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  Subjects -> FORESTS AND FORESTRY (Total: 95 journals)
Acta Silvatica et Lignaria Hungarica     Open Access  
Advance in Forestry Research     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Advances in Forestry Letters     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Advances in Forestry Science     Open Access  
African Journal of Sustainable Development     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 5)
Agrociencia     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Agroforestry Systems     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 16)
Annals of Forest Science     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 3)
Appita Journal: Journal of the Technical Association of the Australian and New Zealand Pulp and Paper Industry     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 5)
Arboricultural Journal : The International Journal of Urban Forestry     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6)
Arboriculture and Urban Forestry     Free   (Followers: 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: 78)
Canadian Journal of Plant Science     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 12)
Ciência Florestal     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Ciencia forestal en México     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Colombia Forestal     Open Access  
Dissertationes Forestales     Open Access  
European Journal of Forest Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 3)
Expert Opinion on Environmental Biology     Partially Free  
Floresta e Ambiente     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Forest Ecology and Management     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 32)
Forest Pathology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 1)
Forest Phytophthoras     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Forest Policy and Economics     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 17)
Forest Research Papers     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Forest Science     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 5)
Forest Science and Practice     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4)
Forest Science and Technology     Partially Free   (Followers: 1)
Forest Systems     Open Access  
Foresta Veracruzana     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Forestry Chronicle     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 8)
Forestry Studies : Metsanduslikud Uurimused     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Forestry: An International Journal of Forest Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 10)
Forests     Open Access   (Followers: 4)
Forests, Trees and Livelihoods     Partially Free   (Followers: 3)
Ghana Journal of Forestry     Full-text available via subscription  
Holzforschung     Full-text available via subscription  
iForest : Biogeosciences and Forestry     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
INNOTEC : Revista del Laboratorio Tecnológico del Uruguay     Open Access  
International Forestry Review     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 7)
International Journal of Forest Engineering     Hybrid Journal  
International Journal of Forest, Soil and Erosion     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
International Journal of Forestry Research     Open Access   (Followers: 6)
ISRN Forestry     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Journal of Agriculture, Forestry and the Social Sciences     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Journal of Biodiversity Management & Forestry     Full-text available via subscription  
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: 7)
Journal of Forestry Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6)
Journal of Horticulture and Forestry     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Journal of Natural Resources Policy Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 12)
Journal of Research in Forestry, Wildlife and Environment     Open Access  
Journal of Sustainable Forestry     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6)
Journal of Tropical Forestry and Environment     Open Access  
Journal of Wood Chemistry and Technology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 7)
Journal of Wood Science     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 3)
Jurnal Manajemen Hutan Tropika     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
La Calera     Open Access  
Landscapes     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 17)
Lesnícky časopis     Open Access  
Maderas. Ciencia y tecnología     Open Access  
Mathematical and Computational Forestry & Natural-Resource Sciences     Free  
Natural Areas Journal     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 7)
New Forests     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2)
New Zealand Journal of Forestry Science     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Open Journal of Forestry     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Pesquisa Florestal Brasileira     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Plant Science Bulletin     Free   (Followers: 7)
Quebracho. Revista de Ciencias Forestales     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Research Journal of Forestry     Open Access   (Followers: 4)
Revista Árvore     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Revista Chapingo. Serie Ciencias Forestales y del Ambiente     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Revista Verde de Agroecologia e Desenvolvimento Sustentável     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Revue forestière française     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
Rwanda Journal     Full-text available via subscription  
Scandinavian Journal of Forest Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 3)
Science, Technology and Arts Research Journal     Open Access  
Small-scale Forestry     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2)
Southern African Forestry Journal     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Southern Forests: a Journal of Forest Science     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4)
Tanzania Journal of Forestry and Nature Conservation     Full-text available via subscription  
Trees     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 5)
Turkish Journal of Agriculture and Forestry     Open Access  
Urban Forestry & Urban Greening     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 7)
Veld & Flora     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Wood and Fiber Science     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
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  This is an Open Access Journal Open Access journal
     ISSN (Print) 1999-4907
     Published by MDPI Homepage  [124 journals]   [SJR: 0.439]   [H-I: 5]
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 2050-2083: Genetic Resistance to Fusiform Rust in
           Southern Pines and White Pine Blister Rust in White Pines—A
           Contrasting Tale of Two Rust Pathosystems—Current Status and Future

    • Authors: Richard Sniezko, Jason Smith, Jun-Jun Liu, Richard Hamelin
      Pages: 2050 - 2083
      Abstract: Damage or mortality from pathogens can reduce productivity of forest plantations, as well as significantly harm natural forest ecosystems. Genetic resistance within the host species is the first line of defense for tree species. Resistance breeding programs for the native fusiform rust and exotic (to North America) white pine blister rust diseases are two of the longest concerted efforts in forest trees, spanning more than 50 years. Advances in developing greater genetic resistance have been made in both pathosystems, but unique challenges and opportunities in each system translate to different approaches. Fusiform rust resistance programs have mainly emphasized complete resistance, while partial resistance plays a prominent role in white pine blister rust resistance programs. Advances in the development of molecular genetic tools now permit investigations in conifers and their associated rust pathogens. Good progress has been made in identifying resistant populations and understanding resistance in these pathosystems, and resistant stock is now being used extensively for reforestation and restoration. These programs represent great success stories brought to fruition by the long-term efforts. However, continued support will be needed to enhance the level and fully realize the potential of durable genetic resistance in these invaluable North American conifer species.
      PubDate: 2014-09-01
      DOI: 10.3390/f5092050
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 9 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 2084-2105: Systems Analysis of Ten Supply Chains
           for Whole Tree Chips

    • Authors: Helmer Belbo, Bruce Talbot
      Pages: 2084 - 2105
      Abstract: Whole trees from energy thinnings constitute one of many forest fuel sources, yet ten widely applied supply chains could be defined for this feedstock alone. These ten represent only a subset of the real possibilities, as felling method was held constant and only a single market (combustion of whole tree chips) was considered. Stages included in-field, roadside landing, terminal, and conversion plant, and biomass states at each of these included loose whole trees, bundled whole trees or chipped material. Assumptions on prices, performances, and conversion rates were based on field trials and published literature in similar boreal forest conditions. The economic outcome was calculated on the basis of production, handling, treatment and storage costs and losses. Outcomes were tested for robustness on a range of object volumes (50–350 m3solid), extraction distances (50–550 m) and transport distances (10–70 km) using simulation across a set of discrete values. Transport was calculated for both a standard 19.5 m and an extended 24 m timber truck. Results showed that the most expensive chain (roadside bundling, roadside storage, terminal storage and delivery using a 19.5 m timber truck) at 158 € td−1 was 23% more costly than the cheapest chain (roadside chipping and direct transport to conversion plant with container truck), at 128 € td−1. Outcomes vary at specific object volumes and transport distances, highlighting the need to verify assumptions, although standard deviations around mean supply costs for each chain were small (6%–9%). Losses at all stages were modelled, with the largest losses (23 € td−1) occurring in the chains including bundles. The study makes all methods and assumptions explicit and can assist the procurement manager in understanding the mechanisms at work.
      PubDate: 2014-09-01
      DOI: 10.3390/f5092084
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 9 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 2106-2121: Belowground Competition Directs Spatial
           Patterns of Seedling Growth in Boreal Pine Forests in Fennoscandia

    • Authors: E. Axelsson, Tomas Lundmark, Peter Högberg, Annika Nordin
      Pages: 2106 - 2121
      Abstract: Aboveground competition is often argued to be the main process determining patterns of natural forest regeneration. However, the theory of multiple resource limitation suggests that seedling performance also depends on belowground competition and, thus, that their relative influence is of fundamental importance. Two approaches were used to address the relative importance of above- and below-ground competition on regeneration in a nutrient-poor pine (Pinus sylvestris) boreal forest. Firstly, seedling establishment beneath trees stem-girdled 12 years ago show that a substantial proportion of the seedlings were established within two years after girdling, which corresponds to a time when nutrient uptake by tree roots was severely reduced without disrupting water transport to the tree canopy, which consequently was maintained. The establishment during these two years also corresponds to abundances high enough for normal stand replacement. Secondly, surveys of regeneration within forest gaps showed that surrounding forests depressed seedlings, so that satisfactory growth occurred only more than 5 m from forest edges and that higher solar radiation in south facing edges was not enough to mediate these effects. We conclude that disruption of belowground competitive interactions mediates regeneration and, thus, that belowground competition has a strong limiting influence on seedling establishment in these forests.
      PubDate: 2014-09-02
      DOI: 10.3390/f5092106
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 9 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 2122-2135: Flavanols and Flavonols in the Nuclei of
           Conifer Genotypes with Different Growth

    • Authors: Walter Feucht, Markus Schmid, Dieter Treutter
      Pages: 2122 - 2135
      Abstract: Flavanols and flavonols of mitotic and post-mitotic nuclei in needles of Taxus baccata L., Tsuga canadensis L., and slow growing dwarf genotypes of both genera are investigated histochemically. The flavanols of nuclear chromatins and in the vacuoles stain blue with the p-dimethylamino-cinnamaldehyde (DMACA) reagent. Flavonols do not react with the reagent but owing to their UV absorbance they can be seen as bright yellow pigments. The nuclei in the photomicrographs obtained by microscopy were measured for flavanols at 640 nm. The vigorously sprouting Taxus baccata L. displays the most rapid cell cycling of the needles and the nuclei reveal clear blue and white mosaic structures. The flavanol component of Taxus baccata nuclei remains relatively stable most of the growing season. The dwarf genotypes also display fairly blue stained meristematic nuclei during the intense spring flush. However, after the spring flush and towards mid-summer the nuclear flavanols slowly decrease in parallel with a gradual increase in yellow staining nuclear flavonols. A mixture of blue stained flavanols and yellow flavonols results in greenish coloration of the nuclei. The greenish tint becomes more pronounced when the parenchyma cells mature and age. At the same time, the cytoplasm of the dwarf genotypes also begins to attain a more yellow tint. This trend continues towards mid-summer and autumn, particularly in the nana genotypes. It would appear that the yellow staining flavonols are linked to restricted growth conditions. In the present study, it becomes evident that the species-typical endogenous growth potential is related to both flavanol and flavonol allocation into the nuclei. The vigorously growing species of Taxus and Tsuga have a higher capacity for recruitment of flavanols into the nuclei than the very slow growing dwarf species.
      PubDate: 2014-09-15
      DOI: 10.3390/f5092122
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 9 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 2136-2162: Multi-Level Policy Dialogues, Processes,
           and Actions: Challenges and Opportunities for National REDD+ Safeguards
           Measurement, Reporting, and Verification (MRV)

    • Authors: Pamela Jagger, Maria Brockhaus, Amy Duchelle, Maria Gebara, Kathleen Lawlor, Ida Resosudarmo, William Sunderlin
      Pages: 2136 - 2162
      Abstract: REDD+ social safeguards have gained increasing attention in numerous forums. This paper reviews the evolution of multi-level policy dialogues, processes, and actions related to REDD+ social safeguards (e.g., Cancun Safeguards 1–5) among policy makers, civil society organizations, and within the media in Brazil, Indonesia and Tanzania, three countries with well advanced REDD+ programs. We find that progress on core aspects of social safeguards is uneven across the three countries. Brazil is by far the most advanced having drafted a REDD+ social safeguards policy. Both Brazil and Indonesia have benefited from progress made by strong sub-national entities in the operationalization of REDD+ safeguards including free prior and informed consent (FPIC), participation, and benefit sharing. Tanzania has weakly articulated how social safeguards will be operationalized and has a more top-down approach. We conclude that in all three countries, measuring, reporting and verifying progress on social safeguards is likely to be a complex issue. Stakeholders with vested interests in REDD+ social safeguards operate in polycentric rather than nested systems, suggesting that aggregation of information from local to national-scale will be a challenge. However, polycentric systems are also likely to support more transparent and comprehensive safeguards systems. Clear direction from the international community and financing for REDD+ safeguard MRV is essential if REDD+ social safeguards are to be meaningfully integrated into forest-based climate mitigation strategies.
      PubDate: 2014-09-15
      DOI: 10.3390/f5092136
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 9 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 2163-2211: Legal Harvesting, Sustainable Sourcing
           and Cascaded Use of Wood for Bioenergy: Their Coverage through Existing
           Certification Frameworks for Sustainable Forest Management

    • Authors: Richard Sikkema, Martin Junginger, Jinke van Dam, Gerben Stegeman, David Durrant, Andre Faaij
      Pages: 2163 - 2211
      Abstract: The first objective of this paper was to provide an inventory of developments of certification schemes for sustainable biomass production, following recent EU legislation (both formalized and under development). One main pillar is the EU Timber Regulation for legal harvesting; a second one is the EU’s 2010 recommendations for sustainable woody biomass sourcing for energy; the third one is the EU Waste Directive. The second objective was to benchmark the coverage of this (draft) legislation, when wood product certificates for sustainable forest management (SFM) are used as proof of the related legislative requirements. We studied North America, as it is a major biomass supplier to the EU-28. Together with existing forest legislation in the US and Canada, SFM certificates are actively used to cover the EU’s (draft) legislation. However, North American forests are only partially certified with fibers coming from certified forests; these are referred to as forest management (FM) fibers. Other certified fibers should come from complementary risk assessments downstream in the supply chain (risk based fibers). Our benchmark concludes that: (a) FM fiber certification by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and the Program for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) international standards show the highest level of coverage with EU’s (draft) legislation; (b) There is insufficient coverage for risk based fibers by FSC Controlled Wood (FSC-CW), PEFC Due Diligence (PEFC-DD), or SFI-fiber sourcing (SFI-FS). Other weaknesses identified for elaboration are: (c) Alignment in definitions are needed, such as for primary forest, high carbon stock, and wood waste (cascading); (d) Imperfect mass balance (fiber check downstream) needs to be solved, as non-certified fiber flows are inadequately monitored; (e) Add-on of a GHG calculation tool is needed, as GHG life cycle reporting is not covered by any of the SFM frameworks.
      PubDate: 2014-09-16
      DOI: 10.3390/f5092163
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 9 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 2212-2229: Governing and Delivering a Biome-Wide
           Restoration Initiative: The Case of Atlantic Forest Restoration Pact in

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • Authors: Dimitrios Michelakis, Neil Stuart, German Lopez, Vinicio Linares, Iain Woodhouse
      Pages: 2377 - 2399
      Abstract: Fine-scale biomass maps offer forest managers the prospect of more detailed and locally accurate information for measuring, reporting and verification activities in contexts, such as sustainable forest management, carbon stock assessments and ecological studies of forest growth and change. In this study, we apply a locally validated method for estimating aboveground woody biomass (AGWB) from Advanced Land Observing Satellite (ALOS) Phased Array-type L-band Synthetic Aperture Radar (PALSAR) data to produce an AGWB map for the lowland pine savannas of Belize at a spatial resolution of 100 m. Over 90% of these woodlands are predicted to have an AGWB below 60 tha−1, with the average woody biomass of these savannas estimated at 23.5 tha−1. By overlaying these spatial estimates upon previous thematic mapping of national land cover, we derive representative average biomass values of ~32 tha−1 and ~18 tha−1 for the previously qualitative classes of “denser” and “less dense” tree savannas. The predicted average biomass, from the mapping for savannas woodlands occurring within two of Belize’s larger protected areas, agree closely with previous biomass estimates for these areas based on ground surveys and forest inventories (error ≤20%). However, biomass estimates derived for these protected areas from two biomass maps produced at coarser resolutions (500 m and 1000 m) from global datasets overestimated biomass (errors ≥275% in each dataset). The finer scale biomass mapping of both protected and unprotected areas provides evidence to suggest that protection has a positive effect upon woody biomass, with the mean AGWB higher in areas protected and managed for biodiversity (protected and passively managed (PRPM), 29.5 tha−1) compared to unprotected areas (UPR, 23.29 tha−1). These findings suggest that where sufficient ground data exists to build a reliable local relationship to radar backscatter, the more detailed biomass mapping that can be produced from ALOS and similar satellite data at resolutions of ~100 m provides more accurate and spatially detailed information that is more appropriate for supporting the management of forested areas of ~10,000 ha than biomass maps that can be produced from lower resolution, but freely available global data sets.
      PubDate: 2014-09-25
      DOI: 10.3390/f5092377
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 9 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 1815-1833: Potential for Integrating
           Community-Based Monitoring into REDD+

    • Authors: Arturo Torres
      Pages: 1815 - 1833
      Abstract: Countries at the United Nations Framework on the Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) have decided to engage local communities and indigenous groups into the activities for the monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) of the program to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation and increase carbon removals (REDD+). Previous research and projects have shown that communities can produce reliable data on forest area and carbon estimates through field measurements. The objective of this article is to describe the framework that is being created for REDD+ under the UNFCCC to identify the potential inclusion of local information produced through community-based monitoring (CBM) into monitoring systems for REDD+. National systems could use different sources of information from CBM: first, local information can be produced as part of public programs by increasing sample size of national or regional inventories; second, government can collect information to produce carbon estimates from on-going management practices implemented at local level driven by access to local direct benefits (e.g., forest management plans, watershed conservation); third, national data systems could include information from projects participating in carbon markets and other certification schemes; and finally information will be produced as part of the activities associated to the implementation of social and environmental safeguards. Locally generated data on carbon and areas under different forms of management can be dovetailed into national systems and be used to describe management practices, complement existing information or replace Tier 1/2 values with more detailed local data produced by CBM.
      PubDate: 2014-07-28
      DOI: 10.3390/f5081815
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 8 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 1834-1854: Community Monitoring of Carbon Stocks
           for REDD+: Does Accuracy and Cost Change over Time?

    • Authors: Søren Brofeldt, Ida Theilade, Neil Burgess, Finn Danielsen, Michael Poulsen, Teis Adrian, Tran Bang, Arif Budiman, Jan Jensen, Arne Jensen, Yuyun Kurniawan, Simon Lægaard, Zhao Mingxu, Meine van Noordwijk, Subekti Rahayu, Ervan Rutishauser, Dietrich Schmidt-Vogt, Zulfira Warta, Atiek Widayati
      Pages: 1834 - 1854
      Abstract: Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries, and the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests, and enhancement of forest carbon stocks in developing countries (REDD+) is a potentially powerful international policy mechanism that many tropical countries are working towards implementing. Thus far, limited practical consideration has been paid to local rights to forests and forest resources in REDD+ readiness programs, beyond noting the importance of these issues. Previous studies have shown that community members can reliably and cost-effectively monitor forest biomass. At the same time, this can improve local ownership and forge important links between monitoring activities and local decision-making. Existing studies have, however, been static assessments of biomass at one point in time. REDD+ programs will require repeated surveys of biomass over extended time frames. Here, we examine trends in accuracy and costs of local forest monitoring over time. We analyse repeated measurements by community members and professional foresters of 289 plots over two years in four countries in Southeast Asia. This shows, for the first time, that with repeated measurements community members’ biomass measurements become increasingly accurate and costs decline. These findings provide additional support to available evidence that community members can play a strong role in monitoring forest biomass in the local implementation of REDD+.
      PubDate: 2014-07-30
      DOI: 10.3390/f5081834
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 8 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 1855-1878: Participating in REDD+ Measurement,
           Reporting, and Verification (PMRV): Opportunities for Local People?

    • Authors: Manuel Boissière, Guillaume Beaudoin, Carola Hofstee, Serge Rafanoharana
      Pages: 1855 - 1878
      Abstract: Assessing forest changes is the baseline requirement for successful forest management. Measurement, Reporting, and Verification (MRV) are three essential components for achieving such assessments. Community participation in resource monitoring and management is increasingly seen as a scientifically efficient, cost-effective, and equitable way to employ such practices, particularly in the context of REDD+. We developed a multidisciplinary approach to study the feasibility of Participatory MRV (PMRV) across three sites along a forest degradation gradient in Indonesia. We looked at both the local and national level needs of MRV. Our approach combines: (1) social research focusing on the enabling conditions for local participation in MRV; (2) governance analyses of existing MRV systems in forestry and health; and (3) remote sensing work comparing overlaps and gaps between satellite imagery and local assessments of forest changes. We considered in our approach the possible multiple benefits of PMRV (carbon mitigation, biodiversity conservation, livelihood security). Our study helped to identify the multiple stakeholders (communities, NGOs and governments) and what the levels of governance should be to make PMRV design and implementation feasible and sustainable.
      PubDate: 2014-07-31
      DOI: 10.3390/f5081855
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 8 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 1879-1895: Estimation of the Timber Quality of
           Scots Pine with Terrestrial Laser Scanning

    • Authors: Ville Kankare, Marianna Joensuu, Jari Vauhkonen, Markus Holopainen, Topi Tanhuanpää, Mikko Vastaranta, Juha Hyyppä, Hannu Hyyppä, Petteri Alho, Juha Rikala, Marketta Sipi
      Pages: 1879 - 1895
      Abstract: Preharvest information on the quality of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) timber is required by the forest industry in Nordic countries, due to the strong association between the technical quality and product recovery of this species in particular. The objective of this study was to assess the accuracy of estimating external quality attributes and classifying the quality of mature Scots pine trees by terrestrial laser scanning (TLS). The tree quality was estimated using a random forest approach, based on both field and TLS measurements of stem diameters, tree height and branch heights. The relative root mean squared errors of the TLS measurements for tree height, diameter, diameter at 6 m and the lowest living and dead branch height were 7.1%, 5.9%, 8.9%, 9.6% and 42.9%, respectively. The highest errors of the branch heights were caused by the shadowing effect in the point cloud data. The quality classes were estimated accurately, based on both (field and TLS measured) tree attributes. Trees were classified with 95.0% and 83.6% accuracy into three operationally-important quality classes and with 87.1% and 76.4% accuracy into five classes using, field or TLS measurements, respectively. The obtained quality classification results were promising. The enhanced tree quality information could have a significant effect on planning forest management procedures, wood supply chains and optimizing the flow of raw materials. To fully integrate tree quality measurements in operational forestry, the methods used should be fully automated.
      PubDate: 2014-07-31
      DOI: 10.3390/f5081879
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 8 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 1896-1909: Re-Greening Ethiopia: History,
           Challenges and Lessons

    • Authors: Mulugeta Lemenih, Habtemariam Kassa
      Pages: 1896 - 1909
      Abstract: In Ethiopia, deforestation rates remain high and the gap between demand and domestic supply of forest products is expanding, even though government-initiated re-greening efforts began over a century ago. Today, over 3 million hectares (ha) of degraded forest land are under area exclosure; smallholder plantations cover 0.8 million ha; and state-owned industrial plantations stagnate at under 0.25 million ha. This review captures experiences related to re-greening practices in Ethiopia, specifically with regards to area exclosure and afforestation and reforestation, and distills lessons regarding processes, achievements and challenges. The findings show that farmers and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are the main players, and that the private sector has so far played only a small role. The role of the government was mixed: supportive in some cases and hindering in others. The challenges of state- and NGO-led re-greening practices are: inadequate involvement of communities; poorly defined rehabilitation objectives; lack of management plans; unclear responsibilities and benefit-sharing arrangements; and poor silvicultural practices. The lessons include: a more active role for non-state actors in re-greening initiatives; more attention to market signals; devolution of management responsibility; clear definition of responsibilities and benefit-sharing arrangements; and better tenure security, which are all major factors to success.
      PubDate: 2014-07-31
      DOI: 10.3390/f5081896
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 8 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 1910-1930: Correlating the Horizontal and Vertical
           Distribution of LiDAR Point Clouds with Components of Biomass in a Picea
           crassifolia Forest

    • Authors: Wang Li, Zheng Niu, Shuai Gao, Ni Huang, Hanyue Chen
      Pages: 1910 - 1930
      Abstract: Light detection and ranging (LiDAR) has been widely used to estimate forest biomass. In this study, we aim to further explore this capability by correlating horizontal and vertical distribution of LiDAR data with components of biomass in a Picea crassifolia forest. Airborne small footprint full-waveform data were decomposed to acquire higher density point clouds. We calculated LiDAR metrics at the tree level and subplot level and correlated them to biomass components, including branch biomass (BB), leaf biomass (LB) and above-ground biomass (AGB), respectively. A new metric (Horizcv) describing the horizontal distribution of point clouds was proposed. This metric was found to be highly correlated with canopy biomass (BB and LB) at the tree level and subplot level. Correlation between AGB and Horizcv at the subplot level is much lower than that at tree level. AGB for subplot is highly correlated with the mean height metric (Hmean), canopy cover index (CCI) and the product of them. On the other hand, the relationship between the vertical distribution of LiDAR point and biomass was explored by developing two types of vertical profiles, including LiDAR distribution profiles and a biomass profile. Good relationships were found between these two types of vertical profiles and assessed by Pearson’s correlation coefficient (R) and the area of overlap index (AOI). These good correlations possess potential in predicting the vertical distribution of canopy biomass. Overall, it is concluded that not only the vertical, but also the horizontal distribution of LiDAR points should be taken into account in estimating components of biomass by LiDAR.
      PubDate: 2014-08-05
      DOI: 10.3390/f5081910
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 8 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 1931-1951: The Impact of Moss Species and Biomass
           on the Growth of Pinus sylvestris Tree Seedlings at Different
           Precipitation Frequencies

    • Authors: Babs Stuiver, David Wardle, Michael Gundale, Marie-Charlotte Nilsson
      Pages: 1931 - 1951
      Abstract: Boreal forests are characterized by an extensive moss layer, which may have both competitive and facilitative effects on forest regeneration. We conducted a greenhouse experiment to investigate how variation in moss species and biomass, in combination with precipitation frequency, affect Pinus sylvestris seedling growth. We found that moss species differed in their effects on seedling growth, and moss biomass had negative effects on seedlings, primarily when it reached maximal levels. When moss biomass was maximal, seedling biomass decreased, whereas height and above- relative to below-ground mass increased, due to competition for light. The effect that moss biomass had on seedling performance differed among the moss species. Hylocomium splendens and Polytrichum commune reduced seedling growth the most, likely because of their taller growth form. Seedlings were not adversely affected by Sphagnum girgensohnii and Pleurozium schreberi, possibly because they were not tall enough to compete for light and improved soil resource availability. Reduced precipitation frequency decreased the growth of all moss species, except P. commune, while it impaired the growth of seedlings only when they were grown with P. commune. Our findings suggest that changes in moss species and biomass, which can be altered by disturbance or climate change, can influence forest regeneration.
      PubDate: 2014-08-06
      DOI: 10.3390/f5081931
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 8 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 1952-1966: Soil Carbon Stocks in Two Hybrid
           Poplar-Hay Crop Systems in Southern Quebec, Canada

    • Authors: Kiara Winans, Joann Whalen, Alain Cogliastro, David Rivest, Lisa Ribaudo
      Pages: 1952 - 1966
      Abstract: Tree-based intercropping (TBI) systems, consisting of a medium to fast-growing woody species planted in widely-spaced rows with crops cultivated between tree rows, are a potential sink for atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2). TBI systems contribute to farm income in the long-term by improving soil quality, as indicated by soil carbon (C) storage, generating profits from crop plus tree production and potentially through C credit trading. The objectives of the current study were: (1) to evaluate soil C and nitrogen (N) stocks in soil depth increments in the 0–30 cm layer between tree rows of nine-year old hybrid poplar-hay intercropping systems, to compare these to C and N stocks in adjacent agricultural systems; and (2) to determine how hay yield, litterfall and percent total light transmittance (PTLT) were related to soil C and N stocks between tree rows and in adjacent agricultural systems. The two TBI study sites (St. Edouard and St. Paulin) had a hay intercrop with alternating rows of hybrid poplar clones and hardwoods and included an adjacent agricultural system with no trees (i.e., the control plots). Soil C and N stocks were greater in the 0–5 cm depth increment of the TBI system within 1 m of the hardwood row, to the west of the poplar row, compared to the sampling point 1 m east of poplar at St. Edouard (p = 0.02). However, the agricultural system stored more soil C than the nine-year old TBI system in the 20–30 cm and 0–30 cm depth increments. Accumulation of soil C in the 20–30 cm depth increment could be due to tillage-induced burial of non-harvested crop residues at the bottom of the plow-pan. Soil C and N stocks were similar at all depth increments in TBI and agricultural systems at St. Paulin. Soil C and N stocks were not related to hay yield, litterfall and PTLT at St. Paulin, but hay yield and PTLT were significantly correlated (R = 0.87, p < 0.05, n = 21), with lower hay yield in proximity to trees in the TBI system and similar hay yields in the middle of alleys as in the agricultural system. Nine years of TBI practices did not produce significant gains in soil C and N stocks in the 0–30 cm layer, indicating that the total C budget, including C sequestered in trees and unharvested components (litterfall and roots), must be assessed to determine the long-term profitability of TBI systems in Canada.
      PubDate: 2014-08-07
      DOI: 10.3390/f5081952
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 8 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 1967-1981: Biomass and Carbon Stocks of Sofala Bay
           Mangrove Forests

    • Authors: Almeida Sitoe, Luís Mandlate, Benard Guedes
      Pages: 1967 - 1981
      Abstract: Mangroves could be key ecosystems in strategies addressing the mitigation of climate changes through carbon storage. However, little is known regarding the carbon stocks of these ecosystems, particularly below-ground. This study was carried out in the mangrove forests of Sofala Bay, Central Mozambique, with the aim of quantifying carbon stocks of live and dead plant and soil components. The methods followed the procedures developed by the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) for mangrove forests. In this study, we developed a general allometric equation to estimate individual tree biomass and soil carbon content (up to 100 cm depth). We estimated the carbon in the whole mangrove ecosystem of Sofala Bay, including dead trees, wood debris, herbaceous, pneumatophores, litter and soil. The general allometric equation for live trees derived was [Above-ground tree dry weight (kg) = 3.254 × exp(0.065 × DBH)], root mean square error (RMSE = 4.244), and coefficient of determination (R2 = 0.89). The average total carbon storage of Sofala Bay mangrove was 218.5 Mg·ha−1, of which around 73% are stored in the soil. Mangrove conservation has the potential for REDD+ programs, especially in regions like Mozambique, which contains extensive mangrove areas with high deforestation and degradation rates.
      PubDate: 2014-08-14
      DOI: 10.3390/f5081967
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 8 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 1982-1998: Minimizing Risks of Invasive Alien Plant
           Species in Tropical Production Forest Management

    • Authors: Michael Padmanaba, Richard Corlett
      Pages: 1982 - 1998
      Abstract: Timber production is the most pervasive human impact on tropical forests, but studies of logging impacts have largely focused on timber species and vertebrates. This review focuses on the risk from invasive alien plant species, which has been frequently neglected in production forest management in the tropics. Our literature search resulted in 114 publications with relevant information, including books, book chapters, reports and papers. Examples of both invasions by aliens into tropical production forests and plantation forests as sources of invasions are presented. We discuss species traits and processes affecting spread and invasion, and silvicultural practices that favor invasions. We also highlight potential impacts of invasive plant species and discuss options for managing them in production forests. We suggest that future forestry practices need to reduce the risks of plant invasions by conducting surveillance for invasive species; minimizing canopy opening during harvesting; encouraging rapid canopy closure in plantations; minimizing the width of access roads; and ensuring that vehicles and other equipment are not transporting seeds of invasive species. Potential invasive species should not be planted within dispersal range of production forests. In invasive species management, forewarned is forearmed.
      PubDate: 2014-08-15
      DOI: 10.3390/f5081982
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 8 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 1999-2015: Large Area Mapping of Boreal Growing
           Stock Volume on an Annual and Multi-Temporal Level Using PALSAR L-Band
           Backscatter Mosaics

    • Authors: Sebastian Wilhelm, Christian Hüttich, Mikhail Korets, Christiane Schmullius
      Pages: 1999 - 2015
      Abstract: The forests of the Russian Taiga can be described as an enormous biomass and carbon reservoir. Therefore, they are of utmost importance for the global carbon cycle. Large-area forest inventories in these mostly remote regions are associated with logistical problems and high financial efforts. Remotely-sensed data from satellite platforms may have the capability to provide such huge amounts of information. This study presents an application-oriented approach to derive aboveground growing stock volume (GSV) maps using the annual large-area L-band backscatter mosaics provided by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). Furthermore, a multi-temporal map has been created to improve GSV estimation accuracy. Based on information from Russian forest inventory data, the maps were generated using the machine learning algorithm, RandomForest. The results showed the high potential of this method for an operational, large-scale and high-resolution biomass estimation over boreal forests. An RMSE from 55.2 to 63.3 m3/ha could be obtained for the annual maps. Using the multi-temporal approach, the error could be slightly reduced to 54.4 m3/ha.
      PubDate: 2014-08-20
      DOI: 10.3390/f5081999
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 8 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 2016-2036: Integration of Adaptation and Mitigation
           in Climate Change and Forest Policies in Indonesia and Vietnam

    • Authors: Pham Thuy, Moira Moeliono, Bruno Locatelli, Maria Brockhaus, Monica Gregorio, Sofi Mardiah
      Pages: 2016 - 2036
      Abstract: Forests play a major role in both climate change mitigation and adaptation, but few policies, if any, integrate these two aspects. Using Indonesia and Vietnam as case studies, we identify challenges at the national level but opportunities at the local level. Although both countries demonstrate political commitment to integrating adaptation and mitigation in their development plans, guidelines for policy and planning treat the two approaches separately. The main challenges identified are lack of knowledge, lack of political will, lack of financial incentives, and fragmentation of mandates and tasks of different government agencies. In contrast, at the local level, integration of mitigation and adaptation is facilitated by subnational autonomy, where mitigation projects might have adaptation co-benefits, and vice versa. Our results also show that many actors have a dual mandate that could bridge adaptation and mitigation if appropriate political and financial incentives are put in place. Successful integration of mitigation and adaptation policies would not only remove contradictions between policies, but also encourage governments that are designing domestic policies to exploit the potential for positive spillovers and realize the benefits of both approaches.
      PubDate: 2014-08-22
      DOI: 10.3390/f5082016
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 8 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 2037-2049: Total Stem and Merchantable Volume
           Equations of Norway Spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst.) Growing on Former
           Farmland in Sweden

    • Authors: Tord Johansson
      Pages: 2037 - 2049
      Abstract: An equation was constructed to estimate the stem volume of Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst.) in 145 stands growing on former farmland in Sweden (Latitude 56–63° N). The mean total age was 40 ± 13 (range 17–91) years, the mean diameter at breast height (ob) was 15 ± 4 (range 5–27) cm and the mean density was 1621 ± 902 (range 100–7600) stems ha−1. The equation which fits the data best used the diameter at breast height and total stem height as predictive variables. Merchantable volume equations for the estimation of commercial volume for any top diameter and bole length were developed. Soil types in the stands were sediments (coarse sand, fine sand and silt and heavy, medium and light clay), tills (sandy, fine sandy and silty) and peat. The standing volume was calculated; the mean was 253 ± 103 (range 26–507) m3 ha−1 with a MAI (mean annual increment) of 6.9±3.5 (range 1.3–16.7) m3 ha−1 year−1. There were statistically significant differences between MAI and coarse sand, sand and silt, light clay, peat and silty till soils. Spruce stands growing on silty tills had the lowest MAI (4.94 ± 2.27 m3 ha−1 year−1) and light clay, fine sand and silt and peat the highest (7.62 ± 4.24, 7.46 ± 3.33 and 8.67 ± 2.83 m3 ha−1 year−1).
      PubDate: 2014-08-22
      DOI: 10.3390/f5082037
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 8 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 1508-1531: The Contribution of Multiple Use Forest
           Management to Small Farmers’ Annual Incomes in the Eastern Amazon

    • Authors: Plinio Sist, Philippe Sablayrolles, Sophie Barthelon, Liz Sousa-Ota, Jean-François Kibler, Ademir Ruschel, Marcelo Santos-Melo, Driss Ezzine-de-Blas
      Pages: 1508 - 1531
      Abstract: Small-scale farmers in the Brazilian Amazon collectively hold tenure over more than 12 million ha of permanent forest reserves, as required by the Forest Code. The trade-off between forest conservation and other land uses entails opportunity costs for them and for the country, which have not been sufficiently studied. We assessed the potential income generated by multiple use forest management for farmers and compared it to the income potentially derived from six other agricultural land uses. Income from the forest was from (i) logging, carried out by a logging company in partnership with farmers’ associations; and (ii) harvesting the seeds of Carapa guianensis (local name andiroba) for the production of oil. We then compared the income generated by multiple-use forest management with the income from different types of agrarian systems. According to our calculations in this study, the mean annual economic benefits from multiple forest use are the same as the least productive agrarian system, but only 25% of the annual income generated by the most productive system. Although the income generated by logging may be considered low when calculated on an annual basis and compared to incomes generated by agriculture, the one-time payment after logging is significant (US$5,800 to US$33,508) and could be used to implement more intensive and productive cropping systems such as planting black pepper. The income from forest management could also be used to establish permanent fields in deforested areas for highly productive annual crops using conservation agriculture techniques. These techniques are alternatives to the traditional land use based on periodic clearing of the forest. Nevertheless, the shift in current practices towards adoption of more sustainable conservation agriculture techniques will also require the technical and legal support of the State to help small farmers apply these alternatives, which aim to integrate forest management in sustainable agricultural production systems.
      PubDate: 2014-06-26
      DOI: 10.3390/f5071508
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 7 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 1532-1564: Assessing Independent Variables Used in
           Econometric Modeling Forest Land Use or Land Cover Change: A Meta-Analysis

    • Authors: James Jeuck, Frederick Cubbage, Robert Abt, Robert Bardon, James McCarter, John Coulston, Mitch Renkow
      Pages: 1532 - 1564
      Abstract: We conducted a meta-analysis on 64 econometric models from 47 studies predicting forestland conversion to agriculture (F2A), forestland to development (F2D), forestland to non-forested (F2NF) and undeveloped (including forestland) to developed (U2D) land. Over 250 independent econometric variables were identified from 21 F2A models, 21 F2D models, 12 F2NF models, and 10 U2D models. These variables were organized into a hierarchy of 119 independent variable groups, 15 categories, and 4 econometric drivers suitable for conducting simple vote count statistics. Vote counts were summarized at the independent variable group level and formed into ratios estimating the predictive success of each variable group. Two ratios estimates were developed based on (1) proportion of times the independent variables had statistical significance and (2) proportion of times independent variables met the original study authors’ expectations. In F2D models, we confirmed the success of popular independent variables such as population, income, and urban proximity estimates but found timber rents and site productivity variables less successful. In F2A models, we confirmed success of popular explanatory variables such as forest and agricultural rents and costs, governmental programs, and site quality, but we found population, income, and urban proximity estimates less successful. In U2D models, successful independent variables found were urban rents and costs, zoning issues concerning forestland loss, site quality, urban proximity, population, and income. In F2NF models, we found poor success using timber rents but high success using agricultural rents, site quality, population, and income. Success ratios and discussion of new or less popular, but promising, variables was also included. This meta-analysis provided insight into the general success of econometric independent variables for future forest-use or -cover change research.
      PubDate: 2014-07-03
      DOI: 10.3390/f5071532
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 7 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 1565-1583: Correction of Erroneous LiDAR
           Measurements in Artificial Forest Canopy Experimental Setups

    • Authors: Renato Cifuentes, Dimitry Van der Zande, Christian Salas, Jamshid Farifteh, Pol Coppin
      Pages: 1565 - 1583
      Abstract: Terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) data makes possible to directly characterize the three-dimensional (3D) distribution of canopy foliage elements. The scanned edges of these elements may result in incorrectly point measurements (i.e., “ghost points”) impacting the quality of point cloud data. Therefore, estimation of the ghost points’ spatial visibilities, measurement of their characteristics and their removal are essential. In order to quantify the improvements on data quality, a method is developed in this study to efficiently correct for ghost points. Since the occurrence of ghost points is governed by a number of factors, (e.g., scanning resolution and distance, object properties, incident angle); the developed method is based on the analysis of the effects of these factors under controlled conditions where canopy-like objects (i.e., leaves, branches and layers of leaves) were scanned using a continuous-wave TLS system that employs phase-shift technology. Manual extraction of ghost points was done in order to calculate the relative amount of ghost points per scan, or ghost points ratio (gpr). The gpr values were computed in order to: (i) analyze their relationships with variables representing the above factors; and (ii) be used as a reference to evaluate the performance of filters used for extraction of ghost points. The ghost points’ occurrence was modeled by fitting regression models using different predictor variables that represent the variables under study. The obtained results indicated that reduced models with three predictors were suitable for gpr estimation in artificial leaves and in artificial branches, with a relative root mean squared error (RMSE) of 4.7% and 3.7%, respectively; while the full model with four predictors was appropriate for artificial layers of leaves, with relative RMSE of 4.5%. According to the statistical analysis, scanning distance was identified as the most important variable for modeling ghost points occurrence. Results indicated that optimized distance-based filters relative to the scanning distance have improved the outcomes in ghost points detection, in comparison to standard filtering criteria. These results suggest that more accurate characterization of forest canopy 3D structures can be achieved by removing ghost points using the new developed method.
      PubDate: 2014-07-03
      DOI: 10.3390/f5071565
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 7 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 1584-1595: Methods for Rapid Screening in Woody
           Plant Herbicide Development

    • Authors: William Stanley, Shepard Zedaker, John Seiler, Patrick Burch
      Pages: 1584 - 1595
      Abstract: Methods for woody plant herbicide screening were assayed with the goal of reducing resources and time required to conduct preliminary screenings for new products. Rapid screening methods tested included greenhouse seedling screening, germinal screening, and seed screening. Triclopyr and eight experimental herbicides from Dow AgroSciences (DAS 313, 402, 534, 548, 602, 729, 779, and 896) were tested on black locust, loblolly pine, red maple, sweetgum, and water oak. Screening results detected differences in herbicide and species in all experiments in much less time (days to weeks) than traditional field screenings and consumed significantly less resources (<500 mg acid equivalent per herbicide per screening). Using regression analysis, various rapid screening methods were linked into a system capable of rapidly and inexpensively assessing herbicide efficacy and spectrum of activity. Implementation of such a system could streamline early-stage herbicide development leading to field trials, potentially freeing resources for use in development of beneficial new herbicide products.
      PubDate: 2014-07-04
      DOI: 10.3390/f5071584
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 7 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 1596-1617: Options for a National Framework for
           Benefit Distribution and Their Relation to Community-Based and National
           REDD+ Monitoring

    • Authors: Margaret Skutsch, Esther Turnhout, Marjanneke Vijge, Martin Herold, Tjeerd Wits, Jan den Besten, Arturo Torres
      Pages: 1596 - 1617
      Abstract: Monitoring is a central element in the implementation of national REDD+ and may be essential in providing the data needed to support benefit distribution. We discuss the options for benefit sharing systems in terms of technical feasibility and political acceptability in respect of equity considerations, and the kind of data that would be needed for the different options. We contrast output-based distribution systems, in which rewards are distributed according to performance measured in terms of carbon impacts, with input-based systems in which performance is measured in term of compliance with prescribed REDD+ activities. Output-based systems, which would require regular community carbon inventories to produce Tier 3 data locally, face various challenges particularly for the case of assessing avoided deforestation, and they may not be perceived as equitable. Input-based systems would require data on activities undertaken rather than change in stocks; this information could come from community-acquired data. We also consider how community monitored data could support national forest monitoring systems and the further development of national REDD+.
      PubDate: 2014-07-08
      DOI: 10.3390/f5071596
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 7 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 1618-1634: A Quantitative Index of Forest
           Structural Sustainability

    • Authors: Jonathan Cale, Stephen Teale, Justin West, Lianjun Zhang, David Castello, Peter Devlin, John Castello
      Pages: 1618 - 1634
      Abstract: Forest health is a complex concept including many ecosystem functions, interactions and values. We develop a quantitative system applicable to many forest types to assess tree mortality with respect to stable forest structure and composition. We quantify impacts of observed tree mortality on structure by comparison to baseline mortality, and then develop a system that distinguishes between structurally stable and unstable forests. An empirical multivariate index of structural sustainability and a threshold value (70.6) derived from 22 nontropical tree species’ datasets differentiated structurally sustainable from unsustainable diameter distributions. Twelve of 22 species populations were sustainable with a mean score of 33.2 (median = 27.6). Ten species populations were unsustainable with a mean score of 142.6 (median = 130.1). Among them, Fagus grandifolia, Pinus lambertiana, P. ponderosa, and Nothofagus solandri were attributable to known disturbances; whereas the unsustainability of Abies balsamea, Acer rubrum, Calocedrus decurrens, Picea engelmannii, P. rubens, and Prunus serotina populations were not. This approach provides the ecological framework for rational management decisions using routine inventory data to objectively: determine scope and direction of change in structure and composition, assess excessive or insufficient mortality, compare disturbance impacts in time and space, and prioritize management needs and allocation of scarce resources.
      PubDate: 2014-07-09
      DOI: 10.3390/f5071618
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 7 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 1635-1652: Large-Scale Mapping of Carbon Stocks in
           Riparian Forests with Self-Organizing Maps and the k-Nearest-Neighbor

    • Authors: Leonhard Suchenwirth, Wolfgang Stümer, Tobias Schmidt, Michael Förster, Birgit Kleinschmit
      Pages: 1635 - 1652
      Abstract: Among the machine learning tools being used in recent years for environmental applications such as forestry, self-organizing maps (SOM) and the k-nearest neighbor (kNN) algorithm have been used successfully. We applied both methods for the mapping of organic carbon (Corg) in riparian forests due to their considerably high carbon storage capacity. Despite the importance of floodplains for carbon sequestration, a sufficient scientific foundation for creating large-scale maps showing the spatial Corg distribution is still missing. We estimated organic carbon in a test site in the Danube Floodplain based on RapidEye remote sensing data and additional geodata. Accordingly, carbon distribution maps of vegetation, soil, and total Corg stocks were derived. Results were compared and statistically evaluated with terrestrial survey data for outcomes with pure remote sensing data and for the combination with additional geodata using bias and the Root Mean Square Error (RMSE). Results show that SOM and kNN approaches enable us to reproduce spatial patterns of riparian forest Corg stocks. While vegetation Corg has very high RMSEs, outcomes for soil and total Corg stocks are less biased with a lower RMSE, especially when remote sensing and additional geodata are conjointly applied. SOMs show similar percentages of RMSE to kNN estimations.
      PubDate: 2014-07-11
      DOI: 10.3390/f5071635
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 7 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 1653-1681: Operationalizing the Definition of
           Forest Degradation for REDD+, with Application to Mexico

    • Authors: Lucia Morales-Barquero, Margaret Skutsch, Enrique Jardel-Peláez, Adrian Ghilardi, Christoph Kleinn, John Healey
      Pages: 1653 - 1681
      Abstract: The difficulty of defining and quantifying forest degradation is a major constraint in the implementation of the international mitigation mechanism Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+). Our aim is to develop an operational framework for defining and quantifying forest degradation at a local level for early REDD+ projects and for national REDD+ programmes, through a ground level approach. We critically review and discuss national and international definitions of forest and of forest degradation, and then analyze the main difficulties in making these operational, evaluating the key elements and threshold values that are used, and contextualizing them using Mexico as a case study. We conclude that, given the lack of historical biomass data and the limited capability for monitoring degradation using remote sensing, forest degradation is best measured against a local benchmark that represents areas of low or no degradation that have comparable biophysical characteristics. Use of benchmarks of this type could offer a quick-start option for local assessment and construction of reference levels for forest degradation. These could be refined as more data become available and could eventually be integrated into national monitoring systems.
      PubDate: 2014-07-11
      DOI: 10.3390/f5071653
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 7 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 1682-1694: Outlook for the Next Generation’s
           Precision Forestry in Finland

    • Authors: Markus Holopainen, Mikko Vastaranta, Juha Hyyppä
      Pages: 1682 - 1694
      Abstract: During the past decade in forest mapping and monitoring applications, the ability to acquire spatially accurate, 3D remote-sensing information by means of laser scanning, digital stereo imagery and radar imagery has been a major turning point. These 3D data sets that use single- or multi-temporal point clouds enable a wide range of applications when combined with other geoinformation and logging machine-measured data. New technologies enable precision forestry, which can be defined as a method to accurately determine characteristics of forests and treatments at stand, sub-stand or individual tree level. In precision forestry, even individual tree-level assessments can be used for simulation and optimization models of the forest management decision support system. At the moment, the forest industry in Finland is looking forward to next generation’s forest inventory techniques to improve the current wood procurement practices. Our vision is that in the future, the data solution for detailed forest management and wood procurement will be to use multi-source and -sensor information. In this communication, we review our recent findings and describe our future vision in precision forestry research in Finland.
      PubDate: 2014-07-15
      DOI: 10.3390/f5071682
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 7 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 1695-1716: Factors Influencing the Choice of
           Management Strategy among Small-Scale Private Forest Owners in Sweden

    • Authors: Jeannette Eggers, Tomas Lämås, Torgny Lind, Karin Öhman
      Pages: 1695 - 1716
      Abstract: Half of the productive forest area in Sweden is owned by small-scale private forest owners. However, there is a lack of comprehensive information that would allow categorizing small-scale private forest owners according to their management strategy. In this study, we surveyed small-scale private forest owners in Sweden to determine the proportions who applied various management strategies. We analyzed the results using chi-square tests to identify the most relevant factors affecting the management strategy choices of individual forest owners. We found that “soft” factors, such as the importance of income from the forest, membership in a forest owners’ association, certification and an interest in and knowledge of forestry issues, had a stronger impact on the choice of management strategy than most “hard” factors related to the owner or the property, such as gender and distance between the owner’s residence and the property. However, property size was the most important factor and was associated with the importance of income derived from the forest and several other soft factors.
      PubDate: 2014-07-15
      DOI: 10.3390/f5071695
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 7 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 1717-1736: Effects of Silviculture and Genetics on
           Branch/Knot Attributes of Coastal Pacific Northwest Douglas-Fir and
           Implications for Wood Quality—A Synthesis

    • Authors: Eini Lowell, Douglas Maguire, David Briggs, Eric Turnblom, Keith Jayawickrama, Jed Bryce
      Pages: 1717 - 1736
      Abstract: Douglas-fir is the most commercially important timber species in the US Pacific Northwest due to its ecological prevalence and its superior wood attributes, especially strength and stiffness properties that make it highly prized for structural applications. Its economic significance has led to extensive establishment and management of plantations over the last few decades. Cultural treatments and genetic improvement designed to increase production of utilizable wood volume also impact tree morphology and wood properties. Many of these impacts are mediated by crown development, particularly the amount and distribution of foliage and size and geometry of branches. Natural selection for branch architecture that optimizes reproductive fitness may not necessarily be optimal for stem volume growth rate or for wood properties controlling the quality of manufactured solid wood products. Furthermore, Douglas-fir does not self-prune within the rotation lengths currently practiced. This paper synthesizes extensive Douglas-fir research in the Pacific Northwest addressing: (1) the effects of silviculture and genetics on branch structure and associated consequences for wood quality and the product value chain; and (2) methods to measure, monitor, modify, and model branch attributes to assist managers in selecting appropriate silvicultural techniques to achieve wood quality objectives and improve the value of their Douglas-fir resource.
      PubDate: 2014-07-22
      DOI: 10.3390/f5071717
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 7 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 1737-1752: Challenges of Governing Second-Growth
           Forests: A Case Study from the Brazilian Amazonian State of Pará

    • Authors: Ima Vieira, Toby Gardner, Joice Ferreira, Alexander Lees, Jos Barlow
      Pages: 1737 - 1752
      Abstract: Despite the growing ecological and social importance of second-growth and regenerating forests across much of the world, significant inconsistencies remain in the legal framework governing these forests in many tropical countries and elsewhere. Such inconsistencies and uncertainties undermine attempts to improve both the transparency and sustainability of management regimes. Here, we present a case-study overview of some of the main challenges facing the governance of second-growth forests and the forest restoration process in the Brazilian Amazon, with a focus on the state of Pará, which is both the most populous state in the Amazon and the state with the highest rates of deforestation in recent years. First, we briefly review the history of environmental governance in Brazil that has led to the current system of legislation governing second-growth forests and the forest restoration process in Pará. Next, we draw on this review to examine the kinds of legislative and operational impediments that stand in the way of the development and implementation of a more effective governance system. In particular, we highlight problems created by significant ambiguities in legal terminology and inconsistencies in guidance given across different levels of government. We also outline some persistent problems with the implementation of legal guidance, including the need to understand local biophysical factors in order to guide an effective restoration program, as well as difficulties presented by access to technical assistance, institutional support and financial resources for the establishment and monitoring of both existing secondary forests and newly regenerating areas of forest. Whilst we focus here on a Brazilian case study, we suggest that these kinds of impediments to the good governance of second-growth forests are commonplace and require more concerted attention from researchers, managers and policy makers.
      PubDate: 2014-07-22
      DOI: 10.3390/f5071737
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 7 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 1753-1776: Exploiting Growing Stock Volume Maps for
           Large Scale Forest Resource Assessment: Cross-Comparisons of ASAR- and
           PALSAR-Based GSV Estimates with Forest Inventory in Central Siberia

    • Authors: Christian Hüttich, Mikhail Korets, Sergey Bartalev, Vasily Zharko, Dmitry Schepaschenko, Anatoly Shvidenko, Christiane Schmullius
      Pages: 1753 - 1776
      Abstract: Growing stock volume is an important biophysical parameter describing the state and dynamics of the Boreal zone. Validation of growing stock volume (GSV) maps based on satellite remote sensing is challenging due to the lack of consistent ground reference data. The monitoring and assessment of the remote Russian forest resources of Siberia can only be done by integrating remote sensing techniques and interdisciplinary collaboration. In this paper, we assess the information content of GSV estimates in Central Siberian forests obtained at 25 m from ALOS-PALSAR and 1 km from ENVISAT-ASAR backscatter data. The estimates have been cross-compared with respect to forest inventory data showing 34% relative RMSE for the ASAR-based GSV retrievals and 39.4% for the PALSAR-based estimates of GSV. Fragmentation analyses using a MODIS-based land cover dataset revealed an increase of retrieval error with increasing fragmentation of the landscape. Cross-comparisons of multiple SAR-based GSV estimates helped to detect inconsistencies in the forest inventory data and can support an update of outdated forest inventory stands.
      PubDate: 2014-07-22
      DOI: 10.3390/f5071753
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 7 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 1777-1797: Historical Patterns of Natural Forest
           Management in Costa Rica: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

    • Authors: J. Arroyo-Mora, Sienna Svob, Margaret Kalacska, Robin Chazdon
      Pages: 1777 - 1797
      Abstract: We present an in-depth analysis of natural forest management practices in Costa Rica based on a new historical forestry GIS database encompassing five conservation regions in the country where selective logging has been prevalent for the last 18 years. Natural forest management refers to the selective logging practices for the production of timber in natural forest ecosystems. The study considers natural forest management plans developed following a standardized format, based on Forestry Law 7575, established in 1996. Our results show a positive aspect of forest management where a large percentage of the managed forest is still standing, contrary to other tropical countries where selective logging promotes land use change. The negative finding is that managed forest areas occur in the last remaining forest fragments outside of protected areas, which challenges the continuity of selective logging in the near and mid future due to the potential impoverishment of the isolated forest stands. The most negative aspect is the recent establishment, by law, of a very short return logging cycle (10–15 years—minimum cutting cycle) as it contradicts ecological studies showing that tropical forests require over 60 years for the forest structure and composition to return to a state similar to pre-logging states. Our results should inform decision makers and managers in conservation areas to review current policies and establish new benchmarks for sustainable forest management in the country.
      PubDate: 2014-07-23
      DOI: 10.3390/f5071777
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 7 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 1798-1814: Optical Medium Spatial Resolution
           Satellite Constellation Data for Monitoring Woodland in the UK

    • Authors: Ebenezer Ogunbadewa, Richard Armitage, F. Danson
      Pages: 1798 - 1814
      Abstract: The aim of this study was to test the potential of a constellation of remote sensing satellites, the Disaster Monitoring Constellation (DMC), for retrieving a temporal record of forest leaf area index (LAI) in the United Kingdom (U.K.). Ground-based LAI measurements were made over a 12-month period in broadleaf woodland at Risley Moss Nature Reserve, Lancashire, U.K. The ground-based LAI varied between zero in January to a maximum of 4.5 in July. Nine DMC images, combining data from UK-DMC and NigeriaSat-1, were acquired, and all images were cross-calibrated and atmospherically corrected. The spectral reflectance of the test site was extracted, and a range of vegetation indices were then computed and correlated with the ground measurements of LAI. The soil adjusted vegetation index (SAVI) had the strongest correlation, and this was used to derive independent estimates of LAI using the “leave-one-out” method. The root mean square error of the LAI estimates was 0.47, which was close to that calculated for the ground-measured LAI. This study shows, for the first time, that data from a constellation of high temporal, medium spatial resolution optical satellite sensors may be used to map seasonal variation in woodland canopy leaf area index (LAI) in cloud-prone areas, like the U.K.
      PubDate: 2014-07-23
      DOI: 10.3390/f5071798
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 7 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 1122-1142: Sensitivity Analysis of 3D Individual
           Tree Detection from LiDAR Point Clouds of Temperate Forests

    • Authors: Wei Yao, Jan Krull, Peter Krzystek, Marco Heurich
      Pages: 1122 - 1142
      Abstract: Light detection and ranging (LiDAR) sampling or full-area coverage is deemed as favorable means to achieve timely and robust characterizations of forests. Recently, a 3D segmentation approach was developed for extracting single trees from LiDAR data. However, key parameters for modules used in the strategy had to be empirically determined. This paper highlights a comprehensive study for the sensitivity analysis of 3D single tree detection from airborne LiDAR data. By varying key parameters, their influences on results are to be quantified. The aim of the study is to enlighten the optimal combination of parameter values towards new applications. For the experiment, a number of sample plots from two temperate forest sites in Europe were selected. LiDAR data with a point density of 25 pts/m2 over the first site in the Bavarian forest national park were captured with under both leaf-on and leaf-off conditions. Moreover, a Riegl scanner was used to acquire data over the Austrian Alps forest with four-fold point densities of 5 pts/m2, 10 pts/m2, 15 pts/m2 and 20 pts/m2, respectively, under leaf-off conditions. The study results proved the robustness and efficiency of the 3D segmentation approach. Point densities larger than 10 pts/m2 did not seem to significantly contribute to the improvement in the performance of 3D tree detection. The performance of the approach can be further examined and improved by optimizing the parameter settings with respect to different data properties and forest structures.
      PubDate: 2014-05-28
      DOI: 10.3390/f5061122
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 6 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 1143-1162: Governing Forest Landscape Restoration:
           Cases from Indonesia

    • Authors: Cora van Oosten, Petrus Gunarso, Irene Koesoetjahjo, Freerk Wiersum
      Pages: 1143 - 1162
      Abstract: Forest landscape restoration includes both the planning and implementation of measures to restore degraded forests within the perspective of the wider landscape. Governing forest landscape restoration requires fundamental considerations about the conceptualisation of forested landscapes and the types of restoration measures to be taken, and about who should be engaged in the governance process. A variety of governance approaches to forest landscape restoration exist, differing in both the nature of the object to be governed and the mode of governance. This paper analyses the nature and governance of restoration in three cases of forest landscape restoration in Indonesia. In each of these cases, both the original aim for restoration and the initiators of the process differ. The cases also differ in how deeply embedded they are in formal spatial planning mechanisms at the various political scales. Nonetheless, the cases show similar trends. All cases show a dynamic process of mobilising the landscape’s stakeholders, plus a flexible process of crafting institutional space for conflict management, negotiation and decision making at the landscape level. As a result, the landscape focus changed over time from reserved forests to forested mosaic lands. The cases illustrate that the governance of forest landscape restoration should not be based on strict design criteria, but rather on a flexible governance approach that stimulates the creation of novel public-private institutional arrangements at the landscape level.
      PubDate: 2014-05-28
      DOI: 10.3390/f5061143
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 6 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 1163-1184: Wood Density-Climate Relationships Are
           Mediated by Dominance Class in Black Spruce (Picea mariana (Mill.) B.S.P.)

    • Authors: Wei Xiang, David Auty, Tony Franceschini, Mathew Leitch, Alexis Achim
      Pages: 1163 - 1184
      Abstract: The relationships between climate and wood density components, i.e., minimum ring density, maximum ring density and mean ring density have been studied mainly in dominant trees. However, the applicability of the findings to trees of other dominance classes is unclear. The aim of this study was to address whether climate differentially influences wood density components among dominance classes. X-ray densitometry data was obtained from 72 black spruce (Picea mariana (Mill.) B.S.P.) trees harvested in Northwestern Ontario, Canada. Dominant, co-dominant and intermediate trees were sampled and the data analysed using mixed-effect modelling techniques. For each density component, models were first fitted to the pooled data using ring width and cambial age as predictors, before monthly climatic variables were integrated into the models. Then, separate models were fitted to the data from each dominance class. In general, the addition of climatic factors led to a small but significant improvement in model performance. The predicted historical trends were well synchronized with the observed data. Our results indicate that trees from all dominance classes in a stand should be sampled in order to fully characterize wood density-climate relationships.
      PubDate: 2014-05-28
      DOI: 10.3390/f5061163
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 6 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 1185-1193: Discovery of Walnut Twig Beetle,
           Pityophthorus juglandis, Associated with Forested Black Walnut, Juglans
           nigra, in the Eastern U.S.

    • Authors: Gregory Wiggins, Jerome Grant, Paris Lambdin, Paul Merten, Katheryne Nix, Denita Hadziabdic, Mark Windham
      Pages: 1185 - 1193
      Abstract: Thousand cankers disease (TCD) is an insect-mediated disease of walnut trees (Juglans spp.) involving walnut twig beetle (Pityophthorus juglandis) and a fungal pathogen (Geosmithia morbida). Although first documented on walnut species in the western U.S., TCD is now found on black walnut (J. nigra) in five states in the eastern U.S. Most collections of P. juglandis or G. morbida are from trees in agriculturally- or residentially-developed landscapes. In 2013, 16 pheromone-baited funnel traps were deployed in or near black walnuts in forested conditions to assess the risk of infestation of forested trees by P. juglandis. Four of the 16 funnel traps collected adult P. juglandis from three forested areas (one in North Carolina and two in Tennessee). These collections, while in forested settings, may still be strongly influenced by human activities. The greatest number of P. juglandis (n = 338) was collected from a forested location in an urbanized area near a known TCD-positive tree. The other two forested locations where P. juglandis (n = 3) was collected were in areas where camping is common, and infested firewood may have introduced P. juglandis unintentionally into the area. Future studies to assess P. juglandis on more isolated forested walnuts are planned.
      PubDate: 2014-05-28
      DOI: 10.3390/f5061185
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 6 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 1194-1211: Growth Response of Northern White-Cedar
           (Thuja occidentalis) to Natural Disturbances and Partial Cuts in Mixedwood
           Stands of Quebec, Canada

    • Authors: Jean-Claude Ruel, Jean-Martin Lussier, Sabrina Morissette, Nicolas Ricodeau
      Pages: 1194 - 1211
      Abstract: Northern white-cedar (Thuja occidentalis) is a species of high commercial and ecological value, the abundance of which has been declining since the middle of the 19th century. Very little information regarding its silviculture in mixedwood stands is currently available, even though a significant portion of wood resources comes from these stands. The present study is a retrospective analysis of white-cedar growth in partially harvested mixedwood stands of western Quebec, Canada. Eight stands distributed across two regions were analyzed. Dendrochronological approaches examined long-term diameter growth for sample white-cedar trees and stems of associated species. These approaches were used to reconstruct stand characteristics at the time of harvesting, together with local harvesting intensity. The study demonstrated white-cedar’s capacity to maintain good growth for long periods of time and at large tree sizes. Accession to the upper canopy positions occurs through repeated episodes of suppression/release, most of which seem to be associated with spruce budworm (Choristoneura fumiferana) outbreaks. White-cedar response to partial harvesting varies with tree size, residual basal area and species composition. Growth response was generally stronger for small trees, even though large trees still maintained the best diameter growth. Growth of white-cedar was negatively affected by an increase in softwood proportion in basal area. Growth responses to harvesting could be sustained for a period of 20 years.
      PubDate: 2014-05-28
      DOI: 10.3390/f5061194
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 6 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 1212-1223: Estimating Soil Displacement from Timber
           Extraction Trails in Steep Terrain: Application of an Unmanned Aircraft
           for 3D Modelling

    • Authors: Marek Pierzchała, Bruce Talbot, Rasmus Astrup
      Pages: 1212 - 1223
      Abstract: Skid trails constructed for timber extraction in steep terrain constitute a serious environmental concern if not well planned, executed and ameliorated. Carrying out post-harvest surveys in monitoring constructed trails in such terrain is an onerous task for forest administrators, as hundreds of meters need to be surveyed per site, and the quantification of parameters and volumes is largely based on assumptions of trail symmetry and terrain uniformity. In this study, aerial imagery captured from a multi-rotor Unmanned Aerial Vehicle was used in generating a detailed post-harvest terrain model which included all skid trails. This was then compared with an Airborne Laser Scanning derived pre-harvest terrain model and the dimensions, slopes and cut-and-fill volumes associated with the skid trails were determined. The overall skid trail length was 954 m, or 381 m·ha−1 with segments varying from 40–60 m, inclinations from 3.9% to 9.6%, and cut volumes, from 1.7 to 3.7 m3 per running meter. The methods used in this work can be used in rapidly assessing the extent of disturbance and erosion risk on a wide range of sites. The multi-rotor Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) was found to be highly suited to the task, given the relatively small size of harvested stands, their shape and their location in the mountainous terrain.
      PubDate: 2014-06-10
      DOI: 10.3390/f5061212
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 6 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 1224-1242: Vulnerability of Plantation Carbon
           Stocks to Defoliation under Current and Future Climates

    • Authors: Elizabeth Pinkard, Keryn Paul, Michael Battaglia, Jody Bruce
      Pages: 1224 - 1242
      Abstract: Plantation species globally are susceptible to a range of defoliating pests, but pest damage is rarely considered when estimating biomass C sequestered by these forests. We examined the impacts of defoliation on Eucalyptus globulus plantation C stocks under current and future climates using Mycospharella Leaf Disease (MLD) as a case study, hypothesising that biomass C sequestered in plantations would decrease with a warming and drying climate, and that impacts of defoliation would be strongly site dependent. Six E. globulus plantation sites with varying productivity were selected for the study. Current (1961–2005) and future (2030 and 2070) severity and frequency of MLD were estimated for each site using the bioclimatic niche model CLIMEX, and used as inputs to the process-based forest productivity model CABALA. CABALA was used to develop annual estimates of total living and dead biomass for current, 2030 and 2070 climate scenarios. Averaged annual biomass outputs were used to initialise the carbon accounting model FullCAM for calculation of C sequestered in living and dead biomass over a growing cycle. E. globulus plantations were predicted to sequester between 4.8 and 13.4 Mg C·ha−1·year−1 over 10 years under current climatic conditions. While our estimates suggest that overall this is likely to increase slightly under future climates (up to a maximum of 17.2 Mg C·ha−1·year−1 in 2030, and a shift in minimum and maximum values to 7.6 and 17.6 respectively in 2070), we predict considerable between-site variation. Our results suggest that biomass C sequestration will not necessarily be enhanced by future climatic conditions in all locations. We predict that biomass C sequestration may be reduced considerably by defoliation meaning that any gains in C sequestration associated with changing climate may be substantially offset by defoliation. While defoliation has a generally small impact under current climatic conditions in these plantations, the impact is likely to increase in the future, with reductions of up to 40% predicted for some sites under future climates. We conclude that the combined impacts of climate change on pest frequency and severity, and on host responses to defoliation, may reduce biomass C sequestration in E. globulus plantations in the future.
      PubDate: 2014-06-10
      DOI: 10.3390/f5061224
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 6 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 1243-1266: Comparative Structural Dynamics of the
           Janj Mixed Old-Growth Mountain Forest in Bosnia and Herzegovina: Are
           Conifers in a Long-Term Decline'

    • Authors: Srdjan Keren, Renzo Motta, Zoran Govedar, Radovan Lucic, Milan Medarevic, Jurij Diaci
      Pages: 1243 - 1266
      Abstract: Regression of conifers in European mixed old-growth mountain forests has been observed for a long period and studied from different aspects. Old-growth (OG) forests in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) have not experienced heavy air pollution and chronic overbrowsing that have affected many other European OG forests, while climatic and anthropogenic disturbances have been well documented. We analysed stand structure in the Janj OG forest, compared it with inventories of Lom and Perucica OG forests (BiH) and with earlier inventories of the same reserves. At present, OG forest Janj is characterized by a high growing stock (1215 m3∙ha−1). This is due to good site quality, prevalence of conifers (84%) and dominant endogenous processes in recent decades. In all three OG forests, indicators of structural change exhibited progression of European beech over time. Historical evidence revealed the occurrence of warm summers and droughts followed by bark beetle outbreaks in the 1920s, 1940s and early 1950s, which in turn influenced a marked conifer decline. It seems likely that repeated canopy opening released waves of European beech regeneration. These stand structural changes have delayed the rejuvenation of conifers and can help explain the early observations of conifer decline.
      PubDate: 2014-06-10
      DOI: 10.3390/f5061243
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 6 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 1267-1283: Mapping Forest Biomass Using Remote
           Sensing and National Forest Inventory in China

    • Authors: Ling Du, Tao Zhou, Zhenhua Zou, Xiang Zhao, Kaicheng Huang, Hao Wu
      Pages: 1267 - 1283
      Abstract: Quantifying the spatial pattern of large-scale forest biomass can provide a general picture of the carbon stocks within a region and is of great scientific and political importance. The combination of the advantages of remote sensing data and field survey data can reduce uncertainty as well as demonstrate the spatial distribution of forest biomass. In this study, the seventh national forest inventory statistics (for the period 2004–2008) and the spatially explicit MODIS Land Cover Type product (MCD12C1) were used together to quantitatively estimate the spatially-explicit distribution of forest biomass in China (with a resolution of 0.05°, ~5600 m). Our study demonstrated that the calibrated forest cover proportion maps allow proportionate downscaling of regional forest biomass statistics to forest cover pixels to produce a relatively fine-resolution biomass map. The total stock of forest biomass in China was 11.9 Pg with an average of 76.3 Mg ha−1 during the study period; the high values were located in mountain ranges in northeast, southwest and southeast China and were strongly correlated with forest age and forest density.
      PubDate: 2014-06-11
      DOI: 10.3390/f5061267
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 6 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 1284-1303: Forest Cover Database Updates Using
           Multi-Seasonal RapidEye Data—Storm Event Assessment in the Bavarian
           Forest National Park

    • Authors: Alata Elatawneh, Adelheid Wallner, Ioannis Manakos, Thomas Schneider, Thomas Knoke
      Pages: 1284 - 1303
      Abstract: This study is a part of a research program that investigates the potential of RapidEye (RE) satellite data for timely updates of forest cover databases to reflect both regular management activities and sudden changes due to bark beetle and storms. Applied here in the Bavarian Forest National Park (BFNP) in southeastern Germany, this approach detected even small changes between two data takes, thus, facilitating documentation of regular management activities. In the case of a sudden event, forest cover databases also serve as a baseline for damage assessment. A storm event, which occurred on 13 July, 2011, provided the opportunity to assess the effectiveness of multi-seasonal RE data for rapid damage assessment. Images of sufficient quality (<20% cloud cover) acquired one day before the storm event were used as a baseline. Persistent cloud cover meant that the first “after event” image of sufficient quality was acquired six weeks later, on 22 August, 2011. Aerial images (AI) for the official damage assessment done by the BFNP administration were acquired on that same day. The RE analysis for damage assessment was completed two weeks after the post-event data take with an overall accuracy of 96% and a kappa coefficient of 0.86. In contrast, the official aerial image survey from the BFNP was first released in late November, eleven weeks later. Comparison of the results from the two analyses showed a difference in the detected amount of forest cover loss of only 3%. The estimated cost of the RE approach was four times less than that of the standard digital AI procedure employed by the BFNP.
      PubDate: 2014-06-11
      DOI: 10.3390/f5061284
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 6 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 1304-1330: Evaluation and Comparison of QuickBird
           and ADS40-SH52 Multispectral Imagery for Mapping Iberian Wild Pear Trees
           (Pyrus bourgaeana, Decne) in a Mediterranean Mixed Forest

    • Authors: Salvador Arenas-Castro, Juan Fernández-Haeger, Diego Jordano-Barbudo
      Pages: 1304 - 1330
      Abstract: The availability of images with very high spatial and spectral resolution from airborne sensors or those aboard satellites is opening new possibilities for the analysis of fine-scale vegetation, such as the identification and classification of individual tree species. To evaluate the potential of these images, a study was carried out to compare the spatial, spectral and temporal resolution between QuickBird and ADS40-SH52 imagery, in order to discriminate and identify, within the mixed Mediterranean forest, individuals of the Iberian wild pear (Pyrus bourgaeana). This is a typical species of the Mediterranean forest, but its biology and ecology are still poorly known. The images were subjected to different correction processes and data were homogenized. Vegetation classes and individual trees were identified on the images, which were classified from two types of supervised classification (Maximum Likelihood and Support Vector Machines) on a pixel-by-pixel basis. The classification values were satisfactory. The classifiers were compared, and Support Vector Machines was the algorithm that provided the best results in terms of overall accuracy. The QuickBird image showed higher overall accuracy (86.16%) when the Support Vector Machines algorithm was applied. In addition, individuals of Iberian wild pear were discriminated with probability of over 55%, when the Maximum Likelihood algorithm was applied. From the perspective of improving the sampling effort, these results are a starting point for facilitating research on the abundance, distribution and spatial structure of P. bourgaeana at different scales, in order to quantify the conservation status of this species.
      PubDate: 2014-06-11
      DOI: 10.3390/f5061304
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 6 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 1331-1340: Performance of Oak Seedlings Grown under
           Different Oust® XP Regimes

    • Authors: Andrew Self, Andrew Ezell, Dennis Rowe
      Pages: 1331 - 1340
      Abstract: Herbaceous weed control (HWC) is prescribed for growing season control of vegetative competition in hardwood afforestation attempts on former agricultural areas. Without HWC, planted seedlings often exhibit poor growth and survival. While currently employed HWC methods are proven, there is a substantial void in research comparing HWC treatments spanning multiple years. A total of 4,320 bare-root seedlings of three oak species were planted on three Mississippi sites. All sites were of comparable soils and received above average precipitation for the majority of the three-year study. Eight combinations of HWC and mechanical site preparation were utilized at each site, with 480 seedlings planted in each of the nine blocks, and a total of 1,440 seedlings per species planted across all sites. Treatments were installed on 3.1 m centers, with mechanical treatments as follows: control, subsoiling, bedding, and combination plowing. HWC treatments included one and two-year applications of Oust® XP. Treatments were applied over seedlings post-planting in 1.5 m bands, at a rate of 140.1 g product/hectare. Excepting one species, HWC dependent height or groundline diameter differences were not detected among mechanical treatments, species, HWC regime, or combinations thereof. No survival differences were observed among site preparation treatments or species. However, analysis detected a growing season/HWC treatment interaction for seedling survival.
      PubDate: 2014-06-11
      DOI: 10.3390/f5061331
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 6 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 1341-1355: Innovation Insights from North American
           Forest Sector Research: A Literature Review

    • Authors: Eric Hansen, Erlend Nybakk, Rajat Panwar
      Pages: 1341 - 1355
      Abstract: The promise of increased industry competitiveness through innovation has driven interest in innovation by industry managers, policy makers and academicians. Forest sector researchers have produced a strong body of work in recent years. This article provides a review of work originating in North America during the period 2000–2013. The review includes 28 journal articles focused on the forest sector in the U.S. and Canada. Seven important themes from the literature are identified and discussed: defining innovation and innovativeness; measuring innovativeness; factors influencing innovativeness; new product development; climate/culture; innovation systems; and innovativeness and firm performance. The positive culture and climate within a company has a clear connection to improved innovativeness and firm performance. Generally, findings describing the culture of the forest sector show a conservative group that fails to sufficiently invest in innovativeness and innovation. Culture change presents a significant opportunity within the industry to strive toward the improved development of new products, processes and business systems to reap the rewards of improved performance. The implications for managers and researchers are outlined.
      PubDate: 2014-06-12
      DOI: 10.3390/f5061341
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 6 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 1356-1373: Mapping Above- and Below-Ground Biomass
           Components in Subtropical Forests Using Small-Footprint LiDAR

    • Authors: Lin Cao, Nicholas Coops, John Innes, Jinsong Dai, Guanghui She
      Pages: 1356 - 1373
      Abstract: In order to better assess the spatial variability in subtropical forest biomass, the goal of our study was to use small-footprint, discrete-return Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) data to accurately estimate and map above- and below-ground biomass components of subtropical forests. Foliage, branch, trunk, root, above-ground and total biomass of 53 plots (30 × 30 m) were modeled using a range of LiDAR-derived metrics, with individual models built for each of the three dominant forest types using stepwise multi-regression analysis. A regular grid covered the entire study site with cell size 30 × 30 m corresponding to the same size of the plots; it was generated for mapping each biomass component. Overall, results indicate that biomass estimation was more accurate in coniferous forests, compared with the mixed and broadleaved plots. The coefficient of determination (R2) for individual models was significantly enhanced compared with an overall generic, or common, model. Using independent stand-level data from ground inventory, our results indicated that overall the model fit was significant for most of the biomass components, with relationships close to a 1:1 line, thereby indicating no significant bias. This research illustrates the potential for LiDAR as a technology to assess subtropical forest carbon accurately and to provide a better understanding of how forest ecosystems function in this region.
      PubDate: 2014-06-16
      DOI: 10.3390/f5061356
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 6 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 1374-1390: LiDAR Remote Sensing of Forest Structure
           and GPS Telemetry Data Provide Insights on Winter Habitat Selection of
           European Roe Deer

    • Authors: Michael Ewald, Claudia Dupke, Marco Heurich, Jörg Müller, Björn Reineking
      Pages: 1374 - 1390
      Abstract: The combination of GPS-Telemetry and resource selection functions is widely used to analyze animal habitat selection. Rapid large-scale assessment of vegetation structure allows bridging the requirements of habitat selection studies on grain size and extent, particularly in forest habitats. For roe deer, the cold period in winter forces individuals to optimize their trade off in searching for food and shelter. We analyzed the winter habitat selection of roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) in a montane forest landscape combining estimates of vegetation cover in three different height strata, derived from high resolution airborne Laser-scanning (LiDAR, Light detection and ranging), and activity data from GPS telemetry. Specifically, we tested the influence of temperature, snow height, and wind speed on site selection, differentiating between active and resting animals using mixed-effects conditional logistic regression models in a case-control design. Site selection was best explained by temperature deviations from hourly means, snow height, and activity status of the animals. Roe deer tended to use forests of high canopy cover more frequently with decreasing temperature, and when snow height exceeded 0.6 m. Active animals preferred lower canopy cover, but higher understory cover. Our approach demonstrates the potential of LiDAR measures for studying fine scale habitat selection in complex three-dimensional habitats, such as forests.
      PubDate: 2014-06-16
      DOI: 10.3390/f5061374
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 6 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 1391-1408: Soil Organic Carbon in Particle Size and
           Density Fractionations under Four Forest Vegetation-Land Use Types in
           Subtropical China

    • Authors: Suyun Shang, Peikun Jiang, Scott Chang, Zhaoliang Song, Juan Liu, Lei Sun
      Pages: 1391 - 1408
      Abstract: Data on the effect of vegetation and land use type on soil organic carbon (SOC) distribution in particle-size and density fractions in the subtropical forest region in China will improve our understanding of the C sequestration potential of those different vegetation-land use types. We quantified SOC in particle size (coarse, medium and fine) and density fractions (light and heavy) under four types of common forest vegetation-land uses: an evergreen broad-leaf forest, a pine forest, a managed chestnut forest and an intensively managed bamboo forest in subtropical China. The SOC in the 0–20 and 20–40 cm soil layers was the highest in the bamboo forest (31.6–34.8 g·C·kg−1), followed by the evergreen broad-leaf forest (10.2–19.9 g·C·kg−1), the pine forest (8.5–13.6 g·C·kg−1) and the chestnut forest (6.3–12.2 g·C·kg−1). The SOC was largely in the coarse fraction under the evergreen broad-leaf, pine and bamboo forests, while it was largely in the fine fraction in the chestnut forest, suggesting that SOC in the chestnut forest was likely more stable than that in the other forest vegetation-land use types. The SOC in the light fraction under the four forest vegetation-land use types ranged from 1.4 to 13.1 g·C·kg−1 soil, representing 21%–37% of the total organic C; this suggests that the majority of the SOC was in the better protected, heavy fraction. We conclude that forest vegetation-land use type (and the associated management practices) influenced SOC distribution in particle size and density fractions in the studied subtropical forests in southeastern China.
      PubDate: 2014-06-17
      DOI: 10.3390/f5061391
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 6 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 1409-1431: Analyzing Trade-Offs, Synergies, and
           Drivers among Timber Production, Carbon Sequestration, and Water Yield in
           Pinus elliotii Forests in Southeastern USA

    • Authors: Ronald Cademus, Francisco Escobedo, Daniel McLaughlin, Amr Abd-Elrahman
      Pages: 1409 - 1431
      Abstract: Managing Pinus elliotii forests for timber production and/or carbon sequestration is a common management objective, but can negatively affect water yield due to high losses from evapotranspiration. Thus, understanding the trade-offs and potential synergies among multiple ecosystem goods services, as well as the drivers influencing these interactions, can help identify effective forest management practices. We used available data from 377 permanent plots from the USDA Forest Service Forest Inventory and Analysis Program for 2002–2011, and a forest water yield model to quantify provision levels and spatial distribution and patterns of carbon sequestration, timber volume and water yield for Pinus elliotii ecosystems in North Florida, USA. A ranking-classification framework and statistical analyses were used to better understand the interactions among ecosystem services and the effect of biophysical drivers on ecosystem service bundles. Results indicate that increased biomass reduced water yield but this trade-off varied across space. Specific synergies, or acceptable provision levels, among carbon sequestration, timber volume and water yield were identified and mapped. Additionally, stand age, silvicultural treatment, and site quality significantly affected the provision level of, and interactions among, the three ecosystem goods and services. The framework developed in this study can be used to assess, map, and manage subtropical forests for optimal provision of ecosystem services.
      PubDate: 2014-06-20
      DOI: 10.3390/f5061409
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 6 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 1432-1453: Quantifying Ladder Fuels: A New Approach
           Using LiDAR

    • Authors: Heather Kramer, Brandon Collins, Maggi Kelly, Scott Stephens
      Pages: 1432 - 1453
      Abstract: We investigated the relationship between LiDAR and ladder fuels in the northern Sierra Nevada, California USA. Ladder fuels are often targeted in hazardous fuel reduction treatments due to their role in propagating fire from the forest floor to tree crowns. Despite their importance, ladder fuels are difficult to quantify. One common approach is to calculate canopy base height, but this has many potential sources of error. LiDAR may be a way forward to better characterize ladder fuels, but has only been used to address this question peripherally and in only a few instances. After establishing that landscape fuel treatments reduced canopy and ladder fuels at our site, we tested which LiDAR-derived metrics best differentiated treated from untreated areas. The percent cover between 2 and 4 m had the most explanatory power to distinguish treated from untreated pixels across a range of spatial scales. When compared to independent plot-based measures of ladder fuel classes, this metric differentiated between high and low levels of ladder fuels. These findings point to several immediate applications for land managers and suggest new avenues of study that could lead to possible improvements in the way that we model wildfire behavior across forested landscapes in the US.
      PubDate: 2014-06-20
      DOI: 10.3390/f5061432
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 6 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 1454-1480: Interest of a Full-Waveform Flown UV
           Lidar to Derive Forest Vertical Structures and Aboveground Carbon

    • Authors: Xiaoxia Shang, Patrick Chazette
      Pages: 1454 - 1480
      Abstract: Amongst all the methodologies readily available to estimate forest canopy and aboveground carbon (AGC), in-situ plot surveys and airborne laser scanning systems appear to be powerful assets. However, they are limited to relatively local scales. In this work, we have developed a full-waveform UV lidar, named ULICE (Ultraviolet LIdar for Canopy Experiment), as an airborne demonstrator for future space missions, with an eventual aim to retrieve forest properties at the global scale. The advantage of using the UV wavelength for a demonstrator is its low multiple scattering in the canopy. Based on realistic airborne lidar data from the well-documented Fontainebleau forest site (south-east of Paris, France), which is representative of managed deciduous forests in temperate climate zones, we estimate the uncertainties in the retrieval of forest vertical structures and AGC. A complete uncertainty study using Monte Carlo approaches is performed for both the lidar-derived tree top height (TTH) and AGC. Our results show a maximum error of 1.2 m (16 tC ha‑1) for the TTH (AGC) assessment. Furthermore, the study of leaf effect on AGC estimate for mid-latitude deciduous forests highlights the possibility for using calibration obtained during only one season to retrieve the AGC during the other, by applying winter and summer airborne measurements.
      PubDate: 2014-06-20
      DOI: 10.3390/f5061454
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 6 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 1481-1507: Small Drones for Community-Based Forest
           Monitoring: An Assessment of Their Feasibility and Potential in Tropical

    • Authors: Jaime Paneque-Gálvez, Michael McCall, Brian Napoletano, Serge Wich, Lian Koh
      Pages: 1481 - 1507
      Abstract: Data gathered through community-based forest monitoring (CBFM) programs may be as accurate as those gathered by professional scientists, but acquired at a much lower cost and capable of providing more detailed data about the occurrence, extent and drivers of forest loss, degradation and regrowth at the community scale. In addition, CBFM enables greater survey repeatability. Therefore, CBFM should be a fundamental component of national forest monitoring systems and programs to measure, report and verify (MRV) REDD+ activities. To contribute to the development of more effective approaches to CBFM, in this paper we assess: (1) the feasibility of using small, low-cost drones (i.e., remotely piloted aerial vehicles) in CBFM programs; (2) their potential advantages and disadvantages for communities, partner organizations and forest data end-users; and (3) to what extent their utilization, coupled with ground surveys and local ecological knowledge, would improve tropical forest monitoring. To do so, we reviewed the existing literature regarding environmental applications of drones, including forest monitoring, and drew on our own firsthand experience flying small drones to map and monitor tropical forests and training people to operate them. We believe that the utilization of small drones can enhance CBFM and that this approach is feasible in many locations throughout the tropics if some degree of external assistance and funding is provided to communities. We suggest that the use of small drones can help tropical communities to better manage and conserve their forests whilst benefiting partner organizations, governments and forest data end-users, particularly those engaged in forestry, biodiversity conservation and climate change mitigation projects such as REDD+.
      PubDate: 2014-06-24
      DOI: 10.3390/f5061481
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 6 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 862-884: The Value of Forest Conservation for Water
           Quality Protection

    • Authors: Melissa Kreye, Damian Adams, Francisco Escobedo
      Pages: 862 - 884
      Abstract: Forests protect water quality by reducing soil erosion, sedimentation, and pollution; yet there is little information about the economic value of conserving forests for water quality protection in much of the United States. To assess this value, we conducted a meta-analysis of willingness-to-pay (WTP) for protecting unimpaired waters, and econometrically determined several significant drivers of WTP: type of conservation instrument (tool), aquatic resource type, geographic context, spatial scale, time, and household income. Using a benefit transfer to two highly forested sites, we illustrate the importance of these factors on WTP for water quality protection programs, forest conservation and policy design.
      PubDate: 2014-05-07
      DOI: 10.3390/f5050862
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 5 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 885-900: Heavy Metal Contamination in Soils of
           Remnant Natural and Plantation Forests in an Urbanized Region of the Pearl
           River Delta, China

    • Authors: Enqing Hou, Huimin Xiang, Jianli Li, Jiong Li, Dazhi Wen
      Pages: 885 - 900
      Abstract: Remnant forests in urban areas provide vital ecosystem services but are susceptible to many human activities including heavy metal emissions. In this study, we collected 192 samples of mineral soils at depths of 0–3, 3–13 and 13–23 cm in 16 remnant forests (eight natural forests and eight plantation forests) in the urbanized Pearl River Delta, China. We assessed the potential risks of soil Cu, Zn, Pb, Mn, Ni and Cr to the vegetation in these forests based on their total and 0.1 M HCl extractable concentrations. The mean concentrations for all soil samples were 202.7, 102.0, 75.7, 24.3, 30.3, and 7.8 mg/kg for Zn, Mn, Pb, Cu, Cr, and Ni, respectively. Compared to background values, total soil Zn concentrations were higher for both the natural and plantation forests located near both industrial and non-industrial sites; total soil Cu and Pb concentrations were higher near industrial sites, particularly for the natural forests. Total soil Pb, Cu, and Mn concentrations and exchangeable soil Pb and Mn concentrations were higher in the natural forests than in the plantation forests. Total soil Cu and Pb concentrations and extractable soil Cu, Pb, Zn, and Mn concentrations decreased with soil depth. Based on these results and previous findings of continued acidification and low phosphorus availability of these soils, we recommend that the growth of these remnant forests can be improved by the application of phosphate rock.
      PubDate: 2014-05-13
      DOI: 10.3390/f5050885
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 5 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 901-918: Scientific Basis for Sustainable
           Management of Eucalyptus and Populus as Short-Rotation Woody Crops in the

    • Authors: Eric Vance, Craig Loehle, T. Wigley, Philip Weatherford
      Pages: 901 - 918
      Abstract: Short rotation woody crops (SRWC), fast growing tree species that are harvested on short, repeated intervals, can augment traditional fiber sources. These crops have economic and environmental benefits stemming from their capability of supplying fiber on a reduced land base in close proximity to users and when sensitive sites cannot be accessed. Eucalyptus and Populus appear to be genera with the greatest potential to provide supplemental fiber in the U.S. Optimal productivity can be achieved through practices that overcome site limitations and by choosing the most appropriate sites, species, and clones. Some Eucalyptus species are potentially invasive, yet field studies across multiple continents suggest they are slower to disperse than predicted by risk assessments. Some studies have found lower plant and animal diversity in SRWC systems compared to mature, native forests, but greater than some alterative land uses and strongly influenced by stand management, land use history, and landscape context. Eucalyptus established in place of grasslands, arable lands, and, in some cases, native forests can reduce streamflow and lower water tables due to higher interception and transpiration rates but results vary widely, are scale dependent, and are most evident in drier regions.
      PubDate: 2014-05-14
      DOI: 10.3390/f5050901
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 5 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 919-935: The Application of Stem Analysis Methods
           to Estimate Carbon Sequestration in Arboreal Shrubs from a Single
           Measurement of Field Plots

    • Authors: Peter Beets, Mark Kimberley, Graeme Oliver, Stephen Pearce
      Pages: 919 - 935
      Abstract: Repeated measurements of plots are usually made to directly determine carbon stock changes over time. However, it is sometimes only practical or feasible to inventory plots at the end of a period of interest, and stock changes need to be predicted retrospectively from supplementary information on growth rate. This situation applied to the natural stratum of post-1989 forest in New Zealand, for which carbon sequestration over Commitment Period 1 (2008–2012) of the Kyoto Protocol needed to be estimated from inventory data acquired in 2012. A pilot study was undertaken to test and refine methods that could be applied in the national inventory, utilizing plots that had been installed in eligible post-1989 natural forest in 2008. The plots had actual measurements and shrub biomass sampling to directly estimate carbon stocks in 2008. These plots were re-measured and sampled in 2012, and basal disc samples from plants growing adjacent to each plot collected to provide data to model stem annual increment in diameter and height of shrubs growing on the plot. We present the results of this test of methods, and discuss refinements to field procedures and calculation methods to be applied in the national inventory of this stratum of post-1989 forest in 2012.
      PubDate: 2014-05-16
      DOI: 10.3390/f5050919
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 5 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 936-951: Analysis of the Influence of Plot Size and
           LiDAR Density on Forest Structure Attribute Estimates

    • Authors: Luis Ruiz, Txomin Hermosilla, Francisco Mauro, Miguel Godino
      Pages: 936 - 951
      Abstract: This paper assesses the combined effect of field plot size and LiDAR density on the estimation of four forest structure attributes: volume, total biomass, basal area and canopy cover. A total of 21 different plot sizes were considered, obtained by decreasing the field measured plot radius value from 25 to 5 m with regular intervals of 1 m. LiDAR data densities were simulated by randomly removing LiDAR pulses until reaching nine different density values. In order to avoid influence of the digital terrain model spatial resolution, eight different resolutions were considered (from 0.25 to 2 m grid size) and tested. A set of per-plot LiDAR metrics was extracted for each parameter combination. Prediction models of forest attributes were defined using forward stepwise ordinary least-square regressions. Results show that the highest R2 values are reached by combining large plot sizes and high LiDAR data density values. However, plot size has a greater effect than LiDAR point density. In general, minimum plot areas of 500–600 m2 are needed for volume, biomass and basal area estimates, and of 300–400 m2 for canopy cover. Larger plot sizes do not significantly increase the accuracy of the models, but they increase the cost of fieldwork.
      PubDate: 2014-05-16
      DOI: 10.3390/f5050936
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 5 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 952-977: Contribution of Small-Scale Gum and Resin
           Commercialization to Local Livelihood and Rural Economic Development in
           the Drylands of Eastern Africa

    • Authors: Asmamaw Abtew, Jürgen Pretzsch, Laura Secco, Tarig Mohamod
      Pages: 952 - 977
      Abstract: This paper examines the extent to which the economic gains derived from gum and resin commercialization impact rural livelihood improvement under different resource management regimes in the drylands of Ethiopia and Sudan. Primary data were collected through semi-structured interviews with 240 randomly selected small-scale producers in four regions with gradients of resource management regimes. The survey was supplemented by secondary data, group discussions and key informant interviews. In the four regions, gum and resin income contributes to 14%–23% of the small-scale producers’ household income. Absolute income was positively correlated with resource management regime and commercialization level. It was higher from cultivated resources on private lands, followed by regulated access to wild resources. In open-access resources, the producers’ income was the lowest, although accessed by the poor and women. However, dependence on gum and resin was higher in open-access resource areas. Households’ socioeconomic characteristics, resource access, production and marketing variables determining income from gum and resin were identified and their variation across the cases is discussed. Overall, gum and resin commercialization in the study areas play a potential poverty alleviation role as a source of regular income, a safety net, and a means of helping producers move out of poverty.
      PubDate: 2014-05-16
      DOI: 10.3390/f5050952
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 5 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 978-991: Redefining Secondary Forests in the
           Mexican Forest Code: Implications for Management, Restoration, and

    • Authors: Francisco Román-Dañobeytia, Samuel Levy-Tacher, Pedro Macario-Mendoza, José Zúñiga-Morales
      Pages: 978 - 991
      Abstract: The Mexican Forest Code establishes structural reference values to differentiate between secondary and old-growth forests and requires a management plan when secondary forests become old-growth and potentially harvestable forests. The implications of this regulation for forest management, restoration, and conservation were assessed in the context of the Calakmul Biosphere Reserve, which is located in the Yucatan Peninsula. The basal area and stem density thresholds currently used by the legislation to differentiate old-growth from secondary forests are 4 m2/ha and 15 trees/ha (trees with a diameter at breast height of >25 cm); however, our research indicates that these values should be increased to 20 m2/ha and 100 trees/ha, respectively. Given that a management plan is required when secondary forests become old-growth forests, many landowners avoid forest-stand development by engaging slash-and-burn agriculture or cattle grazing. We present evidence that deforestation and land degradation may prevent the natural regeneration of late-successional tree species of high ecological and economic importance. Moreover, we discuss the results of this study in the light of an ongoing debate in the Yucatan Peninsula between policy makers, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), landowners and researchers, regarding the modification of this regulation to redefine the concept of acahual (secondary forest) and to facilitate forest management and restoration with valuable timber tree species.
      PubDate: 2014-05-21
      DOI: 10.3390/f5050978
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 5 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 992-1010: Low-Density LiDAR and Optical Imagery for
           Biomass Estimation over Boreal Forest in Sweden

    • Authors: Iurii Shendryk, Margareta Hellström, Leif Klemedtsson, Natascha Kljun
      Pages: 992 - 1010
      Abstract: Knowledge of the forest biomass and its change in time is crucial to understanding the carbon cycle and its interactions with climate change. LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) technology, in this respect, has proven to be a valuable tool, providing reliable estimates of aboveground biomass (AGB). The overall goal of this study was to develop a method for assessing AGB using a synergy of low point density LiDAR-derived point cloud data and multi-spectral imagery in conifer-dominated forest in the southwest of Sweden. Different treetop detection algorithms were applied for forest inventory parameter extraction from a LiDAR-derived canopy height model. Estimation of AGB was based on the power functions derived from tree parameters measured in the field, while vegetation classification of a multi-spectral image (SPOT-5) was performed in order to account for dependences of AGB estimates on vegetation types. Linear regression confirmed good performance of a newly developed grid-based approach for biomass estimation (R2 = 0.80). Results showed AGB to vary from below 1 kg/m2 in very young forests to 94 kg/m2 in mature spruce forests, with RMSE of 4.7 kg/m2. These AGB estimates build a basis for further studies on carbon stocks as well as for monitoring this forest ecosystem in respect of disturbance and change in time. The methodology developed in this study can be easily adopted for assessing biomass of other conifer-dominated forests on the basis of low-density LiDAR and multispectral imagery. This methodology is hence of much wider applicability than biomass derivation based on expensive and currently still scarce high-density LiDAR data.
      PubDate: 2014-05-21
      DOI: 10.3390/f5050992
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 5 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 1011-1031: Assessment of Low Density Full-Waveform
           Airborne Laser Scanning for Individual Tree Detection and Tree Species

    • Authors: Xiaowei Yu, Paula Litkey, Juha Hyyppä, Markus Holopainen, Mikko Vastaranta
      Pages: 1011 - 1031
      Abstract: The paper investigated the possible gains in using low density (average 1 pulse/m2) full-waveform (FWF) airborne laser scanning (ALS) data for individual tree detection and tree species classification and compared the results to the ones obtained using discrete return laser scanning. The aim is to approach a low-cost, fully ALS-based operative forest inventory method that is capable of providing species-specific diameter distributions required for wood procurement. The point data derived from waveform data were used for individual tree detection (ITD). Features extracted from segmented tree objects were used in random forest classification by which both feature selection and classification were performed. Experiments were conducted with 5532 ground measured trees from 292 sample plots and using FWF data collected with Leica ALS60 scanner over a boreal forest, mainly consisting of pine, spruce and birch, in southern Finland. For the comparisons, system produced multi-echo discrete laser data (DSC) were also analyzed with the same procedures. The detection rate of individual trees was slightly higher using FWF point data than DSC point data. Overall detection accuracy, however, was similar because commission error was increased when omission error was decreasing. The best overall classification accuracy was 73.4% which contains an 11 percentage points increase when FWF features were included in the classification compared with DSC features alone. The results suggest that FWF ALS data contains more information about the structure and physical properties of the environment that can be used in tree species classification of pine, spruce and birch when comparing with DSC ALS data.
      PubDate: 2014-05-21
      DOI: 10.3390/f5051011
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 5 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 1032-1052: Urban-Tree-Attribute Update Using
           Multisource Single-Tree Inventory

    • Authors: Ninni Saarinen, Mikko Vastaranta, Ville Kankare, Topi Tanhuanpää, Markus Holopainen, Juha Hyyppä, Hannu Hyyppä
      Pages: 1032 - 1052
      Abstract: The requirements for up-to-date tree data in city parks and forests are increasing, and an important question is how to keep the digital databases current for various applications. Traditional map-updating procedures, such as visual interpretation of digital aerial images or field measurements using tachymeters, are either inaccurate or expensive. Recently, the development of laser-scanning technology has opened new opportunities for tree mapping and attributes updating. For a detailed measurement and attributes update of urban trees, we tested the use of a multisource single-tree inventory (MS-STI) for heterogeneous urban forest conditions. MS-STI requires an existing tree map as input information in addition to airborne laser-scanning (ALS) data. In our study, the tested input tree map was produced by terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) and by using a Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS). Tree attributes were either measured from ALS or predicted by using metrics extracted from ALS data. Stem diameter-at-breast height (DBH) was predicted and compared to the field measures, and tree height and crown area were directly measured from ALS data at the two different urban-forest areas. The results indicate that MS-STI can be used for updating urban-forest attributes. The accuracies of DBH estimations were improved compared to the existing attribute information in the city of Helsinki’s urban-tree register. In addition, important attributes, such as tree height and crown dimensions, were extracted from ALS and added as attributes to the urban-tree register.
      PubDate: 2014-05-22
      DOI: 10.3390/f5051032
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 5 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 1053-1068: Using VEGNET In-Situ Monitoring LiDAR
           (IML) to Capture Dynamics of Plant Area Index, Structure and Phenology in
           Aspen Parkland Forests in Alberta, Canada

    • Authors: Carlos Portillo-Quintero, Arturo Sanchez-Azofeifa, Darius Culvenor
      Pages: 1053 - 1068
      Abstract: The use of ceptometers and digital hemispherical photographs to estimate Plant Area Index (PAI) often include biases and errors from instrument positioning, orientation and data analysis. As an alternative to these methods, we used an In-Situ Monitoring LiDAR system that provides indirect measures of PAI and Plant Area Volume Density (PAVD) at a fixed angle, based on optimized principles and algorithms for PAI retrieval. The instrument was installed for 22 nights continuously from September 26 to October 17, 2013 during leaf-fall in an Aspen Parkland Forest. A total of 85 scans were performed (~4 scans per night). PAI measured decreased from 1.27 to 0.67 during leaf-fall, which is consistent with values reported in the literature. PAVD profiles allowed differentiating the contribution of PAI per forest strata. Phenological changes were captured in four ways: number of hits, maximum cumulative and absolute PAI values, time series of PAVD profiles and PAI values per forest strata. We also found that VEGNET IML Canopy PAI and MODIS LAI values showed a similar decreasing trend and differed by 2%–15%. Our results indicate that the VEGNET IML has great potential for rapid forest structural characterization and for ground validation of PAI/LAI at a temporal frequency compatible with earth observation satellites.
      PubDate: 2014-05-22
      DOI: 10.3390/f5051053
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 5 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 1069-1105: Highly Accurate Tree Models Derived from
           Terrestrial Laser Scan Data: A Method Description

    • Authors: Jan Hackenberg, Christopher Morhart, Jonathan Sheppard, Heinrich Spiecker, Mathias Disney
      Pages: 1069 - 1105
      Abstract: This paper presents a method for fitting cylinders into a point cloud, derived from a terrestrial laser-scanned tree. Utilizing high scan quality data as the input, the resulting models describe the branching structure of the tree, capable of detecting branches with a diameter smaller than a centimeter. The cylinders are stored as a hierarchical tree-like data structure encapsulating parent-child neighbor relations and incorporating the tree’s direction of growth. This structure enables the efficient extraction of tree components, such as the stem or a single branch. The method was validated both by applying a comparison of the resulting cylinder models with ground truth data and by an analysis between the input point clouds and the models. Tree models were accomplished representing more than 99% of the input point cloud, with an average distance from the cylinder model to the point cloud within sub-millimeter accuracy. After validation, the method was applied to build two allometric models based on 24 tree point clouds as an example of the application. Computation terminated successfully within less than 30 min. For the model predicting the total above ground volume, the coefficient of determination was 0.965, showing the high potential of terrestrial laser-scanning for forest inventories.
      PubDate: 2014-05-22
      DOI: 10.3390/f5051069
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 5 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 1106-1121: Field Supervisory Test of
           DREB-Transgenic Populus: Salt Tolerance, Long-Term Gene Stability and
           Horizontal Gene Transfer

    • Authors: Nan Lu, Bing Wei, Yuhan Sun, Xin Liu, Shouyi Chen, Wanke Zhang, Yingzhi Zhang, Yun Li
      Pages: 1106 - 1121
      Abstract: Improving saline resistance may be useful for reducing environmental susceptibility and improving yields in poplar plantations. However, the instability of genetically engineered traits and gene transfer reduce their usefulness and commercial value. To investigate whether the foreign gene is still present in the genome of receptor plants after seven years (i.e., long-term foreign gene stability and gene transfer), we randomly analyzed ten field-grown transgenic hybrid Populus ((Populus tomentosa × Populus bolleana) × P. tomentosa) carrying the DREB1 gene from Atriplex hortensis. The results of PCR and tissue culture experiments showed that AhDREB1 was present in the transgenic trees and was still expressed. However, the transcriptional expression level had decreased compared with that four years earlier. The PCR results also indicated no foreign gene in the genomic DNA of microorganisms in the soil near the transgenic poplars, indicating that no significant gene transfer had occurred from the transgenic poplars to the microorganisms at seven years after planting.
      PubDate: 2014-05-22
      DOI: 10.3390/f5051106
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 5 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 579-598: Local Participation in REDD+: Lessons from
           the Eastern Brazilian Amazon

    • Authors: Marina Cromberg, Amy Duchelle, Isa Rocha
      Pages: 579 - 598
      Abstract: There are concerns that local people will not be genuinely involved in initiatives to Reduce Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+). We analyzed local participation in the design of one REDD+ project in the eastern Brazilian Amazon, and assessed local hopes, worries and recommendations for the project through four community focus groups and interviews with 137 households at the site. Our results showed that only one-third of households interviewed (31%) had enough information about the project to describe it accurately. Of those, the majority (60%) hoped that the project would improve their incomes, followed by improving their agricultural production (33%) and helping protect forests (26%). While increasing household incomes was the dominant hope, people’s recommendations revealed that they favored non-monetary forms of compensation over the direct cash payments included in the proponents’ package of incentives. Their main recommendation was that the project should help improve their production systems through access to technical assistance, machinery and training, while valuing local production systems (46%). Our study highlights the need for participation that goes beyond passive consultation with local people to develop REDD+ interventions that best reflect local knowledge, land use practices and aspirations.
      PubDate: 2014-04-03
      DOI: 10.3390/f5040579
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 4 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 599-619: Multi-Scalar Governance for Restoring the
           Brazilian Atlantic Forest: A Case Study on Small Landholdings in Protected
           Areas of Sustainable Development

    • Authors: Alaine Ball, Alice Gouzerh, Pedro Brancalion
      Pages: 599 - 619
      Abstract: Implementation of forest restoration projects requires cross-scale and hybrid forms of governance involving the state, the market, civil society, individuals, communities, and other actors. Using a case study from the Atlantic Forest Hotspot, we examine the governance of a large-scale forest restoration project implemented by an international non-governmental organization (NGO) on family farmer landholdings located within protected areas of sustainable development. In addition to forest restoration, the project aims to provide an economic benefit to participating farmers by including native species with market potential (fruits, timber) in restoration models and by contracting farmers in the planting phase. We employed qualitative methods such as structured interviews and participant observation to assess the effect of environmental policy and multi-scalar governance on implementation and acceptability of the project by farmers. We demonstrate that NGO and farmer expectations for the project were initially misaligned, hampering farmer participation. Furthermore, current policy complicated implementation and still poses barriers to project success, and projects must remain adaptable to changing legal landscapes. We recommend increased incorporation of social science methods in earlier stages of projects, as well as throughout the course of implementation, in order to better assess the needs and perspectives of participants, as well as to minimize trade-offs.
      PubDate: 2014-04-03
      DOI: 10.3390/f5040599
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 4 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 620-642: Carbon Stocks and Climate Change:
           Management Implications in Northern Arizona Ponderosa Pine Forests

    • Authors: Benjamin Bagdon, Ching-Hsun Huang
      Pages: 620 - 642
      Abstract: Researchers have observed climate-driven shifts of forest types to higher elevations in the Southwestern US and predict further migration coupled with large-scale mortality events proportional to increases in radiative forcing. Range contractions of forests are likely to impact the total carbon stored within a stand. This study examines the dynamics of Pinus ponderosa stands under three climate change scenarios in Northern Arizona using the Climate Forest Vegetation Simulator (Climate-FVS) model to project changes in carbon pools. A sample of 90 stands were grouped according to three elevational ranges; low- (1951 to 2194 m), mid- (2194 to 2499 m), and high- (2499 to 2682 m.) elevation stands. Growth, mortality, and carbon stores were simulated in the Climate-FVS over a 100 year timespan. We further simulated three management scenarios for each elevational gradient and climate scenario. Management included (1) a no-management scenario, (2) an intensive-management scenario characterized by thinning from below to a residual basal area (BA) of 18 m2/ha in conjunction with a prescribed burn every 10 years, and (3) a moderate-management scenario characterized by a thin-from-below treatment to a residual BA of 28 m2/ha coupled with a prescribed burn every 20 years. Results indicate that any increase in aridity due to climate change will produce substantial mortality throughout the elevational range of ponderosa pine stands, with lower elevation stands projected to experience the most devastating effects. Management was only effective for the intensive-management scenario; stands receiving this treatment schedule maintained moderately consistent levels of basal area and demonstrated a higher level of resilience to climate change relative to the two other management scenarios. The results of this study indicate that management can improve resiliency to climate change, however, resource managers may need to employ more intensive thinning treatments than currently proposed to achieve the best results.
      PubDate: 2014-04-04
      DOI: 10.3390/f5040620
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 4 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 643-665: Nitrogen and Carbon Biogeochemistry in
           Forest Sites along an Indirect Urban–Rural Gradient in Southeastern

    • Authors: Ari Kahan, William Currie, Daniel Brown
      Pages: 643 - 665
      Abstract: To evaluate the impacts of urbanization on soil and vegetation in protected forest areas, 12 forest sites in Southeastern Michigan USA were studied in an indirect urban–rural gradient. Field study plots were established in forest edge zones of each protected area. Significant findings were that in these edge zones of protected areas: (a) soil nitrogen tended to be greater where surrounding housing density was greater; (b) overstory woody biomass and basal area were greater where surrounding housing density was greater; and (c) the study region overall exhibited low soil carbon content (mean 2.71%) and relatively high soil nitrogen content (mean 0.20%), yielding a surprisingly low surface soil C/N ratio (mean 13.4). Overall, 24 woody plant genera were encountered, with the three genera Acer, Carya and Quercus accounting for 83.7% of total biomass and 74.1% of total basal area. No significant relationships were observed between housing density and soil C/N ratio or between housing density and foliar N. Results indicate that a halo of urban-ecological impacts exists in the landscape of Southeastern Michigan, similar to previously studied linear urban–rural gradients in other regions.
      PubDate: 2014-04-04
      DOI: 10.3390/f5040643
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 4 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 666-688: Soil Organic Carbon Storage and Stability
           in the Aspen-Conifer Ecotone in Montane Forests in Utah, USA

    • Authors: Mercedes Dobarco, Helga Van Miegroet
      Pages: 666 - 688
      Abstract: To assess the potential impact of conifer encroachment on soil organic carbon (SOC) dynamics and storage in montane aspen-conifer forests from the interior western US, we sampled mineral soils (0–15 cm) across the aspen-conifer ecotones in southern and northern Utah and quantified total SOC stocks, stable SOC (i.e., mineral-associated SOC (MoM)), labile SOC (i.e., light fraction (LF), decomposable (CO2 release during long-term aerobic incubations) and soluble SOC (hot water extractable organic carbon (HWEOC)). Total SOC storage (47.0 ± 16.5 Mg C ha−1) and labile SOC as LF (14.0 ± 7.10 Mg C ha−1), SOC decomposability (cumulative released CO2-C of 5.6 ± 3.8 g C g−1 soil) or HWEOC (0.6 ± 0.6 mg C g−1 soil) did not differ substantially with vegetation type, although a slight increase in HWEOC was observed with increasing conifer in the overstory. There were statistically significant differences (p = 0.035) in stable MoM storage, which was higher under aspen (31.2 ± 15.1 Mg C ha−1) than under conifer (22.8 ± 9.0 Mg C ha−1), with intermediate values under mixed (25.7 ± 8.8 Mg C ha−1). Texture had the greatest impact on SOC distribution among labile and stable fractions, with increasing stabilization in MoM and decreasing bio-availability of SOC with increasing silt + clay content. Only at lower silt + clay contents (40%–70%) could we discern the influence of vegetation on MoM content. This highlights the importance of chemical protection mechanisms for long-term C sequestration.
      PubDate: 2014-04-08
      DOI: 10.3390/f5040666
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 4 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 689-714: Repeated Raking of Pine Plantations Alters
           Soil Arthropod Communities

    • Authors: Holly Ober, Lucas DeGroote
      Pages: 689 - 714
      Abstract: Terrestrial arthropods in forests are engaged in vital ecosystem functions that ultimately help maintain soil productivity. Repeated disturbance can cause abrupt and irreversible changes in arthropod community composition and thereby alter trophic interactions among soil fauna. An increasingly popular means of generating income from pine plantations in the Southeastern U.S. is annual raking to collect pine litter. We raked litter once per year for three consecutive years in the pine plantations of three different species (loblolly, Pinus taeda; longleaf, P. palustris; and slash, P. elliottii). We sampled arthropods quarterly for three years in raked and un-raked pine stands to assess temporal shifts in abundance among dominant orders of arthropods. Effects varied greatly among orders of arthropods, among timber types, and among years. Distinct trends over time were apparent among orders that occupied both high trophic positions (predators) and low trophic positions (fungivores, detritivores). Multivariate analyses demonstrated that raking caused stronger shifts in arthropod community composition in longleaf and loblolly than slash pine stands. Results highlight the role of pine litter in shaping terrestrial arthropod communities, and imply that repeated removal of pine straw during consecutive years is likely to have unintended consequences on arthropod communities that exacerbate over time.
      PubDate: 2014-04-10
      DOI: 10.3390/f5040689
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 4 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 715-743: Understory Structure and Vascular Plant
           Diversity in Naturally Regenerated Deciduous Forests and Spruce
           Plantations on Similar Clear-Cuts: Implications for Forest Regeneration
           Strategy Selection

    • Authors: ZhiQiang Fang, WeiKai Bao, XiaoLi Yan, Xin Liu
      Pages: 715 - 743
      Abstract: The active effect of natural regeneration on understory vegetation and diversity on clear-cut forestlands, in contrast to conifer reforestation, is still controversial. Here we investigated differences in understory vegetation by comparing naturally regenerated deciduous forests (NR) and reforested spruce plantations (SP) aged 20–40 years on 12 similar clear-cuts of subalpine old-growth spruce-fir forests from the eastern Tibetan Plateau. We found that 283 of the 334 vascular plant species recorded were present in NR plots, while only 264 species occurred in SP plots. This was consistent with richer species, higher cover, and stem (or shoot) density of tree seedlings, shrubs, and ferns in the NR plots than in the SP plots. Moreover, understory plant diversity was limited under dense canopy cover, which occurred more frequently in the SP plots. Our findings implied that natural deciduous tree regeneration could better preserve understory vegetation and biodiversity than spruce reforestation after clear-cutting. This result further informed practices to reduce tree canopy cover for spruce plantations or to integrate natural regeneration and reforestation for clear-cuts in order to promote understory vegetation and species diversity conservation.
      PubDate: 2014-04-15
      DOI: 10.3390/f5040715
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 4 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 744-762: Acoustic Wave Velocity as a Selection
           Trait in Eucalyptus nitens

    • Authors: David Blackburn, Matthew Hamilton, Dean Williams, Chris Harwood, Brad Potts
      Pages: 744 - 762
      Abstract: Previous studies in Eucalyptus nitens have revealed favourable genetic correlations exist between acoustic wave velocity (AWV) in standing trees and modulus of elasticity (MOE), which can determine the suitability of trees for structural timber and/or engineered wood products. This study investigates the strength and stability of genetic variation in standing tree AWV across a range of environments in Tasmania, where there are a number of large plantation estates and breeding trials. Trees under study were from open-pollinated progeny trials established in 1993. Across sites, for standing tree AWV the ranking of E. nitens races did not change and within-race additive genetic correlations were strong (0.61 to 0.99). Heritabilities (0.16 to 0.74) and coefficients of additive genetic variation (2.6 to 4.8) were moderate for this trait. Correlations between standing tree AWV and both basic density and diameter at breast height (DBH) were favourable. Results indicate that there is potential to improve MOE in E. nitens through the exploitation of genetic variation in AWV among and within races, the expression of genetic variation in AWV is relatively stable across different growing environments, and past selection for basic density and growth in pulpwood breeding programs is unlikely to have adversely affected MOE.
      PubDate: 2014-04-16
      DOI: 10.3390/f5040744
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 4 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 763-783: A Comparison of Governance Challenges in
           Forest Restoration in Paraguay’s Privately-Owned Forests and
           Madagascar’s Co-managed State Forests

    • Authors: Stephanie Mansourian, Lucy Aquino, Thomas Erdmann, Francisco Pereira
      Pages: 763 - 783
      Abstract: Governance of forest restoration is significantly impacted by who are the owners of and rights holders to the forest. We review two cases, Paraguay’s Atlantic forest and Madagascar’s forests and shrublands, where forest restoration is a priority and where forest ownership and rights are having direct repercussions on forest restoration. In Paraguay where a large proportion of forests are in the hands of private landowners, specific legislation, government incentives, costs and benefits of forest restoration, and the role of international markets for commodities are all key factors, among others, that influence the choice of private landowners to engage or not in forest restoration. On the other hand, in Madagascar’s co-managed state forests, while some similar challenges exist with forest restoration, such as the pressures from international markets, other specific challenges can be identified notably the likely long term impact of investment in forest restoration on land rights, traditional authority, and direct links to elements of human wellbeing. In this paper, we explore and contrast how these different drivers and pressures affect the restoration of forests under these two different property regimes.
      PubDate: 2014-04-21
      DOI: 10.3390/f5040763
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 4 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 784-801: The Impact of Windstorm Damage in the
           Assessment of the Carbon Balance in Even-Aged Fagus sylvatica L. Stands

    • Authors: Mathieu Fortin, Axel Albrecht, Ulrich Kohnle, François Ningre
      Pages: 784 - 801
      Abstract: Due to the fact that forest ecosystems can potentially mitigate the impact of climate change, the carbon balance of managed forests has caught the attention of a large scientific community. Some authors conclude that extending rotation lengths would actually favour the climate change mitigation effect since more carbon would be stored in the biomass on the average. However, when the occurrence of catastrophic disturbances such as windstorms is not considered, the advantage of extending the rotation length might be overestimated for some species. In this study, we addressed this issue by coupling a growth model, a windstorm damage model and a carbon assessment tool. The evolution of an even-aged European beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) stand was simulated under three different rotation lengths. Simulations including stochastic windstorm events were run and compared with deterministic simulations with no catastrophic disturbance. Our results indicate that when disturbances caused by storms were not taken into account, the carbon balance was actually overestimated in some cases and that this overestimation increased with the rotation length. In our case study, omitting windstorm damage resulted in an overestimation as large as 8% for the longer rotation length. Nevertheless, when windstorm damage was taken into account in the simulation, the longer rotation length still stored more carbon on the average than shorter rotation lengths. However, the marginal gain in carbon storage induced by the increase of the rotation length was reduced.
      PubDate: 2014-04-21
      DOI: 10.3390/f5040784
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 4 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 802-821: Impacts of Frequent Burning on Live Tree
           Carbon Biomass and Demography in Post-Harvest Regrowth Forest

    • Authors: Luke Collins, Trent Penman, Fabiano Ximenes, Doug Binns, Alan York, Ross Bradstock
      Pages: 802 - 821
      Abstract: The management of forest ecosystems to increase carbon storage is a global concern. Fire frequency has the potential to shift considerably in the future. These shifts may alter demographic processes and growth of tree species, and consequently carbon storage in forests. Examination of the sensitivity of forest carbon to the potential upper and lower extremes of fire frequency will provide crucial insight into the magnitude of possible change in carbon stocks associated with shifts in fire frequency. This study examines how tree biomass and demography of a eucalypt forest regenerating after harvest is affected by two experimentally manipulated extremes in fire frequency (i.e., ~3 year fire intervals vs. unburnt) sustained over a 23 year period. The rate of post-harvest biomass recovery of overstorey tree species, which constituted ~90% of total living tree biomass, was lower within frequently burnt plots than unburnt plots, resulting in approximately 20% lower biomass in frequently burnt plots by the end of the study. Significant differences in carbon biomass between the two extremes in frequency were only evident after >15–20 years of sustained treatment. Reduced growth rates and survivorship of smaller trees on the frequently burnt plots compared to unburnt plots appeared to be driving these patterns. The biomass of understorey trees, which constituted ~10% of total living tree biomass, was not affected by frequent burning. These findings suggest that future shifts toward more frequent fire will potentially result in considerable reductions in carbon sequestration across temperate forest ecosystems in Australia.
      PubDate: 2014-04-22
      DOI: 10.3390/f5040802
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 4 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 822-826: A Comment on “Management for
           Mountain Pine Beetle Outbreak Suppression: Does Relevant Science Support
           Current Policy'”

    • Authors: Christopher Fettig, Kenneth Gibson, A. Munson, Jose Negrón
      Pages: 822 - 826
      Abstract: There are two general approaches for reducing the negative impacts of mountain pine beetle, Dendroctonus ponderosae Hopkins, on forests. Direct control involves short-term tactics designed to address current infestations by manipulating mountain pine beetle populations, and includes the use of fire, insecticides, semiochemicals, sanitation harvests, or a combination of these treatments. Indirect control is preventive, and designed to reduce the probability and severity of future infestations within treated areas by manipulating stand, forest and/or landscape conditions by reducing the number of susceptible host trees through thinning, prescribed burning, and/or alterations of age classes and species composition. We emphasize that “outbreak suppression” is not the intent or objective of management strategies implemented for mountain pine beetle in the western United States, and that the use of clear, descriptive language is important when assessing the merits of various treatment strategies.
      PubDate: 2014-04-22
      DOI: 10.3390/f5040822
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 4 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 827-846: Interactions between Fine Wood
           Decomposition and Flammability

    • Authors: Weiwei Zhao, Luke Blauw, Richard van Logtestijn, William Cornwell, Johannes Cornelissen
      Pages: 827 - 846
      Abstract: Fire is nearly ubiquitous in the terrestrial biosphere, with profound effects on earth surface carbon storage, climate, and forest functions. Fuel quality is an important parameter determining forest fire behavior, which differs among both tree species and organs. Fuel quality is not static: when dead plant material decomposes, its structural, chemical, and water dynamic properties change, with implications for fuel flammability. However, the interactions between decomposition and flammability are poorly understood. This study aimed to determine decomposition’s effects on fuel quality and how this directly and indirectly affects wood flammability. We did controlled experiments on water dynamics and fire using twigs of four temperate tree species. We found considerable direct and indirect effects of decomposition on twig flammability, particularly on ignitability and burning time, which are important variables for fire spread. More decomposed twigs ignite and burn faster at given water content. Moreover, decomposed twigs dry out faster than fresh twigs, which make them flammable sooner when drying out after rain. Decomposed fine woody litters may promote horizontal fire spread as ground fuels and act as a fuel ladder when staying attached to trees. Our results add an important, previously poorly studied dynamic to our understanding of forest fire spread.
      PubDate: 2014-04-22
      DOI: 10.3390/f5040827
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 4 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 847-861: Accountable Accounting: Carbon-Based
           Management on Marginal Lands

    • Authors: Tara DiRocco, Benjamin Ramage, Samuel Evans, Matthew Potts
      Pages: 847 - 861
      Abstract: Substantial discussion exists concerning the best land use options for mitigating greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions on marginal land. Emissions-mitigating land use options include displacement of fossil fuels via biofuel production and afforestation. Comparing C recovery dynamics under these different options is crucial to assessing the efficacy of offset programs. In this paper, we focus on forest recovery on marginal land, and show that there is substantial inaccuracy and discrepancy in the literature concerning carbon accumulation. We find that uncertainty in carbon accumulation occurs in estimations of carbon stocks and models of carbon dynamics over time. We suggest that analyses to date have been largely unsuccessful at determining reliable trends in site recovery due to broad land use categories, a failure to consider the effect of current and post-restoration management, and problems with meta-analysis. Understanding of C recovery could be greatly improved with increased data collection on pre-restoration site quality, prior land use history, and management practices as well as increased methodological standardization. Finally, given the current and likely future uncertainty in C dynamics, we recommend carbon mitigation potential should not be the only environmental service driving land use decisions on marginal lands.
      PubDate: 2014-04-23
      DOI: 10.3390/f5040847
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 4 (2014)
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 2400-2424: REDD+ Policy Approaches in the Congo
           Basin: A Comparative Analysis of Cameroon and the Democratic Republic
           Congo (DRC)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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