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Forests, Volume 2, Issue 3 (September 2011), Pages 610-813

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Research

Jump to: Review

Open AccessArticle Introducing Intensively Managed Spruce Plantations in Swedish Forest Landscapes will Impair Biodiversity Decline
Forests 2011, 2(3), 610-630; doi:10.3390/f2030610
Received: 22 April 2011 / Accepted: 2 August 2011 / Published: 9 August 2011
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (910 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Due to pressure to raise forest productivity in Sweden, there are proposals to apply more intensive forestry methods, but they could have potentially large effects on biodiversity. Here we report a compilation and evaluation of the extent and significance of such effects. [...] Read more.
Due to pressure to raise forest productivity in Sweden, there are proposals to apply more intensive forestry methods, but they could have potentially large effects on biodiversity. Here we report a compilation and evaluation of the extent and significance of such effects. We evaluated potential effects on biodiversity by introducing intensively fertilized Norway spruce plantations as a management option in Swedish forests with low conservation values on insects, vascular plants, lichens, bryophytes, and red-listed species. Due to a lack of specific studies addressing this question, we based the evaluation on a combination of available and appropriate empiric and anecdotic knowledge; literature data, and expert judgments largely available in species data bases. Our evaluations suggest that such forests will only harbor species that are common and widespread in conventionally managed stands and that species of conservation interest will be lacking, due to the low heterogeneity and light intensity of even-aged monocultures with dense canopies, short rotation times and low availability of coarse woody debris. Effects at the landscape scale are more difficult to evaluate, but will be dependent on the area utilized and the conservation value of sites used. We conclude that negative effects on biodiversity can be reduced if: (1) only land with the lowest conservational value is utilized; (2) plantations are spatially arranged to minimize fragmentation of the landscape; (3) the quality and quantity of key structural elements (e.g., coarse woody debris, old living trees and snags) are maintained at the landscape level; and (4) management intensity is relaxed on other land. For effective implementation of these measures, legislative frameworks and policy instruments need to be adjusted and new models for planning and monitoring need to be developed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Future Forests)
Open AccessCommunication Science for Trade-Offs Between Conflicting Interests in Future Forests
Forests 2011, 2(3), 631-636; doi:10.3390/f2030631
Received: 13 July 2011 / Accepted: 2 August 2011 / Published: 9 August 2011
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (418 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Forests deliver multiple ecosystem services to society. Management of forests must be able to deal with trade-offs when the delivery of different ecosystem services comes in conflict with each other. The research program Future Forests (http://www.futureforests.se) attempts to form a scientific basis [...] Read more.
Forests deliver multiple ecosystem services to society. Management of forests must be able to deal with trade-offs when the delivery of different ecosystem services comes in conflict with each other. The research program Future Forests (http://www.futureforests.se) attempts to form a scientific basis for managing such trade-offs between conflicting interests in northern boreal forests. Some key characteristics of the research program are interdisciplinary and participatory research and a clear communication agenda for stakeholders. This paper gives a brief overview of the underlying ideas behind the program, and an introduction to the papers published in this Special Issue. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Future Forests)
Open AccessArticle Leaf Area Index, Biomass Carbon and Growth Rate of Radiata Pine Genetic Types and Relationships with LiDAR
Forests 2011, 2(3), 637-659; doi:10.3390/f2030637
Received: 19 May 2011 / Revised: 1 August 2011 / Accepted: 3 August 2011 / Published: 16 August 2011
Cited by 11 | PDF Full-text (1037 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Relationships between discrete-return light detection and ranging (LiDAR) data and radiata pine leaf area index (LAI), stem volume, above ground carbon, and carbon sequestration were developed using 10 plots with directly measured biomass and leaf area data, and 36 plots with modelled [...] Read more.
Relationships between discrete-return light detection and ranging (LiDAR) data and radiata pine leaf area index (LAI), stem volume, above ground carbon, and carbon sequestration were developed using 10 plots with directly measured biomass and leaf area data, and 36 plots with modelled carbon data. The plots included a range of genetic types established on north- and south-facing aspects. Modelled carbon was highly correlated with directly measured crown, stem, and above ground biomass data, with r = 0.92, 0.97 and 0.98, respectively. LiDAR canopy percentile height (P30) and cover, based on all returns above 0.5 m, explained 81, 88, and 93% of the variation in directly measured crown, stem, and above ground live carbon and 75, 89 and 88% of the modelled carbon, respectively. LAI (all surfaces) ranged between 8.8–19.1 in the 10 plots measured at age 9 years. The difference in canopy percentile heights (P95–P30) and cover based on first returns explained 80% of the variation in total LAI. Periodic mean annual increments in stem volume, above ground live carbon, and total carbon between ages 9 and 13 years were significantly related to (P95–P30), with regression models explaining 56, 58, and 55%, respectively, of the variation in growth rate per plot. When plot aspect and genetic type were included with (P95–P30), the R2 of the regression models for stem volume, above ground live carbon, and total carbon increment increased to 90, 88, and 88%, respectively, which indicates that LiDAR regression equations for estimating stock changes can be substantially improved by incorporating supplementary site and crop data. Full article
Open AccessArticle Spatial Simulation Modelling of Future Forest Cover Change Scenarios in Luangprabang Province, Lao PDR
Forests 2011, 2(3), 707-729; doi:10.3390/f2030707
Received: 25 March 2011 / Revised: 12 July 2011 / Accepted: 16 August 2011 / Published: 25 August 2011
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (6224 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Taking Luangprabang province in Lao Peoples’s Democratic Republic (PDR) as an example, we simulated future forest cover changes under the business-as-usual (BAU), pessimistic and optimistic scenarios based on the Markov-cellular automata (MCA) model. We computed transition probabilities from satellite-derived forest cover maps [...] Read more.
Taking Luangprabang province in Lao Peoples’s Democratic Republic (PDR) as an example, we simulated future forest cover changes under the business-as-usual (BAU), pessimistic and optimistic scenarios based on the Markov-cellular automata (MCA) model. We computed transition probabilities from satellite-derived forest cover maps (1993 and 2000) using the Markov chains, while the “weights of evidence” technique was used to generate transition potential maps. The initial forest cover map (1993), the transition potential maps and the 1993–2000 transition probabilities were used to calibrate the model. Forest cover simulations were then performed from 1993 to 2007 at an annual time-step. The simulated forest cover map for 2007 was compared to the observed (actual) forest cover map for 2007 in order to test the accuracy of the model. Following the successful calibration and validation, future forest cover changes were simulated up to 2014 under different scenarios. The MCA simulations under the BAU and pessimistic scenarios projected that current forest areas would decrease, whereas unstocked forest areas would increase in the future. Conversely, the optimistic scenario projected that current forest areas would increase in the future if strict forestry laws enforcing conservation in protected forest areas are implemented. The three simulation scenarios provide a very good case study for simulating future forest cover changes at the subnational level (Luangprabang province). Thus, the future simulated forest cover changes can possibly be used as a guideline to set reference scenarios as well as undertake REDD/REDD+ preparedness activities within the study area. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Assessing Seven Decades of Carbon Accumulation in Two U.S. Northern Hardwood Forests
Forests 2011, 2(3), 730-740; doi:10.3390/f2030730
Received: 5 July 2011 / Revised: 8 August 2011 / Accepted: 29 August 2011 / Published: 5 September 2011
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (699 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Forests play a key role in the global carbon cycle, and programs aimed at mitigating greenhouse gas emissions through the protection and enhancement of forest carbon stocks are growing in number. Adding greenhouse gas mitigation as a management objective presents managers with [...] Read more.
Forests play a key role in the global carbon cycle, and programs aimed at mitigating greenhouse gas emissions through the protection and enhancement of forest carbon stocks are growing in number. Adding greenhouse gas mitigation as a management objective presents managers with a considerable challenge, because data and guidelines are scarce. Long-term inventory datasets have the potential to serve as a useful resource, providing data on carbon accumulation over time, as well as offering insight on strategies for managing forests for the objective of climate mitigation in the face of changing climate and disturbance regimes. We present long-term estimates of carbon accumulation developed from biometric measurements from two northern hardwood forests in the northeastern USA. The Bartlett Experimental Forest in central New Hampshire, USA, stored an estimated net average annual 0.53 tC/ha/yr between 1932–2001, for an increase of 50% in carbon stock per unit area; there were significant differences in accrual rates between age classes (38% for old unmanaged stands and 78% for younger unmanaged stands). The Kane Experimental Forest in northwestern Pennsylvania, USA, exhibited a 140% increase in carbon stored per unit area between 1932 and 2006, with an average annual accumulation rate of 0.89 tC/ha/yr. While both forests have experienced management activity and natural disturbances and differ in species composition, the average age of the forests is an important factor driving the differences in net accumulation rates. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Adaptation of Forests and Forest Management to Climate Change)
Open AccessCommunication Initial Assessment of Thousand Cankers Disease on Black Walnut, Juglans nigra, in Eastern Tennessee
Forests 2011, 2(3), 741-748; doi:10.3390/f2030741
Received: 12 July 2011 / Revised: 29 August 2011 / Accepted: 31 August 2011 / Published: 9 September 2011
Cited by 13 | PDF Full-text (2790 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In 2010, thousand cankers disease (TCD) was documented in Tennessee, representing the first confirmation of this disease in the native range of black walnut and the first known incidence of TCD east of Colorado. Tennessee Department of Agriculture personnel conducted surveys to [...] Read more.
In 2010, thousand cankers disease (TCD) was documented in Tennessee, representing the first confirmation of this disease in the native range of black walnut and the first known incidence of TCD east of Colorado. Tennessee Department of Agriculture personnel conducted surveys to determine the extent of TCD in counties in eastern Tennessee. Samples of symptomatic black walnuts were sent to the University of Tennessee for processing. The causative agents, walnut twig beetle, Pityophthorus juglandis, and the fungal pathogen Geosmithia morbida, were documented on the same trees in four counties. Tree mortality was observed in two counties, and tree decline was observed in at least 10 counties although it may be attributed to previous droughts or to TCD. In 2010, four confirmed counties were quarantined by TDA, and 10 buffer counties were also regulated. Research is underway to further assess the incidence and impact of TCD on black walnut in Tennessee. Full article
Open AccessArticle A Flexible Hybrid Model of Life Cycle Carbon Balance for Loblolly Pine (Pinus taeda L.) Management Systems
Forests 2011, 2(3), 749-776; doi:10.3390/f2030749
Received: 13 May 2011 / Revised: 3 August 2011 / Accepted: 1 September 2011 / Published: 15 September 2011
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (727 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this study we analyzed the effects of silvicultural treatments on carbon (C) budgets in Pinus taeda L. (loblolly pine) plantations in the southeastern United States. We developed a hybrid model that integrated a widely used growth and yield model for loblolly [...] Read more.
In this study we analyzed the effects of silvicultural treatments on carbon (C) budgets in Pinus taeda L. (loblolly pine) plantations in the southeastern United States. We developed a hybrid model that integrated a widely used growth and yield model for loblolly pine with published allometric and biometric equations to simulate in situ C pools. The model used current values of forest product conversion efficiencies and forest product decay rates to calculate ex situ C pools. Using the model to evaluate the effects of silvicultural management systems on C sequestration over a 200 year simulation period, we concluded that site productivity (site quality), which can be altered by silviculture and genetic improvement, was the major factor controlling stand C density. On low productivity sites, average net C stocks were about 35% lower than in stands with the default average site quality; in contrast, on high quality sites, C stocks were about 38% greater than average productivity stands. If woody products were incorporated into the accounting, thinning was C positive because of the larger positive effects on ex situ C storage, rather than smaller reductions on in situ C storage. The use of biological rotation age (18 years) was not suitable for C sequestration, and extended rotation ages were found to increase stand C stock density. Stands with an 18-year-rotation length had 7% lower net C density than stands with a 22-year-rotation length; stands with a 35-year-rotation length had only 4% more C than stands harvested at age 22 years. The C sequestered in woody products was an important pool of C storage, accounting for ~34% of the average net C stock. Changes in decomposition rate, associated with possible environmental changes resulting from global climate change, affected C storage capacity of the forest. When decay rate was reduced to 10% or increased to 20%, the C stock in the dead pool (forest floor and coarse woody debris) was reduced about 11.8 MgC∙ha−1 or increased about 13.3 MgC∙ha−1, respectively, compared to the average decay rate of 15%. The C emissions due to silvicultural and harvest activities were small (~1.6% of the gross C stock) compared to the magnitude of total stand C stock. The C model, based on empirical and biological relationships, appears appropriate for use in regional C stock assessments for loblolly pine plantation ecosystems in the southern U.S. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Adaptation of Forests and Forest Management to Climate Change)
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Open AccessArticle Increasing Drought Sensitivity and Decline of Atlas Cedar (Cedrus atlantica) in the Moroccan Middle Atlas Forests
Forests 2011, 2(3), 777-796; doi:10.3390/f2030777
Received: 12 July 2011 / Revised: 30 August 2011 / Accepted: 5 September 2011 / Published: 15 September 2011
Cited by 11 | PDF Full-text (4764 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
An understanding of the interactions between climate change and forest structure on tree growth are needed for decision making in forest conservation and management. In this paper, we investigated the relative contribution of tree features and stand structure on Atlas cedar ( [...] Read more.
An understanding of the interactions between climate change and forest structure on tree growth are needed for decision making in forest conservation and management. In this paper, we investigated the relative contribution of tree features and stand structure on Atlas cedar (Cedrus atlantica) radial growth in forests that have experienced heavy grazing and logging in the past. Dendrochronological methods were applied to quantify patterns in basal-area increment and drought sensitivity of Atlas cedar in the Middle Atlas, northern Morocco. We estimated the tree-to-tree competition intensity and quantified the structure in Atlas cedar stands with contrasting tree density, age, and decline symptoms. The relative contribution of tree age and size and stand structure to Atlas cedar growth decline was estimated by variance partitioning using partial-redundancy analyses. Recurrent drought events and temperature increases have been identified from local climate records since the 1970s. We detected consistent growth declines and increased drought sensitivity in Atlas cedar across all sites since the early 1980s. Specifically, we determined that previous growth rates and tree age were the strongest tree features, while Quercus rotundifolia basal area was the strongest stand structure measure related to Atlas cedar decline. As a result, we suggest that Atlas cedar forests that have experienced severe drought in combination with grazing and logging may be in the process of shifting dominance toward more drought-tolerant species such as Q. rotundifolia. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Assessing Bioenergy Harvest Risks: Geospatially Explicit Tools for Maintaining Soil Productivity in Western US Forests
Forests 2011, 2(3), 797-813; doi:10.3390/f2030797
Received: 21 July 2011 / Revised: 9 September 2011 / Accepted: 14 September 2011 / Published: 20 September 2011
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (2585 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Biomass harvesting for energy production and forest health can impact the soil resource by altering inherent chemical, physical and biological properties. These impacts raise concern about damaging sensitive forest soils, even with the prospect of maintaining vigorous forest growth through biomass harvesting [...] Read more.
Biomass harvesting for energy production and forest health can impact the soil resource by altering inherent chemical, physical and biological properties. These impacts raise concern about damaging sensitive forest soils, even with the prospect of maintaining vigorous forest growth through biomass harvesting operations. Current forest biomass harvesting research concurs that harvest impacts to the soil resource are region- and site-specific, although generalized knowledge from decades of research can be incorporated into management activities. Based upon the most current forest harvesting research, we compiled information on harvest activities that decrease, maintain or increase soil-site productivity. We then developed a soil chemical and physical property risk assessment within a geographic information system for a timber producing region within the Northern Rocky Mountain ecoregion. Digital soil and geology databases were used to construct geospatially explicit best management practices to maintain or enhance soil-site productivity. The proposed risk assessments could aid in identifying resilient soils for forest land managers considering biomass operations, policy makers contemplating expansion of biomass harvesting and investors deliberating where to locate bioenergy conversion facilities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Biofuels From Forests: Woody Biomass)
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Review

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Open AccessReview Taxonomic Review of Classical and Current Literature on the Perennial American Family Forest Problem
Forests 2011, 2(3), 660-706; doi:10.3390/f2030660
Received: 19 May 2011 / Revised: 12 July 2011 / Accepted: 5 August 2011 / Published: 25 August 2011
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (304 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
One of the fundamental issues in American forest policy has been the small forest ownership problem. Early in the twentieth century, it was called the farm forestry problem, later, the nonindustrial private forest problem, and today, the family forest problem. Family forest [...] Read more.
One of the fundamental issues in American forest policy has been the small forest ownership problem. Early in the twentieth century, it was called the farm forestry problem, later, the nonindustrial private forest problem, and today, the family forest problem. Family forest owners are thought to manage their lands in a suboptimal manner resulting in low forest productivity relative to other ownership groups. This can lead to future timber supply problems. The exact nature of the problem, especially its social and economic basis, was a common subject of early forestry research studies. This article includes many of the major nonindustrial private forest or family forest studies, from early to current, and classifies them both by themes used by other authors and categories that relate to major research areas in the current literature. A major focus of this literature deals with promoting management on family forest holdings and possible land management incentives and disincentives. Natural trends in family forest ownership, like parcelization, also impact upon forest management opportunities. By developing a taxonomy that classifies these studies by research objective, methodology, owner motivation, and problem definition, this article serves to organize the family forest literature in a manner that provides a temporal framework for better understanding the historical motivation for and development of family forest research in the United States. Full article

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