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  Subjects -> FORESTS AND FORESTRY (Total: 110 journals)
    - FORESTS AND FORESTRY (109 journals)
    - LUMBER AND WOOD (1 journals)

FORESTS AND FORESTRY (109 journals)                     

Showing 1 - 12 of 12 Journals sorted alphabetically
Acta Silvatica et Lignaria Hungarica     Open Access  
Advance in Forestry Research     Open Access   (Followers: 4)
Advances in Forestry Letters     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Advances in Forestry Science     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Agrociencia     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Agroforestry Systems     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 20)
Annals of Forest Research     Open Access  
Annals of Forest Science     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4)
Annals of Silvicultural Research     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Appita Journal: Journal of the Technical Association of the Australian and New Zealand Pulp and Paper Industry     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 7)
Arboricultural Journal : The International Journal of Urban Forestry     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6)
Arboriculture and Urban Forestry     Free   (Followers: 7)
Australian Forest Grower     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
Australian Forestry     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Balduinia     Open Access  
Banko Janakari     Open Access  
Bosque     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Canadian Journal of Forest Research     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 27)
Canadian Journal of Plant Science     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 15)
Ciência Florestal     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Ciencia forestal en México     Open Access  
Colombia Forestal     Open Access  
Current Forestry Reports     Hybrid Journal  
Dissertationes Forestales     Open Access  
East African Agricultural and Forestry Journal     Hybrid Journal  
European Journal of Forest Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 5)
Expert Opinion on Environmental Biology     Hybrid Journal  
Floresta e Ambiente     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Folia Forestalia Polonica     Open Access  
Forest Ecology and Management     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 53)
Forest Pathology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2)
Forest Phytophthoras     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Forest Policy and Economics     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 23)
Forest Research Papers     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Forest Science     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 6)
Forest Science and Practice     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2)
Forest Science and Technology     Partially Free   (Followers: 2)
Forest Systems     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Forest@ : Journal of Silviculture and Forest Ecology     Open Access  
Foresta Veracruzana     Open Access  
Forestry Chronicle     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 11)
Forestry Letters     Open Access  
Forestry Studies : Metsanduslikud Uurimused     Open Access  
Forestry: An International Journal of Forest Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 17)
Forests     Open Access   (Followers: 4)
Forests, Trees and Livelihoods     Partially Free   (Followers: 5)
Ghana Journal of Forestry     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
Holzforschung     Hybrid Journal  
iForest : Biogeosciences and Forestry     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Indian Forester     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
Indonesian Journal of Forestry Research     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
INNOTEC : Revista del Laboratorio Tecnológico del Uruguay     Open Access  
International Forestry Review     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 7)
International Journal of Agriculture and Forestry     Open Access   (Followers: 7)
International Journal of Forest Engineering     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 1)
International Journal of Forest, Soil and Erosion     Open Access   (Followers: 6)
International Journal of Forestry Research     Open Access   (Followers: 4)
Irish Journal of Agricultural and Food Research     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Journal of Agriculture, Forestry and the Social Sciences     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
Journal of Biodiversity Management & Forestry     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 3)
Journal of Environmental Extension     Full-text available via subscription  
Journal of Forest and Livelihood     Open Access  
Journal of Forest Economics     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6)
Journal of Forest Products and Industries     Open Access  
Journal of Forest Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 3)
Journal of Forestry     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 14)
Journal of Forestry Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6)
Journal of Horticulture and Forestry     Open Access   (Followers: 6)
Journal of Natural Resources Policy Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 13)
Journal of Research in Forestry, Wildlife and Environment     Open Access   (Followers: 4)
Journal of Sustainable Forestry     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 7)
Journal of the Faculty of Forestry Istanbul University     Open Access  
Journal of Tropical Forestry and Environment     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Journal of Wood Chemistry and Technology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 7)
Journal of Wood Science     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4)
Jurnal Ilmu Kehutanan     Open Access  
Jurnal Manajemen Hutan Tropika     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Jurnal Penelitian Kehutanan Wallacea     Open Access  
La Calera     Open Access  
Landscapes     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 19)
Lesnícky časopis     Open Access  
Maderas. Ciencia y tecnología     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Mathematical and Computational Forestry & Natural-Resource Sciences     Free  
Natural Areas Journal     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 12)
New Forests     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2)
New Zealand Journal of Forestry Science     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Open Journal of Forestry     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Plant Science Bulletin     Free   (Followers: 9)
Quebracho. Revista de Ciencias Forestales     Open Access  
Research Journal of Forestry     Open Access   (Followers: 5)
Revista Árvore     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Revista Chapingo. Serie Ciencias Forestales y del Ambiente     Open Access  
Revista de Agricultura Neotropical     Open Access  
Revista Ecologia e Nutrição Florestal - ENFLO     Open Access  
Revista Verde de Agroecologia e Desenvolvimento Sustentável     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Revue forestière française     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 4)
Rural Sustainability Research     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Rwanda Journal     Full-text available via subscription  
Scandinavian Journal of Forest Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4)
Science, Technology and Arts Research Journal     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Silva Lusitana     Open Access  
Small-scale Forestry     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2)
Southern African Forestry Journal     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
Southern Forests : a Journal of Forest Science     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6)
Tanzania Journal of Forestry and Nature Conservation     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Trees     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 5)
Urban Forestry & Urban Greening     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 9)
Veld & Flora     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Wood and Fiber Science     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)


Journal Cover Forests
  [SJR: 0.63]   [H-I: 16]   [4 followers]  Follow
  This is an Open Access Journal Open Access journal
   ISSN (Print) 1999-4907
   Published by MDPI Homepage  [148 journals]
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 30: Assessing Wildland Fire Risk Transmission to
           Communities in Northern Spain

    • Authors: Fermín Alcasena, Michele Salis, Alan Ager, Rafael Castell, Cristina Vega-García
      First page: 30
      Abstract: We assessed potential economic losses and transmission to residential houses from wildland fires in a rural area of central Navarra (Spain). Expected losses were quantified at the individual structure level (n = 306) in 14 rural communities by combining fire model predictions of burn probability and fire intensity with susceptibility functions derived from expert judgement. Fire exposure was estimated by simulating 50,000 fire events that replicated extreme (97th percentile) historical fire weather conditions. Spatial ignition probabilities were used in the simulations to account for non-random ignitions, and were estimated from a fire occurrence model generated with an artificial neural network. The results showed that ignition probability explained most of spatial variation in risk, with economic value of structures having only a minor effect. Average expected loss to residential houses from a single wildfire event in the study area was 7955€, and ranged from a low of 740 to the high of 28,725€. Major fire flow-paths were analyzed to understand fire transmission from surrounding municipalities and showed that incoming fires from the north exhibited strong pathways into the core of the study area, and fires spreading from the south had the highest likelihood of reaching target residential structures from the longest distances (>5 km). Community firesheds revealed the scale of risk to communities and extended well beyond administrative boundaries. The results provided a quantitative risk assessment that can be used by insurance companies and local landscape managers to prioritize and allocate investments to treat wildland fuels and identify clusters of high expected loss within communities. The methodological framework can be extended to other fire-prone southern European Union countries where communities are threatened by large wildland fires.
      PubDate: 2017-01-24
      DOI: 10.3390/f8020030
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 2 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 31: Influence of Mature Overstory Trees on Adjacent
           12-Year Regeneration and the Woody Understory: Aggregated Retention versus
           Intact Forest

    • Authors: Miranda Curzon, Susan Baker, Christel Kern, Brian Palik, Anthony D’Amato
      First page: 31
      Abstract: Retention harvesting, an approach that intentionally retains legacy features such as mature overstory trees, provides options for achieving ecological objectives. At the same time, retained overstory trees may compete with the nearby recovering understory for resources, and much remains to be learned about potential trade-offs with regeneration objectives, particularly over extended time periods. We assessed the influence of aggregated retention (reserved mature overstory and understory patches) versus intact forest on structure and productivity (standing biomass) of the adjacent woody understory and regeneration 12 years after harvest in northern Minnesota, USA. Each site was dominated by Populus tremuloides Michx., a species that regenerates prolifically via root sprouts following disturbance. Overall, fewer differences than expected occurred between the effects of intact forest and aggregated retention on regeneration, despite the small size (0.1 ha) of aggregates. Instead, harvest status and distance from harvest edge had a greater influence on structure and standing woody biomass. Proximity to aggregates reduced large sapling biomass (all species, combined) relative to open conditions, but only up to 5 m into harvested areas. This suggests the trade-off for achieving productivity objectives might be minimal if managers use retention aggregates in this region to achieve ecological objectives and meet management guidelines.
      PubDate: 2017-01-25
      DOI: 10.3390/f8020031
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 2 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 32: Biocontrol of Fusarium circinatum Infection of
           Young Pinus radiata Trees

    • Authors: Eugenia Iturritxa, Tyler Trask, Nebai Mesanza, Rosa Raposo, Margarita Elvira-Recuenco, Cheryl Patten
      First page: 32
      Abstract: Pitch canker, caused by the fungus Fusarium circinatum, is a major disease of Pinus radiata currently controlled to some extent in nurseries by good hygiene and application of synthetic fungicides. The aim of this study was to evaluate alternative strategies to control fungal infections in nurseries and young pine plantations. The antagonistic effects of biocontrol bacteria and essential oils against F. circinatum in vitro and in young P. radiata trees were assessed. Pseudomonas fluorescens, Erwinia billingiae, and Bacillus simplex reduced the growth of the fungus in vitro by 17%–29%, and decreased the density of the mycelial mat. In young P. radiata trees, the length of F. circinatum lesions was reduced by 22%–25% by the same bacterial strains. Direct application of cinnamon and/or clove essential oils to wounds in stems of two-year-old P. radiata trees also limited the damage caused by F. circinatum. Lesion length was reduced by 51% following treatment with cinnamon oil (10% v/v), and by 45% following treatment with clove oil (15% v/v) or a combination of both oils. However, the oils were toxic to younger trees. The biocontrol bacteria and essential oils show promise as prophylactic treatments to reduce the devastating effects of F. circinatum on P. radiata.
      PubDate: 2017-01-26
      DOI: 10.3390/f8020032
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 2 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 33: Soil Microbial Communities in Natural and
           Managed Cloud Montane Forests

    • Authors: Ed-Haun Chang, Guanglong Tian, Chih-Yu Chiu
      First page: 33
      Abstract: Forest management often results in changes in soil microbial communities. To understand how forest management can change microbial communities, we studied soil microbial abundance and community structure in a natural Chamaecyparis (NCP) forest, a disturbed Chamaecyparis (DCP) forest, a secondary (regenerated) Chamaecyparis (SCP) forest and a secondary (reforested) Cryptomeria (SCD) forest. We analyzed soil microbial abundance by measuring phospholipid fatty acids (PLFAs) and microbial community structure by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) in the studied forest soils. The content of the soil PLFA fungal biomarker decreased from NCP to SCP, DCP and SCD forest soils, associated with the degree of disturbance of forest management. The ratio of soil Gram positive–to-negative bacteria and the stress index (16:1ω7t to 16:1ω7c) increased from NCP to SCP and DCP soils; thus, disturbed forests except for SCD showed increased soil microbial stress. Principal component analysis of soil microbial groups by PLFAs separated the four forest soils into three clusters: NCP, DCP and SCP, and SCD soil. The DGGE analysis showed no difference in the microbial community structure for NCP, DCP and SCP soils, but the community structure differed between SCD and the three other forest soils. In cloud montane forests, disturbance due to forest management had only a slight influence on the soil microbial community, whereas reforestation with different species largely changed the soil microbial community structure.
      PubDate: 2017-01-26
      DOI: 10.3390/f8010033
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 2 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 34: Phenology-Based Method for Mapping Tropical
           Evergreen Forests by Integrating of MODIS and Landsat Imagery

    • Authors: Weili Kou, Changxian Liang, Lili Wei, Alexander Hernandez, Xuejing Yang
      First page: 34
      Abstract: Updated extent, area, and spatial distribution of tropical evergreen forests from inventory data provides valuable knowledge for research of the carbon cycle, biodiversity, and ecosystem services in tropical regions. However, acquiring these data in mountainous regions requires labor-intensive, often cost-prohibitive field protocols. Here, we report about validated methods to rapidly identify the spatial distribution of tropical forests, and obtain accurate extent estimates using phenology-based procedures that integrate the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) and Landsat imagery. Firstly, an analysis of temporal profiles of annual time-series MODIS Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI), and Land Surface Water Index (LSWI) was developed to identify the key phenology phase for extraction of tropical evergreen forests in five typical lands cover types. Secondly, identification signatures of tropical evergreen forests were selected and their related thresholds were calculated based on Landsat NDVI, EVI, and LSWI extracted from ground true samples of different land cover types during the key phenology phase. Finally, a map of tropical evergreen forests was created by a pixel-based thresholding. The developed methods were tested in Xishuangbanna, China, and the results show: (1) Integration of Landsat and MODIS images performs well in extracting evergreen forests in tropical complex mountainous regions. The overall accuracy of the resulting map of the case study was 92%; (2) Annual time series of high-temporal-resolution remote sensing images (MODIS) can effectively be used for identification of the key phenology phase (between Julian Date 20 and 120) to extract tropical evergreen forested areas through analysis of NDVI, EVI, and LSWI of different land cover types; (3) NDVI and LSWI are two effective metrics (NDVI ≥ 0.670 and 0.447 ≥ LSWI ≥ 0.222) to depict evergreen forests from other land cover types during the key phenology phase in tropical complex mountainous regions. This method can make full use of the Landsat and MODIS archives as well as their advantages for tropical evergreen forests geospatial inventories, and is simple and easy to use. This method is suggested for use with other similar regions.
      PubDate: 2017-01-29
      DOI: 10.3390/f8020034
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 2 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 35: Natural Regeneration in a Multi-Layered Pinus
           sylvestris-Picea abies Forest after Target Diameter Harvest and Soil

    • Authors: Lars Drössler, Nils Fahlvik, Natalia Wysocka, Karin Hjelm, Christian Kuehne
      First page: 35
      Abstract: Forest management in Sweden can be characterized by even-aged silviculture heavily relying on three established harvest regimes: clearcutting, the seed-tree method, and the shelterwood system. Less intense, small-scale retention harvest systems such as single tree and group selection harvest are rarely used. In addition, natural regeneration dynamics without enrichment planting have barely been studied. Consequently, this study examined natural regeneration establishment in a multi-layered Pinus sylvestris-Picea abies forest stand in southwest Sweden after target diameter harvesting and soil scarification. The creation of forest canopy gaps had a positive effect on total seedling density five years after harvest, mainly due to a significantly higher number of Betula pendula individuals. Seedling density of more desirable tree species suitable for continuous cover forestry such as Fagus sylvatica, Quercus petraea and Picea abies also increased substantially in gaps when compared to pre-harvest conditions or the unharvested plots. In contrast, soil scarification did not increase the number of seedlings of desired tree species due to a significant decrease in Picea abies abundance. Soil moisture and gap size significantly improved Betula pendula seedling establishment while a larger number of Quercus petraea seedlings were observed in Vaccinium myrtillus patches. We conclude that canopy gaps are beneficial under the encountered stand conditions to initiate forest regeneration, and that soil scarification without the timely occurrence of a mast year of desired tree species is not effective in the type of forest studied.
      PubDate: 2017-01-28
      DOI: 10.3390/f8020035
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 2 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 36:
           Spatial Upscaling of Soil Respiration under a
           Complex Canopy Structure in an Old‐Growth
           Deciduous Forest, Central Japan

    • Authors: Vilanee Suchewaboripont, Masaki Ando, Shinpei Yoshitake, Yasuo Iimura, Mitsuru Hirota, Toshiyuki Ohtsuka
      First page: 36
      Abstract: The structural complexity, especially canopy and gap structure, of old‐growth forests affects the spatial variation of soil respiration (Rs). Without considering this variation, the upscaling of Rs from field measurements to the forest site will be biased. The present study examined responses of Rs to soil temperature (Ts) and water content (W) in canopy and gap areas, developed the best fit modelof Rs and used the unique spatial patterns of Rs and crown closure to upscale chamber measurements to the site scale in an old‐growth beech‐oak forest. Rs increased with an increase in Ts in both gap and canopy areas, but the effect of W on Rs was different between the two areas. The generalized linear model (GLM) analysis identified that an empirical model of Rs with thecoupling of Ts and W was better than an exponential model of Rs with only Ts. Moreover, because of different responses of Rs to W between canopy and gap areas, it was necessary to estimate Rs in these areas separately. Consequently, combining the spatial patterns of Rs and the crown closure could allow upscaling of Rs from chamber‐based measurements to the whole site in the present study.
      PubDate: 2017-01-30
      DOI: 10.3390/f8020036
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 2 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 37: Potentials and Unknowns in Managing Coarse
           Woody Debris for Soil Functioning

    • Authors: Kenton Stutz, Friederike Lang
      First page: 37
      Abstract: More intensive removal of woody biomass for the bio-economy will disrupt litter and succession cycles. Especially at risk is the retention of fine and coarse woody debris (FWD and CWD), crucial factors in forest biodiversity and nutrient cycling. However, to what extent CWD affects soil functioning remains unknown, and is seldom considered. From 32 paired test–reference points in eight Fagus sylvatica (L.) stands throughout Southwest Germany, CWD significantly increased soil C/N ratios, base saturation, and possibly pH. CWD-induced changes in soil porosity, available water capacity, and total organic carbon depended on site and CWD characteristics. As such, CWD can be viewed as a “pedogenic hot-spot” of concentrated biogeochemical and -physical processes with outsized effects on soil functioning and development. CWD management for soil functioning should consider site and tree species specific volume thresholds, timed rotations, and spatial densities, but appropriate implementation requires further research to define best management practices. If successful, overall forest resilience as well as soil functioning and productivity can be improved.
      PubDate: 2017-02-04
      DOI: 10.3390/f8020037
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 2 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 38: Assessing Precision in Conventional Field
           Measurements of Individual Tree Attributes

    • Authors: Ville Luoma, Ninni Saarinen, Michael Wulder, Joanne White, Mikko Vastaranta, Markus Holopainen, Juha Hyyppä
      First page: 38
      Abstract: Forest resource information has a hierarchical structure: individual tree attributes are summed at the plot level and then in turn, plot-level estimates are used to derive stand or large-area estimates of forest resources. Due to this hierarchy, it is imperative that individual tree attributes are measured with accuracy and precision. With the widespread use of different measurement tools, it is also important to understand the expected degree of precision associated with these measurements. The most prevalent tree attributes measured in the field are tree species, stem diameter-at-breast-height (dbh), and tree height. For dbh and height, the most commonly used measuring devices are calipers and clinometers, respectively. The aim of our study was to characterize the precision of individual tree dbh and height measurements in boreal forest conditions when using calipers and clinometers. The data consisted of 319 sample trees at a study area in Evo, southern Finland. The sample trees were measured independently by four trained mensurationists. The standard deviation in tree dbh and height measurements was 0.3 cm (1.5%) and 0.5 m (2.9%), respectively. Precision was also assessed by tree species and tree size classes; however, there were no statistically significant differences between the mensurationists for dbh or height measurements. Our study offers insights into the expected precision of tree dbh and height as measured with the most commonly used devices. These results are important when using sample plot data in forest inventory applications, especially now, at a time when new tree attribute measurement techniques based on remote sensing are being developed and compared to the conventional caliper and clinometer measurements.
      PubDate: 2017-02-08
      DOI: 10.3390/f8020038
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 2 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 39: Livelihoods and Land Uses in Environmental
           Policy Approaches: The Case of PES and REDD+ in the Lam Dong Province of

    • Authors: Leif Trædal, Pål Vedeld
      First page: 39
      Abstract: This paper explores assumptions about the drivers of forest cover change in a Payments for Environmental Services (PES) and Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD+) context in the Lam Dong Province in Vietnam. In policy discourses, deforestation is often linked to ‘poor’ and ‘ethnic minority’ households and their unsustainable practices such as the expansion of coffee production (and other agricultural activities) into forest areas. This paper applies a livelihood framework to discuss the links between livelihoods and land use amongst small-scale farmers in two communities. The findings of the livelihood survey demonstrate no clear linkages between poverty levels and unsustainable practices. In fact, the poorest segments were found to deforest the least. The ways in which current PES and REDD+ approaches are designed, do not provide appropriate solutions to address the underlying dimensions of issues at stake. The paper criticizes one-dimensional perspectives of the drivers behind deforestation and forest degradation often found in public policies and discourses. We suggest more comprehensive analyses of underlying factors encompassing the entire coffee production and land use system in this region. Addressing issues of land tenure and the scarcity of productive lands, and generating viable off-farm income alternatives seem to be crucial. Sustainable approaches for reducing deforestation and degradation could be possible through engaging with multiple stakeholders, including the business-oriented households in control of the coffee trade and of land transactions.
      PubDate: 2017-02-08
      DOI: 10.3390/f8020039
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 2 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 40: Temporal Variability of Soil Respiration in
           Experimental Tree Plantations in Lowland Costa Rica

    • Authors: James Raich
      First page: 40
      Abstract: The principal objective of this study was to determine if there is consistent temporal variability in soil respiration from different forest plantations in a lowland tropical rainforest environment. Soil respiration was measured regularly over 2004 to 2010 in replicated plantations of 15- to 20-year-old evergreen tropical trees in lowland Costa Rica. Statistically significant but small differences in soil respiration were observed among hours of the day; daytime measurements were suitable for determining mean fluxes in this study. Fluxes varied more substantially among months, with the highest average emissions (5.9 μmol·m−2·s−1) occurring in September and low emissions (3.7 μmol·m−2·s−1) occurring in January. Three of the six tree species had significantly increasing rates of soil respiration across 2004–2010, with fluxes increasing at an average of 0.09 μmol·m−2·s−1 per year: the three other species had no long-term trends. It was hypothesized that there would be a tradeoff between carbon allocation aboveground, to produce new leaves, and belowground, to sustain roots and mycorrhizae, but the relationship between canopy leaf fall—a surrogate for canopy leaf flushing—and soil respiration was significantly positive. The similarities observed among temporal trends across plantation types, and significant relationships between soil respiration, soil water content and soil temperature, suggest that the physical environment largely controlled the temporal variability of soil respiration, but differences in flux magnitude among tree species were substantial and consistent across years.
      PubDate: 2017-02-08
      DOI: 10.3390/f8020040
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 2 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 41: Using Macronutrient Distributions within Trees
           to Define a Branch Diameter Threshold for Biomass Harvest in Sugar
           Maple-Dominated Stands

    • Authors: Samuel Royer-Tardif, Sylvain Delagrange, Philippe Nolet, David Rivest
      First page: 41
      Abstract: As the use of forest harvesting residues for energy production gains popularity, debate continues regarding the long-term sustainability of whole tree harvesting (WTH). This practice removes nutrient-rich twigs that only account for a small fraction of harvest residues, emphasising the need to develop nutrient-efficient alternatives to WTH. This study assessed N, P, K, Ca, and Mg distributions within sugar maple (Acer saccharum Marshall) and yellow birch (Betula alleghaniensis Britton) branches of various sizes in order to determine the branch diameter threshold that would represent the best compromise between the quantity of harvested biomass and nutrient losses that were generated. Quantities of nutrients that were exported with harvesting were then modelled at the stand level using different biomass harvest scenarios to explore what factors ultimately drove total quantities of nutrients exported with harvest. We found that the branch diameter threshold for biomass harvesting should be set at 2 cm for most nutrients in both tree species. An exception was Mg in yellow birch, for which the harvesting of branches larger than 10 cm would always generate larger nutrient export than gains in terms of biomass. At the stand scale, we provide evidence that the intensity of biomass harvest (i.e., the number of branch compartments harvested) is the principal factor responsible for the quantity of nutrient that is exported with harvesting.
      PubDate: 2017-02-11
      DOI: 10.3390/f8020041
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 2 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 42: Prediction of Dominant Forest Tree Species
           Using QuickBird and Environmental Data

    • Authors: Azadeh Abdollahnejad, Dimitrios Panagiotidis, Shaban Shataee Joybari, Peter Surový
      First page: 42
      Abstract: Modelling the spatial distribution of plants is one of the indirect methods for predicting the properties of plants and can be defined based on the relationship between the spatial distribution of vegetation and environmental variables. In this article, we introduce a new method for the spatial prediction of the dominant trees and species, through a combination of environmental and satellite data. Based on the basal area factor (BAF) frequency for each tree species in a total of 518 sample plots, the dominant tree species were determined for each plot. Also, topographical maps of primary and secondary properties were prepared using the digital elevation model (DEM). Categories of soil and the climate maps database of the Doctor Bahramnia Forestry Plan were extracted as well. After pre-processing and processing of spectral data, the pixel values at the sample locations in all the independent factors such as spectral and non-spectral data, were extracted. The modelling rates of tree and shrub species diversity using data mining algorithms of 80% of the sampling plots were taken. Assessment of model accuracy was conducted using 20% of samples and evaluation criteria. Random forest (RF), support vector machine (SVM) and k-nearest neighbor (k-NN) algorithms were used for spatial distribution modelling of dominant species groups using environmental and spectral variables from 80% of the sample plots. Results showed physiographic factors, especially altitude in combination with soil and climate factors as the most important variables in the distribution of species, while the best model was created by the integration of physiographic factors (in combination with soil and climate) with an overall accuracy of 63.85%. In addition, the results of the comparison between the algorithms, showed that the RF algorithm was the most accurate in modelling the diversity.
      PubDate: 2017-02-14
      DOI: 10.3390/f8020042
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 2 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 43: Evaluating the Effects of Carbon Prices on
           Trade-Offs between Carbon and Timber Management Objectives in Forest
           Spatial Harvest Scheduling Problems: A Case Study from Northeast China

    • Authors: Huiyan Qin, Lingbo Dong, Yingli Huang
      First page: 43
      Abstract: To mitigate global climatic changes, long-term carbon trading and carbon taxes have been implemented in many countries. However, carbon prices have varied in many of these regions. Therefore, the goal of this paper was to evaluate the effects of carbon prices on trade-offs between forest carbon and timber management objectives in spatial harvest scheduling problems. The objective function of the planning problem was designed to maximize the discounted net present value of harvested timber and the differences of carbon stocks in living tree biomass between the beginning and end of the planning horizon (DoC) within a 30-year time frame for a large forest region in northeast China. The constraints primarily related to maintaining an even flow of harvested timber and guaranteeing the maximum opening size. Forest developments were simulated using a set of standard stand-level growth and yield models, and the solutions of the planning problem were generated using the standard version of a simulated annealing algorithm. The effects of a wide range of carbon prices on the harvested timber and DoC levels were examined. The results showed that the trade-offs between forest harvested timber and the DoC displayed a typical nonlinear tendency as carbon prices increased. The current carbon prices (i.e., 25, 50 and 75 ¥/ton) in China had no significant effects on the optimal forest management plans compared with a scenario that used a carbon price of zero. The minimum carbon price that can provide the financial incentive for the forests to function as a significant carbon sink was estimated to be somewhat over 800 ¥/ton. This result could be useful in determining the appropriate carbon offset standard in this region.
      PubDate: 2017-02-14
      DOI: 10.3390/f8020043
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 2 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 44:
           Use of Real‐Time GNSS‐RF Data to Characterize the 
           Swing Movements of Forestry Equipment

    • Authors: Ryer Becker, Robert Keefe, Nathaniel Anderson
      First page: 44
      Abstract: The western United States faces significant forest management challenges after severe bark beetle infestations have led to substantial mortality. Minimizing costs is vital for increasing the feasibility of management operations in affected forests. Multi‐transmitter Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS)‐radio frequencies (RF) technology has applications in the quantification and analysis of harvest system production efficiency and provision of real‐time operational machine position, navigation, and timing. The aim of this study was to determine the accuracy with which multi‐transmitter GNSS‐RF captures the swinging and forwarding motions of ground based harvesting machines at varying transmission intervals. Assessing the accuracy of GNSS in capturing intricate machine movements is a first step toward development of a real‐time production model to assist timber harvesting of beetle‐killed lodgepole pine stands. In a complete randomized block experiment with four replicates, a log loader rotated to 18 predetermined angles with GNSS‐RF transponders collecting and sending data at two points along the machine boom (grapple and heel rack) and at three transmission intervals (2.5, 5.0, and 10.0 s). The 2.5 and 5.0 s intervals correctly identified 94% and 92% of cycles at the grapple and 92% and 89% of cycles at the heel, respectively. The 2.5 s interval successfully classified over 90% of individual cycle elements, while the 5.0 s interval returned statistically similar results. Predicted swing angles obtained the highest level of similarity to observed angles at the 2.5 s interval. Our results show that GNSS‐RF is useful for realtime, model‐based analysis of forest operations, including woody biomass production logistics.
      PubDate: 2017-02-15
      DOI: 10.3390/f8020044
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 2 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 45: Regeneration Responses to Management for
           Old-Growth Characteristics in Northern Hardwood-Conifer Forests

    • Authors: Aviva Gottesman, William Keeton
      First page: 45
      Abstract: Successful tree regeneration is essential for sustainable forest management, yet it can be limited by the interaction of harvesting effects and multiple ecological drivers. In northern hardwood forests, for example, there is uncertainty whether low-intensity selection harvesting techniques will result in adequate and desirable regeneration. Our research is part of a long-term study that tests the hypothesis that a silvicultural approach called “structural complexity enhancement” (SCE) can accelerate the development of late-successional forest structure and functions. Our objective is to understand the regeneration dynamics following three uneven-aged forestry treatments with high levels of retention: single-tree selection, group selection, and SCE. Regeneration density and diversity can be limited by differing treatment effects on or interactions among light availability, competitive environment, substrate, and herbivory. To explore these relationships, manipulations and controls were replicated across 2 ha treatment units at two Vermont sites. Forest inventory data were collected pre-harvest and periodically over 13 years post-harvest. We used mixed effects models with repeated measures to evaluate the effect of treatment on seedling and sapling density and diversity (Shannon–Weiner H’). The treatments were all successful in recruiting a sapling class with significantly greater sapling densities compared to the controls. However, undesirable and prolific beech (Fagus americana) sprouting dominates some patches in the understory of all the treatments, creating a high degree of spatial variability in the competitive environment for regeneration. Multivariate analyses suggest that while treatment had a dominant effect, other factors were influential in driving regeneration responses. These results indicate variants of uneven-aged systems that retain or enhance elements of stand structural complexity—including old-growth characteristics—can generally foster abundant regeneration of important late successional tree species depending on site conditions, but they may require beech control where beech sprouting inhibits desired regeneration.
      PubDate: 2017-02-16
      DOI: 10.3390/f8020045
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 2 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 46:
           A Demographic Approach to Evaluating Tree 
           Population Sustainability

    • Authors: Corey Halpin, Craig Lorimer
      First page: 46
      Abstract: Quantitative criteria for assessing demographic sustainability of tree populations would be useful in forest conservation, as climate change and a growing complex of invasive pests are likely to drive forests outside their historic range of variability. In this paper, we used CANOPY, a spatially explicit, individual‐tree model, to examine the effects of initial size distributions on sustainability of tree populations for 70 northern hardwood stands under current environmental conditions. A demographic sustainability index was calculated as the ratio of future simulated basal area to current basal area, given current demographic structure and density‐dependent demographic equations. Only steeply descending size distributions were indicated to be moderately or highly sustainable (final basal area/initial basal area ≥0.7 over several tree generations). Five of the six principal species had demographic sustainability index values of <0.6 in 40%–84% of the stands. However, at a small landscape scale, nearly all species had mean index values >1. Simulation experiments suggested that a minimum sapling density of 300 per hectare was required to sustain the initial basal area, but further increases in sapling density did not increase basal area because of coincident increases in mortality. A variable slope with high q‐ratios in small size classes was needed to maintain the existing overstory of mature and old‐growth stands. This analytical approach may be useful in identifying stands needing restoration treatments to maintain existing species composition in situations where forests are likely to have future recruitment limitations.
      PubDate: 2017-02-16
      DOI: 10.3390/f8020046
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 2 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 47: Forest Islands and Castaway Communities: REDD+
           and Forest Restoration in Prey Lang Forest

    • Authors: Courtney Work
      First page: 47
      Abstract: Climate Change policies are playing an ever-increasing role in global development strategies and their implementation gives rise to often-unforeseen social conflicts and environmental degradations. A landscape approach to analyzing forest-based Climate Change Mitigation policies (CCM) and land grabs in the Prey Lang Forest landscape, Cambodia revealed two Korea-Cambodia partnership projects designed to increase forest cover that are juxtaposed in this paper. Case study data revealed a REDD+ project with little negative impact or social conflict in the project area and an Afforestation/Reforestation (A/R) project that created both social and ecological conflicts. The study concludes that forest-based CCM policies can reduce conflict through efforts at minimal transformation of local livelihoods, maximal attention to the tenure rights, responsibilities, and authority of citizens, and by improving, not degrading, the project landscapes. The paper presents the circumstances under which these guidelines are sidestepped by the A/R project, and importantly reveals that dramatic forest and livelihood transformation had already affected the community and environment in the REDD+ project site. There are deep contradictions at the heart of climate change policies toward which attention must be given, lest we leave our future generations with nothing but forest islands and castaway communities.
      PubDate: 2017-02-17
      DOI: 10.3390/f8020047
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 2 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 48: Laurel Wilt in Natural and Agricultural
           Ecosystems: Understanding the Drivers and Scales of Complex Pathosystems

    • Authors: Randy Ploetz, Paul Kendra, Robin Choudhury, Jeffrey Rollins, Alina Campbell, Karen Garrett, Marc Hughes, Tyler Dreaden
      First page: 48
      Abstract: Laurel wilt kills members of the Lauraceae plant family in the southeastern United States. It is caused by Raffaelea lauricola T.C. Harr., Fraedrich and Aghayeva, a nutritional fungal symbiont of an invasive Asian ambrosia beetle, Xyleborus glabratus Eichhoff, which was detected in Port Wentworth, Georgia, in 2002. The beetle is the primary vector of R. lauricola in forests along the southeastern coastal plain of the United States, but other ambrosia beetle species that obtained the pathogen after the initial introduction may play a role in the avocado (Persea americana Miller) pathosystem. Susceptible taxa are naïve (new-encounter) hosts that originated outside Asia. In the southeastern United States, over 300 million trees of redbay (P. borbonia (L.) Spreng.) have been lost, and other North American endemics, non-Asian ornamentals and avocado—an important crop that originated in MesoAmerica—are also affected. However, there are no reports of laurel wilt on the significant number of lauraceous endemics that occur in the Asian homeland of R. lauricola and X. glabratus; coevolved resistance to the disease in the region has been hypothesized. The rapid spread of laurel wilt in the United States is due to an efficient vector, X. glabratus, and the movement of wood infested with the insect and pathogen. These factors, the absence of fully resistant genotypes, and the paucity of effective control measures severely constrain the disease’s management in forest ecosystems and avocado production areas.
      PubDate: 2017-02-18
      DOI: 10.3390/f8020048
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 2 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 49: Simulating Changes in Fires and Ecology of the
           21st Century Eurasian Boreal Forests of Siberia

    • Authors: Ksenia Brazhnik, Charles Hanley, Herman Shugart
      First page: 49
      Abstract: Wildfires release the greatest amount of carbon into the atmosphere compared to other forest disturbances. To understand how current and potential future fire regimes may affect the role of the Eurasian boreal forest in the global carbon cycle, we employed a new, spatially-explicit fire module DISTURB-F (DISTURBance-Fire) in tandem with a spatially-explicit, individually-based gap dynamics model SIBBORK (SIBerian BOReal forest simulator calibrated to Krasnoyarsk Region). DISTURB-F simulates the effect of forest fire on the boreal ecosystem, namely the mortality of all or only the susceptible trees (loss of biomass, i.e., carbon) within the forested landscape. The fire module captures some important feedbacks between climate, fire and vegetation structure. We investigated the potential climate-driven changes in the fire regime and vegetation in middle and south taiga in central Siberia, a region with extensive boreal forest and rapidly changing climate. The output from this coupled simulation can be used to estimate carbon losses from the ecosystem as a result of fires of different sizes and intensities over the course of secondary succession (decades to centuries). Furthermore, it may be used to assess the post-fire carbon storage capacity of potential future forests, the structure and composition of which may differ significantly from current Eurasian boreal forests due to regeneration under a different climate.
      PubDate: 2017-02-21
      DOI: 10.3390/f8020049
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 2 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 50:
           Resources and Rules of the Game: Participation of 
           Civil Society in REDD+ and FLEGT‐VPA Processes in  Lao PDR

    • Authors: Irmeli Mustalahti, Mathias Cramm, Sabaheta Ramcilovic‐Suominen, Yitagesu Tegegne
      First page: 50
      Abstract: Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) aims to achieve its purpose by working across multiple sectors and involving multilevel actors in reducing deforestation and forest degradation in tropical countries. By contrast, the European Union (EU) Action Plan on Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) and its Voluntary Partnership Agreements (VPAs) focus on forestry and functions at a bilateral state level. The FLEGT Action Plan specifically aims to tackle illegal logging and improve forest governance in countries exporting tropical timber to the EU. Since illegal logging is just one driver of forest degradation, and legalisation of logging does not necessarily reduce deforestation and forest degradation, the two instruments differ in scope. However, by addressing the causes of forest degradation and their underlying governance issues, the FLEGT VPAs and REDD+ share many functional linkages at higher levels of forest policy and forest governance. The contribution and participation of civil society organisations (CSOs) and other actors are imperative to both processes. Our study is based on a survey of key actors (national and international) in REDD+ and FLEGT VPA processes in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR). Our analysis was guided by the theoretical perspectives of the policy arrangement approach and examination of two specific dimensions of this approach, namely resources and rules of the game. This paper argues that participation of CSOs in both processes is crucial because it facilitates and nurtures much needed cooperation between other national and international actors. The paper concludes that participation of CSOs could bring valuable information and knowledge into REDD+ and FLEGT VPA processes, thus contributing to increased legitimacy, justice and transparency.
      PubDate: 2017-02-21
      DOI: 10.3390/f8020050
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 2 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 20: Influence of Heartwood on Wood Density and Pulp
           Properties Explained by Machine Learning Techniques

    • Authors: Carla Iglesias, António Santos, Javier Martínez, Helena Pereira, Ofélia Anjos
      First page: 20
      Abstract: The aim of this work is to develop a tool to predict some pulp properties e.g., pulp yield, Kappa number, ISO brightness (ISO 2470:2008), fiber length and fiber width, using the sapwood and heartwood proportion in the raw-material. For this purpose, Acacia melanoxylon trees were collected from four sites in Portugal. Percentage of sapwood and heartwood, area and the stem eccentricity (in N-S and E-W directions) were measured on transversal stem sections of A. melanoxylon R. Br. The relative position of the samples with respect to the total tree height was also considered as an input variable. Different configurations were tested until the maximum correlation coefficient was achieved. A classical mathematical technique (multiple linear regression) and machine learning methods (classification and regression trees, multi-layer perceptron and support vector machines) were tested. Classification and regression trees (CART) was the most accurate model for the prediction of pulp ISO brightness (R = 0.85). The other parameters could be predicted with fair results (R = 0.64–0.75) by CART. Hence, the proportion of heartwood and sapwood is a relevant parameter for pulping and pulp properties, and should be taken as a quality trait when assessing a pulpwood resource.
      PubDate: 2017-01-06
      DOI: 10.3390/f8010020
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 1 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 21: Windthrow Detection in European Forests with
           Very High-Resolution Optical Data

    • Authors: Kathrin Einzmann, Markus Immitzer, Sebastian Böck, Oliver Bauer, Andreas Schmitt, Clement Atzberger
      First page: 21
      Abstract: With climate change, extreme storms are expected to occur more frequently. These storms can cause severe forest damage, provoking direct and indirect economic losses for forestry. To minimize economic losses, the windthrow areas need to be detected fast to prevent subsequent biotic damage, for example, related to beetle infestations. Remote sensing is an efficient tool with high potential to cost-efficiently map large storm affected regions. Storm Niklas hit South Germany in March 2015 and caused widespread forest cover loss. We present a two-step change detection approach applying commercial very high-resolution optical Earth Observation data to spot forest damage. First, an object-based bi-temporal change analysis is carried out to identify windthrow areas larger than 0.5 ha. For this purpose, a supervised Random Forest classifier is used, including a semi-automatic feature selection procedure; for image segmentation, the large-scale mean shift algorithm was chosen. Input features include spectral characteristics, texture, vegetation indices, layer combinations and spectral transformations. A hybrid-change detection approach at pixel-level subsequently identifies small groups of fallen trees, combining the most important features of the previous processing step with Spectral Angle Mapper and Multivariate Alteration Detection. The methodology was evaluated on two test sites in Bavaria with RapidEye data at 5 m pixel resolution. The results regarding windthrow areas larger than 0.5 ha were validated with reference data from field visits and acquired through orthophoto interpretation. For the two test sites, the novel object-based change detection approach identified over 90% of the windthrow areas (≥0.5 ha). The red edge channel was the most important for windthrow identification. Accuracy levels of the change detection at tree level could not be calculated, as it was not possible to collect field data for single trees, nor was it possible to perform an orthophoto validation. Nevertheless, the plausibility and applicability of the pixel-based approach is demonstrated on a second test site.
      PubDate: 2017-01-06
      DOI: 10.3390/f8010021
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 1 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 22: Spatial Genetic Structure within and among Seed
           Stands of Pinus engelmannii Carr. and Pinus leiophylla Schiede ex Schltdl.
           & Cham, in Durango, Mexico

    • Authors: María Ortiz-Olivas, José Hernández-Díaz, Matthias Fladung, Álvaro Cañadas-López, José Prieto-Ruíz, Christian Wehenkel
      First page: 22
      Abstract: Studies of spatial genetic structure (SGS) are important because they offer detailed insights into historical demographic and evolutionary processes and provide important information regarding species conservation and management. Pinus engelmannii and P. leiophylla var. leiophylla are two important timber tree species in Mexico, covering about 2.5 and 1.9 million hectares, respectively. However, studies in relation to population genetics are unfortunately scant. The aim of this research was to use amplified fragment length polymorphisms (AFLP) analysis to identify potential differences in spatial genetic structure within and among seven Pinus engelmannii and nine P. leiophylla var. leiophylla seed stands in Durango, Mexico. Within the 16 seed stands of the two tested pine species, no significant SGS was detected, although SGS was detected among the seed stands. We concluded that the collection of seed in only some seed stands should not significantly alter the degree of genetic differentiation within the (collected) seed. Distances between seed orchards and pollen propagators of more than 24 km for P. engelmannii and 7 km for P. leiophylla may be sufficient to limit contamination. Finally, local seeds should be used for (re)forestation.
      PubDate: 2017-01-10
      DOI: 10.3390/f8010022
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 1 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 23: Acknowledgement to Reviewers of Forests in 2016

    • Authors: Forests Editorial Office
      First page: 23
      Abstract: n/a
      PubDate: 2017-01-11
      DOI: 10.3390/f8010023
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 1 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 24: Spread of the Introduced Sitka Spruce (Picea
           sitchensis) in Coastal Norway

    • Authors: Per Nygaard, Bernt-Håvard Øyen
      First page: 24
      Abstract: Positive and negative effects on ecosystem services from plantation forestry in Europe have led to conflicts regarding non-native tree species. Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis (Bong.) Carr.) is the most common plantation species in northwest Europe, covering 1.3 Mha. In costal Norway, Sitka spruce was intentionally introduced and is currently occupying about 50,000 ha. Sitka spruce was blacklisted in Norway in 2012, mainly based on the risk for invasive spreading, but little quantitative documentation exists on spread. Here we quantify spread from plantations into abandoned heathland and pastures in thirteen sites where natural regeneration occurs. Spread distances and zero-square distributions related to the nearest edge of the parent stand were fitted by use of Weibull. The median expansion rate was 0.8 m·year−1 in north Norway and 4.4 m·year−1 in west Norway. The maximum establishment distance measured was 996 m. A peak in sapling density occurred within 50 m from the edge, and there was a general decrease in saplings with increasing distance. Conversely, increase in zero-squares percentages occurred with increasing distance. We argue that inclusion of abundance in assessing spread is necessary to define invasiveness. Based on spread models and prevailing forestry practices we recommend that the establishment of new Sitka spruce plantations within 200 m of protected areas should be avoided.
      PubDate: 2017-01-14
      DOI: 10.3390/f8010024
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 1 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 25: Using Fractal Analysis in Modeling the Dynamics
           of Forest Areas and Economic Impact Assessment: Maramureș County,
           Romania, as a Case Study

    • Authors: Radu-Daniel Pintilii, Ion Andronache, Daniel Diaconu, Răzvan Dobrea, Martina Zeleňáková, Rasmus Fensholt, Daniel Peptenatu, Cristian-Constantin Drăghici, Ana-Maria Ciobotaru
      First page: 25
      Abstract: This study uses fractal analysis to quantify the spatial changes of forest resources caused by an increase of deforested areas. The method introduced contributes to the evaluation of forest resources being under significant pressure from anthropogenic activities. The pressure on the forest resources has been analyzed for Maramureș County, one of the most deforested counties in Romania. In order to evaluate this, the deforested areas were calculated for the period of 2001–2014, by using the Global Forest Change 2000–2014 database. The Fractal Fragmentation Index (FFI) and Fixed Grid 2D Lacunarity (FG2DL) were used to quantify the degree of fragmentation and dispersion of the forested areas, and thereby the extent to which a forest area is affected by deforestation. The process of quantifying the pressure on forested areas included the creation of a database for the period of 2000–2014 containing economic activities (turnover) related to woody recourses, important indicators of forest exploitation. Taken together, the results obtained indicate a dramatic increase in deforested areas (over 19,122 ha in total for the period of analysis), in Maramureș County.
      PubDate: 2017-01-14
      DOI: 10.3390/f8010025
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 1 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 26: Patterns of Branch Growth and Death in Crowns
           of Sakhalin Spruce, Picea glehnii (F. Schmidt) Mast

    • Authors: Lei Chen, Akihiro Sumida
      First page: 26
      Abstract: The development of crown architecture strongly affects tree growth and survival. Growth and death of primary branches (those branching off from the main stem) and secondary branches (those from a primary branch) in the lowest part of the crown were investigated for Picea glehnii in an even-aged plantation. Probability of death of a primary branch decreased as the length between its basal location and the crown base (LCB) increased (p = 0.04), but this probability was not significantly related to the relative photosynthetic photon flux density (rPPFD) above the primary branch (p = 0.18). The probability of producing one or more current-year shoots on a primary branch increased with increasing rPPFD above the primary branch (p = 0.01); however, this probability was unrelated to LCB (p = 0.29). Secondary branches at the distal part of a primary branch produced more current-year shoots and exhibited a lower probability of death than proximal branches (p < 0.01), probably because rPPFD above the distal secondary branches was greater than the proximal branches (p < 0.01). Our results suggest that, while local light conditions are relevant to shoot production and shoot death on a primary branch, the death of an entire primary branch may be related to some morphological attributes concerning the length to the crown base.
      PubDate: 2017-01-15
      DOI: 10.3390/f8010026
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 1 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 27: The Use of Auxin Quantification for
           Understanding Clonal Tree Propagation

    • Authors: Carlos Stuepp, Ivar Wendling, Stephen Trueman, Henrique Koehler, Katia Zuffellato-Ribas
      First page: 27
      Abstract: Qualitative and quantitative hormone analyses have been essential for understanding the metabolic, physiological, and morphological processes that are influenced by plant hormones. Auxins are key hormones in the control of many aspects of plant growth and development and their endogenous levels are considered critical in the process of adventitious root induction. Exogenous auxins are used extensively in the clonal propagation of tree species by cuttings or tissue culture. Understanding of auxin effects has advanced with the development of increasingly accurate methods for auxin quantification. However, auxin analysis has been challenging because auxins typically occur at low concentrations, while compounds that interfere with their detection often occur at high concentrations, in plant tissues. Interference from other compounds has been addressed by extensive purification of plant extracts prior to auxin analysis, although this means that quantification methods have been limited by their expense. This review explores the extraction, purification, and quantification of auxins and the application of these techniques in developing improved methods for the clonal propagation of forestry trees.
      PubDate: 2017-01-17
      DOI: 10.3390/f8010027
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 1 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 28: Sampling Method and Tree-Age Affect Soil
           Organic C and N Contents in Larch Plantations

    • Authors: Huimei Wang, Wenjie Wang, Scott Chang
      First page: 28
      Abstract: We currently have a poor understanding of how different soil sampling methods (pedogenetic horizon versus fixed-depth) influence the evaluation of soil properties. Here, 159 soil profiles were sampled from larch (Larix gmelinii) plantations in northeast China using both the pedogenetic horizon and fixed-depth sampling methods. Analysis of variance was used to determine how sampling method influences the assessment of the spatial variation in the concentration and storage of soil organic C (SOC) and N (SON), as well as how these properties are affected by tree age-group (<20, 20–40, and >40 years). In both the 20 cm (surface) and 80 cm (whole profile) sampling depths, pedogenetic sampling resulted in 1.2- to 1.4-fold higher SOC and SON concentrations than fixed-depth sampling. Surface soil nutrient storage between the two sampling methods was not significantly different, but was it was 1.2-fold higher (p < 0.05) with pedogenetic sampling than with fixed-depth sampling in the whole soil profile. For a given error limit in SOC and SON assessments, fixed-depth sampling had a 60%~90% minimum sampling intensity requirement compared with pedogenetic horizon sampling. Additionally, SOC was 1.1- to 1.3-fold greater in the >40 years age-group than in the <20 years age-group (p < 0.05), while SON was the highest in the 20–40 years age-group (p < 0.05). The total amount of SOC and nutrients in soil is fixed regardless how you sample, it is the different assumptions and different ways of extrapolation from samples to the population that cause sampling by horizon versus fixed depth to lead to different conclusions. Our findings highlight that soil sampling method and tree age-group affect the determination of the spatial variation of SOC and SON and future soil assessments should control for methodological differences.
      PubDate: 2017-01-17
      DOI: 10.3390/f8010028
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 1 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 29: REDD+: Quick Assessment of Deforestation Risk
           Based on Available Data

    • Authors: Giulio Di Lallo, Philip Mundhenk, Sheila Zamora López, Marco Marchetti, Michael Köhl
      First page: 29
      Abstract: The evaluation of the future dynamics of deforestation is essential to creating the basis for the effective implementation of REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation) initiatives. Such evaluation is often a challenging task, especially for countries that have to cope with a critical lack of data and capacities, higher uncertainties, and competing interests. We present a new modeling approach that makes use of available and easily accessible data sources to predict the spatial location of future deforestation. This approach is based on the Random Forest algorithm, which is a machine learning technique that enables evidence-based, data-driven decisions and is therefore often used in decision-making processes. Our objective is to provide a straightforward modeling approach that, without requiring cost-intensive assessments, can be applied in the early stages of REDD+, for a stepwise implementation approach of REDD+ projects in regions with limited availability of data, capital, technical infrastructure, or human capacities. The presented model focuses on building business-as-usual scenarios to identify and rank potentially suitable areas for REDD+ interventions. For validation purposes we applied the model to data from Nicaragua.
      PubDate: 2017-01-22
      DOI: 10.3390/f8010029
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 1 (2017)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 1: Extensive Operating Experiments on the
           Conversion of Fuel-Bound Nitrogen into Nitrogen Oxides in the Combustion
           of Wood Fuel

    • Authors: Ladislav Dzurenda, Emília Hroncová, Juraj Ladomerský
      First page: 1
      Abstract: This paper presents a wide, targeted, operational experiment on the conversion of fuel-bound nitrogen to nitrogen oxides. The experiment was implemented by studying the production of energy in 16-grate boilers. The conversion factor was determined based on the nitrogen content in individual types of dendromass and on nitrogen oxide emissions in flue gases. In measuring emissions, 103 average values for the concentration of nitrous oxide were found. Every average value was set using three consecutive half-hour emission measurements. The specific thermal output of the boilers was 300 to 2500 kW. The nitrogen content in the deliberately selected dendromass was within a wide interval of Ndaf values between 0.04% and 1.26%. The dependence of the conversion factor, XNOx, upon the content of fuel-bound nitrogen is very accurately expressed by the power function.
      PubDate: 2016-12-22
      DOI: 10.3390/f8010001
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 1 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 2: Independent Effects of Invasive Shrubs and Deer
           Herbivory on Plant Community Dynamics

    • Authors: Jeffrey Ward, Scott Williams, Megan Linske
      First page: 2
      Abstract: Both invasive species and deer herbivory are recognized as locally important drivers of plant community dynamics. However, few studies have examined whether their effects are synergistic, additive, or antagonistic. At three study areas in southern New England, we examined the interaction of white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus Zimmermann) herbivory and three levels of invasive shrub control over seven growing seasons on the dynamics of nine herbaceous and shrub guilds. Although evidence of synergistic interactions was minimal, the separate effects of invasive shrub control and deer herbivory on plant community composition and dynamics were profound. Plant communities remained relatively unchanged where invasive shrubs were not treated, regardless if deer herbivory was excluded or not. With increasing intensity of invasive shrub control, native shrubs and forbs became more dominant where deer herbivory was excluded, and native graminoids became progressively more dominant where deer herbivory remained severe. While deer exclusion and intensive invasive shrub control increased native shrubs and forbs, it also increased invasive vines. Restoring native plant communities in areas with both established invasive shrub thickets and severe deer browsing will require an integrated management plan to eliminate recalcitrant invasive shrubs, reduce deer browsing intensity, and quickly treat other opportunistic invasive species.
      PubDate: 2016-12-22
      DOI: 10.3390/f8010002
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 1 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 3: Adaptive Variation and Introgression of a
           CONSTANS-Like Gene in North American Red Oaks

    • Authors: Jennifer Lind-Riehl, Oliver Gailing
      First page: 3
      Abstract: Oaks provide a model system to study maintenance of species identity by divergent selection since they maintain morphological differences and ecological adaptations despite interspecific hybridization. The genome of closely related interfertile oak species was shown to be largely homogeneous, with a few genomic areas exhibiting high interspecific differentiation possibly as result of strong divergent selection. Previously, a genic microsatellite was identified as under strong divergent selection, being nearly fixed on alternative alleles in the two interfertile North American red oak species: Quercus rubra L. and Quercus ellipsoidalis E.J. Hill. Further genotyping in two other red oak species—Quercus velutina Lam. and Quercus coccinea Münchh.—revealed a similar bias for the Q. ellipsoidalis-specific allele. To further elucidate the basis of this differentiation, we sequenced the microsatellite in individuals from all four red oak species. Sequence variability was observed in the microsatellite motif which encodes a poly-Q repeat in a COL gene involved in phenology and growth. Furthermore, in neighboring (parapatric) Q. rubra/Q. ellipsoidalis populations, introgression of the Q. ellipsoidalis-specific allele into Q. rubra occurred at a lower rate than introgression of the Q. rubra-specific allele into Q. ellipsoidalis despite symmetric interspecific gene flow, indicating potential adaptive introgression. Introgression of adaptive alleles can be an important mechanism for rapid adaptation to new environmental conditions (e.g., climate change).
      PubDate: 2016-12-22
      DOI: 10.3390/f8010003
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 1 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 4: Governing Cambodia’s Forests: The
           International Politics of Policy Reform. Edited by Andrew Cock, NIAS
           Press, 2016; 322 Pages. Price: Hardback $80; £50, ISBN 978-87-7694-166-6;
           Paperback $32; £19.99, ISBN 978-87-7694-167-3

    • Authors: Shu-Kun Lin
      First page: 4
      Abstract: n/a
      PubDate: 2016-12-22
      DOI: 10.3390/f8010004
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 1 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 5: Influence of Forest Harvest on Nitrate
           Concentration in Temperate Streams—A Meta-Analysis

    • Authors: Anne-Christine Mupepele, Carsten Dormann
      First page: 5
      Abstract: Forest harvest alters natural nutrient cycles, which is reflected in stream water run-off from harvested catchments. Nitrate is an essential nutrient for plant growth, but increased concentrations in rivers, lakes, and oceans have contributed to eutrophication and anoxic conditions. Based on a literature review, we assessed the impact of three different harvest methods—clearcut, patchcut, and selective harvest—on nitrate concentrations in temperate forest streams. In a meta-analysis, the influence of harvest methods and additional environmental variables was analysed. Nitrate concentrations are significantly influenced by harvest methods, forest composition, site altitude, and time passed after the harvesting. The remaining unexplained between-site variability is small compared to the between-site variability explained by the model, indicating the model’s validity. The effect of forest harvest is most pronounced in coniferous and deciduous forests, where clearcuts and patchcuts result in high nitrate run-off three to five years after harvest. Mixed forest plots can compensate for clearcut and patchcut, and do not show a significantly increased nitrate concentration after harvest. Selective harvest at low intensities succeeded in maintaining nitrate levels similar to control or pre-harvest levels in coniferous and mixed forests, and showed a positive but not significant trend in deciduous forests. Coniferous and deciduous monocultures clearly face the problem that nitrate wash-out cannot be minimized by reducing clearcut to patchcut harvest, whereas mixed forests are more suitable to diminish nitrate wash-out in both clearcut and patchcut.
      PubDate: 2016-12-22
      DOI: 10.3390/f8010005
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 1 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 6: Resource Limitations Influence Growth and Vigor
           of Idaho Fescue, a Common Understory Species in Pacific Northwest
           Ponderosa Pine Forests

    • Authors: Craig Carr, William Krueger
      First page: 6
      Abstract: Alterations in under-canopy resource availability associated with elevated ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa Dougl.) abundance can negatively influence understory vegetation. Experimental evidence linking under-canopy resource availability and understory vegetation is scarce. Yet this information would be beneficial in developing management strategies to recover desired understory species. We tested the effects of varying nitrogen (N) and light availability on Idaho fescue (Festuca idahoensis Elmer), the dominant understory species in ponderosa pine/Idaho fescue plant associations in eastern Oregon. In a greenhouse experiment, two levels of N (50 kg∙N∙ha−1 and 0 kg∙N∙ha−1) and shade (80% shade and 0% shade) were applied in a split-plot design to individual potted plants grown in soil collected from high abundance pine stands. Plants grown in unshaded conditions produced greater root (p = 0.0027) and shoot (p = 0.0017) biomass and higher cover values (p = 0.0378) compared to those in the shaded treatments. The addition of N had little effect on plant growth (p = 0.1602, 0.5129, and 0.0853 for shoot biomass, root biomass, and cover, respectively), suggesting that soils in high-density ponderosa pine stands that lack understory vegetation were not N deficient and Idaho fescue plants grown in these soils were not N limited. Management activities that increase under-canopy light availability will promote the conditions necessary for Idaho fescue recovery. However, successful restoration may be constrained by a lack of residual fescue or the invasion of more competitive understory vegetation.
      PubDate: 2016-12-22
      DOI: 10.3390/f8010006
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 1 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 7: Direct Measurement of Tree Height Provides
           Different Results on the Assessment of LiDAR Accuracy

    • Authors: Emanuele Sibona, Alessandro Vitali, Fabio Meloni, Lucia Caffo, Alberto Dotta, Emanuele Lingua, Renzo Motta, Matteo Garbarino
      First page: 7
      Abstract: In this study, airborne laser scanning-based and traditional field-based survey methods for tree heights estimation are assessed by using one hundred felled trees as a reference dataset. Comparisons between remote sensing and field-based methods were applied to four circular permanent plots located in the western Italian Alps and established within the Alpine Space project NewFor. Remote sensing (Airborne Laser Scanning, ALS), traditional field-based (indirect measurement, IND), and direct measurement of felled trees (DIR) methods were compared by using summary statistics, linear regression models, and variation partitioning. Our results show that tree height estimates by Airborne Laser Scanning (ALS) approximated to real heights (DIR) of felled trees. Considering the species separately, Larix decidua was the species that showed the smaller mean absolute difference (0.95 m) between remote sensing (ALS) and direct field (DIR) data, followed by Picea abies and Pinus sylvestris (1.13 m and 1.04 m, respectively). Our results cannot be generalized to ALS surveys with low pulses density (<5/m2) and with view angles far from zero (nadir). We observed that the tree heights estimation by laser scanner is closer to actual tree heights (DIR) than traditional field-based survey, and this was particularly valid for tall trees with conical shape crowns.
      PubDate: 2016-12-23
      DOI: 10.3390/f8010007
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 1 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 8: Effects of Repeated Growing Season Prescribed
           Fire on the Structure and Composition of Pine–Hardwood Forests in the
           Southeastern Piedmont, USA

    • Authors: Matthew Reilly, Kenneth Outcalt, Joseph O’Brien, Dale Wade
      First page: 8
      Abstract: We examined the effects of repeated growing season prescribed fire on the structure and composition of mixed pine–hardwood forests in the southeastern Piedmont region, Georgia, USA. Plots were burned two to four times over an eight-year period with low intensity surface fires during one of four six-week long periods from early April to mid-September. Density of saplings (0.25–11.6 cm diameter at breast height) was significantly reduced after one or two fires during the first four-year period. Sapling density declined with additional burning over the next four years, but density of mesic hardwoods including sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua) and red maple (Acer rubrum) remained relatively high (~865 stems ha−1). Repeated burning had little effect on density or basal area of trees (≥11.7 cm dbh) and changes in overstory structure were limited to small increases in the quadratic mean diameter of all trees and pines. We found little evidence to suggest differential effects on structure or composition due to timing of burn within the growing season. Although repeated growing season burning alters midstory structure and composition, burning alone is unlikely to result in immediate shifts in overstory composition or structure in mixed pine–hardwood forests of the southeastern Piedmont region.
      PubDate: 2016-12-26
      DOI: 10.3390/f8010008
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 1 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 9: Influence of Fuel Load Dynamics on Carbon
           Emission by Wildfires in the Clay Belt Boreal Landscape

    • Authors: Aurélie Terrier, Mathieu Paquette, Sylvie Gauthier, Martin Girardin, Sylvain Pelletier-Bergeron, Yves Bergeron
      First page: 9
      Abstract: Old-growth forests play a decisive role in preserving biodiversity and ecological functions. In an environment frequently disturbed by fire, the importance of old-growth forests as both a carbon stock as well as a source of emissions when burnt is not fully understood. Here, we report on carbon accumulation with time since the last fire (TSF) in the dominant forest types of the Clay Belt region in eastern North America. To do so, we performed a fuel inventory (tree biomass, herbs and shrubs, dead woody debris, and duff loads) along four chronosequences. Carbon emissions by fire through successional stages were simulated using the Canadian Fire Effects Model. Our results show that fuel accumulates with TSF, especially in coniferous forests. Potential carbon emissions were on average 11.9 t·ha−1 and 29.5 t·ha−1 for old-growth and young forests, respectively. In conclusion, maintaining old-growth forests in the Clay Belt landscape not only ensures a sustainable management of the boreal forest, but it also optimizes the carbon storage.
      PubDate: 2016-12-24
      DOI: 10.3390/f8010009
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 1 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 10: Buffer-Mediated Effects of Clearcutting on
           In-Pool Amphibian Productivity: Can Aquatic Processes Compensate for
           Terrestrial Habitat Disturbance?

    • Authors: Jessica Veysey Powell, Kimberly Babbitt
      First page: 10
      Abstract: Natural resource extraction and wildlife conservation are often perceived as incompatible. For wetland-dependent amphibians, forested buffers may mitigate timber-harvest impacts, but little empirical research has focused on buffers around lentic habitats. We conducted a landscape experiment to examine how spotted salamander and wood frog reproductive output (i.e., eggmass and metamorph production) respond to clearcutting mediated by buffers of different widths (i.e., uncut, 30 m buffer, 100 m buffer) at ephemeral pools in an industrial forest. We found complex interactions between buffer treatment and reproductive output, which were strongly mediated by hydroperiod. Overall, reproductive output was most sensitive at 30 m-buffer pools and for salamanders, but responses diverged across productivity metrics even within these categories. Notably, for both cut treatments over time, while salamander eggmass abundance decreased, metamorph productivity (i.e., snout-vent length [SVL] and abundance) tended to increase. For example, average metamorph SVLs were predicted to lengthen between 0.2 and 0.4 mm per year post-cut. Additionally, typical relationships between reproductive output and hydroperiod (as indicated by the reference treatment) were disrupted for both species in both cut treatments. For example, long-hydroperiod pools produced more salamander metamorphs than short-hydroperiod pools in both the reference and 30 m-buffer treatments, but the rate of increase was lower in the 30 m-buffer treatment such that a long-hydroperiod pool in the reference treatment was predicted to produce, on average, 24 more metamorphs than a similar pool in the 30 m-buffer treatment. From a conservation perspective, our results highlight the importance of evaluating both terrestrial and aquatic responses to terrestrial habitat disturbance, since responses may be reinforcing (i.e., exert similarly positive or negative effects, with the potential for amplification in the aquatic habitat) or decoupled (i.e., operate independently or be negatively correlated, with responses in the aquatic habitat potentially dampening or counteracting responses in the terrestrial habitat).
      PubDate: 2016-12-24
      DOI: 10.3390/f8010010
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 1 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 11: Using REDD+ Policy to Facilitate Climate
           Adaptation at the Local Level: Synergies and Challenges in Vietnam

    • Authors: Pamela McElwee, Van Thi Nguyen, Dung Nguyen, Nghi Tran, Hue Le, Tuyen Nghiem, Huong Thi Vu
      First page: 11
      Abstract: Attention has recently been paid to how REDD+ mitigation policies are integrated into other sectoral policies, particularly those dealing with climate adaptation at the national level. But there is less understanding of how subnational policy and local projects are able to incorporate attention to adaptation; therefore, we use a case study in Vietnam to discuss how REDD+ projects and policies address both concerns of mitigation and adaptation together at subnational levels. Through stakeholder interviews, focus groups, and household surveys in three provinces of Vietnam with REDD+ activities, our research sought to understand if REDD+ policies and projects on the ground acknowledge that climate change is likely to impact forests and forest users; if this knowledge is built into REDD+ policy and activities; how households in forested areas subject to REDD+ policy are vulnerable to climate change; and how REDD+ activities can help or hinder needed adaptations. Our findings indicate that there continues to be a lack of coordination between mitigation and adaptation policies in Vietnam, particularly with regard to REDD+. Policies for forest-based climate mitigation at the national and subnational level, as well as site-based projects, have paid little attention to the adaptation needs of local communities, many of whom are already suffering from noticeable weather changes in their localities, and there is insufficient discussion of how REDD+ activities could facilitate increased resilience. While there were some implicit and coincidental adaptation benefits of some REDD+ activities, most studied projects and policies did not explicitly target their activities to focus on adaptation or resilience, and in at least one case, negative livelihood impacts that have increased household vulnerability to climate change were documented. Key barriers to integration were identified, such as sectoral specialization; a lack of attention in REDD+ projects to livelihoods; and inadequate support for ecosystem-based adaptation.
      PubDate: 2016-12-24
      DOI: 10.3390/f8010011
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 1 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 12: Clearcutting and Site Preparation, but Not
           Planting, Promoted Early Tree Regeneration in Boreal Alaska

    • Authors: Miho Morimoto, Glenn Juday, Brian Young
      First page: 12
      Abstract: The stand initiation stage decisively influences future forest structure and composition, particularly in the boreal forest which is a stand replacement disturbance driven system. In boreal Alaska, the conventional forest management paradigm has focused on the production of large-dimension timber, particularly white spruce (Picea glauca). However, energy generation and heating from wood is increasing, and is likely to significantly expand total forest harvest, further shifting management focus to fuelwood production. We evaluated the effects of forest harvest management practices on post-harvest regeneration by examining whether harvest type, site preparation method, and reforestation technique resulted in differences in forest regeneration in terms of species presence, dominance, basal area, and total stem biomass using a stochastic gradient boosting (TreeNet algorithm). We recorded diameter at breast height and height of white spruce, birch (Betula neoalaskana), and aspen (Populus tremuloides) in 726 plots from 30 harvest units, distributed across the various harvest and treatment types, harvest years, harvest sizes, and geographical locations. Our results indicate that management practices suitable/acceptable for woody biomass production differ from the more traditional dimensional timber production from white spruce-focused management. Artificial reforestation does not differ from natural regeneration in obtaining more stems or producing greater biomass. Clearcutting and site preparation increased tree regeneration, basal area, and woody biomass when compared to a partial harvest with no site preparation. Planting of white spruce in the Alaskan boreal forest may only be necessary in some specific circumstances, such as years with no/low white spruce seed crop, or in landscapes depleted of seed trees.
      PubDate: 2016-12-25
      DOI: 10.3390/f8010012
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 1 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 13: Analysing Atmospheric Processes and Climatic
           Drivers of Tree Defoliation to Determine Forest Vulnerability to Climate

    • Authors: Raúl Sánchez-Salguero, J. Camarero, José Grau, Ana de la Cruz, Paula Gil, Mayte Minaya, Ángel Fernández-Cancio
      First page: 13
      Abstract: Crown defoliation is extensively monitored across European forests within the International Co-operative Programme (ICP) as a proxy of forest health. Climate warming and drought are assumed to be the major drivers of tree growth and crown defoliation, particularly in seasonally dry areas such as the Mediterranean Basin. Here we analyse how climate, drought, and atmospheric processes are related to defoliation time series of five oak and five pine species that are dominant across Spanish ICP monitoring forest plots. We found that warmer and drier conditions during April were linked to enhanced defoliation. Warm April conditions were also related to high values of the Atlantic Multi-decadal Oscillation (AMO), thereby indicating large-scale links between atmospheric processes, temperature, and defoliation patterns. The temperature-defoliation association was species-specific since some tree species from wet sites showed a weak association (e.g., Quercus robur L.) whereas others from dry sites (e.g., Quercus ilex L.) presented the strongest associations. The latter tree species could be considered vulnerable to heat stress in terms of leaf shedding. We also explored if defoliation was related to radial growth and found negative associations in relatively dry areas. Warmer and drier conditions linked to increasing AMO values are connected to the post-1990s rise of defoliation in Spanish ICP forest plots. Combined incorporation of defoliation and growth into mortality models can provide insights into assessments of forest vulnerability.
      PubDate: 2016-12-26
      DOI: 10.3390/f8010013
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 1 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 14: Does the ‘One Map Initiative’ Represent a
           New Path for Forest Mapping in Indonesia? Assessing the Contribution of
           the REDD+ Initiative in Effecting Forest Governance Reform

    • Authors: Mari Mulyani, Paul Jepson
      First page: 14
      Abstract: This study investigates one notable result that the REDD+ (‘Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation, and enhancing forest carbon stocks and conservation’) initiative effected within Indonesia’s forest institutions. It argues that during its interplay with existing National forest institutions REDD+ produced a significant benefit; namely, the ‘one map initiative’ (OMI) being the government’s response to the call for greater transparency and enabling of REDD+ implementation. It asks: “Does the ‘One Map Initiative’ signify a switch to a new path of map-making, or is it just another innovation within an existing path dependence of forest governance?” Through eighty semi-structured interviews with ‘REDD+ policy actors’ and the deployment of ‘path dependence’ theory, this study seeks to determine the extent to which the REDD+ initiative created a ‘critical juncture’ (i.e., momentum for institutions to move to a new path). This study maps the institutional path dependence within forest-mapping as a means for the state to gain control of forest resources. In its development process the OMI has shown its ability to break the old path-dependence of map-making (e.g., lack of transparency, low level of public participation, and poor coordination amongst ministries). Moreover, this paper identified several historical events (i.e., ‘critical junctures’) that preceded the REDD+ initiative as contributing factors to the relative success of REDD+ in effecting forest governance reform.
      PubDate: 2016-12-27
      DOI: 10.3390/f8010014
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 1 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 15: Differentiation of Alternate Harvesting
           Practices Using Annual Time Series of Landsat Data

    • Authors: Lukas Jarron, Txomin Hermosilla, Nicholas Coops, Michael Wulder, Joanne White, Geordie Hobart, Donald Leckie
      First page: 15
      Abstract: Sustainable forest management practices allow for a range of harvest prescriptions, including clearcut, clearcut with residual, and partial or selective cutting, which are largely distinguished by the amount of canopy cover removed. The different prescriptions are aimed to emulate natural disturbance, encourage regeneration (seed trees), or offer other ecosystem services, such as the maintenance of local biodiversity or habitat features. Using remotely sensed data, stand-replacing disturbance associated with clearcutting is commonly accurately detected. Novel time series-based change detection products offer an opportunity to determine the capacity to detect and label a wider range of harvest practices. In this research, we demonstrate the capacity of time series imagery, spectral metrics, and related attributed change products, to distinguish between different harvesting practices over a study area in central British Columbia, Canada. Producer’s accuracy of harvest attribution was 79%, with 93% of harvest blocks >5 ha accurately identified. In relation to the amount of canopy cover removed, clearcut harvesting was the most accurately classified (84%), followed by clearcut with residual (79%), and partial cut (64%). Applying detailed spectral metrics derived from Landsat data revealed clearcut and partial cuts to be spectrally distinct. The annual nature of the Landsat time series also offers spatial harvest information within typical, often decadal, forest inventory update cycles. The statistically significant (p < 0.05) relationship between harvest practices and Landsat spectral information indicates a capacity to add increased attribution richness to remote sensing depictions of forest harvest.
      PubDate: 2016-12-28
      DOI: 10.3390/f8010015
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 1 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 16: Pre-logging Treatment of Invasive Glossy
           Buckthorn (Frangula alnus Mill.) Promotes Regeneration of Eastern White
           Pine (Pinus strobus L.)

    • Authors: Thomas Lee, Stephen Eisenhaure, Ian Gaudreau
      First page: 16
      Abstract: Non-native glossy buckthorn (Frangula alnus Mill.) is invasive in forests of the northeastern USA but little is known of its effects on tree regeneration. We tested whether killing buckthorn stems before logging reduces its post-logging abundance and increases the density and height of eastern white pine (Pinus strobus L.) seedlings. Three 0.4 ha plots were clearcut, three were thinned, and three were left as controls. Each plot had previously been divided into three subplots that received different buckthorn treatments during the two years before logging. Buckthorn treatments were (1) stems cut at base five times; (2) stems cut once then heat killed four times; (3) untreated control. Three years post-logging, buckthorn density and stem height were unaffected by logging but equally reduced by the two buckthorn treatments. Buckthorn reduction increased density and height of pine seedlings, and seedling height also increased with logging. In the fifth year post-logging, pine height growth and biomass were greater in clearcut than in thinned treatments, greater in areas of buckthorn removal and, within treated subplots, greater in areas with low buckthorn density than in thickets of recovering buckthorn. Thus, although buckthorn inhibited regenerating pine, pre-logging destruction of buckthorn stems reduced such competition for at least four years.
      PubDate: 2016-12-29
      DOI: 10.3390/f8010016
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 1 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 17: Evolving Protected-Area Impacts in Mexico:
           Political Shifts as Suggested by Impact Evaluations

    • Authors: Alexander Pfaff, Francisco Santiago-Ávila, Lucas Joppa
      First page: 17
      Abstract: For protected areas (PAs), variation in forest impacts over space—including types of PA—are increasingly well documented, while shifts in impacts over time receive less attention. For Mexico, in the 1990s, PAs effectively were ‘paper parks’. Thus, achieving impacts on the forest would require shifts over time in the politics of PA siting and PA implementation. We rigorously analyze the impacts of Mexican PAs on 2000–2005 loss of natural land cover, using matching to reduce location bias caused by typical land-use economics and politics. We find a 3.2% lower loss, on average, due to PAs. Since politics often vary by type of PA, we also show that in Mexico stricter PAs are closer to cities and have greater impact than mixed-use PAs. These shifts in impacts suggest some potential for PAs to conserve forests.
      PubDate: 2016-12-29
      DOI: 10.3390/f8010017
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 1 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 18: Emerging Needle Blight Diseases in Atlantic
           Pinus Ecosystems of Spain

    • Authors: Esther Ortíz de Urbina, Nebai Mesanza, Ana Aragonés, Rosa Raposo, Margarita Elvira-Recuenco, Ricard Boqué, Cheryl Patten, Jenny Aitken, Eugenia Iturritxa
      First page: 18
      Abstract: Red band needle blight caused by Dothistroma septosporum and D. pini, and brown spot needle blight caused by Lecanosticta acicola provoke severe and premature defoliation in Pinus, and subsequent reduction of photosynthetic surfaces, vitality, and growth in young and adult trees. The recurrent damage results in branch and tree death. Until recently, pine needle blight diseases have had only minor impacts on native and exotic forest trees in the North of Spain, but in the past five years, these pathogen species have spread widely and caused severe defoliation and mortality in exotic and native plantations of Pinus in locations where they were not detected before. In an attempt to understand the main causes of this outbreak and to define the effectiveness of owners’ management strategies, four research actions were implemented: a survey of the management activities implemented by the owners to reduce disease impact, the evaluation of specific symptoms and damage associated with infection, and the identification of the causative pathogenic species and their reproductive capacity. Morphological characteristics of the fungus and molecular identification were consistent with those of Lecanosticta acicola and Dothistroma spp., D. septosporum, D. Pini, and both mating types were present for the three identified pathogens. The local silvicultural management performed, mainly pruning and thinning, was not resulting in the expected improvement. The results of this study can be applied to establish guidelines for monitoring and controlling the spread of needle blight pathogens.
      PubDate: 2016-12-29
      DOI: 10.3390/f8010018
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 1 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 19: Phosphorus in Preferential Flow Pathways of
           Forest Soils in Germany

    • Authors: Dorit Julich, Stefan Julich, Karl-Heinz Feger
      First page: 19
      Abstract: The transport of nutrients in forest soils predominantly occurs along preferential flow pathways (PFP). This study investigated the composition of phosphorus (P) forms in PFPs and soil matrix in several temperate beech forests with contrasting soil P contents in Germany. The PFPs were visualized using dye tracer experiments. Stained and unstained soil was sampled from three profile cuts per plot and analyzed for P fractions. The results show that labile P concentrations were highest in the O-layer and had the same range of values at all sites (240–320 mg·kg−1), although total P (TP) differed considerably (530–2330 mg·kg−1). The ratio of labile P to TP was significantly lower in the P-rich soil compared to the medium and P-poor soils. By contrast, the ratio of moderately labile P to TP was highest at the P-rich site. The shifts in P fractions with soil depth were generally gradual in the P-rich soil, but more abrupt at the others. The contents of labile and moderately labile P clearly differed in PFPs compared to soil matrix, but not statistically significant. The studied soils are characterized by high stone contents with low potential for P sorption. However, indications were found that labile organically bound P accumulates in PFPs such as biopores.
      PubDate: 2016-12-30
      DOI: 10.3390/f8010019
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 1 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 291: The Biodiversity of Urban and Peri-Urban
           Forests and the Diverse Ecosystem Services They Provide as
           Socio-Ecological Systems

    • Authors: Stephen Livesley, Francisco Escobedo, Justin Morgenroth
      First page: 291
      Abstract: Urban and peri-urban forests provide a variety of ecosystem service benefits for urban society. Recognising and understanding the many human–tree interactions that urban forests provide may be more complex but probably just as important to our urbanised society. This paper introduces four themes that link the studies from across the globe presented in this Special Issue: (1) human–tree interactions; (2) urban tree inequity; (3) carbon sequestration in our own neighbourhoods; and (4) biodiversity of urban forests themselves and the fauna they support. Urban forests can help tackle many of the “wicked problems” that confront our towns and cities and the people that live in them. For urban forests to be accepted as an effective element of any urban adaptation strategy, we need to improve the communication of these ecosystem services and disservices and provide evidence of the benefits provided to urban society and individuals, as well as the biodiversity with which we share our town and cities.
      PubDate: 2016-11-24
      DOI: 10.3390/f7120291
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 12 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 292: A Model to Estimate Willingness to Pay for
           Harvest Permits for Wild Edible Mushrooms: Application to Andalusian

    • Authors: Pablo de Frutos, Fernando Martinez-Peña, Jorge Aldea, Pablo Campos
      First page: 292
      Abstract: Public demand for harvesting wild edible mushrooms has risen in recent decades and currently affects many forested areas around the world. The idea of introducing permits for users has been conceived as a tool for ecosystem management. The problem is that policy-makers lack the necessary means to help guide them when establishing prices for such harvesting permits. Valuing the recreational benefits which mushroom harvesters derive from harvesting wild edible mushrooms may provide certain guidelines as to how much people would be willing to pay and may also justify future payments levied on harvesters. The aim of the present article is to estimate a model for determining citizens’ willingness to pay for a harvesting permit in a forest in Andalusia (Spain) using contingent valuation methods. Results show that mean willingness to pay is 22.61 Euros (USD28.18) per harvester and season. This amount depends on several socioeconomic factors and preferences related to harvesters’ experiences.
      PubDate: 2016-11-25
      DOI: 10.3390/f7120292
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 12 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 293: The Effects of Fertilization on the Growth and
           Physiological Characteristics of Ginkgo biloba L

    • Authors: Jing Guo, Yaqiong Wu, Bo Wang, Yan Lu, Fuliang Cao, Guibin Wang
      First page: 293
      Abstract: Ginkgo biloba L. is one of the most extensively planted and productive commercial species in temperate areas around the world, but slow-growth is the most limiting factor for its utilization. Fertilization is one of the key technologies for high quality and high forest yield. To better understand the impacts of fertilization on Ginkgo productivity, the effects of fertilization treatments (single fertilizer and combined fertilizer) on growth, nutrient content in Ginkgo leaves, and photosynthesis characteristics were studied in a 10-year-old Ginkgo plantation over two years. The single factor experiments suggested that DBH (diameter at breast height), H (height), NSL (length of new shoots), and V (trunk volume) showed significant differences between the different levels of single nitrogen (N) or phosphate (P) fertilizer application. Orthogonal test results showed that the nine treatments all promoted the growth of Ginkgo, and the formula (N: 400 g·tree−1, P: 200 g·tree−1, potassium (K): 90 g·tree−1) was the most effective. Gs (stomatal conductance) and Pn (net photosynthesis rate) showed significant differences between the different amounts of single N or P fertilizer application, while single K fertilizer only affected Pn. Combined N, P, and K fertilizer had significant promoting effects on Ci (intercellular CO2 concentration), Gs and Pn. N and P contents in Ginkgo leaves showed significant differences between the different amounts of a single N fertilizer application. A single P fertilizer only improved foliar P contents in Ginkgo leaves. A single K fertilizer application improved N and K content in Ginkgo leaves. The effects of different N, P, and K fertilizer treatments on the nutrient content of Ginkgo leaves were different.
      PubDate: 2016-11-24
      DOI: 10.3390/f7120293
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 12 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 294: Assessment of Aboveground Woody Biomass
           Dynamics Using Terrestrial Laser Scanner and L-Band ALOS PALSAR Data in
           South African Savanna

    • Authors: Victor Odipo, Alecia Nickless, Christian Berger, Jussi Baade, Mikhail Urbazaev, Christian Walther, Christiane Schmullius
      First page: 294
      Abstract: The use of optical remote sensing data for savanna vegetation structure mapping is hindered by sparse and heterogeneous distribution of vegetation canopy, leading to near-similar spectral signatures among lifeforms. An additional challenge to optical sensors is the high cloud cover and unpredictable weather conditions. Longwave microwave data, with its low sensitivity to clouds addresses some of these problems, but many space borne studies are still limited by low quality structural reference data. Terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) derived canopy cover and height metrics can improve aboveground biomass (AGB) prediction at both plot and landscape level. To date, few studies have explored the strength of TLS for vegetation structural mapping, and particularly few focusing on savannas. In this study, we evaluate the potential of high resolution TLS-derived canopy cover and height metrics to estimate plot-level aboveground biomass, and to extrapolate to a landscape-wide biomass estimation using multi-temporal L-band Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) within a 9 km2 area savanna in Kruger National Park (KNP). We inventoried 42 field plots in the wet season and computed AGB for each plot using site-specific allometry. Canopy cover, canopy height, and their product were regressed with plot-level AGB over the TLS-footprint, while SAR backscatter was used to model dry season biomass for the years 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010 for the study area. The results from model validation showed a significant linear relationship between TLS-derived predictors with field biomass, p < 0.05 and adjusted R2 ranging between 0.56 for SAR to 0.93 for the TLS-derived canopy cover and height. Log-transformed AGB yielded lower errors with TLS metrics compared with non-transformed AGB. An assessment of the backscatter based on root mean square error (RMSE) showed better AGB prediction with cross-polarized (RMSE = 6.6 t/ha) as opposed to co-polarized data (RMSE = 6.7 t/ha), attributed to volume scattering of woody vegetation along river valleys and streams. The AGB change analysis showed 32 ha (3.5%) of the 900 ha experienced AGB loses above an average of 5 t/ha per annum, which can mainly be attributed to the falling of trees by mega herbivores such as elephants. The study concludes that SAR data, especially L-band SAR, can be used in the detection of small changes in savanna vegetation over time.
      PubDate: 2016-11-25
      DOI: 10.3390/f7120294
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 12 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 295: Radial Growth Response of Larix gmelinii to
           Climate along a Latitudinal Gradient in the Greater Khingan Mountains,
           Northeastern China

    • Authors: Yangao Jiang, Junhui Zhang, Shijie Han, Zhenju Chen, Heikki Setälä, Jinghua Yu, Xingbo Zheng, Yingtao Guo, Yue Gu
      First page: 295
      Abstract: To explore how climatic factors influence tree growth within the context of global climate changes, we used a dendroclimatological analysis to understand the response of Larix gmelinii to climatic variations along a broad latitudinal gradient from 47.27° to 52.66° N in the Greater Khingan Mountains of Northeastern China. The growth-limiting climate factors and a detailed association between radial growth and climate were identified along the gradient using redundancy analysis (RDA) and standard correlation function analysis over the period 1960–2013. The results showed that temperatures during current June to July represented the most important factor affecting tree radial growth in the study area. Across all studied latitudes, Larix gmelinii growth might be decreasing in radial growth due to higher monthly maximum temperature (Tmax) and monthly mean temperatures (Tm) in the current June, especially for the stands at low and middle latitudes. With continued warming, Larix gmelinii radial growth at high latitudes (e.g., Mangui (MG) and Mohe (MH)) might be reduced by warmer temperatures in July. In addition, Larix gmelinii might be decreasing in radial growth from decreasing precipitation. Our results show that there is a decreasing trend in Larix gmelinii radial growth under the observed general increase of temperatures in the Greater Khingan Mountains in recent years.
      PubDate: 2016-11-28
      DOI: 10.3390/f7120295
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 12 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 296: Increasing Water Use Efficiency Comes at a
           Cost for Norway Spruce

    • Authors: Tanja Sanders, Ingo Heinrich, Björn Günther, Wolfgang Beck
      First page: 296
      Abstract: Intrinsic water use efficiency (WUEi) in trees is an indication of the ratio of carbon assimilation to the rate of transpiration. It is generally assumed that it is a response to water availability. In agricultural research, the question of drought tolerance by increased WUEi has been well studied. In general, the increase is a trade-off for productivity and is therefore not desired. For forest trees, this question is less clearly understood. Using stable carbon isotopes derived from tree rings combined with productivity as the product of the annual growth increment and annual density measurements, we compared the change in WUEi over a 15 year period. While WUEi increased over this period, the productivity decreased, causing an opposing trend. The gradient of the correlation between WUEi and productivity varies between provenances and sites. Counterintuitively, the populations at the drier site showed low WUEi values at the beginning of the investigation. Slopes vary with the provenance from Poland showing the least decline in productivity. In general, we found that a decline in productivity aligned with an increase in WUEi.
      PubDate: 2016-11-28
      DOI: 10.3390/f7120296
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 12 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 297: The Biodiversity Benefits and Opportunity
           Costs of Plantation Forest Management: A Modelling Case Study of Pinus
           radiata in New Zealand

    • Authors: Nhung Nghiem, Hop Tran
      First page: 297
      Abstract: This study modelled the potential biodiversity benefits and the opportunity costs of a patch-clear-cutting strategy over a clear-cutting strategy for Pinus radiata in New Zealand. Patch-clear cutting is a special case of clear cutting involving the removal of all the trees from strips or patches within a stand, leaving the remainder uncut or clear cutting a series of strips or patches. A forest-level optimisation model was extended to include uncertainty in timber growth, plant diversity, and cutting costs. Using a species-area relationship and economies of cutting scale, the net present value and optimal rotation age under alternative management strategies were calculated. Results suggested that the optimal rotation ages were similar (24 and 25 years) for the two cutting strategies. Patch-clear cutting provided higher biodiversity benefits (i.e., 59 vs. 11 understorey plant species) with an opportunity cost of 27 NZD (18 USD) per extra plant species or 1250 NZD (820 USD) ha−1. However, the true benefits of patch-clear cutting would be even greater if other benefits of stand retention are included. Our research can potentially inform local decision making and inform international systems of payment for environmental services, such as the REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) program, to conserve biodiversity in developing countries with plantation forests.
      PubDate: 2016-11-28
      DOI: 10.3390/f7120297
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 12 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 298: Drought Stress Distribution Responses of
           Continental Beech Forests at their Xeric Edge in Central Europe

    • Authors: Éva Salamon-Albert, Péter Lőrincz, Gábor Pauler, Dénes Bartha, Ferenc Horváth
      First page: 298
      Abstract: In order to develop adequate adaptation measures for environmental vulnerability, we need detailed knowledge on the climatic performance of forest ecosystems. In this study, we aim to explore climate function variability of lowland beech forest distribution at a landscape scale. We also construct the response profiles of these forests near their xeric limit under wet continental climatic conditions. We studied distribution responses using presence-absence forest records and 18 bioclimatic variables. We performed exploratory factor analysis and frequency estimation to evaluate climate function distribution responses. We found that temperature adjusted precipitation measures during summer were the most important, followed by winter rainfall indices. The relative Drought Response Range (rDRR) in the response profile presented the climate limitation function of the distribution. According to our results, higher level of climate function variability is associated with lower level of rDRR, presenting an ecological trade-off. Our results suggest that distribution functions of the rDRR, especially the Ombrothermic index, can be used as landscape indicators of drought stress. Consequently, rDRR could be a useful measure to assess regional climatic vulnerability of forest occurrence and distribution patterns.
      PubDate: 2016-11-29
      DOI: 10.3390/f7120298
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 12 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 299: A Basin-Scale Estimation of Carbon Stocks of a
           Forest Ecosystem Characterized by Spatial Distribution and Contributive
           Features in the Liuxihe River Basin of Pearl River Delta

    • Authors: Chao Zhang, Beicheng Xia, Junyu Lin
      First page: 299
      Abstract: Forest ecosystems make a greater contribution to carbon (C) stocks than any other terrestrial ecosystem. To understand the role of regional forest ecosystems in global climate change and carbon exchange, forest C stocks and their spatial distribution within the small (2300 km2) Liuxihe River basin in China were analyzed to determine the different contributors to the C stocks. Forest C stocks were quantified by measuring the biomass of trees, understory vegetation, litter and roots, as well as soil organic C, using data from field samples and laboratory experiments. The results showed that forests stored 38.04 Tg·C in the entire basin, with secondary and planted forests accounting for 89.82% and 10.18%, respectively, of the stored C. Five types of forests, a subtropical evergreen broad-leaved forest, a subtropical coniferous and broad-leaved mixed forest, a subtropical coniferous forest, a timber forest, and a non-wood forest, stored 257.55 ± 15.01, 218.92 ± 9.59, 195.24 ± 18.29, 177.42 ± 17.55, and 117.86 ± 6.04 Mg·C·ha−1, respectively. In the forest ecosystem C stocks of the basin, soils on average contributed about 73.78%, not including root underground biomass. The results of this study, which provide baseline forest C stock data for ecosystem services and regional C flux research, are useful to support the basin-scale forest management and land use change.
      PubDate: 2016-12-06
      DOI: 10.3390/f7120299
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 12 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 300: Transforming Justice in REDD+ through a
           Politics of Difference Approach

    • Authors: Kimberly Marion Suiseeya
      First page: 300
      Abstract: Since Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation “Plus” (REDD+) starting gaining traction in the UN climate negotiations in 2007, its architects and scholars have grappled with its community-level justice implications. On the one hand, supporters argue that REDD+ will help the environment and forest-dependent communities by generating payments for forest carbon services from industrialized countries seeking lower cost emissions reductions. Critics, by contrast, increasingly argue that REDD+ is a new form of colonization through capitalism, producing injustice by stripping forest communities of their rights, denying them capabilities for wellbeing, and rendering forest peoples voiceless in forest governance. This paper argues that current REDD+ debates are too focused on relatively simple visions of either distributive or procedural justice, and pay too little attention to the core recognitional justice concerns of REDD+ critics, namely questions of what values, worldviews, rights, and identities are privileged or displaced in the emergence, design, and implementation of REDD+ and with what effects. This paper examines the tensions that emerge when designing institutions to promote multi-scalar, multivalent justice in REDD+ to ask: what are the justice demands that REDD+ architects face when designing REDD+ institutions? Complexifying the concepts of justice as deployed in the debates on REDD+ can illuminate the possibilities for a diversity of alternative perspectives to generate new institutional design ideas for REDD+.
      PubDate: 2016-11-30
      DOI: 10.3390/f7120300
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 12 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 301: Male Parent Identification of Triploid Rubber
           Trees (Hevea brasiliensis) and the Mechanism of 2n Gametes Formation

    • Authors: Peng-Qiang Yao, Guo-Hua Li, Qing-Yi Long, Li-Gang He, Xiang-Yang Kang
      First page: 301
      Abstract: Eight triploids were screened among offspring of the rubber tree clone GT1 × different clones by flow cytometry and chromosome counting. Twenty-five simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers were screened to identify the origin of 2n gametes, to determine the male parents of these triploids, and to evaluate the mechanism of 2n gamete formation using band configurations and microsatellite DNA allele counting peak ratios (MAC-PR). The results showed that 2n gametes originated from the maternal rubber tree clone GT1, contributing the extra genome copy present in the triploids. It was confirmed that GT1 is able to produce a 2n megagametophyte spontaneously. Many male parents were shown to provide pollen for formation of triploid rubber trees, including clones RRIC 103, Yunyan 277-5, and three other clones. The second division restitution (SDR) was likely the main mechanism involved in formation of megagametophytes in GT1, as the rate of maternal heterozygosity restitution (HR) of all eight triploids varied from 27.78% to 75.00%, with a mean of 51.46%, and all 25 markers varied from 0% to 100%, with a mean of 51.69%. Elucidation of the origin and formation of 2n gametes will help optimize further sexual hybridization of polyploid rubber trees.
      PubDate: 2016-12-07
      DOI: 10.3390/f7120301
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 12 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 302: Estimation of Nutrient Exports Resulting from
           Thinning and Intensive Biomass Extraction in Medium-Aged Spruce and Pine
           Stands in Saxony, Northeast Germany

    • Authors: Christine Knust, Karoline Schua, Karl-Heinz Feger
      First page: 302
      Abstract: A growing interest in using forest biomass for bioenergy generation may stimulate intensive harvesting scenarios in Germany. We calculated and compared nutrient exports of conventional stem only (SO), whole tree without needles (WT excl. needles), and whole tree (WT) harvesting in two medium aged Norway spruce (Picea abies L. Karst.) and Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) stands differing in productivity, and related them to soil nutrient pools and fluxes at the study sites. We established allometric biomass functions for each aboveground tree compartment and analyzed their nutrient contents. We analyzed soil nutrient stocks, estimated weathering rates, and obtained deposition and seepage data from nearby Level II stations. WT (excl. needles) and WT treatments cause nutrient losses 1.5 to 3.6 times higher than SO, while the biomass gain is only 1.18 to 1.25 in case of WT (excl. needles) and 1.28 to 1.30 in case of WT in the pine and spruce stand, respectively. Within the investigated 25-year period, WT harvesting would cause exports of N, K+, Ca2+, and Mg2+ of 6.6, 8.8, 5.4, and 0.8 kg·ha−1 in the pine stand and 13.9, 7.0, 10.6, and 1.8 kg·ha−1 in the spruce stand annually. The relative impact of WT and WT (excl. needles) on the nutrient balance is similar in the pine and spruce stands, despite differences in stand productivities, and thus the absolute amount of nutrients removed. In addition to the impact of intensive harvesting, both sites are characterized by high seepage losses of base cations, further impairing the nutrient budget. While intensive biomass extraction causes detrimental effects on many key soil ecological properties, our calculations may serve to implement measures to improve the nutrient balance in forested ecosystems.
      PubDate: 2016-11-30
      DOI: 10.3390/f7120302
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 12 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 303: Evaluation of Whole Tree Growth Increment
           Derived from Tree-Ring Series for Use in Assessments of Changes in Forest
           Productivity across Various Spatial Scales

    • Authors: Juha Metsaranta, Jagtar Bhatti
      First page: 303
      Abstract: The inherent predictability of inter-annual variation in forest productivity remains unknown. Available field-based data sources for understanding this variability differ in their spatial resolution, temporal resolution, and typical units of measure. Nearly all other tree and forest characteristics are in practice derived from measurements of diameter at breast height (DBH). Therefore, diameter increment reconstructed annually from tree-ring data can be used to estimate annual growth increments of wood volume, but the accuracy and precision of these estimates requires assessment. Annual growth estimates for n = 170 trees sampled for whole stem analysis from five tree species (jack pine, lodgepole pine, black spruce, white spruce, and trembling aspen) in Western Canada were compared against increments derived from breast height measurements only. Inter-annual variability of breast height and whole tree growth increments was highly correlated for most trees. Relative errors varied by species, diameter class, and the equation used to estimate volume (regional vs. national). A simple example of the possible effect of this error when propagated to the stand level is provided.
      PubDate: 2016-12-01
      DOI: 10.3390/f7120303
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 12 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 304: Assessment of Geographic Information System
           (GIS) Skills Employed by Graduates from Three Forestry Programs in the
           United States

    • Authors: Krista Merry, Pete Bettinger, Donald Grebner, Kevin Boston, Jacek Siry
      First page: 304
      Abstract: This research evaluates the current use of geographic information systems (GIS) by forestry program graduates employed in the United States who graduated from university in the past five years. The purpose was to understand what geospatial processes and databases are typically used by field foresters. A survey was designed and sent to recent forestry graduates from Mississippi State University, Oregon State University, and the University of Georgia, with 30% of those surveyed choosing to participate. The majority of forestry graduates surveyed use GIS at least once a week, and the most frequently employed tasks included editing tabular data, adjusting polygon boundaries, buffering and splitting polygons, and querying for spatial and tabular information. Very few overlay or advance spatial analysis tools were noted as used in regular work efforts. Most respondents use digital aerial photographs as reference, along with satellite images. LiDAR is increasingly being used by these foresters, but to a lesser extent. ArcMap and Google Earth were noted as the most commonly used software packages. Most foresters rely on an organization’s technical support staff for assistance. The study results can be used as a guide for academic programs in their efforts to provide timely and effective knowledge on geospatial topics to forestry undergraduate students.
      PubDate: 2016-12-01
      DOI: 10.3390/f7120304
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 12 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 305: Mapping Long-Term Changes in Mangrove Species
           Composition and Distribution in the Sundarbans

    • Authors: Manoj Ghosh, Lalit Kumar, Chandan Roy
      First page: 305
      Abstract: The Sundarbans mangrove forest is an important resource for the people of the Ganges Delta. It plays an important role in the local as well as global ecosystem by absorbing carbon dioxide and other pollutants from air and water, offering protection to millions of people in the Ganges Delta against cyclone and water surges, stabilizing the shore line, trapping sediment and nutrients, purifying water, and providing services for human beings, such as fuel wood, medicine, food, and construction materials. However, this mangrove ecosystem is under threat, mainly due to climate change and anthropogenic factors. Anthropogenic and climate change-induced degradation, such as over-exploitation of timber and pollution, sea level rise, coastal erosion, increasing salinity, effects of increasing number of cyclones and higher levels of storm surges function as recurrent threats to mangroves in the Sundarbans. In this situation, regular and detailed information on mangrove species composition, their spatial distribution and the changes taking place over time is very important for a thorough understanding of mangrove biodiversity, and this information can also lead to the adoption of management practices designed for the maximum sustainable yield of the Sundarbans forest resources. We employed a maximum likelihood classifier technique to classify images recorded by the Landsat satellite series and used post classification comparison techniques to detect changes at the species level. The image classification resulted in overall accuracies of 72%, 83%, 79% and 89% for the images of 1977, 1989, 2000 and 2015, respectively. We identified five major mangrove species and detected changes over the 38-year (1977–2015) study period. During this period, both Heritiera fomes and Excoecaria agallocha decreased by 9.9%, while Ceriops decandra, Sonneratia apelatala, and Xylocarpus mekongensis increased by 12.9%, 380.4% and 57.3%, respectively.
      PubDate: 2016-12-03
      DOI: 10.3390/f7120305
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 12 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 306: A New Skid Trail Pattern Design for Farm
           Tractors Using Linear Programing and Geographical Information Systems

    • Authors: Selcuk Gumus, Yilmaz Turk
      First page: 306
      Abstract: Farm tractor skidding is one of the common methods of timber extraction in Turkey. However, the absence of an optimal skidding plan covering the entire production area can result in time loss and negative environmental impacts. In this study, the timber extraction by farm tractors was analyzed, and a new skid trail pattern design was developed using Linear Programming (LP) and Geographical Information Systems (GIS). First, a sample skidding operation was evaluated with a time study, and an optimum skidding model was generated with LP. Then, the new skidding pattern was developed by an optimum skidding model and GIS analysis. At the end of the study, the developed new skid trail pattern was implemented in the study area and tested by running a time study. Using the newly developed “Direct Skid Trail Pattern (DSTP)” model, a 16.84% increase in working time performance was observed when the products were extracted by farm tractors compared to the existing practices. On the other hand, the average soil compaction value measured in the study area at depths of 0–5 cm and 5–10 cm was found to be greater in the sample area skid trails than in the control points. The average density of the skid trails was 281 m/ha, while it decreased to 187 m/ha by using the developed pattern. It was also found that 44,829 ton/ha of soil losses were prevented by using the DSTP model; therefore, environmental damages were decreased.
      PubDate: 2016-12-05
      DOI: 10.3390/f7120306
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 12 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 307: Forest Inventory Attribute Prediction Using
           Lightweight Aerial Scanner Data in a Selected Type of Multilayered
           Deciduous Forest

    • Authors: Ivan Sačkov, Giovanni Santopuoli, Tomáš Bucha, Bruno Lasserre, Marco Marchetti
      First page: 307
      Abstract: Airborne laser scanning is a promising technique for efficient and accurate, remote-based forest inventory, due to its capacity for direct measurement of the three-dimensional structure of vegetation. The main objective of this study was to test the usability and accuracy of an individual tree detection approach, using reFLex software, in the evaluation of forest variables. The accuracy assessment was conducted in a selected type of multilayered deciduous forest in southern Italy. Airborne laser scanning data were taken with a YellowScan Mapper scanner at an average height of 150 m. Point density reached 30 echoes per m2, but most points belonged to the first echo. The ground reference data contained the measured positions and dimensions of 445 trees. Individual tree-detection rates were 66% for dominant, 48% for codominant, 18% for intermediate, and 5% for suppressed trees. Relative root mean square error for tree height, diameter, and volume reached 8.2%, 21.8%, and 45.7%, respectively. All remote-based tree variables were strongly correlated with the ground data (R2 = 0.71–0.79). At the stand-level, the results show that differences ranged between 4% and 17% for stand height and 22% and 40% for stand diameter. The total growing stock differed by −43% from the ground reference data, and the ratios were 64% for dominant, 58% for codominant, 36% for intermediate, and 16% for suppressed trees.
      PubDate: 2016-12-07
      DOI: 10.3390/f7120307
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 12 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 308: The Effect of Harvest on Forest Soil Carbon: A

    • Authors: Jason James, Rob Harrison
      First page: 308
      Abstract: Forest soils represent a substantial portion of the terrestrial carbon (C) pool, and changes to soil C cycling are globally significant not only for C sequestration but also for sustaining forest productivity and ecosystem services. To quantify the effect of harvesting on soil C, we used meta-analysis to examine a database of 945 responses to harvesting collected from 112 publications from around the world. Harvesting reduced soil C, on average, by 11.2% with 95% CI [14.1%, 8.5%]. There was substantial variation between responses in different soil depths, with greatest losses occurring in the O horizon (−30.2%). Much smaller but still significant losses (−3.3%) occurred in top soil C pools (0–15 cm depth). In very deep soil (60–100+ cm), a significant loss of 17.7% of soil C in was observed after harvest. However, only 21 of the 945 total responses examined this depth, indicating a substantial need for more research in this area. The response of soil C to harvesting varies substantially between soil orders, with greater losses in Spodosol and Ultisol orders and less substantial losses in Alfisols and Andisols. Soil C takes several decades to recover following harvest, with Spodosol and Ultisol C recovering only after at least 75 years. The publications in this analysis were highly skewed toward surface sampling, with a maximum sampling depth of 36 cm, on average. Sampling deep soil represents one of the best opportunities to reduce uncertainty in the understanding of the response of soil C to forest harvest.
      PubDate: 2016-12-07
      DOI: 10.3390/f7120308
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 12 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 309: Heterotrophic Soil Respiration Affected by
           Compound Fertilizer Types in Red Pine (Pinus densiflora S. et Z.) Stands
           of Korea

    • Authors: Jaeyeob Jeong, Nanthi Bolan, Choonsig Kim
      First page: 309
      Abstract: This study was conducted to evaluate the effects of fertilizer application on heterotrophic soil respiration (Rh) in soil respiration (Rs) components in red pine stands. Two types of fertilizer (N3P4K1 = 113:150:37 kg·ha−1·year−1; P4K1 = 150:37 kg·ha−1·year−1) were applied manually on the forest floor for two years. Rs and Rh rates were monitored from April 2011 to March 2013. Mean Rs and Rh rates were not significantly affected by fertilizer applications. However, Rh in the second year following fertilizer application fell to 27% for N3P4K1 and 17% in P4K1 treatments, while there was an increase of 5% in the control treatments compared with the first fertilization year. The exponential relationships between Rs or Rh rates and the corresponding soil temperature were significant (Rh: R2 = 0.86–0.90; p < 0.05; Rs: R2 = 0.86–0.91; p < 0.05) in the fertilizer and control treatments. Q10 values (Rs increase per 10 °C increase in temperature) in Rs rates were lowest for the N3P4K1 treatment (3.47), followed by 3.62 for the P4K1 treatment and 3.60 in the control treatments, while Rh rates were similar among the treatments (3.59–3.64). The results demonstrate the importance of separating Rh rates from Rs rates following a compound fertilizer application.
      PubDate: 2016-12-07
      DOI: 10.3390/f7120309
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 12 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 310: Forest Restoration Using Variable Density
           Thinning: Lessons from Douglas-Fir Stands in Western Oregon

    • Authors: Klaus Puettmann, Adrian Ares, Julia Burton, Erich Dodson
      First page: 310
      Abstract: A large research effort was initiated in the 1990s in western United States and Canada to investigate how the development of old-growth structures can be accelerated in young even-aged stands that regenerated following clearcut harvests, while also providing income and ecosystem services. Large-scale experiments were established to compare effects of thinning arrangements (e.g., spatial variability) and residual densities (including leave islands and gaps of various sizes). Treatment effects were context dependent, varying with initial conditions and spatial and temporal scales of measurement. The general trends were highly predictable, but most responses were spatially variable. Thus, accounting for initial conditions at neighborhood scales appears to be critical for efficient restoration. Different components of stand structure and composition responded uniquely to restoration thinnings. Achieving a wide range of structures and composition therefore requires the full suite of silvicultural treatments, from leave islands to variable density thinnings and creation of large gaps. Trade-offs among ecosystem services occurred as result of these contrasting responses, suggesting that foresters set priorities where and when different vegetation structures are most desirable within a stand or landscape. Finally, the results suggested that foresters should develop restoration approaches that include multiple treatments.
      PubDate: 2016-12-07
      DOI: 10.3390/f7120310
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 12 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 311: Predictive Modeling of Black Spruce (Picea
           mariana (Mill.) B.S.P.) Wood Density Using Stand Structure Variables
           Derived from Airborne LiDAR Data in Boreal Forests of Ontario

    • Authors: Bharat Pokharel, Art Groot, Douglas Pitt, Murray Woods, Jeffery Dech
      First page: 311
      Abstract: Our objective was to model the average wood density in black spruce trees in representative stands across a boreal forest landscape based on relationships with predictor variables extracted from airborne light detection and ranging (LiDAR) point cloud data. Increment core samples were collected from dominant or co-dominant black spruce trees in a network of 400 m2 plots distributed among forest stands representing the full range of species composition and stand development across a 1,231,707 ha forest management unit in northeastern Ontario, Canada. Wood quality data were generated from optical microscopy, image analysis, X-ray densitometry and diffractometry as employed in SilviScan™. Each increment core was associated with a set of field measurements at the plot level as well as a suite of LiDAR-derived variables calculated on a 20 × 20 m raster from a wall-to-wall coverage at a resolution of ~1 point m−2. We used a multiple linear regression approach to identify important predictor variables and describe relationships between stand structure and wood density for average black spruce trees in the stands we observed. A hierarchical classification model was then fitted using random forests to make spatial predictions of mean wood density for average trees in black spruce stands. The model explained 39 percent of the variance in the response variable, with an estimated root mean square error of 38.8 (kg·m−3). Among the predictor variables, P20 (second decile LiDAR height in m) and quadratic mean diameter were most important. Other predictors describing canopy depth and cover were of secondary importance and differed according to the modeling approach. LiDAR-derived variables appear to capture differences in stand structure that reflect different constraints on growth rates, determining the proportion of thin-walled earlywood cells in black spruce stems, and ultimately influencing the pattern of variation in important wood quality attributes such as wood density. A spatial characterization of variation in a desirable wood quality attribute, such as density, enhances the possibility for value chain optimization, which could allow the forest industry to be more competitive through efficient planning for black spruce management by including an indication of suitability for specific products as a modeled variable derived from standard inventory data.
      PubDate: 2016-12-08
      DOI: 10.3390/f7120311
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 12 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 312: Foliage Chemistry of Pinus baksiana in the
           Athabasca Oil Sands Region, Alberta, Canada

    • Authors: Bernadette Proemse, Doug Maynard, Bernhard Mayer
      First page: 312
      Abstract: Industrial emissions in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region (AOSR), Alberta, Canada, have caused concerns about the effect of oil sands operations on the surrounding terrestrial environments, including jack pine (Pinus banksiana Lamb.) stands. We collected jack pine needles from 19 sites in the AOSR (13–128 km from main operations) for foliar chemical analyses to investigate the environmental impact on jack pine. Pine needles from three age classes, the current annual growth (CAG, 2011), one year and two year old pine needles, were collected. Samples were analyzed for total carbon (TC), nitrogen (TN), and sulfur (TS), inorganic S (SO4-S), base cations (Ca, Mg, Na), and other elements (B, Cu, Fe, Mn, P, Zn); CAG needles were also analyzed for their nitrogen and carbon isotopic compositions. Only TN, TS, Ca, B, Zn, and Fe contents showed weak but significant increases with proximity to the major oil sands operations. C and N isotopic compositions showed no trend with distance or TC and TN contents. Total S contents in CAG of pine foliage increased significantly with proximity to the main industrial operation while foliar inorganic S to organic S ratios (SO4-S/Sorg) ranged consistently between 0.13 and 0.32, indicating low to moderately high S loading. Hence, this study suggests some evidence of uptake of S emissions in close proximity to anthropogenic sources, although the reported values have not reached a level of environmental concern.
      PubDate: 2016-12-08
      DOI: 10.3390/f7120312
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 12 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 313: A Dominant Voice amidst Not Enough People:
           Analysing the Legitimacy of Mexico’s REDD+ Readiness Process

    • Authors: Jovanka Špirić, Esteve Corbera, Victoria Reyes-García, Luciana Porter-Bolland
      First page: 313
      Abstract: In the development of national governance systems for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD+), countries struggle with ensuring that decision-making processes include a variety of actors (i.e., input legitimacy) and represent their diverse views in REDD+ policy documents (i.e., output legitimacy). We examine these two dimensions of legitimacy using Mexico’s REDD+ readiness process during a four-year period (2011–2014) as a case study. To identify REDD+ actors and how they participate in decision-making we used a stakeholder analysis; to assess actors’ views and the extent to which these views are included in the country’s official REDD+ documents we conducted a discourse analysis. We found low level of input legitimacy in so far as that the federal government environment agencies concentrate most decision-making power and key land-use sectors and local people’s representatives are absent in decision-making forums. We also observed that the REDD+ discourse held by government agencies and both multilateral and international conservation organisations is dominant in policy documents, while the other two identified discourses, predominantly supported by national and civil society organisations and the academia, are partly, or not at all, reflected in such documents. We argue that Mexico’s REDD+ readiness process should become more inclusive, decentralised, and better coordinated to allow for the deliberation and institutionalisation of different actors’ ideas in REDD+ design. Our analysis and recommendations are relevant to other countries in the global South embarking on REDD+ design and implementation.
      PubDate: 2016-12-10
      DOI: 10.3390/f7120313
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 12 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 314: Lessons from Research for Sustainable
           Development and Conservation in Borneo

    • Authors: William Laurance
      First page: 314
      Abstract: I present a brief synopsis of six key lessons provided by research on forest ecology and conservation, focusing particularly on the Malaysian state of Sabah in northeastern Borneo. These lessons are generalizable to other contexts, especially for tropical developing nations, where surviving forests are under growing pressures from a range of human activities.
      PubDate: 2016-12-11
      DOI: 10.3390/f7120314
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 12 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 315: Multiple Patterns of Forest Disturbance and
           Logging Shape Forest Landscapes in Paragominas, Brazil

    • Authors: Isabelle Tritsch, Plinio Sist, Igor Narvaes, Lucas Mazzei, Lilian Blanc, Clément Bourgoin, Guillaume Cornu, Valery Gond
      First page: 315
      Abstract: In the Brazilian Amazon, multiple logging activities are undergoing, involving different actors and interests. They shape a disturbance gradient bound to the intensity and frequency of logging, and forest management techniques. However, until now, few studies have been carried out at the landscape scale taking into account these multiple types of logging and this disturbance gradient. Here we address this issue of how to account for the multiple logging activities shaping the current forest landscape. We developed an inexpensive and efficient remote sensing methodology based on Landsat imagery to detect and track logging activity based on the monitoring of canopy openings. Then, we implemented a set of remote sensing indicators to follow the different trajectories of forest disturbance through time. Using these indicators, we emphasized five major spatial and temporal disturbance patterns occurring in the municipality of Paragominas (State of Pará, Brazilian Amazon), from well-managed forests to highly over-logged forests. Our disturbance indicators provide observable evidence for the difference between legal and illegal patterns, with some illegal areas having suffered more than three explorations in fifteen years. They also clearly underlined the efficiency of Reduced Impact Logging (RIL) techniques applied under Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) guidelines to reduce the logging impacts in terms of canopy openings. For these reasons, we argue the need to promote legal certified logging to conserve forests, as without them, many actors mine the forest resources without any concerns for future stocks. Finally, our remote tracking methodology, which produces easy to interpret disturbance indicators, could be a real boon to forest managers, including for conservationists working in protected areas and stakeholders dealing with international trade rules such as RBUE (Wood regulation of European Union) or FLEGT (Forest Law for Enforcement, Governance and Trade).
      PubDate: 2016-12-13
      DOI: 10.3390/f7120315
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 12 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 316: Effects of Different Ectomycorrhizal Fungal
           Inoculates on the Growth of Pinus tabulaeformis Seedlings under Greenhouse

    • Authors: Nan Lu, Meng Yu, Ming Cui, Zijing Luo, Yue Feng, Sen Cao, Yuhan Sun, Yun Li
      First page: 316
      Abstract: The tree species Pinus tabulaeformis Carr. (P. tabulaeformis) is commonly planted in China due to its economic and ecological value. In order to identify one or more ectomycorrhizal (ECM) fungal species for future P. tabulaeformis afforestation, we investigated the effects of five ECM fungal species: Laccaria laccata, Boletus edulis, Gomphidius viscidus, Suillus grevillei, and Suillus luteus on the growth of P. tabulaeformis seedlings under greenhouse conditions. The growth parameters of P. tabulaeformis seedlings were evaluated 90 days following fungal colonisation. The majority of seedlings were significantly affected by ECM inoculation. Mycorrhizal inoculated seedlings were taller, had more lateral roots, and a greater biomass compared with the non-mycorrhizal (CK) seedlings. With the exception of G. viscidus, inoculated seedlings exhibited higher phosphorus, potassium, and nitrogen content compared with the CK seedlings. In addition, ECM colonisation increased the enzymatic activity of catalase, acidic phosphatase, protease, and the urease content in the rhizosphere soil. Our study showed that Laccaria laccata, Suillus grevillei, and Suillus luteus may be useful for improving the growth and cultivation of P. tabulaeformis seedlings. Furthermore, we observed that S. luteus inoculation increased the gas exchange parameters of P. tabulaeformis seedlings under field conditions.
      PubDate: 2016-12-14
      DOI: 10.3390/f7120316
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 12 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 317: Global Ecological Signpost, Local Reality: The
           Moraballi Creek Studies in Guyana and What Happened Afterwards

    • Authors: Janette Bulkan, John Palmer
      First page: 317
      Abstract: There is a common assumption that when sustainable forest management (SFM) is not practised the reasons are usually a lack of knowledge or lack of training in applying those techniques. We trace the intermittent development of techniques for SFM in the tropical rainforest of Guyana (South America), beginning with the classical observational ecology at Moraballi Creek in 1929. We reference the deliberate lack of application of SFM in spite of access to science-based information and repeated training. In this country, a precarious political democracy is destabilised by the gigantic profits from illegal logging and log trading which support corruption in the sector and generally across regulatory systems. The highest rate of graduate emigration in the world contributes to the difficulty of creating the core of moral leadership required to rise above the local tradition of under-the-table negotiation in place of the rule of law.
      PubDate: 2016-12-15
      DOI: 10.3390/f7120317
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 12 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 318: Identification and Target Prediction of
           MicroRNAs in Ulmus pumila L. Seedling Roots under Salt Stress by
           High-Throughput Sequencing

    • Authors: Jianfeng Zhu, Xiuyan Yang, Zhengxiang Liu, Huaxin Zhang
      First page: 318
      Abstract: MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a class of endogenous small RNAs with important roles in plant growth, development, and environmental stress responses. Ulmus pumila L., a deciduous broadleaved tree species of northern temperate regions, is widely distributed in central and northern Asia and has important economic and ecological value. With the spread and aggravation of soil salinization, salt stress has become a major abiotic stress affecting the normal growth and development of U. pumila. However, the influence of salt stress on U. pumila miRNA expression has not been investigated. To identify miRNAs and predict their target mRNA genes under salt stress, three small RNA libraries were generated and sequenced from roots of U. pumila seedlings treated with various concentrations of NaCl corresponding to no salt stress, light short-term salt stress, and medium-heavy long-term salt stress. Integrative analysis identified 254 conserved miRNAs representing 29 families and 49 novel miRNAs; 232 potential targets of the miRNAs were also predicted. Expression profiling of miRNAs between libraries was performed, and the expression of six miRNAs was validated by quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR). Our findings provide an overview of potential miRNAs and corresponding targets involved in regulating U. pumila salt defense responses. These results lay the foundation for further research into molecular mechanisms involved in salt stress resistance in U. pumila and other Ulmaceae species.
      PubDate: 2016-12-20
      DOI: 10.3390/f7120318
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 12 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 319: Effect of Timber Harvest Intensities and
           Fertilizer Application on Stocks of Soil C, N, P, and S

    • Authors: Marcella Menegale, Jose Rocha, Robert Harrison, Jose Goncalves, Rodrigo Almeida, Marisa Piccolo, Ayeska Hubner, Jose Arthur Junior, Alexandre de Vicente Ferraz, Jason James, Stephani Michelsen-Correa
      First page: 319
      Abstract: The purpose of this study was to determine the stocks of available P and S, total N, and oxidizable C at depth in an Oxisol cultivated with Eucalyptus in Brazil following different timber harvest intensities and fertilizer application over 12 years. The harvest regimes considered were (i) conventional stem-only harvest (all forest residues were maintained on the soil); (ii) whole-tree harvest (only litter was maintained on the soil—all slash, stemwood, and bark were removed); and (iii) whole-tree harvest + litter layer removal. The site was planted in 2004 considering three timber harvest intensities, some with and some without N and P fertilization. In 2012 the experiment was reinstalled, and all the treatments were reapplied in the each plot. From 2004 to 2016, nutrient accumulation and soil N, P, and S stocks were assessed in the 0–20 cm layer. Also in 2016, soil N, P, S, and oxidizable C stocks were measured to 2 m depth. For each treatment, the net balance of N, P, and S were calculated from soil stocks and harvest outputs during two forest rotations. A reduction in all nutrient stocks was observed in the 0–20 cm layer for all treatments. For N, this reduction was 20% smaller in the stem-only harvest treatment and 40% higher when no N fertilizer was applied, when compared to other treatments. Stem-only harvest treatment was observed to reduce the loss of N, P, and S due to harvest by 300, 30, and 25 kg·ha−1, respectively, when compared to the whole-tree harvest + litter layer removal treatment.
      PubDate: 2016-12-21
      DOI: 10.3390/f7120319
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 12 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 320: SOM and Biomass C Stocks in Degraded and
           Undisturbed Andean and Coastal Nothofagus Forests of Southwestern South

    • Authors: Francis Dube, Neal Stolpe
      First page: 320
      Abstract: Grazing and over-exploitation can severely degrade soil in native forests. Considering that productivity in ecosystems is related to soil organic matter (SOM) content and quality, the objectives of this study were to: (1) determine the influence of degraded (DEF), partly-degraded (PDF), and undisturbed (UNF) Nothofagus forests on the stocks of carbon (C) in tree biomass and SOM; (2) evaluate fractions of SOM as indicators of sustainable management; and (3) use the Century model to determine the potential gains of soil organic C (SOC). The forests are located in the Andes and Coastal mountains of southern Chile. The SOM was fractionated to separate the light fraction (LF), macroaggregates (>212 µm), mesoaggregates (212–53 µm), and microaggregates (<53 µm). In two measurement periods, the SOC stocks at 0–20 cm and 20–40 cm depths in macroaggregates were on average 100% higher in the Andean UNF, and SOC was over twice as much at 20–40 cm depth in Andean DEF. Century simulations showed that improved silvopastoral management would gradually increase total SOC in degraded soils of both sites, especially the Ultisol with a 15% increase between 2016 and 2216 (vs. 7% in the Andisol). Greater SOC in macroaggregates (p < 0.05) of UNF indicate a condition of higher sustainability and better management over the years.
      PubDate: 2016-12-20
      DOI: 10.3390/f7120320
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 12 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 271: Modeling the Boundaries of Plant Ecotones of
           Mountain Ecosystems

    • Authors: Yulia Ivanova, Vlad Soukhovolsky
      First page: 271
      Abstract: The ecological second-order phase transition model has been used to describe height-dependent changes in the species composition of mountain forest ecosystems. Forest inventory data on the distribution of various tree species in the Sayan Mountains (south Middle Siberia) are in good agreement with the model proposed in this study. The model was used to estimate critical heights for different altitudinal belts of vegetation, determine the boundaries and extents of ecotones between different vegetation belts, and reveal differences in the ecotone boundaries between the north- and south-facing transects. An additional model is proposed to describe ecotone boundary shifts caused by climate change.
      PubDate: 2016-11-12
      DOI: 10.3390/f7110271
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 11 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 272: Optimization Forest Thinning Measures for
           Carbon Budget in a Mixed Pine-Oak Stand of the Qingling Mountains, China:
           A Case Study

    • Authors: Lin Hou, Zhe Li, Chunlin Luo, Longlong Bai, Ningning Dong
      First page: 272
      Abstract: Forest thinning is a silviculture treatment for sustainable forest management. It may promote growth of the remaining individuals by decreasing stand density, reducing competition, and increasing light and nutrient availability to increase carbon sequestration in the forest ecosystem. However, the action also increases carbon loss simultaneously by reducing carbon and other nutrient inputs as well as exacerbating soil CO2 efflux. To achieve a maximum forest carbon budget, the central composite design with two independent variables (thinning intensity and thinning residual removal rate) was explored in a natural pine-oak mixed stand in the Qinling Mountains, China. The net primary productivity of living trees was estimated and soil CO2 efflux was stimulated by the Yasso07 model. Based on two years observation, the preliminary results indicated the following. Evidently chemical compounds of the litter of the tree species affected soil CO2 efflux stimulation. The thinning residual removal rate had a larger effect than thinning intensity on the net ecosystem productivity. When the selective thinning intensity and residual removal rate was 12.59% and 66.62% concurrently, the net ecosystem productivity reached its maximum 53.93 t·ha−1·year−1. The lower thinning intensity and higher thinning residual removal rated benefited the net ecosystem productivity.
      PubDate: 2016-11-12
      DOI: 10.3390/f7110272
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 11 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 273: Fire Scenarios in Spain: A Territorial
           Approach to Proactive Fire Management in the Context of Global Change

    • Authors: Cristina Montiel Molina, Luis Galiana-Martín
      First page: 273
      Abstract: Humans and fire form a coupled and co-evolving natural-human system in Mediterranean-climate ecosystems. In this context, recent trends in landscape change, such as urban sprawl or the abandoning of agricultural and forest land management in line with new models of economic development and lifestyles, are leading to new fire scenarios. A fire scenario refers to the contextual factors of a fire regime, i.e., the environmental, socio-economic and policy drivers of wildfire initiation and propagation on different spatial and temporal scales. This is basically a landscape concept linking territorial dynamics (related to ecosystem evolution and settlement patterns) with a fire regime (ignition causes; spread patterns; fire frequency, severity, extent and seasonality). The aim of this article is to identify and characterize these land-based fire scenarios in Spain on a national and regional scale, using a GIS-based methodology to perform a spatial analysis of the area attributes of homogenous fire spread patterns. To do this, the main variables considered are: land use/land cover, fuel load and recent fire history. The final objective is to reduce territorial vulnerability to forest wildfires and facilitate the adaptation of fire policies and land management systems to current challenges of preparedness and uncertainty management.
      PubDate: 2016-11-12
      DOI: 10.3390/f7110273
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 11 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 274: Haploids in Conifer Species: Characterization
           and Chromosomal Integrity of a Maritime Pine Cell Line

    • Authors: José Cabezas, Marian Morcillo, María Vélez, Luis Díaz, Juan Segura, María Cervera, Isabel Arrillaga
      First page: 274
      Abstract: Haploids are a valuable tool for genomic studies in higher plants, especially those with huge genome size and long juvenile periods, such as conifers. In these species, megagametophyte cultures have been widely used to obtain haploid callus and somatic embryogenic lines. One of the main problems associated with tissue culture is the potential genetic instability of the regenerants. Because of this, chromosomal stability of the callus and/or somatic embryos should also be assessed. To this end, chromosome counting, flow cytometry and genotyping using microsatellites have been reported. Here, we present an overview of the work done in conifers, with special emphasis on the production of a haploid cell line in maritime pine (Pinus pinaster L.) and the use of a set of molecular markers, which includes Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs) and microsatellites or Single Sequence Repeats (SSRs), to validate chromosomal integrity confirming the presence of all chromosomic arms.
      PubDate: 2016-11-12
      DOI: 10.3390/f7110274
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 11 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 275: Wood or Laminate?—Psychological Research of
           Customer Expectations

    • Authors: Paul Jiménez, Anita Dunkl, Kerstin Eibel, Elisabeth Denk, Vincent Grote, Christina Kelz, Maximilian Moser
      First page: 275
      Abstract: Wood is generally associated with being practical, aesthetic and economy-friendly. Using wood in interior settings also can be based on psychological expectations and assumptions, as wood is attributed as warmer, more homely, more relaxing and more inviting. However, when investigating psychological differences, wood is usually compared to carpets, glass, leather, stone, or plastic but is not compared to a visually similar material such as laminate. The aim of this study is to analyze and compare the various psychological characteristics related to wooden and laminate materials in interior settings. The experimental design was a 2 × 2 design (material, sequence) with repeated measures for material. Forty participants were asked to evaluate a framed piece of wood floor and a framed piece of laminate floor regarding technical, practical, and psychological aspects. Further, three questions about one’s purchase decision were asked. The results show that the wooden floor was evaluated significantly better than the laminate floor regarding “materials and processing”, “atmosphere”, and “values and symbolic functions”. For the criterion “health”, a tendency in favor of wood could be found. In addition, the participants would more likely recommend and purchase wooden products and also accept more deficiencies in wooden products.
      PubDate: 2016-11-12
      DOI: 10.3390/f7110275
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 11 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 276: Effect of Tree Spacing on Tree Level Volume
           Growth, Morphology, and Wood Properties in a 25-Year-Old Pinus banksiana
           Plantation in the Boreal Forest of Quebec

    • Authors: François Hébert, Cornelia Krause, Pierre-Yves Plourde, Alexis Achim, Guy Prégent, Jean Ménétrier
      First page: 276
      Abstract: The number of planted trees per hectare influences individual volume growth, which in turn can affect wood properties. The objective of this study was to assess the effect of six different plantation spacings of jack pine (Pinus banksiana Lamb.) 25 years following planting on tree growth, morphology, and wood properties. Stem analyses were performed to calculate annual and cumulative diameter, height, and volume growth. For morphological and wood property measurements several parameters were analyzed: diameter of the largest branch, live crown ratio, wood density, and the moduli of elasticity and rupture on small clear samples. The highest volume growth for individual trees was obtained in the 1111 trees/ha plantation, while the lowest was in the 4444 trees/ha plantation. Wood density and the moduli of elasticity and rupture did not change significantly between the six plantation spacings, but the largest branch diameter was significantly higher in the 1111 trees/ha (3.26 cm mean diameter) compared with the 4444 trees/ha spacing (2.03 cm mean diameter). Based on this study, a wide range of spacing induced little negative effect on the measured wood properties, except for the size of knots. Increasing the initial spacing of jack pine plantations appears to be a good choice if producing large, fast-growing stems is the primary goal, but lumber mechanical and visual properties could be decreased due to the larger branch diameter.
      PubDate: 2016-11-12
      DOI: 10.3390/f7110276
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 11 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 277: Resource Utilization by Native and Invasive
           Earthworms and Their Effects on Soil Carbon and Nitrogen Dynamics in
           Puerto Rican Soils

    • Authors: Ching-Yu Huang, Grizelle González, Paul Hendrix
      First page: 277
      Abstract: Resource utilization by earthworms affects soil C and N dynamics and further colonization of invasive earthworms. By applying 13C-labeled Tabebuia heterophylla leaves and 15N-labeled Andropogon glomeratus grass, we investigated resource utilization by three earthworm species (invasive endogeic Pontoscolex corethrurus, native anecic Estherella sp, and native endogeic Onychochaeta borincana) and their effects on soil C and N dynamics in Puerto Rican soils in a 22-day laboratory experiment. Changes of 13C/C and 15N/N in soils, earthworms, and microbial populations were analyzed to evaluate resource utilization by earthworms and their influences on C and N dynamics. Estherella spp. utilized the 13C-labeled litter; however, its utilization on the 13C-labeled litter reduced when cultivated with P. corethrurus and O. borincana. Both P. corethrurus and O. borincana utilized the 13C-labeled litter and 15C-labeled grass roots and root exudates. Pontoscolex corethrurus facilitated soil respiration by stimulating 13C-labeled microbial activity; however, this effect was suppressed possibly due to the changes in the microbial activities or community when coexisting with O. borincana. Increased soil N mineralization by individual Estherella spp. and O. borincana was reduced in the mixed-species treatments. The rapid population growth of P. corethrurus may increase competition pressure on food resources on the local earthworm community. The relevance of resource availability to the population growth of P. corethrurus and its significance as an invasive species is a topic in need of future research.
      PubDate: 2016-11-15
      DOI: 10.3390/f7110277
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 11 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 278: Recent Afforestation in the Iowa River and
           Vorskla River Basins: A Comparative Trends Analysis

    • Authors: Yury Chendev, Jason Hubbart, Edgar Terekhin, Anthony Lupo, Tom Sauer, C. Burras
      First page: 278
      Abstract: Afforestation trends were compared between two continentally-distinct, yet similar ecoregions to characterize similarities or differences in forest advancement due to natural and anthropogenic forcings. Temporal changes in forest cover were analyzed using high resolution aerial and satellite photographs for Southeast Iowa, USA, and satellite photographs for the western Belgorod Oblast, Russia. An increase in forested area was shown to occur over a 44-year period from 1970–2014 in Iowa where afforestation was reflected by the aggregation of smaller forest units. In the Belgorod region the opposite occurred in that there was an increase in the number of smaller forested units. The rate of forest expansion into open grassland areas, previously used as haying lands and pastures, was 14 m decade−1 and 8 m decade−1 in Iowa and the Belgorod Oblast, respectively. Based on current trends, predicted times for complete forest coverage in the study areas was estimated to be 80 years in Iowa and 300 years in the Belgorod Oblast. In both the Iowa and Belgorod Oblast, there was an increase in annual precipitation at the end of the 20th and the beginning of the 21st centuries, thus providing a contributing mechanism to forest advancement in the study regions and implications for future management practices.
      PubDate: 2016-11-15
      DOI: 10.3390/f7110278
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 11 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 279: Surface CO2 Exchange Dynamics across a
           Climatic Gradient in McKenzie Valley: Effect of Landforms, Climate and

    • Authors: Natalia Startsev, Jagtar Bhatti, Rachhpal Jassal
      First page: 279
      Abstract: Northern regions are experiencing considerable climate change affecting the state of permafrost, peat accumulation rates, and the large pool of carbon (C) stored in soil, thereby emphasizing the importance of monitoring surface C fluxes in different landform sites along a climate gradient. We studied surface net C exchange (NCE) and ecosystem respiration (ER) across different landforms (upland, peat plateau, collapse scar) in mid-boreal to high subarctic ecoregions in the Mackenzie Valley of northwestern Canada for three years. NCE and ER were measured using automatic CO2 chambers (ADC, Bioscientific LTD., Herts, England), and soil respiration (SR) was measured with solid state infrared CO2 sensors (Carbocaps, Vaisala, Vantaa, Finland) using the concentration gradient technique. Both NCE and ER were primarily controlled by soil temperature in the upper horizons. In upland forest locations, ER varied from 583 to 214 g C·m−2·year−1 from mid-boreal to high subarctic zones, respectively. For the bog and peat plateau areas, ER was less than half that at the upland locations. Of SR, nearly 75% was generated in the upper 5 cm layer composed of live bryophytes and actively decomposing fibric material. Our results suggest that for the upland and bog locations, ER significantly exceeded NCE. Bryophyte NCE was greatest in continuously waterlogged collapsed areas and was negligible in other locations. Overall, upland forest sites were sources of CO2 (from 64 g·C·m−2·year−1 in the high subarctic to 588 g C·m−2·year−1 in mid-boreal zone); collapsed areas were sinks of C, especially in high subarctic (from 27 g·C·m−2 year−1 in mid-boreal to 86 g·C·m−2·year−1 in high subarctic) and peat plateaus were minor sources (from 153 g·C·m−2·year−1 in mid-boreal to 6 g·C·m−2·year−1 in high subarctic). The results are important in understanding how different landforms are responding to climate change and would be useful in modeling the effect of future climate change on the soil C balance in the northern regions.
      PubDate: 2016-11-15
      DOI: 10.3390/f7110279
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 11 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 280: Morphological Characteristics and Water-Use
           Efficiency of Siberian Elm Trees (Ulmus pumila L.) within Arid Regions of
           Northeast Asia

    • Authors: Go Park, Don Lee, Ki Kim, Nyam-Osor Batkhuu, Jamsran Tsogtbaatar, Jiao-Jun Zhu, Yonghuan Jin, Pil Park, Jung Hyun, Hyun Kim
      First page: 280
      Abstract: The Siberian elm (Ulmus pumila L.) is one of the most commonly found tree species in arid areas of northeast Asia. To understand the morphological and physiological characteristics of Siberian elms in arid regions, we analyzed leaves from seven study sites (five arid or semi-arid and two mesic) in China, Mongolia and the Republic of Korea, which covered a wide range of average annual precipitation (232 mm·year−1 to 1304 mm·year−1) under various aridity indexes (AI) and four different microenvironments: sand dune, steppe, riverside and forest. The traits of Siberian elms varied widely along different annual precipitation (P) and AI gradients. Tree height (H), leaf size (LS) and stomatal area per unit leaf area (AS/AL) decreased with increasing AI, whereas leaf mass per unit leaf area (LMA) and water-use efficiency (WUE) increased significantly. In addition, trees at the five arid sites showed significant differences in LS, LMA and AS/AL but not in H and WUE. Thus, our study indicated that indigenous Siberian elm trees in arid areas have substantially altered their morphological and physiological characteristics to avoid heat stress and increase water conservation in comparison to mesic areas. However, their changes differed depending on the surrounding microenvironment even in arid areas. Trees in sand dunes had a smaller LS, higher LMA, thicker leaf cuticle layer and higher stomatal density and AS than those in steppes and near a riverside.
      PubDate: 2016-11-17
      DOI: 10.3390/f7110280
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 11 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 281: Deforestation Effects on Soil Erosion in the
           Lake Kivu Basin, D.R. Congo-Rwanda

    • Authors: Fidele Karamage, Hua Shao, Xi Chen, Felix Ndayisaba, Lamek Nahayo, Alphonse Kayiranga, James Omifolaji, Tong Liu, Chi Zhang
      First page: 281
      Abstract: Deforestation and natural grassland conversion to agricultural land use constitute a major threat to soil and water conservation. This study aimed at assessing the status of land cover and land use (LCLU) in the Lake Kivu basin, and its related impacts in terms of soil erosion by water using the Universal Soil Erosion Equation (USLE) model. The results indicated that the Lake Kivu basin is exposed to soil erosion risk with a mean annual rate of 30 t·ha−1, and only 33% of the total non-water area is associated with a tolerable soil loss (≤10 t·ha−1·year−1). Due to both natural factors (abundant tropical precipitation and steep slopes) and anthropogenic activities without prior appropriate conservation practices, all land-use types—namely settlement, cropland, forestland, and grassland—are exposed to a severe mean erosion rate of 41 t·ha−1·year−1, 31 t·ha−1·year−1, 28 t·ha−1·year−1, and 20 t·ha−1·year−1, respectively. The cropland that occupied 74% of the non-water area in 2015 was the major contributor (75%) to the total annual soil loss in the Lake Kivu basin. This study showed that conservation practices in the cropland cells would result in a mean erosion rate of 7 t·ha−1·year−1, 18 t·ha−1·year−1, and 35 t·ha−1·year−1 for terracing, strip-cropping, and contouring, respectively. The adoption of terracing would be the best conservation practice, among others, that could reduce soil erosion in cropland areas up to about 23%. The erosion risk minimization in forests and grasslands implies an increase in overstorey canopy and understorey vegetation, and control of human activities such as fires, mining, soil compaction from domestic animals grazing, and so on. Soil erosion control in settled areas suggests, among other things, the revegetation of construction sites, establishment of outlet channels, rainfall water harvesting systems, and pervious paving block with grass.
      PubDate: 2016-11-17
      DOI: 10.3390/f7110281
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 11 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 282: Carbon and Nitrogen Pools and Fluxes in
           Adjacent Mature Norway Spruce and European Beech Forests

    • Authors: Filip Oulehle, Michal Růžek, Karolina Tahovská, Jiří Bárta, Oldřich Myška
      First page: 282
      Abstract: We compared two adjacent mature forest ecosystem types (spruce vs. beech) to unravel the fate of assimilated carbon (C) and the cycling of organic and inorganic nitrogen (N) without the risk of the confounding influences of climatic and site differences when comparing different sites. The stock of C in biomass was higher (258 t·ha−1) in the older (150 years) beech stand compared to the younger (80 years) planted spruce stand (192 t·ha−1), whereas N biomass pools were comparable (1450 kg·ha−1). Significantly higher C and N soil pools were measured in the beech stand, both in forest floor and mineral soil. Cumulative annual CO2 soil efflux was similar among stands, i.e., 9.87 t·ha−1·year−1 of C in the spruce stand and 9.01 t·ha−1·year−1 in the beech stand. Soil temperature explained 78% (Q10 = 3.7) and 72% (Q10 = 4.2) of variability in CO2 soil efflux in the spruce and beech stand, respectively. However, the rather tight N cycle in the spruce stand prevented inorganic N losses, whereas losses were higher in the beech stand and were dominated by nitrate in the mineral soil. Our results highlighted the long-term consequences of forest management on C and N cycling.
      PubDate: 2016-11-17
      DOI: 10.3390/f7110282
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 11 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 283: Back to the Future: The Persistence of Horse

    • Authors: David Bray, Elvira Duran, Javier Hernández-Salas, Concepción Luján-Alvarez, Miguel Olivas-García, Iván Grijalva-Martínez
      First page: 283
      Abstract: Horse skidding for extracting logwood is characterized as a niche activity in small-scale forestry, limited to small tracts and low volumes, where environmental impacts and aesthetics are concerned, and to operations with no wood-processing facilities. This article documents and analyzes the widespread persistence, current magnitude, and multiple advantages of horse skidding in large-scale industrial community forest enterprises in Chihuahua, Mexico. We extracted data from the logging permit files of 59 communities in the Sierra Tarahumara and conducted semi-structured interviews with community leaders and foresters in 18 communities, 17 random selections, and one purposefully selected case. There are nine communities that can be considered large-scale. Six of them use animal traction for 20%–100% of their volume. All have sawmills integrated with their operations. This includes the El Largo community with a ten-year volume of 3,169,019 m3 extracted from 123,810 ha entirely with horses. Respondents to the interviews report that horse skidding is more cost-effective than mechanized skidding, generates more employment, and has less impact on forests due to reduced carbon emissions. The widespread use of animal traction in large-scale industrial community forestry in Chihuahua demonstrates that horse skidding is not only a niche activity in small-scale forestry. Our data is preliminary, but we suggest that it highlights a need for further assessments of whether animal traction should be part of future efforts towards reduced impact, lower carbon emissions, and socially and economically just forest management.
      PubDate: 2016-11-16
      DOI: 10.3390/f7110283
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 11 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 284: Spatial Pattern of the Mitochondrial and
           Chloroplast Genetic Variation in Poland as a Result of the Migration of
           Abies alba Mill. from Different Glacial Refugia

    • Authors: Monika Litkowiec, Andrzej Lewandowski, Grzegorz Rączka
      First page: 284
      Abstract: Currently, the information on the gene pool of silver fir (Abies alba Mill.) at the northeastern edge of its distribution in Poland is scarce and insufficient. Using the advantage provided by markers with different modes of inheritance, a hypothesis that gene flow via both seeds and pollen contributed to the genetic structure across the entire analyzed region was investigated. The geographic distribution of maternally inherited mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA, nad5-4) and paternally inherited chloroplast DNA (cpDNA, psbC) variation was studied in 81 Polish populations and three reference populations from Ukraine and Romania. The spatial pattern of mtDNA haplotypes (dispersed via seeds) indicated that the Apennine Peninsula was the only maternal glacial refugium for the entire territory of Poland and also the Ukraine no 1 population, whereas the other two populations—Ukraine no 2 and Romania—had the haplotype representing the Balkan origin. By contrast, the cpDNA haplotypes (dispersed via pollen) from all studied Polish and reference populations showed that A. alba colonized the current natural range from two genetically distinct glacial refugia located on the Apennine and Balkan peninsulas. The occurrence of cpDNA haplotypes varied among the studied populations. Additionally, statistical analyses were used to infer the genetic structure of examined populations. Two distinct groups of A. alba populations were identified showing the postglacial geographic distribution of haplotypes of both mtDNA and cpDNA. A. alba is an important ecological and economic component of forest ecosystems in Europe. An understanding of the Holocene history of this species is relevant for planning sustainable forest management, and acquired data can contribute to strategies of conservation and restoration.
      PubDate: 2016-11-17
      DOI: 10.3390/f7110284
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 11 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 285: Assessment of Forest Management in Protected
           Areas Based on Multidisciplinary Research

    • Authors: Ivo Machar, Jaroslav Simon, Klement Rejsek, Vilem Pechanec, Jan Brus, Helena Kilianova
      First page: 285
      Abstract: The remnants of primeval Norway spruce forests in the European temperate zone are crucial for maintaining forest biodiversity in high mountain landscapes. This paper presents results of a multidisciplinary research and evaluation project on the management practices for mountain spruce forests in the Natura 2000 site (National Nature Reserve Serak-Keprnik in the Hruby Jesenik Mountains, the Czech Republic). Results are based on combining research on the historical development of the forest ecosystem and predictions of future dynamics using a forest growth simulation model. The presented results show that a non-intervention management strategy for mountain spruce forest in the next 50 years complies with the Natura 2000 requirement to maintain the existing character of the forest habitat. Thus, the results indicate that the current management plan for the spruce forests does not require significant corrections in the context of its conservation goals (i.e., maintaining biodiversity and current character of the forest ecosystem dominated by Norway spruce). The results of this study suggest that combining the knowledge of historical development with forest inventory data using forest growth simulation represents a suitable support tool for the assessment of management practices for forest habitats in protected areas.
      PubDate: 2016-11-16
      DOI: 10.3390/f7110285
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 11 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 286: Perceived Acceptability of Implementing
           Marker-Assisted Selection in the Forests of British Columbia

    • Authors: Chelsea Nilausen, Nancy Gélinas, Gary Bull
      First page: 286
      Abstract: The forest sector in British Columbia (BC) has faced a number of challenges over the past decade. In response to some of those challenges, the government has invested in forest genomic tools. Marker-assisted selection (MAS) is a biotechnological tool that flags desired traits on the genome. This tool may assist tree breeders with the early selection of preferred genotypes, reducing the breeding cycle and more accurately and efficiently selecting for improved qualities. However, there is a poor understanding of the perceived acceptability of implementing MAS. Semi-structured interviews and a questionnaire were employed across participants categorized into four groups. It was found that government and industry participants held positive perceptions towards MAS, supporting its use and continued research in BC, and identifying its benefits in forest regeneration and to tree breeders. Environmental non-governmental organizations (ENGOs) and First Nations attitudes lay between neutral and negative. Concerns were most strongly focused on environmental impacts, ecosystem degradation, and reduced genetic diversity, while identified benefits were specific to tree breeders and improved tree resiliency. It was concluded that before MAS can be successfully implemented, an appropriate setting must first be established through improved knowledge of biotechnology and its applications, well-defined policies, and strengthened engagement and consultation with First Nations.
      PubDate: 2016-11-18
      DOI: 10.3390/f7110286
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 11 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 287: Biomass Accumulation and Net Primary
           Production during the Early Stage of Secondary Succession after a Severe
           Forest Disturbance in Northern Japan

    • Authors: Tomotsugu Yazaki, Takashi Hirano, Tomohito Sano
      First page: 287
      Abstract: Quantitative evaluations of biomass accumulation after disturbances in forests are crucially important for elucidating and predicting forest carbon dynamics in order to understand the carbon sink/source activities. During early secondary succession, understory vegetation often affects sapling growth. However, reports on biomass recovery in naturally-regenerating sites are limited in Japan. Therefore, we traced annual or biennial changes in plant species, biomass, and net primary production (NPP) in a naturally regenerating site in Japan after windthrow and salvage-logging plantation for nine years. The catastrophic disturbance depleted the aboveground biomass (AGB) from 90.6 to 2.7 Mg·ha−1, changing understory dominant species from Dryopteris spp. to Rubus idaeus. The mean understory AGB recovered to 4.7 Mg·ha−1 in seven years with the dominant species changing to invasive Solidago gigantea. Subsequently, patches of deciduous trees (mainly Betula spp.) recovered whereas the understory AGB decreased. Mean understory NPP increased to 272 g·C·m−2·year−1 within seven years after the disturbance, but decreased thereafter to 189 g·C·m−2·year−1. Total NPP stagnated despite increasing overstory NPP. The biomass accumulation is similar to that of naturally regenerating sites without increase of trees in boreal and temperate regions. Dense ground vegetation and low water and nutrient availability of the soil in the study site restrict the recovery of canopy-forming trees and eventually influence the biomass accumulation.
      PubDate: 2016-11-18
      DOI: 10.3390/f7110287
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 11 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 288: A Forest Growth Model for the Natural
           Broadleaved Forests in Northeastern Korea

    • Authors: Jiseon Choi, Hyunjin An
      First page: 288
      Abstract: While a large sum of timber stock in private forests, especially broadleaved forests, has been ignored by their owners, a rising global concern about climate change and ecosystems has led to a renewed interest in natural broadleaved forest management strategies. This study establishes the forest growth model for the natural broadleaved forest of Gangwon-do based on the matrix model developed by Buongiorno and Michie. The matrix model by Buongiorno and Michie has been widely applied to study forest population dynamics, especially for uneven-aged forests. To develop an existing matrix model, our approach applies transitional probabilities of forest stands which are calibrated using National Forest Inventory data. Both long and short-term predicted simulation results show that the predicted average tree density and diameter distribution from our model are very close to the stand density and diameter distribution from observed data. Although the model simplifies reality, the results from our study confirm that our models are valid enough to predict the average stand status of the broadleaved forests in Gangwon-do.
      PubDate: 2016-11-23
      DOI: 10.3390/f7110288
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 11 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 289: Oak Group Planting Produces a Higher Number of
           Future Crop Trees, with Better Spatial Distribution than Row Planting

    • Authors: Georgios Skiadaresis, Somidh Saha, Jürgen Bauhus
      First page: 289
      Abstract: Recent studies have reported superior tree quality and comparable tree growth of oaks planted in group compared with row planting. However, a comparative assessment of the potential future crop trees (PFCTs) between group and row planting is still lacking. Here, we compared the density and tree quality of planted oaks and other naturally regenerated trees between group and row planting. We assessed whether the distribution of PFCTs fulfills the goal of maintaining a spatially homogenous distribution of such crop trees at the stand level by geospatial analysis. We selected 10 group and row planting stands that were either 14 to 15 or 21 to 22 years old. Tree density in group plantings was significantly higher than in row plantings. Stand basal area was higher in row planting in younger stands but comparable to group planting in older stands. The proportion of trees with straight stems and monopodial crowns was higher in groups than in rows. The density and species’ richness of the PFCTs was significantly higher but the number of oak PFCTs was lower in group than in row plantings. In group plantings, naturally regenerated PFCTs contributed to 43% of total PFCTs, but to only 19% in row plantings. Also, the spatial distribution of PFCTs in group plantings was more uniform than in row plantings. Uniform and homogeneous distribution of the PFCTs in group planting stands can facilitate design and conduct of tending operations. Thus, the group planting technique offers not only cost savings in the establishment phase but also additional benefits, including spreading of risks through increased tree species diversity.
      PubDate: 2016-11-22
      DOI: 10.3390/f7110289
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 11 (2016)
  • Forests, Vol. 7, Pages 290: Nutrient Resorption and Phenolics
           Concentration Associated with Leaf Senescence of the Subtropical Mangrove
           Aegiceras corniculatum: Implications for Nutrient Conservation

    • Authors: Hui Chen, Benbo Xu, Shudong Wei, Lihua Zhang, Haichao Zhou, Yiming Lin
      First page: 290
      Abstract: Aegiceras corniculatum (L.) Blanco, a mangrove shrub species in the Myrsine family, often grows at the seaward edge of the mangrove zone in China. In the present study, seasonal dynamics of nutrient resorption and phenolics concentration associated with leaf senescence of A. corniculatum were investigated in order to evaluate its possible nutrient conservation strategies in the subtropical Zhangjiang river estuary. It was found that the nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) concentrations in mature leaves showed similar seasonal changes with the highest concentrations in winter and the lowest in summer, and were significantly higher than those in senescent leaves. The N:P ratios of mature leaves through the year were found to be less than 14, indicating that the A. corniculatum forest was N-limited. The nitrogen resorption efficiency (NRE) was higher than phosphorus resorption efficiency (PRE), and N resorption was complete. In addition, A. corniculatum leaves contained high total phenolics (TPs) and total condensed tannin (TCT) levels (both above 20%). TPs concentrations in mature and senescent leaves were all inversely related to their N or P concentrations. TPs:N and TCT:N ratios in senescent leaves were significantly higher than those in mature leaves. The obtained results suggested that high NRE during leaf senescence and high TPs:N and TCT:N ratios in senescent leaves might be important nutrient conservation strategies for the mangrove shrub A. corniculatum forest growing in N-limited conditions.
      PubDate: 2016-11-22
      DOI: 10.3390/f7110290
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 11 (2016)
School of Mathematical and Computer Sciences
Heriot-Watt University
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