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  Subjects -> FORESTS AND FORESTRY (Total: 113 journals)
    - FORESTS AND FORESTRY (112 journals)
    - LUMBER AND WOOD (1 journals)

FORESTS AND FORESTRY (112 journals)                     

Showing 1 - 12 of 12 Journals sorted alphabetically
Acta Silvatica et Lignaria Hungarica     Open Access  
Advance in Forestry Research     Open Access   (Followers: 5)
Advances in Forestry Science     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Agrociencia     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Agroforestry Systems     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 19)
Annals of Forest Research     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Annals of Forest Science     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6)
Annals of Silvicultural Research     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Appita Journal: Journal of the Technical Association of the Australian and New Zealand Pulp and Paper Industry     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 12)
Arboricultural Journal : The International Journal of Urban Forestry     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 7)
Arboriculture and Urban Forestry     Partially Free   (Followers: 7)
Asian Journal of Forestry     Open Access  
Australian Forest Grower     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 4)
Australian Forestry     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Balduinia     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Banko Janakari     Open Access  
Bosque     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Bulletin of University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine Cluj-Napoca. Horticulture     Open Access  
Canadian Journal of Forest Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 26)
Canadian Journal of Plant Science     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 12)
Central European Forestry Journal     Open Access  
Ciência Florestal     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Ciencia forestal en México     Open Access  
Colombia Forestal     Open Access  
Current Forestry Reports     Hybrid Journal  
Dissertationes Forestales     Open Access  
East African Agricultural and Forestry Journal     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 1)
European Journal of Forest Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 8)
Expert Opinion on Environmental Biology     Hybrid Journal  
Floresta e Ambiente     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Folia Forestalia Polonica     Open Access  
Forest Ecology and Management     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 57)
Forest Ecosystems     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Forest Pathology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 1)
Forest Phytophthoras     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Forest Policy and Economics     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 22)
Forest Research     Open Access  
Forest Research Papers     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Forest Science     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 4)
Forest Science and Practice     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2)
Forest Science and Technology     Partially Free   (Followers: 1)
Forest Systems     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Forest@ : Journal of Silviculture and Forest Ecology     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Foresta Veracruzana     Open Access  
Forestry Chronicle     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 9)
Forestry Letters     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Forestry Studies : Metsanduslikud Uurimused     Open Access  
Forestry: An International Journal of Forest Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 14)
Forests     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Forests, Trees and Livelihoods     Partially Free   (Followers: 4)
Ghana Journal of Forestry     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Holzforschung     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 1)
iForest : Biogeosciences and Forestry     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Indonesian Journal of Forestry Research     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
INNOTEC : Revista del Laboratorio Tecnológico del Uruguay     Open Access  
International Forestry Review     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 6)
International Journal of Agriculture and Forestry     Open Access   (Followers: 8)
International Journal of Forest Engineering     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 1)
International Journal of Forestry Research     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Irish Journal of Agricultural and Food Research     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Journal of Agriculture, Forestry and the Social Sciences     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 4)
Journal of Biodiversity Management & Forestry     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 5)
Journal of Environmental Extension     Full-text available via subscription  
Journal of Forest and Livelihood     Open Access  
Journal of Forest Economics     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 5)
Journal of Forest Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2)
Journal of Forestry     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 13)
Journal of Forestry Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 3)
Journal of Horticulture and Forestry     Open Access   (Followers: 5)
Journal of Natural Resources Policy Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 10)
Journal of Research in Forestry, Wildlife and Environment     Open Access   (Followers: 4)
Journal of Sustainable Forestry     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6)
Journal of the Faculty of Forestry Istanbul University     Open Access  
Journal of Wood Chemistry and Technology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 10)
Journal of Wood Science     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 5)
Jurnal Ilmu Kehutanan     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Jurnal Manajemen Hutan Tropika     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Jurnal Penelitian Kehutanan Wallacea     Open Access  
Jurnal Penelitian Sosial dan Ekonomi Kehutanan     Open Access  
La Calera     Open Access  
Landscapes     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 15)
Lesnícky časopis     Open Access  
Maderas. Ciencia y tecnología     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Mathematical and Computational Forestry & Natural-Resource Sciences     Free  
Media Konservasi     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Natural Areas Journal     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 11)
New Forests     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2)
New Zealand Journal of Forestry Science     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Open Journal of Forestry     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Quebracho. Revista de Ciencias Forestales     Open Access  
Research Journal of Forestry     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Revista Árvore     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Revista Chapingo. Serie Ciencias Forestales y del Ambiente     Open Access  
Revista Cubana de Ciencias Forestales     Open Access  
Revista de Agricultura Neotropical     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Revista Ecologia e Nutrição Florestal - ENFLO     Open Access  
Revista Verde de Agroecologia e Desenvolvimento Sustentável     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Revue forestière française     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 4)
Rural Sustainability Research     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Rwanda Journal     Full-text available via subscription  
Scandinavian Journal of Forest Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4)
Science, Technology and Arts Research Journal     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Silva Lusitana     Open Access  
Small-scale Forestry     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 1)
Southern African Forestry Journal     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
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: 4)
Urban Forestry & Urban Greening     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 8)
Veld & Flora     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
Wahana Forestra : Jurnal Kehutanan     Open Access  
Wood and Fiber Science     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 4)

           

Journal Cover Forests
  [SJR: 0.63]   [H-I: 16]   [2 followers]  Follow
    
  This is an Open Access Journal Open Access journal
   ISSN (Print) 1999-4907
   Published by MDPI Homepage  [198 journals]
  • Forests, Vol. 9, Pages 3: Bringing the Natives Back: Identifying and
           Alleviating Establishment Limitations of Native Hardwood Species in a
           Conifer Plantation

    • Authors: Yu-Tsen Li, Yueh-Hsin Lo, Yi-Ching Lin, Biing Guan, Juan Blanco, Chi-How You
      First page: 3
      Abstract: To facilitate the reintroduction of five native late-successional Taiwanese Fagaceae species into Japanese cedar (Cryptomeria japonica (D.) Don) plantations, we experimented with methods to alleviate their establishment limitations. We tested different combinations of tree species, seedling development stages, and site preparation techniques. First, we directly sowed both fresh and germinated acorns under both closed and opened (thinned) canopies. Both fresh and germinated acorns survived only six months at most. Wildlife consumption was the most critical factor hindering their survival. We subsequently experimented with different methods for increasing establishment rates, such as thinning in combination with understory control, applying chemical animal repellents to seeds, using physical barriers against seed predators, and using seedlings of different ages. Among the methods experimented, none was effective. The effects of silvicultural treatments to deter seed consumption lasted only the first few weeks after sowing, whereas the effects of physical barriers were inconsistent. We also tested planting 3-month and 1-year-old seedlings. Seedling survival after 9 months was about 20% on average for 3-month-old seedlings but reached 80% for 1-year-old seedlings. Our results suggest that planting seedlings older than six months or establishing physical obstacles to prevent seed predation will be the most effective strategies to reintroduce late-successional hardwood Fagaceae species into Japanese cedar plantations.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2018-01-01
      DOI: 10.3390/f9010003
      Issue No: Vol. 9, No. 1 (2018)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 9, Pages 4: Drought-Induced Changes in Wood Density Are Not
           Prevented by Thinning in Scots Pine Stands

    • Authors: David Candel-Pérez, Yueh-Hsin Lo, Juan Blanco, Chih-Ming Chiu, J. Camarero, Ester González de Andrés, J. Imbert, Federico Castillo
      First page: 4
      Abstract: Density is an important wood mechanical property and an indicator of xylem architecture and hydraulic conductivity. It can be influenced by forest management and climate. We studied the impact of thinning and climate variables on annual stem radial growth (ring width and ring density, and their earlywood and latewood components) in two contrasting Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) stands in northern Spain (one continental, one Mediterranean). At each site, three thinning regimes (control or T0, removing 20% basal area or T20, and removing 30% or T30) were randomly applied to nine plots per site (three plots per treatment) in 1999. Thinning was repeated at the Mediterranean site in 2009 (increasing thinning intensity in T30 to 40%). Eight trees per plot were cored in spring 2014. Second thinning at the Mediterranean site and first thinning at the continental site generally caused significantly wider ring (RW), earlywood (EW) and latewood (LW) widths, although no differences between T20 and T30/40 were found, supporting in part the common observation that radial growth is enhanced following thinning as competition for water and nutrients is reduced. At the Mediterranean site, values of latewood density (LD) and maximum density (Dmax) relative to pre-thinning conditions were significantly lower in T0 than in T30. However, at the continental site, relative changes of ring density (RD) and LD were significantly higher in T0 than in T20 and T30. Climate significantly affected not only RW but also RD, with significant RD drops during or right after unusually warm-dry years (e.g., 2003, 2011), which were characterized by LD reductions between 5.4 and 8.0%. Such RD decreases were quickly followed by recovery of pre-drought density values. These results indicate trees temporarily reduce LD as a way to enhance hydraulic conductivity during dry summers. However, climate effects on wood density were site-dependent. We also detected that the thinning effect was not intense enough to prevent drought-induced changes in wood density by altering water availability, but it could help to reduce wood properties fluctuations and therefore maintain more homogeneous wood mechanic features.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2018-01-02
      DOI: 10.3390/f9010004
      Issue No: Vol. 9, No. 1 (2018)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 9, Pages 17: Provenance Variation in Phenology and Frost
           Tolerance in Subalpine Fir (Abies lasiocarpa) Planted in Denmark and
           Iceland

    • Authors: Brynjar Skulason, Ole Hansen, Ulrik Nielsen
      First page: 17
      Abstract: In Iceland and Denmark, there is an interest in planting Abies lasiocarpa for use as Christmas trees. To search for usable genetic material for both countries, 26 provenances of subalpine fir, covering most of its natural range, were planted in eastern Iceland and Jutland, Denmark. Flushing, bud set and survival rates were assessed. Artificial freezing of twigs, from field trials in eastern Iceland and Denmark, was done to rank the provenances for frost tolerance in the spring and autumn. The northernmost provenances showed earliest bud set, highest autumn frost tolerance and a latitudinal cline was delineated. Differences between provenances in flushing and spring frost tolerance were less than that found for bud set and autumn frost tolerance. The southernmost provenances showed earliest flushing and the most spring frost damage on buds. Mortality of single provenances in the field tests could not be attributed to low freezing tolerances in the autumn or spring. The southernmost provenances of Abies lasiocarpa from New Mexico and Arizona showed the highest survival rate in the field trial in East Iceland, while the eastern provenances showed a low survival rate except for two provenances from Utah and Wyoming. The western provenances from Washington state showed the best survival in Denmark, followed by the southernmost provenances.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2018-01-02
      DOI: 10.3390/f9010017
      Issue No: Vol. 9, No. 1 (2018)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 9, Pages 18: The Carbon Dynamics of Dry Tropical Afromontane
           Forest Ecosystems in the Amhara Region of Ethiopia

    • Authors: Beyene Belay, Elisabeth Pötzelsberger, Kibruyesfa Sisay, Dessie Assefa, Hubert Hasenauer
      First page: 18
      Abstract: Forest degradation due to land use change is a severe problem in Ethiopian Afromontane Forests. We investigated such degradation effects by comparing degraded agricultural land (previously covered with forest) with neighboring natural forests, 40 to 50 years after conversion. We selected four different study areas to cover the eco-climatic conditions of the Amhara region in Northwestern Ethiopia. For a paired-stand comparison we collected soil data on both land use types. We calculated forest biomass to evaluate the biogeochemical-mechanistic ecosystem model Biome-BGC, which is used as a diagnostic tool to assess the site and management impacts on productivity as well as ecosystem carbon and nitrogen accumulation. We applied Biome-BGC to assess rehabilitation options on such degraded land. Afromontane forests in the highlands of Ethiopia showed high soil C stocks, resulting from long lasting biomass accumulation. Removing the tree cover and converting forest areas to crop- or grassland, has led to a loss of 40–85% of the soil C stocks and thus a loss in soil fertility within only 40 to 50 years. Rehabilitation efforts by replanting trees will improve soil fertility, but may require over a thousand years to achieve a similar level in biomass and soil fertility versus the situation prior to the land use change.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2018-01-04
      DOI: 10.3390/f9010018
      Issue No: Vol. 9, No. 1 (2018)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 9, Pages 19: The Role of Environmental Filtering in
           Structuring Appalachian Tree Communities: Topographic Influences on
           Functional Diversity Are Mediated through Soil Characteristics

    • Authors: Julia Chapman, Ryan McEwan
      First page: 19
      Abstract: Identifying the drivers of community assembly has long been a central goal in ecology, and the development of functional diversity indices has provided a new way of detecting the influence of environmental gradients on biotic communities. For an old-growth Appalachian forest, we used path analysis to understand how patterns of tree functional diversity relate to topography and soil gradients and to determine whether topographic effects are mediated through soil chemistry. All of our path models supported the idea of environmental filtering: stressful areas (high elevation, low soil moisture, low soil nutrients) were occupied by communities of low functional diversity, which suggests a selective effect for species with traits adapted to such harsh conditions. The effects of topography (slope, aspect, elevation) on functional diversity were often indirect and moderated through soil moisture and fertility. Soil moisture was a key component of our models and was featured consistently in each one, having either strong direct effects on functional diversity or indirect effects via soil fertility. Our results provide a comprehensive view of the interplay among functional trait assemblages, topography, and edaphic conditions and contribute to the baseline understanding of the role of environmental filtering in temperate forest community assembly.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2018-01-06
      DOI: 10.3390/f9010019
      Issue No: Vol. 9, No. 1 (2018)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 9, Pages 20: Adaptation to Climate Change in Forestry: A
           Multiple Correspondence Analysis (MCA)

    • Authors: Marielle Brunette, Robin Bourke, Marc Hanewinkel, Rasoul Yousefpour
      First page: 20
      Abstract: We analyze economic perspectives of forest adaptation to risk attributes, caused mostly by climate change. We construct a database with 89 systematically chosen articles, dealing simultaneously with climate, adaptation, risk and economy. We classify the database with regard to 18 variables bearing on the characteristics of the paper, the description of the risk and the adaptation strategy, the topic and the corresponding results. To achieve a “high level-of-evidence”, we realize a multiple correspondence analysis (MCA) to identify which variables were found in combination with one other in the literature and make distinct groupings affecting adaptive decisions. We identify three groups: (i) profit and production; (ii) microeconomic risk-handling; and (iii) decision and behavior. The first group includes economic costs and benefits as the driver of adaptation and prioritizes simulation, and a mix of theoretical and empirical economic approach. The second group distinctly involves risk-related issues, in particular its management by adaptation. The third group gathers a large set of social and behavioral variables affecting management decisions collected through questionnaires. Such an approach allows the identification of gaps in the literature, concerning the impact of owners’ preferences towards risk and uncertainty regarding adaptation decisions, the fact that adaptation was often reduced in an attempt to adapt to the increasing risk of wildfire, or the existence of a regional bias.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2018-01-06
      DOI: 10.3390/f9010020
      Issue No: Vol. 9, No. 1 (2018)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 9, Pages 21: Low Tree-Growth Elasticity of Forest Biomass
           Indicated by an Individual-Based Model

    • Authors: Robbie Hember, Werner Kurz
      First page: 21
      Abstract: Environmental conditions and silviculture fundamentally alter the metabolism of individual trees and, therefore, need to be studied at that scale. However, changes in forest biomass density (Mg C ha−1) may be decoupled from changes in growth (kg C year−1) when the latter also accelerates the life cycle of trees and strains access to light, nutrients, and water. In this study, we refer to an individual-based model of forest biomass dynamics to constrain the magnitude of system feedbacks associated with ontogeny and competition and estimate the scaling relationship between changes in tree growth and forest biomass density. The model was driven by fitted equations of annual aboveground biomass growth (Gag), probability of recruitment (Pr), and probability of mortality (Pm) parameterized against field observations of black spruce (Picea mariana (Mill.) BSP), interior Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii var. glauca (Beissn.) Franco), and western hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla (Raf.) Sarg.). A hypothetical positive step-change in mean tree growth was imposed half way through the simulations and landscape-scale responses were then evaluated by comparing pre- and post-stimulus periods. Imposing a 100% increase in tree growth above calibrated predictions (i.e., contemporary rates) only translated into 36% to 41% increases in forest biomass density. This corresponded with a tree-growth elasticity of forest biomass (εG,SB) ranging from 0.33 to 0.55. The inelastic nature of stand biomass density was attributed to the dependence of mortality on intensity of competition and tree size, which decreased stand density by 353 to 495 trees ha−1, and decreased biomass residence time by 10 to 23 years. Values of εG,SB depended on the magnitude of the stimulus. For example, a retrospective scenario in which tree growth increased from 50% below contemporary rates up to contemporary rates indicated values of εG,SB ranging from 0.66 to 0.75. We conclude that: (1) effects of warming and increasing atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide and reactive nitrogen on biomass production are greatly diminished, but not entirely precluded, scaling up from individual trees to forest landscapes; (2) the magnitude of decoupling is greater for a contemporary baseline than it is for a pre-industrial baseline; and (3) differences in the magnitude of decoupling among species were relatively small. To advance beyond these estimates, studies must test the unverified assumptions that effects of tree size and stand competition on rates of recruitment, mortality, and growth are independent of climate change and atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide and nitrogen.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2018-01-06
      DOI: 10.3390/f9010021
      Issue No: Vol. 9, No. 1 (2018)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 9, Pages 1: Site- and Species-Specific Influences on
           Sub-Alpine Conifer Growth in Mt. Rainier National Park, USA

    • Authors: Myesa Legendre-Fixx, Leander Anderegg, Ailene Ettinger, Janneke HilleRisLambers
      First page: 1
      Abstract: Identifying the factors that influence the climate sensitivity of treeline species is critical to understanding carbon sequestration, forest dynamics, and conservation in high elevation forest/meadow ecotones. Using tree cores from four sub-alpine conifer species collected from three sides of Mt. Rainier, WA, USA, we investigated the influences of species identity and sites with different local climates on radial growth–climate relationships. We created chronologies for each species at each site, determined influential plant-relevant annual and seasonal climatic variables influencing growth, and investigated how the strength of climate sensitivity varied across species and location. Overall, similar climate variables constrained growth on all three sides of the mountain for each of the four study species. Summer warmth positively influenced radial growth, whereas snow, spring warmth, previous summer warmth, and spring humidity negatively influenced growth. We discovered only a few subtle differences in the climate sensitivity of co-occurring species at the same site and between the same species at different sites in pairwise comparisons. A model including species by climate interactions provided the best balance between parsimony and fit, but did not lead to substantially greater predictive power relative to a model without site or species interactions. Our results imply that at treeline in moist temperate regions like Mt. Rainier, the same climatic variables drive annual variation in growth across species and locations, despite species differences in physiology and site differences in mean climates.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-12-22
      DOI: 10.3390/f9010001
      Issue No: Vol. 9, No. 1 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 9, Pages 2: Growing Season Stem Water Status Assessment of
           Qinghai Spruce through the Sap Flow and Stem Radial Variations in the
           Qilian Mountains of China

    • Authors: Quanyan Tian, Zhibin He, Shengchun Xiao, Jun Du, Xiaomei Peng, Longfei Chen, Pengfei Lin, Xi Zhu, Aijun Ding
      First page: 2
      Abstract: Global climate change is likely to change precipitation patterns with consequences for tree water use and growth in semi-arid areas. However, little is known about the effects of variability in precipitation on growth- and water-related physiological processes of native trees in dry areas of northwestern China. In this study, sap flow and stem radial variability in four Qinghai spruce trees (Picea crassifolia) were monitored in the Qilian Mountains, China. Tree water deficit (ΔW) and basal area increment (BAI) were calculated using stem radial variation; water-use efficiency (WUE) was then estimated as the ratio of BAI and sap flow (Jt). The results showed that sap flow density (Js) increased logarithmically with increasing ΔW when ΔW < 50 μm, and then gradually stabilized. Multiple factor generalized additive models (GAM) showed that Js was closely related to all measured environmental variables except for daily mean temperature and relative air humidity. ΔW was related to the minimum daily temperature and soil water content. WUE exhibited higher values in early July. Low WUE was observed under conditions of prolonged dry weather, but it quickly increased during rainy days. WUE decreased after precipitation events due to high transpiration. We concluded that, in these semi-arid areas, precipitation is the most important controlling factor in tree growth and transpiration.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-12-22
      DOI: 10.3390/f9010002
      Issue No: Vol. 9, No. 1 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 9, Pages 6: Feasibility of Google Tango and Kinect for
           Crowdsourcing Forestry Information

    • Authors: Juha Hyyppä, Juho-Pekka Virtanen, Anttoni Jaakkola, Xiaowei Yu, Hannu Hyyppä, Xinlian Liang
      First page: 6
      Abstract: In this paper, we demonstrate the feasibility of using the Microsoft Kinect and Google Tango frame-based depth sensors for individual tree stem measurements and reconstruction for the purpose of forest inventory. Conventionally field reference data in forest inventory are collected at tree and sample plot level by means of manual measurements (e.g., a caliper), which are both labor-intensive and time-consuming. In this study, color (i.e., red, green and blue channels, RGB) and range images acquired by a Kinect and Tango systems were processed and used to extract tree diameter measurements for the individual tree stems. For this, 121 reference stem diameter measurements were made with tape and caliper. Kinect-derived tree diameters agreed with tape measurements to a 1.90 cm root-mean-square error (RMSE). The stem curve from the ground to the diameter at breast height agreed with a bias of 0.7 cm and random error of 0.8 cm with respect to the reference trunk. For Tango measurements, the obtained stem diameters matched those from tape measurement with an RMSE of 0.73 cm, having an average bias of 0.3 cm. As highly portable and inexpensive systems, both Kinect and Tango provide an easy way to collect tree stem diameter and stem curve information vital to forest inventory. These inexpensive instruments may in future compete with both terrestrial and mobile laser scanning or conventional fieldwork using calipers or tape. Accuracy is adequate for practical applications in forestry. Measurements made using Kinect and Tango type systems could also be applied in crowdsourcing context.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-12-21
      DOI: 10.3390/f9010006
      Issue No: Vol. 9, No. 1 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 9, Pages 7: Elevational Shifts in the Topographic Position
           of Polylepis Forest Stands in the Andes of Southern Peru

    • Authors: Johanna Toivonen, Carlos Gonzales-Inca, Maaike Bader, Kalle Ruokolainen, Michael Kessler
      First page: 7
      Abstract: The patchy distribution of high-Andean treeline forests has provoked discussion about the relative importance of anthropogenic and climatic causes of this pattern, both of which vary with topography. We aimed to understand the topographic controls on the distribution of Polylepis subsericans treeline forests in the Andes of southern Peru, and the changes in these controls along an elevational gradient. We mapped Polylepis forests in the Cordillera Urubamba, Cusco, using high-resolution aerial images and related forest cover to topographic variables extracted from a digital terrain model (30-m resolution). The variables were selected based on their expected biological relevance for tree growth at high elevations. We constructed logistic regression models of forest cover, separately for each of five 100-m elevational belts. To deal with spatial autocorrelation, models were based on randomized 10% subsampling of the data with 1000 repetitions. The results suggest a consistent shift in topographic preference with elevation, with forests at lower elevations showing a preference for topographically protected sites near rivers and forests at higher elevations being increasingly restricted to north-facing and well-drained sites. Our study offers the first indication of the ability of Andean treeline forests to benefit from the topographic heterogeneity of the high-Andes. Providing that dispersal and establishment are possible, local relocation between microsites could help these forests to persist regionally in spite of changing climatic conditions.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-12-22
      DOI: 10.3390/f9010007
      Issue No: Vol. 9, No. 1 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 9, Pages 8: Characterizing the Intensity and Dynamics of
           Land-Use Change in the Mara River Basin, East Africa

    • Authors: Hosea Mwangi, Padia Lariu, Stefan Julich, Sopan Patil, Morag McDonald, Karl-Heinz Feger
      First page: 8
      Abstract: The objective of this study was to analyze patterns, dynamics and processes of land-use/cover changes in the transboundary Mara River Basin in East Africa. We specifically focused on deforestation and expansion of agriculture in the watershed. The intensity analysis approach was used to analyze data from satellite imagery-derived land-use/cover maps. Results indicate that swap change accounted for more than 50% of the overall change, which shows a very dynamic landscape transformation. Transition from closed forest to open forest was found to be a dominant landscape change, as opposed to a random change. Similarly, transition from open forest to small-scale agriculture was also found to be a dominant transition. This suggests a trend (pathway) of deforestation from closed forest to small-scale agriculture, with open forest as a transitional land cover. The observed deforestation may be attributed to continuous encroachment and a series of excisions of the forest reserve. Transition from rangeland to mechanized agriculture was found to be a dominant land-use change, which was attributed to change in land tenure. These findings are crucial for designing strategies and integrated watershed management policies to arrest further deforestation in the forest reserves as well as to sustainably control expansion of agriculture.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-12-22
      DOI: 10.3390/f9010008
      Issue No: Vol. 9, No. 1 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 9, Pages 9: Projecting the Range Shifts in Climatically
           

    • Authors: Jinghua Huang, Guoqing Li, Jie Li, Xiaoqin Zhang, Meijie Yan, Sheng Du
      First page: 9
      Abstract: Understanding the impact of climate change on range shifts in climatically suitable habitats of tree species is important for national afforestation planning, which can enhance the adaptation of tree plantation to climate change through movement of tree to follow suitable climatic conditions. Here, we overlap the current and future climate-related ranges of Chinese sea buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides subsp. sinensis), an important tree used for afforestation in China, to estimate the range shift in three geographic dimensions (latitude, longitude and elevation) between 2000 and 2070, which are projected by the maximum entropy algorithm (MaxEnt) under current climate conditions and four climate change scenarios (RCP2.6, RCP4.5, RCP6.0, and RCP8.5). Our results show that the performance of the MaxEnt is highly accurate, with test AUC (area under the receiver operating characteristic curve) value of 0.91, Kappa value of 0.83 and predicted accuracy of 92%. About 10.7% area of land in China is climatically suitable for Chinese sea buckthorn plantation. Low representative concentration paths will have more effect on loss of climatic range and less effect on expansion of climatic range for Chinese sea buckthorn, while the impacts of high representative concentration path is the opposite. The centroids of climatic ranges will shift westward or northwestward at the rate of 10.4–22 km per decade, and the centroids of altitude will shift upward at the rate of 43–128 m per decade. The expansion area of climatically suitable habitat, covering 2.6–5.2 × 105 km2, is expected to be mainly located in parts of Qinghai, Ningxia, Gansu, Sichuan, Liaoning, and Jilin provinces; these areas should be monitored for planting of Chinese sea buckthorn in the future.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-12-22
      DOI: 10.3390/f9010009
      Issue No: Vol. 9, No. 1 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 9, Pages 10: A Gene Encoding Scots Pine Antimicrobial
           Protein Sp-AMP2 (PR-19) Confers Increased Tolerance against Botrytis
           cinerea in Transgenic Tobacco

    • Authors: Emad Jaber, Andriy Kovalchuk, Tommaso Raffaello, Susanna Keriö, Teemu Teeri, Fred Asiegbu
      First page: 10
      Abstract: Both the establishment of sustainable forestry practices and the improvement of commercially grown trees require better understanding of mechanisms used by forest trees to combat microbial pathogens. We investigated the contribution of a gene encoding Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) antimicrobial protein Sp-AMP2 (PR-19) to the host defenses to evaluate the potential of Sp-AMP genes as molecular markers for resistance breeding. We developed transgenic tobacco plants expressing the Sp-AMP2 gene. Transgenic plants showed a reduction in the size of lesions caused by the necrotrophic pathogen Botrytis cinerea. In order to investigate Sp-AMP2 gene expression level, four transgenic lines were tested in comparison to control and non-transgenic plants. No Sp-AMP2 transcripts were observed in any of the control and non-transgenic plants tested. The transcript of Sp-AMP2 was abundantly present in all transgenic lines. Sp-AMP2 was induced highly in response to the B. cinerea infection at 3 d.p.i. This study provides an insight into the role of Sp-AMP2 and its functional and ecological significance in the regulation of plant–pathogen interactions.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-12-23
      DOI: 10.3390/f9010010
      Issue No: Vol. 9, No. 1 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 9, Pages 11: Fungal Community and Ligninolytic Enzyme
           Activities in Quercus deserticola Trel. Litter from Forest Fragments with
           Increasing Levels of Disturbance

    • Authors: Jesús Rosales-Castillo, Ken Oyama, Ma. Vázquez-Garcidueñas, Rafael Aguilar-Romero, Felipe García-Oliva, Gerardo Vázquez-Marrufo
      First page: 11
      Abstract: Litter fungal communities and their ligninolytic enzyme activities (laccase, Mn-peroxidase, and lignin-peroxidase) play a vital role in forest biogeochemical cycles by breaking down plant cell wall polymers, including recalcitrant lignin. However, litter fungal communities and ligninolytic enzyme activities have rarely been studied in Neotropical, non-coniferous forests. Here, we found no significant differences in litter ligninolytic enzyme activities from well preserved, moderately disturbed, and heavily disturbed Quercus deserticola Trel. forests in central Mexico. However, we did find seasonal effects on enzyme activities: during the dry season, we observed lower laccase, and increased Mn-peroxidase and lignin-peroxidase activities, and in the rainy season, Mn-peroxidase and lignin-peroxidase activities were lower, while laccase activity peaked. Fungal diversity (Shannon-Weaver and Simpson indices) based on ITS-rDNA analyses decreased with increased disturbance, and principal component analysis showed that litter fungal communities are structured differently between forest types. White-rot Polyporales and Auriculariales only occurred in the well preserved forest, and a high number of Ascomycota were shared between forests. While the degree of forest disturbance significantly affected the litter fungal community structure, the ligninolytic enzyme activities remained unaffected, suggesting functional redundancy and a possible role of generalist Ascomycota taxa in litter delignification. Forest conservation and restoration strategies must account for leaf litter and its associated fungal community.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-12-23
      DOI: 10.3390/f9010011
      Issue No: Vol. 9, No. 1 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 9, Pages 12: Responses of Tree Seedlings near the Alpine
           Treeline to Delayed Snowmelt and Reduced Sky Exposure

    • Authors: Maaike Bader, Hannah Loranger, Gerhard Zotz, Glenda Mendieta-Leiva
      First page: 12
      Abstract: Earlier snowmelt changes spring stress exposure and growing-season length, possibly causing shifts in plant species dominance. If such shifts involve trees, this may lead to changes in treeline position. We hypothesized that earlier snowmelt would negatively affect the performance of tree seedlings near the treeline due to higher spring stress levels, but less so if seedlings were protected from the main stress factors of night frosts and excess solar radiation. We exposed seedlings of five European treeline tree species: Larix decidua, Picea abies, Pinus cembra, Pinus uncinata, and Sorbus aucuparia to two snow-cover treatments (early and late melting, with about two weeks difference) combined with reduced sky exposure during the day (shading) or night (night warming), repeated in two years, at a site about 200 m below the regional treeline elevation. Physiological stress levels (as indicated by lower Fv/Fm) in the first weeks after emergence from snow were higher in early-emerging seedlings. As expected, shade reduced stress, but contrary to expectation, night warming did not. However, early- and late-emerging seedlings did not differ overall in their growth or survival, and the interaction with shading was inconsistent between years. Overall, shading had the strongest effect, decreasing stress levels and mortality (in the early-emerging seedlings only), but also growth. A two-week difference in snow-cover duration did not strongly affect the seedlings, although even smaller differences have been shown to affect productivity in alpine and arctic tundra vegetation. Still, snowmelt timing cannot be discarded as important for regeneration in subalpine conditions, because (1) it is likely more critical in very snow-rich or snow-poor mountains or landscape positions; and (2) it can change (sub)alpine vegetation phenology and productivity, thereby affecting plant interactions, an aspect that should be considered in future studies.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-12-25
      DOI: 10.3390/f9010012
      Issue No: Vol. 9, No. 1 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 9, Pages 13: Comparison of Wood Quality of Douglas Fir and
           Spruce from Afforested Agricultural Land and Permanent Forest Land in the
           Czech Republic

    • Authors: Aleš Zeidler, Vlastimil Borůvka, Ondřej Schönfelder
      First page: 13
      Abstract: This study compares the quality of wood from two distinct sites in the Czech Republic—from former afforested agricultural land and forest land. We compared the properties of Norway spruce wood (Picea abies Karst.) and Scots pine wood (Pinus sylvestris L.), the most important domestic tree species, to Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirbel) Franco), a North American tree species and a potential substitute for the domestic spruce. Wood density, modulus of elasticity (MOE), modulus of rupture (MOR) and impact bending strength were the properties tested that were used for comparing tree species. Without taking into consideration the site, the highest density values from the tested tree species were obtained for Douglas fir (0.568 g·cm−3), followed by the pine (0.508 g·cm−3) and the spruce (0.463 g·cm−3). The Douglas fir also dominated in the remaining assessed properties, whilst the influence of site was not confirmed, with the exception of MOE and MOR, and only for the Douglas fir wood, wherein higher values were obtained for forest land. In terms assessed Douglas fir properties, it exceeds the domestic softwoods and represents a possible suitable replacement for them. The site only plays a role in terms of the Douglas fir, and only for certain properties.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-12-25
      DOI: 10.3390/f9010013
      Issue No: Vol. 9, No. 1 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 9, Pages 14: Effects of Warming and Precipitation
           Manipulation on Fine Root Dynamics of Pinus densiflora Sieb. et Zucc.
           Seedlings

    • Authors: Seung Han, Seongjun Kim, Guanlin Li, Hanna Chang, Soon Yun, Jiae An, Yowhan Son
      First page: 14
      Abstract: Air warming (TC: control; TW: +3 °C) and precipitation manipulation (PC: control; PD: −30%; PI: +30%) were established to examine effects of these treatments on fine root production (FRP), fine root mortality (FRM), and total root (coarse and fine root) biomass in 33- to 59-month-old Pinus densiflora Sieb. et Zucc. seedlings for two years. We hypothesized that warming and altered precipitation would affect the growth, death, and biomass of fine roots by changing soil temperature and soil water availability. Mean annual FRP and total root biomass were significantly altered by only precipitation manipulation: they were 29.3% (during the two-year period) and 69.0% (after the entire two years) higher, respectively, in PD plots than in PC plots, respectively. In contrast, only warming had a significant effect on mean annual FRM, being 13.2% lower in TW plots than TC plots during the two-year period. Meanwhile, fine root biomass was affected negatively and simultaneously by both soil temperature and soil moisture. It seemed that fine root dynamics have changed so that they maintain their systems in response to the altered soil temperature and moisture. The current study adds significant knowledge for understanding the fine root dynamics of P. densiflora seedlings under altered temperature and precipitation regimes.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-12-25
      DOI: 10.3390/f9010014
      Issue No: Vol. 9, No. 1 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 9, Pages 15: A Bayesian Belief Network Approach to Predict
           Damages Caused by Disturbance Agents

    • Authors: Alfred Radl, Manfred Lexer, Harald Vacik
      First page: 15
      Abstract: In mountain forests of Central Europe, storm and snow breakage as well as bark beetles are the prevailing major disturbances. The complex interrelatedness between climate, disturbance agents, and forest management increases the need for an integrative approach explicitly addressing the multiple interactions between environmental changes, forest management, and disturbance agents to support forest resource managers in adaptive management. Empirical data with a comprehensive coverage for modelling the susceptibility of forests and the impact of disturbance agents are rare, thus making probabilistic models, based on expert knowledge, one of the few modelling approaches that are able to handle uncertainties due to the available information. Bayesian belief networks (BBNs) are a kind of probabilistic graphical model that has become very popular to practitioners and scientists mainly due to considerations of risk and uncertainties. In this contribution, we present a development methodology to define and parameterize BBNs based on expert elicitation and approximation. We modelled storm and bark beetle disturbances agents, analyzed effects of the development methodology on model structure, and evaluated behavior with stand data from Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst.) forests in southern Austria. The high vulnerability of the case study area according to different disturbance agents makes it particularly suitable for testing the BBN model.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-12-26
      DOI: 10.3390/f9010015
      Issue No: Vol. 9, No. 1 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 9, Pages 16: Forest Floor and Mineral Soil Respiration Rates
           in a Northern Minnesota Red Pine Chronosequence

    • Authors: Matthew Powers, Randall Kolka, John Bradford, Brian Palik, Martin Jurgensen
      First page: 16
      Abstract: We measured total soil CO2 efflux (RS) and efflux from the forest floor layers (RFF) in red pine (Pinus resinosa Ait.) stands of different ages to examine relationships between stand age and belowground C cycling. Soil temperature and RS were often lower in a 31-year-old stand (Y31) than in 9-year-old (Y9), 61-year-old (Y61), or 123-year-old (Y123) stands. This pattern was most apparent during warm summer months, but there were no consistent differences in RFF among different-aged stands. RFF represented an average of 4–13% of total soil respiration, and forest floor removal increased moisture content in the mineral soil. We found no evidence of an age effect on the temperature sensitivity of RS, but respiration rates in Y61 and Y123 were less sensitive to low soil moisture than RS in Y9 and Y31. Our results suggest that soil respiration’s sensitivity to soil moisture may change more over the course of stand development than its sensitivity to soil temperature in red pine, and that management activities that alter landscape-scale age distributions in red pine forests could have significant impacts on rates of soil CO2 efflux from this forest type.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-12-29
      DOI: 10.3390/f9010016
      Issue No: Vol. 9, No. 1 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 438: Sequential Management of Commercial Rosewood
           (Aniba rosaeodora Ducke) Plantations in Central Amazonia: Seeking
           Sustainable Models for Essential Oil Production

    • Authors: Pedro Krainovic, Danilo Almeida, Diego Desconci, Valdir Veiga-Júnior, Paulo Sampaio
      First page: 438
      Abstract: Rosewood (Aniba rosaeodora Ducke) is an endangered tree that produces essential oil of high commercial value. However, technical-scientific knowledge about cultivation is scarce and studies are needed to examine the management viability. The current study evaluated rosewood aboveground biomass management, measuring the export of nutrients resulting from harvesting and testing sustainable management models. The crown of 36 rosewood trees were pruned and 108 trees cut at 50 cm above the soil in two regions in Central Amazonia. Post-harvest performance of sprouting shoots was evaluated and after, sprouting shoots were pruned so that the development of two, three and all shoots was permitted. Nutrient stock estimation was calculated as the product of mass and nutrient concentration, which allowed nutritional replacement to be estimated. The pruning facilitates regrowth by 40.11% of the initial mass while by cut regrow 1.45%. Chemical attributes of regrowth biomass differed significantly prior to management and regrowth had a significant correlation with the reserves in root tissues and with the pre -management status of the individual tree. Driving sprouts resulted in significantly larger growth increments and may provide a form of management that can viably be adopted. Biomass sequential management resulted in high nutrient exports and the amount of fertilizer needed for replenishment depended on the intensity and frequency of cropping. Compared with the cut of the tree, pruning the canopy reduces fertilizers that are required to replenish amount by 44%, decreasing to 26.37% in the second rotation. The generated knowledge contributes to this silvicultural practice as it becomes ecologically and economically viable.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-11-28
      DOI: 10.3390/f8120438
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 12 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 461: Assessing Forest Classification in a
           Landscape-Level Framework: An Example from Central European Forests

    • Authors: Antonín Kusbach, Michal Friedl, Václav Zouhar, Tomáš Mikita, Jan Šebesta
      First page: 461
      Abstract: Traditional land classifications developed on the basis of what was once prevailing expert knowledge have since largely become obsolete. We assessed expert knowledge based landscape-level units delineated in central European temperate forests: Natural Forest Areas (NFA) and Forest Vegetation Zones (FVZ). Our focus was determining to what degree these units reflect vegetation-environmental relationships. After considering as many as 49,000 plots with vegetation and 25,000 plots with environmental data within a territory of the Czech Republic, we analyzed 11,885 plots. We used multivariate statistics to discriminate between the landscape-level units. While NFAs performed extremely well, FVZ results were less successful. Classification of the environment provided better results than classification of vegetation for both the Hercynicum and Carpaticum phytogeographic part of the Czech Republic. Taking into account significance of the environment in our analysis, a delimitation of FVZs and similar vegetation-driven structures worldwide via explicit a priori stratification by tree species without consideration of environmental limits would not be supported by our analysis. We suggest not relying only on vegetation in classification analyses, but also including the significant environmental factors for direct classification of FVZ and units in particular in altered vegetation composition setting such as the central European forests. We propose a novel interpretation of FVZ via appropriate vegetation stratification throughout the environment used in conjunction with the zonal concept. Understanding of coarse-scaled vegetation-environmental relationships is not only fundamental in forest ecology and forest management, but is also essential for improving lower classification levels. Valuable expert knowledge should be combined with formal quantification, which is consistent with recent calls for advanced multidisciplinary ecological classifications in Europe and North America and for forming classifications in Asia.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-11-23
      DOI: 10.3390/f8120461
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 12 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 462: Hoof Growth Rates of the European Roe Deer
           (Capreolus capreolus) for Dating the Hoof’s Isotopic Archive

    • Authors: Benjamin Hafner, Andreas König, Karl Auerswald
      First page: 462
      Abstract: Hooves preserve the isotopic information laid down during their growth and may be used for reconstruction of animal feeding history. To assign certain positions along hooves to corresponding times, growth rates are required. Hoof growth rates are known for domestic animals; however, they cannot be obtained easily in wild animals. We estimated the hoof growth rate of the European roe deer (Capreolus capreolus L.) by using the immediate drop in δ13C along the hoof as a tag that is assigned to the date of maize (Zea mays L.) harvest. Keratin samples were taken each mm along 17 hooves and analyzed for their δ13C. A linear regression between (1) time differences of expected maize harvest to animal death and (2) distances between the points of the δ13C drop to the periople yielded the growth rate. Mean hoof growth rate was 0.122 mm/day (95% CI 0.014 mm/day) and 0.365%/day (±0.026%/day) of the hoof length and within the range of domestic animals. The method may be applied to determine growth rates of other incrementally growing tissues. Our estimated growth rate fosters dating isotopic information in hooves, facilitating research on feed resources and space use of roe deer.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-11-24
      DOI: 10.3390/f8120462
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 12 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 463: Impacts of Global Change on Mediterranean
           Forests and Their Services

    • Authors: Josep Peñuelas, Jordi Sardans, Iolanda Filella, Marc Estiarte, Joan Llusià, Romà Ogaya, Jofre Carnicer, Mireia Bartrons, Albert Rivas-Ubach, Oriol Grau, Guille Peguero, Olga Margalef, Sergi Pla-Rabés, Constantí Stefanescu, Dolores Asensio, Catherine Preece, Lei Liu, Aleixandre Verger, Adrià Barbeta, Ander Achotegui-Castells, Albert Gargallo-Garriga, Dominik Sperlich, Gerard Farré-Armengol, Marcos Fernández-Martínez, Daijun Liu, Chao Zhang, Ifigenia Urbina, Marta Camino-Serrano, Maria Vives-Ingla, Benjamin Stocker, Manuela Balzarolo, Rossella Guerrieri, Marc Peaucelle, Sara Marañón-Jiménez, Kevin Bórnez-Mejías, Zhaobin Mu, Adrià Descals, Alejandro Castellanos, Jaume Terradas
      First page: 463
      Abstract: The increase in aridity, mainly by decreases in precipitation but also by higher temperatures, is likely the main threat to the diversity and survival of Mediterranean forests. Changes in land use, including the abandonment of extensive crop activities, mainly in mountains and remote areas, and the increases in human settlements and demand for more resources with the resulting fragmentation of the landscape, hinder the establishment of appropriate management tools to protect Mediterranean forests and their provision of services and biodiversity. Experiments and observations indicate that if changes in climate, land use and other components of global change, such as pollution and overexploitation of resources, continue, the resilience of many forests will likely be exceeded, altering their structure and function and changing, mostly decreasing, their capacity to continue to provide their current services. A consistent assessment of the impacts of the changes, however, remains elusive due to the difficulty of obtaining simultaneous and complete data for all scales of the impacts in the same forests, areas and regions. We review the impacts of climate change and other components of global change and their interactions on the terrestrial forests of Mediterranean regions, with special attention to their impacts on ecosystem services. Management tools for counteracting the negative effects of global change on Mediterranean ecosystem- services are finally discussed.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-11-24
      DOI: 10.3390/f8120463
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 12 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 464: Influence of Chain Filing, Tree Species and
           Chain Type on Cross Cutting Efficiency and Health Risk

    • Authors: Jurij Marenče, Matevž Mihelič, Anton Poje
      First page: 464
      Abstract: As one of the major parts of the chainsaw, the cutting chain has an important impact on productivity and health risk in motor-manual harvesting. The efficiency of cross cutting and quantity of sawdust produced in relation to different cutting chain settings, chain producers and wood species has been measured. The trial was set up to include two tree species (fir and beech) and saw chains from two different producers. The chains were filed at three different top plate filing angles and depth height gauges. All factors were significant in terms of cutting efficiency and wood dust production. The top plate angle recommended by producers proved to be the most efficient, with the smallest quantity of inhalable wood dust. Cutting chain settings can be adapted to the specific requirements of the user; however, safe working practices should be followed. Significant differences between chain producers mean that users should conduct rational decision making when choosing a saw chain.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-11-24
      DOI: 10.3390/f8120464
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 12 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 465: A Dynamic System of Growth and Yield Equations
           for Pinus patula

    • Authors: Wenceslao Santiago-García, Eloísa Pérez-López, Gerónimo Quiñonez-Barraza, Gerardo Rodríguez-Ortiz, Elías Santiago-García, Faustino Ruiz-Aquino, Juan Tamarit-Urias
      First page: 465
      Abstract: Sustainable forest management needs tools that can predict how silvicultural treatments will affect cutting stands. Growth and yield systems are an example of these tools because they can represent periods of growth and yield of a stand in numerical terms. The aim of this research was to develop a dynamic growth and yield timber system with the stand-level models approach for Pinus patula in even-aged forests of Ixtlán de Juárez, Oaxaca, Mexico. The data was obtained from two consecutive remeasurements of 66 permanent 400 m2 plots. With this information, prediction and projection equations in the algebraic difference approach for mean diameter at breast height (DBH), basal area and total volume per hectare were fitted through the seemingly unrelated regression technique. Mortality was fitted by the non-linear least squares method. A model of dominant height and site index (Levakovic II) with polymorphism was related to basal area, DBH, total volume ha−1 and mortality equations. The growth system generated an average optimal age rotation of 32 years when the current annual increment (CAI) was the same as the mean annual increment (MAI) for the mean site index and a density of 1500 trees ha−1 at five years. The growth and yield system developed is an important tool for planning forest management of even-aged P. patula forests.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-11-28
      DOI: 10.3390/f8120465
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 12 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 466: Applying Topographic Classification, Based on
           the Hydrological Process, to Design Habitat Linkages for Climate Change

    • Authors: Yongwon Mo, Dong Lee, Keunyea Song, Ho Kim, Soo Park
      First page: 466
      Abstract: The use of biodiversity surrogates has been discussed in the context of designing habitat linkages to support the migration of species affected by climate change. Topography has been proposed as a useful surrogate in the coarse-filter approach, as the hydrological process caused by topography such as erosion and accumulation is the basis of ecological processes. However, some studies that have designed topographic linkages as habitat linkages, so far have focused much on the shape of the topography (morphometric topographic classification) with little emphasis on the hydrological processes (generic topographic classification) to find such topographic linkages. We aimed to understand whether generic classification was valid for designing these linkages. First, we evaluated whether topographic classification is more appropriate for describing actual (coniferous and deciduous) and potential (mammals and amphibians) habitat distributions. Second, we analyzed the difference in the linkages between the morphometric and generic topographic classifications. The results showed that the generic classification represented the actual distribution of the trees, but neither the morphometric nor the generic classification could represent the potential animal distributions adequately. Our study demonstrated that the topographic classes, according to the generic classification, were arranged successively according to the flow of water, nutrients, and sediment; therefore, it would be advantageous to secure linkages with a width of 1 km or more. In addition, the edge effect would be smaller than with the morphometric classification. Accordingly, we suggest that topographic characteristics, based on the hydrological process, are required to design topographic linkages for climate change.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-11-27
      DOI: 10.3390/f8120466
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 12 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 467: Inventory of Close-to-Nature Forests Based on
           the Combination of Airborne LiDAR Data and Aerial Multispectral Images
           Using a Single-Tree Approach

    • Authors: Ivan Sačkov, Maroš Sedliak, Ladislav Kulla, Tomáš Bucha
      First page: 467
      Abstract: This study is concerned with the assessment of application possibilities for remote sensing data within a forest inventory in close-to-nature forests. A combination of discrete airborne laser scanning data and multispectral aerial images separately evaluated main tree and forest stand characteristics (i.e., the number of trees, mean height and diameter, tree species, tree height, tree diameter, and tree volume). We used eCognition software (Trimble GeoSpatial, Munich, Germany) for tree species classification and reFLex software (National Forest Centre, Zvolen, Slovakia) for individual tree detection as well as for forest inventory attribute estimations. The accuracy assessment was conducted at the ProSilva demo site Smolnícka Osada (Eastern Slovakia, Central Europe), which has been under selective management for more than 60 years. The remote sensing data were taken using a scanner (Leica ALS70-CM) and camera (Leica RCD30) from an average height of 1034 m, and the ground reference data contained the measured positions and dimensions of 1151 trees in 45 plots distributed across the region. This approach identified 73% of overstory and 28% of understory trees. Tree species classification within overstory trees resulted in an overall accuracy slightly greater than 65%. We also found that the mean difference between the remote-based results and ground data was −0.3% for tree height, 1.1% for tree diameter, and 1.9% for stem volume. At the stand level, the mean difference reached values of 0.4%, 17.9%, and −21.4% for mean height, mean diameter, and growing stock, respectively.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-11-28
      DOI: 10.3390/f8120467
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 12 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 468: Characteristics of Logging Businesses across
           Virginia’s Diverse Physiographic Regions

    • Authors: Scott Barrett, M. Bolding, John Munsell
      First page: 468
      Abstract: Logging businesses play an important role in implementing forest management plans and delivering the raw material needed by forest products mills. Understanding the characteristics of the logging workforce can help forest managers make better decisions related to harvesting operations. We surveyed logging business owners across Virginia’s three physiographic regions (Mountains, Piedmont, and Coastal Plain). Overall, logging businesses reported an average production rate of 761.37 t/business/week, but this varied substantially by region, with the highest production rates in the Coastal Plain (1403.55 t/business/week), followed by the Piedmont (824.69 t/business/week) and the Mountains (245.42 t/business/week). Many operations in the Mountains rely primarily on manual felling (66.6% of respondents) and these operations often have lower production rates. Across all regions, 81.7% of reported production came from operations that primarily utilized rubber-tired feller-bunchers for felling. Logging businesses were sorted based on reported production capacity and then divided into three groups (high, medium, and low production) based on total reported production. Across all regions, the majority of reported production was produced by the high production logging businesses. This was highest in the Piedmont, where the high production businesses accounted for 74.8% of total reported production.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-11-28
      DOI: 10.3390/f8120468
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 12 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 469: Modeling Fuel Treatment Leverage: Encounter
           Rates, Risk Reduction, and Suppression Cost Impacts

    • Authors: Matthew Thompson, Karin Riley, Dan Loeffler, Jessica Haas
      First page: 469
      Abstract: The primary theme of this study is the cost-effectiveness of fuel treatments at multiple scales of investment. We focused on the nexus of fuel management and suppression response planning, designing spatial fuel treatment strategies to incorporate landscape features that provide control opportunities that are relevant to fire operations. Our analysis explored the frequency and magnitude of fire-treatment encounters, which are critical determinants of treatment efficacy. Additionally, we examined avoided area burned, avoided suppression costs, and avoided damages, and combined all three under the umbrella of leverage to explore multiple dimensions with which to characterize return on investment. We chose the Sierra National Forest, California, USA, as our study site, due to previous work providing relevant data and analytical products, and because it has the potential for large, long-duration fires and corresponding potential for high suppression expenditures. Modeling results generally confirmed that fire-treatment encounters are rare, such that median suppression cost savings are zero, but in extreme years, savings can more than offset upfront investments. Further, reductions in risk can expand areas where moderated suppression response would be appropriate, and these areas can be mapped in relation to fire control opportunities.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-11-29
      DOI: 10.3390/f8120469
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 12 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 470: Genetic Diversity and Its Spatial Distribution
           in Self-Regenerating Norway Spruce and Scots Pine Stands

    • Authors: Rita Verbylaitė, Alfas Pliūra, Vaidotas Lygis, Vytautas Suchockas, Jurga Jankauskienė, Juozas Labokas
      First page: 470
      Abstract: Tree genetic diversity is among the most important factors determining the sustainability of forest ecosystems. The main aim of the present study was to track possible changes in genetic diversity of regenerating populations of Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) H. Karst) and Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) in areas subjected either to a natural disturbance (windthrows and subsequent clear-cutting of the affected spruce stand) or to a changed land-use legacy (pine regeneration on abandoned agricultural land) with the aim of testing whether the new forest generation retains the genetic diversity of the putative maternal stand. Eight highly polymorphic microsatellite loci were used to reveal the genetic diversity and its spatial distribution in the studied tree populations. Self-regenerating juveniles of Norway spruce and Scots pine were spatially random and as genetically diverse as in the putative maternal populations. Genetic differentiation between putatively maternal trees and regenerating juveniles was low for both species. A high genetic diversity and random spatial genetic structure revealed in the regenerating populations provides a basis for the formation of evolutionary and ecologically sound stands able to adapt to ever-changing climatic conditions. Information on the genetic dynamics of the studied natural populations of long-lived coniferous tree species may be important for evaluating possible changes in genetic diversity at a local scale following forest ecosystem disturbances and changes in land-use legacies.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-12-01
      DOI: 10.3390/f8120470
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 12 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 471: Predicting Future Seed Sourcing of Platycladus
           orientalis (L.) for Future Climates Using Climate Niche Models

    • Authors: Xian-Ge Hu, Tongli Wang, Si-Si Liu, Si-Qian Jiao, Kai-Hua Jia, Shan-Shan Zhou, Yuqing Jin, Yue Li, Yousry A. El-Kassaby, Jian-Feng Mao
      First page: 471
      Abstract: Climate niche modeling has been widely used to assess the impact of climate change on forest trees at the species level. However, geographically divergent tree populations are expected to respond differently to climate change. Considering intraspecific local adaptation in modeling species responses to climate change will thus improve the credibility and usefulness of climate niche models, particularly for genetic resources management. In this study, we used five Platycladus orientalis (L.) seed zones (Northwestern; Northern; Central; Southern; and Subtropical) covering the entire species range in China. A climate niche model was developed and used to project the suitable climatic conditions for each of the five seed zones for current and various future climate scenarios (Representative Concentration Pathways: RCP2.6, RCP4.5, RCP6.0, and RCP8.5). Our results indicated that the Subtropical seed zone would show consistent reduction for all climate change scenarios. The remaining seed zones, however, would experience various degrees of expansion in suitable habitat relative to their current geographic distributions. Most of the seed zones would gain suitable habitats at their northern distribution margins and higher latitudes. Thus, we recommend adjusting the current forest management strategies to mitigate the negative impacts of climate change.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-12-01
      DOI: 10.3390/f8120471
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 12 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 472: Response of Runoff and Sediment on Skid Trails
           of Varying Gradient and Traffic Intensity over a Two-Year Period

    • Authors: Meghdad Jourgholami, Eric Labelle, Jahangir Feghhi
      First page: 472
      Abstract: Compacted soil has lower water infiltration and hydraulic conductivity, which contributes to increased runoff and erosion on slopes. The aim of the present study was to assess runoff and sediment on three skidding trail longitudinal gradients (15%, 25%, and 35%) and different levels of machine traffic (low, medium, and high), over a two-year period following the impact in the Hyrcanian forest, Iran. The results show that trail gradient and traffic intensity have a significant effect on soil bulk density and total porosity on the skid trails. The average runoff amount varied significantly among trail gradients and ranged from 1.59 mm on the 15% trail gradient and 2.76 mm on the 25% trail gradient, to 4.76 mm on the 35% trail gradient in the low traffic intensity. Average sediment also increased significantly with increasing trail gradient. Average sediment was 0.01 kg m−2, 0.03 kg m−2, and 0.05 kg m−2 on the low traffic intensity in the first year for the 15%, 25%, and 35% trail gradients, respectively. The largest runoff and sediment occurred in the first year and stressed the need for applying forestry Best Management Practices such as the use of brush mats during harvesting operations, as well as the installation of water diversion structures or seeding immediately after initial soil compaction and disturbance, in order to protect the bare soil from heavy rainfall.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-12-02
      DOI: 10.3390/f8120472
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 12 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 473: Forest Site Classification in the Southern
           Andean Region of Ecuador: A Case Study of Pine Plantations to Collect a
           Base of Soil Attributes

    • Authors: Pablo Quichimbo, Leticia Jiménez, Darío Veintimilla, Alexander Tischer, Sven Günter, Reinhard Mosandl, Ute Hamer
      First page: 473
      Abstract: Forest site classification adapted to the respective site conditions is one prerequisite for sustainable silviculture. This work aims to initiate the forest site classification for pine plantations in the southern Andean region of Ecuador. Forest productivity, estimated by the dominant height of 20-year-old trees (DH20), was related to data from climate, topography, and soil using 23 plots installed in pine plantations in the province of Loja. Forest site productivity was classified as: low (class C: 13.4 m), middle (class B: 16.6 m), and high (Class A: 22.3 m). Strong determinants to differentiate the forest site classes were: the short to medium term available Ca and K stocks (organic layer + mineral soil standardized to a depth of 60 cm), soil acidity, the C:N ratio, clay and sand content, forest floor thickness, altitude, and slope. The lowest forest productivity (Class C) is mainly associated with the lowest short to medium term available K and Ca stocks. Whereas, in site classes with the highest forest productivity, pines could benefit from a more active microbial community releasing N and P, since the soil pH was about 1 unit less acidic. This is supported by the lowest forest floor thickness and the narrowest C:N ratio.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-12-02
      DOI: 10.3390/f8120473
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 12 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 474: Physical Conditions Regulate the Fungal to
           Bacterial Ratios of a Tropical Suspended Soil

    • Authors: Julian Donald, Sam Bonnett, Michael Cutler, Noreen Majalap, Pete Maxfield, M. D. Farnon Ellwood
      First page: 474
      Abstract: As a source of ‘suspended soils’, epiphytes contribute large amounts of organic matter to the canopy of tropical rain forests. Microbes associated with epiphytes are responsible for much of the nutrient cycling taking place in rain forest canopies. However, soils suspended far above the ground in living organisms differ from soil on the forest floor, and traditional predictors of soil microbial community composition and functioning (nutrient availability and the activity of soil organisms) are likely to be less important. We conducted an experiment in the rain forest biome at the Eden Project in the U.K. to explore how biotic and abiotic conditions determine microbial community composition and functioning in a suspended soil. To simulate their natural epiphytic lifestyle, bird’s nest ferns (Asplenium nidus) were placed on a custom-built canopy platform suspended 8 m above the ground. Ammonium nitrate and earthworm treatments were applied to ferns in a factorial design. Extracellular enzyme activity and Phospholipid Fatty Acid (PLFA) profiles were determined at zero, three and six months. We observed no significant differences in either enzyme activity or PLFA profiles between any of the treatments. Instead, we observed decreases in β-glucosidase and N-acetyl-glucosaminidase activity, and an increase in phenol oxidase activity across all treatments and controls over time. An increase in the relative abundance of fungi during the experiment meant that the microbial communities in the Eden Project ferns after six months were comparable with ferns sampled from primary tropical rain forest in Borneo.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-12-02
      DOI: 10.3390/f8120474
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 12 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 475: Phytoremediation Efficacy of Salix discolor
           and S. eriocephela on Adjacent Acidic Clay and Shale Overburden on a
           Former Mine Site: Growth, Soil, and Foliage Traits

    • Authors: Alex Mosseler, John E. Major
      First page: 475
      Abstract: Plants regularly experience suboptimal environments, but this can be particularly acute on highly-disturbed mine sites. Two North American willows—Salix discolor Muhl. (DIS) and S. eriocephala Michx. (ERI)—were established in common-garden field tests on two adjacent coal mine spoil sites: one with high clay content, the other with shale overburden. The high clay content site had 44% less productivity, a pH of 3.6, 42% clay content, high water holding capacity at saturation (64%), and high soil electrical conductivity (EC) of 3.9 mS cm−1. The adjacent shale overburden site had a pH of 6.8, and after removing 56.5% stone content, a high sand content (67.2%), low water holding capacity at saturation (23%), and an EC of 0.9 mS cm−1. The acidic clay soil had significantly greater Na (20×), Ca (2×), Mg (4.4×), S (10×), C (12×) and N (2×) than the shale overburden. Foliar concentrations from the acidic clay site had significantly greater Mg (1.5×), Mn (3.3×), Fe (5.6×), Al (4.6×), and S (2×) than the shale overburden, indicating that these elements are more soluble under acidic conditions. There was no overall species difference in growth; however, survival was greater for ERI than DIS on both sites, thus overall biomass yield was greater for ERI than DIS. Foliar concentrations of ERI were significantly greater than those of DIS for N (1.3×), Ca (1.5×), Mg (1.2×), Fe (2×), Al (1.5×), and S (1.5×). There were no significant negative relationships between metal concentrations and growth or biomass yield. Both willows showed large variation among genotypes within each species in foliar concentrations, and some clones of DIS and ERI had up to 16× the Fe and Al uptake on the acidic site versus the adjacent overburden. Genetic selection among species and genotypes may be useful for reclamation activities aimed at reducing specific metal concentrations on abandoned mine sites. Results show that, despite having a greater water holding capacity, the greater acidity of the clay site resulted in greater metal mobility—in particular Na—and thus a greater EC. It appears that the decline in productivity was not due to toxicity effects from the increased mobility of metals, but rather to low pH and moisture stress from very high soil Na/EC.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-12-02
      DOI: 10.3390/f8120475
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 12 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 476: Forest Planning Heuristics—Current
           Recommendations and Research Opportunities for s-Metaheuristics

    • Authors: Pete Bettinger, Kevin Boston
      First page: 476
      Abstract: Adaptive forest management requires planning and implementation of activities designed to maintain or improve forest conditions, and in support of these endeavors knowledge of silviculture, economics, operations research, and other allied fields are necessary. With regard to forest planning, traditional (exact) mathematical techniques along with heuristics have been demonstrated as useful in developing alternative courses of action for forest managers to consider. In this discussion paper, we present six areas of future work with regard to investigations into the development of heuristics, along with several recommendations that are based on our experiences. These areas include process improvements, reversion strategies, destruction and reconstruction strategies, intelligent or dynamic parameterization approaches, intelligent termination or transitioning approaches, and seeding strategies. We chose the six areas based on our experiences in developing forest planning heuristics. These areas reflect our opinion of where future research might concentrate. All of these areas of work have the potential to enhance the capabilities and effectiveness of heuristic approaches when applied to adaptive forest management problems.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-12-03
      DOI: 10.3390/f8120476
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 12 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 477: Aboveground Biomass Equations for Small Trees
           of Brutian Pine in Turkey to Facilitate Harvesting and Management

    • Authors: Mehmet Eker, Krishna P. Poudel, Ramazan Özçelik
      First page: 477
      Abstract: Brutian pine (Pinus brutia Ten.) is the most widespread conifer species in the Eastern Mediterranean. Aboveground biomass equations for small diameter brutian pine trees are needed for accurate fuel inventory and to assess carbon sequestration potential. In this study, we developed tree biomass models based on 143 brutian pine saplings measured in 11 research plots. Aboveground biomass (AGB) was modeled with a nonlinear mixed effects model which accounted for the variability among plots. The predicted total AGB was then distributed into foliage, branch and stem components. The Beta, Dirichlet, and multinomial logistic regressions were unbiased in their estimates of biomass component proportions. The Dirichlet regression has the advantage of an additive property and does not require non-standard data.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-12-03
      DOI: 10.3390/f8120477
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 12 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 478: On the Use of Hedonic Price Indices to
           Understand Ecosystem Service Provision from Urban Green Space in Five
           Latin American Megacities

    • Authors: Ursula Loret de Mola, Brenton Ladd, Sandra Duarte, Nils Borchard, Ruy Anaya La Rosa, Brian Zutta
      First page: 478
      Abstract: Latin American (LA) megacities are facing enormous challenges to provide welfare to millions of people who live in them. High rates of urbanization and limited administrative capacity of LA cities to plan and control urban growth have led to a critical deficit of urban green space, and therefore, to sub-optimal outcomes in terms of urban sustainability. This study seeks to assess the possibility of using real estate prices to provide an estimate of the monetary value of the ecosystem services provided by urban green space across five Latin American megacities: Bogota, Buenos Aires, Lima, Mexico City and Santiago de Chile. Using Google Earth images to quantify urban green space and multiple regression analysis, we evaluated the impact of urban green space, crime rates, business density and population density on real estate prices across the five mentioned megacities. In addition, for a subset of the data (Lima and Buenos Aires) we analyzed the effects of landscape ecology variables (green space patch size, connectivity, etc.) on real estate prices to provide a first insight into how the ecological attributes of urban green space can determine the level of ecosystem service provision in different urban contexts in Latin America. The results show a strong positive relationship between the presence of urban green space and real estate prices. Green space explains 52% of the variability in real estate prices across the five studied megacities. Population density, business density and crime had only minor impacts on real estate prices. Our analysis of the landscape ecology variables in Lima and Buenos Aires also show that the relationship between green space and price is context-specific, which indicates that further research is needed to better understand when and where ecological attributes of green space affect real estate prices so that managers of urban green space in LA cities can optimize ecological configuration to maximize ecosystem service provision from often limited green spaces.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-12-05
      DOI: 10.3390/f8120478
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 12 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 479: A Linkage among Tree Diameter, Height, Crown
           Base Height, and Crown Width 4-Variate Distribution and Their Growth
           Models: A 4-Variate Diffusion Process Approach

    • Authors: Petras Rupšys, Edmundas Petrauskas
      First page: 479
      Abstract: The evolution of the 4-variate probability distribution of the diameter at the breast height, total height, crown base height, and crown width against the age in a forest stand is of great interest to forest management and the evaluation of forest resources. This paper focuses on the Vasicek type 4-variate fixed effect stochastic differential equation (SDE) to quantify the dynamic of tree size components distribution against the age. The new derived 4-variate probability density function and its marginal univariate, bivariate, trivariate, and conditional univariate distributions are applied for the modeling of stand attributes such as the mean diameter, height, crown base height, crown width, volume, and slenderness. All parameters were estimated by the maximum likelihood procedure using a dataset of 1630 Scots pine trees (12 stands). The results were validated using a dataset of 699 Scots pine trees (five stands). A newly developed 4-variate simultaneous system of SDEs incorporated covariance structure driving changes in tree size components and improved predictions in one tree size component given the other tree size components in the system.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-12-04
      DOI: 10.3390/f8120479
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 12 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 480: Genetic Structure and Population Demographic
           History of a Widespread Mangrove Plant Xylocarpus granatum J. Koenig
           across the Indo-West Pacific Region

    • Authors: Yuki Tomizawa, Yoshiaki Tsuda, Mohd Saleh, Alison Wee, Koji Takayama, Takashi Yamamoto, Orlex Yllano, Severino Salmo III, Sarawood Sungkaew, Bayu Adjie, Erwin Ardli, Monica Suleiman, Nguyen Tung, Khin Soe, Kathiresan Kandasamy, Takeshi Asakawa, Yasuyuki Watano, Shigeyuki Baba, Tadashi Kajita
      First page: 480
      Abstract: Xylocarpus granatum J. Koenig is one of the most widespread core component species of mangrove forests in the Indo-West Pacific (IWP) region, and as such is suitable for examining how genetic structure is generated across spatiotemporal scales. We evaluated the genetic structure of this species using maternally inherited chloroplast (cp) and bi-parentally inherited nuclear DNA markers, with samples collected across the species range. Both cp and nuclear DNA showed generally similar patterns, revealing three genetic groups in the Indian Ocean, South China Sea (with Palau), and Oceania, respectively. The genetic diversity of the Oceania group was significantly lower, and the level of population differentiation within the Oceania group was significantly higher, than in the South China Sea group. These results revealed that in addition to the Malay Peninsula—a common land barrier for mangroves—there is a genetic barrier in an oceanic region of the West Pacific that prevents gene flow among populations. Moreover, demographic inference suggested that these patterns were generated in relation to sea level changes during the last glacial period and the emergence of Sahul Shelf which lied northwest of Australia. We propose that the three genetic groups should be considered independent conservation units, and that the Oceania group has a higher conservation priority.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-12-05
      DOI: 10.3390/f8120480
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 12 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 481: Fire-Driven Decline of Endemic Allosyncarpia
           Monsoon Rainforests in Northern Australia

    • Authors: Jeremy Freeman, Andrew Edwards, Jeremy Russell-Smith
      First page: 481
      Abstract: Although contemporary fire regimes in fire-prone Australian savannas are recognised as having major impacts on an array of biodiversity and environmental values, a number of studies have observed significant monsoon rainforest expansion in recent decades. Here we assess the status of a locally extensive endemic monsoon rainforest type, dominated by Allosyncarpia ternata (Myrtaceae), restricted to sandstone terrain including in the World Heritage property, Kakadu National Park. We undertook assessments of: (1) geographic correlates of Allosyncarpia forest distribution; (2) change in canopy cover at 40 representative forest patches at topographically exposed sites with reference to a 60-year aerial photo and fine-scale image archive, and fire mapping data; and (3) structural characteristics associated with sites exhibiting stable, contracting, and increasing canopy cover. Mean canopy cover at sampled forest patches declined by 9.5% over the study period. Most canopy loss occurred at the most fire-susceptible patches. Assessment of structural characteristics at sampled sites illustrated that canopy expansion represented vegetative recovery rather than expansion de novo. The study (1) confirms the vulnerability of exposed margins of this forest type to fire incursions; (2) illustrates the magnitude of, and describes solutions for addressing, the regional conservation management challenge; and (3) serves as a reminder that, in savanna environments, severe fire regimes can substantially outweigh the woody growth-enhancing effects of other regional (e.g., increased rainfall) and global-scale (e.g., atmospheric CO2 fertilisation) drivers.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-12-05
      DOI: 10.3390/f8120481
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 12 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 482: Suitability of Soil Erosion Models for the
           Evaluation of Bladed Skid Trail BMPs in the Southern Appalachians

    • Authors: J. Vinson, Scott Barrett, W. Aust, M. Bolding
      First page: 482
      Abstract: This project measured soil erosion rates from bladed skid trails in the mountains of Virginia following a timber harvest, and compared measured erosion to four erosion model predictions produced by Universal Soil Loss Equation—Forest (USLE-Forest), Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation, v.2 (RUSLE2), Water Erosion Prediction Project—Road (WEPP-Road) using default files, and WEPP-Road using modified files in order to assess the utility of the models for these conditions. Skid trails were segregated into six blocks where each block had similar trail slopes and soils. Each block contained four skid trail closure treatments: (1) bare soil (Control); (2) residual limbs and tops (Slash); (3) grass seed (Seed); and (4) fertilizer, seed, and straw mulch (Mulch). All treatments had waterbars, the minimum trail closure best management practice (BMP), to provide upslope and downslope borders of experimental units. Site cover characteristics on each experimental unit were collected quarterly as input parameters for erosion models. The suitability of soil erosion models were evaluated based upon statistical summaries, linear relationships with measured erosion rates, Nash-Sutcliffe Model Efficiency, and a nonparametric analysis. Treatments were measured to have erosion rates of 15.2 tonnes ha−1 year−1 (Control), 5.9 tonnes ha−1 year−1 (Seed), 1.1 tonnes ha−1 year−1 (Mulch), and 0.8 tonnes ha−1 year−1 (Slash). It was determined that WEPP-Road: Modified (p-value = 0.643) and USLE-Forest (p-value = 0.307) were the most suitable models given their accuracy; however USLE-Forest may be better for making management decisions given its practicality.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-12-06
      DOI: 10.3390/f8120482
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 12 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 483: Vicariance and Oceanic Barriers Drive
           Contemporary Genetic Structure of Widespread Mangrove Species Sonneratia
           alba J. Sm in the Indo-West Pacific

    • Authors: Alison Wee, Jessica Teo, Jasher Chua, Koji Takayama, Takeshi Asakawa, Sankararamasubramanian Meenakshisundaram, Onrizal, Bayu Adjie, Erwin Ardli, Sarawood Sungkaew, Monica Suleiman, Nguyen Tung, Severino Salmo, Orlex Yllano, M. Saleh, Khin Soe, Yoichi Tateishi, Yasuyuki Watano, Yoshiaki Tsuda, Tadashi Kajita, Edward Webb
      First page: 483
      Abstract: Patterns of genetic structure are essential for a comprehensive understanding of the evolution and biogeography of a species. Here, we investigated the genetic patterns of one of the most widespread and abundant mangrove species in the Indo-West Pacific, Sonneratia alba J. Sm., in order to gain insights into the ecological and evolutionary drivers of genetic structure in mangroves. We employed 11 nuclear microsatellite loci and two chloroplast regions to genotyped 25 S. alba populations. Our objectives were to (1) assess the level of genetic diversity and its geographic distribution; and (2) determine the genetic structure of the populations. Our results revealed significant genetic differentiation among populations. We detected a major genetic break between Indo-Malesia and Australasia, and further population subdivision within each oceanic region in these two major clusters. The phylogeographic patterns indicated a strong influence of vicariance, oceanic barriers and geographic distance on genetic structure. In addition, we found low genetic diversity and high genetic drift at range edge. This study advances the scope of mangrove biogeography by demonstrating a unique scenario whereby a widespread species has limited dispersal and high genetic divergence among populations.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-12-06
      DOI: 10.3390/f8120483
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 12 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 484: By 2050 the Mitigation Effects of EU Forests
           Could Nearly Double through Climate Smart Forestry

    • Authors: Gert-Jan Nabuurs, Philippe Delacote, David Ellison, Marc Hanewinkel, Lauri Hetemäki, Marcus Lindner
      First page: 484
      Abstract: In July 2016, the European Commission (EC) published a legislative proposal for incorporating greenhouse gas emissions and removals due to Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF) into its 2030 Climate and Energy Framework. The Climate and Energy Framework aims at a total emission reduction of 40% by 2030 for all sectors together as part of the Paris Agreement. The LULUCF proposal regulates a “no debit” target for LULUCF (Forests and Agricultural soils), and regulates the accounting of any additional mitigation potential that might be expected of it. We find that the forest share of the LULUCF sector can achieve much more than what is in the regulation now. We elaborate a strategy for unlocking European Union (EU) forests and forest sector potential based on the concept of “climate smart forestry” (CSF). We find that to-date, European policy has not firmly integrated forest potential into the EU climate policy framework. Nor have climate objectives been firmly integrated into those of the forest and forest sector at either the EU or national level. Yet a wide range of measures can be applied to provide positive incentives for more firmly integrating these climate objectives into the forest and forest sector framework. With the right set of incentives in place at EU and Member States levels, we find the current literature supports the view that the EU has the potential to achieve an additional combined mitigation impact through CSF of 441 Mt CO2/year by 2050. In addition, CSF, through reducing and/or removing greenhouse gas emissions, adapting and building forest resilience, and sustainably increasing forest productivity and incomes, tackles multiple policy goals.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-12-06
      DOI: 10.3390/f8120484
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 12 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 485: Use, Utilization, Productivity and Fuel
           Consumption of Purpose-Built and Excavator-Based Harvesters and Processors
           in Italy

    • Authors: Natascia Magagnotti, Luigi Pari, Raffaele Spinelli
      First page: 485
      Abstract: Annual use, utilization, productivity and fuel consumption of three purpose-built and three excavator-based harvesters and processors were monitored for one work year. All machines were owned and operated by private contractors and were representative of the Italian machine fleet. Despite challenging mountain terrain, annual use ranged from 675 to 1525 h per year, and production from 3200 to 27,400 m3 per year. Productivity was lower for excavator-based units, and for machines working under a yarder, due to limited yarder capacity. Purpose-built machines offered higher utilization, productivity and fuel efficiency compared with excavator-based machines. Fuel consumption per m3 was 2.4 times greater for excavator-based units, compared with purpose-built machines. Excavator-based units offered financial and technical advantages, but their long-term market success will likely depend on future improvements in fuel efficiency, in the face of increasing fuel prices.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-12-06
      DOI: 10.3390/f8120485
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 12 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 486: Comprehensive Analysis of the Cork Oak
           

    • Authors: Ana Usié, Fernanda Simões, Pedro Barbosa, Brígida Meireles, Inês Chaves, Sónia Gonçalves, André Folgado, Maria Almeida, José Matos, António Ramos
      First page: 486
      Abstract: Cork oaks show a high capacity of bud sprouting as a response to injury, which is important for species survival when dealing with external factors, such as drought or fires. The characterization of the cork oak transcriptome involved in the different stages of bud sprouting is essential to understanding the mechanisms involved in these processes. In this study, the transcriptional profile of different stages of bud sprouting, namely (1) dormant bud and (2) bud swollen, vs. (3) red bud and (4) open bud, was analyzed in trees growing under natural conditions. The transcriptome analysis indicated the involvement of genes related with energy production (linking the TCA (tricarboxylic acid) cycle and the electron transport system), hormonal regulation, water status, and synthesis of polysaccharides. These results pinpoint the different mechanisms involved in the early and later stages of bud sprouting. Furthermore, some genes, which are involved in bud development and conserved between species, were also identified at the transcriptional level. This study provides the first set of results that will be useful for the discovery of genes related with the mechanisms regulating bud sprouting in cork oak.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-12-06
      DOI: 10.3390/f8120486
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 12 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 487: Mapping Net Stocked Plantation Area for
           Small-Scale Forests in New Zealand Using Integrated RapidEye and LiDAR
           Sensors

    • Authors: Cong Xu, Justin Morgenroth, Bruce Manley
      First page: 487
      Abstract: In New Zealand, approximately 70% of plantation forests are large-scale (over 1000 ha) with accurate resource description. In contrast, the remaining 30% of plantation forests are small-scale (less than 1000 ha). It is forecasted that these small-scale forests will supply nearly 40% of the national wood production in the next decade. However, in-depth description of these forests, especially those under 100 ha, is very limited. This research evaluates the use of remote sensing datasets to map and estimate the net stocked plantation area for small-scale forests. We compared a factorial combination of two classification approaches (Nearest Neighbour (NN), Classification and Regression Tree (CART)) and two remote sensing datasets (RapidEye, RapidEye plus LiDAR) for their ability to accurately classify planted forest area. CART with a combination of RapidEye and LiDAR metrics outperformed the other three combinations producing the highest accuracy for mapping forest plantations (user’s accuracy = 90% and producer’s accuracy = 88%). This method was further examined by comparing the mapped plantations with manually digitised plantations based on aerial photography. The mapping approach overestimated the plantation area by 3%. It was also found that forest patches exceeding 10 ha achieved higher conformance with the digitised areas. Overall, the mapping approach in this research provided a proof of concept for deriving forest area and mapping boundaries using remote sensing data, and is especially relevant for small-scale forests where limited information is currently available.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-12-07
      DOI: 10.3390/f8120487
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 12 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 488: Growth, Physiological, Biochemical, and Ionic
           Responses of Morus alba L. Seedlings to Various Salinity Levels

    • Authors: Nan Lu, Zijing Luo, Yuzhou Ke, Li Dai, Hongjing Duan, Rongxuan Hou, Binbin Cui, Suhan Dou, Yadong Zhang, Yuhan Sun, Yun Li
      First page: 488
      Abstract: Mulberry (Morus alba L.), a moderately salt-tolerant tree species, is considered to be economically important. In this study, 1-year-old mulberry seedlings cultivated in soil under greenhouse conditions were treated with five concentrations of sodium chloride (NaCl; 0%, 0.1%, 0.2%, 0.3%, and 0.5%) for 3 and 21 days. Plant growth parameters were not affected by 0.1% NaCl, but significant reductions were observed after treatment with 0.2%, 0.3%, and 0.5% NaCl. The malondialdehyde content and cell membrane stability of mulberry seedlings exposed to 0.1% NaCl did not change, indicating that mulberry is not significantly affected by low-salinity conditions. The Na contents of various organs did not increase significantly in response to 0.1% NaCl, but the K:Na, Mg:Na, and Ca:Na ratios of various organs were affected by NaCl. Marked changes in the levels of major compatible solutes (proline, soluble sugars, and soluble proteins) occurred in both the leaves and roots of NaCl-treated seedlings relative to control seedlings. Under severe saline conditions (0.5% NaCl), the ability of mulberry to synthesize enzymatic antioxidants may be impaired.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-12-07
      DOI: 10.3390/f8120488
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 12 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 489: Tropical and Highland Temperate Forest
           Plantations in Mexico: Pathways for Climate Change Mitigation and
           Ecosystem Services Delivery

    • Authors: Vidal Guerra-De la Cruz, Leopoldo Galicia
      First page: 489
      Abstract: Forest plantations are a possible way of increasing forest productivity in temperate and tropical forests, and therefore also increasing above- and belowground carbon pools. In the context of climate change, monospecific plantations might become an alternative to mitigate global warming; however, their contribution to the structural complexity, complementarity, and biodiversity of forests has not been addressed. Mixed forest plantations can ensure that objectives of climate change mitigation are met through carbon sequestration, while also delivering anticipated ecosystem services (e.g., nutrient cycling, erosion control, and wildlife habitat). However, mixed forest plantations pose considerable operational challenges and research opportunities. For example, it is essential to know how many species or functional traits are necessary to deliver a set of benefits, or what mixture of species and densities are key to maintaining productive plantations and delivering multiple ecosystem services. At the same time, the establishment of forest plantations in Mexico should not be motivated solely by timber production. Forest plantations should also increase carbon sequestration, maintain biodiversity, and provide other ecosystem services. This article analyzes some matters that affect the development of planted forests in the Mexican national context, and presents alternatives for forest resources management through the recommendation of mixed forest plantations as a means of contributing to climate change mitigation and the delivery of ecosystem services.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-12-09
      DOI: 10.3390/f8120489
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 12 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 490: Warming Effects on Pinus sylvestris in the
           Cold–Dry Siberian Forest–Steppe: Positive or Negative Balance of
           Trade'

    • Authors: Tatiana Shestakova, Jordi Voltas, Matthias Saurer, Rolf Siegwolf, Alexander Kirdyanov
      First page: 490
      Abstract: Understanding climate change impacts on drought-prone forests is a critical issue. We investigated ring-width and stable isotopes (Δ13C and δ18O) in two Pinus sylvestris stands of the cold–dry Siberian forest–steppe growing under contrasting climatic trends over the last 75 years. Despite regional warming, there was increasing precipitation during the growing period at the southern site (MIN) but increasing water deficit (WD) at the northern site (BER). Intrinsic water use efficiency (WUEi) increased similarly (ca. 22%) in response to warming and rising atmospheric CO2. However, the steady increase in WUEi was accompanied by divergent growth patterns since 1980: increasing basal area increment (BAI) in MIN (slope = 0.102 cm2 year−2) and decreasing BAI in BER (slope = −0.129 cm2 year−2). This suggests that increased precipitation, mediated by CO2 effects, promoted growth in MIN, whereas intensified drought stress led to decreased carbon gain and productivity in BER. When compared to warm–dry stands of eastern Spain, the WUEi dependence on WD was three-fold greater in Siberia. Conversely, BAI was more affected by the relative impact of water stress within each region. These results indicate contrasting future trajectories of P. sylvestris forests, which challenge forecasting growth and carbon sequestration in cold–dry areas.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-12-07
      DOI: 10.3390/f8120490
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 12 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 491: Association of Fruit and Seed Traits of
           

    • Authors: Caowen Sun, Jiawei Wang, Jie Duan, Guochun Zhao, Xuehuang Weng, Liming Jia
      First page: 491
      Abstract: Sapindus mukorossi is widely distributed in tropical and subtropical areas of southern China; the seed kernel oil is potential biodiesel material, and the saponins extracted from fruit pericarp are very valuable efficient natural surfactants. Therefore, S. mukorossi is an ideal tree species for developing forestry bioenergy and multiple other products. In this study, 42 S. mukorossi fruits from mother trees were collected from 39 distinct locations in 12 Chinese provinces to infer fruit and seed trait responses to environmental factors. Canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) was conducted using 21 horticultural fruit traits and 10 environmental factors that represented different climatic and geographic conditions throughout southern China. CCA revealed well-developed patterns of natural phenotypic variation, and insight into the ecological factors that are potentially important in shaping this variation. The results presented here further elucidate the natural distribution and ecological adaptations of wild S. mukorossi resources, which will be valuable for S. mukorossi cultivation by helping identify ideal planting areas. The germplasm resources with extensive morphological variation can also contribute to S. mukorossi breeding in the future by helping develop new cultivars with high saponin yield.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-12-07
      DOI: 10.3390/f8120491
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 12 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 492: Development of Multiplexed Marker Sets to
           Identify the Most Relevant Poplar Species for Breeding

    • Authors: Hilke Schroeder, Birgit Kersten, Matthias Fladung
      First page: 492
      Abstract: Within the genus Populus, about 30 species are classified into six sections, of which some are cross-compatible. Besides naturally occurring hybrids, huge breeding programs have led to a high number of artificially produced hybrids, for which the determination of genetically involved species by morphological characteristics is often difficult. This necessitates the use of molecular markers for the identification of both maternal as well as paternal species, and in the case of complex hybrids, the genealogy. For this reason, we developed new chloroplast and nuclear markers for the differentiation of up to 19 poplar species, with one to 32 individuals per species regularly used in breeding programs based on already known barcoding, other chloroplast regions, and nuclear genes of interest. We developed methods to identify species by either species-specific nucleotide variations or, when no initial information for the species was given, by using a set of markers either in a procedure of exclusion or in a multiplexed marker set. The developed markers can all be used with low-cost equipment, and some can additionally be applied using a genetic analyzer. We combined these markers in multiplexes for a very fast and easy-to-use application for the identification of poplar species and their hybrids.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-12-08
      DOI: 10.3390/f8120492
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 12 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 493: Adaptation to Climate Change in Forestry: A
           Perspective on Forest Ownership and Adaptation Responses

    • Authors: Elias Andersson, E. Keskitalo, Anna Lawrence
      First page: 493
      Abstract: Adaptation to climate change has often been discussed from the perspectives of social vulnerability and community vulnerability, recognising that characteristics at local level will influence the particular adaptations undertaken. However, the extent to which national-level systemic factors influence and shape measures defined as adaptations has seldom been recognised. Focusing on adaptation to climate change in forestry, this study uses the example of two countries in the northern hemisphere with different forest ownership structures, forestry industry and traditions: Sweden, with strong private, non-industrial ownership, dominant forest industry and long forestry traditions; and Scotland, with forest ownership dominated by large estates and investment forestry based on plantations of exotic conifer species. The study shows how adaptation to climate change is structurally embedded and conditioned, which has resulted in specific challenges and constraints for different groups of forest owners within these two different contexts. This produces a specific set of political spaces and policy tools by rendering climate change in relation to forestry manageable, negotiable and practical/logical in specific ways. It is recommended that the focus of future work on climate-related issues and development of adaptation measures and policy should not be primarily on climate-related factors, but on institutional analysis of structural factors and logics in target sectors, in order to critically explore concepts of agency and power within these processes.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-12-09
      DOI: 10.3390/f8120493
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 12 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 494: Characterisation of Beaver Habitat Parameters
           That Promote the Use of Culverts as Dam Construction Sites: Can We Limit
           the Damage to Forest Roads'

    • Authors: Geneviève Tremblay, Osvaldo Valeria, Louis Imbeau
      First page: 494
      Abstract: The use of forest roads as foundations for dam construction by beavers is a recurrent problem in the management of forest road networks. In order to limit the damage to forest roads, our goal was to calculate the probability of beaver dam installation on culverts, according to surrounding habitat parameters, which could allow for improvement in the spatial design of new roads that minimise conflicts with beavers. Comparisons of culverts with (n = 77) and without (n = 51) dams in northwestern Quebec showed that catchment surface, cumulate length of all local streams within a 2-km radius, and road embankment height had a negative effect on the probability of dam construction on culverts, while flow level and culvert diameter ratio had a positive effect. Nevertheless, predicted probabilities of dam construction on culverts generally exceeded 50%, even on sites that were less favourable to beavers. We suggest that it would be more reasonable to take their probable subsequent presence into account at the earliest steps of road conception. Installing mitigation measures such as pre-dams during road construction would probably reduce the occurrence of conflicts with beavers and thus reduce the maintenance costs of forest roads.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-12-09
      DOI: 10.3390/f8120494
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 12 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 495: Genetic Diversity and Structure of Natural
           Quercus variabilis Population in China as Revealed by Microsatellites
           Markers

    • Authors: Xiaomeng Shi, Qiang Wen, Mu Cao, Xin Guo, Li-an Xu
      First page: 495
      Abstract: Quercus variabilis is a tree species of ecological and economic value that is widely distributed in China. To effectively evaluate, use, and conserve resources, we applied 25 pairs of simple sequence repeat (SSR) primers to study its genetic diversity and genetic structure in 19 natural forest or natural secondary forest populations of Q. variabilis (a total of 879 samples). A total of 277 alleles were detected. Overall, the average expected heterozygosity (He) was 0.707 and average allelic richness (AR) was 7.79. Q. variabilis manifested a loss of heterozygosity, and the mean of inbreeding coefficient (FIS) was 0.044. Less differentiation among populations was observed, and the genetic differentiation coefficient (FST) was 0.063. Bayesian clustering analysis indicated that the 19 studied populations could be divided into three groups based on their genetic makeup, namely, the Southwest group, Central group, and Northeastern group. The Central group, compared to the populations of the Southwest and Northeast group, showed higher genetic diversities and lower genetic differentiations. As a widely distributed species, the historical migration of Q. variabilis contributed to its genetic differentiation.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-12-11
      DOI: 10.3390/f8120495
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 12 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 496: The Contribution of Traditional Ecological
           Knowledge and Practices to Forest Management: The Case of Northeast Asia

    • Authors: Seongjun Kim, Guanlin Li, Yowhan Son
      First page: 496
      Abstract: This study aims to introduce the potential applicability of traditional ecological knowledge and community forestry in Northeast Asia, including China, Japan, and South Korea. In ancient Northeast Asia, forest policies and practices were based on Fengshui (an old Chinese concept regarding the flow of vital forces), with which forests were managed under community forestry. However, these traditional systems diminished in the twentieth century owing to the decline of traditional livelihood systems and extreme deforestation. Recently, legacies from traditional ecological knowledge and community forestry have been revisited and incorporated into forest policies, laws, and management practices because of growing needs for sustainable forest use in China, Japan, and Korea. This reevaluation of traditional ecological knowledge and community forestry has provided empirical data to help improve forestry systems. Although traditional ecological knowledge and community forestry in Northeast Asia have been scarcely theorized, they play a significant role in modifying forest management practices in the face of socioeconomic changes.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-12-12
      DOI: 10.3390/f8120496
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 12 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 497: Mortality and Recovery of Hemlock Woolly
           Adelgid (Adelges tsugae) in Response to Winter Temperatures and
           Predictions for the Future

    • Authors: Thomas. McAvoy, Jacques Régnière, Rémi St-Amant, Noel Schneeberger, Scott Salom
      First page: 497
      Abstract: Eastern (Tsuga canadensis) and Carolina hemlocks (T. caroliniana) of eastern North America have been attacked by the non-native hemlock woolly adelgid (Adelges tsugae Annand) (HWA) since the first half of the 20th century. Unlike most insects, HWA develops through one generation from fall to late winter, exposing this insect to the lethal effects of winter temperatures. The mortality inflicted by winter temperatures on HWA determines the surviving population density as well as its ability to spread to uninfested areas. With the ongoing changes in climate, knowledge of this species’ ability to survive and spread in the future can help land managers prepare for its management. This study began during the winter of 2014 and ended in the spring of 2017. During this period, winter mortality of HWA was recorded at 100 sites from Maine to Georgia (n = 209). Changes in population density from the sistens to the succeeding progrediens generation were recorded at 24 sites (n = 35). Models were developed to predict HWA mortality using the lowest minimum temperature prior to the mortality assessment date, the number of days with mean temperature <−1 °C, and the mean daily temperature of the three days preceding that minimum. Models were also developed to predict population density changes from the overwintering sistens generation to the following progrediens generation. Future projections under climate change showed increases in winter survival and population growth rates over time. Especially towards the northeastern edge of T. canadensis’ distribution as minimum temperatures are predicted to increase at a greater rate. This will result in an increase in density throughout its current distribution and expansion northward causing an increase in its impact on eastern Tsuga spp.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-12-12
      DOI: 10.3390/f8120497
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 12 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 498: Modeling and Predicting Carbon and Water
           Fluxes Using Data-Driven Techniques in a Forest Ecosystem

    • Authors: Xianming Dou, Yongguo Yang
      First page: 498
      Abstract: Accurate estimation of carbon and water fluxes of forest ecosystems is of particular importance for addressing the problems originating from global environmental change, and providing helpful information about carbon and water content for analyzing and diagnosing past and future climate change. The main focus of the current work was to investigate the feasibility of four comparatively new methods, including generalized regression neural network, group method of data handling (GMDH), extreme learning machine and adaptive neuro-fuzzy inference system (ANFIS), for elucidating the carbon and water fluxes in a forest ecosystem. A comparison was made between these models and two widely used data-driven models, artificial neural network (ANN) and support vector machine (SVM). All the models were evaluated based on the following statistical indices: coefficient of determination, Nash-Sutcliffe efficiency, root mean square error and mean absolute error. Results indicated that the data-driven models are capable of accounting for most variance in each flux with the limited meteorological variables. The ANN model provided the best estimates for gross primary productivity (GPP) and net ecosystem exchange (NEE), while the ANFIS model achieved the best for ecosystem respiration (R), indicating that no single model was consistently superior to others for the carbon flux prediction. In addition, the GMDH model consistently produced somewhat worse results for all the carbon flux and evapotranspiration (ET) estimations. On the whole, among the carbon and water fluxes, all the models produced similar highly satisfactory accuracy for GPP, R and ET fluxes, and did a reasonable job of reproducing the eddy covariance NEE. Based on these findings, it was concluded that these advanced models are promising alternatives to ANN and SVM for estimating the terrestrial carbon and water fluxes.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-12-12
      DOI: 10.3390/f8120498
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 12 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 499: Community Earth System Model Simulations
           Reveal the Relative Importance of Afforestation and Forest Management to
           Surface Temperature in Eastern North America

    • Authors: Benjamin Ahlswede, R. Thomas
      First page: 499
      Abstract: Afforestation changes the land surface energy balance, though the effects on climate in temperate regions is uncertain, particularly the changes associated with forest management. In this study, we used idealized Community Earth System Model simulations to assess the influence of afforestation and afforestation management in eastern North America on climate via changes in the biophysics of the land surface. Afforestation using broadleaf deciduous trees maintained at high leaf area index (LAI) in the southern part of the study region provided the greatest climate benefit by cooling summer surface air temperatures (Tsa). In contrast, the greatest warming occurred in the northern extent of the study region when afforesting with needleleaf evergreen trees maintained at high LAI. Forest management had an equal or greater influence on Tsa than the overall decision to afforest land in the southern extent of the region. Afforestation had a greater influence on Tsa than forest management in the northern extent. Integrating our results, focused on biophysical processes, with other research quantifying carbon cycle sensitivity to management can help guide the use of temperate afforestation to optimize climate benefits. Further, our results highlight the potential importance of including forest management in simulations of past and future climate.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-12-13
      DOI: 10.3390/f8120499
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 12 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 500: Effects of Climate Change on the Climatic
           Niches of Warm-Adapted Evergreen Plants: Expansion or Contraction'

    • Authors: Kyung Koo, Seon Park, Changwan Seo
      First page: 500
      Abstract: Climate change has modified the structure and functions of ecosystems, affecting human well-being. Evergreen plants in the warm-temperate ecosystems will lose climatically suitable habitats under climate change but have not drawn much scholarly interest. Therefore, the present research aimed to predict the future climatic niches of eight coastal warm-adapted evergreen trees under climate change to provide information for an effective management practice. For this purpose, we used the ensemble species distribution models (SDMs) weighted by the TSS value in modelling the climatic niches of those evergreen trees and then ensembled their future distributions predicted under 20 future climate scenarios. Except for Neolitsea sericea (True Skill Statistic (TSS) = 0.79), all projections for the current climatic niches of evergreens showed excellent predictive powers (TSS > 0.85). The results showed that the climatic niches of the four evergreens—Castanopsis cuspidata, Pittosporum tobira, Raphiolepis indica var. umbellate, and Eurya emarginata—would expand to the northern part of the Korean Peninsula (KP) under climate change, but the ones of the remaining four—Kadsura japonica, Neolitsea sericea, Ilex integra, and Dendropanax morbiferus—would shrink. While the climatic niches of Pittosporum tobira showed the rapidest and greatest expansion under climate change, Dendropanax morbiferus was predicted to experience the greatest loss of habitat. On the other hand, regardless of whether the future distributions of climatically suitable habitats would expand or contract, the highly suitable habitats of all species were predicted to decline under climate change. This may indicate that further climate change will degrade habitat suitability for all species within the distribution boundary and restrict continuous habitat expansions of expanding species or accelerate habitat loss of shrinking species. In addition, the future distributions of most coastal evergreens were found to be confined to coastal areas; therefore, sea-level rise would accelerate their habitat loss under climate change. The present study provides primary and practical knowledge for understanding climate-related coastal vegetation changes for future conservation planning, particularly on the Korean Peninsula.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-12-13
      DOI: 10.3390/f8120500
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 12 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 501: Combined Analysis of mRNAs and miRNAs to
           Identify Genes Related to Biological Characteristics of Autotetraploid
           Paulownia

    • Authors: Xibing Cao, Enkai Xu, Xiaoqiao Zhai, Yanpeng Dong, Guoqiang Fan
      First page: 501
      Abstract: Autopolyploid plants and their organs are larger than their corresponding diploid ancestors, and they attract considerable attention for plant breeding. Paulownia is a fast-growing tree. To identify genes related to the biological characteristics of tetraploid Paulownia, transcriptome and small RNA sequencing were used to identify the key gene expression regulation in tetraploid Paulownia fortunei and tetraploid P. tomentosa and their corresponding diploids. A total of 1977 common differentially expressed genes (DEGs) and 89 differentially expressed miRNAs (DEMs) (38 conserved and 51 novel) were obtained in tetraploid vs. diploid comparisons of the two Paulownia species, and 18 target genes were identified by target prediction. Finally, by analyzing the expression profiles of the DEGs and DEMs and their target genes, we discovered that Pau-miR169, Pau-miR408 and Pau-miR156 interacted with their target gene nuclear transcription factor Y subunit A-9 (NF-YA9), serine/threonine protein phosphatase (PP1) and s-adenosyl-methionine-sterol-c-methyltransfera—se (SAM:SMT) to regulate the abiotic stress tolerance and the timber quality of the tetraploid Paulownia. This study lays a molecular biology foundation for understanding autotetraploid Paulownia and will benefit future breeding work.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-12-13
      DOI: 10.3390/f8120501
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 12 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 502: Certifying Forests to Achieve Sustainability
           in Industrial Plantations: Opinions of Stakeholders in Spain

    • Authors: Luis Diaz-Balteiro, Silvestre García de Jalón
      First page: 502
      Abstract: Forest certification is a practice that has been consolidated worldwide in recent years as a result of certification often being associated with sustainability. However, there is not much research available on the perception of stakeholders and experts of that association. This study evaluates how key stakeholders relate certification to sustainability, and its implications for forest management. A survey was implemented in the eucalyptus plantations of Galicia, northwestern Spain, to assess how forest managers; advisors; environmental organizations; researchers; and members from the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council), PEFC (the Program for Endorsement of Forest Certification), and forest companies and associations, perceive this relationship. The opinions indicate that it should not be assumed that certified plantations are necessarily perceived as the most sustainable ones, that there is always a direct relationship between certification, nor that forest owners and managers certify their woodlands in order to guarantee sustainability. The results also showed that perceptions of certification and sustainability were not influenced by the opinions of different groups of stakeholders.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-12-13
      DOI: 10.3390/f8120502
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 12 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 503: Value Retention, Service Life, Use Intensity
           and Long-Term Productivity of Wood Chippers as Obtained from Contractor
           Records

    • Authors: Raffaele Spinelli, Lars Eliasson, Natascia Magagnotti
      First page: 503
      Abstract: Acknowledging the absence of up-to-date empirical data on the value retention, service life and annual use of chipping machinery, in 2017 the authors surveyed the records kept by 50 contractors offering biomass chipping services. The machine fleet and operations in this survey could be taken as representative for most of Europe, where the biomass sector is well established and is facing further expansion. Data collection included the whole chipping unit, comprised of chipper, carrier and loader. Manually-fed units were excluded from the survey. The data pointed at a service life up to and exceeding 10,000 h and 10 years, which relieved any concerns about poor durability. Value retention was good, and may exceed that of other mainstream forestry equipment. Engine power was the main explanatory variable in any models to predict purchase price and productivity. The effect of this variable could explain most of the variability (>80%) in the purchase price and productivity data. Results also pointed at the essential equivalence in price and productivity between PTO-driven (i.e., tractor powered) and independent-engine chippers, once differences in engine power are accounted for. However, the distribution of purchase price between different components of the chipping unit was different between the two unit types, with the chipper accounting for a larger proportion of the total investment in independent-engine units. Machine power was also different, with most PTO-driven units being significantly smaller than independent-engine units, due to the limitations of existing tractors. Furthermore, half of the carriers assigned to a PTO-driven unit were subject to flexible use, i.e., they were not solely used for chipping work.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-12-20
      DOI: 10.3390/f8120503
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 12 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 504: Management Goals and Performance: Clustering
           State Forest Management Organizations in Europe with Multivariate
           Statistics

    • Authors: Anna Liubachyna, Antonio Bubbico, Laura Secco, Davide Pettenella
      First page: 504
      Abstract: State Forest Management Organizations (SFMOs) play a crucial role in the European forest sector, managing almost half of the forests in the region. SFMOs are often only managed for timber production, whereas, being publicly owned, they should play an important role in providing a vast range of public goods (e.g., soil protection, biodiversity conservation). Their management goals depend on the history and current conditions of the forest sector at a national level, as well as different challenges and the potential for development. Although there is a lack of knowledge about the current performance of SFMOs, there have been recent changes to their management goals and practices in response to the new demands expressed by society (e.g., transparency, social inclusion). The main purpose of this study was to analyze the current situation of SFMOs by grouping them with the help of a Cluster Analysis according to indicators that reflect the three pillars of the common understanding of the sustainable forest management (SFM) concept. Additionally, in light of the differences in the forest practices and management priorities in each country, we used Principal Component Analysis (PCA) to group countries according to common characteristics of the forest sector at the national level. The results showed three main clusters of SFMOs in Europe. The first cluster had a rather small but commercially-oriented forestry unit together with other business activities and a strong focus on public services. The second focused on public interest, rather than commercially-oriented organizations. The third is mainly profit-seeking. The existence of diverse SFMO clusters shows the possibility of different approaches for SFM with a focus on different goals (e.g., profit gaining, public service delivery).
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-12-15
      DOI: 10.3390/f8120504
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 12 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 505: Assessing Ecosystem Services in Rubber
           Dominated Landscapes in South-East Asia—A Challenge for Biophysical
           Modeling and Transdisciplinary Valuation

    • Authors: Kevin Thellmann, Sergey Blagodatsky, Inga Häuser, Hongxi Liu, Jue Wang, Folkard Asch, Georg Cadisch, Marc Cotter
      First page: 505
      Abstract: The concept of ecosystem services (ESS) has been increasingly recognized for its potential in decision making processes concerning environmental policy. Multidisciplinary projects on rubber (Hevea brasiliensis) cultivation, integrating research on a variety of ESS, have been few and far between. More than three years of iterative workshops with regional stakeholders resulted in the development of future land use scenarios for our study area in Xishuangbanna, PR China. We used the InVEST (Integrated Valuation of Ecosystem Services and Trade-offs) modeling framework to analyze their impact on sediment retention, water yield, habitat quality, and carbon sequestration and developed a model for assessing rubber yields. We investigated the percentage deviations of integrated ESS indices in each scenario, as compared to the initial state of 2015 and as a novelty used different statistical weighting methods to include rankings for the preference of ESS from three contrasting stakeholder groups. The business-as-usual scenario (BAU, continuous rubber expansions) revealed an increase in rubber yields trading off against all other ESS analyzed. Compared to BAU, the measures introduced in the balanced-trade-offs scenario (reforestation, reduced herbicide application, riverine buffer zones, etc.) reduced the total amount of rubber yield but enhanced habitat quality and regulating ESS. The results show that the integrated indices for the provisioning of ESS would be overestimated without the inclusion of the stakeholder groups. We conclude that policy regulations, if properly assessed with spatial models and integrated stakeholder feedback, have the potential to buffer the typical trade-off between agricultural intensification and environmental protection.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-12-15
      DOI: 10.3390/f8120505
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 12 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 506: Individual-Tree Diameter Growth Models for
           Mixed Nothofagus Second Growth Forests in Southern Chile

    • Authors: Paulo Moreno, Sebastian Palmas, Francisco Escobedo, Wendell Cropper, Salvador Gezan
      First page: 506
      Abstract: Second growth forests of Nothofagus obliqua (roble), N. alpina (raulí), and N. dombeyi (coihue), known locally as RORACO, are among the most important native mixed forests in Chile. To improve the sustainable management of these forests, managers need adequate information and models regarding not only existing forest conditions, but their future states with varying alternative silvicultural activities. In this study, an individual-tree diameter growth model was developed for the full geographical distribution of the RORACO forest type. This was achieved by fitting a complete model by comparing two variable selection procedures: cross-validation (CV), and least absolute shrinkage and selection operator (LASSO) regression. A small set of predictors successfully explained a large portion of the annual increment in diameter at breast height (DBH) growth, particularly variables associated with competition at both the tree- and stand-level. Goodness-of-fit statistics for this final model showed an empirical coefficient of correlation (R2emp) of 0.56, relative root mean square error of 44.49% and relative bias of −1.96% for annual DBH growth predictions, and R2emp of 0.98 and 0.97 for DBH projection at 6 and 12 years, respectively. This model constitutes a simple and useful tool to support management plans for these forest ecosystems.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-12-19
      DOI: 10.3390/f8120506
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 12 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 507: Temporal Variation of Ecological Factors
           Affecting Bird Species Richness in Urban and Peri-Urban Forests in a
           Changing Environment: A Case Study from Milan (Northern Italy)

    • Authors: Claudia Canedoli, Valerio Orioli, Emilio Padoa-Schioppa, Luciano Bani, Olivia Dondina
      First page: 507
      Abstract: Urban and peri-urban forests determine different habitat services for biodiversity according to their characteristics. In this study, we relate ecological characteristics of urban and peri-urban forests to forest bird species richness and we assess whether their effect changed over time due to the urban sprawl within the urban region of Milan, Italy. We analyse two periods (1998–2002 and 2010–2014) using weighted generalized linear models that considered urban and peri-urban forests collectively and urban and peri-urban forests separately. Patch area, proximity to source areas and number of surrounding urban and peri-urban forests were the main factors predicting species richness within urban and peri-urban forests in both periods. While there were no differences in factors affecting bird richness in peri-urban forests between the two periods, the negative effect of urban matrix density was statistically significant for birds inhabiting urban forests in the second period. Moreover, protected areas within urban and peri-urban forests and urban forests in the second period were important determinants in providing suitable habitat for birds at the regional scale. This study offered important insights regarding urban and peri-urban forests characteristics that should be maintained to ensure biodiversity conservation across changing urban landscapes.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-12-19
      DOI: 10.3390/f8120507
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 12 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 508: REDD+ Crossroads Post Paris: Politics, Lessons
           and Interplays

    • Authors: Esteve Corbera, Heike Schroeder
      First page: 508
      Abstract: This article introduces the special issue “REDD+ crossroads post Paris: politics, lessons and interplays”. The contributions to the special issue demonstrate, first, that REDD+ design in the studied countries has generally lacked social legitimacy and sidelined key actors that have an important role in shaping land-use sector dynamics. Second, they show that REDD+ early actions have tended to oversimplify local realities and have been misaligned with other policy goals and local needs. Third, REDD+ efforts have remained constrained to the forestry or climate mitigation policy sectors and have thus suffered from a lack of harmonization across local, national and international concerns, specifically of contradictory policy. As REDD+ moves from its preparedness to its implementation phase, more research efforts should be aimed at analysing the power relations that underpin and determine the design and implementation of REDD+ policies and actions, the potential for and limits to the vertical and horizontal harmonization of land-use policies and management, and the processes of resistance to or accommodation of REDD+ practices on the ground. In doing so, we advocate for multi-and transdisciplinary research that does not take for granted the benefits of REDD+ and which critically scrutinizes the multiple goals of this ambitious international policy framework, and where it sits within the broader Paris Agreement implementation agenda.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-12-20
      DOI: 10.3390/f8120508
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 12 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 428: Short-Term Effects of Low Intensity Thinning
           on the Fine Root Dynamics of Pinus massoniana Plantations in the Three
           Gorges Reservoir Area, China

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

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

    • Authors: Yurong Yang, Miao Dong, Yaping Cao, Jinlong Wang, Ming Tang, Yihui Ban
      First page: 430
      Abstract: The toxic effects of heavy metal (HM) contamination on plant metabolism and soil microorganisms have been emphasized recently; however, little is known about the differences in soil physical, chemical, and biological properties between bulk and rhizosphere soils contaminated with HMs in forest ecosystem. The present study was conducted to evaluate the rhizosphere effect on soil properties, enzyme activities and bacterial communities associated with Robinia pseudoacacia L. along a HM contamination gradient. Soil organic matter (SOM), available nitrogen (AN) and phosphorus (AP) contents were significantly higher in rhizosphere soil than those in bulk soil at HM contaminated sites (p < 0.05). Compared to bulk soil, activities of four soil enzymes indicative of C cycle (β-glucosidase), N cycle (protease, urease) and P cycle (alkaline phosphatase) in rhizosphere soil across all study sites increased by 47.5%, 64.1%, 52.9% and 103.8%, respectively. Quantitative PCR (qPCR) and restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) were used to determine the relative abundance, composition and diversity of bacteria in both bulk and rhizosphere soils, respectively. The copy number of bacterial 16S rRNA gene in bulk soil was significantly lower than that in rhizosphere soil (p < 0.05), and it had significantly negative correlations with total/DTPA-extractable Pb concentrations (p < 0.01). Alphaproteobacteria, Gammaproteobacteria and Firmicutes were the most dominant groups of bacteria at different study sites. The bacterial diversity index of Species richness (S) and Margalef (dMa) were significantly higher in rhizosphere soil compared with those in bulk soil, although no difference could be found in Simpson index (D) between bulk and rhizosphere soils (p > 0.05). Redundancy analysis (RDA) results showed that soil pH, EC, SOM and total/DTPA-extractable Pb concentrations were the most important variables affecting relative abundance, composition and diversity of bacteria (p < 0.05). Our study highlights the importance of rhizosphere effect on soil nutrient content, enzyme activity, bacterial abundance and community in HM contaminated forest soils. Further study is still required to understand the specific processes in the rhizosphere to achieve a suitable rhizosphere biotechnology for restoration of degraded forest ecosystem.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-11-12
      DOI: 10.3390/f8110430
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 11 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 432: Spore Dispersal Patterns of Fusarium
           circinatum on an Infested Monterey Pine Forest in North-Western Spain

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • Authors: Salaheddine Essaghi, M’hamed Hachmi, Mohammed Yessef, Mohammed Dehhaoui, Fahed El Amarty
      First page: 443
      Abstract: A new flammability index (FI) was developed, which integrated two parameters that are highly correlated to fuel moisture content (MC). These parameters are time-to-ignition and flame height. The newly obtained FI-values belong to the variation interval of {0; 20}. In addition to the six flammability classes defined in the earlier work, a seventh class (FI > 16.5) was proposed to include fuel species with a high content of volatile flammable-compounds. Flammability testing and MC measurement were performed at a range of MC obtained through a drying process of samples. As a result, FI was statistically highly correlated with MC for all 13 Moroccan forest fuels tested in this study. Following this, linear regression equations were established to predict the FI-value as a function of MC. Therefore, the classification of flammability would depend on the species as well as the MC-value of the samples and the season in which they were collected.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-11-15
      DOI: 10.3390/f8110443
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 11 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 444: An Examination of Diameter Density Prediction
           with k-NN and Airborne Lidar

    • Authors: Jacob Strunk, Peter Gould, Petteri Packalen, Krishna Poudel, Hans-Erik Andersen, Hailemariam Temesgen
      First page: 444
      Abstract: While lidar-based forest inventory methods have been widely demonstrated, performances of methods to predict tree diameters with airborne lidar (lidar) are not well understood. One cause for this is that the performance metrics typically used in studies for prediction of diameters can be difficult to interpret, and may not support comparative inferences between sampling designs and study areas. To help with this problem we propose two indices and use them to evaluate a variety of lidar and k nearest neighbor (k-NN) strategies for prediction of tree diameter distributions. The indices are based on the coefficient of determination (R2), and root mean square deviation (RMSD). Both of the indices are highly interpretable, and the RMSD-based index facilitates comparisons with alternative (non-lidar) inventory strategies, and with projects in other regions. K-NN diameter distribution prediction strategies were examined using auxiliary lidar for 190 training plots distribute across the 800 km2 Savannah River Site in South Carolina, USA. We evaluate the performance of k-NN with respect to distance metrics, number of neighbors, predictor sets, and response sets. K-NN and lidar explained 80% of variability in diameters, and Mahalanobis distance with k = 3 neighbors performed best according to a number of criteria.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-11-16
      DOI: 10.3390/f8110444
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 11 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 445: Private Forest Governance, Public Policy
           Impacts: The Forest Stewardship Council in Russia and Brazil

    • Authors: Lisa Sundstrom, Laura Henry
      First page: 445
      Abstract: Under what conditions do private forest governance standards influence state policy and behavior to become more oriented toward sustainability' We argue that governance schemes targeting firms may indirectly shape state behavior, even when designed to bypass state regulation. Through an examination of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) in Russia and Brazil, we find that the FSC has influenced domestic rhetoric, laws, and enforcement practices. FSC has had a more disruptive and consequential impact on Russia’s domestic forest governance; in Brazil, earlier transnational environmental campaigns had already begun to shift domestic institutions toward sustainability. Based on interview data and textual analysis of FSC and government documents, we identify the mechanisms of indirect FSC influence on states—professionalization, civil society mobilization, firm lobbying, and international market pressure, and argue that they are likely to be activated under conditions of poor and decentralized governance, overlapping and competing regulations and high foreign market demand for exports.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-11-16
      DOI: 10.3390/f8110445
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 11 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 446: Using Linear Mixed-Effects Models with
           Quantile Regression to Simulate the Crown Profile of Planted Pinus
           sylvestris var. Mongolica Trees

    • Authors: Yunxia Sun, Huilin Gao, Fengri Li
      First page: 446
      Abstract: Crown profile is mostly related to the competition of individual trees in the stands, light interception, growth, and yield of trees. A total of 76 sample trees with a total number of 889 whorls and 3658 live branches were used to develop the outer crown profile model of the planted Pinus sylvestris var. mongolica trees in Heilongjiang Province, China. The power-exponential equation, modified Kozak equation, and simple polynomial equation were used and the model which showed the best performance was used as the basic model. The dummy variable approach was used to analyze the effect of stand age and stand density on the crown profile. Quantile regression for linear mixed-effects model, where the correlations between the series measurements on the same subject were considered, was used to model the outer crown profile. The results indicated that the power-exponential equation had the smallest error and was used as the basic model. Based on the dummy variable approach, stand age and stand density showed significant effects on the crown profile on the whole. Thus, they were directly included into the linear form of the power-exponential equation by a natural logarithm transformation to develop the quantile regression for the linear mixed-effects model. The 0.95th quantile regression model performed best in modeling the outer crown profile when compared to other quantiles. The prediction accuracy of the 0.95th quantile regression model by adding the random effects increased when compared to the quantile regression without random effect. The quantile regression for the linear mixed-effects model also showed an excellent performance in the largest crown radius prediction when compared to the quantile regression model. From suppressed trees to dominant trees, the crown radius increased, with tree size increasing for the same stand age and stand density increases. The crown radius of the suppressed trees from 21 to 40 year stands was the largest and the smallest was from older (>40 years) stands. The crown radius for both the intermediate and dominant trees from 21 to 40 year stands were similar and were larger than the younger (10–20 years) stands. The crown radius increased with tree size when the stand variables were constant. Furthermore, the crown radius increased with the increase of stand age, decreased with increasing stand density, and decreased with increased ratio of tree height to diameter at the breast height (HD) for trees with the same tree variables. Stand density had a weaker effect on the crown profile when compared to the HD. The growth rate of the crown radius of planted Pinus sylvestris var. mongolica trees increased with increasing stand age, and decreased with decreasing stand density. The growth rate of the crown radius decreased with increasing HD.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-11-17
      DOI: 10.3390/f8110446
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 11 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 447: Biomass Losses Caused by Teratosphaeria Leaf
           Disease in Eucalyptus globulus Short Rotation Forestry

    • Authors: Severiano Pérez, Carlos Renedo, Alfredo Ortiz, Félix Ortiz, Agustín Santisteban
      First page: 447
      Abstract: This article presents the results of a study that examines the loss of biomass and energy, per hectare, caused by Teratosphaeria leaf disease (TLD) in Eucalyptus globulus short rotation forestry. The 95 Eucalyptus globulus taxa analyzed are from seeds of open pollinated families of both Spanish and Australian origin. Tree height and diameter were measured and the crown damage index (CDI) assessed at 27 months of age. Taxa that have a certain tolerance to the disease have been identified. The taxon identified as code 283 is the one that shows lower CDI (42%) and with an average volume that exceeded 0.017 m3 at 27 months of age. Biomass losses were determined for each fraction of dry biomass of the tree (leaves, branches, twigs and bark) based on CDI. These losses were translated into terms of energy lost per hectare, depending on the CDI. A comparison was then carried out between the productivity of Eucalyptus globulus exhibiting various levels of TLD severity and poplar and willow clones used for bioenergy in Europe. In our region, the results show that despite the losses of biomass associated with TLD, Eucalyptus globulus remains competitive as long as CDI values are lower than 56%.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-11-17
      DOI: 10.3390/f8110447
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 11 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 448: Soil Organic Matter Accumulation and Carbon
           Fractions along a Moisture Gradient of Forest Soils

    • Authors: Ewa Błońska, Jarosław Lasota
      First page: 448
      Abstract: The aim of the study was to present effects of soil properties, especially moisture, on the quantity and quality of soil organic matter. The investigation was performed in the Czarna Rózga Reserve in Central Poland. Forty circular test areas were located in a regular grid of points (100 × 300 m). Each plot was represented by one soil profile located at the plot’s center. Sample plots were located in the area with Gleysols, Cambisols and Podzols with the water table from 0 to 100 cm. In each soil sample, particle size, total carbon and nitrogen content, acidity, base cations content and fractions of soil organic matter were determined. The organic carbon stock (SOCs) was calculated based on its total content at particular genetic soil horizons. A Carbon Distribution Index (CDI) was calculated from the ratio of the carbon accumulation in organic horizons and the amount of organic carbon accumulation in the mineral horizons, up to 60 cm. In the soils under study, in the temperate zone, moisture is an important factor in the accumulation of organic carbon in the soil. The highest accumulation of carbon was observed in soils of swampy variant, while the lowest was in the soils of moist variant. Large accumulation of C in the soils with water table 80–100 cm results from the thick organic horizons that are characterized by lower organic matter decomposition and higher acidity. The proportion of carbon accumulation in the organic horizons to the total accumulation in the mineral horizons expresses the distribution of carbon accumulated in the soil profile, and is a measure of quality of the organic matter accumulated. Studies have confirmed the importance of moisture content in the formation of the fractional organic matter. With greater soil moisture, the ratio of humic to fulvic acids (HA/FA) decreases, which may suggest an increase in carbon mobility in soils.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-11-17
      DOI: 10.3390/f8110448
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 11 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 449: Exploring the Regional Potential of
           Lignocellulosic Biomass for an Emerging Bio-Based Economy: A Case Study
           from Southwest Germany

    • Authors: Joachim Maack, Marcus Lingenfelder, Thomas Smaltschinski, Dirk Jaeger, Barbara Koch
      First page: 449
      Abstract: The globally emerging concepts and strategies for a “bioeconomy” rely on the vision of a sustainable bio-based substitution process. Fossil fuels are scarce and their use contributes to global warming. To replace them in the value chains, it is essential to gain knowledge about quantities and spatial distributions of renewable resources. Decision makers specifically require knowledge-based models for rational development choices. In this paper, we demonstrate such an approach using remote sensing-derived maps that represent the potential available biomass of forests and trees outside forests (TOF). The maps were combined with infrastructure data, transport costs and wood pricing to calculate the potentially available biomass for a regional bioeconomy in the federal state of Baden-Württemberg in Southwest Germany. We estimated the spatially explicit regional supply of biomass using routable data in a GIS environment, and created an approach to find the most suitable positions for biomass conversion facilities by minimizing transport distances and biomass costs. The approach resulted in the theoretical, regional supply of woody biomass with transport distances between 10 and 50 km. For a more realistic assessment, we subsequently applied several restrictions and assumptions, compiled different scenarios, optimised transport distances and identified wood assortments. Our analysis demonstrated that a regional bioeconomy using only local primary lignocellulosic biomass is possible. There would be, however, strong competition with traditional wood-processing sectors, mainly thermal utilisation and pulp and paper production. Finally, suitable positions for conversion facilities in Baden-Württemberg were determined for each of the six most plausible scenarios. This case study demonstrates the value of remote sensing and GIS techniques for a flexible, expandable and upgradable spatially explicit decision model.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-11-17
      DOI: 10.3390/f8110449
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 11 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 450: Responses of Contrasting Tree Functional Types
           to Air Warming and Drought

    • Authors: Elisabet Martínez-Sancho, Lizeth K. Vásconez Navas, Hannes Seidel, Isabel Dorado-Liñán, Annette Menzel
      First page: 450
      Abstract: Climate change-induced rise of air temperatures and the increase of extreme climatic events, such as droughts, will largely affect plant growth and hydraulics, leading to mortality events all over the globe. In this study, we investigated the growth and hydraulic responses of seedlings of contrasting functional types. Pinus sylvestris, Quercus spp. and Castanea sativa seedlings were grown in a common garden experiment under four treatments: control, air warming, drought and their combination during two consecutive growing periods. Height and diameter increments, stomatal conductance and stem water potentials were measured during both growing seasons. Additionally, hydraulic parameters such as xylem-specific native and maximum hydraulic conductivities, and native percentage of loss of conductivity were measured at the end of the entire experiment. Our results clearly pointed to different adaptive strategies of the studied species. Scots pine displayed a relatively isohydric behavior with a strict stomata control prohibiting native embolism whereas sweet chestnut and oak as relatively anisohydric species displayed an increased loss of native conductivity as a results of low water potentials. Seasonal timing of shoot and diameter growth also differed among functional types influencing drought impacts. Additionally, the possibility of embolism reversal seemed to be limited under the study conditions.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-11-17
      DOI: 10.3390/f8110450
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 11 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 451: Genetic Variation in Quercus acutissima
           Carruth., in Traditional Japanese Rural Forests and Agricultural
           Landscapes, Revealed by Chloroplast Microsatellite Markers

    • Authors: Yoko Saito, Yoshiaki Tsuda, Kentaro Uchiyama, Tomohide Fukuda, Yasuhiro Seto, Pan-Gi Kim, Hai-Long Shen, Yuji Ide
      First page: 451
      Abstract: Quercus acutissima Carruth. is an economically important species that has long been cultivated in Japan, so is a valuable subject for investigating the impact of human activities on genetic variation in trees. In total, 2152 samples from 18 naturally regenerated populations and 28 planted populations in Japan and 13 populations from the northeastern part of Eurasia, near Japan, were analyzed using six maternally inherited chloroplast (cpDNA) simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers. Although 23 haplotypes were detected in total, both the Japanese natural and artificial populations exhibited much lower genetic diversity than the continental populations. The level of genetic differentiation among natural populations in Japan was also much lower (G’ST = 0.261) than that on the continent (G’ST = 0.856). These results suggest that human activities, such as historical seed transfer, have reduced genetic diversity within and among populations and resulted in a homogeneous genetic structure in Japan. The genetic characteristics of natural and artificial populations of Quercus acutissima in Japan are almost the same and it is likely that most of the natural populations are thought to have originated from individuals that escaped from plantations.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-11-17
      DOI: 10.3390/f8110451
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 11 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 452: Effects of Nitrogen Deposition on Soil
           Dissolved Organic Carbon and Nitrogen in Moso Bamboo Plantations Strongly
           Depend on Management Practices

    • Authors: Zhaofeng Lei, Huanfa Sun, Quan Li, Junbo Zhang, Xinzhang Song
      First page: 452
      Abstract: Soil dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and nitrogen (DON) play significant roles in forest carbon, nitrogen and nutrient cycling. The objective of the present study was to estimate the effect of management practices and nitrogen (N) deposition on soil DOC and DON in Moso bamboo (Phyllostachys edulis (Carrière) J. Houz) plantations. This experiment, conducted for over 36 months, investigated the effects of four N addition levels (30, 60 and 90 kg N ha−1 year−1, and the N-free control) and two management practices (conventional management (CM) and intensive management (IM)) on DOC and DON. The results showed that DOC and DON concentrations were the highest in summer. Both intensive management and N deposition independently decreased DOC and DON in spring (p < 0.05) but not in winter. However, when combined with IM, N deposition increased DOC and DON in spring and winter (p < 0.05). Our results demonstrated that N deposition significantly increased the loss of soil DOC and DON in Moso plantations, and this reduction was strongly affected by IM practices and varied seasonally. Therefore, management practices and seasonal variation should be considered when using ecological models to estimate the effects of N deposition on soil DOC and DON in plantation ecosystems.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-11-17
      DOI: 10.3390/f8110452
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 11 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 453: Decision Support System for Adaptive
           Regional-Scale Forest Management by Multiple Decision-Makers

    • Authors: Yusuke Yamada, Yuichi Yamaura
      First page: 453
      Abstract: Various kinds of decision support approaches (DSAs) are used in adaptive management of forests. Existing DSAs are aimed at coping with uncertainties in ecosystems but not controllability of outcomes, which is important for regional management. We designed a DSA for forest zoning to simulate the changes in indicators of forest functions while reducing uncertainties in both controllability and ecosystems. The DSA uses a Bayesian network model based on iterative learning of observed behavior (decision-making) by foresters, which simulates when and where zoned forestry activities are implemented. The DSA was applied to a study area to evaluate wood production, protection against soil erosion, preservation of biodiversity, and carbon retention under three zoning alternatives: current zoning, zoning to enhance biodiversity, and zoning to enhance wood production. The DSA predicted that alternative zoning could enhance wood production by 3–11% and increase preservation of biodiversity by 0.4%, but decrease carbon stock by 1.2%. This DSA would enable to draw up regional forest plans while considering trade-offs and build consensus more efficiently.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-11-17
      DOI: 10.3390/f8110453
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 11 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 454: Sustainable Forest Management and
           Social-Ecological Systems: An Institutional Analysis of Caatinga, Brazil

    • Authors: Joana Mattei Faggin, Jelle Hendrik Behagel, Bas Arts
      First page: 454
      Abstract: Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) has globally gained support as a strategy to use and manage forest resources while maintaining forest ecosystem services. However, type, relevance, and utilisation of forest ecosystem services vary across eco-regions, countries, and policy implementation pathways. As such, the concept of SFM is subject to a series of translations within the social-ecological context in which it is implemented. This article discusses translations of SFM in Caatinga biome—a tropical dry forest in the north-eastern semi-arid region of Brazil. Our analysis is based on a qualitative analysis of 24 semi-structured interviews and 30 documents. We discuss SFM and the interplay of resources, governance, and actors. Results for Caatinga show that (1) a technical approach to SFM that focuses on firewood and charcoal production is dominant; that (2) SFM implementation practices hardly address the needs and interests of local populations; and that (3) local actors show little support for the implementation of SFM. We conclude that the social-ecological context of Caatinga shapes translations of SFM mostly in a techno-bureaucratic rather than a socially embedded way. As a result, local practices of forest use are excluded from the regional SFM approach, which negatively affects its implementation.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-11-18
      DOI: 10.3390/f8110454
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 11 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 455: Climate Change Mitigation Potential in Boreal
           Forests: Impacts of Management, Harvest Intensity and Use of Forest
           Biomass to Substitute Fossil Resources

    • Authors: Tarit Baul, Ashraful Alam, Antti Ikonen, Harri Strandman, Antti Asikainen, Heli Peltola, Antti Kilpeläinen
      First page: 455
      Abstract: The impacts of alternative forest management scenarios and harvest intensities on climate change mitigation potential of forest biomass production, utilization and economic profitability of biomass production were studied in three boreal sub-regions in Finland over a 40-year period. Ecosystem modelling and life cycle assessment tools were used to calculate the mitigation potential in substituting fossil materials and energy, expressed as the net CO2 exchange. Currently recommended management targeting to timber production acted as a baseline management. Alternative management included maintaining 20% higher or lower stocking in forests and final felling made at lower breast height diameter than used in the baseline. In alternative management scenarios, logging residues and logging residues with coarse roots and stumps were harvested in final felling in addition to timber. The net CO2 exchange in the southern and eastern sub-regions was higher compared to the western one due to higher net ecosystem CO2 exchange (NEE) over the study period. Maintaining higher stocking with earlier final felling and intensified biomass harvest appeared to be the best option to increase both climate benefits and economic returns. Trade-offs between the highest net CO2 exchange and economic profitability of biomass production existed. The use of alternative displacement factors largely affected the mitigation potential of forest biomass.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-11-18
      DOI: 10.3390/f8110455
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 11 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 456: Incidence of Trailer Frame Structure on
           Driver’s Safety during Log Transportation

    • Authors: Marco Manzone, Angela Calvo
      First page: 456
      Abstract: The frame structure of the trailer may influence both the traction and the tractor-trailer stability, especially along sloped paths. The aim of this research was to analyze a trailer overturning and the strains on the connected tractors (wheeled, or crawled) during log transportation (loose or tied) along a hillside. Two two-axle trailers were used: tandem and turntable steering. Three types of measurements were carried out during the field tests: (i) the detachment from the ground of the rear upstream wheels (or crawler); (ii) the transversal and longitudinal strains occurring when the trailer overturned (and released the hooking system of the tractor); (iii) the lateral deviation of the rear wheels (or crawler) of the tractor. The study highlighted that the two-axle trailer with turntable steering combined with the crawl tractor gave better results in terms of safety during trailer overturning. In addition, independent of the type of trailer, a tied load was found to be more dangerous than a load restrained only by steel struts, because when overturning, the load forms a single unit with the trailer mass which increases the strains.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-11-18
      DOI: 10.3390/f8110456
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 11 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 457: Allometry of Sapwood Depth in Five Boreal
           Trees

    • Authors: M. Quiñonez-Piñón, Caterina Valeo
      First page: 457
      Abstract: This paper analyzes sapwood variability and allometry within individuals of Populus tremuloides, Pinus contorta, Pinus banksiana, Picea mariana, and Picea glauca. Outside bark diameter at breast height (DBH) and sapwood depth (sd) in four cardinal directions were measured in individuals in stands in Alberta and Saskatchewan, Canada. The microscopical analysis of wood anatomy was used to measure sd, and the error associated with the measures was observed. Sapwood allometry analyses examined the influence of DBH on sd and on sapwood area (SA). All species were observed to have varying sapwood depths around the trunk with statistical analyses showing that Pinus banksiana has a well defined preference to grow thicker in the North-East side. The largest sd values were observed for the Populus tremuloides set. Unlike Populus tremuloides and Picea glauca, for the species Pinus contorta, Pinus banksiana, and Picea mariana, incremental growth in DBH does not directly drive sapwood growth in any direction. For these three species, SA increases only because of increases in DBH as sd remains nearly constant. These results show that sapwood depth and sapwood area seem to behave differently in each studied species and are not always proportional to the tree size as is normally assumed.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-11-20
      DOI: 10.3390/f8110457
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 11 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 458: Phenotypical and Molecular Characterisation of
           

    • Authors: Martin Mullett, Ana Pérez-Sierra, Josep Armengol, Mónica Berbegal
      First page: 458
      Abstract: Fusarium circinatum, causing pine pitch canker, is one of the most damaging pathogens of Pinus species. This study investigated the use of phenotypical and molecular characteristics to delineate groups in a worldwide collection of isolates. The groups correlated with virulence and fungicide sensitivity, which were tested in a subset of isolates. Virulence tests of twenty isolates on P. radiata, P. sylvestris and P. pinaster demonstrated differences in host susceptibility, with P. radiata most susceptible and P. sylvestris least susceptible. Sensitivity to the fungicides fludioxonil and pyraclostrobin varied considerably between isolates from highly effective (half-maximal effective concentration (EC50) < 0.1 ppm) to ineffective (EC50 > 100 ppm). This study demonstrates the potential use of simply acquired phenotypical (cultural, morphological) and molecular metrics to gain a preliminary estimate of virulence and sensitivity to certain fungicides. It also highlights the necessity of including a range of isolates in fungicide tests and host susceptibility assays, particularly of relevance to tree breeding programmes.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-11-21
      DOI: 10.3390/f8110458
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 11 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 459: Identification of Floral Relicts Based on
           Spatial Distance of Isolation

    • Authors: Attila Molnár, Zsolt Végvári, Béla Tóthmérész
      First page: 459
      Abstract: The identification of climatic relicts is seldom straightforward. These species are threatened owing to current climatic trends, which underlines the importance of carrying out ecological and biogeographic investigations of them. Here we introduce a novel approach to improve the identification of climatic relicts. We are focusing on thermophilic relict plants of the Pannonian biogeographic region from the Holocene Thermal Maximum (HTM). We argue that a minimal mean annual temperature difference (MATD) of the HTM compared to the recent climate allowed a continuous northward expansion for the taxa investigated. We measured latitudinal distances between the recent occurrences of relicts and those of the main distribution found further south. Regarding estimates for MATD (1.0–2.5 °C), we only consider species with a distribution which has a 150–350 km North-South gap, since a latitudinally directed distance can be translated into temperature, showing a poleward cooling trend. Of the 15 selected species, 12 were recorded with values of 1.0–1.7 °C MATD, and three with values of 1.8–2.5 °C, some of which are presumably interglacial species. Woody species are over-represented among them (four species), using the Hungarian flora as a reference. The proposed method allows the prediction of potential climate-related changes in the future distribution of species, constrained by the topographic features of their habitats.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-11-21
      DOI: 10.3390/f8110459
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 11 (2017)
       
  • Forests, Vol. 8, Pages 460: Soil Degradation and the Decline of Available
           Nitrogen and Phosphorus in Soils of the Main Forest Types in the Qinling
           Mountains of China

    • Authors: Xiaofeng Zheng, Jie Yuan, Tong Zhang, Fan Hao, Shibu Jose, Shuoxin Zhang
      First page: 460
      Abstract: Soil degradation has been reported worldwide. To better understand this degradation, we selected Pinus armandii and Quercus aliena var. acuteserrata forests, and a mixed forest of Q. aliena var. acuteserrata and P. armandii in the Qinling Mountains in China for our permanent plots and conducted three investigations over a 20-year period. We determined the amounts of available nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) in the soil to track the trajectory of soil quality and compared these with stand characteristics, topographic and climatic attributes to analyze the strength of each factor in influencing the available N and P in the soil. We found that the soil experienced a severe drop in quality, and that degradation is continuing. Temperature is the most critical factor controlling the soil available N, and species composition is the main factor regulating the soil available P. Given the huge gap in content and the increasing rate of nutrients loss, this reduction in soil quality will likely negatively affect ecosystem sustainability.
      Citation: Forests
      PubDate: 2017-11-21
      DOI: 10.3390/f8110460
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 11 (2017)
       
 
 
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