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  Subjects -> FORESTS AND FORESTRY (Total: 103 journals)
Acta Silvatica et Lignaria Hungarica     Open Access  
Advance in Forestry Research     Open Access   (Followers: 4)
Advances in Forestry Letters     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Advances in Forestry Science     Open Access  
African Journal of Sustainable Development     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 7)
Agrociencia     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Agroforestry Systems     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 17)
Annals of Forest Science     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 5)
Annals of Silvicultural Research     Open Access  
Appita Journal: Journal of the Technical Association of the Australian and New Zealand Pulp and Paper Industry     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 5)
Arboricultural Journal : The International Journal of Urban Forestry     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 7)
Arboriculture and Urban Forestry     Free   (Followers: 8)
Australian Forest Grower     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Australian Forestry     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 4)
Banko Janakari     Open Access  
Boletin de la Sociedad Argentina de Botanica     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Bosque     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Canadian Journal of Forest Research     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 25)
Canadian Journal of Plant Science     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 13)
Ciência Florestal     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Ciencia forestal en México     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Colombia Forestal     Open Access  
Current Forestry Reports     Hybrid Journal  
Dissertationes Forestales     Open Access  
European Journal of Forest Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 5)
Expert Opinion on Environmental Biology     Hybrid Journal  
Floresta e Ambiente     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Folia Forestalia Polonica     Open Access  
Forest Ecology and Management     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 40)
Forest Pathology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 1)
Forest Phytophthoras     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Forest Policy and Economics     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 21)
Forest Research Papers     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Forest Science     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 7)
Forest Science and Practice     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 5)
Forest Science and Technology     Partially Free   (Followers: 2)
Forest Systems     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Foresta Veracruzana     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Forestry Chronicle     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 12)
Forestry Letters     Open Access  
Forestry Studies : Metsanduslikud Uurimused     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Forestry: An International Journal of Forest Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 13)
Forests     Open Access   (Followers: 4)
Forests, Trees and Livelihoods     Partially Free   (Followers: 5)
Ghana Journal of Forestry     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
Holzforschung     Hybrid Journal  
iForest : Biogeosciences and Forestry     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Indian Forester     Full-text available via subscription  
INNOTEC : Revista del Laboratorio Tecnológico del Uruguay     Open Access  
International Forestry Review     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 7)
International Journal of Agriculture and Forestry     Open Access   (Followers: 5)
International Journal of Forest Engineering     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 1)
International Journal of Forest, Soil and Erosion     Open Access   (Followers: 4)
International Journal of Forestry Research     Open Access   (Followers: 5)
Journal of Agriculture, Forestry and the Social Sciences     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 4)
Journal of Biodiversity Management & Forestry     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 1)
Journal of Environmental Extension     Full-text available via subscription  
Journal of Forest and Livelihood     Full-text available via subscription  
Journal of Forest Economics     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6)
Journal of Forest Products and Industries     Open Access  
Journal of Forest Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 3)
Journal of Forestry     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 11)
Journal of Forestry Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 7)
Journal of Horticulture and Forestry     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Journal of Natural Resources Policy Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 16)
Journal of Research in Forestry, Wildlife and Environment     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Journal of Sustainable Forestry     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 8)
Journal of the Faculty of Forestry Istanbul University     Open Access  
Journal of Tropical Forestry and Environment     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Journal of Wood Chemistry and Technology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 7)
Journal of Wood Science     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 3)
Jurnal Manajemen Hutan Tropika     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
La Calera     Open Access  
Landscapes     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 20)
Lesnícky časopis     Open Access  
Maderas. Ciencia y tecnología     Open Access  
Mathematical and Computational Forestry & Natural-Resource Sciences     Free  
Natural Areas Journal     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 8)
New Forests     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2)
New Zealand Journal of Forestry Science     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Open Journal of Forestry     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Pesquisa Florestal Brasileira     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Plant Science Bulletin     Free   (Followers: 8)
Quebracho. Revista de Ciencias Forestales     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Research Journal of Forestry     Open Access   (Followers: 4)
Revista Árvore     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Revista Chapingo. Serie Ciencias Forestales y del Ambiente     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Revista de Agricultura Neotropical     Open Access  
Revista Verde de Agroecologia e Desenvolvimento Sustentável     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Revue forestière française     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
Rwanda Journal     Full-text available via subscription  
Scandinavian Journal of Forest Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4)
Science, Technology and Arts Research Journal     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Silva Lusitana     Open Access  
Small-scale Forestry     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 3)
Southern African Forestry Journal     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Southern Forests : a Journal of Forest Science     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 5)
Tanzania Journal of Forestry and Nature Conservation     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Trees     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 5)
Turkish Journal of Agriculture and Forestry     Open Access  

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Journal Cover   Forests
  [SJR: 0.629]   [H-I: 8]   [4 followers]  Follow
  This is an Open Access Journal Open Access journal
   ISSN (Print) 1999-4907
   Published by MDPI Homepage  [140 journals]
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 2897-2917: Evaluation of Image-Assisted Forest
           Monitoring: A Simulation

    • Pages: 2897 - 2917
      Abstract: Fiscal uncertainties can sometimes affect national continuous forest monitoring efforts. One solution of interest is to lengthen the time it takes to collect a “full set” of plot data from five to 10 years in order to reduce costs. Here, we investigate using ancillary information to partially offset this proposed solution’s negative effects. We focus our discussion on the corresponding number of years between measurements of each plot while we investigate how thoroughly the detrimental effects of the reduced sampling effort can be ameliorated with change estimates obtained from temporally-dense remotely-sensed images. We simulate measured plot data under four sampling error structures, and we simulate remotely-sensed change estimates under three reliability assumptions, integrated with assumptions about the additional unobserved growth resulting from the lengthened observation window. We investigate a number of estimation systems with respect to their ability to provide compatible annual estimates of the components of change during years spanned by at least half of the full set of plot observations. We show that auxiliary data with shorter observation intervals can contribute to a significant improvement in estimation.
      PubDate: 2015-08-25
      DOI: 10.3390/f6092897
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 9 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 2918-2940: Warm and Fertile Sub-Humid Conditions
           Enhance Litterfall to Sustain High Soil Respiration Fluxes in a
           Mediterranean Cork Oak Forest

    • Authors: Lobna Zribi, Florent Mouillot, Fatma Gharbi, Jean-Marc Ourcival, Belgacem Hanchi
      Pages: 2918 - 2940
      Abstract: Soil respiration is a major component of the global carbon budget and Mediterranean ecosystems have usually been studied in locations with shallow soils, mild temperatures, and a prolonged dry season. This study investigates seasonal soil respiration rates and underlying mechanisms under wetter, warmer, and more fertile conditions in a Mediterranean cork oak forest of Northern Tunisia (Africa), acknowledged as one of the most productive forests in the Mediterranean basin. We applied a soil respiration model based on soil temperature and relative water content and investigated how ecosystem functioning under these favorable conditions affected soil carbon storage through carbon inputs to the soil litter. Annual soil respiration rates varied between 1774 gC m−2 year−1 and 2227 gC m−2 year−1, which is on the highest range of observations under Mediterranean climate conditions. We attributed this high soil carbon flux as a response to favorable temperatures and soil water content, but this could be sustained only by a small carbon allocation to roots (root/shoot ratio = 0.31–0.41) leading to a large allocation to leaves with a multiannual leaf production, enhanced annual twig elongation (11.5–28.5 cm) with a reduced leaf life span (<1 year) maintaining a low LAI (1.68–1.88) and generating a high litterfall (386–636 gC m−2 year−1). Thus, the favorable climatic and edaphic conditions experienced by these Mediterranean cork oak forests drove high soil respiration fluxes which balanced the high carbon assimilation leading to a relatively small overall contribution (10.96–14.79 kgC m−2) to soil carbon storage.
      PubDate: 2015-08-26
      DOI: 10.3390/f6092918
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 9 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 2941-2958: Soil Nitrogen Transformations and
           Availability in Upland Pine and Bottomland Alder Forests

    • Authors: Tae Yoon, Nam Noh, Haegeun Chung, A-Ram Yang, Yowhan Son
      Pages: 2941 - 2958
      Abstract: Soil nitrogen (N) processes and inorganic N availability are closely coupled with ecosystem productivity and various ecological processes. Spatio-temporal variations and environmental effects on net N transformation rates and inorganic N concentrations in bulk soil and ion exchange resin were examined in an upland pine forest (UPF) and a bottomland alder forest (BAF), which were expected to have distinguishing N properties. The annual net N mineralization rate and nitrification rate (kg N·ha−1·year−1) were within the ranges of 66.05–84.01 and 56.26–77.61 in the UPF and −17.22–72.24 and 23.98–98.74 in the BAF, respectively. In the BAF, which were assumed as N-rich conditions, the net N mineralization rate was suppressed under NH4+ accumulated soils and was independent from soil temperature. On the other hand, in the UPF, which represent moderately fertile N conditions, net N transformation rates and N availability were dependent to the generally known regulation by soil temperature and soil water content. Stand density might indirectly affect the N transformations, N availability, and ecosystem productivity through different soil moisture conditions. The differing patterns of different inorganic N indices provide useful insight into the N availability in each forest and potential applicability of ion exchange resin assay.
      PubDate: 2015-08-27
      DOI: 10.3390/f6092941
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 9 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 2959-2981: Challenges in Mechanization Efforts of
           Small Diameter Eucalyptus Harvesting Operations with a Low Capacity
           Running Skyline Yarder in Southern China

    • Authors: Stephan Hoffmann, Dirk Jaeger, Siegmar Schoenherr, Bruce Talbot
      Pages: 2959 - 2981
      Abstract: This case study examines the performance of the Igland Hauler employed in small diameter Eucalyptus clear-cut operations in Guangxi, China. A yarding crew of eight persons was monitored by a snap back elemental time study for 19.23 SMH (scheduled machine hours), with 159 yarding cycles and a yarded log volume at landing of 49.4 m³ solid over bark. A gross-productivity of 2.50 m³/SMH and net-productivity of 5.06 m³/PMH0 (productive machine hours excluding delay times) was achieved, leading to a machine utilization rate of 49.5%. The costs of the yarder and associated overhead as well as the personnel costs of a large crew with eight people sum up to extraction costs of 50.24 USD/m³. The high costs make it difficult to compete economically with the locally common manual extraction system as long as abundant labor at a low hourly rate is available in the region. Further performance improvement through skill development, but also technical and organizational system modification in conjunction with rising wages and decreasing labor force in rural primary production will determine the justification of employing such yarding systems. However, new silvicultural regimes with extended rotations and supply requirements of the forest products industry in China demand new operational systems.
      PubDate: 2015-08-28
      DOI: 10.3390/f6092959
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 9 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 2982-3001: Mapping Temporal Dynamics in a Forest
           Stream Network—Implications for Riparian Forest Management

    • Pages: 2982 - 3001
      Abstract: This study focuses on avoiding negative effects on surface waters using new techniques for identifying wet areas near surface waters. This would aid planning and designing of forest buffer zones and off-road forestry traffic. The temporal variability in the geographical distribution of the stream network renders this type of planning difficult. A field study was performed in the 68 km2 Krycklan Catchment to illustrate the variability of a boreal stream network. The perennial stream length was 140 km while the stream length during high-flow conditions was 630 km. Comparing the field-measured stream network to the network presented on current maps showed that 58% of the perennial and 76% of the fully expanded network was missing on current maps. Similarly, cartographic depth-to-water maps showed that associated wet soils constituted 5% of the productive forest land during baseflow and 25% during high flow. Using a new technique, maps can be generated that indicate full stream networks, as well as seasonally active streams and associated wet soils, thus, forestry planning can be performed more efficiently and impacts on surface waters can be reduced.
      PubDate: 2015-08-28
      DOI: 10.3390/f6092982
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 9 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 3002-3027: Determination of Fertility Rating (FR)
           in the 3-PG Model for Loblolly Pine Plantations in the Southeastern United
           States Based on Site Index

    • Authors: Santosh Subedi, Thomas Fox, Randolph Wynne
      Pages: 3002 - 3027
      Abstract: Soil fertility is an important component of forest ecosystems, yet evaluating soil fertility remains one of the least understood aspects of forest science. We hypothesized that the fertility rating (FR) used in the model 3-PG could be predicted from site index (SI) for loblolly pine in the southeastern US and then developed a method to predict FR from SI to test this hypothesis. Our results indicate that FR values derived from SI when used in 3-PG explain 89% of the variation in loblolly pine yield. The USDA SSURGO dataset contains SI values for loblolly pine for the major soil series in most of the counties in the southeastern US. The potential of using SI from SSURGO data to predict regional productivity of loblolly pine was assessed by comparing SI values from SSURGO with field inventory data in the study sites. When the 3-PG model was used with FR values derived using SI values from SSURGO database to predict loblolly pine productivity across the broader regions, the model provided realistic outputs of loblolly pine productivity. The results of this study show that FR values can be estimated from SI and used in 3-PG to predict loblolly pine productivity in the southeastern US.
      PubDate: 2015-08-28
      DOI: 10.3390/f6093002
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 9 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 3028-3044: Economic Valuation of Mangroves for
           Comparison with Commercial Aquaculture in South Sulawesi, Indonesia

    • Authors: Abdul Malik, Rasmus Fensholt, Ole Mertz
      Pages: 3028 - 3044
      Abstract: Mangroves are recognized as a provider of a variety of products and essential ecosystem services that contribute significantly to the livelihood of local communities. However, over the past decades, mangroves in many tropical areas including the Takalar district, South Sulawesi have degraded and decreased mainly due to conversion to aquaculture. Currently, little is known about the economic benefits of commercialization of aquaculture as compared to those derived from mangroves in the form of products and services. Here, we estimate the Total Economic Value (TEV) of mangrove benefits in order to compare it with the benefit value of commercial aquaculture. Market prices, replacement costs, benefit transfer value and Cost-Benefit Analyses (CBA) have been used for value determination and comparison. The results show that the per year TEV of mangroves in the study area (Takalar district, South Sulawesi) was in the range of 4370 thousands USD (kUSD) to 10,597 kUSD or 4 kUSD to 8 kUSD per hectare (the highest value contribution derived from the indirect use value (94%)), whereas commercial aquaculture had a net benefit value of 228 kUSD or 3 kUSD per hectare. In addition, the comparison of Net Present Value (NPV) between the benefit value of mangroves and that of commercial aquaculture revealed that conversion of mangroves into commercial aquaculture was not economically beneficial when the analysis was expanded to cover the costs of environmental and forest rehabilitation.
      PubDate: 2015-08-31
      DOI: 10.3390/f6093028
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 9 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 3045-3059: Economic Impact of Net Carbon Payments
           and Bioenergy Production in Fertilized and Non-Fertilized Loblolly Pine

    • Authors: Prativa Shrestha, George Stainback, Puneet Dwivedi
      Pages: 3045 - 3059
      Abstract: Sequestering carbon in forest stands and using woody bioenergy are two potential ways to utilize forests in mitigating emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs). Such forestry related strategies are, however, greatly influenced by carbon and bioenergy markets. This study investigates the impact of both carbon and woody bioenergy markets on land expectation value (LEV) and rotation age of loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.) forests in the southeastern United States for two scenarios—one with thinning and no fertilization and the other with thinning and fertilization. Economic analysis was conducted using a modified Hartman model. The amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) emitted during various activities such as management of stands, harvesting, and product decay was included in the model. Sensitivity analysis was conducted with a range of carbon offset, wood for bioenergy, and forest product prices. The results showed that LEV increased in both management scenarios as the price of carbon and wood for bioenergy increased. However, the results indicated that the management scenario without fertilizer was optimal at low carbon prices and the management scenario with fertilizer was optimal at higher carbon prices for medium and low forest product prices. Carbon payments had a greater impact on LEV than prices for wood utilized for bioenergy. Also, increase in the carbon price increased the optimal rotation age, whereas, wood prices for bioenergy had little impact. The management scenario without fertilizer was found to have longer optimal rotation ages.
      PubDate: 2015-08-31
      DOI: 10.3390/f6093045
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 9 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 3060-3074: Impacts of Mastication: Soil Seed Bank
           Responses to a Forest Thinning Treatment in Three Colorado (USA) Conifer
           Forest Types

    • Authors: Akasha Faist, Heather Stone, Erin Tripp
      Pages: 3060 - 3074
      Abstract: Mastication is a forest fuel thinning treatment that involves chipping or shredding small trees and shrubs and depositing the material across the forest floor. By decreasing forest density mastication has been shown to lessen crown fire hazard, yet other impacts have only recently started to be studied. Our study evaluates how mastication treatments alter the density and composition of soil seed banks in three Colorado conifer forest types. The three forest types were (1) lodgepole pine, (2) ponderosa pine and (3) pinyon pine-juniper. Results showed that masticated sites contained higher seed bank densities than untreated sites: a pattern primarily driven by treatment effects in ponderosa pine forests. The seed bank was dominated by forbs regardless of forest type or treatment. This pattern of forb dominance was not observed in the aboveground vegetation cover as it demonstrated more even proportions of the functional groups. Graminoids showed a higher seed density in treated sites than untreated and, similarly, the identified non-native species only occurred in the treated ponderosa pine sites suggesting a potential belowground invasion for this forest type. These results suggest that presence of masticated material might not be creating a physical barrier hindering the transfer of seeds as predicted.
      PubDate: 2015-08-31
      DOI: 10.3390/f6093060
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 9 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 3075-3086: A High-Resolution Map of Emerald Ash
           Borer Invasion Risk for Southern Central Europe

    • Authors: Viktoria Valenta, Dietmar Moser, Michael Kuttner, Johannes Peterseil, Franz Essl
      Pages: 3075 - 3086
      Abstract: Ash species (Fraxinus spp.) in Europe are threatened by the Emerald Ash Borer (Agrilus planipennis, EAB), an invasive wood boring beetle native to East Asia and currently spreading from European Russia westwards. Based on a high-resolution habitat distribution map (grid cell size: 25 × 25 m) and data on distribution and abundance of Common Ash (Fraxinus excelsior), the most widespread and highly susceptive host species of EAB in Europe, we assess the spatial distribution of EAB invasion risks for southern Central Europe (Austria, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, southern Germany, South Tyrol). We found highest F. excelsior abundance and thus invasion risks in extensive lowland floodplain forests, medium risks in zonal lowland forests and low risks in upper montane and subalpine forests. Based on average velocities of spread in Russia (13–31 km/year) and North America (2.5–80 km/year) from flight and human-assisted transport, EAB is likely to cover the distance (1500 km) between its current range edge in western Russia and the eastern border of the study region within few decades. However, secondary spread by infested wood products make earlier introductions likely. The high susceptibility and mortality of F. excelsior leave no doubt that this beetle will become a major forest pest once it reaches Central Europe. Therefore, developing and testing management approaches with the aim to halt or at least slow down the invasion of EAB in Europe have to be pursued with great urgency.
      PubDate: 2015-08-31
      DOI: 10.3390/f6093075
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 9 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 3087-3108: Considering the Practical Rationality of
           Experimental Operation in Developing Countries: Reality and Challenges
           under a Rigid Community Forestry System in Cambodia

    • Authors: Takayuki Kurashima, Toshiya Matsuura, Asako Miyamoto, Makoto Sano, Sophal Chann
      Pages: 3087 - 3108
      Abstract: Influential stakeholders have highlighted many constraints inherent in conventional scientific forest management plans for community forestry (CF) and presented simpler alternatives. Nevertheless, some developing countries continue to use rigid, complex and high-cost plans and regulations. This article considers two issues: (1) why heavily-regulated or rigid CF systems were originally introduced and why they continue to be used in developing countries despite critiques and counterproposals; and (2) under what circumstances will such CF systems face an impasse, and what can be done to resolve the situation. Using Cambodia as a case study, we examine the development of a rigid CF system, review negative factors influencing the upland forested area, clarify the unfavorable situations arising from these factors and discuss likely problems associated with the CF management system. International organizations played a key role in the introduction and maintenance of rigid, complex and high-cost CF systems in Cambodia. Conflicts and crises arise when the administration prosecutes local farmers for illegal cultivation or deprives communities of CF management rights because of the expansion of commercial crop cultivation and the lack of adequate community management in response to unprecedented changes. A likely practical solution to the probable impasse is the development and funding of a functional network of CF management committees, rather than the adoption of an entirely new, alternative system.
      PubDate: 2015-09-07
      DOI: 10.3390/f6093087
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 9 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 3109-3122: Effect of Hydropriming and Biopriming on
           Seed Germination and Growth of Two Mexican Fir Tree Species in Danger of

    • Pages: 3109 - 3122
      Abstract: Abies spp. in general have been shown to need a period of cold stratification to break dormancy and germinate, but this can be very time consuming. In this study, hydropriming by itself and in combination with biopriming was carried out on Abies hickelii and Abies religiosa seeds. For biopriming, three species of plant growth promoting rhizobacteria ( Pseudomonas fluorescens, P. putida and Bacillus subtilis) were tested. The purpose was to determine if germination and growth could be improved for these two endangered species. Our results demonstrated that treating A. hickelii and A. religiosa with both hydropriming and biopriming with certain strains of Plant Growth-Promoting Rhizobacteria (PGPR) could improve germination rates up to 91% for A. hickelii and up to 68% for A. religiosa. Importantly, these treatments showed no significant negative impact on the growth of A. religiosa and actually improved growth in A. hickelii. The application of both hydropriming and biopriming offer possibly an alternative methodology to improve germination, survival and preservation of these fir tree species of Mexico that are at risk of extinction.
      PubDate: 2015-09-07
      DOI: 10.3390/f6093109
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 9 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 3123-3135: Previous Land Use and Invasive Species
           Impacts on Long-term Afforestation Success

    • Authors: Joshua Nickelson, Eric Holzmueller, John Groninger, Damon Lesmeister
      Pages: 3123 - 3135
      Abstract: The conversion of agricultural lands to forests has increased worldwide over the past few decades for multiple reasons including increasing forest connectivity and wildlife habitat. However, previous land cover and competing vegetation often impede afforestation. We established 219 plots in 29 Quercus plantations on four previous land cover types (LCT): Clover, Soybeans, Woody Brush, and Herbaceous Weeds. Plantations were located in Illinois, USA and were sampled 15–18 years after planting. Sampling data for all trees (planted and volunteer) included species, diameter, and vine presence on the main bole of the tree. Free-to-grow status was recorded for all Quercus species and estimated cover of two invasive species, Elaeagnus umbellata and Lonicera japonica, was documented on each plot. There was a strong relationship between total tree density and invasive species cover across all sites. Stocking success was lower and E. umbellata cover was higher on Woody Brush sites compared to Clover and Soybean cover types. Additionally, significantly more free-to-grow Quercus saplings occurred in Clover and Soybean cover types compared to the Woody Brush sites. The results indicate that previous land cover plays a critical role in forest afforestation. Furthermore, while historically, volunteer tree species were thought to be detrimental to the development of planted species these results suggest that with the increasing prevalence of invasive species worldwide the role of volunteer species in afforestation should be reconsidered and silvicultural protocols adjusted accordingly.
      PubDate: 2015-09-07
      DOI: 10.3390/f6093123
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 9 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 3136-3164: Changing Perceptions of Forest Value and
           Attitudes toward Management of a Recently Established Nature Reserve: A
           Case Study in Southwest China

    • Authors: Hua Yang, Rhett Harrison, Zhuang-Fang Yi, Eben Goodale, Ming-Xu Zhao, Jian-Chu Xu
      Pages: 3136 - 3164
      Abstract: Identifying the main sources of conflict and understanding the relationships between protected areas and local communities are critical to conflict resolution related to protected area management. We surveyed and assessed the perceptions of local people related to forest values of the Bulong Nature Reserve (BNR), Yunnan, China, and their attitudes toward forest management of the recently-established nature reserve. Factors influencing the differences in perceptions and attitudes were investigated. Our results indicated local residents preferred the economic value of forests, and they perceived more forest values after reserve establishment than before, especially for ecological services. Interviewees believed the value of the forests have increased, and predicted that the forest will have increased importance to their livelihoods and health in the future. Nonetheless, the majority of interviewees were dissatisfied with current reserve management. Variation in these perceptions and attitudes were related to several social variables: age, gender, education, and distance from the reserve. Embedding the findings of the present study, specifically the perceptions and attitudes of local people, into management guidelines for mitigation of potential conflicts is proposed and should help managers to achieve biodiversity-related goals. This study offers new insights related to the identification of the underlying sources of conflict in forest management and provides a better understanding of the relationship between local people and protected areas. The study also contributes to the literature on forest values of indigenous populations by examining those of remote, rural populations in China.
      PubDate: 2015-09-09
      DOI: 10.3390/f6093136
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 9 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 3165-3176: Effect of Chitosan on Disease Control
           and Growth of Scots Pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) in a Forest Nursery

    • Pages: 3165 - 3176
      Abstract: Chitosan has become a promising biological agent for disease control and plant growth promotion. The objective of this study was to assess the effects of chitosan, applied as an active ingredient of Beta-chikol (Poli-Farm, Łowicz, Poland), to control damping-off and Lophodermium needle cast on Scots pine seedlings growing in field conditions. Beta-chikol was used for seed treatment and as a foliar spray at recommended rates and concentrations. For each experimental variant (chitosan, fungicides, unprotected), inventories of seedlings were performed, after germination and again after six weeks. In the aboveground parts of seedlings, the concentration of endogenous salicylic acid was determined by HPLC. At the end of the growing season, seedling growth parameters were determined. Beta-chikol used as foliar spray limited infection by the damping-off fungi but was ineffective when used as a seed treatment. Lophodermium needle cast was not observed during the study period. After the application of Beta-chikol, the concentration of salicylic acid did not increase. The application of Beta-chikol enhanced all growth parameters under investigation. Our results indicate the possibility of using chitosan in the form of Beta-chikol to stimulate plant growth and protect pine seedlings against parasitic damping-off in forest nurseries.
      PubDate: 2015-09-11
      DOI: 10.3390/f6093165
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 9 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 3177-3196: Variability of Stand Structures and
           Development in Old-Growth Forests in the Pacific Northwest, USA

    • Authors: Pil Park, Chadwick Oliver
      Pages: 3177 - 3196
      Abstract: The forest stand structure class “old-growth” has previously been qualitatively described as having several distinct “sub-structures.” Species composition, diameter distribution, and other structural features commonly associated with old-growth in the Pacific Northwest are quite variable. We determined which quantitative stand structure variables are commonly found together using the Spearman correlation and non-metric multidimensional analysis. Some features were more commonly found together than others, indicating different old-growth stand types, or sub-structures. Cluster analysis classified the old-growth forests into four groups: Douglas-fir dominance, shade tolerant species dominance, and intermediate groups. The intermediate groups were split by the density of large logs and large shade tolerant trees. The old-growth sub-structures appear to change from one to another as the old forest develops.
      PubDate: 2015-09-11
      DOI: 10.3390/f6093177
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 9 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 3197-3211: Assessing Climate Change Impacts on
           Wildfire Risk in the United States

    • Authors: Hyunjin An, Jianbang Gan, Sung Cho
      Pages: 3197 - 3211
      Abstract: This study examines the statistical association of wildfire risk with climatic conditions and non-climate variables in 48 continental US states. Because the response variable “wildfire risk” is a fractional variable bounded between zero and one, we use a non-linear panel data model to recognize the bounded nature of the response variable. We estimate the non-linear panel data model (fractional probit) using the Generalized Estimating Equation (GEE) approach to ensure that the parameter estimation is efficient. The statistical model, coupled with the future climates projected by Global Climate Models (GCMs), is then employed to assess the impact of global climate change on wildfire risk. Our regression results show that wildfire risk is positively related to spring, summer, and winter temperatures and human population density whereas it is negatively associated with precipitation. The simulation results based on GCMs and the regression model indicate that climate change will intensify wildfire risk throughout the entire US, especially in the South Central region, posing an increasing wildfire threat and thus calling for more effective wildfire management strategies.
      PubDate: 2015-09-15
      DOI: 10.3390/f6093197
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 9 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 3212-3217: Decision Support for the Provision of
           Ecosystem Services under Climate Change: An Editorial

    • Pages: 3212 - 3217
      Abstract: The Special Issue “Providing Ecosystem Services under Climate Change: Community of Practice of Forest Decision Support Systems” is based on the presentations given at the 24th World Congress of the International Union of Forest Research Organizations and provides an overview on Forest Management Decision Support Systems currently designed and applied for the sustained provision of ecosystem services within the context of climate change. The contributions provide an overview on models, methods, techniques used in decision support and the proposed frameworks to support decision making. With populations and economies growing worldwide, the demands on forest resources increase, and sustaining the supply of ecosystem services becomes crucial. Through growing public participation in decisions regarding the management of natural resources, new demands have emerged for tools that support our understanding of environmental issues, and for the development and evaluation of alternative management options; there is a desire to project the consequences of different courses of action. Decision Support Systems (DSS) have been proven to solve such ill-structured decision problems by integrating database management systems with analytical and operational research models, thus providing various reporting capabilities. Several case studies focus on decision problems, the development and evaluation of alternative management options, and on projecting the consequences of different courses of action in the provision of ecosystem services. Conclusions on the state-of-the-art in decision support and the needed advances in research are drawn.
      PubDate: 2015-09-16
      DOI: 10.3390/f6093212
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 9 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 3218-3236: Accuracy of Kinematic Positioning Using
           Global Satellite Navigation Systems under Forest Canopies

    • Pages: 3218 - 3236
      Abstract: A harvester enables detailed roundwood data to be collected during harvesting operations by means of the measurement apparatus integrated into its felling head. These data can be used to improve the efficiency of wood procurement and also replace some of the field measurements, and thus provide both less costly and more detailed ground truth for remote sensing based forest inventories. However, the positional accuracy of harvester-collected tree data is not sufficient currently to match the accuracy per individual trees achieved with remote sensing data. The aim in the present study was to test the accuracy of various instruments utilizing global satellite navigation systems (GNSS) in motion under forest canopies of varying densities to enable us to get an understanding of the current state-of-the-art in GNSS-based positioning under forest canopies. Tests were conducted using several different combinations of GNSS and inertial measurement unit (IMU) mounted on an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) “simulating” a moving harvester. The positions of 224 trees along the driving route were measured using a total-station and real-time kinematic GPS. These trees were used as reference items. The position of the ATV was obtained using GNSS and IMU with an accuracy of 0.7 m (root mean squared error (RMSE) for 2D positions). For the single-frequency GNSS receivers, the RMSE of real-time 2D GNSS positions was 4.2–9.3 m. Based on these results, it seems that the accuracy of novel single-frequency GNSS devices is not so dependent on forest conditions, whereas the performance of the tested geodetic dual-frequency receiver is very sensitive to the visibility of the satellites. When post-processing can be applied, especially when combined with IMU data, the improvement in the accuracy of the dual-frequency receiver was significant.
      PubDate: 2015-09-16
      DOI: 10.3390/f6093218
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 9 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 3237-3255: Complexity of Forest Management:
           Exploring Perceptions of Dutch Forest Managers

    • Authors: Jilske de Bruin, Marjanke Hoogstra-Klein, Godefridus Mohren, Bas Arts
      Pages: 3237 - 3255
      Abstract: Challenges of contemporary forest management are frequently referred to as complex. This article empirically studies complexity in forest management decision-making. In contrast to what is often assumed in the literature, this article starts by assuming that complexity does not just consist of an external descriptive element, but also depends on how decision-makers perceive the system at hand. This “perceived complexity” determines decision-making. We used a straightforward interpretation of perceived complexity using two criteria: the number of factors considered and the uncertainty perceived about these factors. The results show that Dutch forest managers generally consider forest management decision-making to be complicated (many factors to consider) rather than complex (many uncertain factors to consider). Differences in sources of complexity confirm the individual character of perceived complexity. The factors perceived to be most relevant for decision-making (the forest itself, the organization’s objective, the cost of management, public opinion, national policies and laws, and new scientific insights and ideas) are generally seen as rather certain, although “complexity reduction” may play a role that can adversely affect the quality of decision-making. Additional use of more open-ended, forward-looking methods, such as qualitative foresight tools, might enable addressing uncertainty and complexity, and thereby enhance decision-making in forest management to prepare for increasing complexity in the future.
      PubDate: 2015-09-17
      DOI: 10.3390/f6093237
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 9 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 3256-3277: Tree- and Stand-Level Thinning Effects
           on Growth of European Beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) on a Northeast- and a
           Southwest-Facing Slope in Southwest Germany

    • Authors: Daniela Diaconu, Hans-Peter Kahle, Heinrich Spiecker
      Pages: 3256 - 3277
      Abstract: Anticipated changes in climate and research findings on the drought sensitivity of beech have triggered controversial discussions about the future of European beech. We investigated the growth response of beech on the tree- and stand-level in mature stands to three different thinning intensities (no thinning, strong thinning, very strong thinning) on a northeast- and southwest-facing slope in Southwest Germany. Linear mixed-effects models were formulated to describe effects on growth parameters on the tree- and stand-level (diameter, height, basal area, volume). At the stand-level, the stand basal area increment and stand volume increment were lower on the thinned plots. At the tree-level, the basal area increment significantly increased with increasing thinning intensity. The growth of individual trees was also influenced by initial tree size, the size-related rank of the tree within a stand, and by the aspect of the site. Our data indicate that growth of European beech is impaired on the southwest-facing slope with a warmer and drier climate and that a very strong thinning regime applied at advanced age can accelerate growth of European beech trees even on the warmer and drier site. Our findings, therefore, imply that in a warmer climate intensive thinning may also represent an important adaptive forest management measure in European beech stands.
      PubDate: 2015-09-21
      DOI: 10.3390/f6093256
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 9 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 3278-3303: Exploring Local Perspectives for
           Conservation Planning: A Case Study from a Remote Forest Community in
           Indonesian Papua

    • Pages: 3278 - 3303
      Abstract: Reconciling conservation and livelihoods is a concern wherever forests are important in local people’s lives. We plead for engaging these people in survey activities to clarify what is important to them, as a first step in conservation planning. This will help to address their priorities and gain their guidance and support for interventions. This paper presents the results of such a survey with the community of Kwerba in Mamberamo, a remote and little known part of Indonesian Papua. Views and priorities were explored through interviews, scoring exercises, community mapping and a field survey. Whereas small gardens provided most staple food, culture and livelihoods were linked to the forest. People scored primary forest highest for nearly all use categories. Primary forest was particularly highly valued as a source of construction materials, ornaments and rituals, and as a hunting place. We developed a list of the overall most important plants and animals. Many natural resources were used, but few were commercially exploited. The community had rules to control access to certain areas and resources. Taboos to restrict access to sacred places were also maintained. Our evaluation identified opportunities to achieve conservation outcomes jointly with the Kwerba people. In follow-up activities, the community presented local government with a land-use plan for their territory. The government recognized the value of our approach and requested training to implement it more widely in the region.
      PubDate: 2015-09-22
      DOI: 10.3390/f6093278
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 9 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 3304-3325: Carbon Dioxide and Methane Formation in
           Norway Spruce Stems Infected by White-Rot Fungi

    • Pages: 3304 - 3325
      Abstract: Globally, billions of tons of carbon sequestered in trees are annually recycled back to the atmosphere through wood decomposition by microbes. In Norway, every fifth Norway spruce shows at final harvest infection by pathogenic white-rot fungi in the genera Heterobasidion and Armillaria. As these fungi can mineralize all components of wood, we predicted that they have a significant carbon footprint. Gas samples taken from infected stems were analyzed for CO2 and CH4 concentrations, and wood samples from different parts of the decay columns were incubated under hypoxic (4% O2) and anoxic laboratory conditions. In spring and summer the stem concentrations of CO2 were generally two times higher in trees with heartwood decay than in healthy trees. For most of the healthy trees and trees with heartwood decay, mean stem concentrations of CH4 were comparable to ambient air, and only some Armillaria infected trees showed moderately elevated CH4. Consistently, low CH4 production potentials were recorded in the laboratory experiment. Up-scaling of CO2 efflux due to wood decay in living trees suggests that the balance between carbon sequestration and emission may be substantially influenced in stands with high frequency of advanced root and stem heartwood decay.
      PubDate: 2015-09-22
      DOI: 10.3390/f6093304
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 9 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 3326-3352: Building on Two Decades of Ecosystem
           Management and Biodiversity Conservation under the Northwest Forest Plan,

    • Authors: Dominick DellaSala, Rowan Baker, Doug Heiken, Chris Frissell, James Karr, S. Nelson, Barry Noon, David Olson, James Strittholt
      Pages: 3326 - 3352
      Abstract: The 1994 Northwest Forest Plan (NWFP) shifted federal lands management from a focus on timber production to ecosystem management and biodiversity conservation. The plan established a network of conservation reserves and an ecosystem management strategy on ~10 million hectares from northern California to Washington State, USA, within the range of the federally threatened northern spotted owl (Strix occidentalis caurina). Several subsequent assessments—and 20 years of data from monitoring programs established under the plan—have demonstrated the effectiveness of this reserve network and ecosystem management approach in making progress toward attaining many of the plan’s conservation and ecosystem management goals. This paper (1) showcases the fundamental conservation biology and ecosystem management principles underpinning the NWFP as a case study for managers interested in large-landscape conservation; and (2) recommends improvements to the plan’s strategy in response to unprecedented climate change and land-use threats. Twenty years into plan implementation, however, the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management, under pressure for increased timber harvest, are retreating from conservation measures. We believe that federal agencies should instead build on the NWFP to ensure continuing success in the Pacific Northwest. We urge federal land managers to (1) protect all remaining late-successional/old-growth forests; (2) identify climate refugia for at-risk species; (3) maintain or increase stream buffers and landscape connectivity; (4) decommission and repair failing roads to improve water quality; (5) reduce fire risk in fire-prone tree plantations; and (6) prevent logging after fires in areas of high conservation value. In many respects, the NWFP is instructive for managers considering similar large-scale conservation efforts.
      PubDate: 2015-09-22
      DOI: 10.3390/f6093326
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 9 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 3353-3368: Impact of Seed Transmission on the
           Infection and Development of Pitch Canker Disease in Pinus radiata

    • Authors: Margarita Evira-Recuenco, Eugenia Iturritxa, Rosa Raposo
      Pages: 3353 - 3368
      Abstract: The aim of this study was to determine the impact of seed inoculum on subsequent disease development in nurseries, specifically studying incidence of seed infection, transmission rate of seed to seedlings, and rate of disease development from the primary inoculum source. Transmission rate of Fusarium circinatum (F. circinatum) from symptomatic trees of Pinus radiata (P. radiata) to seed was 0.73%, being the fungus mainly on the coat. Seed infection incidence was positively correlated with tree disease severity. Seeds also become contaminated with F. circinatum during storage, where high relative humidity had a great effect regardless of temperature. Transmission rates from seeds to symptomatic seedlings measured at 48 days after seed inoculation with 104 and 106 was 28% and 80%, respectively. Seedlings showed symptoms of wilting and dieback, and eventually died within the total duration of this study (475 days). By this time, there were two remaining symptomless seedlings (1% of the total). F. circinatum was recovered from each of them, demonstrating its persistence in seedlings. Fungus populations in roots were estimated between 105 and 107 cfu/g in symptomatic plants for both inoculum doses and up to 104 cfu/g in asymptomatic plants. Disease infection rate was similar in post-emergence damping-off (up two months growing) and for established seedlings (up to eight months) after seeds were inoculated with 104 spores/mL.
      PubDate: 2015-09-23
      DOI: 10.3390/f6093353
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 9 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 2505-2529: Comparative Drought Responses of Quercus
           ilex L. and Pinus sylvestris L. in a Montane Forest Undergoing a
           Vegetation Shift

    • Pages: 2505 - 2529
      Abstract: Different functional and structural strategies to cope with water shortage exist both within and across plant communities. The current trend towards increasing drought in many regions could drive some species to their physiological limits of drought tolerance, potentially leading to mortality episodes and vegetation shifts. In this paper, we study the drought responses of Quercus ilex and Pinus sylvestris in a montane Mediterranean forest where the former species is replacing the latter in association with recent episodes of drought-induced mortality. Our aim was to compare the physiological responses to variations in soil water content (SWC) and vapor pressure deficit (VPD) of the two species when living together in a mixed stand or separately in pure stands, where the canopies of both species are completely exposed to high radiation and VPD. P. sylvestris showed typical isohydric behavior, with greater losses of stomatal conductance with declining SWC and greater reductions of stored non-structural carbohydrates during drought, consistent with carbon starvation being an important factor in the mortality of this species. On the other hand, Q. ilex trees showed a more anisohydric behavior, experiencing more negative water potentials and higher levels of xylem embolism under extreme drought, presumably putting them at higher risk of hydraulic failure. In addition, our results show relatively small changes in the physiological responses of Q. ilex in mixed vs. pure stands, suggesting that the current replacement of P. sylvestris by Q. ilex will continue.
      PubDate: 2015-07-27
      DOI: 10.3390/f6082505
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 8 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 2530-2544: Modeling Potential Impacts of Planting
           Palms or Tree in Small Holder Fruit Plantations on Ecohydrological
           Processes in the Central Amazon

    • Authors: Norbert Kunert, Luiza Aparecido, Priscila Barros, Niro Higuchi
      Pages: 2530 - 2544
      Abstract: Native fruiting plants are widely cultivated in the Amazon, but little information on their water use characteristics can be found in the literature. To explore the potential impacts of plantations on local to regional water balance, we studied plant water use characteristics of two native fruit plants commonly occurring in the Amazon region. The study was conducted in a mixed fruit plantation containing a dicot tree species (Cupuaçu, Theobroma grandiflorum) and a monocot palm species (Açai, Euterpe oleracea) close to the city of Manaus, in the Central Amazon. Scaling from sap flux measurements, palms had a 3.5-fold higher water consumption compared to trees with a similar diameter. Despite the high transpiration rates of the palms, our plantation had only one third of the potential water recycling capacity of natural forests in the area. Converting natural forest into such plantations will thus result in significantly higher runoff rates.
      PubDate: 2015-07-27
      DOI: 10.3390/f6082530
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 8 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 2545-2559: An Improved Weise’s Rule for
           Efficient Estimation of Stand Quadratic Mean Diameter

    • Pages: 2545 - 2559
      Abstract: The main objective of this study was to explore the accuracy of Weise’s rule of thumb applied to an estimation of the quadratic mean diameter of a forest stand. Virtual stands of European beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) across a range of structure types were stochastically generated and random sampling was simulated. We compared the bias and accuracy of stand quadratic mean diameter estimates, employing different ranks of measured stems from a set of the 10 trees nearest to the sampling point. We proposed several modifications of the original Weise’s rule based on the measurement and averaging of two different ranks centered to a target rank. In accordance with the original formulation of the empirical rule, we recommend the application of the measurement of the 6th stem in rank corresponding to the 55% sample percentile of diameter distribution, irrespective of mean diameter size and degree of diameter dispersion. The study also revealed that the application of appropriate two-measurement modifications of Weise’s method, the 4th and 8th ranks or 3rd and 9th ranks averaged to the 6th central rank, should be preferred over the classic one-measurement estimation. The modified versions are characterised by an improved accuracy (about 25%) without statistically significant bias and measurement costs comparable to the classic Weise method.
      PubDate: 2015-07-27
      DOI: 10.3390/f6082545
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 8 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 2560-2570: Chewing up the Wood-Wide Web: Selective
           Grazing on Ectomycorrhizal Fungi by Collembola

    • Authors: Clarisse Kanters, Ian Anderson, David Johnson
      Pages: 2560 - 2570
      Abstract: The mycelia of some symbiotic ectomycorrhizal fungi form extensive networks—the so called “wood-wide web”—that have key roles in biogeochemical cycling. By interacting with myriad soil organisms such as collembola, the fungi directly affect the functioning of above- and below-ground multitrophic interactions in ecosystems. Here we tested whether the grazing activities of collembola affected the growth of ectomycorrhizal fungi in single or mixed species axenic cultures, and their impact on ectomycorrhizal diversity in litterbags in the field. We also used 14CO2 pulse-labelling to test the effects of collembola on respiratory losses of recent plant assimilate from external mycelium of ectomycorrhizal fungi in symbiosis with Scots pine or birch. We found that the effects of collembola varied across species, and caused a significant reduction in the amount of 14CO2 released from external mycorrhizal mycelium from three of the eight species combinations but increased it in one. Selective grazing also significantly affected the community structure of ectomycorrhizal fungi. Our findings demonstrate the importance of collembola in regulating ectomycorrhizal fungal diversity and activity and below-ground pathways of carbon flow.
      PubDate: 2015-07-28
      DOI: 10.3390/f6082560
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 8 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 2571-2587: Wood Decay Fungi Restore Essential
           Calcium to Acidic Soils in Northern New England

    • Authors: Walter Shortle, Kevin Smith
      Pages: 2571 - 2587
      Abstract: The depletion of root-available calcium in northern forests soils exposed to decades of increased acid deposition adversely affects forest health and productivity. Laboratory studies indicated the potential of wood-decay fungi to restore lost calcium to the rooting zone of trees. This study reports changes in concentrations of Ca, Mg, and K during decay of sapwood of spruce, maple, hemlock, and birch at two locations in northern New England, USA. Concentrations of exchangeable Ca, Mg, and Al in decayed wood residues after 10 and 12 years of ground contact were also compared. Significant loss of mass indicated by decreasing wood density occurred after two to eight years in conifers and after only two years in hardwoods. A significant gain in wood K was observed at two years, but the gain was not sustained. A significant gain in Ca concentration occurred by six years and that gain was sustained for 12 years. Concentrations of Mg varied. No significant difference in exchangeable Ca concentration was observed between decayed wood residue of spruce and maple and the forest floor. However, decayed wood residue had a much lower molar Al/Ca ratio, a conditional characteristic of sites with high root-available Ca.
      PubDate: 2015-07-29
      DOI: 10.3390/f6082571
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 8 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 2588-2607: Importance of Arboreal Cyanolichen
           Abundance to Nitrogen Cycling in Sub-Boreal Spruce and Fir Forests of
           Central British Columbia, Canada

    • Authors: Ania Kobylinski, Arthur Fredeen
      Pages: 2588 - 2607
      Abstract: The importance of N2-fixing arboreal cyanolichens to the nitrogen (N)-balance of sub-boreal interior hybrid spruce (Picea glauca × engelmannii) and subalpine fir (Abies lasiocarpa) forests was examined at field sites in central BC, Canada. Host trees were accessed by a single-rope climbing technique and foliage as well as arboreal macrolichen functional groups were sampled by branch height in eight random sample trees from each of two high (High Cyano) and two low (Low Cyano) cyanolichen abundance sites for a total of 32 sample trees. Natural abundances of stable isotopes of N (15N, 14N) and carbon (13C, 12C) were determined for aggregate host tree and epiphytic lichen samples, as well as representative samples of upper organic and soil horizons (Ae and Bf) from beneath host trees. As expected, N2-fixing cyanolichens had 2–6-fold greater N-contents than chlorolichens and a δ15N close to atmospheric N2, while foliage and chlorolichens were more depleted in 15N. By contrast, soils at all trees and sites were 15N-enriched (positive δ15N), with declining (not significant) δ15N with increased tree-level cyanolichen abundance. Lichen functional groups and tree foliage fell into three distinct groups with respect to δ13C; the tripartite cyanolichen Lobaria pulmonaria (lightest), host-tree needles (intermediate), and bipartite cyanolichens, hair (Alectoria and Bryoria spp.) and chlorolichens (heaviest). Branch height of host trees was an effective predictor of needle δ13C. Our results showed a modest positive correlation between host tree foliage N and cyanolichen abundance, supporting our initial hypothesis that higher cyanolichen abundances would elevate host tree foliar N. Further study is required to determine if high cyanolichen abundance enhances host tree and/or stand-level productivity in sub-boreal forests of central BC, Canada.
      PubDate: 2015-07-31
      DOI: 10.3390/f6082588
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 8 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 2608-2630: Enriching ALS-Derived Area-Based
           Estimates of Volume through Tree-Level Downscaling

    • Authors: Piotr Tompalski, Nicholas Coops, Joanne White, Michael Wulder
      Pages: 2608 - 2630
      Abstract: Information on individual tree attributes is important for sustainable management of forest stands. Airborne Laser Scanning (ALS) point clouds are an excellent source of information for predicting a range of forest stand attributes, with plot and single tree volume being among the most important. Two approaches exist for estimating volume: area-based approach (ABA) and individual tree detection (ITD). The ABA is now routinely applied in operational forestry applications, and results in generalized plot- or stand-level attribute predictions. Alternatively, ITD-based estimates provide detailed information for individual trees, but are typically biased due to challenges associated with individual tree detection. In this study, we applied an ABA to estimate tree counts and individual tree volumes by downscaling plot-level predictions of total volume derived using ALS data in a highly productive and complex coastal temperate forest environment in British Columbia, Canada, characterized by large volumes and multi-species and multi-age stand structures. To do so, a two-parameter Weibull probability density function (PDF) was used to describe the within-plot tree volume distribution. The ABA approach was then used to model the total plot volume and the two Weibull PDF parameters. Next, the parameters were used to calculate mean tree volume and derive the number of trees and the individual tree volume distribution. Tree count estimates were minimally biased with RMSE of 149 trees·ha−1 or 24.4%. The volume distributions showed good agreement with reference data (mean Reynold’s error index = 71.7). We conclude that the approach was suitable for enriching ABA-derived forest stand attributes in the majority of the studied forest stands; however the accuracy was lower in multi-layered stands that had a multimodal individual tree volume distribution.
      PubDate: 2015-07-31
      DOI: 10.3390/f6082608
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 8 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 2631-2654: Leaf Area Prediction Using Three
           Alternative Sampling Methods for Seven Sierra Nevada Conifer Species

    • Pages: 2631 - 2654
      Abstract: Prediction of projected tree leaf area using allometric relationships with sapwood cross-sectional area is common in tree- and stand-level production studies. Measuring sapwood is difficult and often requires destructive sampling. This study tested multiple leaf area prediction models across seven diverse conifer species in the Sierra Nevada of California. The best-fit whole tree leaf area prediction model for overall simplicity, accuracy, and utility for all seven species was a nonlinear model with basal area as the primary covariate. A new non-destructive procedure was introduced to extend the branch summation approach to leaf area data collection on trees that cannot be destructively sampled. There were no significant differences between fixed effects assigned to sampling procedures, indicating that data from the tested sampling procedures can be combined for whole tree leaf area modeling purposes. These results indicate that, for the species sampled, accurate leaf area estimates can be obtained through partially-destructive sampling and using common forest inventory data.
      PubDate: 2015-07-31
      DOI: 10.3390/f6082631
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 8 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 2655-2677: Smallholders’ Tree Planting
           Activity in the Ziro Province, Southern Burkina Faso: Impacts on
           Livelihood and Policy Implications

    • Authors: Daniel Etongo, Ida Djenontin, Markku Kanninen, Kalame Fobissie
      Pages: 2655 - 2677
      Abstract: Climate variability and change significantly affect smallholder farmers’ food security and livelihoods in sub-Saharan Africa. Tree planting is one of the measures promoted by development programs to mitigate and adapt to climate change. Tree planting is also believed to positively contribute to livelihoods. This paper examines factors influencing smallholders’ tree planting activities in four villages in the Ziro province, Southern Burkina Faso. Furthermore, it analyses the challenges encountered and willingness to continue tree planting under current tenure arrangements. The data was obtained through key informants, household interviews, focus group discussions, and field observations. Results indicate that the majority of farmers interviewed planted Mangifera indica (50%), Anacardium occidentale (32%) and Moringa oleifera (30%). In a number of trees planted, Eucalyptus camaldulensis, Mangifera indica and Anacardium occidentale dominated. Tree planters were mainly farmers who held large and old farm areas, were literate and relatively wealthy, had favorable attitudes toward tree planting, and with considerable years of participation in a farmers’ group. The main reasons for planting trees included income generation from the sale of tree products, access to markets and local support for tree planting. Preference for agriculture, tenure insecurity and lack of sufficient land were the main reasons cited for not planting trees. Farm households that were relatively poor, had smaller workforces and smaller farm sizes were not willing to continue tree planting. To effectively engage farmers in tree planting and to make it more attractive, policies are needed that address tenure insecurity for migrants, enable better access to markets, and support fair pricing structures for wood and other tree resources.
      PubDate: 2015-07-31
      DOI: 10.3390/f6082655
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 8 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 2678-2702: Response of Boreal Jack Pine (Pinus
           banksiana Lamb.) Stands to a Gradient of Commercial Thinning Intensities,
           with and without N Fertilization

    • Authors: Julien Moulinier, Suzanne Brais, Brian Harvey, Ahmed Koubaa
      Pages: 2678 - 2702
      Abstract: This study examines tree and stand response to a gradient of commercial thinning intensities and nitrogen fertilization (200 kg N ha−1) in nine jack pine (Pinus banksiana) stands of Eastern Canada over a period of 14 years. Thinning intensity ranged from 0% basal area removal in control plots to 64% in thinned plots. Tree diameter increment, absolute and relative volume increment and mean volume increased with thinning intensity and were higher in fertilized plots. Individual tree response depended on tree diameter, with smallest trees exhibiting highest relative volume increment to thinning intensity. Stand basal area increment was positively associated to initial stand basal area and negatively to stand age. In thinned and fertilized plots, stand volume increment was higher and natural mortality lower than in fertilized only and unfertilized control plots over the 5–14 year period after thinning. However, the positive effect of fertilization on tree volume increment decreased with thinning intensity. Despite positive individual tree growth responses to thinning and fertilization, residual stand volume increment decreased with increased thinning intensity in both fertilized and unfertilized plots. While total cumulative stand volume (harvested + residual) also decreased with thinning intensity in unfertilized plots, comparable total volumes were observed in fertilized + thinned and unthinned control plots. Nitrogen fertilization in the years following commercial thinning enhanced the benefit of thinning on these relatively poor sites by increasing tree diameter growth, lowering mortality, and increasing total stand merchantable volume compared to unfertilized thinned stands.
      PubDate: 2015-07-31
      DOI: 10.3390/f6082678
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 8 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 2703-2718: Change of Soil Carbon Fractions and
           Water-Stable Aggregates in a Forest Ecosystem Succession in South China

    • Authors: Huimin Xiang, Lingling Zhang, Dazhi Wen
      Pages: 2703 - 2718
      Abstract: In order to evaluate the dynamics of carbon storage during forest succession and explore the significance of water relations and soil stability in forest environments, a study was conducted in 2011. This study investigated the dynamics of soil organic carbon (SOC) fractions and its protection through aggregation along the successional forests. An experiment in South China examined pine forest (PF), pine and broadleaved mixed forest (PBMF), and monsoon evergreen broadleaf forest (MEBF), which represent the early, middle, and advanced succession stages, respectively. Soil was sampled at 0–15, 15–30, 30–45, and 45–60 cm depths. We analyzed active, slow, and passive organic carbon, as well as particulate organic matter carbon (POM-C) and nitrogen (POM-N), and measured the weight and concentration of water-stable aggregates in four classes (>2000 μm, 250–2000 μm, 53–250 μm, and <53 μm). The results suggested that various carbon fractions and the percentage of active and passive carbon to total organic carbon (TOC) increased with forest succession. The percentage of water-stable aggregates in >2000 μm (0–15 cm and 15–30 cm) and <53 μm (45–60 cm) in MEBF was significantly higher than in PBMF and PF. The SOC content of all size classes of water-stable aggregates in 0–45 cm were significantly increased with forest succession. In conclusion, forest succession contributed to the accumulation of carbon storage, and the increasing percentage of silt- and clay-size (<53 μm) fraction improved the stability of soil organic matter (SOM).
      PubDate: 2015-08-05
      DOI: 10.3390/f6082703
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 8 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 2719-2738: Benthic Collector and Grazer Communities
           Are Threatened by Hemlock Woolly Adelgid-Induced Eastern Hemlock Loss

    • Authors: Joshua Adkins, Lynne Rieske
      Pages: 2719 - 2738
      Abstract: Eastern hemlock (Tsuga canadensis (L.) is a foundation species in eastern North America where it is under threat from the highly invasive, exotic hemlock woolly adelgid (Adelges tsugae). Eastern hemlock is especially important in riparian areas of Central and Southern Appalachia, so we compared the spatial and temporal composition of benthic collector-gatherers, collector-filterers, and grazers in headwater streams with hemlock-dominated riparian vegetation to those with deciduous tree-dominated riparian vegetation to evaluate the extent to which adelgid-induced hemlock loss could influence composition and abundance of these two functional feeding groups. We found differences in benthic invertebrate abundance and family-level diversity based on riparian vegetation and sampling approach, and, often, riparian vegetation significantly interacted with location or season. Collector-gatherers and grazers were more abundant in eastern hemlock streams in the summer, when hemlock litter is readily available and deciduous litter is relatively sparse. Riparian eastern hemlock appears to exert considerable influence on benthic invertebrate functional feeding group composition in headwater stream communities, as expected with a foundation species. With the loss of eastern hemlock due to adelgid-induced mortality, we should expect to see alterations in spatial and temporal patterns of benthic invertebrate abundance and diversity, with potential consequences to both benthic and terrestrial ecosystem function.
      PubDate: 2015-08-06
      DOI: 10.3390/f6082719
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 8 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 2739-2761: Identification of Nine
           Pathotype-Specific Genes Conferring Resistance to Fusiform Rust in
           Loblolly Pine (Pinus taeda L.)

    • Authors: Henry Amerson, C. Nelson, Thomas Kubisiak, E. Kuhlman, Saul Garcia
      Pages: 2739 - 2761
      Abstract: Nearly two decades of research on the host-pathogen interaction in fusiform rust of loblolly pine is detailed. Results clearly indicate that pathotype-specific genes in the host interacting with pathogen avirulence cause resistance as defined by the non-gall phenotype under favorable environmental conditions for disease development. In particular, nine fusiform rust resistance genes (Fr genes) are described here including the specific methods to determine each and their localization on the reference genetic map of loblolly pine. Understanding how these and other apparent Fr genes in loblolly pine and other rust-susceptible pines impact resistance screening, parental and progeny selection, and family and clonal deployment is an important area in forest genetics research and operational tree breeding. The documentation of these Fr genes is a key piece of information towards gaining that understanding and ultimately improving breeding and deployment strategies.
      PubDate: 2015-08-07
      DOI: 10.3390/f6082739
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 8 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 2762-2784: Influence of Low Frequency Variability

    • Authors: Robin Thorne, M. Arain
      Pages: 2762 - 2784
      Abstract: Carbon, water and energy exchanges between forests and the atmosphere depend upon seasonal dynamics of both temperature and precipitation, which are influenced by low frequency climate oscillations such as: El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO), North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), Arctic Oscillation (AO), Eastern Pacific Oscillation (EPO) and the Pacific-North American (PNA). This study investigated the influence of climate oscillations on the local climate and carbon fluxes in a 75-year old temperate pine (Pinus strobus L.) forest, near Lake Erie in southern Ontario, Canada. Analyses indicated mean winter temperatures were correlated to NAO, AO and EPO, total winter precipitation was influenced by PNA and AO, while total snowfall was correlated with PNA and ENSO. These impacts influenced carbon dynamics of the forest during the winter and spring seasons. The EPO had a significant inverse correlation with winter and spring carbon fluxes, while the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) was significantly correlated with winter respiration. In 2012, an extreme warm event linked to climate oscillations raised temperatures and resulted in a large release of carbon from the forest due to higher ecosystem respiration. As low frequency climate oscillations are important drivers of extreme weather events, affecting their intensity, frequency and spatial patterns, they can cause large changes in carbon exchanges in forest ecosystems in the northeastern parts of North America.
      PubDate: 2015-08-12
      DOI: 10.3390/f6082762
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 8 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 2785-2798: Exploration of Optimal Agricultural
           Practices and Seedling Types for Establishing Poplar Plantations

    • Pages: 2785 - 2798
      Abstract: Controlling competing vegetation during early growth is one of the most important practices for the successful establishment of poplar plantations. Today, most poplar plantations in temperate regions are established on abandoned marginal agricultural land where competing vegetation is usually present during the first years after planting. Thus, the objective of this study was to examine how the growth of two kinds of poplar planting materials, un-rooted cuttings and bare-rooted seedlings was influenced by different vegetation control and soil preparation practices. Across treatments, un-rooted cuttings grew more rapidly than the bare-rooted seedlings. Our results also show that mulching with a degradable carpet or permanent polyethylene plastic increased seedling growth to a similar extent and more strongly in the cases of no treatment (in control plots). In addition, the results suggest that soil preparation in the mulched area favored seedling growth, but this effect was restricted to the first year after planting. These findings indicate that optimal practices for establishing poplar plantations on former agricultural land include planting un-rooted cuttings in prepared soil and mulching.
      PubDate: 2015-08-13
      DOI: 10.3390/f6082785
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 8 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 2799-2819: Juvenile Southern Pine Response to
           Fertilization Is Influenced by Soil Drainage and Texture

    • Authors: Timothy Albaugh, Thomas Fox, H. Allen, Rafael Rubilar
      Pages: 2799 - 2819
      Abstract: We examined three hypotheses in a nutrient dose and application frequency study installed in juvenile (aged 2–6 years old) Pinus stands at 22 sites in the southeastern United States. At each site, eight or nine treatments were installed where nitrogen was applied at different rates (0, 67, 134, 268 kg ha−1) and frequencies (0, 1, 2, 4 and 6 years) in two or four replications. Phosphorus was applied at 0.1 times the nitrogen rate and other elements were added as needed based on foliar nutrient analysis to insure that nutrient imbalances were not induced with treatment. Eight years after treatment initiation, the site responses were grouped based on texture and drainage characteristics: soil group 1 consisted of poorly drained soils with a clayey subsoil, group 2 consisted of poorly to excessively drained spodic soils or soils without a clay subsoil, and group 3 consisted of well-drained soils with a clayey subsoil. We accepted the first hypothesis that site would be a significant factor explaining growth responses. Soil group was also a significant factor explaining growth response. We accepted our second hypothesis that the volume growth-cumulative dose response function was not linear. Volume growth reached an asymptote in soil groups 1 and 3 between cumulative nitrogen doses of 300–400 kg ha−1. Volume growth responses continued to increase up to 800 kg ha−1 of cumulatively applied nitrogen for soil group 2. We accepted our third hypothesis that application rate and frequency did not influence the growth response when the cumulative nitrogen dose was equivalent. There was no difference in the growth response for comparisons where a cumulative nitrogen dose of 568 kg ha−1 was applied as 134 kg ha−1 every two years or as 269 kg ha−1 every four years, or where 269 kg ha−1 of nitrogen was applied as four applications of 67 kg ha−1 every two years or as two applications of 134 kg ha−1 every four years. Clearly, the sites examined here were limited by nitrogen and phosphorus, and applications of these elements to young stands effectively ameliorated these limitations. However, there were differences in the response magnitude that were related to soil texture and drainage. Juvenile fertilizer applications resulted in high stocking levels early in the rotation; this condition should be considered when undertaking juvenile fertilization programs.
      PubDate: 2015-08-14
      DOI: 10.3390/f6082799
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 8 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 2820-2835: Nitrogen Nutrition of Trees in Temperate
           Forests—The Significance of Nitrogen Availability in the Pedosphere
           and Atmosphere

    • Authors: Heinz Rennenberg, Michael Dannenmann
      Pages: 2820 - 2835
      Abstract: Nitrogen (N) is an essential nutrient that is highly abundant as N2 in the atmosphere and also as various mineral and organic forms in soils. However, soil N bioavailability often limits the net primary productivity of unperturbed temperate forests with low atmospheric N input. This is because most soil N is part of polymeric organic matter, which requires microbial depolymerization and mineralization to render bioavailable N forms such as monomeric organic or mineral N. Despite this N limitation, many unfertilized forest ecosystems on marginal soil show relatively high productivity and N uptake comparable to agricultural systems. The present review article addresses the question of how this high N demand is met in temperate forest ecosystems. For this purpose, current knowledge on the distribution and fluxes of N in marginal forest soil and the regulation of N acquisition and distribution in trees are summarized. The related processes and fluxes under N limitation are compared with those of forests exposed to high N loads, where chronic atmospheric N deposition has relieved N limitation and caused N saturation. We conclude that soil microbial biomass is of decisive importance for nutrient retention and provision to trees both in high and low N ecosystems.
      PubDate: 2015-08-14
      DOI: 10.3390/f6082820
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 8 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 2836-2852: Assessing Douglas-Fir Seedling
           Establishment Using Two Modified Forestry Reclamation Approaches in the
           Pacific Northwest

    • Authors: Colton Miller, Grace King, Yurong Liu, Robert Harrison, Eric Turnblom, Darlene Zabowski
      Pages: 2836 - 2852
      Abstract: The Forestry Reclamation Approach uses uncompacted, mounded spoils to reforest mined-land and has been successful in hardwood forests in the Appalachian region. A surface coalmine reclamation site in the Pacific Northwest was used to compare the site’s standard reclamation approach (Reference) with a modified version of the Forestry Reclamation Approach (FRA) along with a modified FRA treatment that also incorporated an amendment of bottom ash from the coal burning power plant on-site (FRA + Ash). Survival and growth were followed for three growing seasons in bareroot and container Douglas-fir seedlings. Soil characteristics and understory cover were also assessed. Considerable variation in microsite characteristics was observed in the study area. Container seedlings did not improve survival compared to bareroot seedlings. In the soil reclamation treatments, seedling survival was significantly higher in FRA + Ash treatments compared to FRA and Reference treatments at the end of the second growing season. Survival declined in each year of the study, but the order of treatment effectiveness did not change. Relativized growth increment was significantly higher in the FRA treatment compared to both the Reference and FRA + Ash treatments during the third growing season. Understory cover was established after three years, but varied substantially across the study area.
      PubDate: 2015-08-21
      DOI: 10.3390/f6082836
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 8 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 2853-2878: Evaluations of Landscape Locations along
           Trails Based on Walking Experiences and Distances Traveled in the Akasawa
           Forest Therapy Base, Central Japan

    • Authors: Tong Zhang, Songqiu Deng, Qianqian Ma, Kunihiro Sasaki
      Pages: 2853 - 2878
      Abstract: Forest planners are interested not only in forest spaces that visitors prefer but also in the preferred spatial arrangements of landscape features. In this study, we aimed to clarify walkers’ evaluations of four landscape locations composed of various scenic features in various spatial arrangements along forest walking routes. We also analyzed the trends, differences, and common features associated with different walking distances and experiences. The results are summarized as follows: (1) The walkers’ evaluations changed depending on the elements of the scene they observed and the spatial arrangements of those elements. The visitors preferred silent environments in forest spaces to the sounds of a stream. Meanwhile, they appreciated a good view in an open area. (2) The length of a walk prior to visiting a location on a route affected walkers’ evaluations of that location. For example, a special landscape feature was more positively rated by the respondents who visited the location late in their walks than those in the early and middle walking stages. However, the early-passage walkers were more pleased by touching natural objects such as rocks and large trees than those later in their walks. (3) Analysis revealed that the ratings of certain parameters differed according to the route taken to a location, whereas other ratings remain unchanged. Consequently, we must consider the effects of spatial properties of scenic factors on people’s perceptions in forest planning. (4) Walkers provided similar ratings on three parameters within forest landscapes—“Open feeling”, “Regular landscape” and “Natural” feel—even in the middle and near the end of their walks. Conversely, locations with water elements led to variations in parameter ratings that were maintained until the end of a person’s walk. Based on these results, we suggest that positive walking experiences can be maintained by considering the open feeling, regularity, and natural landscape in all three passage stages in planning walking routes.
      PubDate: 2015-08-21
      DOI: 10.3390/f6082853
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 8 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 2879-2896: Impact of European Union Timber
           Regulation on Forest Certification Strategies in the Finnish Wood Industry
           Value Chain

    • Authors: Jani Holopainen, Anne Toppinen, Sini Perttula
      Pages: 2879 - 2896
      Abstract: The aim of this explorative study is to find out how the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR) has affected the forest and chain of custody (CoC) certification strategies and practices among the Finnish wood industry companies. We are especially interested to find out whether more integrated strategies and collaborative networks have emerged for enhanced communications throughout the industry value chains. This qualitative interview study included both EUTR ex ante and ex post analysis, based on three rounds of managerial and expert interviews during 2011–2015. The results indicate that the EUTR appears to have enforced the supplier–client relations in the Finnish wood industry value chain. The sector still lacks integrated communication strategies with better understanding of customer and stakeholder values, which could contribute to more cohesive communication and marketing efforts reflecting the values of the whole industry. The certification practices are fairly spontaneously implemented following the traditional industry culture, which is not supportive of innovations and gaining competitive advantages in the broader material markets. Furthermore, the existence of two parallel forest certificates (Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC)) seems to hamper the effective communication and building of an image of sustainable wood products among customers and end consumers, groups that are also exposed to more general environmental communication, e.g., in the building material markets.
      PubDate: 2015-08-24
      DOI: 10.3390/f6082879
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 8 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 2281-2295: Adaptation of Leaf Water Relations to
           Climatic and Habitat Water Availability

    • Pages: 2281 - 2295
      Abstract: Successful management of forest systems requires a deeper understanding of the role of ecophysiological traits in enabling adaptation to high temperature and water deficit under current and anticipated changes in climate. A key attribute of leaf water relations is the water potential at zero turgor (πtlp), because it defines the operating water potentials over which plants actively control growth and gas exchange. This study examines the drivers of variation in πtlp with respect to species climate of origin and habitat water availability. We compiled a water relations database for 174 woody species occupying clearly delineated gradients in temperature and precipitation across the Australian continent. A significant proportion of the variability in πtlp (~35%) could be explained by climatic water deficit and its interaction with summertime maximum temperature, demonstrating the strong selective pressure of aridity and high temperature in shaping leaf water relations among Australian species. Habitat water availability (midday leaf water potential), was also a significant predictor of πtlp (R2 = 0.43), highlighting the importance of species ecohydrologic niche under a set of climatic conditions. Shifts in πtlp in response to both climatic and site-based drivers of water availability emphasises its adaptive significance and its suitability as a predictor of plant performance under future climatic change.
      PubDate: 2015-06-30
      DOI: 10.3390/f6072281
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 7 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 2296-2306: Variation of Oriental Oak (Quercus
           variabilis) Leaf δ13C across Temperate and Subtropical China: Spatial
           Patterns and Sensitivity to Precipitation

    • Authors: Baoming Du, Hongzhang Kang, Yanhua Zhu, Xuan Zhou, Shan Yin, Paul Burgess, Chunjiang Liu
      Pages: 2296 - 2306
      Abstract: The concentration of the carbon-13 isotope (leaf δ13C) in leaves is negatively correlated with the mean annual precipitation (MAP) atlarge geographical scales. In this paper, we explain the spatial pattern of leaf δ13C variation for deciduous oriental oak (Quercus variabilis Bl.) across temperate and subtropical biomes and its sensitivity to climate factors such as MAP. There was a 6‰ variation in the leaf δ13C values of oak with a significant positive correlation with latitude and negative correlations with the mean annual temperature (MAT) and MAP. There was no correlation between leaf δ13C and altitude or longitude. Stepwise multiple regression analyses showed that leaf δ13C decreased 0.3‰ per 100 mm increase in MAP. MAP alone could account for 68% of the observed variation in leaf δ13C. These results can be used to improve predictions for plant responses to climate change and particularly lower rainfall.
      PubDate: 2015-06-30
      DOI: 10.3390/f6072296
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 7 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 2307-2323: Enhanced Soil Carbon Storage under
           Agroforestry and Afforestation in Subtropical China

    • Authors: Guibin Wang, Clive Welham, Chaonian Feng, Lei Chen, Fuliang Cao
      Pages: 2307 - 2323
      Abstract: Soil carbon (C) in three Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba L.) agroforestry systems, afforestation (Ginkgo alone; G), and an agricultural cropping system were compared over a five-year period. The agroforestry systems were Ginkgo + Wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) + Peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.; GWP); Ginkgo + Mulberry (Morus alba L.; GM); and Ginkgo + Rapa (Brassica napus L.) + Peanut (GRP). The agricultural system consisted of wheat and peanut (WP). Total soil carbon (TSC), soil organic (SOC) and inorganic carbon (SIC), and the pools of five SOC chemical fractions were measured. TSC and SOC were always lower under WP than the G-based planting systems, and TSC in the latter increased significantly across years in the top 20 cm. Stocks of SIC under WP were significantly greater than the G-based systems, whereas SOC fractions tended to be lower. Most fractions increased across years but not in WP.
      PubDate: 2015-07-01
      DOI: 10.3390/f6072307
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 7 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 2324-2344: Influence of Climate and Economic
           Variables on the Aggregated Supply of a Wild Edible Fungi (Lactarius

    • Authors: Oscar Alfranca, Roberto Voces, Luis Diaz-Balteiro
      Pages: 2324 - 2344
      Abstract: A mycological supply function of wild edible fungi is determined by a set of forest and economic variables, among which climate variables stand out. Focusing on wild mushroom picking with commercial value (Lactarius deliciosus (L.) Gray) as an example, the main objective of this paper is to obtain empirical evidence about the impact of meteorological and economic variables on the mushroom supply. A multidisciplinary vector error correction (VEC) model for mushroom supply is estimated. Coefficients for the Error Correction Term (ECT) are all significant, at the 0.01 significance level, both in the model for prices and for collected mushrooms. The value of the ECT coefficient in the equation for prices is −0.086 (t-value: −9.321), and for the collected mushroom equation is 0.499 (t-value: 3.913). The impact of precipitation on price changes is −0.104 (t-value: −1.66), and the impact of temperature on mushroom harvest picking is 0.605 (t-value: 3.07). We find that including climate factors to explain mushroom supply considerably strengthens the explanatory power of the model, and in some cases greatly changes the results.
      PubDate: 2015-07-06
      DOI: 10.3390/f6072324
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 7 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 2345-2370: Ecological Conservation, Ecotourism, and
           Sustainable Management: The Case of Penang National Park

    • Authors: Sara Kaffashi, Alias Radam, Mad Shamsudin, Mohd Yacob, Nor Nordin
      Pages: 2345 - 2370
      Abstract: Penang National Park (PNP), as Malaysia’s smallest national park, is one of the few naturally forested areas left on Penang Island, in Peninsular Malaysia. The main objective was to analyse users’ preferences and willingness to pay to enhance improved management of PNP for the dual aim of conservation and recreation. Structural equation modelling (SEM) was used to analyse the formation of attitudes towards different aspects of PNP. Results showed that implementing enforcements with rules and regulations and imposing permits and charges on certain activities were the most influential variables of PNPs’ perceptions. The results of a random parameter logit model (RPL) demonstrated that visitors placed the highest value on having adequate information about PNP, and the second-highest value on improvements in the park’s ecological management. The welfare measure for improvement in management of PNP against status quo is estimated at about MYR 9. Results also showed that demand for better conservation and management of PNP is relatively price-inelastic. Simulations of the results showed, under a MYR10 admission fee, that improvement in management would have 96% of market share compared with status quo. This study concluded that visitor entrance fees can and ought to be introduced as a means of financing conservation initiatives and possibly preventing congestion.
      PubDate: 2015-07-07
      DOI: 10.3390/f6072345
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 7 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 2371-2386: Assessing the Effect of Leaf Litter
           Diversity on the Decomposition and Associated Diversity of Fungal

    • Authors: Jing Gao, Fengfeng Kang, Tianyu Li, Xiaoshuai Song, Weihong Zhao, Xiaowen Yu, Hairong Han
      Pages: 2371 - 2386
      Abstract: Although the effect of litter mixture on decomposition has been well documented, few studies have examined the relationships between richness and relative abundance of leaf species in litter mixture and changes in universal fungal communities during the decomposition process in temperate forests. In this study, we used the litterbag method and included three leaf litter species, i.e., aspen (Populus davidiana Dode), birch (Betula platyphylla Sukaczev) and oak (Quercus mongolica Fischer ex Ledebour), to investigate the mass loss rate and diversity of universal fungal communities in each litter treatment, which were sampled in situ after 180, 240, 300 and 360 days of decomposition (between 2012 and 2013) in broadleaved mixed forests in Chinese temperate forests. Eight mixture proportions were examined: pure aspen litter (10A), pure birch litter (10B), pure oak litter (10O), 50% aspen litter mixed with 50% birch litter (5A:5B), 50% aspen litter mixed with 50% oak (5A:5O), 50% birch litter mixed with 50% oak litter (5B:5O), 10% birch litter mixed with 80% aspen litter and 10% oak litter (1B:8A:1O), 30% birch litter mixed with 40% aspen litter and 30% oak litter (3B:4A:3O). Over 360 days of decomposition, approximately 46.6%, 43.6%, 28.0%, 54.4%, 40.2%, 39.5%, 54.5% and 49.46% of litter mass was lost from 10A, 10B, 10O, 5A:5B, 5A:5O, 5B:5O, 1B:8A:1O and 3B:4A:3O, respectively. In addition, the number of fungal denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) bands showed a positive correlation with mass loss rate, indicating a positive feedback between leaf litter decomposition and universal fungal communities in the leaf litter. The results revealed that the 5A:5B, 1B:8A:1O and 3B:4A:3O litter mixtures had a synergistic effect on the litter mixture, while the 5A:5O and 5B:5O litter mixtures had a nearly neutral effect on the litter mixture. Thus, leaf litter species composition and relative abundance seem to be more important than leaf litter richness in driving the direction and magnitude of litter mixture decomposition.
      PubDate: 2015-07-14
      DOI: 10.3390/f6072371
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 7 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 2387-2404: Low Nitrogen Retention in Soil and
           Litter under Conditions without Plants in a Subtropical Pine Plantation

    • Authors: Yanmei Xiong, Xingliang Xu, Hui Zeng, Huimin Wang, Fusheng Chen, Dali Guo
      Pages: 2387 - 2404
      Abstract: Soil acts as a major sink for added nitrogen (N) in forests, but it remains unclear about the capacity of soil to immobilize N under conditions without plant roots and whether added N interacts with ecosystem N to affect N retention. We added 15NH415NO3 to in situ soil columns (with leaching) and leaf litter (without leaching) of two tree species in a subtropical Pinus elliottii plantation. Soil and litter were collected three or eight months after N addition to measure concentrations of indigenous and exogenous N. About 70% of exogenous N was retained in soil three months after N addition, of which 65.9% were in inorganic forms. Eight months after N addition, 16.0% of exogenous N was retained in soil and 9.8%–13.6% was immobilized in litter. N addition increased the mineral release and nitrification of soil indigenous N. Loss of litter indigenous N was also increased by N addition. Our results suggest that N deposition on lands with low root activities or low soil carbon (C) contents may lead to increased N output due to low N immobilization. Moreover, the effects of added N on ecosystem indigenous N may decrease the capacity of soil and litter in N retention.
      PubDate: 2015-07-15
      DOI: 10.3390/f6072387
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 7 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 2405-2423: Adapting Free, Prior, and Informed
           Consent (FPIC) to Local Contexts in REDD+: Lessons from Three Experiments
           in Vietnam

    • Authors: Thuy Pham, Jean-Christophe Castella, Guillaume Lestrelin, Ole Mertz, Dung Le, Moira Moeliono, Tan Nguyen, Hien Vu, Tien Nguyen
      Pages: 2405 - 2423
      Abstract: Free, prior, and informed consent (FPIC) is a means of ensuring that people’s rights are respected when reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, and enhancing forest carbon stocks (REDD+) projects are established in developing countries. This paper examines how FPIC has been applied in three projects in Vietnam and highlights two key lessons learnt. First, as human rights and democracy are seen as politically sensitive issues in Vietnam, FPIC is likely to be more accepted by the government if it is built upon the national legal framework on citizen rights. Applying FPIC in this context can ensure that both government and citizen’s interests are achieved within the permitted political space. Second, FPIC activities should be seen as a learning process and designed based on local needs and preferences, with accountability of facilitators, two-way and multiple communication strategies, flexibility, and collective action in mind.
      PubDate: 2015-07-15
      DOI: 10.3390/f6072405
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 7 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 2424-2449: Comparing the Costs and Revenues of
           Transformation to Continuous Cover Forestry for Sitka Spruce in Great

    • Authors: Owen Davies, Gary Kerr
      Pages: 2424 - 2449
      Abstract: Recently continuous cover forestry (CCF) has become an accepted approach to forest management in Britain, but uncertainty about its economic consequences may be a barrier to its wider use. A study was carried out to examine the costs and revenues of transforming a stand of Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis (Bong.) Carr.) to CCF. The main conclusion is that transformation to CCF need not be more costly than clearfelling and replanting if natural regeneration is successful and the aim is to produce a simple canopy structure. The long-term value of transformation to a more complex canopy structure, with three or more strata, is lower and the extra costs need to be justified in terms of management objectives. The main output from the study is an analysis spreadsheet that empowers practitioners and policy makers to investigate the effects of costs, revenues and discount rates on estimates of net present value over 20 years, 100 years and in perpetuity, to suit local conditions. This paper summarises the method and results of the study in a British context, sets these in a wider international context, and considers the merits, applications and possible further developments of the approach.
      PubDate: 2015-07-15
      DOI: 10.3390/f6072424
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 7 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 2450-2468: Occurrence of Density-Dependent Height
           Repression within Jack Pine and Black Spruce Populations

    • Authors: Peter Newton
      Pages: 2450 - 2468
      Abstract: The objective of this study was to investigate the occurrence of density-dependent height relationships in jack pine (Pinus banksiana Lamb.) and black spruce (Picea mariana (Mill.) B.S.P.) populations. After assessing and ruling out the presence of consequential spatial correlation effects, the analysis consisted of analyzing the relationship between mean dominant height and initial planting density within 28 Nelder plots located in the central portion of the Canadian Boreal Forest Region. Employing remeasurement data obtained at periodic intervals (16, 20 and 40–41 years post-establishment) across a stand density gradient ranging from a minimum of 1425 stems/ha to a maximum of 28,621 stems/ha, graphical and simple linear regression analyses were used to quantify the stand height–density relationship by species, plot and measurement year. The results indicated the presence of density-dependent effects on height development for both species: 65% of the 83 jack pine relationships and 89% of the 27 black spruce relationships had significant (p ≤ 0.05) and negative slope values. In regards to jack pine for which the data permitted, the occurrence and magnitude of the observed height repression effect increased over time. The asymptotic height repression effect for jack pine was 24% greater than that for black spruce. The results are discussed within the context of the applicability of the density-independent height growth assumption and potential implications for site quality estimation and thinning response modeling.
      PubDate: 2015-07-16
      DOI: 10.3390/f6072450
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 7 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 2469-2483: Molecular Identification of Phytoplasmas
           Infecting Diseased Pine Trees in the UNESCO-Protected Curonian Spit of

    • Authors: Deividas Valiunas, Rasa Jomantiene, Algirdas Ivanauskas, Indre Urbonaite, Donatas Sneideris, Robert Davis
      Pages: 2469 - 2483
      Abstract: Although mainly known as pathogens that affect angiosperms, phytoplasmas have recently been detected in diseased coniferous plants. In 2008–2014, we observed, in the Curonian Spit of Western Lithuania and in forests of Southern Lithuania (Varena district), diseased trees of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) and mountain pine (Pinus mugo) with unusual symptoms similar to those caused by phytoplasmas. Diseased trees exhibited excessive branching, dwarfed reddish or yellow needles, dried shoots and ball-like structures. restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) and nucleotide sequence analysis of 16S rRNA gene fragments revealed that individual trees were infected by Candidatus (Ca.) Phytoplasma pini-related strains (members of phytoplasma subgroup 16SrXXI-A) or by Ca. Phytoplasma asteris-related strains (subgroup 16SrI-A). Of the nearly 300 trees that were sampled, 80% were infected by phytoplasma. Ninety-eight percent of the positive samples were identified as Ca. Phytoplasma pini-related strains. Strains belonging to subgroup 16SrI-A were identified from only few trees. Use of an additional molecular marker, secA, supported the findings. This study provides evidence of large-scale infection of Pinus by Ca. Phytoplasma pini in Lithuania, and it reveals that this phytoplasma is more widespread geographically than previously appreciated. This is also the first report of phytoplasma subgroup 16SrI-A in pine trees.
      PubDate: 2015-07-17
      DOI: 10.3390/f6072469
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 7 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 2484-2504: Drivers of CO2 Emission Rates from Dead
           Wood Logs of 13 Tree Species in the Initial Decomposition Phase

    • Pages: 2484 - 2504
      Abstract: Large dead wood is an important structural component of forest ecosystems and a main component of forest carbon cycles. CO2 emissions from dead wood can be used as a proxy for actual decomposition rates. The main drivers of CO2 emission rates for dead wood of temperate European tree species are largely unknown. We applied a novel, closed chamber measurement technique to 360 dead wood logs of 13 important tree species in three regions in Germany. We found that tree species identity was with 71% independent contribution to the model (R2 = 0.62) the most important driver of volume-based CO2 emission rates, with angiosperms having on average higher rates than conifers. Wood temperature and fungal species richness had a positive effect on CO2 emission rates, whereas wood density had a negative effect. This is the first time that positive fungal species richness—wood decomposition relationship in temperate forests was shown. Certain fungal species were associated with high or low CO2 emission rates. In addition, as indicated by separate models for each tree species, forest management intensity, study region, and the water content as well as C and N concentration of dead wood influenced CO2 emission rates.
      PubDate: 2015-07-20
      DOI: 10.3390/f6072484
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 7 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 1748-1762: Aerial Seeding: An Effective Forest
           Restoration Method in Highly Degraded Forest Landscapes of Sub-Tropic

    • Authors: Xin Xiao, Xiaohua Wei, Yuanqiu Liu, Xunzhi Ouyang, Qinglin Li, Jinkui Ning
      Pages: 1748 - 1762
      Abstract: Carbon stock is an important indicator of cumulative ecosystem productivity. Using this indicator, and based on field sampling data, this paper compared the long-term difference in carbon stocks between aerial seeding (AS) and natural regeneration (NR) forests of Pinus massoniana in sub-tropic forests, China, in order to assess the effectiveness of AS in a highly degraded forest landscape. The results showed that the carbon stocks of stems, branches, roots, and trees (including stems, branches, leaves, and roots) were 140%, 85%, 110%, and 110%, significantly higher (p < 0.05) in the NR forests than those in the AS forests at the ages of 11–20 years, respectively. In addition, the carbon stocks of understory, litter and soil were also 176%, 151%, and 77%, significantly higher (p < 0.05) in the NR forests than those in the AS forests at the same age range, respectively. However, with increasing age (i.e., >21 years), those differences became statistically insignificant (p > 0.05). The total carbon stocks of the two forest types also showed a similar pattern. Those results clearly demonstrate that AS was an effective mean for restoring carbon stocks in highly degraded areas, even though their early growth was lower than the NR forests, and thus can be applied in the regions where the areas with limited seed sources and road accessibility.
      PubDate: 2015-05-25
      DOI: 10.3390/f6061748
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 6 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 1763-1778: Carbon Storage in a Eucalyptus
           Plantation Chronosequence in Southern China

    • Authors: Hu Du, Fuping Zeng, Wanxia Peng, Kelin Wang, Hao Zhang, Lu Liu, Tongqing Song
      Pages: 1763 - 1778
      Abstract: Patterns of carbon (C) allocation across different stages of stand development in Eucalyptus urophylla × E. grandis plantations are not well understood. In this study, we examined biomass and mineral soil C content in five development stages (1, 2, 3, 4–5, and 6–8 years old) of a Eucalyptus stand in southern China. The tree biomass C pool increased with stand age and showed a high annual rate of accumulation. Stems accounted for the highest proportion of biomass C sequestered. The C pool in mineral soil increased initially after afforestation and then declined gradually, with C density decreasing with soil depth. The upper 50 cm of soil contained the majority (57%–68%) of sequestered C. The other biomass components (shrubs, herbaceous plants, litter, and fine roots) accounted for <5% of the total ecosystem C pool. Total C pools in the Eucalyptus plantation ecosystem were 112.9, 172.5, 203.8, 161.1, and 162.7 Mg ha−1 in the five developmental stages, respectively, with most of the C sequestered below ground. We conclude that Eucalyptus plantations have considerable biomass C sequestration potential during stand development.
      PubDate: 2015-05-26
      DOI: 10.3390/f6061763
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 6 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 1779-1809: Simulation of CO2 Fluxes in European
           Forest Ecosystems with the Coupled Soil-Vegetation Process Model

    • Pages: 1779 - 1809
      Abstract: CO2 exchange processes in forest ecosystems are of profound ecological and economic importance, meaning there is a need for generally applicable simulation tools. However, process-based ecosystem models, which are in principal suitable for the task, are commonly evaluated at only a few sites and for a limited number of plant species. It is thus often unclear if the processes and parameters involved are suitable for model application at a regional scale. We tested the LandscapeDNDC forest growth module PnET (derived from the Photosynthetic / EvapoTranspiration model) with site-specific as well as multi-site calibrated parameters using independent data sets of eddy covariance measurements across a European transect. Although site-specific parametrization is superior (r2 for pooled Gross Primary Production (GPP) during calibration period: site-specific = 0.93, multi-site = 0.88; r2 for pooled Net Ecosystem Exchange (NEE) during calibration period: site-specific = 0.81, multi-site = 0.73), we show that general parameters are able to represent carbon uptake over periods of several years. The procedure has been applied for the three most dominant European tree species i.e., Scots pine, Norway spruce and European beech. In addition, we discuss potential model improvements with regard to the sensitivity of parameters to site conditions differentiated into climate, nutrient and drought influences.
      PubDate: 2015-05-28
      DOI: 10.3390/f6061779
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 6 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 1810-1838: Forest Ecosystem Services: Issues and
           Challenges for Biodiversity, Conservation, and Management in Italy

    • Authors: Matteo Vizzarri, Roberto Tognetti, Marco Marchetti
      Pages: 1810 - 1838
      Abstract: Although forest ecosystems are fundamental sources of services and global biodiversity, their capacity to maintain these benefits in the future is potentially threatened by anthropogenic impacts such as climate change, land use, and unsustainable management practices. Thus far, studies focusing on forests and their services have gained less attention compared with studies on other biomes. Additionally, management practices may potentially undermine the capacity of forests to sustain biodiversity conservation and services in the future, especially outside protected areas. This study linked the concepts of biodiversity and forest ecosystem services at the national level in Italy. Through a downscaled review, we first analyzed management issues, challenges, and needs within the context of forest ecosystem services. We then carried out a survey on protected areas. The results show that forest biodiversity supports the provision of other services and, hence, needs to be preserved and supported by adaptive management practices. Current research on forest ecosystem services must extend policy trajectories to protected areas (i.e., National Parks) as centers of biodiversity and models of the sustainable use of resources.
      PubDate: 2015-05-28
      DOI: 10.3390/f6061810
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 6 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 1839-1857: Sparse Density, Leaf-Off Airborne Laser
           Scanning Data in Aboveground Biomass Component Prediction

    • Pages: 1839 - 1857
      Abstract: The demand for cost-efficient forest aboveground biomass (AGB) prediction methods is growing worldwide. The National Land Survey of Finland (NLS) began collecting airborne laser scanning (ALS) data throughout Finland in 2008 to provide a new high-detailed terrain elevation model. Similar data sets are being collected in an increasing number of countries worldwide. These data sets offer great potential in forest mapping related applications. The objectives of our study were (i) to evaluate the AGB component prediction accuracy at a resolution of 300 m2 using sparse density, leaf-off ALS data (collected by NLS) derived metrics as predictor variables; (ii) to compare prediction accuracies with existing large-scale forest mapping techniques (Multi-source National Forest Inventory, MS-NFI) based on Landsat TM satellite imagery; and (iii) to evaluate the accuracy and effect of canopy height model (CHM) derived metrics on AGB component prediction when ALS data were acquired with multiple sensors and varying scanning parameters. Results showed that ALS point metrics can be used to predict component AGBs with an accuracy of 29.7%–48.3%. AGB prediction accuracy was slightly improved using CHM-derived metrics but CHM metrics had a more clear effect on the estimated bias. Compared to the MS-NFI, the prediction accuracy was considerably higher, which was caused by differences in the remote sensing data utilized.
      PubDate: 2015-05-28
      DOI: 10.3390/f6061839
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 6 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 1858-1877: Post-Fire Seedling Recruitment and
           Morpho-Ecophysiological Responses to Induced Drought and Salvage Logging
           in Pinus halepensis Mill. Stands

    • Pages: 1858 - 1877
      Abstract: Salvage logging is the commonest post-fire emergency action, but has unclear ecological effects. In the Mediterranean Basin, drought periods and fire regimes are changing and forest management should be adapted. In summer 2009, a mid-high severity fire burned 968 ha of Aleppo pine (Pinus halepensis Mill.) forest in southeast Spain, which was submitted to salvage logging six months later. In spring 2010, plots were set in untreated and logged areas to monitor the recruitment and survival of the main tree species and three companion species: Stipa tenacissima L. (resprouter), Cistus clusii Dunal and Rosmarinus officinalis L. (obligate seeders). We evaluated responses to different scenarios in relation to intensification of summer droughts and forest management to obtain differences in water stress, growth, and gas exchange to cope with summer drought. Drought was induced by using rain-exclusion shelters and recorded ecophysiological characteristics were obtained with a portable gas exchange system. The main tree species recruitment was poor, but companion species showed a high survival ratio. Lower water stress was found for obligate seeder seedlings, which was higher in logged areas with induced drought. The initial post-fire stage was similar for the studied areas. However, after two drought periods (2010 and 2011), significant differences were found in the morphological and ecophysiological responses. In the unmanaged area, the biggest size of individuals due to the most marked increases in height and coverage were observed mainly in resprouter S. tenacissima. In the area submitted to salvage logging, the growth ratios in plots with induced drought were lower, mainly for seeders. Greater productivity was related to higher transpiration, stomatal conductance, and net photosynthetic ratio, but lower water use efficiency was found in obligate seeders with no drought induction, and S. tenacissima obtained higher values in untreated areas. Our results confirm that both forest management and intensification of summer droughts influenced the resilience and productivity of the ecosystems in the short term. Adaptive forest management after fire can imply successful survival and recovery of plant communities in the mid to long term. This study provide a scientific basis to develop tools for the post-fire restoration of serotinous pine forests occurring in low-altitudinal areas of the Mediterranean Basin, prone to summer droughts and fire events.
      PubDate: 2015-05-29
      DOI: 10.3390/f6061858
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 6 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 1878-1896: Short-Term Response of Native Flora to
           the Removal of Non-Native Shrubs in Mixed-Hardwood Forests of Indiana, USA

    • Authors: Joshua Shields, Michael Saunders, Kevin Gibson, Patrick Zollner, John Dunning, Michael Jenkins
      Pages: 1878 - 1896
      Abstract: While negative impacts of invasive species on native communities are well documented, less is known about how these communities respond to the removal of established populations of invasive species. With regard to invasive shrubs, studies examining native community response to removal at scales greater than experimental plots are lacking. We examined short-term effects of removing Lonicera maackii (Amur honeysuckle) and other non-native shrubs on native plant taxa in six mixed-hardwood forests. Each study site contained two 0.64 ha sample areas—an area where all non-native shrubs were removed and a reference area where no treatment was implemented. We sampled vegetation in the spring and summer before and after non-native shrubs were removed. Cover and diversity of native species, and densities of native woody seedlings, increased after shrub removal. However, we also observed significant increases in L. maackii seedling densities and Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard) cover in removal areas. Changes in reference areas were less pronounced and mostly non-significant. Our results suggest that removing non-native shrubs allows short-term recovery of native communities across a range of invasion intensities. However, successful restoration will likely depend on renewed competition with invasive species that re-colonize treatment areas, the influence of herbivores, and subsequent control efforts.
      PubDate: 2015-05-29
      DOI: 10.3390/f6061878
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 6 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 1897-1921: Impact of Nitrogen Fertilization on
           Forest Carbon Sequestration and Water Loss in a Chronosequence of Three
           Douglas-Fir Stands in the Pacific Northwest

    • Authors: Xianming Dou, Baozhang Chen, T. Black, Rachhpal Jassal, Mingliang Che
      Pages: 1897 - 1921
      Abstract: To examine the effect of nitrogen (N) fertilization on forest carbon (C) sequestration and water loss, we used an artificial neural network model to estimate C fluxes and evapotranspiration (ET) in response to N fertilization during four post-fertilization years in a Pacific Northwest chronosequence of three Douglas-fir stands aged 61, 22 and 10 years old in 2010 (DF49, HDF88 and HDF00, respectively). Results showed that N fertilization increased gross primary productivity (GPP) for all three sites in all four years with the largest absolute increase at HDF00 followed by HDF88. Ecosystem respiration increased in all four years at HDF00, but decreased over the last three years at HDF88 and over all four years at DF49. As a result, fertilization increased the net ecosystem productivity of all three stands with the largest increase at HDF88, followed by DF49. Fertilization had no discernible effect on ET in any of the stands. Consequently, fertilization increased water use efficiency (WUE) in all four post-fertilization years at all three sites and also increased light use efficiency (LUE) of all the stands, especially HDF00. Our results suggest that the effects of fertilization on forest C sequestration and water loss may be associated with stand age and fertilization; the two younger stands appeared to be more efficient than the older stand with respect to GPP, WUE and LUE.
      PubDate: 2015-05-29
      DOI: 10.3390/f6061897
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 6 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 1922-1932: Nitrogen Transfer to Forage Crops from a
           Caragana Shelterbelt

    • Authors: Gazali Issah, Anthony Kimaro, John Kort, J. Knight
      Pages: 1922 - 1932
      Abstract: Caragana shelterbelts are a common feature of farms in the Northern Great Plains of North America. We investigated if nitrogen (N) from this leguminous shrub contributed to the N nutrition of triticale and oat forage crops growing adjacent to the shelterbelt row. Nitrogen transfer was measured using 15N isotope dilution at distances of 2 m, 4 m, 6 m, 15 m and 20 m from the shelterbelt. At 2 m caragana negatively impacted the growth of triticale and oat. At 4 m from the shelterbelt productivity was maximum for both forage crops and corresponded to the highest amount of N originating from caragana. The amount of N transferred from caragana decreased linearly with distance away from the shelterbelt, but even at 20 m from the shelterbelt row measureable amounts of N originating from caragana were detectable in the forage biomass. At 4 m from the shelterbelt approximately 40% of the N in both oat and triticale was from caragana, and at 20 m from the shelterbelt approximately 20% of the N in oat and 8% of the N in triticale was from caragana.
      PubDate: 2015-05-29
      DOI: 10.3390/f6061922
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 6 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 1933-1948: Evaluating the Scenic Beauty of
           Individual Trees: A Case Study Using a Nonlinear Model for a Pinus
           Tabulaeformis Scenic Forest in Beijing, China

    • Authors: Bin Mao, Lan Gong, Chengyang Xu
      Pages: 1933 - 1948
      Abstract: The relationship between scenic beauty grade and measured tree indicators was studied through evaluation of 427 photos of individual Pinus tabulaeformis trees by using the scenic beauty estimation (SBE) method. Thirteen indices to reflect trunk, crown and stem-to-canopy ratios of individual trees were evaluated by invited students. Results showed that students preferred large diameters at breast height, full canopies and straight stems or some trees with minor crook stems. Tree height had a minor contribution to individual tree quality. Correlation analysis and factor analysis were employed to select indices and to integrate them into a comprehensive index. The stepwise method of nonlinear model incorporation of four comprehensive indices—tree crown form, stem-crown coordination, tree growth and stem for—were proven valuable in order to evaluate the scenic beauty of individual trees.
      PubDate: 2015-06-01
      DOI: 10.3390/f6061933
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 6 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 1949-1965: Soil Chemical and Microbial Properties
           in a Mixed Stand of Spruce and Birch in the Ore Mountains
           (Germany)—A Case Study

    • Authors: Karoline Schua, Stefan Wende, Sven Wagner, Karl-Heinz Feger
      Pages: 1949 - 1965
      Abstract: A major argument for incorporating deciduous tree species in coniferous forest stands is their role in the amelioration and stabilisation of biogeochemical cycles. Current forest management strategies in central Europe aim to increase the area of mixed stands. In order to formulate statements about the ecological effects of mixtures, studies at the stand level are necessary. In a mixed stand of Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst.) and silver birch (Betula pendula Roth) in the Ore Mountains (Saxony, Germany), the effects of these two tree species on chemical and microbial parameters in the topsoil were studied at one site in the form of a case study. Samples were taken from the O layer and A horizon in areas of the stand influenced by either birch, spruce or a mixture of birch and spruce. The microbial biomass, basal respiration, metabolic quotient, pH-value and the C and N contents and stocks were analysed in the horizons Of, Oh and A. Significantly higher contents of microbial N were observed in the Of and Oh horizons in the birch and in the spruce-birch strata than in the stratum containing only spruce. The same was found with respect to pH-values in the Of horizon and basal respiration in the Oh horizon. Compared to the spruce stratum, in the birch and spruce-birch strata, significantly lower values were found for the contents of organic C and total N in the A horizon. The findings of the case study indicated that single birch trees have significant effects on the chemical and microbial topsoil properties in spruce-dominated stands. Therefore, the admixture of birch in spruce stands may distinctly affect nutrient cycling and may also be relevant for soil carbon sequestration. Further studies of these functional aspects are recommended.
      PubDate: 2015-06-01
      DOI: 10.3390/f6061949
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 6 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 1966-1981: Spatial Variation of Biomass Carbon
           Density in a Subtropical Region of Southeastern China

    • Authors: Weijun Fu, Zhuojing Fu, Hongli Ge, Biyong Ji, Peikun Jiang, Yongfu Li, Jiasen Wu, Keli Zhao
      Pages: 1966 - 1981
      Abstract: Spatial pattern information of forest biomass carbon (FBC) density in forest ecosystems plays an important role in evaluating carbon sequestration potentials and forest management. The spatial variation of FBC density in a subtropical region of southeastern China was studied using geostatistics combined with Moran’s I and geographical information systems (GIS). Forest biomass carbon density values were variable, ranging from 0.12 Mg ha−1 to 182.12 Mg ha−1, with an average of 27.33 Mg ha−1. The FBC density had the strongest positive correlation with forest age, followed by forest litter and elevation. The FBC density had significant positive spatial autocorrelation revealed by global Moran’s I. Clear spatial patterns were observed based on local Moran’s I. High FBC density values were mainly distributed in the northwestern and southwestern parts of Zhejiang province, which were related to adopting long-term policy of forest conservation in these areas, while low FBC density values located in the middle part and southeastern coastal area of the study area due to low forest coverage and intensive management of economic forests. The Moran’s I combined with geostatistical interpolation proved to be a useful tool for studying spatial variation of FBC density.
      PubDate: 2015-06-03
      DOI: 10.3390/f6061966
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 6 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 1982-2013: Satellite-Based Derivation of
           High-Resolution Forest Information Layers for Operational Forest

    • Pages: 1982 - 2013
      Abstract: A key factor for operational forest management and forest monitoring is the availability of up-to-date spatial information on the state of forest resources. Earth observation can provide valuable contributions to these information needs. The German federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate transferred its inherited forest information system to a new architecture that is better able to serve the needs of centralized inventory and planning services, down to the level of forest districts. During this process, a spatially adaptive classification approach was developed to derive high-resolution forest information layers (e.g., forest type, tree species distribution, development stages) based on multi-temporal satellite data. This study covers the application of the developed approach to a regional scale (federal state level) and the further adaptation of the design to meet the information needs of the state forest service. The results confirm that the operational requirements for mapping accuracy can, in principle, be fulfilled. However, the state-wide mapping experiment also revealed that the ability to meet the required level of accuracy is largely dependent on the availability of satellite observations within the optimum phenological time-windows.
      PubDate: 2015-06-03
      DOI: 10.3390/f6061982
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 6 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 2014-2028: A Range-Wide Experiment to Investigate
           Nutrient and Soil Moisture Interactions in Loblolly Pine Plantations

    • Pages: 2014 - 2028
      Abstract: The future climate of the southeastern USA is predicted to be warmer, drier and more variable in rainfall, which may increase drought frequency and intensity. Loblolly pine (Pinus taeda) is the most important commercial tree species in the world and is planted on ~11 million ha within its native range in the southeastern USA. A regional study was installed to evaluate effects of decreased rainfall and nutrient additions on loblolly pine plantation productivity and physiology. Four locations were established to capture the range-wide variability of soil and climate. Treatments were initiated in 2012 and consisted of a factorial combination of throughfall reduction (approximate 30% reduction) and fertilization (complete suite of nutrients). Tree and stand growth were measured at each site. Results after two growing seasons indicate a positive but variable response of fertilization on stand volume increment at all four sites and a negative effect of throughfall reduction at two sites. Data will be used to produce robust process model parameterizations useful for simulating loblolly pine growth and function under future, novel climate and management scenarios. The resulting improved models will provide support for developing management strategies to increase pine plantation productivity and carbon sequestration under a changing climate.
      PubDate: 2015-06-03
      DOI: 10.3390/f6062014
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 6 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 2029-2046: Are Mixed Tropical Tree Plantations More
           Resistant to Drought than Monocultures?

    • Pages: 2029 - 2046
      Abstract: Tropical tree plantations usually consist of a single exotic fast growing species, but recent research describes positive effects on ecosystem functions from mixed tropical tree plantations. In this review, we present the current knowledge of drought resistance of tropical mixed species plantations and summarize preliminary evidence from a tree biodiversity experiment in Panama. Converting mono-specific stands into mixed ones may improve stand stability and might reduce increasing abiotic and biotic disturbances due to climate change. However, little is known about the extent to which tropical tree species or tropical tree communities can resist increasing disturbances in the short term, e.g., water limitations due to increasing dry season intensity or length, or about their resilience after such disturbances and their capacity to adapt to changing conditions in the long term. Studies relating drought resistance and resilience to community diversity are missing. Further, we highlight the urgent need for a multifactorial manipulative throughfall reduction experiment in tropical environments. The outcome of such studies would greatly assist the forestry sector in tropical regions to maintain highly productive and ecologically sound forest plantations in a changing climate.
      PubDate: 2015-06-05
      DOI: 10.3390/f6062029
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 6 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 2047-2065: How do Light and Water Acquisition
           Strategies Affect Species Selection during Secondary Succession in Moist
           Tropical Forests?

    • Pages: 2047 - 2065
      Abstract: Pioneer tree species have acquisitive leaf characteristics associated with high demand of light and water, and are expected to be shade and drought intolerant. Using leaf functional traits (specific leaf area, photosynthetic rate, relative water content and stomatal conductance) and tree performance (mortality rate) in the field, we assessed how shade and drought tolerance of leaves are related to the species’ positions along a successional gradient in moist tropical forest in Chiapas, Mexico. We quantified morphological and physiological leaf shade and drought tolerance indicators for 25 dominant species that characterize different successional stages. We found that light demand decreases with succession, confirming the importance of light availability for species filtering during early stages of succession. In addition, water transport levels in the leaves decreased with succession, but high water transport did not increase the leaf’s vulnerability to drought. In fact, late successional species showed higher mortality in dry years than early successional ones, against suggestions from leaf drought tolerance traits. It is likely that pioneer species have other drought-avoiding strategies, like deep rooting systems and water storage in roots and stems. More research on belowground plant physiology is needed to understand how plants adapt to changing environments, which is crucial to anticipate the effects of climate change on secondary forests.
      PubDate: 2015-06-08
      DOI: 10.3390/f6062047
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 6 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 2066-2081: Comparison of Suspended Branch and
           Direct Infestation Techniques for Artificially Infesting Hemlock Seedlings
           with the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid for Resistance Screening

    • Authors: Zaidee Powers, Albert Mayfield, John Frampton, Robert Jetton
      Pages: 2066 - 2081
      Abstract: The hemlock woolly adelgid (Adelges tsugae Annand) is an invasive forest pest in eastern North America that has caused significant decline and mortality in populations of eastern hemlock (Tsuga canadensis (L.) Carr.) and Carolina hemlock (T. caroliniana Engelm.). The breeding of adelgid-resistant genotypes for reforestation activities is still in the early development phases, and most resistance screening programs have depended on labor-intensive direct artificial infestation techniques for introducing adelgids to target seedlings. We investigated the timing and effectiveness of a potentially less labor-intense suspended branch infestation technique compared to two levels of a direct infestation method. Results indicated that peak crawler emergence from adelgid infested hemlock branches occurred within a 10 to 14 day period and that crawler emergence was higher from non-hydrated compared to hydrated branches. Greater infestation pressure was achieved when using progrediens crawlers compared to sistens crawlers. In 2013, when the infestation attempts were most successful, the suspended branch technique induced the same or higher adelgid densities on target seedlings as the direct infestation techniques. Assuming an initial investment in infrastructure, the suspended branch approach could be a more time and cost effective method for inducing adelgid infestations for resistance screening of large numbers of candidate trees.
      PubDate: 2015-06-08
      DOI: 10.3390/f6062066
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 6 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 2082-2091: Early Differential Responses of
           Co-dominant Canopy Species to Sudden and Severe Drought in a
           Mediterranean-climate Type Forest

    • Authors: Katinka Ruthrof, George Matusick, Giles Hardy
      Pages: 2082 - 2091
      Abstract: Globally, drought and heat-induced forest disturbance is garnering increasing concern. Species from Mediterranean forests have resistance and resilience mechanisms to cope with drought and differences in these ecological strategies will profoundly influence vegetation composition in response to drought. Our aim was to contrast the early response of two co-occurring forest species, Eucalyptus marginata and Corymbia calophylla, in the Northern Jarrah Forest of southwestern Australia, following a sudden and severe drought event. Forest plots were monitored for health and response, three and 16 months following the drought. Eucalyptus marginata was more susceptible to partial and complete crown dieback compared to C. calophylla, three months after the drought. However, resprouting among trees exhibiting complete crown dieback was similar between species. Overall, E. marginata trees were more likely to die from the impacts of drought, assessed at 16 months. These short-term differential responses to drought may lead to compositional shifts with increases in frequency of drought events in the future.
      PubDate: 2015-06-09
      DOI: 10.3390/f6062082
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 6 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 2092-2108: Simulating the Effect of Climate Change
           on Vegetation Zone Distribution on the Loess Plateau, Northwest China

    • Authors: Guoqing Li, Zhongming Wen, Ke Guo, Sheng Du
      Pages: 2092 - 2108
      Abstract: A risk assessment of vegetation zone responses to climate change was conducted using the classical Holdridge life zone model on the Loess Plateau of Northwest China. The results show that there are currently ten vegetation zones occurring on the Loess Plateau (1950–2000), including alvar desert, alpine wet tundra, alpine rain tundra, boreal moist forest, boreal wet forest, cool temperate desert, cool temperate desert scrub, cool temperate steppe, cool temperate moist forest, warm temperate desert scrub, warm temperate thorn steppe, and warm temperate dry forest. Seventy years later (2070S), the alvar desert, the alpine wet tundra and the cool temperate desert will disappear, while warm temperate desert scrub and warm temperate thorn steppe will emerge. The area proportion of warm temperate dry forest will expand from 12.2% to 22.8%–37.2%, while that of cool temperate moist forest will decrease from 18.5% to 6.9%–9.5%. The area proportion of cool temperate steppe will decrease from 51.8% to 34.5%–51.6%. Our results suggest that future climate change will be conducive to the growth and expansion of forest zones on the Loess Plateau, which can provide valuable reference information for regional vegetation restoration planning and adaptive strategies in this region.
      PubDate: 2015-06-11
      DOI: 10.3390/f6062092
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 6 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 2109-2124: Temporal Trends of Ecosystem Development
           on Different Site Types in Reclaimed Boreal Forests

    • Authors: Bradley Pinno, Virgil Hawkes
      Pages: 2109 - 2124
      Abstract: Forest development after land reclamation in the oil sands mining region of northern Alberta, Canada was assessed using long-term monitoring plots from both reclaimed and natural forests. The metrics of ecosystem development analyzed included measures of plant community structure and composition and soil nutrient availability. Early seral reclamation plots were grouped by site type (dry and moist-rich) and age categories, and these were compared with mature natural forests. There were few significant differences in ecosystem metrics between reclamation site types, but natural stands showed numerous significant differences between site types. Over time, there were significant changes in most plant community metrics such as species richness and cover of plant community groups (e.g., forbs, shrubs, and non-native species), but these were still substantially different from mature forests 20 years after reclamation. Available soil nitrogen did not change over time or by reclamation site type but available soil phosphorus did, suggesting that phosphorus may be a more suitable indicator of ecosystem development. The significant temporal changes in these reclaimed ecosystems indicate that studies of ecosystem establishment and development on reclaimed areas should be conducted over the long-term, emphasizing the utility of monitoring using long-term plot networks.
      PubDate: 2015-06-12
      DOI: 10.3390/f6062109
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 6 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 2125-2147: Modeling of Two Different Water Uptake
           Approaches for Mono- and Mixed-Species Forest Stands

    • Authors: Martin Gutsch, Petra Lasch-Born, Felicitas Suckow, Christopher Reyer
      Pages: 2125 - 2147
      Abstract: To assess how the effects of drought could be better captured in process-based models, this study simulated and contrasted two water uptake approaches in Scots pine and Scots pine-Sessile oak stands. The first approach consisted of an empirical function for root water uptake (WU1). The second approach was based on differences of soil water potential along a soil-plant-atmosphere continuum (WU2) with total root resistance varying at low, medium and high total root resistance levels. Three data sets on different time scales relevant for tree growth were used for model evaluation: Two short-term datasets on daily transpiration and soil water content as well as a long-term dataset on annual tree ring increments. Except WU2 with high total root resistance, all transpiration outputs exceeded observed values. The strongest correlation between simulated and observed annual tree ring width occurred with WU2 and high total root resistance. The findings highlighted the importance of severe drought as a main reason for small diameter increment. However, if all three data sets were taken into account, no approach was superior to the other. We conclude that accurate projections of future forest productivity depend largely on the realistic representation of root water uptake in forest model simulations.
      PubDate: 2015-06-12
      DOI: 10.3390/f6062125
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 6 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 2148-2162: A Stochastic Programming Model for Fuel
           Treatment Management

    • Authors: Mohannad Kabli, Jianbang Gan, Lewis Ntaimo
      Pages: 2148 - 2162
      Abstract: This work considers a two-stage stochastic integer programming (SIP) approach for optimizing fuel treatment planning under uncertainty in weather and fire occurrence for rural forests. Given a set of areas for potentially performing fuel treatment, the problem is to decide the best treatment option for each area under uncertainty in future weather and fire occurrence. A two-stage SIP model is devised whose objective is to minimize the here-and-now cost of fuel treatment in the first-stage, plus the expected future costs due to uncertain impact from potential fires in the second-stage calculated as ecosystem services losses. The model considers four fuel treatment options: no treatment, mechanical thinning, prescribed fire, and grazing. Several constraints such as budgetary and labor constraints are included in the model and a standard fire behavior model is used to estimate some of the parameters of the model such as fuel levels at the beginning of the fire season. The SIP model was applied to data for a study area in East Texas with 15 treatment areas under different weather scenarios. The results of the study show, for example, that unless the expected ecosystem services values for an area outweigh fuel treatment costs, no treatment is the best choice for the area. Thus the valuation of the area together with the probability of fire occurrence and behavior strongly drive fuel treatment choices.
      PubDate: 2015-06-15
      DOI: 10.3390/f6062148
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 6 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 2163-2177: Natural Regeneration after Long-Term
           Bracken Fern Control with Balsa (Ochroma pyramidale) in the Neotropics

    • Pages: 2163 - 2177
      Abstract: In many parts of the Neotropics, deforested areas are often colonized by the highly competitive invasive bracken fern (Pteridium aquilinum), which inhabits naturally regenerated forests and successional forests on abandoned farmland. Within the tropical forest region of Chiapas in southern Mexico, we implemented an experiment in 2005 to out-compete bracken fern infestation and reduce or eliminate live bracken rhizomes using several treatments: Direct sowing of balsa seeds (Ochroma pyramidale; Malvaceae), a traditional Lacandon treatment of scattering balsa seeds, transplanting balsa seedlings, and a control treatment (without balsa). For each treatment, we applied three different bracken weeding frequencies: No weeding, biweekly weeding, and monthly weeding. In this study, we present data gathered four years after establishing the experiment regarding: Bracken fern rhizome biomass, balsa density, basal area, height, density, species richness of naturally regenerating vegetation for all treatments, and bracken weeding frequencies. We also evaluated the importance of balsa and its regenerative attributes in controlling bracken fern by correlating it with remaining belowground live rhizome biomass. Living rhizome biomass was completely eradicated in all treatments with biweekly and monthly weeding. Density and species richness of a naturally regenerated species were negatively correlated with bracken fern rhizome biomass, and the density of this species was highest in areas with no rhizome biomass. Although balsa tree stands are effective short-term solutions for controlling rhizome biomass, the success of natural regeneration following balsa establishment can be critical to long-term elimination of bracken fern.
      PubDate: 2015-06-16
      DOI: 10.3390/f6062163
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 6 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 2178-2198: Modelling Facilitates Silvicultural
           Decision-Making for Improving the Mitigating Effect of Beech (Fagus
           Sylvatica L.) Dominated Alpine Forest against Rockfall

    • Pages: 2178 - 2198
      Abstract: In southeast Europe, silvicultural measures for improving forest protective effects against rockfall are often based on unsystematic observation and experience. We compared formalised expert assessment of forest protective effects and silvicultural decision-making with an approach supported by modelling (Rockyfor3D, Rockfor.NET, shadow angle method). The case study was conducted in Fagus sylvatica dominated Alpine forests above the regional road leading to the Ljubelj pass, in Slovenia. We analysed rock sources, silent witnesses, forest structure and regeneration. Expert assessment indicated acceptable protection effects of the forest and their decline in the future. Modelling revealed several road sections endangered by rockfalls. It also indicated subtle differences between silvicultural alternatives: current forest, current forest with cable crane lines, selection forest and non-forested slope. This outcome may be due to short transition zones, small rock sizes, low rock source heights and low resolution of the digital elevation model. Modelling requires more initial input than formalised expert assessment but gives spatially explicit results that enable comparison of silvicultural alternatives, coordination of silviculture and forest operations, and delineation of protection forests. Modelling also supported prioritising of silvicultural measures, where the necessity of silvicultural measures increases with increasing rockfall susceptibility and decreasing long-term stability of stands.
      PubDate: 2015-06-19
      DOI: 10.3390/f6062178
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 6 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 2199-2213: Growth and Nutrient Status of Foliage as
           Affected by Tree Species and Fertilization in a Fire-Disturbed Urban

    • Authors: Choonsig Kim, Jaeyeob Jeong, Jae-Hyun Park, Ho-Seop Ma
      Pages: 2199 - 2213
      Abstract: The aim of the present study was to evaluate the growth and macronutrient (C, N, P, K) status in the foliage of four tree species (LT: Liriodendron tulipifera L.; PY: Prunus yedoensis Matsumura; QA: Quercus acutissima Carruth; PT: Pinus thunbergii Parl.) in response to fertilization with different nutrient ratios in a fire-disturbed urban forest located in BongDaesan (Mt.), Korea. Two fertilizers (N3P8K1 = 113:300:37 kg·ha−1·year−1; N6P4K1 = 226:150:37 ha−1·year−1) in four planting sites were applied in April 2013 and March 2014. The growth and nutrient responses of the foliage were monitored six times for two years. Foliar growth and nutrient concentrations were not significantly different (p > 0.05) in response to different doses of N or P fertilizer, but the foliage showed increased N and P concentrations and content after fertilization compared with the control (N0P0K0). Foliar C and K concentrations were little affected by fertilization. Foliar nutrient concentrations and contents were significantly higher in PY and LT than in PT. The results suggest that the foliar N and P concentration could be used as a parameter to assess the nutrient environments of tree species restored in a fire-disturbed urban forest.
      PubDate: 2015-06-19
      DOI: 10.3390/f6062199
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 6 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 2214-2240: Effect of Climate Change Projections on
           Forest Fire Behavior and Values-at-Risk in Southwestern Greece

    • Authors: Kostas Kalabokidis, Palaiologos Palaiologou, Evangelos Gerasopoulos, Christos Giannakopoulos, Effie Kostopoulou, Christos Zerefos
      Pages: 2214 - 2240
      Abstract: Climate change has the potential to influence many aspects of wildfire behavior and risk. During the last decade, Greece has experienced large-scale wildfire phenomena with unprecedented fire behavior and impacts. In this study, thousands of wildfire events were simulated with the Minimum Travel Time (MTT) fire growth algorithm (called Randig) and resulted in spatial data that describe conditional burn probabilities, potential fire spread and intensity in Messinia, Greece. Present (1961–1990) and future (2071–2100) climate projections were derived from simulations of the KNMI regional climate model RACMO2, under the SRES A1B emission scenario. Data regarding fuel moisture content, wind speed and direction were modified for the different projection time periods to be used as inputs in Randig. Results were used to assess the vulnerability changes for certain values-at-risk of the natural and human-made environment. Differences in wildfire risk were calculated and results revealed that larger wildfires that resist initial control are to be expected in the future, with higher conditional burn probabilities and intensities for extensive parts of the study area. The degree of change in the modeled Canadian Forest Fire Weather Index for the two time periods also revealed an increasing trend in frequencies of higher values for the future.
      PubDate: 2015-06-19
      DOI: 10.3390/f6062214
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 6 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 2241-2260: Regulation of Water Use in the
           Southernmost European Fir (Abies pinsapo Boiss.): Drought Avoidance

    • Pages: 2241 - 2260
      Abstract: The current scenario of global warming has resulted in considerable uncertainty regarding the capacity of forest trees to adapt to increasing drought. Detailed ecophysiological knowledge would provide a basis to forecast expected species dynamics in response to climate change. Here, we compare the water balance (stomatal conductance, xylem water potential, needle osmotic adjustment) of Abies pinsapo, a relict drought-sensitive Mediterranean fir, along an altitudinal gradient. We related these variables to soil water and nutrient availability, air temperature, atmospheric water potential, and vapour pressure deficit during two consecutive years. Our results indicate that A. pinsapo closed stomata rapidly over a very narrow range of soil water availability and atmospheric dryness. This isohydric response during water stress suggests that this relict conifer relied on the plant hormone abscisic acid to maintain closed stomata during sustained drought, instead of needle desiccation to passively drive stomatal closure, needle osmotic adjustment or a plastic response of the xylem to different levels of water availability. Both the soil and foliar nutrient contents suggest that the studied populations are not limited by nutrient deficiencies, and drought was stronger in the warmer low-elevation areas.
      PubDate: 2015-06-19
      DOI: 10.3390/f6062241
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 6 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 2261-2280: Nonlinear Simultaneous Equations for
           Individual-Tree Diameter Growth and Mortality Model of Natural Mongolian
           Oak Forests in Northeast China

    • Authors: Wu Ma, Xiangdong Lei
      Pages: 2261 - 2280
      Abstract: A nonlinear equation system for individual tree diameter growth and mortality of natural Mongolian oak forests was developed based on 13,360 observations from 195 permanent sample plots in Northeast China. Weighted regression was used in a distance-independent diameter growth equation for dealing with heterocedasticity. Since diameter growth and mortality models have common predictors including the diameter at breast height (DBH), stand basal area (BA), basal-area-in-larger trees (BAL), and site index (SI), parameters were estimated using nonlinear three-stage least squares (N3SLS) and seemingly unrelated regression (SUR) which accounts for correlations of errors across models. The system equation provided better projection than individual fitting of the equation based on maximum likelihood estimation. Compared with the separate tree growth model, the simultaneous equations using N3SLS and SUR produced more efficient parameter estimation and smaller bias. Furthermore, N3SLS had more accurate projection. Overall, the simultaneous model will facilitate the growth and yield projection for better management of Mongolian oak forests in the region.
      PubDate: 2015-06-23
      DOI: 10.3390/f6062261
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 6 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 1557-1575: Lichen Monitoring Delineates
           Biodiversity on a Great Barrier Reef Coral Cay

    • Authors: Paul Rogers, Roderick Rogers, Anne Hedrich, Patrick Moss
      Pages: 1557 - 1575
      Abstract: Coral islands around the world are threatened by changing climates. Rising seas, drought, and increased tropical storms are already impacting island ecosystems. We aim to better understand lichen community ecology of coral island forests. We used an epiphytic lichen community survey to gauge Pisonia (Pisonia grandis R.BR.), which dominates forest conditions on Heron Island, Australia. Nine survey plots were sampled for lichen species presence and abundance, all tree diameters and species, GPS location, distance to forest-beach edge, and dominant forest type. Results found only six unique lichens and two lichen associates. A Multi-Response Permutation Procedures (MRPP) test found statistically distinct lichen communities among forest types. The greatest group differences were between interior Pisonia and perimeter forest types. Ordinations were performed to further understand causes for distinctions in lichen communities. Significant explanatory gradients were distance to forest edge, tree density (shading), and Pisonia basal area. Each of these variables was negatively correlated with lichen diversity and abundance, suggesting that interior, successionally advanced, Pisonia forests support fewer lichens. Island edge and presumably younger forests—often those with greater tree diversity and sunlight penetration—supported the highest lichen diversity. Heron Island’s Pisonia-dominated forests support low lichen diversity which mirrors overall biodiversity patterns. Lichen biomonitoring may provide a valuable indicator for assessing island ecosystems for conservation purposes regionally.
      PubDate: 2015-05-05
      DOI: 10.3390/f6051557
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 5 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 1576-1597: Timing of Drought Triggers Distinct
           Growth Responses in Holm Oak: Implications to Predict Warming-Induced
           Forest Defoliation and Growth Decline

    • Pages: 1576 - 1597
      Abstract: Droughts negatively impact forests by reducing growth and increasing defoliation leading to forest dieback as the climate becomes warmer and drier. However, the timing and severity of droughts determine how differently or intensively water shortage affects primary (shoot and leaf formation) and secondary growth (stem radial growth based on tree-ring widths). We compare the impact of two severe droughts (2005, 2012), showing different climatic characteristics on the growth responses of three Mediterranean holm oak stands in northeastern Spain. We also quantify climate trends and drought severity. Then, we use remote sensing data to infer how those droughts impacted forest productivity. Both droughts were characterized by warm and dry spring conditions leading to reduced budburst, low shoot production, asynchrony in primary growth and decreased productivity and scarce radial growth, particularly in 2005. However, defoliation peaked in 2012 when radial growth showed minimum values and early spring and late summer temperatures reached maximum values. We discuss how uncoupled and resilient are the responses of primary and secondary growth to drought. Finally, these findings are used to gain insight into the drought-related drivers of defoliation in Spanish holm oak forests.
      PubDate: 2015-05-05
      DOI: 10.3390/f6051576
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 5 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 1598-1612: Extinction Risk of Pseudotsuga Menziesii
           Populations in the Central Region of Mexico: An AHP Analysis

    • Pages: 1598 - 1612
      Abstract: Within the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) framework, a hierarchical model was created considering anthropogenic, genetic and ecological criteria and sub-criteria that directly affect Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirb.)) risk of extinction in central Mexico. The sub-criteria values were standardized, weighted, and ordered by importance in a pairwise comparison matrix; the model was mathematically integrated to quantify the degree of extinction risk for each of the 29 populations present in the study area. The results indicate diverse levels of risk for the populations, ranging from very low to very high. Estanzuela, Presa Jaramillo, Peñas Cargadas and Plan del Baile populations have very low risk, with values less than 0.25. On the other hand, Vicente Guerrero, Morán, Minatitlán, La Garita and Tonalapa populations have very high risk (>0.35) because they are heavily influenced by anthropogenic (close to roads and towns), ecological (presence of exotic species and little or no natural regeneration) and genetic (presence of mature to overmature trees and geographic isolation) factors. In situ conservation activities, prioritizing their implementation in populations at most risk is highly recommended; in addition, germplasm collection for use of assisted gene flow and migration approaches, including artificial reforestation, should be considered in these locations.
      PubDate: 2015-05-05
      DOI: 10.3390/f6051598
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 5 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 1613-1627: Assessment of Wooded Area Reduction by
           Airborne Laser Scanning

    • Authors: Thi Tran, Markus Hollaus, Ba Nguyen, Norbert Pfeifer
      Pages: 1613 - 1627
      Abstract: Airborne Laser Scanning (ALS) data hold a great deal of promise in monitoring the reduction of single trees and forests with high accuracy. In the literature, the canopy height model (CHM) is the main input used frequently for forest change detection. ALS also has the key capability of delivering 3D point clouds, not only from the top canopy surface, but also from the entire canopy profile and also from the terrain. We investigated the use of two additional parameters, which exploit these capabilities for assessing the reduction of wooded area: Slope-adapted echo ratio (sER) and Sigma0. In this study, two ALS point cloud data sets (2005 and 2011) were used to calculate Digital Surface Model (DSM), sER, and Sigma0 in 1.5 km2 forest area in Vorarlberg, Austria. Image differencing was applied to indicate the change in the three difference models individually and in their combinations. Decision trees were used to classify the area of removed trees with the minimum mapping unit of 13 m2. The final results were evaluated by a knowledge-based manual digitization using completeness and correctness measures. The best result is achieved using the combination of sER and DSM, namely a correctness of 92% and a completeness of 85%.
      PubDate: 2015-05-07
      DOI: 10.3390/f6051613
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 5 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 1628-1648: Variation in Trembling Aspen and White
           Spruce Wood Quality Grown in Mixed and Single Species Stands in the Boreal
           Mixedwood Forest

    • Authors: Francis De Araujo, James Hart, Shawn Mansfield
      Pages: 1628 - 1648
      Abstract: The Canadian boreal forest is largely represented by mixed wood forests of white spruce (Picea glauca (Moench) Voss) and trembling aspen (Populus tremuloides Michx). In this study, a total of 300 trees originating from three sites composed of trembling aspen and white spruce with varying compositions were investigated for wood quality traits: one site was composed mainly of aspen, one mainly of spruce and a third was a mixed site. Four wood quality traits were examined: wood density, microfibril angle (MFA), fibre characteristics, and cell wall chemistry. Social classes were also determined for each site in an attempt to provide a more in-depth comparison. Wood density showed little variation among sites for both species, with only significant differences occurring between social classes. The aspen site showed statistically lower MFAs than the aspen from the mixed site, however, no differences were observed when comparing spruce. Fibre characteristics were higher in the pure species sites for both species. There were no differences in carbohydrate contents across sites, while lignin content varied. Overall, the use of social classes did not refine the characterization of sites.
      PubDate: 2015-05-12
      DOI: 10.3390/f6051628
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 5 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 1649-1665: Allelic Variation in Cinnamyl Alcohol
           Dehydrogenase (LoCAD) Associated with Wood Properties of Larix olgensis

    • Authors: Yanhong Wang, Qinbin Jia, Lei Zhang, Zhen Zhang, Hanguo Zhang
      Pages: 1649 - 1665
      Abstract: Cinnamyl alcohol dehydrogenase (CAD) catalyzes the key step in the lignin monomer biosynthesis pathway, but little is known about CADs in larch (Larix olgensis). Larch is one of the most important conifer plantation species and is used worldwide for reforestation and paper making. However, the presence of lignin is a significant barrier in the conversion of plant biomass to bioethanol. In the current study, 240 individuals from the Northeast Forest University provenance progeny trial population were evaluated, and 47 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were identified in the CAD gene. We used a candidate gene-based association mapping approach to identify CAD gene allelic variants that were associated with growth and wood property traits in L. olgensis. We found that LoCAD harbors high single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) diversity (πT = 0.00622 and θW = 0.00646). The results of an association analysis indicated that nine SNPs and six haplotypes were significantly associated with wood property and growth traits, explaining between 1.35% and 18.4% of the phenotypic variance. There were strong associations between SNP (g.590G > T) and SNP (g.1184A > T) in LoCAD. These SNPs might represent two quantitative trait nucleotides that are important for the analysis of lignin content.
      PubDate: 2015-05-12
      DOI: 10.3390/f6051649
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 5 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 1666-1695: How Sensitive Are Ecosystem Services in
           European Forest Landscapes to Silvicultural Treatment?

    • Pages: 1666 - 1695
      Abstract: While sustainable forestry in Europe is characterized by the provision of a multitude of forest ecosystem services, there exists no comprehensive study that scrutinizes their sensitivity to forest management on a pan-European scale, so far. We compile scenario runs from regionally tailored forest growth models and Decision Support Systems (DSS) from 20 case studies throughout Europe and analyze whether the ecosystem service provision depends on management intensity and other co-variables, comprising regional affiliation, social environment, and tree species composition. The simulation runs provide information about the case-specifically most important ecosystem services in terms of appropriate indicators. We found a strong positive correlation between management intensity and wood production, but only weak correlation with protective and socioeconomic forest functions. Interestingly, depending on the forest region, we found that biodiversity can react in both ways, positively and negatively, to increased management intensity. Thus, it may be in tradeoff or in synergy with wood production and forest resource maintenance. The covariables species composition and social environment are of punctual interest only, while the affiliation to a certain region often makes an important difference in terms of an ecosystem service’s treatment sensitivity.
      PubDate: 2015-05-13
      DOI: 10.3390/f6051666
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 5 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 1696-1720: A New Collaborative Methodology for
           Assessment and Management of Ecosystem Services

    • Pages: 1696 - 1720
      Abstract: Collaborative management is a new framework to help implement programmes in protected areas. Within this context, the aim of this work is twofold. First, to propose a robust methodology to implement collaborative management focused on ecosystem services. Second, to develop indicators for the main functions of ecosystem services. Decision makers, technical staff and other stakeholders are included in the process from the beginning, by identifying ecosystem services and eliciting preferences using the AHP method. Qualitative and quantitative data are then integrated into a PROMETHEE based method in order to obtain indicators for provisioning, maintenance and direct to citizens services. This methodology, which has been applied in a forest area, provides a tool for exploiting available technical and social data in a continuous process, as well as providing easy to understand graphical results. This approach also overcomes the difficulties found in prioritizing management objectives in a multiple criteria context with limited resources and facilitates consensus between all of the people involved. The new indicators define an innovative approach to assessing the ecosystem services from the supply perspective and provide basic information to help establish payment systems for environmental services and compensation for natural disasters.
      PubDate: 2015-05-13
      DOI: 10.3390/f6051696
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 5 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 1721-1747: A Benchmark of Lidar-Based Single Tree
           Detection Methods Using Heterogeneous Forest Data from the Alpine Space

    • Pages: 1721 - 1747
      Abstract: In this study, eight airborne laser scanning (ALS)-based single tree detection methods are benchmarked and investigated. The methods were applied to a unique dataset originating from different regions of the Alpine Space covering different study areas, forest types, and structures. This is the first benchmark ever performed for different forests within the Alps. The evaluation of the detection results was carried out in a reproducible way by automatically matching them to precise in situ forest inventory data using a restricted nearest neighbor detection approach. Quantitative statistical parameters such as percentages of correctly matched trees and omission and commission errors are presented. The proposed automated matching procedure presented herein shows an overall accuracy of 97%. Method based analysis, investigations per forest type, and an overall benchmark performance are presented. The best matching rate was obtained for single-layered coniferous forests. Dominated trees were challenging for all methods. The overall performance shows a matching rate of 47%, which is comparable to results of other benchmarks performed in the past. The study provides new insight regarding the potential and limits of tree detection with ALS and underlines some key aspects regarding the choice of method when performing single tree detection for the various forest types encountered in alpine regions.
      PubDate: 2015-05-15
      DOI: 10.3390/f6051721
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 5 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 3369-3394: Modeling Wood Fibre Length in Black
           Spruce (Picea mariana (Mill.) BSP) Based on Ecological Land Classification

    • Authors: Elisha Townshend, Bharat Pokharel, Art Groot, Doug Pitt, Jeffery Dech
      Pages: 3369 - 3394
      Abstract: Effective planning to optimize the forest value chain requires accurate and detailed information about the resource; however, estimates of the distribution of fibre properties on the landscape are largely unavailable prior to harvest. Our objective was to fit a model of the tree-level average fibre length related to ecosite classification and other forest inventory variables depicted at the landscape scale. A series of black spruce increment cores were collected at breast height from trees in nine different ecosite groups within the boreal forest of northeastern Ontario, and processed using standard techniques for maceration and fibre length measurement. Regression tree analysis and random forests were used to fit hierarchical classification models and find the most important predictor variables for the response variable area-weighted mean stem-level fibre length. Ecosite group was the best predictor in the regression tree. Longer mean fibre-length was associated with more productive ecosites that supported faster growth. The explanatory power of the model of fitted data was good; however, random forests simulations indicated poor generalizability. These results suggest the potential to develop localized models linking wood fibre length in black spruce to landscape-level attributes, and improve the sustainability of forest management by identifying ideal locations to harvest wood that has desirable fibre characteristics.
      PubDate: 2015-09-24
      DOI: 10.3390/f6103369
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 10 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 3395-3411: Empirical Estimates of Aboveground
           Carbon in Open Eucalyptus Forests of South-Eastern Australia and Its
           Potential Implication for National Carbon Accounting

    • Authors: Liubov Volkova, Huiquan Bi, Simon Murphy, Christopher Weston
      Pages: 3395 - 3411
      Abstract: The aboveground carbon (AGC) storage of open Eucalyptus forests is unknown yet they are estimated to account for almost 25% of all Australian forests and about 60% of forests in Victoria. In this study we provide the best possible estimates of total AGC including tree biomass derived from destructive biomass sampling across 23 study plots established in open Eucalyptus forests in Victoria. The field estimates of AGC were then used for calibration of Australia’s National Carbon Accounting Model, FullCAM. The study aimed to develop a transparent and defendable method to estimate AGC for one of the most common Australian forests. Our calibrations showed that the 8.3 M ha of open Eucalyptus forests of SE Australia sequester at least 139 Mt C more than default FullCAM predictions. Because most of these forests are not subject to human-induced emission such as harvesting, only emissions and stock changes from a small area of these forests is reported in national inventories and international greenhouse emissions agreements. Concern for climate change and emission reduction will inevitably require land managers to come up with defendable methods of estimating forest carbon stocks and changes in all forest types; here we show how FullCAM can be further developed for this purpose.
      PubDate: 2015-09-24
      DOI: 10.3390/f6103395
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 10 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 3412-3432: WIND-STORM: A Decision Support System
           for the Strategic Management of Windthrow Crises by the Forest Community

    • Pages: 3412 - 3432
      Abstract: Storms are one of the most damaging agents for European forests and can cause huge and long-term economic impacts on the forest sector. Recent events and research haves contributed to a better understanding and management of destructive storms, but public authorities still lack appropriate decision-support tools for evaluating their strategic decisions in the aftermath of a storm. This paper presents a decision support system (DSS) that compares changes in the dynamics of the regional forest-based sector after storm events under various crisis management options. First, the development and implementation of a regional forest model is addressed; then, the potential application of the model-based DSS WIND-STORM is illustrated. The results of simulated scenarios reveal that this DSS type is useful for designing a cost-effective regional strategy for storm-damage management in the context of scarce public resources and that public strategies must encompass the whole forest-based sector to be efficient. Additional benefits of such a DSS is to bring together decision-makers and forest stakeholders for a common objective and therefore to enhance participatory approaches to crisis management.
      PubDate: 2015-09-29
      DOI: 10.3390/f6103412
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 10 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 3433-3451: An Uneven Playing Field: Regulatory
           Barriers to Communities Making a Living from the Timber from Their
           Forests–Examples from Cambodia, Nepal and Vietnam

    • Authors: David Gritten, Martin Greijmans, Sophie Lewis, Tol Sokchea, Julian Atkinson, Tan Quang, Bishnu Poudyal, Binod Chapagain, Lok Sapkota, Bernhard Mohns, Naya Paudel
      Pages: 3433 - 3451
      Abstract: Community forestry (CF) is widely viewed as the solution to many of the challenges facing forest management and governance in the Asia-Pacific region. However, it is often felt that CF is not delivering on its potential. This paper focuses on one possible limitation: the role of regulations in curbing communities’ ability to make a living from their timber resources. The work covers Cambodia, Nepal and Vietnam, using policy analyses, national level experts’ workshops, and focus group discussions in two CF sites in each country. The results highlight the fact that there are numerous, often prohibitive, regulations in place. One challenge is the regulations’ complexity, often requiring a level of capacity far beyond the ability of community members and local government staff. The paper puts forward various recommendations including simplifying regulations and making them more outcome-based, and facilitating key stakeholders, including government and community based organizations, working together on the design and piloting of forest monitoring based on mutually agreed forest management outcomes. The recommendations reflect the belief that for CF to succeed, communities must be allowed to make a meaningful living from their forests, a result of which would be increased investment in sustainable forest management.
      PubDate: 2015-09-29
      DOI: 10.3390/f6103433
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 10 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 3452-3482: Legality Constraints: The Emergence of a
           Dual Market for Tropical Timber Products?

    • Authors: Mauro Masiero, Davide Pettenella, Paolo Cerutti
      Pages: 3452 - 3482
      Abstract: The European Union (EU), the United States of America (USA), and Australia have adopted specific measures to avoid the placing of illegal timber on their markets. These measures might encourage the diversion of timber products from traditional large importers to destinations with a less stringent regulatory framework. During 2001–2013, the international trade in tropical primary timber products (logs; sawnwood; veneers and plywood) decreased by 13% in volume and increased by almost 5% in value. Imports by Australia, the EU, and the USA halved, while those by emerging economies such as China and India initially remained stable and later increased. Tropical timber products—mostly logs and sawnwood—might have been diverted towards emerging economies over the period considered. This general trend is confirmed when analyzing imports from countries that are implementing voluntary partnership agreements (VPA) within the EU Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Action Plan. Several factors might influence these market dynamics, including changes induced by the 2008 financial crisis and the increasing domestic demand for timber products by emerging nations. The effects of legality measures on market trends are still unclear. Nonetheless, they might have encouraged uncertainty with regards to traditional importers and favored emerging ones.
      PubDate: 2015-09-30
      DOI: 10.3390/f6103452
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 10 (2015)
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 3483-3500: Impact of a Mountain Pine Beetle
           Outbreak on Young Lodgepole Pine Stands in Central British Columbia

    • Authors: Amalesh Dhar, Nicole Balliet, Kyle Runzer, Christopher Hawkins
      Pages: 3483 - 3500
      Abstract: The current mountain pine beetle (MPB) (Dendroctonous ponderosae Hopkins) epidemic has severely affected pine forests of Western Canada and killed millions of hectares of lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta Dougl. ex Loud. var. latifolia Engelm.) forest. Generally, MPB attack larger and older (diameter > 20 cm or >60 years of age) trees, but the current epidemic extends this limit with attacks on even younger and smaller trees. The study’s aim was to investigate the extent of MPB attack in young pine stands and its possible impact on stand dynamics. Although MPB attacks were observed in trees as small as 7.5 cm diameter at breast height (DBH) and as young as 13 years old, the degree of MPB attack (percent stems ha−1) increased with increasing tree diameter and age class (13–20, 21–40, 41–60, and 61–80 years old) (6.4%, 49.4%, 62.6%, and 69.5% attack, respectively, by age class) which is greater than that reported from previous epidemics for stands of this age. The mean density of surviving residual structure varied widely among age classes and ecological subzones. Depending on age class, 65% to 77% of the attacked stands could contribute to mid-term timber supply. The surviving residual structure of young stands offers an opportunity to mitigate the effects of MPB-attack on future timber supply, increase age class diversity, and enhance ecological resilience in younger stands.
      PubDate: 2015-09-30
      DOI: 10.3390/f6103483
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 10 (2015)
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