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  Subjects -> FORESTS AND FORESTRY (Total: 98 journals)
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  
African Journal of Sustainable Development     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 6)
Agrociencia     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Agroforestry Systems     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 16)
Annals of Forest Science     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4)
Appita Journal: Journal of the Technical Association of the Australian and New Zealand Pulp and Paper Industry     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 5)
Arboricultural Journal : The International Journal of Urban Forestry     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 7)
Arboriculture and Urban Forestry     Free   (Followers: 8)
Australian Forest Grower     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Australian Forestry     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 4)
Banko Janakari     Open Access  
Boletin de la Sociedad Argentina de Botanica     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Bosque     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Canadian Journal of Forest Research     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 94)
Canadian Journal of Plant Science     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 12)
Ciência Florestal     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Ciencia forestal en México     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Colombia Forestal     Open Access  
Current Forestry Reports     Hybrid Journal  
Dissertationes Forestales     Open Access  
European Journal of Forest Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4)
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: 39)
Forest Pathology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 1)
Forest Phytophthoras     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Forest Policy and Economics     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 18)
Forest Research Papers     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Forest Science     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 6)
Forest Science and Practice     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4)
Forest Science and Technology     Partially Free   (Followers: 1)
Forest Systems     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Foresta Veracruzana     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Forestry Chronicle     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 10)
Forestry Studies : Metsanduslikud Uurimused     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Forestry: An International Journal of Forest Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 11)
Forests     Open Access   (Followers: 4)
Forests, Trees and Livelihoods     Partially Free   (Followers: 3)
Ghana Journal of Forestry     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
Holzforschung     Full-text available via subscription  
iForest : Biogeosciences and Forestry     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
INNOTEC : Revista del Laboratorio Tecnológico del Uruguay     Open Access  
International Forestry Review     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 7)
International Journal of Agriculture and Forestry     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
International Journal of Forest Engineering     Hybrid Journal  
International Journal of Forest, Soil and Erosion     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
International Journal of Forestry Research     Open Access   (Followers: 5)
Journal of Agriculture, Forestry and the Social Sciences     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Journal of Biodiversity Management & Forestry     Hybrid Journal  
Journal of Environmental Extension     Full-text available via subscription  
Journal of Forest and Livelihood     Full-text available via subscription  
Journal of Forest Economics     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6)
Journal of Forest Products and Industries     Open Access  
Journal of Forest Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 3)
Journal of Forestry     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 8)
Journal of Forestry Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6)
Journal of Horticulture and Forestry     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Journal of Natural Resources Policy Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 13)
Journal of Research in Forestry, Wildlife and Environment     Open Access  
Journal of Sustainable Forestry     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6)
Journal of Tropical Forestry and Environment     Open Access  
Journal of Wood Chemistry and Technology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 7)
Journal of Wood Science     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 3)
Jurnal Manajemen Hutan Tropika     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
La Calera     Open Access  
Landscapes     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 19)
Lesnícky časopis     Open Access  
Maderas. Ciencia y tecnología     Open Access  
Mathematical and Computational Forestry & Natural-Resource Sciences     Free  
Natural Areas Journal     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 7)
New Forests     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2)
New Zealand Journal of Forestry Science     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Open Journal of Forestry     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Pesquisa Florestal Brasileira     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Plant Science Bulletin     Free   (Followers: 7)
Quebracho. Revista de Ciencias Forestales     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Research Journal of Forestry     Open Access   (Followers: 4)
Revista Árvore     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Revista Chapingo. Serie Ciencias Forestales y del Ambiente     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Revista Verde de Agroecologia e Desenvolvimento Sustentável     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Revue forestière française     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
Rwanda Journal     Full-text available via subscription  
Scandinavian Journal of Forest Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4)
Science, Technology and Arts Research Journal     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Silva Lusitana     Open Access  
Small-scale Forestry     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 3)
Southern African Forestry Journal     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Southern Forests : a Journal of Forest Science     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4)
Tanzania Journal of Forestry and Nature Conservation     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Trees     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 5)
Turkish Journal of Agriculture and Forestry     Open Access  
Urban Forestry & Urban Greening     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 7)
Veld & Flora     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Wood and Fiber Science     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
Journal Cover   Forests
  [SJR: 0.629]   [H-I: 8]   [6 followers]  Follow
    
  This is an Open Access Journal Open Access journal
   ISSN (Print) 1999-4907
   Published by MDPI Homepage  [130 journals]
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 859-878: Assisting Sustainable Forest Management
           and Forest Policy Planning with the Sim4Tree Decision Support System

    • Authors: Floris Dalemans, Paul Jacxsens, Jos Van Orshoven, Vincent Kint, Pieter Moonen, Bart Muys
      Pages: 859 - 878
      Abstract: As European forest policy increasingly focuses on multiple ecosystem services and participatory decision making, forest managers and policy planners have a need for integrated, user-friendly, broad spectrum decision support systems (DSS) that address risks and uncertainties, such as climate change, in a robust way and that provide credible advice in a transparent manner, enabling effective stakeholder involvement. The Sim4Tree DSS has been accordingly developed as a user-oriented, modular and multipurpose toolbox. Sim4Tree supports strategic and tactical forestry planning by providing simulations of forest development, ecosystem services potential and economic performance through time, from a regional to a stand scale, under various management and climate regimes. Sim4Tree allows comparing the performance of different scenarios with regard to diverse criteria so as to optimize management choices. This paper explains the concept, characteristics, functionalities, components and use of the current Sim4Tree DSS v2.5, which was parameterized for the region of Flanders, Belgium, but can be flexibly adapted to allow a broader use. When considering the current challenges for forestry DSS, an effort has been made towards the participatory component and towards integration, while the lack of robustness remains Sim4Tree’s weakest point. However, its structural flexibility allows many possibilities for future improvement and extension.
      PubDate: 2015-03-24
      DOI: 10.3390/f6040859
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 4 (2015)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 879-902: Implementing Continuous Cover Forestry in
           Planted Forests: Experience with Sitka Spruce (Picea Sitchensis) in the
           British Isles

    • Authors: William Mason
      Pages: 879 - 902
      Abstract: Planted forests of Sitka spruce, a non-native species from north-west America, are the major forest type in Great Britain and Ireland. Standard management involves even-aged stands, rotations of 40–50 years and a patch clear-felling system with artificial regeneration. However, forest policies support managing these forests for multifunctional objectives with increased diversity of species composition and stand structure. Continuous cover forestry (CCF) is an alternative silvicultural approach used to provide such diversity, but the amount of CCF forest is under 10% of the forest area, and less in Sitka spruce forests; This paper reviews research carried out in the last two decades to support the implementation of CCF in Sitka spruce planted forests; Stand structures and microclimate favouring natural regeneration are understood. Harvesting systems have been adapted for use in CCF stands, a single-tree growth model has been calibrated, comparative costs and revenues have been determined, and operational trials established. The interaction between thinning and wind stability in irregular stands is problematic, together with the lack of suitable species for growing in mixture with Sitka spruce; Introduction of an alternative silvicultural approach may take decades and must overcome technical challenges and cultural resistance.
      PubDate: 2015-03-24
      DOI: 10.3390/f6040879
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 4 (2015)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 903-913: Anomalies of the Austrian Forest Fire
           Regime in Comparison with Other Alpine Countries: A Research Note

    • Authors: Mortimer Müller, Harald Vacik, Eva Valese
      Pages: 903 - 913
      Abstract: In recent years, Austria has experienced highly variable forest fire activity with new record values regarding the number of fires and sizes of burned areas. Single seasons in 2011, 2012 and 2013 showed 20-year-peaks and significant differences regarding fire activity. A statistical overview of datasets from Austria, Switzerland, Italy and Slovenia is given, allowing a preliminary comparison between the Alpine countries. Higher temperatures in combination with local dry weather conditions are hypothesized as reasons for the observed anomalies. Further analysis will be done with new climatic data in high spatial resolution from the “AgroDroughtAustria” project to confirm these preliminary findings.
      PubDate: 2015-03-24
      DOI: 10.3390/f6040903
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 4 (2015)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 914-928: Localized Effects of Coarse Woody Material
           on Soil Oribatid Communities Diminish over 700 Years of Stand Development
           in Black-Spruce-Feathermoss Forests

    • Authors: Enrique Doblas-Miranda, Timothy Work
      Pages: 914 - 928
      Abstract: In the black-spruce clay-belt region of Western Québec, soil nutrients are limited due to paludification. Under paludified conditions, nutrient subsidies from decomposing surface coarse woody material (CWM) may be important particularly during the later stages of ecosystem development when deadwood from senescent trees has accumulated. For soil organisms, CWM can alter microclimatic conditions and resource availability. We compared abundance and species richness of oribatid mites below or adjacent to CWM across a chronosequence which spans ca. 700 years of stand development. We hypothesized that oribatid abundance and richness would be greater under the logs, particularly in later stages of forest development when logs may act as localized sources of carbon and nutrients in the paludified substrate. However, oribatid density was lower directly under CWM than adjacent to CWM but these differences were attenuated with time. We suggest that oribatids may be affected by soil compaction and also that such microarthropods are most likely feeding on recently fallen leaf litter, which may be rendered inaccessible by the presence of overlying CWM. This may also explain the progressive decline in oribatid density and diversity with time, which are presumably caused by decreases in litter availability due to self-thinning and Sphagnum growth. This is also supported by changes of different oribatid trophic groups, as litter feeders maintain different numbers relative to CWM with time while more generalist fungi feeders only show differences related to position in the beginning of the succession.
      PubDate: 2015-03-27
      DOI: 10.3390/f6040914
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 4 (2015)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 929-956: A Comparison of the Composition and
           Diversity of Tree Populations along a Hydrological Gradient in Floodplains
           (Southern Québec, Canada)

    • Authors: Jean-Sébastien Berthelot, Diane Saint-Laurent, Vernhar Gervais-Beaulac, Aurélien Présent
      Pages: 929 - 956
      Abstract: With the current climate changes, it is essential to understand the mechanisms that govern floods and flow regimes and their effects on the dynamics of riparian forests. The aim is to assess the effects of new hydrological conditions (increase in flood frequency) on forest stands subject to frequent floods. The sampling sites (total of 94 quadrats) are located in riverine woodlands, and the choice of location corresponds to the boundaries of the flood-risk zones established by official government maps. Our study shows that there are significant differences in the composition and diversity of forest communities following differences in the flood recurrence zones. In the active floodplains (i.e., recurrence interval of 0–20 years), the tree population stands are clearly distinguished from other intermediate flood zones (interval of 20–100 years). Differences are also noted in the structure of the communities, in particular in the frequent flood zones, which are characterized by a low renewal rate, low density and less-diversified forest stands. The frequent floods risk forest stand rejuvenation and creating decline as a result of increased tree mortality and the low renewal rate. With the expected increases in the number of flood events in the coming decades, there may be greater tree mortality and a gradual disappearance of the forest communities.
      PubDate: 2015-03-30
      DOI: 10.3390/f6040929
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 4 (2015)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 957-972: LAI Variability as a Habitat Feature
           Determining Reptile Occurrence: A Case Study in Large Forest Complexes in
           Eastern Poland

    • Authors: Tomasz Berezowski, Jakub Kośmider, Magdalena Greczuk, Jarosław Chormański
      Pages: 957 - 972
      Abstract: Reptile habitats are described using various indices. The definitions of such indices are crucial, as they are applied to habitat modelling for numerous species on local to continental scales. We examined the Leaf Area Index (LAI) for its value as a tool for determining reptile habitat. During measurements carried out in spring and summer months between 2011 and 2013, LAI values were assessed and surveys were conducted on reptile fauna at 11 survey sites in the Solska Forest and Roztocze National Parks areas in Eastern Poland. In total, six Squamata reptiles occurring in Poland were found. We determined that LAI can be utilized as a reptile habitat index, with reptile species associated with LAI seasonal variability as well as LAI range. Moreover, we found that the higher the LAI median value, the greater the variety of reptile species. These findings are useful for development of spatial models of habitats based on LAI as they point to the importance of its seasonal variation.
      PubDate: 2015-03-31
      DOI: 10.3390/f6040957
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 4 (2015)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 973-991: Available Nitrogen and Responses to
           Nitrogen Fertilizer in Brazilian Eucalypt Plantations on Soils of
           Contrasting Texture

    • Authors: Ana Pulito, José Leonardo de Moraes Gonçalves, Philip Smethurst, José Junior, Clayton Alcarde Alvares, José Henrique Tertulino Rocha, Ayeska Hübner, Luiz Fabiano de Moraes, Aline Miranda, Marcos Kamogawa, José Gava, Raul Chaves, Claudio Silva
      Pages: 973 - 991
      Abstract: Eucalyptus plantations have seldom responded to N fertilization in tropical and subtropical regions of Brazil. This implies that rates of N mineralization have been adequate to supply tree needs. However, subsequent crop rotations with low N fertilization may result in declining concentrations of organic and potentially mineralizable N (N0), and consequent loss of wood productivity. This study investigated (a) in situ N mineralization and N0 in soils of eucalypt plantations in São Paulo state, Brazil; (b) tree growth responses to N fertilizer applied 6–18 months after planting; and (c) the relationships between N0, other soil attributes and tree growth. We established eleven N fertilizer trials (maximum 240 kg ha−1 of N) in E. grandis and E. grandis x urophylla plantations. The soil types at most sites were Oxisols and Quartzipsamments, with a range of organic matter (18 to 55 g kg−1) and clay contents (8% to 67%) in the 0–20 cm layer. Concentrations of N0 were measured using anaerobic incubation on soil samples collected every three months (different seasons). The samples collected in spring and summer had N0 140–400 kg ha−1 (10%–19% total soil N), which were best correlated with soil texture and organic matter content. Rates of in situ net N mineralization (0–20 cm) ranged from 100 to 200 kg ha−1 year−1 and were not correlated with clay, total N, or N0. These high N mineralization rates resulted in a low response to N fertilizer application during the early ages of stand growth, which were highest on sandy soils. At the end of the crop rotation, the response to N fertilizer was negligible and non-significant at all sites.
      PubDate: 2015-04-02
      DOI: 10.3390/f6040973
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 4 (2015)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 992-1030: Evaluating the Ecological Integrity of
           Structural Stand Density Management Models Developed for Boreal Conifers

    • Authors: Peter Newton
      Pages: 992 - 1030
      Abstract: Density management decision-support systems (e.g., modular-based structural stand density management models (SSDMMs)), which are built upon the modeling platform used to develop stand density management diagrams, incorporate a number of functional relationships derived from forest production theory and quantitative ecology. Empirically, however, the ecological integrity of these systems has not been verified and hence the degree of their compliance with expected ecological axioms is unknown. Consequently, the objective of this study was to evaluate the ecological integrity of six SSDMMs developed for black spruce (Picea mariana) and jack pine (Pinus banksiana) stand-types (natural-origin and planted upland black spruce and jack pine stands, upland natural-origin black spruce and jack pine mixtures, and natural-origin lowland black spruce stands). The assessment included the determination of the biological reasonableness of model predictions by determining the degree of consistency between predicted developmental patterns and those expected from known ecological axioms derived from even-aged stand dynamics theoretical constructs, employing Bakuzis graphical matrices. Although the results indicated the SSDMMs performed well, a notable departure from expectation was a possible systematic site quality effect on the asymptotic yield-density relationships. Combining these results with confirmatory evidence derived from the literature suggest that the site-invariant self-thinning axiom may be untenable for certain stand-types.
      PubDate: 2015-04-07
      DOI: 10.3390/f6040992
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 4 (2015)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 1031-1060: Taking Stock of Carbon Rights in REDD+
           Candidate Countries: Concept Meets Reality

    • Authors: Lasse Loft, Ashwin Ravikumar, Maria Gebara, Thu Pham, Ida Resosudarmo, Samuel Assembe, Jazmín Tovar, Esther Mwangi, Krister Andersson
      Pages: 1031 - 1060
      Abstract: In the discourses on who should benefit from national REDD+ implementation, rights-based approaches are prominent across various countries. Options on how to create viable property rights arrangements are currently being debated by scholars, policy makers and practitioners alike. Many REDD+ advocates argue that assigning carbon rights represents a solution to insecure individual and community property rights. But carbon rights, i.e., the bundle of legal rights to carbon sequestered in biomass, present their own set of theoretical and practical challenges. We assess the status and approaches chosen in emerging carbon-rights legislations in five REDD+ countries based on a literature review and country expert knowledge: Peru, Brazil, Cameroon, Vietnam and Indonesia. We find that most countries assessed have not yet made final decisions as to the type of benefit sharing mechanisms they intend to implement and that there is a lack of clarity about who owns rights to carbon as a property and who is entitled to receive benefits. However, there is a trend of linking carbon rights to land rights. As such, the technical and also political challenges that land tenure clarification has faced over the past decades will still need to be addressed in the context of carbon rights.
      PubDate: 2015-04-08
      DOI: 10.3390/f6041031
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 4 (2015)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 1061-1082: Mid-Rotation Silviculture Timing
           Influences Nitrogen Mineralization of Loblolly Pine Plantations in the
           Mid-South USA

    • Authors: Michael Blazier, D. Scott, Ryan Coleman
      Pages: 1061 - 1082
      Abstract: Intensively managed loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.) plantations often develop nutrient deficiencies near mid-rotation. Common silvicultural treatments for improving stand nutrition at this stage include thinning, fertilization, and vegetation control. It is important to better understand the influence of timing fertilization and vegetation control in relation to thinning as part of improving the efficiency of these practices. The objective of this study was to determine the effects of fertilization and vegetation control conducted within a year prior to thinning and within a year after thinning on soil N supply in mid-rotation loblolly pine plantations on a gradient of soil textures. Net N mineralization (Nmin) and exchangeable N were measured monthly. Fertilization increased annual Nmin at all sites irrespective of timing relative to thinning, with the increase more pronounced when combined with vegetation control. This finding suggests some management flexibility in the timing of mid-rotation fertilization relative to thinning for increasing soil N supply. However, the site with the highest total soil N and the lowest C:N ratio was more prone to NO3-N increases after fertilization conducted pre- and post-thinning. At all sites, fertilization with vegetation control promoted increases in NO3-N when done after thinning, which may indicate that this practice increased soil N supply to levels that exceeded stand N demand.
      PubDate: 2015-04-08
      DOI: 10.3390/f6041061
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 4 (2015)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 1083-1093: Aboveground Biomass of Glossy Buckthorn
           is Similar in Open and Understory Environments but Architectural Strategy
           Differs

    • Authors: Caroline Hamelin, Daniel Gagnon, Benoit Truax
      Pages: 1083 - 1093
      Abstract: The exotic shrub glossy buckthorn (Frangula alnus) is a great concern among forest managers because it invades both open and shaded environments. To evaluate if buckthorn grows similarly across light environments, and if adopting different shapes contributes to an efficient use of light, we compared buckthorns growing in an open field and in the understory of a mature hybrid poplar plantation. For a given age, the relationships describing aboveground biomass of buckthorns in the open field and in the plantation were not significantly different. However, we observed a significant difference between the diameter-height relationships in the two environments. These results suggest a change in buckthorn’s architecture, depending on the light environment in which it grows. Buckthorn adopts either an arborescent shape under a tree canopy, or a shrubby shape in an open field, to optimally capture the light available. This architectural plasticity helps explain a similar invasion success for glossy buckthorn growing in both open and shaded environments, at least up to the canopy closure level of the plantation used for this study.
      PubDate: 2015-04-08
      DOI: 10.3390/f6041083
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 4 (2015)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 1094-1106: Genetic Diversity and Population
           Structure of Toona Ciliata Roem. Based on Sequence-Related Amplified
           Polymorphism (SRAP) Markers

    • Authors: Pei Li, Xin Zhan, Qingmin Que, Wenting Qu, Mingqian Liu, Kunxi Ouyang, Juncheng Li, Xiaomei Deng, Junjie Zhang, Boyong Liao, Ruiqi Pian, Xiaoyang Chen
      Pages: 1094 - 1106
      Abstract: Sequence-related amplified polymorphism (SRAP) markers were used to investigate the genetic diversity among 30 populations of Toona ciliata Roem. sampled from the species’ distribution area in China. To analyze the polymorphism in the SRAP profiles, 1505 primer pairs were screened and 24 selected. A total of 656 SRAP bands ranging from 100 to 1500 bp were acquired, of these 505 bands (77%) were polymorphic. The polymorphism information content (PIC) values ranged from 0.32 to 0.45, with an average of 0.41. An analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA) indicated that the most significant variation was attributable to differences among the populations and that variation within the populations was small. STRUCTURE analysis divided the 30 populations into two parts. The unweighted pair group method of arithmetic averages (UPGMA) clustering and principal coordinates analysis (PCoA) showed that the 30 populations could be classified into four types. The results demonstrate a clear geographical trend for T. ciliata in China and provide a theoretical basis for future breeding and conservation strategy of T. ciliata.
      PubDate: 2015-04-08
      DOI: 10.3390/f6041094
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 4 (2015)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 1107-1120: Variation in the Growth Traits and Wood
           Properties of Hybrid White Poplar Clones

    • Authors: Huandi Ma, Youming Dong, Zhong Chen, Weihua Liao, Bingqi Lei, Kai Gao, Shanwen Li, Xinmin An
      Pages: 1107 - 1120
      Abstract: The physical and chemical properties of poplar clones largely determine their suitability for different applications. The main objective of this study was to investigate clonal variation in four hybrid poplar clones grown at three sites in North China and identify the superior clone. Study materials were collected from four clones of hybrid white poplar: Populus tomentosa “LM50”, used as the control; two clones (Yiyang-1 and Yiyang-2), new hybrids of (P. tomentosa × P. bolleana) × P. tomentosa “Truncata”; and Yiyang-3, a new hybrid of (P. tomentosa × P. bolleana) × P. tomentosa “LM50”. In total, 192 individuals from four hybrid clones were randomly chosen for sampling. The growth traits of four 7-year-old clones were examined at three sites. We also measured the wood properties of four 6-year-old clones at the Fengfeng nursery. Variation in the growth traits and the ranking of stem volumes differed among sites. Fiber traits and wood chemical components showed significant interclonal variation. With regard to the comprehensive growth rate, cellulose content, holocellulose content, and fiber traits, Yiyang-1 exhibited the best performance among the four hybrid poplar clones, indicating its utility as a raw material for pulp and papermaking.
      PubDate: 2015-04-08
      DOI: 10.3390/f6041107
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 4 (2015)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 1121-1144: Tree-Level Harvest Optimization for
           Structure-Based Forest Management Based on the Species Mingling Index

    • Authors: Pete Bettinger, Mengping Tang
      Pages: 1121 - 1144
      Abstract: This novel research investigated the use of a heuristic process to inform tree-level harvest decisions guided by the need to maximize the interspersion of tree species across a forest. In the heuristic process, a species mingling value for each tree was computed using both (1) neighbors that were simply of a different species than the reference tree and (2) neighbors that were uniquely different species from both the reference tree and other neighbors of the reference tree. The tree-level species mingling value was averaged for the stand, which was then subject to a maximization process. Constraints included residual tree density levels and minimum tree volume harvest levels. In two case studies, results suggest that the species mingling index at the stand level can be significantly increased over randomly allocated harvest decisions using the heuristic process described. In the case studies, we illustrate how this type of process can inform management decisions by suggesting the distance between residual trees of similar species given the initial stand structure and the objectives and constraints. The work represents a unique tree-level optimization approach that one day may be of value as new technologies are developed to map the location of individual trees in a timely and efficient manner.
      PubDate: 2015-04-09
      DOI: 10.3390/f6041121
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 4 (2015)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 1145-1156: Residual Long-Term Effects of Forest
           Fertilization on Tree Growth and Nitrogen Turnover in Boreal Forest

    • Authors: Fredrik From, Joachim Strengbom, Annika Nordin
      Pages: 1145 - 1156
      Abstract: The growth enhancing effects of forest fertilizer is considered to level off within 10 years of the application, and be restricted to one forest stand rotation. However, fertilizer induced changes in plant community composition has been shown to occur in the following stand rotation. To clarify whether effects of forest fertilization have residual long-term effects, extending into the next rotation, we compared tree growth, needle N concentrations and the availability of mobile soil N in young (10 years) Pinus sylvestris L. and Picea abies (L.) H. Karst. stands. The sites were fertilized with 150 kg·N·ha−1 once or twice during the previous stand rotation, or unfertilized. Two fertilization events increased tree height by 24% compared to the controls. Needle N concentrations of the trees on previously fertilized sites were 15% higher than those of the controls. Soil N mineralization rates and the amounts of mobile soil NH4-N and NO3-N were higher on sites that were fertilized twice than on control sites. Our study demonstrates that operational forest fertilization can cause residual long-term effects on stand N dynamics, with subsequent effects on tree growth that may be more long-lasting than previously believed, i.e., extending beyond one stand rotation.
      PubDate: 2015-04-10
      DOI: 10.3390/f6041145
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 4 (2015)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 1157-1178: If Long-Term Resistance to a Spruce
           Beetle Epidemic is Futile, Can Silvicultural Treatments Increase
           Resilience in Spruce-Fir Forests in the Central Rocky Mountains?

    • Authors: Marcella Windmuller-Campione, James Long
      Pages: 1157 - 1178
      Abstract: Within the Central Rocky Mountains, spruce beetle populations have the potential to rapidly transition from endemic to epidemic levels in the spruce-fir (Engelmann spruce and subalpine fir) forest type. Conventional management has focused on creating resistance to spruce beetle outbreaks by manipulating the overstory density and composition. Three silvicultural treatments, single tree selection, group selection, and shelterwood with reserves, were established in a spruce-fir forest in northern Utah with the goals of increasing both resistance and resilience to outbreaks. Resistance and resilience metrics were explicitly defined. Pre-harvest and two post-harvest measurements were used to assess how the different silvicultural treatments influenced the metrics. The shelterwood with reserves was the only treatment to meet both the resistance and resilience criteria. This treatment, while not traditionally used, created a stand structure and composition that will be most resilient to climate induced increases in spruce beetle caused tree mortality. However, there will be a trade-off in composition and structure, especially Engelmann spruce, after a spruce beetle epidemic because the created structure is more uniform with fewer groups and gaps than commonly observed in spruce-fir forests. With changing climatic conditions, proactive forest management, such as the shelterwood with reserves in the spruce-fir forest type, is the best method for increasing short-term resistance and long-term resilience to spruce beetle outbreaks.
      PubDate: 2015-04-15
      DOI: 10.3390/f6041157
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 4 (2015)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 1179-1194: Evaluation of a Smartphone App for
           Forest Sample Plot Measurements

    • Authors: Mikko Vastaranta, Eduardo Latorre, Ville Luoma, Ninni Saarinen, Markus Holopainen, Juha Hyyppä
      Pages: 1179 - 1194
      Abstract: We evaluated a smartphone app (TRESTIMATM) for forest sample plot measurements. The app interprets imagery collected from the sample plots using the camera in the smartphone and then estimates forest inventory attributes, including species-specific basal areas (G) as well as the diameter (DgM) and height (HgM) of basal area median trees. The estimates from the smartphone app were compared to forest inventory attributes derived from tree-wise measurements using calipers and a Vertex height measurement device. The data consist of 2169 measured trees from 25 sample plots (32 m × 32 m), dominated by Scots pine and Norway spruce from southern Finland. The root-mean-square errors (RMSEs) in the basal area varied from 19.7% to 29.3% and the biases from 11.4% to 18.4% depending on the number of images per sample plot and image shooting location. DgM measurement bias varied from −1.4% to 3.1% and RMSE from 5.2% to 11.6% depending on the tree species. Respectively, HgM bias varied from 5.0% to 8.3% and RMSE 10.0% to 13.6%. In general, four images captured toward the center of the plot provided more accurate results than four images captured away from the plot center. Increasing the number of captured images per plot to the analyses yielded only marginal improvement to the results.
      PubDate: 2015-04-15
      DOI: 10.3390/f6041179
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 4 (2015)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 1195-1207: Can We Use Forest Inventory Mapping as a
           Coarse Filter in Ecosystem Based Management in the Black Spruce Boreal
           Forest?

    • Authors: Chafi Chaieb, Nicole Fenton, Benoit Lafleur, Yves Bergeron
      Pages: 1195 - 1207
      Abstract: Forest inventory mapping is used worldwide to describe forests at a large spatial scale via the delimitation of portions of the landscape that are structurally homogeneous. Consequently, there is a significant amount of descriptive forest data in forest inventory maps, particularly with the development of ecosystem classification, which represents a significant potential for use in ecosystem based management. With this study we propose to test whether forest inventory maps can be used to describe not only stand characteristics but also dynamic processes. The results indicate that stand types identifiable in forest inventory maps do not in fact represent unique developmental stages, but rather confound stands at multiple developmental stages that may be undergoing different ecological processes. The reasons for this are linked to both the interaction between succession, fire severity and paludification. Finally, some aspects of the process of forest inventory mapping itself contribute to the disjunction between forest types and forest succession. Given the low similarity between spruce mapping types and their actual description following forest inventories, it would be too ambitious to infer the dynamic aspects of spruce forest by map units.
      PubDate: 2015-04-15
      DOI: 10.3390/f6041195
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 4 (2015)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 1208-1226: Predicting Effects of Climate Change on
           Habitat Suitability of Red Spruce (Picea rubens Sarg.) in the Southern
           Appalachian Mountains of the USA: Understanding Complex Systems Mechanisms
           through Modeling

    • Authors: Kyung Koo, Bernard Patten, Marguerite Madden
      Pages: 1208 - 1226
      Abstract: Alpine, subalpine and boreal tree species, of low genetic diversity and adapted to low optimal temperatures, are vulnerable to the warming effects of global climate change. The accurate prediction of these species’ distributions in response to climate change is critical for effective planning and management. The goal of this research is to predict climate change effects on the distribution of red spruce (Picea rubens Sarg.) in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (GSMNP), eastern USA. Climate change is, however, conflated with other environmental factors, making its assessment a complex systems problem in which indirect effects are significant in causality. Predictions were made by linking a tree growth simulation model, red spruce growth model (ARIM.SIM), to a GIS spatial model, red spruce habitat model (ARIM.HAB). ARIM.SIM quantifies direct and indirect interactions between red spruce and its growth factors, revealing the latter to be dominant. ARIM.HAB spatially distributes the ARIM.SIM simulations under the assumption that greater growth reflects higher probabilities of presence. ARIM.HAB predicts the future habitat suitability of red spruce based on growth predictions of ARIM.SIM under climate change and three air pollution scenarios: 10% increase, no change and 10% decrease. Results show that suitable habitats shrink most when air pollution increases. Higher temperatures cause losses of most low-elevation habitats. Increased precipitation and air pollution produce acid rain, which causes loss of both low- and high-elevation habitats. The general prediction is that climate change will cause contraction of red spruce habitats at both lower and higher elevations in GSMNP, and the effects will be exacerbated by increased air pollution. These predictions provide valuable information for understanding potential impacts of global climate change on the spatiotemporal distribution of red spruce habitats in GSMNP.
      PubDate: 2015-04-15
      DOI: 10.3390/f6041208
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 4 (2015)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 1227-1238: Stem Anatomy and Adventitious Root
           Formation in Cuttings of Angophora, Corymbia and Eucalyptus

    • Authors: Philippa Bryant, Stephen Trueman
      Pages: 1227 - 1238
      Abstract: Many plantation eucalypts are difficult to propagate from cuttings, and their rooted cuttings often possess very few adventitious roots. We microscopically examined the stem anatomy of cuttings from 12 species of eucalypts and we determined whether adventitious root formation in auxin-treated cuttings of four species was limited to particular positions around the vascular tissue. Most species contained a central pith that was arranged in a four-pointed stellate pattern. The surrounding vascular tissue was also arranged in a stellate pattern near the shoot apex but it developed a more rectangular shape at the outer phloem as the stems enlarged radially. Adventitious roots formed at, or slightly peripheral to, the vascular cambium, and they formed at both the corners and the sides of the rectangular-shaped vascular tissue. The study highlighted that auxin-treated eucalypt cuttings can produce roots at multiple positions around the vascular tissue and so propagation methods can aim to produce more than four adventitious roots per rooted cutting. Higher numbers of adventitious roots could improve the root system symmetry, stability, survival and growth rate of clonal eucalypt trees.
      PubDate: 2015-04-15
      DOI: 10.3390/f6041227
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 4 (2015)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 533-560: Cross-Sectoral Resource Management: How
           Forest Management Alternatives Affect the Provision of Biomass and Other
           Ecosystem Services

    • Authors: Susanne Frank, Christine Fürst, Frank Pietzsch
      Pages: 533 - 560
      Abstract: Integrated forest management is faced with the challenge that the contribution of forests to economic and ecological planning targets must be assessed in a socio-ecological system context. This paper introduces a way to model spatio-temporal dynamics of biomass production at a regional scale in order to derive land use strategies that enhance biomass provision and avoid trade-offs for other ecosystem services. The software platform GISCAME was employed to bridge the gap between local land management decisions and regional planning by linking growth and yield models with an integrative mesoscale modeling and assessment approach. The model region is located in Saxony, Germany. Five scenarios were simulated, which aimed at testing different alternatives for adapted land use in the context of climate change and increasing biomass demand. The results showed, for example, that forest conversion towards climate-change-adapted forest types had positive effects on ecological integrity and landscape aesthetics. In contrast, negative impacts on landscape aesthetics must be expected if agricultural sites were converted into short rotation coppices. Uncertainties with stem from assumptions regarding growth and yield models were discussed. Future developmental steps which consider, for example, accessibility of the resources were identified.
      PubDate: 2015-02-18
      DOI: 10.3390/f6030533
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 3 (2015)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 561-580: Perspectives on Trends, Effectiveness, and
           Impediments to Prescribed Burning in the Southern U.S.

    • Authors: Leda Kobziar, Daniel Godwin, Leland Taylor, Adam Watts
      Pages: 561 - 580
      Abstract: The southern region of the U.S. uses prescribed fire as a management tool on more of its burnable land than anywhere in the U.S., with ecosystem restoration, wildlife habitat enhancement, and reduction of hazardous fuel loads as typical goals. Although the region performs more than 50,000 prescribed fire treatments each year, evaluation of their effects on wildfire suppression resources or behavior/effects is limited. To better understand trends in the use and effectiveness of prescribed fire, we conducted a region-wide survey of 523 fire use practitioners, working on both public and private lands. A 1–2 year prescribed fire interval was consistently viewed as effective in decreasing wildfire ignitions, behavior, and severity, as well as reducing suppression resources needed where wildfire occurred. Yet fewer than 15% of practitioners viewed burn intervals of 3–4 years as effective in reducing ignitions, underscoring the importance of high-frequency burning in vegetation communities where fuel recovery is rapid. Public lands managers identified limited budget and staffing as major institutional impediments to prescribed fire, in contrast to private individuals, more of whom chose liability as a key challenge. Differences in responses across ownership type, state, and vegetation type call for a broader perspective on how fire managers in the southern U.S. view prescribed fire.
      PubDate: 2015-02-25
      DOI: 10.3390/f6030561
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 3 (2015)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 581-593: A 20-Year Overview of Quercus robur L.
           Mortality and Crown Conditions in Slovenia

    • Authors: Matjaž Čater
      Pages: 581 - 593
      Abstract: Pedunculate oak (Quercus robur L.) forests in Slovenia are experiencing widespread mortality. Changes in lowlands are reflected in decline of complete forest complexes, high mortality, uneven stand structure and associated forest regeneration problems. Prediction of the present-tree response in disturbed forest ecosystems may significantly contribute to better guideline policies for the silvicultural and forest management practice in the changing environment in both stressed and stabile forest ecosystems. Data from annual crown condition surveys for the 1995–2014 period from four permanent plots have been compared with parameters from hemispherical photo analysis and hydrometeorological data. Good agreement has been confirmed between crown defoliation and total openness; all parameters from the hemispherical photo analysis, which were corrected for winter period values, also indicated a better agreement. Mortality rate and crown defoliation correlated well with extreme drought events in 2003 and 2013. Pattern of agreement among compared parameters was different for the plots Krakovski gozd, Dobrava and some other plots. Mortality is influenced by the average air temperatures much more than by precipitation and groundwater table oscillations.
      PubDate: 2015-02-27
      DOI: 10.3390/f6030581
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 3 (2015)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 594-612: Analysis of Unmanned Aerial System-Based
           CIR Images in Forestry—A New Perspective to Monitor Pest Infestation
           Levels

    • Authors: Jan Lehmann, Felix Nieberding, Torsten Prinz, Christian Knoth
      Pages: 594 - 612
      Abstract: The detection of pest infestation is an important aspect of forest management. In the case of the oak splendour beetle (Agrilus biguttatus) infestation, the affected oaks (Quercus sp.) show high levels of defoliation and altered canopy reflection signature. These critical features can be identified in high-resolution colour infrared (CIR) images of the tree crown and branches level captured by Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS). In this study, we used a small UAS equipped with a compact digital camera which has been calibrated and modified to record not only the visual but also the near infrared reflection (NIR) of possibly infested oaks. The flight campaigns were realized in August 2013, covering two study sites which are located in a rural area in western Germany. Both locations represent small-scale, privately managed commercial forests in which oaks are economically valuable species. Our workflow includes the CIR/NIR image acquisition, mosaicking, georeferencing and pixel-based image enhancement followed by object-based image classification techniques. A modified Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVImod) derived classification was used to distinguish between five vegetation health classes, i.e., infested, healthy or dead branches, other vegetation and canopy gaps. We achieved an overall Kappa Index of Agreement (KIA)   of 0.81 and 0.77 for each study site, respectively. This approach offers a low-cost alternative to private forest owners who pursue a sustainable management strategy.
      PubDate: 2015-03-02
      DOI: 10.3390/f6030594
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 3 (2015)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 613-635: The Influence of Parent Material on
           Vegetation Response 15 years after the Dude Fire, Arizona

    • Authors: Jackson Leonard, Alvin Medina, Daniel Neary, Aregai Tecle
      Pages: 613 - 635
      Abstract: This study examined the effects of two types of parent material, sandstone and limestone, on the response of vegetation growth after the 1990 Dude Fire in central Arizona. The operating hypothesis of the study was that, given the right conditions, severe wildfire can trigger vegetation type conversion. Overall, three patterns emerged: (1) oak density increased by 413% from unburned sites to burned sites, with the highest densities occurring on sandstone soils; (2) weeping lovegrass (Eragrostis curvula Nees), a very aggressive non-native grass species seeded after the fire, now makes up 81% of the total herbaceous cover in the burned area; and (3) bare ground cover is 150% higher and litter cover is 50% lower in the burned area. Soil analysis was not definitive enough to differentiate impacts between parent materials however it was useful in quantifying the long-term impact of the fire on soils. The results of this study support the idea that catastrophic fire events can trigger vegetation type conversion and that perennial, non-native species used in rehabilitation efforts can persist within the ecosystem for long periods of time. Hence, the recovery period needed for the Dude Fire site to revert back to a pine-oak dominated forest could be on the scale of many decades to centuries.
      PubDate: 2015-03-04
      DOI: 10.3390/f6030613
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 3 (2015)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 636-649: Influence of Tree Spacing on Soil Nitrogen
           Mineralization and Availability in Hybrid Poplar Plantations

    • Authors: Yafei Yan, Shengzuo Fang, Ye Tian, Shiping Deng, Luozhong Tang, Dao Chuong
      Pages: 636 - 649
      Abstract: Nitrogen (N) availability and mineralization are key parameters and transformation processes that impact plant growth and forest productivity. We hypothesized that suitable plantation spacing can lead to enhanced soil N mineralization and nitrification, which in turn promote tree growth. Studies were conducted to evaluate seasonal patterns of soil inorganic N pools as well as rates of nitrification and N mineralization of three soil layers under four tree spacing treatments. Results showed tree spacing significantly affected annual net N mineralization, whereas inorganic N content in surface soils was significantly affected by tree spacing only during the growing season. The total annual cumulative net N mineralization ranged from 80.3–136.0 mg·kg−1 in the surface soils (0–20 cm), whereas the cumulative net N mineralization of 6 × 6 m and 4.5 × 8 m spacings was 65% and 24% higher than that of the 5 × 5 m, respectively. In general, tree spacing would affect N availability in soil by altering N mineralization rates, while high annual N mineralization was found in soils of low density plantations, with higher rates in square spacing than rectangular spacing. The obtained results suggest that suitable spacing could lead to enhanced N mineralization, but seasonal variation of soil N mineralization may not only be directly related to plantation productivity but also to understory vegetation productivity.
      PubDate: 2015-03-04
      DOI: 10.3390/f6030636
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 3 (2015)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 650-669: Effects of Topographic and Soil Factors on
           Woody Species Assembly in a Chinese Subtropical Evergreen Broadleaved
           Forest

    • Authors: Lijuan Zhao, Wenhua Xiang, Jiaxiang Li, Pifeng Lei, Xiangwen Deng, Xi Fang, Changhui Peng
      Pages: 650 - 669
      Abstract: Evergreen broadleaved forests in subtropical China contain a complicated structure of diverse species. The impact of topographic and soil factors on the assembly of woody species in the forest has been poorly understood. We used Ripley’s K(t) function to analyze the spatial patterns and associations of dominant species and residual analysis (RDA) to quantify the contribution of topography and soil to species assembly. The 1 ha plot investigated had 4797 stems with a diameter at breast height (dbh) larger than 1 cm that belong to 73 species, 55 genera, and 38 families. All stems of the entire forest and four late successional species exhibited a reversed J shape for dbh distribution, while two early successional species showed a unimodal shape. Aggregation was the major spatial pattern for entire forests and dominant species across vertical layers. Spatial associations between inter- and intra-species were mostly independent. Topographic and soil factors explained 28.1% of species assembly. The forest was close to late succession and showed the characteristics of diverse woody species, high regeneration capacity, and aggregated spatial patterns. Topographic and soil factors affected species assembly, but together they could only explain a small part of total variance.
      PubDate: 2015-03-06
      DOI: 10.3390/f6030650
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 3 (2015)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 670-691: Harvest Regulation for Multi-Resource
           Management, Old and New Approaches (Old and New)

    • Authors: Martin Mendoza, Juan Fajardo, Gonzalo Curiel, Francisco Domínguez, Maribel Apodaca, María Rodríguez-Camarillo, Jesús Zepeta
      Pages: 670 - 691
      Abstract: Current Mexican forest management is the product of a history that dates back to 1926. Earlier approaches were directly or indirectly aimed at attaining the normal forest model. Around 1980, multi-resource and environmental impact considerations were mandated for all private timber operations. Timber-oriented silviculture was deemed insufficient to take proper care of non-timber values in the forest. Concerns about water quality, biodiversity, and natural conservation were the motives for promoting voluntary best management practices, in 2012 and afterwards. In this research, two traditional Mexican forest management schemes, Sicodesi and Plan Costa, enhanced with best management practices, are compared to Mapa, a management method specifically designed to manage landscape attributes. Results from two successive forest inventories 10 and 13 years apart show that Sicodesi and Plan Costa, even when modified to comply with best management practices, failed to maintain proper stewardship of non-timber values. Mapa, however, employed multiple means to drive forest dynamics to fulfill multi-resource objectives, constrained by self-financing and competitive profitability. These capabilities in Mapa enabled some degree of control over non-timber values, but many more important processes occur beyond the property boundary, and beyond the planning scope considered in Mapa and all other forest planning methods.
      PubDate: 2015-03-09
      DOI: 10.3390/f6030670
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 3 (2015)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 692-707: Modeling the Potential Distribution of
           Picea chihuahuana Martínez, an Endangered Species at the Sierra Madre
           Occidental, Mexico

    • Authors: Victor Aguilar-Soto, Alicia Melgoza-Castillo, Federico Villarreal-Guerrero, Chistian Wehenkel, Carmelo Pinedo-Alvarez
      Pages: 692 - 707
      Abstract: Species distribution models (SDMs) help identify areas for the development of populations or communities to prevent extinctions, especially in the face of the global environmental change. This study modeled the potential distribution of the tree Picea chihuahuana Martínez, a species in danger of extinction, using the maximum entropy modeling method (MaxEnt) at three scales: local, state and national. We used a total of 38 presence data in the Sierra Madre Occidental. At the local scale, we compared MaxEnt with the reclassification and overlay method integrated in a geographic information system. MaxEnt generated maps with a high predictive capability (AUC > 0.97). The distribution of P. chihuahuana is defined by vegetation type and minimum temperature at national and state scales. At the local scale, both models calculated similar areas for the potential distribution of the species; the variables that better defined the species distribution were vegetation type, aspect and distance to water flows. Populations of P. chihuahuana have always been small, but our results show potential habitat greater than the area of the actual distribution. These results provide an insight into the availability of areas suitable for the species’ regeneration, possibly through assisted colonization.
      PubDate: 2015-03-12
      DOI: 10.3390/f6030692
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 3 (2015)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 708-733: Climate Adaptation in Swedish Forestry:
           Exploring the Debate and Policy Process, 1990–2012

    • Authors: Johanna Ulmanen, Åsa Swartling, Oskar Wallgren
      Pages: 708 - 733
      Abstract: This paper explores how climate change adaptation concerns were integrated into the Swedish forestry debate and policy process during the period of 1990–2012, and draws lessons on barriers and opportunities identified in this process. Using a framework focusing on “advocacy coalitions”, we analyze how the adaptation debate in the forestry sector evolved over the period; who the main advocates for and against adaptation were; and which main arguments and processes affected the debate and policy. The results show that academics advocating climate change adaptation, aided by outside influences, such as political pressure for adaptation responses and the negative impacts of the 2005 storm Gudrun, contributed to an increased general awareness and understanding of adaptation issues amongst forestry stakeholders. Nonetheless, the strong dominance of actors arguing for increased forest production and the limited number and relatively poor organization of adaptation advocates have acted as barriers to mainstreaming adaptation concerns into forestry policy and practice. The dominant coalitions and their values have also determined the direction of debate and policy. The main conclusions for policymakers aiming to further this integration process are the importance of stimulating adaptation coalitions and the value of creating arenas for multiple stakeholder learning about adaptation.
      PubDate: 2015-03-16
      DOI: 10.3390/f6030708
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 3 (2015)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 734-747: Colonization with Arbuscular Mycorrhizal
           Fungi Promotes the Growth of Morus alba L. Seedlings under Greenhouse
           Conditions

    • Authors: Nan Lu, Xia Zhou, Ming Cui, Meng Yu, Jinxing Zhou, Yongsheng Qin, Yun Li
      Pages: 734 - 747
      Abstract: Morus alba L. is an important tree species planted widely in China because of its economic value. In this report, we investigated the influence of two arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal (AMF) species, Glomus mosseae and Glomus intraradices, alone and together, on the growth of M. alba L. seedlings under greenhouse conditions. The growth parameters and physiological performance of M. alba L. seedlings were evaluated 90 days after colonization with the fungi. The growth and physiological performance of M. alba L. seedlings were significantly affected by the AMF species. The mycorrhizal seedlings were taller, had longer roots, more leaves and a greater biomass than the non-mycorrhizae-treated seedlings. In addition, the AMF species-inoculated seedlings had increased root activity and a higher chlorophyll content compared to non-inoculated seedlings. Furthermore, AMF species colonization increased the phosphorus and nitrogen contents of the seedlings. In addition, simultaneous root colonization by the two AMF species did not improve the growth of M. alba L. seedlings compared with inoculation with either species alone. Based on these results, these AMF species may be applicable to mulberry seedling cultivation.
      PubDate: 2015-03-16
      DOI: 10.3390/f6030734
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 3 (2015)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 748-768: Achieving Conservation and Equity amidst
           Extreme Poverty and Climate Risk: The Makira REDD+ Project in Madagascar

    • Authors: Laura Brimont, Driss Ezzine-de-Blas, Alain Karsenty, Angélique Toulon
      Pages: 748 - 768
      Abstract: Achieving forest conservation together with poverty alleviation and equity is an unending challenge in the tropics. The Makira REDD+ pilot project located in northeastern Madagascar is a well-suited case to explore this challenge in conditions of extreme poverty and climatic vulnerability. We assessed the potential effect of project siting on the livelihoods of the local population and which households would be the most strongly impacted by conservation measures. Farmers living in hilly areas must resort to slash-and-burn agriculture (tavy) since a combination of topographic and climatic constraints, such as cyclones, makes permanent rice cultivation very difficult. These are the people who suffer most from conservation-related restriction measures. For practical reasons the project, unfortunately, did not target these farmers. The main focus was on communities with a lower cyclonic risk that are able to practice permanent rice agriculture in the lowlands. To reduce deforestation without violating the principles of equity, REDD+ projects in Madagascar need to better target populations facing high climatic risks and invest in efforts to improve the farmers’ agricultural systems.
      PubDate: 2015-03-18
      DOI: 10.3390/f6030748
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 3 (2015)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 769-793: Organic Carbon Accumulation in Topsoil
           Following Afforestation with Willow: Emphasis on Leaf Litter Decomposition
           and Soil Organic Matter Quality

    • Authors: Benoit Lafleur, Michel Labrecque, Alexandre Arnold, Nicolas Bélanger
      Pages: 769 - 793
      Abstract: Short-rotation intensive cultures (SRICs) of willows can potentially sequester carbon (C) in soil. However, there is limited information regarding the factors governing soil organic C (Corg) accumulation following afforestation. The objectives of this study were to: (i) determine whether willow leads to Corg accumulation in the topsoil (0–10 cm) two to six years after establishment in five SRICs located along a large climatic/productivity gradient in southern Quebec, and (ii) assess the influence of leaf litter decomposition and soil organic matter (OM) quality on Corg accumulation in the topsoil. Topsoil Corg concentrations and pools under SRICs were, on average, 25% greater than reference fields, and alkyls concentrations were higher under SRICs. On an annualized basis, Corg accumulation rates in the topsoil varied between 0.4 and 4.5 Mg ha−1 yr−1. Estimated annual litterfall C fluxes were in the same order of magnitude, suggesting that SRICs can accumulate Corg in the topsoil during early years due to high growth rates. Leaf litter decomposition was also related to Corg accumulation rates in the topsoil. It was positively correlated to growing season length, degree-days, and growing season average air and topsoil temperature (r > 0.70), and negatively correlated to topsoil volumetric water content (r = −0.55). Leaf litter decomposition likely occurred more quickly than that of plants in reference fields, and as it progressed, OM became more decay resistant, more stable and accumulated as Corg in the topsoil.
      PubDate: 2015-03-19
      DOI: 10.3390/f6030769
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 3 (2015)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 794-808: Carbon Storage and Allocation Pattern in
           Plant Biomass among Different Forest Plantation Stands in Guangdong, China
           

    • Authors: Yuanqi Chen, Zhanfeng Liu, Xingquan Rao, Xiaoling Wang, Chenfei Liang, Yongbiao Lin, Lixia Zhou, Xi-an Cai, Shenglei Fu
      Pages: 794 - 808
      Abstract: In order to understand how carbon storage and allocation patterns vary among plantation types, we estimated carbon allocation between above- and below-ground compartments in four subtropical plantations and a naturally recovered shrubland (as a control). Results indicated that the carbon storage and allocation pattern varied greatly among forest types and was highly dependent on specific traits of trees and understory vegetation. The fast-growing species, such as Eucalyptus urophylla, accumulated more carbon in plant biomass. The biomass carbon was about 1.9- and 2.2-times greater than the 10-species mixed plantation and Castanopsis hystrix plantations, respectively. Meanwhile, the plantations sequestered 1.5- to 3-times more carbon in biomass than naturally recovered shrubland. The carbon allocation pattern between above- and below-ground compartments also varied with plantation type and stand age. The ratio of tree root carbon to tree aboveground carbon decreased with stand age for Eucalyptus urophylla and the 10-species mixed plantation. In contrast, the ratio increased for Acacia crassicarpa. Our data suggested that planting the fast-growing species in the degraded land of subtropical China was an effective choice in terms of carbon sequestration. The information about carbon allocation patterns was also valuable for decision making in sustainable forest management and climate change mitigation.
      PubDate: 2015-03-19
      DOI: 10.3390/f6030794
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 3 (2015)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 809-826: China’s National Monitoring Program
           on Ecological Functions of Forests: An Analysis of the Protocol and
           Initial Results

    • Authors: Jun Yang, Guanghui Dai, Shurong Wang
      Pages: 809 - 826
      Abstract: Information on the ecological functions of forests is important for sustainable forest management. In this study, we introduced the national monitoring program which has been used in China to evaluate the overall health status and ecological functions of forests. We also compared it to similar monitoring programs operating in Europe and the United States of America. We revealed the strength and drawbacks of China’s monitoring program by analyzing the initial evaluation results. Our analysis showed that among the three programs, the European program gives the most detailed measurements of conditions of forests while the U.S. program generates the most detailed information on individual trees. In comparison, China’s monitoring program has a higher spatial resolution but is narrowly focused on trees and uses coarse classifications of indicators. The health status of forests in China suggested that more resources should be invested to improve the health of existing forests, especially plantations. The limitations in China’s monitoring program need to be addressed to improve the accuracy of future assessments.
      PubDate: 2015-03-19
      DOI: 10.3390/f6030809
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 3 (2015)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 827-838: Effects of Buffering Key Habitat for
           Terrestrial Salamanders: Implications for the Management of the Federally
           Threatened Red Hills Salamander (Phaeognathus hubrichti) and Other
           Imperiled Plethodontids

    • Authors: Joseph Apodaca, James Godwin
      Pages: 827 - 838
      Abstract: Forestry practices are placing ever increasing emphasis on sustainability and the maintenance of ecological processes, biodiversity, and endangered species or populations. Balancing timber harvest and the management of imperiled species presents a particularly difficult challenge during this shift, as we often know very little about these species’ natural history and how and why silviculture practices affect their populations. Accordingly, investigation of and improvement on current management practices for threatened species is imperative. We investigated the effectiveness of habitat buffers as a management technique for the imperiled Red Hills salamander (Phaeognathus hubrichti) by combining genetic, transect, and body-condition data. We found that populations where habitat buffers have been employed have higher genetic diversity and higher population densities, and individuals have better overall body condition. These results indicate that buffering the habitat of imperiled species can be an effective management tool for terrestrial salamanders. Additionally, they provide further evidence that leaving the habitat of imperiled salamanders unbuffered can have both immediate and long-term negative impacts on populations.
      PubDate: 2015-03-20
      DOI: 10.3390/f6030827
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 3 (2015)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 839-857: Gene Expression Differences between
           High-Growth Populus Allotriploids and Their Diploid Parents

    • Authors: Shiping Cheng, Xiaohu Zhu, Ting Liao, Yun Li, Pengqiang Yao, Yujing Suo, Pingdong Zhang, Jun Wang, Xiangyang Kang
      Pages: 839 - 857
      Abstract: Polyploid breeding is important in Populus genetic improvement programs because polyploid trees generally display increased height growth compared to their diploid parents. However, the genetic mechanism underlying this phenomenon remains unknown. In the present study, apical bud transcriptomes of vigorous, fast growing Populus allotriploid progeny genotypes and their diploid parents were sequenced and analyzed. We found that these allotriploids exhibited extensive transcriptomic diversity. In total, 6020 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were found when the allotriploid progeny and their parents were compared, among which 791 overlapped between the allotriploids and both parents. Many genes associated with cell differentiation and meristem development were preferentially expressed in apical buds of the fast growing Populus allotriploids compared to their diploid parents. In addition, many auxin-, gibberellin-, and jasmonic acid-related genes were also preferentially expressed in the allotriploids compared to their parents. Our findings show that allotriploidy can have considerable effects on duplicate gene expression in Populus. In particular we identified and considered DEGs that provide important clues for improving our mechanistic understanding of positive heterosis of vigor- and growth-related traits in Populus allotriploids.
      PubDate: 2015-03-23
      DOI: 10.3390/f6030839
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 3 (2015)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 858: Correction: Homyack, J.A. and Kroll, A.J. Slow
           Lives in the Fast Landscape: Conservation and Management of Plethodontid
           Salamanders in Production Forests of the United States. Forests 2014, 5,
           2750–2772

    • Authors: Jessica Homyack, Andrew Kroll
      Pages: 858 - 858
      Abstract: The authors wish to correct a statement in the published paper [1], doi:10.3390/f5112750, website: http://www.mdpi.com/1999-4907/5/11/2750/htm. After publication, we discovered that two numbers were mistakenly switched. Section, 4.1, should read “Oregon slender salamanders were detected in 144/420 (34%) plots and 101/378 (27%) plots in 2013 and 2014, respectively; ensatina salamanders were detected in 53/420 (13%) plots and 73/378 (19%) plots in 2013 and 2014, respectively”. The authors would like to apologize for any inconvenience caused to the readers by these changes.[...]
      PubDate: 2015-03-23
      DOI: 10.3390/f6030858
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 3 (2015)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 280-292: Changes in a Primary Resistance Parameter
           of Lodgepole Pine to Bark Beetle Attack One Year Following Fertilization
           and Thinning

    • Authors: Stephen Cook, Amy Carroll, Mark Kimsey, Terry Shaw
      Pages: 280 - 292
      Abstract: Many of the forest soils in the Intermountain West are deficient in several nutrients, including nitrogen (N), potassium (K), sulfur (S) and boron (B) and these deficiencies may impact tree resistance to insect attack. Two potential techniques for manipulating tree resistance are fertilization and thinning. We examined fertilization (both alone and in conjunction with stand thinning). Conifer resistance to bark beetles involves a three-step response, the first stage of which is resin flow. Rapid resin flow can prevent the colonization of bark beetles within a tree. Fertilization with low levels of N resulted in an increase in resin flow while high levels of N did not significantly increase resin flow in treated trees. Thinning did not result in higher concentrations of foliar K or B but did result in higher concentrations of foliar N and S. The highest concentrations of foliar N and S consistently occurred in the trees from thinned treatments, regardless of fertilization. There was a negative correlation between tree growth and resin flow one year following treatments. Increasing available nutrient levels to trees (either through fertilization or stand density management) may result in modified resistance parameters that must be considered when making management decisions.
      PubDate: 2015-01-26
      DOI: 10.3390/f6020280
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 2 (2015)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 293-310: How Tightly Linked Are Pericopsis elata
           (Fabaceae) Patches to Anthropogenic Disturbances in Southeastern
           Cameroon?

    • Authors: Nils Bourland, François Cerisier, Kasso Daïnou, Alexandre Smith, Wannes Hubau, Hans Beeckman, Yves Brostaux, Adeline Fayolle, Achille Biwolé, Fousséni Fétéké, Jean-François Gillet, Julie Morin-Rivat, Philippe Lejeune, Eric Tiba, Joris Van Acker, Jean-Louis Doucet
      Pages: 293 - 310
      Abstract: While most past studies have emphasized the relationships between specific forest stands and edaphic factors, recent observations in Central African moist forests suggested that an increase of slash-and-burn agriculture since 3000–2000 BP (Before Present) could be the main driver of the persistence of light-demanding tree species. In order to examine anthropogenic factors in the persistence of such populations, our study focused on Pericopsis elata, an endangered clustered timber species. We used a multidisciplinary approach comprised of botanical, anthracological and archaeobotanical investigations to compare P. elata patches with surrounding stands of mixed forest vegetation (“out-zones”). Charcoal samples were found in both zones, but were significantly more abundant in the soils of patches. Eleven groups of taxa were identified from the charcoals, most of them also present in the current vegetation. Potsherds were detected only inside P. elata patches and at different soil depths, suggesting a long human presence from at least 2150 to 195 BP, as revealed by our charcoal radiocarbon dating. We conclude that current P. elata patches most likely result from shifting cultivation that occurred ca. two centuries ago. The implications of our findings for the dynamics and management of light-demanding tree species are discussed.
      PubDate: 2015-01-29
      DOI: 10.3390/f6020293
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 2 (2015)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 311-327: Behavioral Modelling in a Decision Support
           System

    • Authors: Francesca Rinaldi, Ragnar Jonsson, Ola Sallnäs, Renats Trubins
      Pages: 311 - 327
      Abstract: Considering the variety of attitudes, objectives and behaviors characterizing forest owners is crucial for accurately assessing the impact of policy and market drivers on forest resources. A serious shortcoming of existing pan-European Decision Support Systems (DSS) is that they do not account for such heterogeneity, consequently disregarding the effects that this might have on timber supply and forest development. Linking a behavioral harvesting decision model—Expected Value Asymmetries (EVA)—to a forest resource dynamics model—European Forestry Dynamics Model (EFDM)—we provide an example of how forest owner specific characterization can be integrated in a DSS. The simulation results indicate that the approach holds promise as regards accounting for forest owner behavior in simulations of forest resources development. Hence, forest owner heterogeneity makes the distribution of forestland on owner types non-trivial, as it affects harvesting intensity and, subsequently, inter-temporal forest development.
      PubDate: 2015-02-02
      DOI: 10.3390/f6020311
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 2 (2015)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 328-343: A Forest Planning Approach with Respect to
           the Creation of Overmature Reserved Areas in Managed Forests

    • Authors: Jan Kašpar, Róbert Maru&scaronk, Robert Hlavatý
      Pages: 328 - 343
      Abstract: Forest harvest planning to maximize economic benefits also has to consider additional criteria such as the biodiversity functioning of the managed forest. The biodiversity requirements are determined by the size, shape, and distribution of harvest units and forest stands. A multiple criteria approach is presented where the harvesting volume is maximized while the environmental aspects are also considered. Multiple criteria programming and integer programming techniques are used to find an optimal program of forest harvesting with respect to both economic and environmental requirements. The practicality of the model is shown in a case study for one particular forest management unit. Different optimal solutions are calculated depending on changes made to the criteria weights. This model includes strict spatial constraints, multiple objective functions with three objectives, and alternative solutions according to the real manager’s priority. The results show that the spatial pattern and other spatial demands affect the harvest possibilities. It was confirmed that a compromise solution from both forest management and nature conservation could be achieved using the presented harvest scheduling approach.
      PubDate: 2015-02-02
      DOI: 10.3390/f6020328
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 2 (2015)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 344-359: Development of Northern White-Cedar
           Regeneration Following Partial Cutting, with and without Deer Browsing

    • Authors: Catherine Larouche, Jean-Claude Ruel
      Pages: 344 - 359
      Abstract: Northern white-cedar (Thuja occidentalis L.) is an important commercial species with a high wildlife value, both as a food source and habitat for many bird and mammal species. Concerns have been expressed about its decreasing abundance across its range, and especially in mixedwood stands, where it has to compete with several other species and can suffer from heavy browsing. In this study, we quantified the development of natural northern white-cedar seedlings and saplings under various partial cutting regimes, with and without white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virgianus Zimmerman) browsing, in three selected sites in Quebec (Canada) and in Maine (USA). Our data show that northern white-cedar regeneration was present in all studied stands, but that only a few stems were taller than 30 cm on the two sites with high densities of deer. In the absence of heavy browsing, stems reached a height of 30 cm in 11 years, and 130 cm in 28 years. Height growth of northern white-cedar regeneration increased with canopy light transmittance, while ground-level diameter increment increased after partial cutting. This suggests that partial cutting can be used in mixedwood stands to release natural northern white-cedar regeneration, but also that the recruitment of northern white-cedar seedlings to larger size classes constitutes a major challenge in stands subject to heavy deer browsing.
      PubDate: 2015-02-02
      DOI: 10.3390/f6020344
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 2 (2015)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 360-379: A Process-Based Approach to Estimate
           Chinese Fir (Cunninghamia lanceolata) Distribution and Productivity in
           Southern China under Climate Change

    • Authors: Yuhao Lu, Nicholas Coops, Tongli Wang, Guangyu Wang
      Pages: 360 - 379
      Abstract: Understanding the distribution and productivity of Chinese fir (Cunninghamia lanceolata) under climate change is critical given the ecological and economic importance of the species. Recently, process-based growth models have grown in their popularity given their simplicity and data availability, and they are increasingly being used to map the distribution and productivity of tree species. In this paper, we study the extent of variation of the current range shift and the productivity of the species under a changing climate. We used the Physiological Principles in Predicting Growth (3-PG) model, which calculates the extent to which climatic variables affect photosynthesis and growth of a species. These variables were then used in a decision-tree model to develop rules to provide a basis for predicting the distribution of the species under current climatic conditions. Once the distribution model was developed the productivity of the species was then assessed. Using climate projections we then simulated the growth and distribution into the future. Results indicate a northward shift from the current range. The growth model also indicates minor increases in productivity in some of the existing distribution areas, principally in central China with limited productivity predicted in newly emerged stands. We conclude that this dual modeling approach has potential to quantify impacts of climate change on selected species and examining differences in climate projections on range and productivity estimation.
      PubDate: 2015-02-02
      DOI: 10.3390/f6020360
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 2 (2015)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 380-394: Differential Performance between Two
           Timber Species in Forest Logging Gaps and in Plantations in Central Africa
           

    • Authors: Adeline Fayolle, Dakis-Yaoba Ouédraogo, Gauthier Ligot, Kasso Daïnou, Nils Bourland, Patrice Tekam, Jean-Louis Doucet
      Pages: 380 - 394
      Abstract: To develop silvicultural guidelines for high-value timber species of Central African moist forests, we assessed the performance of the pioneer Milicia excelsa (iroko, Moraceae), and of the non-pioneer light demander Pericopsis elata (assamela, Fabaceae) in logging gaps and in plantations in highly degraded areas in south-eastern Cameroon. The survival and size of each seedling was regularly monitored in the silvicultural experiments. Differences in performance and allometry were tested between species in logging gaps and in plantations. The two species performance in logging gaps was significantly different from plantations and concurred with the expectations of the performance trade-off hypothesis but not with the expectations of species light requirements. The pioneer M. excelsa survived significantly better in logging gaps while the non-pioneer P. elata grew significantly faster in plantations. The high mortality and slow growth of M. excelsa in plantations is surprising for a pioneer species but could be explained by herbivory (attacks from a gall-making psyllid). Identifying high-value native timber species (i) with good performance in plantations such as P. elata is of importance to restore degraded areas; and (ii) with good performance in logging gaps such as M. excelsa is of importance to maintain timber resources and biodiversity in production forests.
      PubDate: 2015-02-02
      DOI: 10.3390/f6020380
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 2 (2015)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 395-397: Correction: Faria, M., et al. A Social
           Assessment of Forest Degradation in the “Cacheu Mangroves Natural
           Park”, Guinea-Bissau. 2014, 5, 3327-3343

    • Authors: Margarida de Faria, Pedro Ferreira, Joana Melo, Maria Vasconcelos
      Pages: 395 - 397
      Abstract: The authors would like to correct the scientific names on some of the tree species listed in this paper [1], doi:10.3390/f5123327, website: http://www.mdpi.com/1999-4907/5/12/3327. After publication we discovered that some of the vernacular names used by some communities were in fact a different species than initially anticipated. Therefore, although the vernacular is correct, the scientific name should be corrected. This confusion was due to the variety of vernacular names used for each species, which depend mostly on the ethnic group. The authors would like to apologize for any inconvenience caused to the readers by these changes.[...]
      PubDate: 2015-02-02
      DOI: 10.3390/f6020395
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 2 (2015)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 398-415: Building Resilience into Sitka Spruce
           (Picea sitchensis (Bong.) Carr.) Forests in Scotland in Response to the
           Threat of Climate Change

    • Authors: Andrew Cameron
      Pages: 398 - 415
      Abstract: It is expected that a warming climate will have an impact on the future productivity of European spruce forests. In Scotland, Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis (Bong.) Carr.) dominates the commercial forestry sector and there is growing pressure to develop alternative management strategies to limit potential economic losses through climate change. This review considers management options to increase the resilience of Sitka spruce dominated forests in Scotland. Given the considerable uncertainty over the potential long-term impacts of climate change, it is recommended that Sitka spruce should continue to be planted where it already grows well. However, new planting and restocking should be established in mixtures where silviculturally practicable, even if no-thin regimes are adopted, to spread future risks of damage. Three potentially compatible species with Sitka spruce are western hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla (Raf.) Sarg.), grand fir (Abies grandis (Lamb.) Lindl.) and Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirb.) Franco) and all form natural mixtures in its native range in North America. The predicted windier climate will require a range of management inputs, such as early cutting of extraction racks and early selective thinning, to improve stability. The potential to improve resilience to particularly abiotic damage through transforming even-aged stands into irregular structures and limiting the overall size of the growing stock is discussed.
      PubDate: 2015-02-03
      DOI: 10.3390/f6020398
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 2 (2015)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 416-432: Stand Dynamics, Humus Type and Water
           Balance Explain Aspen Long Term Productivity across Canada

    • Authors: Kenneth Anyomi, François Lorenzetti, Yves Bergeron, Alain Leduc
      Pages: 416 - 432
      Abstract: This study examined the relative importance of soil, stand development and climate hypotheses in driving productivity for a species that is widely distributed in North America. Inventory plots, 3548 of such, either dominated by aspen or made up of species mixture of which aspen occurs in dominant canopy position were sampled along a longitudinal gradient from Quebec to British Columbia. Site index (SI), was used as a measure of productivity, and soil, climate and stand attributes were correlated with site index in order to determine their effects on productivity. Results show a decline in productivity with high moisture deficit. Soil humus correlates significantly with SI but does not sufficiently capture differential rates of litter deposition and decomposition effects over the long-term. Consequently, aspen composition, stand ageing, and stand structural changes dominate variability in productivity. Within the context where deciduous cover has being increasing, there are implications for forest productivity.
      PubDate: 2015-02-09
      DOI: 10.3390/f6020416
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 2 (2015)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 433-449: Modeling Crown Biomass for Four Pine
           Species in China

    • Authors: Wen-Tao Zou, Wei-Sheng Zeng, Lian-Jin Zhang, Ming Zeng
      Pages: 433 - 449
      Abstract: To analyze the main variables affecting crown biomass, we measured crown biomass and a number of variables describing tree size, such as stem diameter at breast height (D), tree height (H), crown width (Cw) and crown length (Cl), from 754 sample trees of four pine species in China, specifically, Pinus massoniana, P. yunnanensis, P. tabulaeformis and P. elliottii. In addition, we developed individual tree crown biomass equations and compatible branch and needle biomass equations based on one-, two- and multi-variable models using nonlinear mixed-effects modeling and error-in-variable simultaneous equations. The results showed that: (i) crown biomass was strongly correlated to D and H, and the new combined variables (D4/H) and (D2/H) were suitable for modeling two- and multi-variable crown biomass equations, respectively; (ii) the four species were ranked as P. yunnanensis, P. massoniana, P. elliottii and P. tabulaeformis from small to large based on estimates from crown biomass equations, and the crown biomass estimate of P. tabulaeformis was about 60% greater than that of P. yunnanensis; (iii) the ratio of branch to crown biomass increased with increasing D, and the four species were ranked as P. elliottii, P. tabulaeformis, P. massoniana and P. yunnanensis from small to large by the proportion of the branch to crown biomass; (iv) the mean prediction errors (MPE’s) of the crown biomass equations for the four species were less than 10%, which could meet precision needs for biomass estimation.
      PubDate: 2015-02-09
      DOI: 10.3390/f6020433
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 2 (2015)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 450-463: Allometric Equations for Estimating
           Biomass of Euterpe precatoria, the Most Abundant Palm Species in the
           Amazon

    • Authors: Fernando Da Silva, Rempei Suwa, Takuya Kajimoto, Moriyoshi Ishizuka, Niro Higuchi, Norbert Kunert
      Pages: 450 - 463
      Abstract: Allometric models to estimate biomass components such as stem mass Ms, foliage mass Ml, root mass Mr and aboveground mass Ma, were developed for the palm species Euterpe precatoria Mart., which is the most abundant tree species in the Amazon. We harvested twenty palms including above- and below-ground parts in an old growth Amazonian forest in Brazil. The diameter at breast height D ranged from 3.9–12.7 cm, and the stem height H ranged from 2.3–16.4 m. The D, diameter at ground basis D0, crown diameter CD, H, stem specific gravity ρ, and number of fronds Nf were considered as independent variables and incorporated into a power function model. The best predictors were D2Hρ for Ms and Ma, D2HNf for Ml, and D for Mr. Slender index (H/D) ranged from 0.56–1.46 m·cm−1, and the D-H relationship suggested that the stem shape becomes more slender with increasing D. On the other hand, ρ increased with D implying a stiffening of stem tissue. The average root/shoot ratio was estimated as 0.29 which was higher than that reported for the non-palm tree species in the Amazon. Comparisons of several models to estimate Ma of different palm species, suggested that the variations of the D-H relationship and ρ should be considered to develop allometric models for estimating biomass in palm species. In particular the ρ largely varied depending on individual size, which should be important to consider, when developing the allometric models for palms.
      PubDate: 2015-02-10
      DOI: 10.3390/f6020450
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 2 (2015)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 464-491: Tenure Security and Land Appropriation
           under Changing Environmental Governance in Lowland Bolivia and Pará

    • Authors: Pablo Pacheco, José Heder Benatti
      Pages: 464 - 491
      Abstract: Appropriation of public lands associated with agricultural frontier expansion is a longstanding occurrence in the Amazon that has resulted in a highly skewed land-tenure structure in spite of recent state efforts to recognize tenure rights of indigenous people and smallholders living in or nearby forests. Growing concerns to reduce environmental impacts from agricultural development have motivated state governments to place greater attention on sustainable land management and forest conservation. This paper assesses the political and institutional conditions shaping tenure security and land appropriation in lowland Bolivia and the State of Pará in Brazil, and their links with environmental governance. The two cases show that clarifying and securing tenure rights is considered as the cornerstone for improving environmental governance. Thus, much attention has been given to the recognition of indigenous people and smallholder rights and to legalization of large-scale estates in agricultural frontiers, which have in turn influenced emerging conservation and environmental governance approaches. While policy frameworks share similar goals in the two cases, contrasting implementation approaches have been adopted: more agrarian in lowland Bolivia and more conservationist in the State of Pará.
      PubDate: 2015-02-16
      DOI: 10.3390/f6020464
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 2 (2015)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 492-509: Modeling Tree Characteristics of
           Individual Black Pine (Pinus nigra Arn.) Trees for Use in Remote
           Sensing-Based Inventory

    • Authors: Ivan Balenović, Anamarija Jazbec, Hrvoje Marjanović, Elvis Paladinić, Dijana Vuletić
      Pages: 492 - 509
      Abstract: The main aim was to develop models for predicting diameter at breast height (DBH), merchantable tree volume (V), and aboveground biomass (AGB) of individual black pine (Pinus nigra Arn.) trees grown in Sub-Mediterranean Croatian pure even-aged forests, which will be suitable for remote sensing based forest inventories. In total, eight variables obtained from field measurement, existing database, and digital terrain model were candidates for independent variables in regression analysis. DBH, V, and AGB were modeled as linear function of each of the independent variables, and all possible linear combinations thereof. Goodness of fit of every model was then evaluated using R2 statistic. Comparison between selected models showed that the variability of all dependent variables are explained best by models which include both crown diameter and tree height as independent variables with coefficients of determination of 0.83, 0.89, 0.82 for DBH, V, and AGB, respectively. Consequently, these models may be recommended as the most suited for DBH, V and AGB estimation of black pine trees grown in pure Sub-Mediterranean forest stands using high-resolution aerial images or high-density airborne laser scanning data. This assumption should be further validated by conducting remote sensing inventory and comparing the obtained results with field measurement results.
      PubDate: 2015-02-16
      DOI: 10.3390/f6020492
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 2 (2015)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 510-532: Commercial Thinning to Meet Wood
           Production Objectives and Develop Structural Heterogeneity: A Case Study
           in the Spruce-Fir Forest, Quebec, Canada

    • Authors: Martin-Michel Gauthier, Martin Barrette, Stéphane Tremblay
      Pages: 510 - 532
      Abstract: We evaluated the effectiveness of commercial thinning mainly from below (CT; 0, 26%, 32% and 40% merchantable basal area removals) in meeting wood production demands and developing structural heterogeneity in a balsam fir (Abies balsamea (L.) Mill) and spruce (Picea spp.) stand. After 10 years, 32%–40% removals showed a 12%–18% increase in mean diameter and 27%–38% increase in gross merchantable volume (GMV) per tree compared to the unthinned control. At the stand level, all thinning treatments generated as much cumulative GMV (harvested volume + GMV after 10 years) and gross sawlog volume per hectare as the unthinned control. As for stand structure, eight out of nine thinned experimental units showed increased structural heterogeneity after 10 years, i.e., irregular, positively-skewed diameter distribution with an elongated right tail toward larger trees. The diameter distribution in the unthinned control became more symmetric, unimodal and regular over time, with fewer saplings than at the beginning of the experiment and lower density of larger trees compared to CT. Regeneration density and stocking were abundant in all treatments, largely dominated by balsam fir. Results indicate that thinning can be used to meet wood production objectives and help develop structural heterogeneity in this forest.
      PubDate: 2015-02-17
      DOI: 10.3390/f6020510
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 2 (2015)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 116-132: Topography- and Species-Dependent Climatic
           Responses in Radial Growth of Picea meyeri and Larix principis-rupprechtii
           in the Luyashan Mountains of North-Central China

    • Authors: Wentao Zhang, Yuan Jiang, Mingchang Wang, Lingnan Zhang, Manyu Dong
      Pages: 116 - 132
      Abstract: Dendroecological techniques were used to examine the relationships between topographic aspects, climate factors and radial growth of Picea meyeri and Larix principis-rupprechtii in Luyashan Mountains, North-Central China. Four sites were selected at timberline and totally 67 trees and 134 cores were collected. Pearson correlation and regression surface analysis were conducted to reveal the growth-climate relationships. The results indicated that the two species both showed significant negative correlations with temperature during preceding November on the two topographic aspects. On both slope aspects, growth of P. meyeri exhibited significant negative correlations with precipitation in current June, whereas growth of L. principis-rupprechtii showed significant negative correlations with precipitation in preceding September. On north-facing slope, tree growth was limited by low temperature in early growing season, which not shown on south-facing slope. If climate warming continues, L. principis-rupprechtii may be more favored and a reverse between relationships with temperature and precipitation maybe occur in growth of trees. Treeline position on the north-facing slope may possess a greater potential for elevation shifting than the south-facing slope. Our results supply useful information for discussing the potential effect of future climate on the forest growth in North-Central China.
      PubDate: 2015-01-06
      DOI: 10.3390/f6010116
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 1 (2015)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 133-156: Case Study Report: Community-Based
           Monitoring Systems for REDD+ in Guyana

    • Authors: Helen Bellfield, David Sabogal, Lucy Goodman, Matt Leggett
      Pages: 133 - 156
      Abstract: A fundamental component of initiatives to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+); will be the development of robust and cost-effective measuring, reporting, and verification (MRV) instruments for national forest monitoring and safeguard information systems. It is increasingly recognized that community-based monitoring (CBM) offers a positive model for greater participation and engagement of indigenous and forest-dependent communities within a REDD+ framework. Yet plans for CBM within REDD+ MRV systems remain limited, and there are currently relatively few concrete examples of CBM informing national forest monitoring systems. This paper outlines findings from a community MRV project with Amerindian communities in the North Rupununi, Guyana; and demonstrates that a CBM approach can enable key REDD+ requirements: in understanding local deforestation drivers and measuring carbon stocks; and for providing information on safeguards through social and environmental assessments. In addition, the authors discuss community capacity-building on smartphone technology for monitoring as a challenging yet viable pathway for scaling the use and adoption of indigenous knowledge and local skills for REDD+ programs.
      PubDate: 2015-01-06
      DOI: 10.3390/f6010133
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 1 (2015)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 157-162: Acknowledgement to Reviewers of Forests in
           2014

    • Authors: Forest Office
      Pages: 157 - 162
      Abstract: The editors of Forests would like to express their sincere gratitude to the following reviewers for assessing manuscripts in 2014:[...]
      PubDate: 2015-01-07
      DOI: 10.3390/f6010157
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 1 (2015)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 163-182: Decision Support Systems (DSS)
           Optimal—A Case Study from the Czech Republic

    • Authors: Robert Marušák, Jan Kašpar, Petr Vopěnka
      Pages: 163 - 182
      Abstract: Forest managers have traditionally planned harvests using their expert knowledge. This applies mainly to the spatial distribution of harvest units. The amount of timber to be harvested is regulated by market demand. In addition to forest managers’ expert knowledge, there is a set of rules, which can be automatized. Computerized harvest planning will lead not only to saving time of forest managers, but it will also enable them to explore various scenarios in a matter of minutes. We introduce Optimal—GIS tool for spatial and temporal decisions of harvest scheduling. Optimal allows creating new harvest units, which reflects the forestry act and/or forest managers’ requirements. Optimal includes necessary tools for automatic controlling of harvest unit parameters. It allows alternative harvest scheduling, while taking into account different constraints. Optimal is a decision Support System designed and applied for clear-cut and shelterwood silvicultural systems with respect to the environmental and economic constraints.
      PubDate: 2015-01-08
      DOI: 10.3390/f6010163
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 1 (2015)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 183-202: Variation in Wood Quality in White Spruce
           (Picea Glauca (Moench) Voss). Part I. Defining the Juvenile–Mature
           Wood Transition Based on Tracheid Length

    • Authors: Cyriac Mvolo, Ahmed Koubaa, Jean Beaulieu, Alain Cloutier, Marc Mazerolle
      Pages: 183 - 202
      Abstract: Estimations of transition age (TA) and juvenile wood proportion (JWP) are important for wood industries due to their impact on end-product quality. However, the relationships between analytical determination of TA based on tracheid length (TL) and recognized thresholds for adequate end products have not yet been established. In this study, we used three different statistical models to estimate TA in white spruce (Picea glauca (Moench) Voss) based on TL radial variation. We compared the results with technological maturity. A two-millimeter threshold, previously suggested for good paper tear strength, was used. Tracheid length increased from pith to bark and from breast height to upper height. Juvenile wood (JW) was conical with the three models. At breast height, TA ranged from 11 to 27 years and JWP ranged from 15.3% to 47.5% across the three models. The linear mixed model produced more conservative estimates than the maximum-quadratic-linear (M_Q_L) model. Both the linear mixed model and the M_Q_L model produced more conservative TA estimates than the piecewise model. TA estimates by the MIXED model, and to a lesser extent by the M_Q_L model, were equivalent to those for real mature wood, whereas TA estimates by the piecewise model were considerably lower, falling into the transition wood area.
      PubDate: 2015-01-08
      DOI: 10.3390/f6010183
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 1 (2015)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 203-224: A Methodological Framework for Assessing
           Agents, Proximate Drivers and Underlying Causes of Deforestation: Field
           Test Results from Southern Cameroon

    • Authors: Sophia Carodenuto, Eduard Merger, Eric Essomba, Metodi Panev, Till Pistorius, Joseph Amougou
      Pages: 203 - 224
      Abstract: The international debates on REDD+ and the expectations to receive results-based payments through international climate finance have triggered considerable political efforts to address deforestation and forest degradation in many potential beneficiary countries. Whether a country will receive such REDD+ payments is largely contingent on its ability to effectively address the relevant drivers, and to govern the context-dependent agents and forces responsible for forest loss or degradation. Currently, many REDD+ countries are embarking on the necessary analytical steps for their national REDD+ strategies. In this context, a comprehensive understanding of drivers and their underlying causes is a fundamental prerequisite for developing effective policy responses. We developed a methodological framework for assessing the drivers and underlying causes of deforestation and use the Fako Division in Southern Cameroon as a case study to test this approach. The steps described in this paper can be adapted to other geographical contexts, and the results of such assessments can be used to inform policy makers and other stakeholders.
      PubDate: 2015-01-09
      DOI: 10.3390/f6010203
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 1 (2015)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 225-243: Developing a Quality Assessment Index
           System for Scenic Forest Management: A Case Study from Xishan Mountain,
           Suburban Beijing

    • Authors: Lan Gong, Zhidu Zhang, Chengyang Xu
      Pages: 225 - 243
      Abstract: The public’s demand for more and better forest landscapes is increasing as scenic forest tours flourish in China, especially in the capital, Beijing. How to improve the quality of scenic forests has become one of the greatest concerns of urban foresters. Although numerous studies have focused on scenic forest management, to date, no reports have been found on developing a quality assessment index system for scenic forest assessment. In this study, a simple and scientific index system was established using an analytical hierarchy process (AHP) to quantitatively assess scenic forest quality. The index system is composed of four scales: individual tree landscape quality, in-forest landscape quality, near-view forest landscape quality and far-view landscape quality. The in-forest landscape quality was determined by horizontal and vertical stand structures, species composition and under-canopy landscape traits. Near-view forest landscape quality was mainly determined by patch characteristics, seasonal change, visibility, color change of patches and stand age class. To test the validity of our quality assessment index system, scenic forests in Xishan were used as a case study. The results show that near-view forest landscape was the most important scale for the overall quality of the scenic forest, according to the priorities of the criterion layer, and the second most important scale was far-view forest landscape. Seasonal change, patch color contrast, patch distribution and patch shape accounted for 52.2% of the total of 13 indices in the near-view forest landscape. The integrated quality of scenic forests in Xishan was at an average level, and the in-forest landscape, near-view landscape and far-view landscape had below average quality.
      PubDate: 2015-01-13
      DOI: 10.3390/f6010225
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 1 (2015)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 244-251: Special Issue: The Potential Role for
           Community Monitoring in MRV and in Benefit Sharing in REDD+

    • Authors: Arturo Torres, Margaret Skutsch
      Pages: 244 - 251
      Abstract: Since the early design of activities to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries (REDD+) under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the need to engage local communities and indigenous groups in monitoring and reporting has been recognized. REDD+ has advanced under the UNFCCC negotiations, but most countries still need to define formally what the role of communities in their national monitoring systems will be. Previous research and experiences have shown that local communities can effectively contribute in the monitoring of natural resources. This editorial introduces a Special Issue of Forests which discusses the implications of and potential for including community based monitoring (CBM) in monitoring and benefit-sharing systems in REDD+. It outlines the main points of the nine contributions to the Special Issue which cover a wide geographical area and report on projects and research which engages more than 150 communities from eight different countries from Africa, Asia and Latin America. The editorial summarizes how the articles and reports build further understanding of the potential of CBM to contribute to the implementation, monitoring and distribution of benefits in REDD+. It also discusses the results of an on-going opinion survey on issues related to CBM and its relation to benefit sharing, which indicates that there is still disagreement on a number of key elements.
      PubDate: 2015-01-15
      DOI: 10.3390/f6010244
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 1 (2015)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 252-270: Combining Lidar and Synthetic Aperture
           Radar Data to Estimate Forest Biomass: Status and Prospects

    • Authors: Sanna Kaasalainen, Markus Holopainen, Mika Karjalainen, Mikko Vastaranta, Ville Kankare, Kirsi Karila, Batuhan Osmanoglu
      Pages: 252 - 270
      Abstract: Research activities combining lidar and radar remote sensing have increased in recent years. The main focus in combining lidar-radar forest remote sensing has been on the retrieval of the aboveground biomass (AGB), which is a primary variable related to carbon cycle in land ecosystems, and has therefore been identified as an essential climate variable. In this review, we summarize the studies combining lidar and radar in estimating forest AGB. We discuss the complementary use of lidar and radar according to the relevance of the added value. The most promising prospects for combining lidar and radar data are in the use of lidar-derived ground elevations for improving large-area biomass estimates from radar, and in upscaling of lidar-based AGB data across large areas covered by spaceborne radar missions.
      PubDate: 2015-01-16
      DOI: 10.3390/f6010252
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 1 (2015)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 271-279: Influence of Hemlock Woolly Adelgid
           Infestation Levels on Water Stress in Eastern Hemlocks within the Great
           Smoky Mountains National Park, U.S.A.

    • Authors: Carla Coots, Paris Lambdin, Jennifer Franklin, Jerome Grant, Rusty Rhea
      Pages: 271 - 279
      Abstract: Extensive mortality of eastern hemlock, Tsuga canadensis (L.) Carrière, resulting from infestation by hemlock woolly adelgid, Adelges tsugae Annand (Hemiptera: Adelgidae), has occurred throughout the eastern United States. Although imidacloprid treatment can reduce tree mortality, its effectiveness can be influenced by several factors including tree water stress. The relationship between water stress and infestation rates is unknown, and an understanding of these could greatly increase the efficiency of management for this invasive insect. The primary objective of this study was to assess water stress at three levels of hemlock woolly adelgid infestations. Water stress was measured monthly for 13 months in eastern hemlocks classified as <25%, 25%–75%, and >75% infested. The highest level of water stress was found in those trees with hemlock woolly adelgid infestation levels greater than 75%. The lowest level of water stress was found in those trees with less than 25% hemlock woolly adelgid infestation levels. Knowledge of these effects can contribute to development of more effective chemical management strategies.
      PubDate: 2015-01-20
      DOI: 10.3390/f6010271
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 1 (2015)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 1-26: Predicted Changes in Climatic Niche and
           Climate Refugia of Conservation Priority Salamander Species in the
           Northeastern United States

    • Authors: William Sutton, Kyle Barrett, Allison Moody, Cynthia Loftin, Phillip deMaynadier, Priya Nanjappa
      Pages: 1 - 26
      Abstract: Global climate change represents one of the most extensive and pervasive threats to wildlife populations. Amphibians, specifically salamanders, are particularly susceptible to the effects of changing climates due to their restrictive physiological requirements and low vagility; however, little is known about which landscapes and species are vulnerable to climate change. Our study objectives included, (1) evaluating species-specific predictions (based on 2050 climate projections) and vulnerabilities to climate change and (2) using collective species responses to identify areas of climate refugia for conservation priority salamanders in the northeastern United States. All evaluated salamander species were projected to lose a portion of their climatic niche. Averaged projected losses ranged from 3%–100% for individual species, with the Cow Knob Salamander (Plethodon punctatus), Cheat Mountain Salamander (Plethodon nettingi), Shenandoah Mountain Salamander (Plethodon virginia), Mabee’s Salamander (Ambystoma mabeei), and Streamside Salamander (Ambystoma barbouri) predicted to lose at least 97% of their landscape-scale climatic niche. The Western Allegheny Plateau was predicted to lose the greatest salamander climate refugia richness (i.e., number of species with a climatically-suitable niche in a landscape patch), whereas the Central Appalachians provided refugia for the greatest number of species during current and projected climate scenarios. Our results can be used to identify species and landscapes that are likely to be further affected by climate change and potentially resilient habitats that will provide consistent climatic conditions in the face of environmental change.
      PubDate: 2014-12-24
      DOI: 10.3390/f6010001
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 1 (2014)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 27-46: Design Features behind Success of the
           Ecosystem Management Decision Support System and Future Development

    • Authors: Keith Reynolds, Steven Paplanus, Bruce Miller, Philip Murphy
      Pages: 27 - 46
      Abstract: The Ecosystem Management Decision Support (EMDS) system is an application framework for designing and implementing spatially enabled knowledge-based decision support systems for environmental analysis and planning at any geographic scale(s). The system integrates state-of-the-art geographic information system, as well as knowledge-based reasoning and decision modeling, technologies to provide decision support for the adaptive management process of ecosystem management. It integrates a logic engine to perform landscape evaluations, and a decision engine for developing management priorities. The logic component: (1) reasons about large, abstract, multi-faceted ecosystem management problems; (2) performs useful evaluations with incomplete information; (3) evaluates the influence of missing information, and (4) determines priorities for missing information. The planning component determines priorities for management activities, taking into account not only ecosystem condition, but also criteria that account for logistical concerns of potential management actions. Both components include intuitive diagnostic features that facilitate communicating modeling results to a broad audience. Features of the system design that have figured in its success over the past 20 years are highlighted, together with design features planned for the next several versions needed to provide spatial decision support for adaptive management under climate change.
      PubDate: 2014-12-26
      DOI: 10.3390/f6010027
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 1 (2014)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 47-64: Economic Forest Sustainability: Comparison
           between Lithuania and Sweden

    • Authors: Vilis Brukas, Stasys Mizaras, Diana Mizaraitė
      Pages: 47 - 64
      Abstract: The study conceptualizes economic forest sustainability as “the forest-related income and economic well-being sustained over time” and then compares Lithuania and Sweden at different scales. Sweden adopts a holistic perspective of the forest sector, where forestry and forest industries are perceived as a well-integrated economic branch. Forestry is expected to deliver raw material to forest industries, at the same time creating good preconditions for profitable forest management. Forest owners are given large freedom to act according to market signals and their own household needs, while the resulting intensive forest management cumulatively leads to a significant contribution to the country’s welfare. Lithuania, in contrast, lacks an integrated sector perspective, forestry and forest industries being regarded as two separate realms. Private forest property rights are severely constrained by numerous legislative stipulations, leading to a significant reduction of economic value in production forests. On top of that, thirty percent of private owners face additional restrictions through forestland zoning, leading to further substantial loss of economic value. We suggest several measures for improving the economic forest sustainability in Lithuania, where a genuine national forest program could serve as a suitable bearing medium.
      PubDate: 2014-12-29
      DOI: 10.3390/f6010047
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 1 (2014)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 65-87: A Decision Support System for Assessing
           

    • Authors: Jordi Garcia-Gonzalo, Vladimir Bushenkov, Marc McDill, José Borges
      Pages: 65 - 87
      Abstract: Cork oak (Quercus suber L.) and holm oak (Quercus rotundifolia) ecosystems are characteristic of Mediterranean forestry in Portugal. Even though cork is the most valuable product, these ecosystems provide multiple products and services. Assessing trade-offs between multiple goals is thus critical for the effectiveness of oak ecosystem management planning. This paper focuses on the development of a decision support system for oak ecosystems’ scenario analysis including multiple criteria. It includes an innovative decision support systems (DSS) functionality to assess trade-offs between the criteria that may support negotiation and consensus building between decision-makers and forest stakeholders. Specifically, a module that encapsulates the Feasible Goals Method/Interactive Decision Maps (FGM/IDM) technique is developed for interactive visualization of the Pareto frontier. The Pareto frontier illustrates the degree to which improving one particular criterion requires accepting sacrifices in the achievements of others. It thus provides information about trade-offs between competing decision-makers’ preferences. Results are discussed for a large-scale application encompassing over 1 million ha of cork and holm oak forest ecosystems in Southern Portugal. This study demonstrates the potential of the new DSS functionality to enhance multi-objective forest planning, namely by facilitating participation by stakeholders and providing transparency to the decision-making processes.
      PubDate: 2014-12-30
      DOI: 10.3390/f6010065
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 1 (2014)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 6, Pages 88-115: The Challenge of Governing Africa’s
           New Agricultural Investment Landscapes: An Analysis of Policy Arrangements
           and Sustainability Outcomes in Ethiopia and Nigeria

    • Authors: George Schoneveld
      Pages: 88 - 115
      Abstract: In the context of globalization, market liberalization, and deregulation, many African governments are embracing the potential of private agricultural investment to address structural issues within their agricultural economies. Sustainably integrating these investments into target landscapes, however, poses a number of governance challenges since it requires careful reconciliation of competing needs, priorities, and land uses. This paper examines the effectiveness of existing policy arrangements in managing these conflicts within two environmentally significant investment landscapes, the Oban-Korup Forest Block, Nigeria, and Lower Baro-Akobo River Basin, Ethiopia. Findings reveal that investments tend to conflict with socially and environmentally valuable land uses, largely as a result of institutional failings. The paper identifies a number of underlying institutional challenges that need to be addressed in order to achieve sustainable development objectives within Africa’s many emerging investment landscapes. Findings have relevance for the development of sustainable landscape governance systems and the alignment of global governance innovations with landscape-level policy arrangements.
      PubDate: 2014-12-30
      DOI: 10.3390/f6010088
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 1 (2014)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 2947-2966: Effects of a Wildfire on Selected
           Physical, Chemical and Biochemical Soil Properties in a Pinus massoniana
           Forest in South China

    • Authors: Li Xue, Qiujing Li, Hongyue Chen
      Pages: 2947 - 2966
      Abstract: Pinus massoniana forests bordering South China are often affected by wildfires. Fires cause major changes in soil properties in many forest types but little is known about the effects of fire on soil properties in these P. massoniana forests. Such knowledge is important for providing a comprehensive understanding of wildfire effects on soil patterns and for planning appropriate long-term forest management in these forests. Changes in soil physical properties, carbon, nutrients, and enzymes were investigated in a P. massoniana forest along a wildfire-induced time span consisting of an unburned soil, and soils 0, one, four, and seven years post-fire. Soil (0–10 cm) was collected from burned and unburned sites immediately and one, four, and seven years after a wildfire. The wildfire effects on soil physical and chemical properties and enzyme activities were significantly different among treatment variation, time variation, and treatment-by-time interaction. Significant short-term effects on soil physical, chemical, and biological properties were found, which resulted in a deterioration of soil physical properties by increasing soil bulk density and decreasing macropores and capillary moisture. Soil pH increased significantly in the soil one-year post-fire. Carbon, total nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P), and available N and P increased significantly immediately and one year after the wildfire and decreased progressively to concentrations lower than in the unburned soil. Total potassium (K) and exchangeable K increased immediately after the wildfire and then continuously decreased along the burned time-span. Urease, acid phosphatase, and catalase activities significantly decreased compared to those in the unburned soil. In fire-prone P. massoniana forests, wildfires may significantly influence soil physical properties, carbon, nutrients, and enzyme activity.
      PubDate: 2014-11-25
      DOI: 10.3390/f5122947
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 12 (2014)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 2967-2979: Effects of Direct Application of
           Fertilizers and Hydrogel on the Establishment of Poplar Cuttings

    • Authors: Henrik Böhlenius, Rolf Övergaard
      Pages: 2967 - 2979
      Abstract: The aim of poplar plantations is to achieve high biomass production over a short rotation period. This requires low mortality and fast development of the transplants. The experiment described in this paper examines methods aimed at enhancing survival and development of Populus trichocarpa plants by application of fertilizers, a hydrogel or a combination of both to dormant cuttings just before planting. The experiment was carried out at two agricultural sites with different soil characteristics, a loamy sand and a silty loam. It was demonstrated that none of the treatments influenced survival or early growth at the silty loam soil site, and plant development was delayed by the solid fertilizer. At the site with loamy sand, the solid fertilizer negatively affected both survival and early growth. Hydrogel and the combination of hydrogel and the solid fertilizer also hampered early growth. Overall, treatments of poplar cuttings with hydrogel or fertilizers alone, or in combination, may not be a method to reduce poplar cutting mortality or to enhance early plant development on agricultural land. However, our results demonstrate that establishing poplar with cuttings as transplants can be used on both loamy sand and silty loam soils.
      PubDate: 2014-12-01
      DOI: 10.3390/f5122967
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 12 (2014)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 2980-2995: Former Land Use and Host Genotype
           Influence the Mycorrhizal Colonization of Poplar Roots

    • Authors: Felicia Gherghel, David Behringer, Stefanie Haubrich, Maren Schlauß, Christina Fey-Wagner, Karl-Heinz Rexer, Alwin Janßen, Gerhard Kost
      Pages: 2980 - 2995
      Abstract: The present paper analyses the community structure of ectomycorrhiza (ECM) and arbuscular mycorrhiza (AM) fungi associated with seven different poplar clone types growing in a patch system on soil from four different former land use types, originating from spruce forest, poplar stand, grassland and cornfield. We determined the extent to which ECM and AM play a role on the studied factors (genotype, former land use type and host growth). The diversity of ECM and AM fungal communities was estimated by morphological and molecular analyses of the 18S and ITS of the rDNA genes. Fifteen ECM fungal taxa and four AM groups were distinguished in the roots of the poplars grown for 18 months on soil originating from the respective land use types. The poplar clones showed significantly different rates of shoot length and AM colonization, especially concerning the occurrence of Glomus intraradices and Scutellospora sp. Populus deltoides had significantly higher Scutellospora sp. abundance. Although ECM abundance and diversity was high, no significant differences between the different land use types was found. However, some ECM fungi like Paxillus involutus, Laccaria proxima and Laccaria tortilis showed significant preferences for specific land use types. Our findings suggest that both factors, former land use type and poplar genotype, are important determinants of mycorrhizal colonization of the host plants.
      PubDate: 2014-12-04
      DOI: 10.3390/f5122980
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 12 (2014)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 2996-3021: From Co-Management to Landscape
           Governance: Whither Ghana’s Modified Taungya System?

    • Authors: Mirjam Ros-Tonen, Mercy Derkyi, Thomas Insaidoo
      Pages: 2996 - 3021
      Abstract: Natural resource management literature has documented three paradigm shifts over the past decade: from co-management to adaptive co-management and adaptive governance respectively and, more recently, towards landscape governance. The latter is conceived as a governance approach towards negotiated land use at the landscape level to deal with global challenges such as food insecurity, climate change and biodiversity loss. There is not a lot of clarity about how co-management systems could actually evolve into landscape governance. This paper aims to address the gap by exploring how a stalled co-management system for the reforestation of degraded forest areas—the modified taungya system (MTS) in Ghana—could be revitalised and redesigned as a landscape approach. Drawing on case studies and expert consultation, the performance of the national MTS and the MTS under the Community Forestry Management Project is reviewed with regard to five principles (integrated approach, multi-stakeholder negotiation, polycentric governance, continual learning and adaptive capacity) and three enabling conditions (social capital, bridging organisations and long-term funding) distilled from the literature. The authors conclude that some of these principles and conditions were met under the Community Forestry Management Project, but that continual learning, transcending jurisdictional boundaries, developing adaptive capacity, and long-term funding and benefits still pose challenges.
      PubDate: 2014-12-04
      DOI: 10.3390/f5122996
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 12 (2014)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 3022-3030: Current Challenges and Perspectives for
           Governing Forest Restoration

    • Authors: Manuel Guariguata, Pedro Brancalion
      Pages: 3022 - 3030
      Abstract: Negotiation, reconciliation of multiple scales through both ecological and social dimensions and minimization of power imbalances are considered critical challenges to overcome for effective governance of forest restoration. Finding the right mix of “command and control” in forest restoration vs. “environmental governance”, which includes non-state actors, regulatory flexibility, and market based instruments is at the heart of these challenges. This Special Issue attempts at shedding light on these challenges with case studies from South and Central America, Africa, and Asia. Some provide within-country as well as cross-country comparisons. A few others present case studies at the household level. Both policy and legal constraints towards implementing forest restoration are also discussed as a function of top down vs. bottom up approaches. The effectiveness of payments for environmental services is examined as catalyzers of forest restoration initiatives. Finally, two papers deal with the legal and policy constraints in making restoration through natural regeneration a viable and cost-effective tool. In the face of renewed perspectives for expanding forest restoration programs globally, governance issues will likely play a key role in eventually determining success. As many of the papers in this Special Issue suggest, the fate of forest restoration outcomes is, more often than not, associated with overall governance challenges, some of which are often overlooked particularly across multiple scales.
      PubDate: 2014-12-05
      DOI: 10.3390/f5123022
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 12 (2014)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 3031-3047: Enrichment of Logging Gaps with a High
           Conservation Value Species (Pericopsis elata) in a Central African Moist
           Forest

    • Authors: Dakis-Yaoba Ouédraogo, Adeline Fayolle, Kasso Daïnou, Charles Demaret, Nils Bourland, Paul Lagoute, Jean-Louis Doucet
      Pages: 3031 - 3047
      Abstract: In central Africa, most of the timber species require high light at the seedling stage for survival and growth. Forest managers face a regeneration shortage of these light-demanding timber species. To achieve long-term sustainability, there is a need for enrichment methods combining low cost and high species performance. The aim of this study was to assess the performance of Pericopsis elata seedlings in enriched logging gaps in Cameroon. Over five years; the survival and size of each seedling was monitored in 27 logging gaps that were either left without maintenance or cleared. Gaps were relatively small with an average total area of 155 m2. We found that planted seedlings of P. elata performed well in logging gaps. Even without any maintenance 61% of the planted seedlings survived after five years with an average annual diameter increment of 0.28 cm. P. elata appeared to be a good candidate species for enrichment in logging gaps. We demonstrated that the seedlings of P. elata tolerated a wide range of soil conditions but that their performance was strongly influenced by light availability (gap clearance), suggesting potentially improved performance of P. elata in high light environments such as in plantation or larger gaps.
      PubDate: 2014-12-05
      DOI: 10.3390/f5123031
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 12 (2014)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 3048-3069: A Stand-Class Growth and Yield Model for
           Mexico’s Northern Temperate, Mixed and Multiaged Forests

    • Authors: José Návar
      Pages: 3048 - 3069
      Abstract: The aim of this research was to develop a stand-class growth and yield model based on the diameter growth dynamics of Pinus spp. and Quercus spp. of Mexico’s mixed temperate forests. Using a total of 2663 temporary, circular-sampling plots of 1000 m2 each, nine Weibull distribution techniques of parameter estimation were fitted to the diameter structures of pines and oaks. Statistical equations using stand attributes and the first three moments of the diameter distribution predicted and recovered the Weibull parameters. Using nearly 1200 and 100 harvested trees for pines and oaks, respectively, I developed the total height versus diameter at breast height relationship by fitting three non-linear functions. The Newnham model predicted stem taper and numerical integration was done to estimate merchantable timber volume for all trees in the stand for each diameter class. The independence of the diameter structures of pines and oaks was tested by regressing the Weibull parameters and projecting diameter structures. The model predicts diameter distributions transition from exponential (J inverse), logarithmic to well-balanced distributions with increasing mean stand diameter at breast height. Pine diameter distributions transition faster and the model predicts independent growth rates between pines and oaks. The stand-class growth and yield model must be completed with the diameter-age relationship for oaks in order to carry a full optimization procedure to find stand density and genera composition to maximize forest growth.
      PubDate: 2014-12-09
      DOI: 10.3390/f5123048
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 12 (2014)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 3070-3086: The Importance of Maintaining Upland
           Forest Habitat Surrounding Salamander Breeding Ponds: Case Study of the
           Eastern Tiger Salamander in New York, USA

    • Authors: Valorie Titus, Dale Madison, Timothy Green
      Pages: 3070 - 3086
      Abstract: Most amphibians use both wetland and upland habitats, but the extent of their movement in forested habitats is poorly known. We used radiotelemetry to observe the movements of adult and juvenile eastern tiger salamanders over a 4-year period. Females tended to move farther from the breeding ponds into upland forested habitat than males, while the distance a juvenile moved appeared to be related to body size, with the largest individuals moving as far as the adult females. Individuals chose refugia in native pitch pine—oak forested habitat and avoided open fields, roads, and developed areas. We also observed a difference in potential predation pressures in relation to the distance an individual moved from the edge of the pond. Our results support delineating forested wetland buffer zones on a case-by-case basis to reduce the impacts of concentrated predation, to increase and protect the availability of pitch pine—oak forests near the breeding pond, and to focus primarily on the habitat needs of the adult females and larger juveniles, which in turn will encompass habitat needs of adult males and smaller juveniles.
      PubDate: 2014-12-09
      DOI: 10.3390/f5123070
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 12 (2014)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 3087-3106: Dendrochronological Potential in a
           

    • Authors: Maaike De Ridder, Benjamin Toirambe, Jan van den Bulcke, Nils Bourland, Joris van Acker, Hans Beeckman
      Pages: 3087 - 3106
      Abstract: The long-lived pioneer species Pericopsis elata is one of the rare tropical timbers on the list of the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species, supporting the need for accurate and reliable growth data. In one planted and one natural forest in the Democratic Republic of Congo, respectively four and 37 Pericopsis stem disks were collected. The tree-ring series of planted trees were used to confirm annual tree-ring formation. For the natural forest, a tree-ring chronology with 24 stem disks ranged from 1852 up to 2008. This chronology was compared with time-series of local precipitation, resulting in a significant correlation with the second half of the rainy season (September–November). This seasonal precipitation was related with sea surface temperatures of the West Indian Ocean. Higher precipitation during El Niño years corresponded with higher tree-ring indices but differences were not significant. In addition, pointer years were rare and did not have a consistent link with extreme climatic conditions. The existence of annual tree rings encourages further tree-ring analyses of P. elata and other flagship timber species in order to further document climate-growth responses and to provide the long-term framework that is needed for sustainable management planning.
      PubDate: 2014-12-12
      DOI: 10.3390/f5123087
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 12 (2014)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 3107-3130: Biomass and Volume Yield in Mature
           Hybrid Poplar Plantations on Temperate Abandoned Farmland

    • Authors: Benoit Truax, Daniel Gagnon, Julien Fortier, France Lambert
      Pages: 3107 - 3130
      Abstract: In this study, we developed clone-specific allometric relationships, with the objective of calculating volume and biomass production after 13 years in 8 poplar plantations, located across an environmental gradient, and composed of 5 unrelated hybrid poplar clones. Allometry was found to be very similar for clones MxB-915311, NxM-3729 and DNxM-915508, all having P. maximoviczii parentage. Clones DxN-3570 and TxD-3230 also had a similar allometry; for a given DBH they have a lower stem volume, stem biomass and branch biomass than P. maximoviczii hybrids. Strong Site × Clone interactions were observed for volume and woody biomass growth, with DxN and TxD hybrids only productive on low elevation fertile sites, whereas P. maximovizcii hybrids were also very productive on higher elevation sites with moderate to high soil fertility. At the site level (5 clones mean), yield reached 27.5 and 22.7 m3/ha/yr. on the two best sites (high fertility and low elevation), confirming the great potential of southern Québec (Canada) for poplar culture. The productivity gap between the most and least productive sites has widened from year 8 to year 13, highlighting the need for high quality abandoned farmland site selection in terms of climate and soil fertility. Although clone selection could optimize yield across the studied environmental gradient, it cannot fully compensate for inadequate site selection.
      PubDate: 2014-12-12
      DOI: 10.3390/f5123107
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 12 (2014)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 3131-3146: Douglas-Fir Tussock Moth- and
           Douglas-Fir Beetle-Caused Mortality in a Ponderosa Pine/Douglas-Fir Forest
           in the Colorado Front Range, USA

    • Authors: José Negrón, Ann Lynch, Willis Jr., Javier Mercado
      Pages: 3131 - 3146
      Abstract: An outbreak of the Douglas-fir tussock moth, Orgyia pseudotsugata McDunnough, occurred in the South Platte River drainage on the Pike-San Isabel National Forest in the Colorado Front Range attacking Douglas-fir, Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirb.) Franco. Stocking levels, species composition, and tree size in heavily and lightly defoliated stands were similar. Douglas-fir tussock moth defoliation resulted in significant Douglas-fir mortality in the heavily defoliated stands, leading to a change in dominance to ponderosa pine, Pinus ponderosa Lawson. Douglas-fir beetle, Dendroctonus pseudotsuqae Hopkins, populations increased following the defoliation event but caused less mortality, and did not differ between heavily and lightly defoliated stands. Douglas-fir tussock moth-related mortality was greatest in trees less than 15 cm dbh (diameter at 1.4 m above the ground) that grew in suppressed and intermediate canopy positions. Douglas-fir beetle-related mortality was greatest in trees larger than 15 cm dbh that grew in the dominant and co-dominant crown positions. Although both insects utilize Douglas-fir as its primary host, stand response to infestation is different. The extensive outbreak of the Douglas-fir tussock moth followed by Douglas-fir beetle activity may be associated with a legacy of increased host type growing in overstocked conditions as a result of fire exclusion.
      PubDate: 2014-12-12
      DOI: 10.3390/f5123131
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 12 (2014)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 3147-3168: Multilevel Governance for Forests and
           Climate Change: Learning from Southern Mexico

    • Authors: Salla Rantala, Reem Hajjar, Margaret Skutsch
      Pages: 3147 - 3168
      Abstract: Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+) involves global and national policy measures as well as effective action at the landscape scale across productive sectors. Multilevel governance (MLG) characterizes policy processes and regimes of cross-scale and cross-sector participation by multiple public and private actors for improved legitimacy and effectiveness of policy. We examine multilevel, multi-actor engagement in REDD+ planning in Quintana Roo, Mexico, to find out how local perspectives align with the national policy approach to REDD+ as an integrating element of holistic rural development at territorial scale, and how current practices support procedurally legitimate MLG required to implement it. We find that there is wide conceptual agreement on the proposed approach by a variety of involved actors, in rejection of the business-as-usual sectoral interventions. Its implementation, however, is challenged by gaps in horizontal and vertical integration due to strong sectoral identities and hierarchies, and de facto centralization of power at the federal level. Continued participation of multiple government and civil society actors to contribute to social learning for locally appropriate REDD+ actions is likely to require a more balanced distribution of resources and influence across levels. Meaningfully engaging and ensuring the representation of local community interests in the process remains a critical challenge.
      PubDate: 2014-12-12
      DOI: 10.3390/f5123147
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 12 (2014)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 3169-3198: Evaluating an Automated Approach for
           Monitoring Forest Disturbances in the Pacific Northwest from Logging, Fire
           and Insect Outbreaks with Landsat Time Series Data

    • Authors: Christopher Neigh, Douglas Bolton, Jennifer Williams, Mouhamad Diabate
      Pages: 3169 - 3198
      Abstract: Forests are the largest aboveground sink for atmospheric carbon (C), and understanding how they change through time is critical to reduce our C-cycle uncertainties. We investigated a strong decline in Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) from 1982 to 1991 in Pacific Northwest forests, observed with the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) series of Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometers (AVHRRs). To understand the causal factors of this decline, we evaluated an automated classification method developed for Landsat time series stacks (LTSS) to map forest change. This method included: (1) multiple disturbance index thresholds; and (2) a spectral trajectory-based image analysis with multiple confidence thresholds. We produced 48 maps and verified their accuracy with air photos, monitoring trends in burn severity data and insect aerial detection survey data. Area-based accuracy estimates for change in forest cover resulted in producer’s and user’s accuracies of 0.21 ± 0.06 to 0.38 ± 0.05 for insect disturbance, 0.23 ± 0.07 to 1 ± 0 for burned area and 0.74 ± 0.03 to 0.76 ± 0.03 for logging. We believe that accuracy was low for insect disturbance because air photo reference data were temporally sparse, hence missing some outbreaks, and the annual anniversary time step is not dense enough to track defoliation and progressive stand mortality. Producer’s and user’s accuracy for burned area was low due to the temporally abrupt nature of fire and harvest with a similar response of spectral indices between the disturbance index and normalized burn ratio. We conclude that the spectral trajectory approach also captures multi-year stress that could be caused by climate, acid deposition, pathogens, partial harvest, thinning, etc. Our study focused on understanding the transferability of previously successful methods to new ecosystems and found that this automated method does not perform with the same accuracy in Pacific Northwest forests. Using a robust accuracy assessment, we demonstrate the difficulty of transferring change attribution methods to other ecosystems, which has implications for the development of automated detection/attribution approaches. Widespread disturbance was found within AVHRR-negative anomalies, but identifying causal factors in LTSS with adequate mapping accuracy for fire and insects proved to be elusive. Our results provide a background framework for future studies to improve methods for the accuracy assessment of automated LTSS classifications.
      PubDate: 2014-12-12
      DOI: 10.3390/f5123169
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 12 (2014)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 3199-3221: Transformation of a Degraded Pinus
           massoniana Plantation into a Mixed-Species Irregular Forest: Impacts on
           Stand Structure and Growth in Southern China

    • Authors: Jinghui Meng, Yuanchang Lu, Ji Zeng
      Pages: 3199 - 3221
      Abstract: We transformed a Pinus massoniana plantation, the most important conifer plantation in southern China, with four different transformation treatments, in which Pinus massoniana was thinned to a density of 70%, and then differing richness and compositions of enrichment plantings were added. In order to examine the effects of the transformation, we compared species composition, stand structure and growth pattern in transformed stands with those in control stands. The results suggested that in the transformed stands species composition was diverse with trees both from the enrichment plantings and from natural recruitment. The size structure was changed such that the diameter at breast height (DBH) distribution tended to shift from a nearly normal distribution to an irregular multi-modal distribution. Substantial new ingrowth was found in the small DBH classes. The residual trees in the transformed stands were significantly larger than in the control treatment. However, for all trees, the control stands had the largest mean size, even though the residual tree growth was significantly smaller in the control stands. Finally, transformation treatment A4, which had the smallest overall mortality rate and simultaneously the mortality rate of each tree species was smaller than the corresponding value in other transformation treatments, was identified as the optimal transformation.
      PubDate: 2014-12-12
      DOI: 10.3390/f5123199
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 12 (2014)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 3222-3240: Comparison of Three Ideal Point-Based
           Multi-Criteria Decision Methods for Afforestation Planning

    • Authors: René Estrella, Dirk Cattrysse, Jos Van Orshoven
      Pages: 3222 - 3240
      Abstract: Three ideal point-based multi-criteria decision methods (MCDM), i.e., iterative ideal point thresholding (IIPT), compromise programming (CP) and a newly-proposed CP variant, called balanced compromise programming (BCP), were applied to the Tabacay catchment in Ecuador with the aim of finding a distribution of land use types (LUT) that optimizes regional land performance. This performance was expressed in terms of several conflicting on-site ecosystem services (ESS), namely water conservation, soil protection, carbon storage and monetary income. IIPT selects the best performing LUT on a per-land unit basis, that is the assignment of a LUT to a land unit is completely independent with respect to other land units. CP and BCP, on the other hand, aim at optimizing the integrated regional performance. These methods produce a LUT distribution that is as close as possible to the absolute optimal performance that would be achieved when conflict among ESS is not considered. In general, similar results were obtained with CP and BCP. This was not the case when the results produced by these two methods were contrasted with IIPT. For most ESS under consideration, CP and BCP produced balanced results that were closer to the absolute optimal values when compared to IIPT. We conclude from our results that, when optimization of land performance at a regional scale is at stake, CP-derived models emerge as the preferable option over IIPT, especially when balanced solutions are a requirement.
      PubDate: 2014-12-15
      DOI: 10.3390/f5123222
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 12 (2014)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 3241-3256: Simulation of Quaking Aspen Potential
           Fire Behavior in Northern Utah, USA

    • Authors: R. DeRose, A. Leffler
      Pages: 3241 - 3256
      Abstract: Current understanding of aspen fire ecology in western North America includes the paradoxical characterization that aspen-dominated stands, although often regenerated following fire, are “fire-proof”. We tested this idea by predicting potential fire behavior across a gradient of aspen dominance in northern Utah using the Forest Vegetation Simulator and the Fire and Fuels Extension. The wind speeds necessary for crowning (crown-to-crown fire spread) and torching (surface to crown fire spread) were evaluated to test the hypothesis that predicted fire behavior is influenced by the proportion of aspen in the stand. Results showed a strong effect of species composition on crowning, but only under moderate fire weather, where aspen-dominated stands were unlikely to crown or torch. Although rarely observed in actual fires, conifer-dominated stands were likely to crown but not to torch, an example of “hysteresis” in crown fire behavior. Results support the hypothesis that potential crown fire behavior varies across a gradient of aspen dominance and fire weather, where it was likely under extreme and severe fire weather, and unlikely under moderate and high fire weather. Furthermore, the “fire-proof” nature of aspen stands broke down across the gradient of aspen dominance and fire weather.
      PubDate: 2014-12-15
      DOI: 10.3390/f5123241
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 12 (2014)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 3257-3273: Processes Underlying 50 Years of Local
           Forest-Cover Change in Yunnan, China

    • Authors: Jens Frayer, Daniel Müller, Zhanli Sun, Darla Munroe, Jianchu Xu
      Pages: 3257 - 3273
      Abstract: Recognition of the importance of forests for local livelihoods, biodiversity and the climate system has spurred a growing interest in understanding the factors that drive forest-cover change. Forest transitions, the change from net deforestation to net reforestation, may follow different pathways depending on a complex interplay of driving forces. However, most studies on forest transitions focus on the national level rather than the local level. Here, case studies from 10 villages in Yunnan, China, are used to clarify the complex interactions among various pathways of forest transitions, derive insights on the underlying drivers that shaped the forest transitions, and determine the importance of changes in drivers over time. The results demonstrate that China’s recent forest transition was caused by a range of interrelated pathways that were mediated by local circumstances. The degradation of forest ecosystem services caused by rampant deforestation and forest degradation created a scarcity of forest products and triggered state-initiated afforestation efforts, particularly in the 1990s, which continue to be important. More recently, economic development concomitant with smallholder intensification spurred reforestation, while the importance of state forest policy declined. The complexity of local land-use changes demonstrates the difficulty of identifying distinct transition pathways and calls for a more diverse approach that recognizes the interdependence of local processes.
      PubDate: 2014-12-16
      DOI: 10.3390/f5123257
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 12 (2014)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 3274-3294: Tree Root System Characterization and
           Volume Estimation by Terrestrial Laser Scanning and Quantitative Structure
           Modeling

    • Authors: Aaron Smith, Rasmus Astrup, Pasi Raumonen, Jari Liski, Anssi Krooks, Sanna Kaasalainen, Markku Åkerblom, Mikko Kaasalainen
      Pages: 3274 - 3294
      Abstract: The accurate characterization of three-dimensional (3D) root architecture, volume, and biomass is important for a wide variety of applications in forest ecology and to better understand tree and soil stability. Technological advancements have led to increasingly more digitized and automated procedures, which have been used to more accurately and quickly describe the 3D structure of root systems. Terrestrial laser scanners (TLS) have successfully been used to describe aboveground structures of individual trees and stand structure, but have only recently been applied to the 3D characterization of whole root systems. In this study, 13 recently harvested Norway spruce root systems were mechanically pulled from the soil, cleaned, and their volumes were measured by displacement. The root systems were suspended, scanned with TLS from three different angles, and the root surfaces from the co-registered point clouds were modeled with the 3D Quantitative Structure Model to determine root architecture and volume. The modeling procedure facilitated the rapid derivation of root volume, diameters, break point diameters, linear root length, cumulative percentages, and root fraction counts. The modeled root systems underestimated root system volume by 4.4%. The modeling procedure is widely applicable and easily adapted to derive other important topological and volumetric root variables.
      PubDate: 2014-12-16
      DOI: 10.3390/f5123274
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 12 (2014)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 3295-3326: Integrating CBM into Land-Use Based
           Mitigation Actions Implemented by Local Communities

    • Authors: Arturo Torres, Lucio Acuña, José Vergara
      Pages: 3295 - 3326
      Abstract: In 2009, the conference of the parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change recognized the need to engage communities and indigenous groups into the systems to monitor, report and verify the results of REDD+. Since then, many countries have started to prepare for REDD+ implementation. This article reviews early experiences under development in 11 projects financed by the Alliance Mexico REDD+ located in four Early Action Areas to identify the potential integration of Community Based Monitoring (CBM). The evaluation of the projects is made based on a multi-criteria analysis which considers the potential to produce information relevant for national monitoring systems and the prospects for sustained monitoring practices over time. Results indicate there are challenges to harmonizing monitoring practices and protocols between projects since activities proposed differ greatly from one project to another. Technical specifications for integrating local data into national systems are thus required. The results of these projects can help to identify best practices for planning and implementing REDD+. Findings indicate that in general, resources and capacities to gather, analyse and report information as part of CBM systems are in place in the projects, but usually these reside with non-local experts (i.e., NGOs and Academia); however, there are notable examples where these capacities reside in the communities. If national forest monitoring systems are geared to include information gathered through locally-driven processes REDD+ should promote activities that produce local benefits, but countries would need to build local capacities for managing and monitoring natural resources and would also need to create agreements for sharing and using local data. Otherwise, national systems may need to rely on monitoring practices external to communities, which depend on the continued availability of external financial resources.
      PubDate: 2014-12-18
      DOI: 10.3390/f5123295
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 12 (2014)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 3327-3343: A Social Assessment of Forest
           Degradation in the “Cacheu Mangroves Natural Park”,
           Guinea-Bissau

    • Authors: Margarida de Faria, Pedro Ferreira, Joana Melo, Maria Vasconcelos
      Pages: 3327 - 3343
      Abstract: The Cacheu Mangroves Natural Park (PNTC) was established in the year 2000 with the objective of protecting the coastal forests of Northern Guinea-Bissau, which have been subject to deforestation and are at risk. Concomitantly, the need to find sustainable financial revenues to support forest conservation motivated the development of projects that explore avoidance of deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+) as a potential income possibility. The 886,150 ha of forest in the PNTC include a mosaic of different villages where communities with different cultural and socio-economic habits reside. In addition to the uncontrolled expansion of subsistence agriculture with the associated shortening of fallow periods, forests may have also been subject to degradation from selective logging, fuel wood collection, and charcoal production. To contribute to a forest degradation baseline forest uses for household fuel consumption (wood and charcoal) were surveyed using questionnaires, interviews and focus groups. The data were collected from a representative sample of circa 200 households within a 2 km buffer of the PNTC. These data are analyzed and the results are discussed according to a scenario of ethnic diversity, i.e., a diversity of approaches relating to forest conservation. Even though the results indicate that fuel wood is the main (and almost sole) source of energy for cooking, they also show that the average daily fuel consumption per capita (1.21 kg) is well below the sub-Saharan average and that fuel is obtained from downed dead wood or dead trees. Therefore, it is concluded that reported forest degradation in PNTC cannot be attributed to fuel wood consumption by local populations.
      PubDate: 2014-12-19
      DOI: 10.3390/f5123327
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 12 (2014)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 3344-3351: Facilitating Oak and Hickory
           Regeneration in Mature Central Hardwood Forests

    • Authors: Eric Holzmueller, John Groninger, Charles Ruffner
      Pages: 3344 - 3351
      Abstract: Advanced oak and hickory regeneration is often absent in mature oak-hickory forests in the Central Hardwood Region of the United States. Prescribed fire and thinning, alone and combined, are commonly prescribed silvicultural treatments that are recommended to initiate the regeneration process. This study examined the regeneration response in three mature oak stands following four treatments: (1) thin, (2) burn, (3) thinning and burning, or (4) no treatment (control). Ten years after initial treatment, results indicate that oak and hickory seedlings had greater height and diameter in the thinning and burning treatment compared to the control and that this treatment may help facilitate desirable regeneration in mature oak-hickory forests.
      PubDate: 2014-12-19
      DOI: 10.3390/f5123344
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 12 (2014)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 3352-3371: Participatory Goal Programming in Forest
           Management: An Application Integrating Several Ecosystem Services

    • Authors: Jorge Aldea, Fernando Martínez-Peña, Carlos Romero, Luis Diaz-Balteiro
      Pages: 3352 - 3371
      Abstract: In this study, we propose a procedure for integrating several ecosystem services into forest management by using the well-known multi-criteria approach called goal programming. It shows how interactions with various stakeholders are essential in order to choose the goal programming model applied, as well as some of its basic components (variant, targets, preferential weights, etc.). This methodology has been applied to a real forest management case where five criteria have been selected: timber production, wild edible mushroom production, carbon sequestration, net present value of the underlying investment, and a criterion associated with the sustainability of forest management defined by the idea of a normal forest. Given the characteristics of some of these criteria, such as mushroom production, the model has been developed in two scenarios: one deterministic and another with a Monte Carlo analysis. The results show a considerable degree of conflict between the proposed criteria. By applying several goal programming models, different Paretian efficient solutions were obtained. In addition, some results in Monte Carlo analysis for several criteria show notable variations. This fact is especially notable for the mushroom production criterion. Finally, the proposed approach seems attractive and can be directly applied to other forest management situations.
      PubDate: 2014-12-22
      DOI: 10.3390/f5123352
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 12 (2014)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 2750-2772: Slow Lives in the Fast Landscape:
           Conservation and Management of Plethodontid Salamanders in Production
           Forests of the United States

    • Authors: Jessica Homyack, Andrew Kroll
      Pages: 2750 - 2772
      Abstract: Intensively-managed forest (IMF) ecosystems support environmental processes, retain biodiversity and reduce pressure to extract wood products from other forests, but may affect species, such as plethodontid salamanders, that are associated with closed canopies and possess limited vagility. We describe: (1) critical aspects of IMF ecosystems; (2) effectiveness of plethodontid salamanders as barometers of forest change; (3) two case studies of relationships between salamanders and coarse woody debris (CWD); and (4) research needs for effective management of salamanders in IMF ecosystems. Although plethodontid salamanders are sensitive to microclimate changes, their role as ecological indicators rarely have been evaluated quantitatively. Our case studies of CWD and salamanders in western and eastern forests demonstrated effects of species, region and spatial scale on the existence and strength of relationships between plethodontid species and a “critical” microhabitat variable. Oregon slender salamanders (Batrachoseps wrighti) were more strongly associated with abundance of CWD in managed second growth forests than ensatina salamanders (Ensatina eschscholtzii). Similarly, CWD was not an important predictor of abundance of Appalachian salamanders in managed hardwood forest. Gaining knowledge of salamanders in IMF ecosystems is critical to reconciling ecological and economic objectives of intensive forest management, but faces challenges in design and implementation.
      PubDate: 2014-11-17
      DOI: 10.3390/f5112750
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 11 (2014)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 2773-2792: Mapping the Global Potential
           Geographical Distribution of Black Locust (Robinia Pseudoacacia L.) Using
           Herbarium Data and a Maximum Entropy Model

    • Authors: Guoqing Li, Guanghua Xu, Ke Guo, Sheng Du
      Pages: 2773 - 2792
      Abstract: Black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia L.) is a tree species of high economic and ecological value, but is also considered to be highly invasive. Understanding the global potential distribution and ecological characteristics of this species is a prerequisite for its practical exploitation as a resource. Here, a maximum entropy modeling (MaxEnt) was used to simulate the potential distribution of this species around the world, and the dominant climatic factors affecting its distribution were selected by using a jackknife test and the regularized gain change during each iteration of the training algorithm. The results show that the MaxEnt model performs better than random, with an average test AUC value of 0.9165 (±0.0088). The coldness index, annual mean temperature and warmth index were the most important climatic factors affecting the species distribution, explaining 65.79% of the variability in the geographical distribution. Species response curves showed unimodal relationships with the annual mean temperature and warmth index, whereas there was a linear relationship with the coldness index. The dominant climatic conditions in the core of the black locust distribution are a coldness index of −9.8 °C–0 °C, an annual mean temperature of 5.8 °C–14.5 °C, a warmth index of 66 °C–168 °C and an annual precipitation of 508–1867 mm. The potential distribution of black locust is located mainly in the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, Switzerland, Australia, New Zealand, China, Japan, South Korea, South Africa, Chile and Argentina. The predictive map of black locust, climatic thresholds and species response curves can provide globally applicable guidelines and valuable information for policymakers and planners involved in the introduction, planting and invasion control of this species around the world.
      PubDate: 2014-11-18
      DOI: 10.3390/f5112773
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 11 (2014)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 2793-2809: Influence of Time since Fire and
           Micro-Habitat Availability on Terricolous Lichen Communities in Black
           Spruce (Picea mariana) Boreal Forests

    • Authors: Saliha Zouaoui, Catherine Boudreault, Pierre Drapeau, Yves Bergeron
      Pages: 2793 - 2809
      Abstract: Terricolous lichens are an important component of boreal forest ecosystems, both in terms of function and diversity. In this study, we examined the relative contribution of microhabitat characteristics and time elapsed since the last fire in shaping terricolous lichen assemblages in boreal forests that are frequently affected by severe stand-replacing fires. We sampled 12 stands distributed across five age classes (from 43 to >200 years). In each stand, species cover (%) of all terricolous lichen species and species richness were evaluated within 30 microplots of 1 m2. Our results show that time elapsed since the last fire was the factor that contributed the most to explaining terricolous lichen abundance and species composition, and that lichen cover showed a quadratic relationship with stand age. Habitat variables such as soil characteristics were also important in explaining lichen richness. These results suggest that the presence of suitable substrates is not sufficient for the conservation of late-successional terricolous lichen communities in this ecosystem, and that they also need relatively long periods of times for species dispersal and establishment.
      PubDate: 2014-11-18
      DOI: 10.3390/f5112793
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 11 (2014)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 2810-2824: The Effects of Silvicultural Treatment
           on Sirex noctilio Attacks and Tree Health in Northeastern United States

    • Authors: Kevin Dodds, Robert Cooke, Ryan Hanavan
      Pages: 2810 - 2824
      Abstract: The invasive woodwasp Sirex noctilio (Hymenoptera: Siricidae) is established in east-central North America. A replicated case study testing the effectiveness of silvicultural treatments for reducing the number of S. noctilio attacked trees in a stand was conducted in New York, USA. Silvicultural treatments reduced S. noctilio attacked trees by approximately 75% over the course of the study. There was no tree growth response to silvicultural treatments in the four years after thinning, but targeted removal of weakened trees removed potential S. noctilio habitat from treated stands. Two spectral vegetation indices were used to determine tree health in each treatment and potentially provide guidance for detection efforts. Silvicultural treatment significantly influenced the Red Edge Inflection Point, a strong indicator of chlorophyll content, and the Moisture Stress Index, a reflectance measurement sensitive to changes in foliar leaf water content, with the greatest differences occurring between control and treated blocks. Vegetation indices showed promise as a tool for aiding in stand prioritization for S. noctilio surveys or management activities.
      PubDate: 2014-11-19
      DOI: 10.3390/f5112810
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 11 (2014)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 2825-2845: Quantifying the Variability of Internode
           Allometry within and between Trees for Pinus tabulaeformis Carr. Using a
           Multilevel Nonlinear Mixed-Effect Model

    • Authors: Jun Diao, Xiangdong Lei, Jingcai Wang, Jun Lu, Hong Guo, Liyong Fu, Chenchen Shen, Wu Ma, Jianbo Shen
      Pages: 2825 - 2845
      Abstract: Allometric models of internodes are an important component of Functional-Structural Plant Models (FSPMs), which represent the shape of internodes in tree architecture and help our understanding of resource allocation in organisms. Constant allometry is always assumed in these models. In this paper, multilevel nonlinear mixed-effect models were used to characterize the variability of internode allometry, describing the relationship between the last internode length and biomass of Pinus tabulaeformis Carr. trees within the GreenLab framework. We demonstrated that there is significant variability in allometric relationships at the tree and different-order branch levels, and the variability decreases among levels from trees to first-order branches and, subsequently, to second-order branches. The variability was partially explained by the random effects of site characteristics, stand age, density, and topological position of the internode. Tree- and branch-level-specific allometric models are recommended because they produce unbiased and accurate internode length estimates. The model and method developed in this study are useful for understanding and describing the structure and functioning of trees.
      PubDate: 2014-11-21
      DOI: 10.3390/f5112825
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 11 (2014)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 2846-2864: Financial Dilemmas Associated with the
           Afforestation of Low-Productivity Farmland in Poland

    • Authors: Alina Źróbek-Różańska, Andrzej Nowak, Magdalena Nowak, Sabina Źróbek
      Pages: 2846 - 2864
      Abstract: In Poland, 82% of forests are State-owned, and only 17% of forests constitute private property. Each year, forests are converted to other land-use types, mainly for road construction. The afforestation rate on privately-owned low-productivity land is decreasing steadily. The owners and perpetual usufructuaries of this kind of land are eligible to government subsidies to cover establishment expenditures in whole or in part, provided that the afforestation scheme complies with the local zoning plan or an outline planning permission. The above creates a dilemma for farmers—is this a profitable option of managing low-productivity land? Owners of small farms particularly often face such dilemmas. Owners of small farms, which consist of low-yield agricultural land, can be regarded as investors operating on the real estate market, but those investors have features characteristic of agricultural producers. This study relied on the net present value (NPV) criterion, which is popularly used to assess the effectiveness of investments on the real estate market. A financial feasibility assessment performed with the use of such method in view of afforestation statistics and the 5% discount rate on the Polish forest market revealed the highest increase in net cumulative cash flows in the first five years, followed by a gradual decrease in successive years. The first negative cash flow was reported in year 20. NPV would remain negative because farmers would be charged with periodic maintenance expenditures until the stand reaches harvestable age at approximately 40 years. The longer the investment period, the lower the profits, even if discount rate is excluded. Investments of the type are difficult to terminate because forests younger than 20 years are difficult to sell at a price that covers growing outflows. Afforestation projects are also influenced by other economic and non-economic factors. The paper validates the research hypothesis that afforestation is a long-term investment that delivers benefits for future generations.
      PubDate: 2014-11-24
      DOI: 10.3390/f5112846
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 11 (2014)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 2865-2881: Changes in Income Structure in Frontier
           Villages and Implications for REDD+ Benefit Sharing

    • Authors: Takayuki Kurashima, Toshiya Matsuura, Asako Miyamoto, Makoto Sano, Bora Tith, Sophal Chann
      Pages: 2865 - 2881
      Abstract: A methodological characteristic of the REDD+ scheme is that it attempts to reduce deforestation by rewarding communities that change problematic land use practices. This has led to discussions on benefit sharing. This article focuses on incentives for alternative land use practices among village members living in frontier areas, especially in relation to support for sustainable land use and people’s livelihoods, and clarifies the issues that REDD+ projects are likely to face in this context. Although some documents regarding REDD+ projects have mentioned support to encourage such incentives, insufficient consideration has been given to the realities of the changes in frontier communities. REDD+ projects are unlikely to motivate members to embrace alternative land use practices if support or benefit sharing does not match members’ expectations. Here, we examine the changes in household (HH) income and structure, as well as in livelihood activities, experienced by Cambodian frontier villagers living at the site of a planned REDD+ project. During the nine years compared in this study, the frontier villages experienced broad and imbalanced changes in HH income owing to the rapid expansion of the cultivation of cash crops. Our results indicate that benefit sharing or support inevitably becomes more difficult and challenging in frontier areas than in areas where subsistence production systems still predominate, although such frontiers could, in theory, yield maximum returns with regard to forest carbon balance if the REDD+ projects addressed benefit sharing and support and came to fruition.
      PubDate: 2014-11-24
      DOI: 10.3390/f5112865
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 11 (2014)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 2882-2904: Expansion of Protected Areas under
           Climate Change: An Example of Mountainous Tree Species in Taiwan

    • Authors: Wei-Chih Lin, Yu-Pin Lin, Wan-Yu Lien, Yung-Chieh Wang, Cheng-Tao Lin, Chyi-Rong Chiou, Johnathen Anthony, Neville Crossman
      Pages: 2882 - 2904
      Abstract: Tree species in mountainous areas are expected to shift their distribution upward in elevation in response to climate change, calling for a potential redesign of existing protected areas. This study aims to predict whether or not the distributions of two high-mountain tree species, Abies (Abies kawakamii) and Tsuga (Tsuga chinensis var. formosana), will significantly shift upward due to temperature change, and whether current protected areas will be suitable for conserving these species. Future temperature change was projected for 15 different future scenarios produced from five global climate models. Shifts in Abies and Tsuga distributions were then predicted through the use of species distribution models (SDMs) which included occurrence data of Abies and Tsuga, as well as seasonal temperature, and elevation. The 25 km × 25 km downscaled General Circulation Model (GCMs) data for 2020–2039 produced by the Taiwan Climate Change Projection and Information Platform was adopted in this study. Habitat suitability in the study area was calculated using maximum entropy model under different climatic scenarios. A bootstrap method was applied to assess the parameter uncertainty of the maximum entropy model. In comparison to the baseline projection, we found that there are significant differences in suitable habitat distributions for Abies and Tsuga under seven of the 15 scenarios. The results suggest that mountainous ecosystems will be substantially impacted by climate change. We also found that the uncertainty originating from GCMs and the parameters of the SDM contribute most to the overall level of variability in species distributions. Finally, based on the uncertainty analysis and the shift in habitat suitability, we applied systematic conservation planning approaches to identify suitable areas to add to Taiwan’s protected area network.
      PubDate: 2014-11-24
      DOI: 10.3390/f5112882
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 11 (2014)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 2905-2928: Conifer Recruitment in Trembling Aspen
           (Populus Tremuloides Michx.) Stands along an East-West Gradient in the
           Boreal Mixedwoods of Canada

    • Authors: Pierre Nlungu-Kweta, Alain Leduc, Yves Bergeron
      Pages: 2905 - 2928
      Abstract: Ongoing climate change is likely to result in shifts in successional dynamics in boreal mixedwood stands. Using data from provincial forest inventory databases, we examined the occurrence and abundance of the regeneration of various coniferous species (white spruce, black spruce and balsam fir) along an east-west Canadian gradient in aspen-dominated stands. The interpretation of the results was based on environmental conditions, including climate, natural fire regime and human impacts. We found that conifer regeneration was present in aspen stands along the entire gradient, despite differences in climatic conditions and fire regimes between the west (warmer and drier, with large recurrent fires) and east (more humid with relatively long fire cycles). However, abundance and distribution varied from one conifer species to the next. The abundance of white spruce decreased towards the eastern end of the longitudinal gradient, while balsam fir and black spruce abundance decreased towards the west. Although abundance decreased, balsam fir and black spruce regeneration was still present in western Canada. This study shows that it is difficult to interpret the effects of climate change on conifer recruitment without accounting for the superimposed effects of human activities.
      PubDate: 2014-11-24
      DOI: 10.3390/f5112905
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 11 (2014)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 5, Pages 2929-2946: Ungulate Impact on Natural Regeneration
           in Spruce-Beech-Fir Stands in Černý důl Nature Reserve in
           the Orlické Hory Mountains, Case Study from Central Sudetes

    • Authors: Zdeněk Vacek, Stanislav Vacek, Lukáš Bílek, Jan Král, Jiří Remeš, Daniel Bulušek, Ivo Králíček
      Pages: 2929 - 2946
      Abstract: The paper presents the results of a study on tree regeneration of forest stands in the Černý důl Nature Reserve, which is situated in the Orlické hory Mountains Protected Landscape area in the Czech Republic. Research was conducted in a spruce-beech stand with an admixture of silver fir, sycamore maple and rowan on two comparative permanent research plots (PRPs) (PRP 1—fenced enclosure and PRP 2—unfenced). Typological, soil, phytosociological and stand characteristics of the two PRPs are similar. The results showed that ungulate browsing is a limiting factor for successful development of natural regeneration of autochthonous tree species. The population of tree species of natural regeneration on the fenced plot (PRP 1) is sufficient in relation to the site and stand conditions. However, natural regeneration on PRP 2 is considerably limited by browsing. Damage is greatest to fir, sycamore maple and rowan; less severe to beech; and the least to spruce.
      PubDate: 2014-11-24
      DOI: 10.3390/f5112929
      Issue No: Vol. 5, No. 11 (2014)
       
 
 
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