pine nut syndrome’ (PNS). Most of the studies mentioned in the literature review concern PNS occurrence associated with the nuts of Pinus armandii. We highlight the need for a comprehensive and interdisciplinary approach to the analysis of the pine nuts value chain organization, where research on food properties and clinical toxicology may be connected to breeding and forest management, forest pathology and entomology, and trade development.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-09-27
      DOI: 10.3390/f8100367
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 10 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 368: Seasonal Water Relations and Leaf Temperature
           in a Deciduous Dipterocarp Forest in Northeastern Thailand

    • Authors: Philip Rundel, Kansri Boonpragob, Mark Patterson
      First page: 368
      Abstract: Deciduous dipterocarp forests across mainland Southeast Asia are dominated by two families: the Dipterocarpaceae and Fabaceae. Monsoon conditions produce strong seasonal climates with a hot dry season of 5–7 months extending from late November or early December through April or early May. Seasonal measurements of stomatal conductance and plant water potential found important differences between members of the two families. Despite their long dry season, Shorea siamensis and S. obtusa (Dipterocarpaceae) showed little significant patterns of seasonal change in xylem water potentials, with midday potentials never dropping below −1.3 MPa. These species present a classic example of isohydric strategies of adaptation where stomatal regulation maintains a relatively stable minimum water potential over the course of the year. However, maximum rates of stomatal conductance dropped sharply in the late dry season as the leaves heated in full sun without significant transpirational cooling, reaching as high as 44–45 °C, making them potentially sensitive to global increases in extreme temperature. The woody legumes Xylia kerrii and Dalbergia oliveri present different patterns of seasonal water relations and leaf response to high temperatures. The legumes exhibit anisohydric behavior where water potential decreases over the dry season as evaporative demand increases. Dry season midday water potentials dropped from high wet season levels to −2.4 to −3.2 MPa, moderately lowering maximum stomatal conductance. The relatively small leaflets of these legumes responded to the high temperatures of the late dry season by temporarily wilting, reducing their exposure to solar radiation and taking advantage of convective cooling. Large leaf size of dipterocarps in this community may not be an adaptive trait but rather an ancestral condition compensated for with ecophysiological adaptations.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-09-28
      DOI: 10.3390/f8100368
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 10 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 369: Buying Time: Preliminary Assessment of
           Biocontrol in the Recovery of Native Forest Vegetation in the Aftermath of
           the Invasive Emerald Ash Borer

    • Authors: Elan Margulies, Leah Bauer, Inés Ibáñez
      First page: 369
      Abstract: Introduced forest pests have become one of the major threats to forests, and biological control is one of the few environmentally acceptable management practices. Assessing the impacts of a biocontrol program includes evaluating the establishment of biocontrol agents, the control of target pest, the impact on the affected organism, and the indirect impacts that the biocontrol agent may have on the whole community. We assessed the recovery of forest vegetation following the mortality of ash trees caused by the invasive emerald ash borer (EAB) pest in forest stands where biocontrol agents were released or not. We used a multilevel framework to evaluate potential indirect effects of the biocontrol agents on native forest seedlings. Our results showed a higher number of ash saplings where increasing numbers of the dominant EAB biocontrol agent were released, while the number of invasive and weedy saplings was negatively associated with the number of ash saplings, and the density of native seedlings was negatively associated with invasive and weedy saplings. The protection of ash saplings by the biocontrol agent may help native recruitment during forest transition by supporting the growth of native hardwood seedlings over invasive and weedy species. These results show that research on the efficacy of EAB biocontrol should include all ash size classes and the community dynamics of co-occurring species.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-09-28
      DOI: 10.3390/f8100369
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 10 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 370: Assessing Alternative Silvicultural
           Prescriptions for Mid-Rotation, Unthinned, Spruce-Fir Stands in Maine

    • Authors: Patrick Hiesl, Mindy Crandall, Aaron Weiskittel, Anil Kizha
      First page: 370
      Abstract: Determining the optimal timing and type of entry in mid-rotation, unthinned stands can be complicated by a variety of economic and biological factors. In this analysis, long-term data from the Commercial Thinning Research Network was used to project spruce-fir (Picea spp.—Abies balsamea (L.) Mill.) stand growth on six different sites across Maine following six alternative thinning treatments (33% and 50% relative density removal paired with low, crown, and dominant thinning methods). Results showed that the low-thinning treatment performed best in terms of maximum net present value, stand age at time of maximum net present value, and average merchantable stem size. Although the low-thinning resulted in a 10% mean reduction in maximum net present value when compared to the control, the average merchantable stem size more than doubled. Overall, results of this analysis indicate that it may be financially responsible to commercially thin these stands using a low-thinning method and a light removal intensity, as the average merchantable stems size was increased and a mid-rotation financial return provided.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-09-28
      DOI: 10.3390/f8100370
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 10 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 371: Temporal Change in Aboveground Culms Carbon
           Stocks in the Moso Bamboo Forests and Its Driving Factors in Zhejiang
           Province, China

    • Authors: Lin Xu, Yongjun Shi, Guomo Zhou, Xiaojun Xu, Enbing Liu, Yufeng Zhou, Chong Li, Huiyun Fang, Xu Deng
      First page: 371
      Abstract: Moso bamboo (Phyllostachys pubescens) has high carbon sequestration potential and plays an important role in terrestrial carbon cycling. Quantifying the temporal change in Moso bamboo forest carbon stocks is important for understanding forest dynamics and global climate change feedback capacity. In 2009, 168 Moso bamboo forest sample plots were established in Zhejiang Province using National Forest Continuous Inventory protocols and enhanced measurements. These plots were revisited and remeasured in 2014. By comparing the two years, culms number in age classes 2 and 4 increased by 12.3% and 82.5%, respectively, while that in age classes 1 and 3 decreased by 14.7% and 0.03%, respectively. The total aboveground culms carbon stocks increased by 2.95 Mg C ha−1 in the sample plots. On average, age classes 2 and 4 contributed 25.5% and 86.7% of the change in total carbon stocks, respectively. The carbon sequestrated by aboveground culms was 0.42 Tg C year−1, accounting for 1.55 Tg CO2 year−1 in Moso bamboo over an area of 0.78 million hectares in Zhejiang Province. The change in Moso bamboo carbon stocks did not correlate with environmental factors, but significantly increased with increasing culms number and average diameter at breast height (DBH). Our study helps contribute to improvements in Moso bamboo forest management strategies and promote carbon sequestration capacity.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-09-30
      DOI: 10.3390/f8100371
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 10 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 372: Environmental Influences on Forest Fire Regime
           in the Greater Hinggan Mountains, Northeast China

    • Authors: Qian Fan, Cuizhen Wang, Dongyou Zhang, Shuying Zang
      First page: 372
      Abstract: Fires are the major disturbances in the Greater Hinggan Mountains, the only boreal forest in Northeast China. A comprehensive understanding of the fire regimes and influencing environmental parameters driving them from small to large fires is critical for effective forest fire prevention and management. Assisted with satellite imagery, topographic data, and climatic records in this region, this study examines its fire regimes in terms of ignition causes, frequencies, seasonality, and burned sizes in the period of 1980–2005. We found an upward trend for fire occurrences and burned areas and an elongated fire season over the three decades. The dates of the first fire in a year did not vary largely but those of the last fire were significantly delayed. Topographically, spring fires were prevalent throughout the entire region, while summer fires mainly occurred at higher elevations under severe drought conditions. Fall fires were mostly human-caused in areas at lower elevations with gentle terrains. An ordinal logistic regression revealed temperature and elevation were both significant factors to the fire size severity in spring and summer. Other than that, environmental impacts were different. Precipitation in the preceding year greatly influenced spring fires, while summer fires were significantly affected by wind speed, fuel moisture, and human accessibility. An important message from this study is that distinct seasonal variability and a significantly increasing number of summer and fall fires since the mid-1990s suggest a changing fire regime of the boreal forests in the study area. The observed and modeled results could provide insights on establishing a sustainable, localized forest fire prevention strategy in a seasonal manner.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-09-30
      DOI: 10.3390/f8100372
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 10 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 373: Seasonal Variations in Carbon, Nitrogen and
           Phosphorus Concentrations and C:N:P Stoichiometry in the Leaves of
           Differently Aged Larix principis-rupprechtii Mayr. Plantations

    • Authors: Hailiang Li, M. Crabbe, Fuli Xu, Weiling Wang, Ruilong Niu, Xing Gao, Pei Zhang, Haikui Chen
      First page: 373
      Abstract: The concentrations and stoichiometry of certain elements (carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus) are critical to the maintenance of plant functional and environmental adaptation during plant growth. We explore how the concentrations of C, N and P and the ratios of C:N, C:P, and N:P in the leaves of differently aged Larix principis-rupprechtii Mayr. plantations changed with growing season and stand age from 2012 to 2015 in the Qinling Mountains, China. The results showed that the element concentration and stoichiometric ratios in leaves were significantly affected by sampling month, stand age and sampling year; and multiple correlations with stand age were observed in different growing seasons. Compared to global element concentrations and stoichiometry in plants, the leaves of larch stands in the study region had higher C and P concentrations and C:N and C:P ratios but lower N concentrations and N:P ratios than global levels. The leaf N:P ratios of all of the larch stands were generally less than 14, suggesting that the growth of larch stands was limited by N in the study region. Our study facilitates the management and restoration of forest plantation and provides a valuable contribution to the global pool of leaf nutrition and stoichiometry data.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-09-30
      DOI: 10.3390/f8100373
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 10 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 374: Transcriptome Sequencing and Comparative
           Analysis of Piptoporus betulinus in Response to Birch Sawdust Induction

    • Authors: Lixia Yang, Mu Peng, Syed Shah, Qiuyu Wang
      First page: 374
      Abstract: Piptoporus betulinus, a brown-rot parasitic fungus of birch trees (Betula species), has been used as a common anti-parasitic and antibacterial agent. The lack of genetic resource data for P. betulinus has limited the exploration of this species. In this present study, we used Illumina Hiseq 2500 technology to examine the transcriptome assembly of P. betulinus in response to birch sawdust induction. By de novo assembly, 21,882 non-redundant unigenes were yielded, and 21,255 (97.1%) were annotated with known gene sequences. A total of 340 responsive unigenes were highly homologous with putative lignocellulose-degrading enzyme candidates. Additionally, 86 unigenes might be involved in the chemical reaction in xenobiotics biodegradation and metabolism, which suggests that this fungus could convert xenobiotic materials and has the potential ability to clean up environmental pollutants. To our knowledge, this was the first study on transcriptome sequencing and comparative analysis of P. betulinus, which provided a better understanding of molecular mechanisms underlying birch sawdust induction and identified lignocelluloses degrading enzymes.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-10-07
      DOI: 10.3390/f8100374
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 10 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 375: Establishing Pine Monocultures and Mixed
           Pine-Hardwood Stands on Reclaimed Surface Mined Land in Eastern Kentucky:
           Implications for Forest Resilience in a Changing Climate

    • Authors: Geoffrey Bell, Kenton Sena, Christopher Barton, Michael French
      First page: 375
      Abstract: Surface mining and mine reclamation practices have caused significant forest loss and forest fragmentation in Appalachia. Shortleaf pine (Pinus echinata) is threatened by a variety of stresses, including diseases, pests, poor management, altered fire regimes, and climate change, and the species is the subject of a widescale restoration effort. Surface mines may present opportunity for shortleaf pine restoration; however, the survival and growth of shortleaf pine on these harsh sites has not been critically evaluated. This paper presents first-year survival and growth of native shortleaf pine planted on a reclaimed surface mine, compared to non-native loblolly pine (Pinus taeda), which has been highly successful in previous mined land reclamation plantings. Pine monoculture plots are also compared to pine-hardwood polyculture plots to evaluate effects of planting mix on tree growth and survival, as well as soil health. Initial survival of shortleaf pine is low (42%), but height growth is similar to that of loblolly pine. No differences in survival or growth were observed between monoculture and polyculture treatments. Additional surveys in coming years will address longer-term growth and survival patterns of these species, as well as changes to relevant soil health endpoints, such as soil carbon.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-10-04
      DOI: 10.3390/f8100375
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 10 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 376: Potential Impact of the REDD+ Program on
           Poverty Reduction in Nghe An Province, Vietnam

    • Authors: Nguyen Dinh Tien, Roberto Rañola, Pham Thu Thuy
      First page: 376
      Abstract: The REDD+ program provides a mechanism for providing financial rewards to forest owners and users who contribute to the reduction of carbon emissions from deforestation and forest degradation. This paper determines the potential impact of the REDD+ program on poverty reduction by comparing income and poverty rate between two household groups that were willing to participate in this study, but that will not participate in the REDD+. The results showed that carbon payment from forests is a significant contributor to the increase in household income of poor people. The average income of households participating in the program is VND 20.68 million in contrast to those not participating whose average income is VND 14.72 million. Results showed that the REDD+ program intervention helped reduce the poverty rate in the two communes by 6.40% (from 39.4% to 33%). The paper recommends that the REDD+ program should facilitate the distribution of land titles to provide security of tenure for individual households that are participating in the program. While the program can contribute to poverty reduction, the program payments can increase income inequality and conflicts between those involved and those not involved in the program and legal ownership of the lands. In addition, a comprehensive research study on the impact of the program on forest conservation and poverty reduction is necessary. Stakeholders of the program should recognize and acknowledge the trade-offs between conservation and economic development or poverty reduction. A comprehensive trade-off analysis of program implementation and a business-as-usual option of commodity production is needed, which could reveal the indirect economic, political, and social costs and benefits of the program.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-10-03
      DOI: 10.3390/f8100376
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 10 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 377: Variations of Climate-Growth Response of Major
           Conifers at Upper Distributional Limits in Shika Snow Mountain,
           Northwestern Yunnan Plateau, China

    • Authors: Yun Zhang, Dingcai Yin, Mei Sun, Hang Wang, Kun Tian, Derong Xiao, Weiguo Zhang
      First page: 377
      Abstract: Improved understanding of climate-growth relationships of multiple species is fundamental to understanding and predicting the response of forest growth to future climate change. Forests are mainly composed of conifers in Northwestern Yunnan Plateau, but variations of growth response to climate conditions among the species are not well understood. To detect the growth response of multiple species to climate change, we developed residual chronologies of four major conifers, i.e., George’s fir (Abies georgei Orr), Likiang spruce (Picea likiangensis (Franch.) E.Pritz.), Gaoshan pine (Pinus densata Mast.) and Chinese larch (Larix potaninii Batalin) at the upper distributional limits in Shika Snow Mountain. Using the dendroclimatology method, we analyzed correlations between the residual chronologies and climate variables. The results showed that conifer radial growth was influenced by both temperature and precipitation in Shika Snow Mountain. Previous November temperature, previous July temperature, and current May precipitation were the common climatic factors that had consistent influences on radial growth of the four species. Temperature in the previous post-growing season (September–October) and moisture conditions in the current growing season (June–August) were the common climatic factors that had divergent impacts on the radial growth of the four species. Based on the predictions of climate models and our understanding of the growth response of four species to climate variables, we may understand the growth response to climate change at the species level. It is difficult to predict future forest growth in the study area, since future climate change might cause both increases and decreases for the four species and indirect effects of climate change on forests should be considered.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-10-04
      DOI: 10.3390/f8100377
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 10 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 378: Challenges for Uneven-Aged Silviculture in
           Restoration of Post-Disturbance Forests in Central Europe: A Synthesis

    • Authors: Jurij Diaci, Dusan Rozenbergar, Gal Fidej, Thomas A. Nagel
      First page: 378
      Abstract: Forest managers are often required to restore forest stands following natural disturbances, a situation that may become more common and more challenging under global change. In parts of Central Europe, particularly in mountain regions dominated by mixed temperate forests, the use of relatively low intensity, uneven-aged silviculture is a common management approach. Because this type of management is based on mimicking less intense disturbances, the restoration of more severe disturbance patches within forested landscapes has received little attention. The goal of this paper is to synthesize research on the restoration of forests damaged by disturbances in temperate forests of Slovenia and neighbouring regions of Central Europe, where uneven-aged silviculture is practiced. Research indicates that active management aimed at favouring mixed uneven-aged forest reduces the risk of disturbance and improves the resilience of stands. Salvage logging may have positive or negative effects on regeneration, much of which is due to the method applied and the quality of work. The most prominent factors that negatively affect restoration are: lack of advanced regeneration and decomposed woody debris, high altitude, steep slopes, dense ground vegetation, and overbrowsing. Planting or sowing should be applied in post-disturbance forests where many negative factors interact and where a high demand for sustainability of forest ecosystem services is present.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-10-04
      DOI: 10.3390/f8100378
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 10 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 379: Carbon Dioxide Fluxes and Their Environmental
           Controls in a Riparian Forest within the Hyper-Arid Region of Northwest

    • Authors: Xiaohong Ma, Qi Feng, Tengfei Yu, Yonghong Su, Ravinesh Deo
      First page: 379
      Abstract: Hyper-arid regions are expected to undergo climatic change, but only a few research works have so far been conducted on the dynamics of carbon dioxide (CO2) fluxes and their consequent responses to various bioclimatic factors, which is mainly attributable to a limited set of flux observations. In this study, the CO2 fluxes exchanged between the forest and the atmosphere have been measured continuously by the eddy covariance approach from June 2013 to December 2016 in a riparian forest, which is a primary body of natural oases located within the lower reaches of inland rivers in China. The present results revealed that the climatic conditions characterized by relatively high mean air temperatures (Ta) with fluctuating annual precipitation (P) during the prescribed study periods were comparable to the historical mean value. The annual net ecosystem productivity (NEP) ranged from approximately 278 g C m−2 year−1 to 427 g C m−2 year−1, with a mean value of 334 g C m−2 year−1. The mean annual ecosystem respiration (Re) and the gross primary productivity (GPP) were found to be 558 and 892 g C m−2 year−1, respectively. The results also ascertained that the high inter-annual variations in NEP were attributable to Re rather than to GPP, and this result was driven primarily by Ta and the groundwater depth under similar eco-physiological processes. In addition, the CO2 fluxes were also strongly correlated with the soil temperature and photosynthetically active radiation for the present study site. In conclusion, the desert riparian forest is a considerably significant carbon sink, particularly in the hyper-arid regions.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-10-04
      DOI: 10.3390/f8100379
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 10 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 380: Acoustic-Based Non-Destructive Estimation of
           Wood Quality Attributes within Standing Red Pine Trees

    • Authors: Peter Newton
      First page: 380
      Abstract: The relationship between acoustic velocity (vd) and the dynamic modulus of elasticity (me), wood density (wd), microfibril angle, tracheid wall thickness (wt,), radial and tangential diameters, fibre coarseness (co) and specific surface area (sa), within standing red pine (Pinus resinosa Ait.) trees, was investigated. The data acquisition phase involved 3 basic steps: (1) random selection of 54 sample trees from 2 intensively-managed 80-year-old plantations in central Canada; (2) attainment of cardinal-based vd measurements transecting the breast-height position on each sample tree; and (3) felling, sectioning and obtaining cross-sectional samples from the first 5.3 m sawlog from which Silviscan-based area-weighted mean attribute estimates were determined. The data analysis phase consisted of applying graphical and correlation analyses to specify regression models for each of the 8 attribute-acoustic velocity relationships. Results indicated that viable relationships were obtained for me, wd, wt, co and sa based on a set of statistical measures: goodness-of-fit (42%, 14%, 45%, 27% and 43% of the variability explained, respectively), lack-of-fit (unbiasedness) and predictive precision (±12%, ±8%, ±7%, ±8% and ±6% error tolerance intervals, respectively). Non-destructive approaches for estimating the prerequisite wd value when deploying the analytical framework were also empirically evaluated. Collectively, the proposed approach and associated results provide the foundation for the development of a comprehensive and precise end-product segregation strategy for use in red pine management.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-10-04
      DOI: 10.3390/f8100380
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 10 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 381: Projecting Land Use Changes by Integrating
           Site Suitability Analysis with Historic Land Use Change Dynamics in the
           Context of Increasing Demand for Wood Pellets in the Southern United

    • Authors: Surendra Shrestha, Puneet Dwivedi
      First page: 381
      Abstract: Rising export of wood pellets from southern United States would bring more land under loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.) at the expense of other competitive land uses. We developed an approach to project potential changes in existing land uses by integrating site suitability analysis with historical land use dynamics in a watershed located within Oconee River Basin, Georgia, United States. We developed a GIS-based site suitability model to classify land into three categories (High, Medium, and Low) for loblolly pine. Then, we calculated historical rates of land use changes in the selected watershed. Finally, we integrated the output of suitability analysis with the projected rates of land use changes under the two scenarios of wood pellet demand (High and Low) to determine an increase in area under loblolly pine for 2016, 2021, and 2026 in a spatially explicit manner. Relative to 2011, the combined changes in the shrubland and evergreen forest land cover categories under High Demand scenario were 7.6, 14.6, and 21.1% and under Low Demand scenario were 3.8, 7.5, and 11.1% for the years 2016, 2021, and 2026, respectively. The developed approach could be applied in a relatively short time at modest spatial scales. The outputs of this study can also be used to determine the environmental implications of land use changes for ensuring the overall sustainability of wood-based bioenergy development in the United States and beyond.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-10-05
      DOI: 10.3390/f8100381
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 10 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 382: Intra-Annual Variation of Stem Radius of Larix
           principis-rupprechtii and Its Response to Environmental Factors in Liupan
           Mountains of Northwest China

    • Authors: Zebin Liu, Yanhui Wang, Ao Tian, Pengtao Yu, Wei Xiong, Lihong Xu, Yarui Wang
      First page: 382
      Abstract: Fine-resolution studies on the stem radius variation at short timescale can provide useful information about the tree growth process and the major environmental variables that trigger and drive stem radius variation. This study investigated the stem radius variation of Larix principis-rupprechtii Mayr growing in the semi-humid Liupan Mountains of Northwest China at daily and seasonal scales using high-resolution automatic band dendrometers from May to October in 2015. The results showed that the stem radius variation of Larix principis-rupprechtii has a clear diurnal pattern which can be divided into contraction, recovery, and increment phases; and also a seasonal pattern which can be divided into three stages: (1) the rapid growth stage in spring (stage 1) with the radius increment of 94.0% of the total in the entire growing period; (2) the persistent shrinkage stage in the dry summer (stage 2) with a negative diurnal radius increment for most days, and a significantly larger amplitude of stem contraction and recovery than other stages; (3) the minimal growth stage in autumn (stage 3), mainly caused by the lowering temperature and leaf area. The amplitude of stem contraction was significantly correlated with air temperature (both the mean and highest value) in all three stages: vapor pressure deficit (VPD) in stage 1; relative humidity (RH), VPD and soil moisture (Ms) in stage 2; and soil temperature (Ts) in stage 3. This indicates that the stem radius contraction was mainly controlled by the factors influencing tree transpiration rate in spring and autumn stages, but jointly controlled by the factors influencing both the tree transpiration rate and the soil moisture availability in the dry summer stage. The factors controlling the stem radius recovery was similar to the stem contraction. The amplitude of stem increment was significantly correlated with the rainfall amount and air temperature (both the mean and highest value) in stage 1 and 3, Ms in stage 2, and the lowest air temperature and Ts in stage 3. This indicates that temperature and precipitation were the key factors controlling the stem radius increment in the spring and autumn stages, and soil moisture was the main factor limiting the stem radius increment in the dry summer stage at the study site with semi-humid climate in Northwest China.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-10-07
      DOI: 10.3390/f8100382
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 10 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 383: Forest Harvest Patterns on Private Lands in
           the Cascade Mountains, Washington, USA

    • Authors: Christopher Soulard, Jessica Walker, Glenn Griffith
      First page: 383
      Abstract: Forests in Washington State generate substantial economic revenue from commercial timber harvesting on private lands. To investigate the rates, causes, and spatial and temporal patterns of forest harvest on private tracts throughout the Cascade Mountains, we relied on a new generation of annual land-use/land-cover (LULC) products created from the application of the Continuous Change Detection and Classification (CCDC) algorithm to Landsat satellite imagery collected from 1985 to 2014. We calculated metrics of landscape pattern using patches of intact and harvested forest in each annual layer to identify changes throughout the time series. Patch dynamics revealed four distinct eras of logging trends that align with prevailing regulations and economic conditions. We used multiple logistic regression to determine the biophysical and anthropogenic factors that influence fine-scale selection of harvest stands in each time period. Results show that private lands forest cover became significantly reduced and more fragmented from 1985 to 2014. Variables linked to parameters of site conditions, location, climate, and vegetation greenness consistently distinguished harvest selection for each distinct era. This study demonstrates the utility of annual LULC data for investigating the underlying factors that influence land cover change.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-10-07
      DOI: 10.3390/f8100383
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 10 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 384: Mapping of Shorea robusta Forest Using Time
           Series MODIS Data

    • Authors: Bhoj Ghimire, Masahiko Nagai, Nitin Tripathi, Apichon Witayangkurn, Bhogendra Mishara, Nophea Sasaki
      First page: 384
      Abstract: Mapping forest types in a natural heterogeneous forest environment using remote sensing data is a long-standing challenge due to similar spectral reflectance from different tree species and significant time and resources are required for acquiring and processing the remote sensing data. The purpose of this research was to determine the optimum number of remote sensing images and map the Sal forest through the analysis of Vegetation Index (VI) signatures. We analyzed the eight days’ composite moderate resolution imaging spectroradiometer (MODIS) time series normalized differential vegetation index (NDVI), and enhanced vegetation index (EVI) for the whole year of 2015. Jeffries-Matusita (J-M) distance was used for the separability index. Performance of EVI and NDVI was tested using random forest (RF) and support vector machine (SVM) classifiers. Boruta algorithm and statistical analysis were performed to identify the optimum set of imageries. We also performed data level five-fold cross validation of the model and field level accuracy assessment of the classification map. The finding confirmed that EVI with SVM (F-score of Sal 0.88) performed better than NDVI with either SVM or RF. The optimum 12 images during growing and post monsoon season significantly decreased processing time (to one-fourth) without much deteriorating accuracy. Accordingly, we were able to map the Sal forest whose area is accounted for about 36% of the 82% forest cover in the study area. The proposed methodology can be extended to produce a temporal forest type classification map in any other location.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-10-07
      DOI: 10.3390/f8100384
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 10 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 385: The Effect of Re-Planting Trees on Soil
           Microbial Communities in a Wildfire-Induced Subalpine Grassland

    • Authors: Ed-Haun Chang, Guanglong Tian, Chih-Yu Chiu
      First page: 385
      Abstract: Wildfire often causes tremendous changes in ecosystems, particularly in subalpine and alpine areas, which are vulnerable due to severe climate conditions such as cold temperature and strong wind. This study aimed to clarify the effect of tree re-planting on ecosystem services such as the soil microbial community after several decades. We compared the re-planted forest and grassland with the mature forest as a reference in terms of soil microbial biomass C and N (Cmic and Nmic), enzyme activities, phospholipid fatty acids (PLFA) composition, and denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE). The Cmic and Nmic did not differ among the grassland, re-planted forest and mature forest soil; however, ratios of Cmic/Corg and Nmic/Ntot decreased from the grassland to re-planted forest and mature forest soil. The total PLFAs and those attributed to bacteria and Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria did not differ between the re-planted forest and grassland soil. Principle component analysis of the PLFA content separated the grassland from re-planted forest and mature forest soil. Similarly, DGGE analysis revealed changes in both bacterial and fungal community structures with changes in vegetation. Our results suggest that the microbial community structure changes with the re-planting of trees after a fire event in this subalpine area. Recovery of the soil microbial community to the original state in a fire-damaged site in a subalpine area may require decades, even under a re-planted forest.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-10-07
      DOI: 10.3390/f8100385
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 10 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 386: Assessment of the Response of Photosynthetic
           Activity of Mediterranean Evergreen Oaks to Enhanced Drought Stress and
           Recovery by Using PRI and R690/R630

    • Authors: Chao Zhang, Catherine Preece, Iolanda Filella, Gerard Farré-Armengol, Josep Peñuelas
      First page: 386
      Abstract: The photochemical reflectance index (PRI) and red-edge region of the spectrum are known to be sensitive to plant physiological processes, and through measurement of these optical signals it is possible to use non-invasive remote sensing to monitor the plant photosynthetic status in response to environmental stresses such as drought. We conducted a greenhouse experiment using Quercus ilex, a Mediterranean evergreen oak species, to investigate the links between leaf-level PRI and the red-edge based reflectance ratio (R690/R630) with CO2 assimilation rates (A), and photochemical efficiency (FV/FM and Yield) in response to a gradient of mild to extreme drought treatments (nine progressively enhanced drought levels) and corresponding recovery. PRI and R690/R630 both decreased under enhanced drought stress, and had significant correlations with A, FV/FM and Yield. The differential values between recovery and drought treatments of PRI (ΔPRIrecovery) and R690/R630 (ΔR690/R630recovery) increased with the enhanced drought levels, and significantly correlated with the increases of ΔArecovery, ΔFV/FMrecovery and ΔYieldrecovery. We concluded that both PRI and R690/R630 were not only sensitive to enhanced drought stresses, but also highly sensitive to photosynthetic recovery. Our study makes important progress for remotely monitoring the effect of drought and recovery on photosynthetic regulation using the simple physiological indices of PRI and R690/R630.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-10-10
      DOI: 10.3390/f8100386
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 10 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 387: Influence of Container Type and Growth Medium
           on Seedling Growth and Root Morphology of Cyclocarya paliurus during
           Nursery Culture

    • Authors: Ning Tian, Shengzuo Fang, Wanxia Yang, Xulan Shang, Xiangxiang Fu
      First page: 387
      Abstract: As a multiple function tree species, Cyclocarya paliurus (Batal) Iljinskaja is mainly planted and managed for timber production and medical use. To improve the seed use efficiency and outplanting performance of C. paliurus, the effects of container types and growth medium on the seedling growth and root morphology of C. paliurus were investigated by using a completely randomized block experimental design with a 4 × 3 factorial arrangement during nursery culture. Both container type and growth medium significantly affected the growth, biomass, and root morphological indexes of C. paliurus seedlings, but container size had a greater effect on the seedling quality of C. paliurus than the growth medium formula. The root-collar diameter and height of the seedlings were positively and significantly correlated with the biomass variables and root morphological variables, and could be considered essential attributes for evaluating seedling quality. Based on the results from this study, the management regime used here in C. paliurus seedling production is suggested to ensure good quality seedling delivery. Our study provides not only valuable insights into the container seedling culture of C. paliurus, it also enables nursery managers to optimize seedling production.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-10-10
      DOI: 10.3390/f8100387
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 10 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 388: Growth and Physiology of Senegalia senegal
           (L.) Britton Seedlings as Influenced by Seed Origin and Salinity and
           Fertility Treatments

    • Authors: Mame Sarr, John Seiler, Jay Sullivan
      First page: 388
      Abstract: Multipurpose trees such as Senegalia senegal are widespread in arid and semi-arid lands that have natural or induced saline soils and poor soil fertility. Such environmental problems impact growth and have the potential to influence plant physiological adaptations. Identifying superior genotypes better adapted to these environmental stresses will be of great importance for tree selection for reclamation of degraded drylands. The main objective of this study was to examine the growth performance, and physiological and morphological adaptations to salinity, and fertility treatments of different Senegalia senegal families. We used five families (DB16, DB14, K4B19, K17B19, NB1) selected from 60 families of a Senegalia senegal progeny trial in Dahra, Senegal. Seedlings were grown under greenhouse conditions by watering all plants for three weeks and then stopping all watering for three more weeks. In a randomized complete block design, a two-level factorial combination was used for salinity (zero and 183.1 mM NaCl added) and fertility (zero and 100 kg/ha N-P-K added) treatments. A significant family × salt × fertilizer interaction was found for all biomass parameters (leaf dry matter, stem dry matter, root dry matter, and leaf area). The fertilizer application resulted in a significant increase of total biomass of all families, ranging from 63% to 237% for NB1 and K17B19, respectively. In contrast, salt only decreased total biomass of NB1 and K17B19 increased growth. Despite similar net photosynthetic rates before treatment started, fertilizer and salinity induced different effects between families. Prior to drought stress, fertilizer did not affect photosynthesis of DB16, while salt significantly decreased stomatal conductance of all families. DB16 and N1B1, despite significant differences of stomata size and density, significantly decreased transpiration, and thereby increased their intrinsic water use efficiency. Under drought, relative growth rate was significantly decreased. Given that genotype differences were found, these families and salinity and fertilizer treatments need to be explored in field trials.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-10-11
      DOI: 10.3390/f8100388
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 10 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 389: Assessing Forest Cover Dynamics and Forest
           Perception in the Atlantic Forest of Paraguay, Combining Remote Sensing
           and Household Level Data

    • Authors: Emmanuel Da Ponte, Benjamin Mack, Christian Wohlfart, Oscar Rodas, Martina Fleckenstein, Natascha Oppelt, Stefan Dech, Claudia Kuenzer
      First page: 389
      Abstract: The Upper Parana Atlantic Forest (BAAPA) in Paraguay is one of the most threatened tropical forests in the world. The rapid growth of deforestation has resulted in the loss of 91% of its original cover. Numerous efforts have been made to halt deforestation activities, however farmers’ perception towards the forest and its benefits has not been considered either in studies conducted so far or by policy makers. This research provides the first multi-temporal analysis of the dynamics of the forest within the BAAPA region on the one hand, and assesses the way farmers perceive the forest and how this influences forest conservation at the farm level on the other. Remote sensing data acquired from Landsat images from 1999 to 2016 were used to measure the extent of the forest cover and deforestation rates over 17 years. Farmers’ influence on the dynamics of the forest was evaluated by combining earth observation data and household survey results conducted in the BAAPA region in 2016. Outcomes obtained in this study demonstrate a total loss in forest cover of 7500 km2. Deforestation rates in protected areas were determined by management regimes. The combination of household level and remote sensing data demonstrated that forest dynamics at the farm level is influenced by farm type, the level of dependency/use of forest benefits and the level of education of forest owners. An understanding of the social value awarded to the forest is a relevant contribution towards preserving natural resources.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-10-11
      DOI: 10.3390/f8100389
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 10 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 390: Taxonomic and Functional Diversity of a
           Quercus pyrenaica Willd. Rhizospheric Microbiome in the Mediterranean

    • Authors: José Cobo-Díaz, Antonio Fernández-González, Pablo Villadas, Nicolás Toro, Susannah Tringe, Manuel Fernández-López
      First page: 390
      Abstract: Altitude significantly affects vegetation growth and distribution, including the developmental stages of a forest. We used shotgun Illumina sequencing to analyze microbial community composition and functional potential in melojo-oak (Quercus pyrenaica Willd.) rhizospheric soil for three different development stages along an altitudinal gradient: (a) a low altitude, non-optimal site for forest maintenance; (b) an intermediate altitude, optimal site for a forest; and (c) a high altitude, expansion site with isolated trees but without a real forest canopy. We observed that, at each altitude, the same microbial taxa appear both in the taxonomic analysis of the whole metagenome and in the functional analysis of the methane, sulfur and nitrogen metabolisms. Although there were no major differences at the functional level, there were significant differences in the abundance of each taxon at the phylogenetic level between the rhizospheres of the forest (low and intermediate altitudes) and the expansion site. Proteobacteria and Actinobacteria were the most differentially abundant phyla in forest soils compared to the expansion site rhizosphere. Moreover, Verrucomicrobia, Bacteroidetes and Nitrospirae phyla were more highly represented in the non-forest rhizosphere. Our study suggests that rhizospheric microbial communities of the same tree species may be affected by development stage and forest canopy cover via changes in soil pH and the C/N ratio.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-10-12
      DOI: 10.3390/f8100390
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 10 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 391: Tree Regeneration Spatial Patterns in
           Ponderosa Pine Forests Following Stand-Replacing Fire: Influence of
           Topography and Neighbors

    • Authors: Justin Ziegler, Chad Hoffman, Paula Fornwalt, Carolyn Sieg, Mike Battaglia, Marin Chambers, Jose Iniguez
      First page: 391
      Abstract: Shifting fire regimes alter forest structure assembly in ponderosa pine forests and may produce structural heterogeneity following stand-replacing fire due, in part, to fine-scale variability in growing environments. We mapped tree regeneration in eighteen plots 11 to 15 years after stand-replacing fire in Colorado and South Dakota, USA. We used point pattern analyses to examine the spatial pattern of tree locations and heights as well as the influence of tree interactions and topography on tree patterns. In these sparse, early-seral forests, we found that all species were spatially aggregated, partly attributable to the influence of (1) aspect and slope on conifers; (2) topographic position on quaking aspen; and (3) interspecific attraction between ponderosa pine and other species. Specifically, tree interactions were related to finer-scale patterns whereas topographic effects influenced coarse-scale patterns. Spatial structures of heights revealed conspecific size hierarchies with taller trees in denser neighborhoods. Topography and heterospecific tree interactions had nominal effect on tree height spatial structure. Our results demonstrate how stand-replacing fires create heterogeneous forest structures and suggest that scale-dependent, and often facilitatory, rather than competitive, processes act on regenerating trees. These early-seral processes will establish potential pathways of stand development, affecting future forest dynamics and management options.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-10-14
      DOI: 10.3390/f8100391
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 10 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 392: Estimation of Vegetation Cover Using Digital
           Photography in a Regional Survey of Central Mexico

    • Authors: Víctor Salas-Aguilar, Cristóbal Sánchez-Sánchez, Fabiola Rojas-García, Fernando Paz-Pellat, J. Valdez-Lazalde, Carmelo Pinedo-Alvarez
      First page: 392
      Abstract: The methods for measuring vegetation cover in Mexican forest surveys are subjective and imprecise. The objectives of this research were to compare the sampling designs used to measure the vegetation cover and estimate the over and understory cover in different land uses, using digital photography. The study was carried out in 754 circular sampling sites in central Mexico. Four spatial sampling designs were evaluated in three spatial distribution patterns of the trees. The sampling designs with photographic captures in diagonal form had lower values of mean absolute error (MAE < 0.12) and less variation in random and grouped patterns. The Carbon and Biomass Sampling Plot (CBSP) design was chosen due to its smaller error in the different spatial tree patterns. The image processing was performed using threshold segmentation techniques and was automated through an application developed in the Python language. The two proposed methods to estimate vegetation cover through digital photographs were robust and replicable in all sampling plots with different land uses and different illumination conditions. The automation of the process avoided human estimation errors and ensured the reproducibility of the results. This method is working for regional surveys and could be used in national surveys due to its functionality.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-10-15
      DOI: 10.3390/f8100392
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 10 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 393: Some Refinements on the Comparison of Areal
           Sampling Methods via Simulation

    • Authors: Jeffrey Gove
      First page: 393
      Abstract: The design of forest inventories and development of new sampling methods useful in such inventories normally have a two-fold target of design unbiasedness and minimum variance in mind. Many considerations such as costs go into the choices of sampling method for operational and other levels of inventory. However, the variance in terms of meeting a specified level of precision is always among the most important criteria. Similarly, in designing new sampling methods, one always seeks to decrease the variance of the new method compared to existing methods. This paper provides a review of some graphical methods that may prove useful in these endeavors. In addition, in the case of the comparison of variances between new and existing methods, it introduces the use of wavelet filtering to decompose the sampling variance associated with the estimators under consideration into scale-based components of variance. This yields an analysis of variance of sorts regarding how the methods compare over different distance/area classes. The graphical tools are also shown to be applicable to the wavelet decomposition. These graphical tools may prove useful in summarizing the results for inventory design, while the wavelet results may prove helpful as we begin to look at sampling designs more in light of spatial processes for a given population of trees or downed coarse woody debris.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-10-16
      DOI: 10.3390/f8100393
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 10 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 394: Application of Biotechnology in the
           Conservation of the Genus Castanea

    • Authors: Elena Corredoira, Mª Martínez, Mª Cernadas, Mª San José
      First page: 394
      Abstract: Castanea is a hardwood forest genus of considerable agro-economic importance for both timber and nut production. Chestnuts are one of the most significant nut crops in the temperate zone. However, this species is threatened by pollution, social factors, economical changes, and two major fungal diseases: ink disease (Phytophthora spp.), and chestnut blight canker (Cryphonectria parasitica). Similar to other wood species, chestnuts are difficult to propagate both generatively by seed and vegetatively by means of grafting or cuttings. Biotechnological methods such as in vitro culture have been developed in the last few years as an alternative to conventional vegetative propagation. Biotechnology plays a very important role not only in the propagation of selected individuals (being used at a commercial level), but also in its short-term preservation, and offers the possibility of preserving the propagated material in the medium-term (cold storage) or long-term using cryopreservation.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-10-17
      DOI: 10.3390/f8100394
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 10 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 395: Ecosystem Service Supply and Capacity on U.S.
           Family Forestlands

    • Authors: Jesse Caputo, Brett Butler
      First page: 395
      Abstract: Individuals and families collectively own more than 118 million ha of forestland in the USA. Using data from the USDA Forest Service’s National Woodland Owners Survey (NWOS), we characterize ecosystem services being produced on family forests as well as the beneficiaries who enjoy them. Approximately half of family forest owners provide one or more provisioning services. With the exception of logs, the provisioning services provided by the majority of owners are enjoyed directly by owners or their close associates (i.e., family, friends, and neighbors). Similarly, while more than half of family forest owners have provided recreational opportunities, a cultural service, to their close associates, fewer than 6% of owners have sold or provided recreational services to the general public. Regulating and supporting services are linked to the maintenance of long-term forest cover. Greater than 80% of family forest owners desire to maintain the forested condition of their land, whereas a much smaller percentage of these owners have entered into conservation easements or have collected money for conservation purposes. In addition, many owners have engaged in activities expected to increase the future capacity of their land to provide multiple ecosystem services, both excludable and non-excludable.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-10-17
      DOI: 10.3390/f8100395
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 10 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 396: A Robust Productivity Model for Grapple
           Yarding in Fast-Growing Tree Plantations

    • Authors: Riaan Engelbrecht, Andrew McEwan, Raffaele Spinelli
      First page: 396
      Abstract: New techniques have recently appeared that can extend the advantages of grapple yarding to fast-growing plantations. The most promising technique consists of an excavator-base un-guyed yarder equipped with new radio-controlled grapple carriages, fed by another excavator stationed on the cut-over. This system is very productive, avoids in-stand traffic, and removes operators from positions of high risk. This paper presents the results of a long-term study conducted on 12 different teams equipped with the new technology, operating in the fast-growing black wattle (Acacia mangium Willd) plantations of Sarawak, Malaysia. Data were collected continuously for almost 8 months and represented 555 shifts, or over 55,000 cycles—each recorded individually. Production, utilization, and machine availability were estimated, respectively at: 63 m3 per productive machine hour (excluding all delays), 63% and 93%. Regression analysis of experimental data yielded a strong productivity forecast model that was highly significant, accounted for 50% of the total variability in the dataset and was validated with a non-significant error estimated at less than 1%. The figures reported in this study are especially robust, because they were obtained from a long-term study that covered multiple teams and accumulated an exceptionally large number of observations.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-10-17
      DOI: 10.3390/f8100396
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 10 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 397: Stand Dynamics and Biomass Increment in a
           Lucidophyllous Forest over a 28-Year Period in Central Japan

    • Authors: Siyu Chen, Akira Komiyama, Shogo Kato, Ruoming Cao, Shinpei Yoshitake, Toshiyuki Ohtsuka
      First page: 397
      Abstract: Secondary lucidophyllous forest is one of the dominant forests in human-dominated subtropical/warm-temperate regions in East Asia. There were few direct monitoring techniques to elucidate the following hypotheses: (a) self-thinning may govern the stand development process and (b) wood production decline can be observed during secondary succession in a lucidophyllous forest. We conducted a long-term study at a permanent plot in central Japan, since 1989. The forest consists mainly of Castanopsis cuspidata in a canopy layer, Cleyera japonica, and Eurya japonica in a subtree layer. During the 28-year period, the basal area of the stand significantly increased due to the growth of C. cuspidata, from 29.18 ± 1.84 (87.8% of total) to 38.71 ± 2.22 m2 ha−1 (91.9%), while the stem density of C. cuspidata significantly decreased from 666 ± 13 to 404 ± 10 stems ha−1 in proportion to accumulating biomass (117.8 to 166.6 ton ha−1). The annual woody net primary production ranged from 2.40 ± 0.13 to 3.93 ± 0.33 ton ha−1 year−1 as a nearly 70-year-old forest. There was no age-related decline of woody net primary production (NPP) was found during secondary succession, and the growth of individual tree still increased when the self-thinning process governed the stand.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-10-17
      DOI: 10.3390/f8100397
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 10 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 398: Effects of Linear Disturbances and Fire
           Severity on Velvet Leaf Blueberry Abundance, Vigor, and Berry Production
           in Recently Burned Jack Pine Forests

    • Authors: Charlotte Dawe, Angelo Filicetti, Scott Nielsen
      First page: 398
      Abstract: There is limited information on how velvet leaf blueberry (Vaccinium myrtilloides Michx.) responds to fires and existing small forest gaps associated with narrow linear disturbances. We measured the effects of narrow forest linear gaps from seismic lines used for oil and gas exploration versus adjacent (control) forests across a fire severity (% tree mortality) gradient on the presence, abundance (cover), vigor (height), and berry production of Vaccinium myrtilloides in recently (five-year) burned jack pine (Pinus banksiana Lamb.) forests near Fort McMurray, Alberta. Presence was greatest in forests that experienced low to moderately-high fire severities with declines at high fire severity. Abundance did not differ among seismic lines or adjacent forest, nor did it differ along a fire severity gradient. In contrast, vigor and berry production were greater on seismic lines compared to adjacent forests with fire severity positively affecting berry production, but not plant vigor. After controlling for changes in plant cover and vigor, berry production still increased with fire severity and within seismic lines compared with adjacent forests. Our findings suggest that narrow gaps from linear disturbances and fire severity interact to affect the fecundity (berry production) and growth (height) of Vaccinium myrtilloides. This has important implications for assessing the ecological effects of fire on linear disturbances associated with energy exploration in the western boreal forest.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-10-18
      DOI: 10.3390/f8100398
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 10 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 399: Effects of Climate Change on the Potentially
           Suitable Climatic Geographical Range of Liriodendron chinense

    • Authors: Xiang Xu, Huayong Zhang, Ting Xie, Yao Xu, Lei Zhao, Wang Tian
      First page: 399
      Abstract: Identifying the potentially suitable climatic geographical range for Liriodendron chinense (L. chinense) and predicting its responses to climate change is urgently necessary, as L. chinense is an important tertiary relict tree species. In this study, we simulated the potentially suitable climatic habitat of L. chinense in China using maximum entropy (MaxEnt) modeling. We found that the MaxEnt model was highly accurate with an average training Area Under the Curve (AUC) value of 0.912. Annual precipitation and mean temperature of the driest quarter are the main factors controlling the geographical distribution of L. chinense. Currently, the suitable climatic habitat of L. chinense is mainly located in Southeastern China. Forecasted patterns of predicted suitable climatic habitat show a significant change by the 2050s and 2070s, suggesting that the suitable climatic habitat of L. chinense would shift north with future climate change, based on four Representative Concentrations Pathways for carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. The southern extent of the current distribution would become unsuitable for L. chinense, pointing to a threat of extinction and highlighting the urgent need for conservation within the next half century. The potentially suitable climatic habitat of L. chinense was predicted to move further north, but those habitat gains may be inaccessible because of dispersal limitations. Our unique findings offer a climatic suitability map for L. chinense in China, which can help to identify locations where L. chinense may already exist, but has not yet been detected; to recognize locations where L. chinense is likely to spread in the future given forecasted climate change; and to select priority areas for its introduction, cultivation, and conservation.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-10-19
      DOI: 10.3390/f8100399
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 10 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 400: Fire Effects on Historical Wildfire Refugia in
           Contemporary Wildfires

    • Authors: Crystal Kolden, Tyler Bleeker, Alistair Smith, Helen Poulos, Ann Camp
      First page: 400
      Abstract: Wildfire refugia are forest patches that are minimally-impacted by fire and provide critical habitats for fire-sensitive species and seed sources for post-fire forest regeneration. Wildfire refugia are relatively understudied, particularly concerning the impacts of subsequent fires on existing refugia. We opportunistically re-visited 122 sites classified in 1994 for a prior fire refugia study, which were burned by two wildfires in 2012 in the Cascade mountains of central Washington, USA. We evaluated the fire effects for historically persistent fire refugia and compared them to the surrounding non-refugial forest matrix. Of 122 total refugial (43 plots) and non-refugial (79 plots) sites sampled following the 2012 wildfires, one refugial and five non-refugial plots did not burn in 2012. Refugial sites burned more severely and experienced higher tree mortality than non-refugial plots, potentially due to the greater amount of time since the last fire, producing higher fuel accumulation. Although most sites maintained the pre-fire development stage, 19 percent of sites transitioned to Early development and 31 percent of sites converted from Closed to Open canopy. These structural transitions may contribute to forest restoration in fire-adapted forests where fire has been excluded for over a century, but this requires further analysis.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-10-20
      DOI: 10.3390/f8100400
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 10 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 401: Countering Negative Effects of Terrain Slope
           on Airborne Laser Scanner Data Using Procrustean Transformation and
           Histogram Matching

    • Authors: Endre Hansen, Liviu Ene, Terje Gobakken, Hans Ørka, Ole Bollandsås, Erik Næsset
      First page: 401
      Abstract: Forest attributes such as tree heights, diameter distribution, volumes, and biomass can be modeled utilizing the relationship between remotely sensed metrics as predictor variables, and measurements of forest attributes on the ground. The quality of the models relies on the actual relationship between the forest attributes and the remotely sensed metrics. The processing of airborne laser scanning (ALS) point clouds acquired under heterogeneous terrain conditions introduces a distortion of the three-dimensional shape and structure of the ALS data for tree crowns and thus errors in the derived metrics. In the present study, Procrustean transformation and histogram matching were proposed as a means of countering the distortion of the ALS data. The transformations were tested on a dataset consisting of 192 field plots of 250 m2 in size located on a gradient from gentle to steep terrain slopes in western Norway. Regression models with predictor variables derived from (1) Procrustean transformed- and (2) histogram matched point clouds were compared to models with variables derived from untransformed point clouds. Models for timber volume, basal area, dominant height, Lorey’s mean height, basal area weighted mean diameter, and number of stems were assessed. The results indicate that both (1) Procrustean transformation and (2) histogram matching can be used to counter crown distortion in ALS point clouds. Furthermore, both techniques are simple and can easily be implemented in the traditional processing chain of ALS metrics extraction.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-10-21
      DOI: 10.3390/f8100401
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 10 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 402: Assessing Pine Processionary Moth Defoliation
           Using Unmanned Aerial Systems

    • Authors: Adrián Cardil, Udayalakshmi Vepakomma, Lluis Brotons
      First page: 402
      Abstract: Pine processionary moth (PPM) is one of the most destructive insect defoliators in the Mediterranean for many conifers, causing losses of growth, vitality and eventually the death of trees during outbreaks. There is a growing need for cost-effective monitoring of the temporal and spatial impacts of PPM in forest ecology to better assess outbreak spread patterns and provide guidance on the development of measures targeting the negative impacts of the species on forests, industry and human health. Remote sensing technology mounted on unmanned aerial systems (UASs) with high-resolution image processing has been proposed to assess insect outbreak impacts at local and forest stand levels. Here, we used UAS-acquired RGB imagery in two pine sites to quantify defoliation at the tree-level and to verify the accuracy of the estimates. Our results allowed the identification of healthy, infested and completely defoliated trees and suggested that pine defoliation estimates using UASs are robust and allow high-accuracy (79%) field-based infestation indexes to be derived that are comparable to those used by forest technicians. When compared to current field-based methods, our approach provides PPM impact assessments with an efficient data acquisition method in terms of time and staff, allowing the quantitative estimation of defoliation at tree-level scale. Furthermore, our method could be expanded to a number of situations and scaled up in combination with satellite remote sensing imagery or citizen science approaches.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-10-23
      DOI: 10.3390/f8100402
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 10 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 403: Dynamics of Coarse Woody Debris
           Characteristics in the Qinling Mountain Forests in China

    • Authors: Jie Yuan, Shibu Jose, Xiaofeng Zheng, Fei Cheng, Lin Hou, Jingxia Li, Shuoxin Zhang
      First page: 403
      Abstract: Coarse woody debris (CWD) is an essential component in defining the structure and function of forest ecosystems. Long-term dynamics of CWD characteristics not only affect the release rates of chemical elements from CWD, but also the species diversity of inhabiting plants, animals, insects, and microorganisms as well as the overall health of ecosystems. However, few quantitative studies have been done on the long-term dynamics of CWD characteristics in forest ecosystems in China. In this study, we conducted nine tree censuses between 1996 and 2016 at the Huoditang Experimental Forest in the Qinling Mountains of China. We quantified forest biomass including CWD and CWD characteristics such as decay states and diameter classes during this period and correlated with stand, site, and climatic variables. The forest biomass was dominated by live tree biomass (88%); followed by CWD mass (6%–10%). Understory biomass contributed only a small portion (1%–4%) of the overall biomass. Significant differences in average annual increment of CWD mass were found among forest stands of different species (p < 0.0001). Forest biomass, stand age, forest type, aspect, slope, stand density, annual average temperature, and precipitation were all significantly correlated with CWD mass (p < 0.05), with forest type exhibiting the strongest correlation (r2 = 0.8256). Over time, the annual mass of different CWD characteristics increased linearly from 1996–2016 across all forest types. Our study revealed that forest biomass, including CWD characteristics, varied by forest type. Stand and site characteristics (forest biomass, forest type, aspect, slope and stand density) along with temperature and precipitation played a major role in the dynamics of CWD in the studied forest ecosystems.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-10-23
      DOI: 10.3390/f8100403
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 10 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 404: The Floral Biology, Breeding System and
           Pollination Efficiency of Schima superba Gardn. et Champ. (Theaceae)

    • Authors: Hanbo Yang, Rui Zhang, Ping Song, Zhichun Zhou
      First page: 404
      Abstract: Schima superba Gardn. et Champ. is a perennial, evergreen tree valued for its eco-protection and commercial values in China. In this study, we investigate the breeding system, reproductive ecology and pollination biology of S. superba in a seed orchard. The flowers are hermaphrodite and protogynous. The viability of the pollen is inactivated rapidly, and the stigma maintains a high receptivity within the flower lifespan. Flowers typically offer pollen and nectar to visitors. The flowers possess a typical insect pollination syndrome, and three visitors (Apis cerana cerana Fabricius, Protaetia brevitarsis Lewis, and Popillia mutans Newman) are observed on flowers during the study period. The visitation frequency per minute and capability of pollen removal and deposition of A. cerana are significantly higher than P. brevitarsis and P. mutans, although the pollinator efficiency is lower than those shown by the two beetles. Fruit set (28.27%) and seed set (6.57%) percentages resulting from open-pollination are significantly lower than those resulting from cross-pollination (fruit/seed set, 43.73%/11.66%), and the pollen limitation index (L) was 0.34, suggesting that seed production is pollen-limited in the seed orchard. The pollen/ovule ratio (P/O) and outcrossing index (OCI) values are 6686.67 and 4, respectively. The self-incompatibility index (ISI) was estimated to be 0.95. Results from hand-pollination, pollen tube growth experiments and the ISI value show that S. superba is late-acting self-incompatible. The synthetic results indicate that A. cerana is the most efficient pollinator of S. superba, and seed production is frequently limited by pollinators, fruit abortion, and pollen quality.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-10-24
      DOI: 10.3390/f8100404
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 10 (2017)
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