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Forests, Volume 3, Issue 3 (September 2012), Pages 445-852

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Open AccessArticle Index for Characterizing Post-Fire Soil Environments in Temperate Coniferous Forests
Forests 2012, 3(3), 445-466; doi:10.3390/f3030445
Received: 4 May 2012 / Revised: 8 June 2012 / Accepted: 19 June 2012 / Published: 6 July 2012
Cited by 13 | PDF Full-text (262 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Many scientists and managers have an interest in describing the environment following a fire to understand the effects on soil productivity, vegetation growth, and wildlife habitat, but little research has focused on the scientific rationale for classifying the post-fire environment. We developed an
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Many scientists and managers have an interest in describing the environment following a fire to understand the effects on soil productivity, vegetation growth, and wildlife habitat, but little research has focused on the scientific rationale for classifying the post-fire environment. We developed an empirically-grounded soil post-fire index (PFI) based on available science and ecological thresholds. Using over 50 literature sources, we identified a minimum of five broad categories of post-fire outcomes: (a) unburned, (b) abundant surface organic matter ( > 85% surface organic matter), (c) moderate amount of surface organic matter ( ≥ 40 through 85%), (d) small amounts of surface organic matter ( < 40%), and (e) absence of surface organic matter (no organic matter left). We then subdivided each broad category on the basis of post-fire mineral soil colors providing a more fine-tuned post-fire soil index. We related each PFI category to characteristics such as soil temperature and duration of heating during fire, and physical, chemical, and biological responses. Classifying or describing post-fire soil conditions consistently will improve interpretations of fire effects research and facilitate communication of potential responses or outcomes (e.g., erosion potential) from fires of varying severities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Long-Term Effects of Fire on Forest Soils)
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Open AccessArticle Regulating the Sustainability of Forest Management in the Americas: Cross-Country Comparisons of Forest Legislation
Forests 2012, 3(3), 467-505; doi:10.3390/f3030467
Received: 9 May 2012 / Revised: 12 June 2012 / Accepted: 18 June 2012 / Published: 6 July 2012
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (225 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Based on theoretical underpinnings and an empirical review of forest laws and regulations of selected countries throughout the Americas, we examine key components of natural forest management and how they are addressed in the legal frameworks of Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Guatemala,
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Based on theoretical underpinnings and an empirical review of forest laws and regulations of selected countries throughout the Americas, we examine key components of natural forest management and how they are addressed in the legal frameworks of Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Uruguay, and the U.S. We consider forest policy directives in terms of legislative, planning, operational, environmental/ecological, social, and economic aspects and classify them by the type of policy obligation: (1) non-discretionary laws or rules; or (2) discretionary, voluntary directives; and, further, by the type of policy approach: (1) a specific technology or practice required or recommended; (2) a process or system requirement or recommendation; or (3) a performance or outcome based requirement or recommendation. Protection of at-risk species and riparian buffers are required in all countries and include specific prescriptions in most; forest management planning and secure, legal land title or tenancy are commonly required; and mandatory processes to protect soil and water quality are customary. Less common requirements include forest monitoring and social and economic aspects, and, when in place, they are usually voluntary. Implications for improved policies to achieve sustainable forest management (SFM) are discussed. Full article
Open AccessArticle DAYCENT Simulations to Test the Influence of Fire Regime and Fire Suppression on Trace Gas Fluxes and Nitrogen Biogeochemistry of Colorado Forests
Forests 2012, 3(3), 506-527; doi:10.3390/f3030506
Received: 3 May 2012 / Revised: 6 June 2012 / Accepted: 9 July 2012 / Published: 24 July 2012
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (444 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Biological activity and the physical environment regulate greenhouse gas fluxes (CH4, N2O and NO) from upland soils. Wildfires are known to alter these factors such that we collected daily weather records, fire return intervals, or specific fire years, and
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Biological activity and the physical environment regulate greenhouse gas fluxes (CH4, N2O and NO) from upland soils. Wildfires are known to alter these factors such that we collected daily weather records, fire return intervals, or specific fire years, and soil data of four specific sites along the Colorado Front Range. These data were used as primary inputs into DAYCENT. In this paper we test the ability of DAYCENT to simulate four forested sites in this area and to address two objectives: (1) to evaluate the short-term influence of fire on trace gas fluxes from burned landscapes; and (2) to compare trace gas fluxes among locations and between pre-/post- fire suppression. The model simulations indicate that CH4 oxidation is relatively unaffected by wildfire. In contrast, gross nitrification rates were reduced by 13.5–37.1% during the fire suppression period. At two of the sites, we calculated increases in gross nitrification rates (>100%), and N2O and NO fluxes during the year of fire relative to the year before a fire. Simulated fire suppression exhibited decreased gross nitrification rates presumably as nitrogen is immobilized. This finding concurs with other studies that highlight the importance of forest fires to maintain soil nitrogen availability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Long-Term Effects of Fire on Forest Soils)
Open AccessArticle The Sprouting Capacity of 8–21-Year-Old Poplars and Some Practical Implications
Forests 2012, 3(3), 528-545; doi:10.3390/f3030528
Received: 31 May 2012 / Revised: 5 July 2012 / Accepted: 6 July 2012 / Published: 24 July 2012
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (675 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
We investigated the sprouting capacity of poplar stumps in ten 8–21-year old stands growing on former farmland in Sweden situated between 55°N and 60°N. Seven of the stands were planted with the clone OP-42 (Populus maximowiczii Henry × Populus trichocarpa Torr. and
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We investigated the sprouting capacity of poplar stumps in ten 8–21-year old stands growing on former farmland in Sweden situated between 55°N and 60°N. Seven of the stands were planted with the clone OP-42 (Populus maximowiczii Henry × Populus trichocarpa Torr. and Gray), one with black cottonwood (Populus trichocarpa Torr. and Gray) and two with unidentified clones. The poplars’ mean age was 17 years (range 8–21); six of the stands were growing on clay soils, two on tills and two on loam. The studied sprouts were 1–7 years old. Stump sprouting was observed in all studied stands. The number of sprouts per living stump decreased as sprout age increased. The mean dry mass of all sprouts stump−1 was 16.1 ± 14.0 (range 3.3–37.2) kg. A biomass equation was constructed for estimating sprout biomass from the sprouts’ diameter at 10 cm above the ground (D10). The mean total sprout weight per hectare for sprouts amounted to 16.9 ± 14.6 (range 1.2–41.3) tons ha−1 when calculated for the actual living stumps in the studied areas. Full article
Open AccessArticle The Scope for Reducing Emissions from Forestry and Agriculture in the Brazilian Amazon
Forests 2012, 3(3), 546-572; doi:10.3390/f3030546
Received: 2 April 2012 / Revised: 4 July 2012 / Accepted: 4 July 2012 / Published: 27 July 2012
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (411 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Reducing emissions from agriculture, forestry, and other land uses is considered an essential ingredient of an effective strategy to mitigate global warming. Required changes in land use and forestry, however, often imply foregoing returns from locally more attractive resource use strategies. We assess
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Reducing emissions from agriculture, forestry, and other land uses is considered an essential ingredient of an effective strategy to mitigate global warming. Required changes in land use and forestry, however, often imply foregoing returns from locally more attractive resource use strategies. We assess and compare the prospects of mitigating climate change through emission reductions from forestry and agriculture in the Brazilian Amazon. We use official statistics, literature, and case study material from both old and new colonization frontiers to identify the scope for emission reductions, in terms of potential additionality, opportunity costs, technological complexity, transaction costs, and risks of economic and environmental spillover effects. Our findings point to a comparative advantage in the Brazilian Amazon of forest conservation-based over land-use modifying mitigation options, especially in terms of higher potential additionality in emission reductions. Low-cost mitigation options do exist also in use-modifying agriculture and forestry, but tend to be technologically complex thus requiring more costly intervention schemes. Our review points to a series of regional development deficits that may come to hamper attempts to tap into the large-scale climate change mitigation potential often associated with the Amazon. Low-hanging fruits for mitigation do exist, but must be carefully identified based on the performance indicators we discuss. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Role of Forests for Carbon Capture and Storage)
Open AccessArticle Potential Range Expansion of Japanese Honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica Thunb.) in Southern U.S. Forestlands
Forests 2012, 3(3), 573-590; doi:10.3390/f3030573
Received: 11 June 2012 / Revised: 25 June 2012 / Accepted: 20 July 2012 / Published: 27 July 2012
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (373 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Japanese honeysuckle is one of the most aggressive invasive vines in forestlands of the southern United States. We analyzed field data collected by the U.S. Forest Service to identify potential determinants of invasion and to predict likelihood of further invasion under a variety
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Japanese honeysuckle is one of the most aggressive invasive vines in forestlands of the southern United States. We analyzed field data collected by the U.S. Forest Service to identify potential determinants of invasion and to predict likelihood of further invasion under a variety of possible management strategies. Results of logistic regression, which classified 74% of the field plots correctly with regard to species presence and absence, indicated probability of invasion is correlated positively with adjacency to water bodies, temperature, site productivity, species diversity, and private land ownership, and is correlated negatively with slope, stand age, artificial regeneration, distance to the nearest road, and fire disturbance. Habitats most at risk to further invasion under current conditions occur throughout Mississippi, stretching northward across western Tennessee and western Kentucky, westward across southern Arkansas, eastward across north-central Alabama, and also occur in several counties scattered within Virginia. Invasion likelihoods could be increased by global climate change and reduced most by conversion to public land ownership, followed by artificial regeneration, and fire disturbance. While conversion of land ownership may not be feasible, this result suggests the opportunity for decreasing the likelihood of invasions on private lands via using selected management practices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exotic and Invasive Plant Species Impacting Forests)
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Open AccessArticle The Effect of Restoration Treatments on the Spatial Variability of Soil Processes under Longleaf Pine Trees
Forests 2012, 3(3), 591-604; doi:10.3390/f3030591
Received: 2 May 2012 / Revised: 10 July 2012 / Accepted: 25 July 2012 / Published: 3 August 2012
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (295 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The objectives of this study were to (1) characterize tree-based spatial patterning of soil properties and understory vegetation in frequently burned (“reference state”) and fire-suppressed longleaf pine forests; and (2) determine how restoration treatments affected patterning. To attain these objectives, we used an
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The objectives of this study were to (1) characterize tree-based spatial patterning of soil properties and understory vegetation in frequently burned (“reference state”) and fire-suppressed longleaf pine forests; and (2) determine how restoration treatments affected patterning. To attain these objectives, we used an experimental manipulation of management types implemented 15 years ago in Florida. We randomly located six mature longleaf pine trees in one reference and four restoration treatments (i.e., burn, control, herbicide, and mechanical), for a total of 36 trees. In addition to the original treatments and as part of a monitoring program, all plots were subjected to several prescribed fires during these 15 years. Under each tree, we sampled mineral soil and understory vegetation at 1 m, 2 m, 3 m and 4 m (vegetation only) away from the tree. At these sites, soil carbon and nitrogen were higher near the trunk while graminoids, forbs and saw palmetto covers showed an opposite trend. Our results confirmed that longleaf pine trees affect the spatial patterning of soil and understory vegetation, and this patterning was mostly limited to the restoration sites. We suggest frequent burning as a probable cause for a lack of spatial structure in the “reference state”. We attribute the presence of spatial patterning in the restoration sites to accumulation of organic materials near the base of mature trees. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Long-Term Effects of Fire on Forest Soils)
Open AccessArticle Efficacy of Treatments against Garlic Mustard (Alliaria petiolata) and Effects on Forest Understory Plant Diversity
Forests 2012, 3(3), 605-613; doi:10.3390/f3030605
Received: 1 June 2012 / Revised: 17 July 2012 / Accepted: 19 July 2012 / Published: 3 August 2012
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (173 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Garlic mustard, an invasive exotic biennial herb, has been identified in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, but is not yet widely distributed. We tested the effectiveness and impact of management tools for garlic mustard in northern hardwood forests. Six treatment types (no treatment
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Garlic mustard, an invasive exotic biennial herb, has been identified in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, but is not yet widely distributed. We tested the effectiveness and impact of management tools for garlic mustard in northern hardwood forests. Six treatment types (no treatment control, hand-pull, herbicide, hand-pull/herbicide, scorch, and hand-pull/scorch) were applied within a northern hardwood forest invaded by garlic mustard. We sampled understory vegetation within plots to compare garlic mustard abundance (distinguishing first and second year plants) and native plant diversity before and after treatment. Results immediately following treatment indicated that garlic mustard seedling abundance was significantly reduced by herbicide, hand-pull/herbicide, scorch, and hand-pull/scorch treatments, and that adult abundance was reduced by all treatments. However, sampling of treatment sites one year later showed an increase in seedling abundance in herbicide and hand-pull/herbicide plots. Adult garlic mustard abundance after one year was lower than the control with the exception of the hand-pull plots where adult abundance did not differ. After one year, understory species richness and Shannon’s Diversity were lower in the herbicide and pull/herbicide treatments. Based on these results, we conclude that single-year treatment of garlic mustard with hand-pulling, herbicide, and/or scorching is ineffective in reducing garlic mustard abundance and may inadvertently increase the success of garlic mustard, while negatively impacting native understory species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exotic and Invasive Plant Species Impacting Forests)
Open AccessArticle Spatio-Temporal Trends of Oak Decline and Mortality under Periodic Regional Drought in the Ozark Highlands of Arkansas and Missouri
Forests 2012, 3(3), 614-631; doi:10.3390/f3030614
Received: 19 June 2012 / Revised: 14 July 2012 / Accepted: 19 July 2012 / Published: 6 August 2012
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (1691 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
At the forest landscape/region level, based on annual Forest Inventory and Analysis plot data from 1999 to 2010, oak decline and mortality trends for major oak species (groups) were examined in the Ozark Highlands of Arkansas and Missouri. Oak decline has elevated cumulative
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At the forest landscape/region level, based on annual Forest Inventory and Analysis plot data from 1999 to 2010, oak decline and mortality trends for major oak species (groups) were examined in the Ozark Highlands of Arkansas and Missouri. Oak decline has elevated cumulative mortality of red oak species to between 11 and 15 percent in terms of relative density and basal area of standing dead oak trees, respectively. These values are three to five times higher than for white oak group and non-oak species. Oak decline and associated escalating mortality have occurred primarily in red oak species while the white oak group has maintained a relatively stable mortality rate that is comparable to non-oak species. Cross-correlation analyses indicate that mortality in the red oak group was significantly correlated with the growing season Palmer drought severity index (PDSI) and usually lagged two to three years following single drought events. Moreover, based on the past 17 years PDSI data, it appears that the cumulative impacts of drought may last up to 10 years. The Ozark Highlands experienced a severe drought extending from 1998 to 2000 and another milder drought from 2005 to 2006. These drought events triggered the escalation of mortality starting around year 2000. Spatially, high red oak mortality sites (hot spots with proportional basal area mortality > 0.12) initially occurred in the central Ozarks and spread gradually over most of the Ozark Highlands as regional droughts continued. In contrast, sites with elevated white oak and non-oak mortality occurred sporadically, mainly in the southern portion (Arkansas) of the Ozark Highlands. During the most recent inventory period (2006–2010), over 60%, 7% and 5% of red oak, white oak and non-oak groups, respectively, had relative mortality rates of > 12%. Full article
Open AccessArticle Effects of Small-Scale Dead Wood Additions on Beetles in Southeastern U.S. Pine Forests
Forests 2012, 3(3), 632-652; doi:10.3390/f3030632
Received: 19 June 2012 / Revised: 14 July 2012 / Accepted: 25 July 2012 / Published: 15 August 2012
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (253 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Pitfall traps were used to sample beetles (Coleoptera) in plots with or without inputs of dead loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.) wood at four locations (Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina and Texas) on the coastal plain of the southeastern United States. The plots
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Pitfall traps were used to sample beetles (Coleoptera) in plots with or without inputs of dead loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.) wood at four locations (Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina and Texas) on the coastal plain of the southeastern United States. The plots were established in 1998 and sampling took place in 1998, 1999, and 2002 (only 1998 for North Carolina). Overall, beetles were more species rich, abundant and diverse in dead wood addition plots than in reference plots. While these differences were greatest in 1998 and lessened thereafter, they were not found to be significant in 1998 due largely to interactions between location and treatment. Specifically, the results from North Carolina were inconsistent with those from the other three locations. When these data were excluded from the analyses, the differences in overall beetle richness for 1998 became statistically significant. Beetle diversity was significantly higher in the dead wood plots in 1999 but by 2002 there were no differences between dead wood added and control plots. The positive influence of dead wood additions on the beetle community can be largely attributed to the saproxylic fauna (species dependent on dead wood), which, when analyzed separately, were significantly more species rich and diverse in dead wood plots in 1998 and 1999. Ground beetles (Carabidae) and other species, by contrast, were not significantly affected. These results suggest manipulations of dead wood in pine forests have variable effects on beetles according to life history characteristics. Full article
Open AccessArticle Greenhouse Gas Balance of Native Forests in New South Wales, Australia
Forests 2012, 3(3), 653-683; doi:10.3390/f3030653
Received: 21 May 2012 / Revised: 31 May 2012 / Accepted: 7 August 2012 / Published: 17 August 2012
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (947 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
To quantify the climate change impacts of forestry and forest management options, we must consider the entire forestry system: the carbon dynamics of the forest, the life cycle of harvested wood products, and the substitution benefit of using biomass and wood products compared
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To quantify the climate change impacts of forestry and forest management options, we must consider the entire forestry system: the carbon dynamics of the forest, the life cycle of harvested wood products, and the substitution benefit of using biomass and wood products compared to more greenhouse gas intensive options. This paper presents modelled estimates of the greenhouse gas balance of two key native forest areas managed for production in New South Wales for a period of 200 years, and compares it to the option of managing for conservation only. These two case studies show that forests managed for production provide the greatest ongoing greenhouse gas benefits, with long-term carbon storage in products, and product substitution benefits critical to the outcome. Thus native forests could play a significant part in climate change mitigation, particularly when sustainably managed for production of wood and non-wood products including biomass for bioenergy. The potential role of production forestry in mitigating climate change, though substantial, has been largely overlooked in recent Australian climate change policy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Role of Forests for Carbon Capture and Storage)
Open AccessArticle Leaf Physiological and Morphological Responses to Shade in Grass-Stage Seedlings and Young Trees of Longleaf Pine
Forests 2012, 3(3), 684-699; doi:10.3390/f3030684
Received: 14 June 2012 / Revised: 21 July 2012 / Accepted: 10 August 2012 / Published: 20 August 2012
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (250 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Longleaf pine has been classified as very shade intolerant but leaf physiological plasticity to light is not well understood, especially given longleaf pine’s persistent seedling grass stage. We examined leaf morphological and physiological responses to light in one-year-old grass-stage seedlings and young trees
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Longleaf pine has been classified as very shade intolerant but leaf physiological plasticity to light is not well understood, especially given longleaf pine’s persistent seedling grass stage. We examined leaf morphological and physiological responses to light in one-year-old grass-stage seedlings and young trees ranging in height from 4.6 m to 6.3 m to test the hypothesis that young longleaf pine would demonstrate leaf phenotypic plasticity to light environment. Seedlings were grown in a greenhouse under ambient levels of photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) or a 50% reduction in ambient PAR and whole branches of trees were shaded to provide a 50% reduction in ambient PAR. In seedlings, shading reduced leaf mass per unit area (LMA), the light compensation point, and leaf dark respiration (RD), and increased the ratio of light-saturated photosynthesis to RD and chlorophyll b and total chlorophyll expressed per unit leaf dry weight. In trees, shading reduced LMA, increased chlorophyll a, chlorophyll b and total chlorophyll on a leaf dry weight basis, and increased allocation of total foliar nitrogen to chlorophyll nitrogen. Changes in leaf morphological and physiological traits indicate a degree of shade tolerance that may have implications for even and uneven-aged management of longleaf pine. Full article
Open AccessArticle Development of Vegetation and Surface Fuels Following Fire Hazard Reduction Treatment
Forests 2012, 3(3), 700-722; doi:10.3390/f3030700
Received: 5 July 2012 / Revised: 7 August 2012 / Accepted: 7 August 2012 / Published: 20 August 2012
Cited by 13 | PDF Full-text (1020 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In dry western Unites States forests where past resource management has altered the ecological role of fire and stand characteristics alike, mechanical thinning and prescribed burning are commonly applied in wildfire hazard abatement. The reduced surface fuel loads and stand structures resulting from
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In dry western Unites States forests where past resource management has altered the ecological role of fire and stand characteristics alike, mechanical thinning and prescribed burning are commonly applied in wildfire hazard abatement. The reduced surface fuel loads and stand structures resulting from fuels modifications are temporary, yet few studies have assessed the lifespan of treatment effects. We sampled forest fuels and vegetation following fuels reduction in a chronosequence of time since treatment in the northern Sierra Nevada and southern Cascade regions of California. Treatments altered overstory characteristics including stand density, basal area, and species composition. These effects were still present on the oldest treatment sites (8–15 years post-treatment). Other stand characteristics, particularly timelag fuel loads, seedling density, and shrub cover, exhibited substantial variability, and differences between treatment age classes and between treatment and control groups were not statistically significant. Full article
Open AccessArticle Site Index Curves for Young Hybrid Larch Growing on Former Farmland in Sweden
Forests 2012, 3(3), 723-735; doi:10.3390/f3030723
Received: 7 May 2012 / Revised: 27 June 2012 / Accepted: 13 August 2012 / Published: 21 August 2012
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (1382 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Site index (SI) curves for H20 (dominant height at 20 years total age) were constructed for hybrid larch (Larix × eurolepis Henry) growing in 26 stands on former farmland in southern and central Sweden (Latitude 56–60° N.). The mean total age
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Site index (SI) curves for H20 (dominant height at 20 years total age) were constructed for hybrid larch (Larix × eurolepis Henry) growing in 26 stands on former farmland in southern and central Sweden (Latitude 56–60° N.). The mean total age of the stands was 23 ± 10 (range 17–49) years; the mean diameter at breast height (ob) was 16 (7–34) cm; the mean height was 14 (8–29) m; and the stands had a mean density of 993 (266–2195) stems ha−1. A model derived by Cieszewski (2001) performed best for the data. The model explained 99% of the observed variation in height development. No apparent bias across the range of predicted site indices was found. SI was examined in relation to soil types. Multiple samples were available for three soil types: light clay, medium clay and till. There were no significant differences between these soil types with respect to the choice of SI curve. Full article
Open AccessArticle Leakage Implications for European Timber Markets from Reducing Deforestation in Developing Countries
Forests 2012, 3(3), 736-744; doi:10.3390/f3030736
Received: 4 July 2012 / Revised: 9 August 2012 / Accepted: 14 August 2012 / Published: 27 August 2012
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (193 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Forest management strategies and policies such as REDD (reduced emissions from deforestation and forest degradation) may have unintentional implications for forest sectors in countries not targeted by such policies. The success of a policy effort like REDD would result in a significant reduction
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Forest management strategies and policies such as REDD (reduced emissions from deforestation and forest degradation) may have unintentional implications for forest sectors in countries not targeted by such policies. The success of a policy effort like REDD would result in a significant reduction in deforestation and forest degradation and an ensuing reduction in the supply of natural forest timber production within participating countries. This could in turn result in price increases, inducing a supply response outside project boundaries with possible implications for forest management as well as global carbon emissions. This paper reviews the literature to discern potential timber market implications for countries sourcing wood products from developing countries affected by REDD related conservation efforts. The literature reviewed shows varying degrees of market effects leakage—policy actions in one place creating incentives for third parties to increase timber harvesting elsewhere through the price mechanism—ranging from negligible to substantial. However, wood products in the studies reviewed are dealt with on quite an aggregated scale and are assumed to be more or less perfect substitutes for wood products outside conservation effort boundaries. The review suggests that a thorough mapping of the end-uses of tropical timber is needed to comprehensively analyze impacts on wood-product markets in regions such as Europe from conservation efforts in tropical developing countries. The types of tropical timber expected to be affected, in which applications they are used, which are the most likely substitutes and where they would be sourced, are issues that, along with empirical analysis of supply and demand price elasticities and degree of substitutability, should be investigated when assessing the overall effectiveness of REDD. Full article
Open AccessArticle Arboricultural Introductions and Long-Term Changes for Invasive Woody Plants in Remnant Urban Forests
Forests 2012, 3(3), 745-763; doi:10.3390/f3030745
Received: 2 July 2012 / Revised: 14 August 2012 / Accepted: 15 August 2012 / Published: 27 August 2012
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (219 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Long-term changes for invasive trees and shrubs presence in 16 floras encompassing four remnant urban forests of the coastal northeastern United States were examined for relationships with arboricultural introductions’ residence time and planting intensity, and state level recognition of regional invasive woody taxa.
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Long-term changes for invasive trees and shrubs presence in 16 floras encompassing four remnant urban forests of the coastal northeastern United States were examined for relationships with arboricultural introductions’ residence time and planting intensity, and state level recognition of regional invasive woody taxa. The number of invasive woody taxa significantly increased over the period 1818 to 2011 which encompasses the 16 floras. No significant Pearson product moment correlations were found for residence time as the year of introduction to arboriculture with presence in the 16 floras as well as with the 4 most recent floras. In contrast to residence time, planting intensity from the North American flora and two botanical gardens floras of the region from 1811 to 1818 and New York and Philadelphia parks floras from 1857 to 1903 did have significant correlations with the 16 floras and the 4 most recent floras. State level recognition of regional invasive woody taxa showed significant correlations with presence in all 16 floras as well as the 4 most recent floras. Monitoring for range expansion by the regional invasive woody taxa is essential because only 18% of the 98 taxa are present in all 4 of the most recent floras. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exotic and Invasive Plant Species Impacting Forests)
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Open AccessArticle Spatial Analysis of Conservation Priorities Based on Ecosystem Services in the Atlantic Forest Region of Misiones, Argentina
Forests 2012, 3(3), 764-786; doi:10.3390/f3030764
Received: 11 June 2012 / Revised: 31 July 2012 / Accepted: 13 August 2012 / Published: 27 August 2012
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (6124 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Understanding the spatial pattern of ecosystem services is important for effective environmental policy and decision-making. In this study, we use a geospatial decision-support tool (Marxan) to identify conservation priorities for habitat and a suite of ecosystem services (storage carbon, soil retention and water
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Understanding the spatial pattern of ecosystem services is important for effective environmental policy and decision-making. In this study, we use a geospatial decision-support tool (Marxan) to identify conservation priorities for habitat and a suite of ecosystem services (storage carbon, soil retention and water yield) in the Upper Paraná Atlantic Forest from Misiones, Argentina—an area of global conservation priority. Using these results, we then evaluate the efficiency of existing protected areas in conserving both habitat and ecosystem services. Selected areas for conserving habitat had an overlap of carbon and soil ecosystem services. Yet, selected areas for water yield did not have this overlap. Furthermore, selected areas with relatively high overlap of ecosystem services tended to be inside protected areas; however, other important areas for ecosystem services (i.e., central highlands) do not have legal protection, revealing the importance of enforcing existing environmental regulations in these areas. Full article
Open AccessArticle Long-Term Survival of Saplings during the Transformation to Continuous Cover
Forests 2012, 3(3), 787-798; doi:10.3390/f3030787
Received: 27 June 2012 / Revised: 22 August 2012 / Accepted: 23 August 2012 / Published: 7 September 2012
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (365 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The Glentress Trial Area is an extensive research area in southern Scotland of 117 ha where a long-term trial of the transformation of even-aged plantations to continuous cover has been in progress since 1952. During the assessment of permanent sample plots in 1990
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The Glentress Trial Area is an extensive research area in southern Scotland of 117 ha where a long-term trial of the transformation of even-aged plantations to continuous cover has been in progress since 1952. During the assessment of permanent sample plots in 1990 information on the species and spatial position of saplings (trees taller than 1.3 m with a diameter at breast height of < 7 cm) was recorded. This provided a unique opportunity to investigate the long-term survival of saplings during the transformation process when the Trial Area was reassessed in 2009. The main finding was that 37% of saplings survived the 19-year period and the majority developed into trees (≥7 cm diameter at breast height). There was considerable variation between species, the lowest survival of saplings was European larch (Larix decidua Mill.) (13%) and the highest European beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) (55%); however differences between species were not significant. There were, however, significant differences between the six management areas with three with high sapling survival (55% to 61%) but others much lower (27% to 32%). If this result is confirmed by other studies, covering a broader range of sites, management guidance that assumes 90% survival will need to be revised. Full article
Open AccessArticle Habitat Modeling of Alien Plant Species at Varying Levels of Occupancy
Forests 2012, 3(3), 799-817; doi:10.3390/f3030799
Received: 17 May 2012 / Revised: 21 August 2012 / Accepted: 24 August 2012 / Published: 7 September 2012
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (589 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Distribution models of invasive plants are very useful tools for conservation management. There are challenges in modeling expanding populations, especially in a dynamic environment, and when data are limited. In this paper, predictive habitat models were assessed for three invasive plant species, at
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Distribution models of invasive plants are very useful tools for conservation management. There are challenges in modeling expanding populations, especially in a dynamic environment, and when data are limited. In this paper, predictive habitat models were assessed for three invasive plant species, at differing levels of occurrence, using two different habitat modeling techniques: logistic regression and maximum entropy. The influence of disturbance, spatial and temporal heterogeneity, and other landscape characteristics is assessed by creating regional level models based on occurrence records from the USDA Forest Service’s Forest Inventory and Analysis database. Logistic regression and maximum entropy models were assessed independently. Ensemble models were developed to combine the predictions of the two analysis approaches to obtain a more robust prediction estimate. All species had strong models with Area Under the receiver operator Curve (AUC) of >0.75. The species with the highest occurrence, Ligustrum spp., had the greatest agreement between the models (93%). Lolium arundinaceum had the most disagreement between models at 33% and the lowest AUC values. Overall, the strength of integrative modeling in assessing and understanding habitat modeling was demonstrated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exotic and Invasive Plant Species Impacting Forests)
Open AccessArticle Allometric Equations for Estimating Carbon Stocks in Natural Forest in New Zealand
Forests 2012, 3(3), 818-839; doi:10.3390/f3030818
Received: 18 June 2012 / Revised: 23 August 2012 / Accepted: 24 August 2012 / Published: 10 September 2012
Cited by 16 | PDF Full-text (289 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Species-specific and mixed-species volume and above ground biomass allometric equations were developed for 15 indigenous tree species and four tree fern species in New Zealand. A mixed-species tree equation based on breast height diameter (DBH) and tree height (H) provided acceptable estimates of
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Species-specific and mixed-species volume and above ground biomass allometric equations were developed for 15 indigenous tree species and four tree fern species in New Zealand. A mixed-species tree equation based on breast height diameter (DBH) and tree height (H) provided acceptable estimates of stem plus branch (>10 cm in diameter over bark) volume, which was multiplied by live tree density to estimate dry matter. For dead standing spars, DBH, estimated original height, actual spar height and compatible volume/taper functions provided estimates of dead stem volume, which was multiplied by live tree density and a density modifier based on log decay class from field assessments to estimate dry matter. Live tree density was estimated using ratio estimators. Ratio estimators were based on biomass sample trees, and utilized density data from outerwood basic density surveys which were available for 35 tree species sampled throughout New Zealand. Foliage and branch ( < 10 cm in diameter over bark) dry matter were estimated directly from tree DBH. Tree fern above ground dry matter was estimated using allometric equations based on DBH and H. Due to insufficient data, below ground carbon for trees was estimated using the default IPCC root/shoot ratio of 25%, but for tree ferns it was estimated using measured root/shoot ratios which averaged 20%. Full article

Review

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Open AccessReview Relationship between Invasive Plant Species and Forest Fauna in Eastern North America
Forests 2012, 3(3), 840-852; doi:10.3390/f3030840
Received: 29 June 2012 / Revised: 24 August 2012 / Accepted: 24 August 2012 / Published: 12 September 2012
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (199 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Invasive plant species have long been known to cause extensive damage, both economically and ecologically, to native ecosystems. They have historically been introduced by the public, both intentional and not, for a variety of reasons. Many of the woody shrubs, such as Lonicera
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Invasive plant species have long been known to cause extensive damage, both economically and ecologically, to native ecosystems. They have historically been introduced by the public, both intentional and not, for a variety of reasons. Many of the woody shrubs, such as Lonicera maackii and Rosa multiflora were introduced for wildlife cover, forage, and ornamental value. These invasives have quickly out-competed native flora, in many cases drastically impacting and changing the environment they inhabit. In this review, chosen species characteristics have been described, their pathway to invasion explained, and their impacts to native wildlife highlighted. Based on a review of the scientific literature, we determined that not all effects by invasive plants are negative. Many positive impacts can be seen throughout the literature, such as native frogs utilizing Microstegium vimineum for cover and nesting habitat. However, some important invasive plant species were not included in this review due to a lack of literature on the subject of the effects on fauna. While much is known about their economic impact and the impact on native plant species, additional work needs to be done in the field of wildlife research to determine current impacts and future implications of non-native, invasive plants on native fauna. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exotic and Invasive Plant Species Impacting Forests)

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