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Forests, Volume 5, Issue 8 (August 2014), Pages 1815-2049

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Research

Jump to: Review

Open AccessArticle Potential for Integrating Community-Based Monitoring into REDD+
Forests 2014, 5(8), 1815-1833; doi:10.3390/f5081815
Received: 10 April 2014 / Revised: 3 July 2014 / Accepted: 10 July 2014 / Published: 28 July 2014
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (263 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Countries at the United Nations Framework on the Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) have decided to engage local communities and indigenous groups into the activities for the monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) of the program to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest [...] Read more.
Countries at the United Nations Framework on the Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) have decided to engage local communities and indigenous groups into the activities for the monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) of the program to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation and increase carbon removals (REDD+). Previous research and projects have shown that communities can produce reliable data on forest area and carbon estimates through field measurements. The objective of this article is to describe the framework that is being created for REDD+ under the UNFCCC to identify the potential inclusion of local information produced through community-based monitoring (CBM) into monitoring systems for REDD+. National systems could use different sources of information from CBM: first, local information can be produced as part of public programs by increasing sample size of national or regional inventories; second, government can collect information to produce carbon estimates from on-going management practices implemented at local level driven by access to local direct benefits (e.g., forest management plans, watershed conservation); third, national data systems could include information from projects participating in carbon markets and other certification schemes; and finally information will be produced as part of the activities associated to the implementation of social and environmental safeguards. Locally generated data on carbon and areas under different forms of management can be dovetailed into national systems and be used to describe management practices, complement existing information or replace Tier 1/2 values with more detailed local data produced by CBM. Full article
Open AccessArticle Community Monitoring of Carbon Stocks for REDD+: Does Accuracy and Cost Change over Time?
Forests 2014, 5(8), 1834-1854; doi:10.3390/f5081834
Received: 8 May 2014 / Revised: 14 July 2014 / Accepted: 16 July 2014 / Published: 30 July 2014
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (1107 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries, and the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests, and enhancement of forest carbon stocks in developing countries (REDD+) is a potentially powerful international policy mechanism that many tropical countries are working [...] Read more.
Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries, and the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests, and enhancement of forest carbon stocks in developing countries (REDD+) is a potentially powerful international policy mechanism that many tropical countries are working towards implementing. Thus far, limited practical consideration has been paid to local rights to forests and forest resources in REDD+ readiness programs, beyond noting the importance of these issues. Previous studies have shown that community members can reliably and cost-effectively monitor forest biomass. At the same time, this can improve local ownership and forge important links between monitoring activities and local decision-making. Existing studies have, however, been static assessments of biomass at one point in time. REDD+ programs will require repeated surveys of biomass over extended time frames. Here, we examine trends in accuracy and costs of local forest monitoring over time. We analyse repeated measurements by community members and professional foresters of 289 plots over two years in four countries in Southeast Asia. This shows, for the first time, that with repeated measurements community members’ biomass measurements become increasingly accurate and costs decline. These findings provide additional support to available evidence that community members can play a strong role in monitoring forest biomass in the local implementation of REDD+. Full article
Open AccessArticle Participating in REDD+ Measurement, Reporting, and Verification (PMRV): Opportunities for Local People?
Forests 2014, 5(8), 1855-1878; doi:10.3390/f5081855
Received: 31 March 2014 / Revised: 6 June 2014 / Accepted: 17 July 2014 / Published: 31 July 2014
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (20705 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Assessing forest changes is the baseline requirement for successful forest management. Measurement, Reporting, and Verification (MRV) are three essential components for achieving such assessments. Community participation in resource monitoring and management is increasingly seen as a scientifically efficient, cost-effective, and equitable way [...] Read more.
Assessing forest changes is the baseline requirement for successful forest management. Measurement, Reporting, and Verification (MRV) are three essential components for achieving such assessments. Community participation in resource monitoring and management is increasingly seen as a scientifically efficient, cost-effective, and equitable way to employ such practices, particularly in the context of REDD+. We developed a multidisciplinary approach to study the feasibility of Participatory MRV (PMRV) across three sites along a forest degradation gradient in Indonesia. We looked at both the local and national level needs of MRV. Our approach combines: (1) social research focusing on the enabling conditions for local participation in MRV; (2) governance analyses of existing MRV systems in forestry and health; and (3) remote sensing work comparing overlaps and gaps between satellite imagery and local assessments of forest changes. We considered in our approach the possible multiple benefits of PMRV (carbon mitigation, biodiversity conservation, livelihood security). Our study helped to identify the multiple stakeholders (communities, NGOs and governments) and what the levels of governance should be to make PMRV design and implementation feasible and sustainable. Full article
Open AccessArticle Estimation of the Timber Quality of Scots Pine with Terrestrial Laser Scanning
Forests 2014, 5(8), 1879-1895; doi:10.3390/f5081879
Received: 3 March 2014 / Revised: 1 July 2014 / Accepted: 23 July 2014 / Published: 31 July 2014
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (5363 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Preharvest information on the quality of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) timber is required by the forest industry in Nordic countries, due to the strong association between the technical quality and product recovery of this species in particular. The objective of [...] Read more.
Preharvest information on the quality of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) timber is required by the forest industry in Nordic countries, due to the strong association between the technical quality and product recovery of this species in particular. The objective of this study was to assess the accuracy of estimating external quality attributes and classifying the quality of mature Scots pine trees by terrestrial laser scanning (TLS). The tree quality was estimated using a random forest approach, based on both field and TLS measurements of stem diameters, tree height and branch heights. The relative root mean squared errors of the TLS measurements for tree height, diameter, diameter at 6 m and the lowest living and dead branch height were 7.1%, 5.9%, 8.9%, 9.6% and 42.9%, respectively. The highest errors of the branch heights were caused by the shadowing effect in the point cloud data. The quality classes were estimated accurately, based on both (field and TLS measured) tree attributes. Trees were classified with 95.0% and 83.6% accuracy into three operationally-important quality classes and with 87.1% and 76.4% accuracy into five classes using, field or TLS measurements, respectively. The obtained quality classification results were promising. The enhanced tree quality information could have a significant effect on planning forest management procedures, wood supply chains and optimizing the flow of raw materials. To fully integrate tree quality measurements in operational forestry, the methods used should be fully automated. Full article
Open AccessArticle Re-Greening Ethiopia: History, Challenges and Lessons
Forests 2014, 5(8), 1896-1909; doi:10.3390/f5081896
Received: 25 February 2014 / Revised: 1 July 2014 / Accepted: 7 July 2014 / Published: 31 July 2014
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (189 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In Ethiopia, deforestation rates remain high and the gap between demand and domestic supply of forest products is expanding, even though government-initiated re-greening efforts began over a century ago. Today, over 3 million hectares (ha) of degraded forest land are under area [...] Read more.
In Ethiopia, deforestation rates remain high and the gap between demand and domestic supply of forest products is expanding, even though government-initiated re-greening efforts began over a century ago. Today, over 3 million hectares (ha) of degraded forest land are under area exclosure; smallholder plantations cover 0.8 million ha; and state-owned industrial plantations stagnate at under 0.25 million ha. This review captures experiences related to re-greening practices in Ethiopia, specifically with regards to area exclosure and afforestation and reforestation, and distills lessons regarding processes, achievements and challenges. The findings show that farmers and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are the main players, and that the private sector has so far played only a small role. The role of the government was mixed: supportive in some cases and hindering in others. The challenges of state- and NGO-led re-greening practices are: inadequate involvement of communities; poorly defined rehabilitation objectives; lack of management plans; unclear responsibilities and benefit-sharing arrangements; and poor silvicultural practices. The lessons include: a more active role for non-state actors in re-greening initiatives; more attention to market signals; devolution of management responsibility; clear definition of responsibilities and benefit-sharing arrangements; and better tenure security, which are all major factors to success. Full article
Open AccessArticle Correlating the Horizontal and Vertical Distribution of LiDAR Point Clouds with Components of Biomass in a Picea crassifolia Forest
Forests 2014, 5(8), 1910-1930; doi:10.3390/f5081910
Received: 18 December 2013 / Revised: 24 May 2014 / Accepted: 24 July 2014 / Published: 5 August 2014
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (30895 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Light detection and ranging (LiDAR) has been widely used to estimate forest biomass. In this study, we aim to further explore this capability by correlating horizontal and vertical distribution of LiDAR data with components of biomass in a Picea crassifolia forest. Airborne [...] Read more.
Light detection and ranging (LiDAR) has been widely used to estimate forest biomass. In this study, we aim to further explore this capability by correlating horizontal and vertical distribution of LiDAR data with components of biomass in a Picea crassifolia forest. Airborne small footprint full-waveform data were decomposed to acquire higher density point clouds. We calculated LiDAR metrics at the tree level and subplot level and correlated them to biomass components, including branch biomass (BB), leaf biomass (LB) and above-ground biomass (AGB), respectively. A new metric (Horizcv) describing the horizontal distribution of point clouds was proposed. This metric was found to be highly correlated with canopy biomass (BB and LB) at the tree level and subplot level. Correlation between AGB and Horizcv at the subplot level is much lower than that at tree level. AGB for subplot is highly correlated with the mean height metric (Hmean), canopy cover index (CCI) and the product of them. On the other hand, the relationship between the vertical distribution of LiDAR point and biomass was explored by developing two types of vertical profiles, including LiDAR distribution profiles and a biomass profile. Good relationships were found between these two types of vertical profiles and assessed by Pearson’s correlation coefficient (R) and the area of overlap index (AOI). These good correlations possess potential in predicting the vertical distribution of canopy biomass. Overall, it is concluded that not only the vertical, but also the horizontal distribution of LiDAR points should be taken into account in estimating components of biomass by LiDAR. Full article
Open AccessArticle The Impact of Moss Species and Biomass on the Growth of Pinus sylvestris Tree Seedlings at Different Precipitation Frequencies
Forests 2014, 5(8), 1931-1951; doi:10.3390/f5081931
Received: 9 May 2014 / Revised: 13 July 2014 / Accepted: 21 July 2014 / Published: 6 August 2014
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (272 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Boreal forests are characterized by an extensive moss layer, which may have both competitive and facilitative effects on forest regeneration. We conducted a greenhouse experiment to investigate how variation in moss species and biomass, in combination with precipitation frequency, affect Pinus sylvestris [...] Read more.
Boreal forests are characterized by an extensive moss layer, which may have both competitive and facilitative effects on forest regeneration. We conducted a greenhouse experiment to investigate how variation in moss species and biomass, in combination with precipitation frequency, affect Pinus sylvestris seedling growth. We found that moss species differed in their effects on seedling growth, and moss biomass had negative effects on seedlings, primarily when it reached maximal levels. When moss biomass was maximal, seedling biomass decreased, whereas height and above- relative to below-ground mass increased, due to competition for light. The effect that moss biomass had on seedling performance differed among the moss species. Hylocomium splendens and Polytrichum commune reduced seedling growth the most, likely because of their taller growth form. Seedlings were not adversely affected by Sphagnum girgensohnii and Pleurozium schreberi, possibly because they were not tall enough to compete for light and improved soil resource availability. Reduced precipitation frequency decreased the growth of all moss species, except P. commune, while it impaired the growth of seedlings only when they were grown with P. commune. Our findings suggest that changes in moss species and biomass, which can be altered by disturbance or climate change, can influence forest regeneration. Full article
Open AccessArticle Soil Carbon Stocks in Two Hybrid Poplar-Hay Crop Systems in Southern Quebec, Canada
Forests 2014, 5(8), 1952-1966; doi:10.3390/f5081952
Received: 20 January 2014 / Revised: 2 July 2014 / Accepted: 30 July 2014 / Published: 7 August 2014
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (17650 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Tree-based intercropping (TBI) systems, consisting of a medium to fast-growing woody species planted in widely-spaced rows with crops cultivated between tree rows, are a potential sink for atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2). TBI systems contribute to farm income in the long-term [...] Read more.
Tree-based intercropping (TBI) systems, consisting of a medium to fast-growing woody species planted in widely-spaced rows with crops cultivated between tree rows, are a potential sink for atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2). TBI systems contribute to farm income in the long-term by improving soil quality, as indicated by soil carbon (C) storage, generating profits from crop plus tree production and potentially through C credit trading. The objectives of the current study were: (1) to evaluate soil C and nitrogen (N) stocks in soil depth increments in the 0–30 cm layer between tree rows of nine-year old hybrid poplar-hay intercropping systems, to compare these to C and N stocks in adjacent agricultural systems; and (2) to determine how hay yield, litterfall and percent total light transmittance (PTLT) were related to soil C and N stocks between tree rows and in adjacent agricultural systems. The two TBI study sites (St. Edouard and St. Paulin) had a hay intercrop with alternating rows of hybrid poplar clones and hardwoods and included an adjacent agricultural system with no trees (i.e., the control plots). Soil C and N stocks were greater in the 0–5 cm depth increment of the TBI system within 1 m of the hardwood row, to the west of the poplar row, compared to the sampling point 1 m east of poplar at St. Edouard (p = 0.02). However, the agricultural system stored more soil C than the nine-year old TBI system in the 20–30 cm and 0–30 cm depth increments. Accumulation of soil C in the 20–30 cm depth increment could be due to tillage-induced burial of non-harvested crop residues at the bottom of the plow-pan. Soil C and N stocks were similar at all depth increments in TBI and agricultural systems at St. Paulin. Soil C and N stocks were not related to hay yield, litterfall and PTLT at St. Paulin, but hay yield and PTLT were significantly correlated (R = 0.87, p < 0.05, n = 21), with lower hay yield in proximity to trees in the TBI system and similar hay yields in the middle of alleys as in the agricultural system. Nine years of TBI practices did not produce significant gains in soil C and N stocks in the 0–30 cm layer, indicating that the total C budget, including C sequestered in trees and unharvested components (litterfall and roots), must be assessed to determine the long-term profitability of TBI systems in Canada. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest and Wood Vegetation Carbon Stores and Sequestration)
Open AccessArticle Biomass and Carbon Stocks of Sofala Bay Mangrove Forests
Forests 2014, 5(8), 1967-1981; doi:10.3390/f5081967
Received: 8 January 2014 / Revised: 25 July 2014 / Accepted: 5 August 2014 / Published: 14 August 2014
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (3183 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Mangroves could be key ecosystems in strategies addressing the mitigation of climate changes through carbon storage. However, little is known regarding the carbon stocks of these ecosystems, particularly below-ground. This study was carried out in the mangrove forests of Sofala Bay, Central [...] Read more.
Mangroves could be key ecosystems in strategies addressing the mitigation of climate changes through carbon storage. However, little is known regarding the carbon stocks of these ecosystems, particularly below-ground. This study was carried out in the mangrove forests of Sofala Bay, Central Mozambique, with the aim of quantifying carbon stocks of live and dead plant and soil components. The methods followed the procedures developed by the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) for mangrove forests. In this study, we developed a general allometric equation to estimate individual tree biomass and soil carbon content (up to 100 cm depth). We estimated the carbon in the whole mangrove ecosystem of Sofala Bay, including dead trees, wood debris, herbaceous, pneumatophores, litter and soil. The general allometric equation for live trees derived was [Above-ground tree dry weight (kg) = 3.254 × exp(0.065 × DBH)], root mean square error (RMSE = 4.244), and coefficient of determination (R2 = 0.89). The average total carbon storage of Sofala Bay mangrove was 218.5 Mg·ha−1, of which around 73% are stored in the soil. Mangrove conservation has the potential for REDD+ programs, especially in regions like Mozambique, which contains extensive mangrove areas with high deforestation and degradation rates. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest and Wood Vegetation Carbon Stores and Sequestration)
Open AccessArticle Large Area Mapping of Boreal Growing Stock Volume on an Annual and Multi-Temporal Level Using PALSAR L-Band Backscatter Mosaics
Forests 2014, 5(8), 1999-2015; doi:10.3390/f5081999
Received: 26 March 2014 / Revised: 23 July 2014 / Accepted: 8 August 2014 / Published: 20 August 2014
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (26309 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The forests of the Russian Taiga can be described as an enormous biomass and carbon reservoir. Therefore, they are of utmost importance for the global carbon cycle. Large-area forest inventories in these mostly remote regions are associated with logistical problems and high [...] Read more.
The forests of the Russian Taiga can be described as an enormous biomass and carbon reservoir. Therefore, they are of utmost importance for the global carbon cycle. Large-area forest inventories in these mostly remote regions are associated with logistical problems and high financial efforts. Remotely-sensed data from satellite platforms may have the capability to provide such huge amounts of information. This study presents an application-oriented approach to derive aboveground growing stock volume (GSV) maps using the annual large-area L-band backscatter mosaics provided by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). Furthermore, a multi-temporal map has been created to improve GSV estimation accuracy. Based on information from Russian forest inventory data, the maps were generated using the machine learning algorithm, RandomForest. The results showed the high potential of this method for an operational, large-scale and high-resolution biomass estimation over boreal forests. An RMSE from 55.2 to 63.3 m3/ha could be obtained for the annual maps. Using the multi-temporal approach, the error could be slightly reduced to 54.4 m3/ha. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Applications of Remote Sensing to Forestry)
Open AccessArticle Integration of Adaptation and Mitigation in Climate Change and Forest Policies in Indonesia and Vietnam
Forests 2014, 5(8), 2016-2036; doi:10.3390/f5082016
Received: 26 May 2014 / Revised: 25 June 2014 / Accepted: 19 August 2014 / Published: 22 August 2014
PDF Full-text (273 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Forests play a major role in both climate change mitigation and adaptation, but few policies, if any, integrate these two aspects. Using Indonesia and Vietnam as case studies, we identify challenges at the national level but opportunities at the local level. Although [...] Read more.
Forests play a major role in both climate change mitigation and adaptation, but few policies, if any, integrate these two aspects. Using Indonesia and Vietnam as case studies, we identify challenges at the national level but opportunities at the local level. Although both countries demonstrate political commitment to integrating adaptation and mitigation in their development plans, guidelines for policy and planning treat the two approaches separately. The main challenges identified are lack of knowledge, lack of political will, lack of financial incentives, and fragmentation of mandates and tasks of different government agencies. In contrast, at the local level, integration of mitigation and adaptation is facilitated by subnational autonomy, where mitigation projects might have adaptation co-benefits, and vice versa. Our results also show that many actors have a dual mandate that could bridge adaptation and mitigation if appropriate political and financial incentives are put in place. Successful integration of mitigation and adaptation policies would not only remove contradictions between policies, but also encourage governments that are designing domestic policies to exploit the potential for positive spillovers and realize the benefits of both approaches. Full article
Open AccessArticle Total Stem and Merchantable Volume Equations of Norway Spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst.) Growing on Former Farmland in Sweden
Forests 2014, 5(8), 2037-2049; doi:10.3390/f5082037
Received: 3 March 2014 / Revised: 21 July 2014 / Accepted: 19 August 2014 / Published: 22 August 2014
PDF Full-text (365 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
An equation was constructed to estimate the stem volume of Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst.) in 145 stands growing on former farmland in Sweden (Latitude 56–63° N). The mean total age was 40 ± 13 (range 17–91) years, the mean [...] Read more.
An equation was constructed to estimate the stem volume of Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst.) in 145 stands growing on former farmland in Sweden (Latitude 56–63° N). The mean total age was 40 ± 13 (range 17–91) years, the mean diameter at breast height (ob) was 15 ± 4 (range 5–27) cm and the mean density was 1621 ± 902 (range 100–7600) stems ha1. The equation which fits the data best used the diameter at breast height and total stem height as predictive variables. Merchantable volume equations for the estimation of commercial volume for any top diameter and bole length were developed. Soil types in the stands were sediments (coarse sand, fine sand and silt and heavy, medium and light clay), tills (sandy, fine sandy and silty) and peat. The standing volume was calculated; the mean was 253 ± 103 (range 26–507) m3 ha1 with a MAI (mean annual increment) of 6.9±3.5 (range 1.3–16.7) m3 ha1 year1. There were statistically significant differences between MAI and coarse sand, sand and silt, light clay, peat and silty till soils. Spruce stands growing on silty tills had the lowest MAI (4.94 ± 2.27 m3 ha−1 year−1) and light clay, fine sand and silt and peat the highest (7.62 ± 4.24, 7.46 ± 3.33 and 8.67 ± 2.83 m3 ha−1 year−1). Full article

Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessReview Minimizing Risks of Invasive Alien Plant Species in Tropical Production Forest Management
Forests 2014, 5(8), 1982-1998; doi:10.3390/f5081982
Received: 1 July 2014 / Revised: 31 July 2014 / Accepted: 4 August 2014 / Published: 15 August 2014
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (215 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Timber production is the most pervasive human impact on tropical forests, but studies of logging impacts have largely focused on timber species and vertebrates. This review focuses on the risk from invasive alien plant species, which has been frequently neglected in production [...] Read more.
Timber production is the most pervasive human impact on tropical forests, but studies of logging impacts have largely focused on timber species and vertebrates. This review focuses on the risk from invasive alien plant species, which has been frequently neglected in production forest management in the tropics. Our literature search resulted in 114 publications with relevant information, including books, book chapters, reports and papers. Examples of both invasions by aliens into tropical production forests and plantation forests as sources of invasions are presented. We discuss species traits and processes affecting spread and invasion, and silvicultural practices that favor invasions. We also highlight potential impacts of invasive plant species and discuss options for managing them in production forests. We suggest that future forestry practices need to reduce the risks of plant invasions by conducting surveillance for invasive species; minimizing canopy opening during harvesting; encouraging rapid canopy closure in plantations; minimizing the width of access roads; and ensuring that vehicles and other equipment are not transporting seeds of invasive species. Potential invasive species should not be planted within dispersal range of production forests. In invasive species management, forewarned is forearmed. Full article

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