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Forests, Volume 8, Issue 12 (December 2017)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) We elaborate a strategy for unlocking European Union (EU) forests and forest sector potential based [...] Read more.
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Open AccessEditorial REDD+ Crossroads Post Paris: Politics, Lessons and Interplays
Forests 2017, 8(12), 508; https://doi.org/10.3390/f8120508
Received: 18 December 2017 / Revised: 19 December 2017 / Accepted: 19 December 2017 / Published: 20 December 2017
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Abstract
This article introduces the special issue “REDD+ crossroads post Paris: politics, lessons and interplays”. The contributions to the special issue demonstrate, first, that REDD+ design in the studied countries has generally lacked social legitimacy and sidelined key actors that have an important role
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This article introduces the special issue “REDD+ crossroads post Paris: politics, lessons and interplays”. The contributions to the special issue demonstrate, first, that REDD+ design in the studied countries has generally lacked social legitimacy and sidelined key actors that have an important role in shaping land-use sector dynamics. Second, they show that REDD+ early actions have tended to oversimplify local realities and have been misaligned with other policy goals and local needs. Third, REDD+ efforts have remained constrained to the forestry or climate mitigation policy sectors and have thus suffered from a lack of harmonization across local, national and international concerns, specifically of contradictory policy. As REDD+ moves from its preparedness to its implementation phase, more research efforts should be aimed at analysing the power relations that underpin and determine the design and implementation of REDD+ policies and actions, the potential for and limits to the vertical and horizontal harmonization of land-use policies and management, and the processes of resistance to or accommodation of REDD+ practices on the ground. In doing so, we advocate for multi-and transdisciplinary research that does not take for granted the benefits of REDD+ and which critically scrutinizes the multiple goals of this ambitious international policy framework, and where it sits within the broader Paris Agreement implementation agenda. Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Value Retention, Service Life, Use Intensity and Long-Term Productivity of Wood Chippers as Obtained from Contractor Records
Forests 2017, 8(12), 503; https://doi.org/10.3390/f8120503
Received: 30 November 2017 / Revised: 16 December 2017 / Accepted: 18 December 2017 / Published: 20 December 2017
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Abstract
Acknowledging the absence of up-to-date empirical data on the value retention, service life and annual use of chipping machinery, in 2017 the authors surveyed the records kept by 50 contractors offering biomass chipping services. The machine fleet and operations in this survey could
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Acknowledging the absence of up-to-date empirical data on the value retention, service life and annual use of chipping machinery, in 2017 the authors surveyed the records kept by 50 contractors offering biomass chipping services. The machine fleet and operations in this survey could be taken as representative for most of Europe, where the biomass sector is well established and is facing further expansion. Data collection included the whole chipping unit, comprised of chipper, carrier and loader. Manually-fed units were excluded from the survey. The data pointed at a service life up to and exceeding 10,000 h and 10 years, which relieved any concerns about poor durability. Value retention was good, and may exceed that of other mainstream forestry equipment. Engine power was the main explanatory variable in any models to predict purchase price and productivity. The effect of this variable could explain most of the variability (>80%) in the purchase price and productivity data. Results also pointed at the essential equivalence in price and productivity between PTO-driven (i.e., tractor powered) and independent-engine chippers, once differences in engine power are accounted for. However, the distribution of purchase price between different components of the chipping unit was different between the two unit types, with the chipper accounting for a larger proportion of the total investment in independent-engine units. Machine power was also different, with most PTO-driven units being significantly smaller than independent-engine units, due to the limitations of existing tractors. Furthermore, half of the carriers assigned to a PTO-driven unit were subject to flexible use, i.e., they were not solely used for chipping work. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Operations, Engineering and Management)
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Open AccessArticle Temporal Variation of Ecological Factors Affecting Bird Species Richness in Urban and Peri-Urban Forests in a Changing Environment: A Case Study from Milan (Northern Italy)
Forests 2017, 8(12), 507; https://doi.org/10.3390/f8120507
Received: 20 October 2017 / Revised: 10 December 2017 / Accepted: 15 December 2017 / Published: 19 December 2017
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Abstract
Urban and peri-urban forests determine different habitat services for biodiversity according to their characteristics. In this study, we relate ecological characteristics of urban and peri-urban forests to forest bird species richness and we assess whether their effect changed over time due to the
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Urban and peri-urban forests determine different habitat services for biodiversity according to their characteristics. In this study, we relate ecological characteristics of urban and peri-urban forests to forest bird species richness and we assess whether their effect changed over time due to the urban sprawl within the urban region of Milan, Italy. We analyse two periods (1998–2002 and 2010–2014) using weighted generalized linear models that considered urban and peri-urban forests collectively and urban and peri-urban forests separately. Patch area, proximity to source areas and number of surrounding urban and peri-urban forests were the main factors predicting species richness within urban and peri-urban forests in both periods. While there were no differences in factors affecting bird richness in peri-urban forests between the two periods, the negative effect of urban matrix density was statistically significant for birds inhabiting urban forests in the second period. Moreover, protected areas within urban and peri-urban forests and urban forests in the second period were important determinants in providing suitable habitat for birds at the regional scale. This study offered important insights regarding urban and peri-urban forests characteristics that should be maintained to ensure biodiversity conservation across changing urban landscapes. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Individual-Tree Diameter Growth Models for Mixed Nothofagus Second Growth Forests in Southern Chile
Forests 2017, 8(12), 506; https://doi.org/10.3390/f8120506
Received: 29 September 2017 / Revised: 7 December 2017 / Accepted: 12 December 2017 / Published: 19 December 2017
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Abstract
Second growth forests of Nothofagus obliqua (roble), N. alpina (raulí), and N. dombeyi (coihue), known locally as RORACO, are among the most important native mixed forests in Chile. To improve the sustainable management of these forests, managers need adequate information and models regarding
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Second growth forests of Nothofagus obliqua (roble), N. alpina (raulí), and N. dombeyi (coihue), known locally as RORACO, are among the most important native mixed forests in Chile. To improve the sustainable management of these forests, managers need adequate information and models regarding not only existing forest conditions, but their future states with varying alternative silvicultural activities. In this study, an individual-tree diameter growth model was developed for the full geographical distribution of the RORACO forest type. This was achieved by fitting a complete model by comparing two variable selection procedures: cross-validation (CV), and least absolute shrinkage and selection operator (LASSO) regression. A small set of predictors successfully explained a large portion of the annual increment in diameter at breast height (DBH) growth, particularly variables associated with competition at both the tree- and stand-level. Goodness-of-fit statistics for this final model showed an empirical coefficient of correlation (R2emp) of 0.56, relative root mean square error of 44.49% and relative bias of −1.96% for annual DBH growth predictions, and R2emp of 0.98 and 0.97 for DBH projection at 6 and 12 years, respectively. This model constitutes a simple and useful tool to support management plans for these forest ecosystems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Inventory, Quantitative Methods and Remote Sensing)
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Open AccessArticle Assessing Ecosystem Services in Rubber Dominated Landscapes in South-East Asia—A Challenge for Biophysical Modeling and Transdisciplinary Valuation
Forests 2017, 8(12), 505; https://doi.org/10.3390/f8120505
Received: 2 November 2017 / Revised: 1 December 2017 / Accepted: 13 December 2017 / Published: 15 December 2017
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Abstract
The concept of ecosystem services (ESS) has been increasingly recognized for its potential in decision making processes concerning environmental policy. Multidisciplinary projects on rubber (Hevea brasiliensis) cultivation, integrating research on a variety of ESS, have been few and far between. More
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The concept of ecosystem services (ESS) has been increasingly recognized for its potential in decision making processes concerning environmental policy. Multidisciplinary projects on rubber (Hevea brasiliensis) cultivation, integrating research on a variety of ESS, have been few and far between. More than three years of iterative workshops with regional stakeholders resulted in the development of future land use scenarios for our study area in Xishuangbanna, PR China. We used the InVEST (Integrated Valuation of Ecosystem Services and Trade-offs) modeling framework to analyze their impact on sediment retention, water yield, habitat quality, and carbon sequestration and developed a model for assessing rubber yields. We investigated the percentage deviations of integrated ESS indices in each scenario, as compared to the initial state of 2015 and as a novelty used different statistical weighting methods to include rankings for the preference of ESS from three contrasting stakeholder groups. The business-as-usual scenario (BAU, continuous rubber expansions) revealed an increase in rubber yields trading off against all other ESS analyzed. Compared to BAU, the measures introduced in the balanced-trade-offs scenario (reforestation, reduced herbicide application, riverine buffer zones, etc.) reduced the total amount of rubber yield but enhanced habitat quality and regulating ESS. The results show that the integrated indices for the provisioning of ESS would be overestimated without the inclusion of the stakeholder groups. We conclude that policy regulations, if properly assessed with spatial models and integrated stakeholder feedback, have the potential to buffer the typical trade-off between agricultural intensification and environmental protection. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Management Goals and Performance: Clustering State Forest Management Organizations in Europe with Multivariate Statistics
Forests 2017, 8(12), 504; https://doi.org/10.3390/f8120504
Received: 9 October 2017 / Revised: 6 December 2017 / Accepted: 7 December 2017 / Published: 15 December 2017
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Abstract
State Forest Management Organizations (SFMOs) play a crucial role in the European forest sector, managing almost half of the forests in the region. SFMOs are often only managed for timber production, whereas, being publicly owned, they should play an important role in providing
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State Forest Management Organizations (SFMOs) play a crucial role in the European forest sector, managing almost half of the forests in the region. SFMOs are often only managed for timber production, whereas, being publicly owned, they should play an important role in providing a vast range of public goods (e.g., soil protection, biodiversity conservation). Their management goals depend on the history and current conditions of the forest sector at a national level, as well as different challenges and the potential for development. Although there is a lack of knowledge about the current performance of SFMOs, there have been recent changes to their management goals and practices in response to the new demands expressed by society (e.g., transparency, social inclusion). The main purpose of this study was to analyze the current situation of SFMOs by grouping them with the help of a Cluster Analysis according to indicators that reflect the three pillars of the common understanding of the sustainable forest management (SFM) concept. Additionally, in light of the differences in the forest practices and management priorities in each country, we used Principal Component Analysis (PCA) to group countries according to common characteristics of the forest sector at the national level. The results showed three main clusters of SFMOs in Europe. The first cluster had a rather small but commercially-oriented forestry unit together with other business activities and a strong focus on public services. The second focused on public interest, rather than commercially-oriented organizations. The third is mainly profit-seeking. The existence of diverse SFMO clusters shows the possibility of different approaches for SFM with a focus on different goals (e.g., profit gaining, public service delivery). Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Economics and Human Dimensions)
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Open AccessArticle Certifying Forests to Achieve Sustainability in Industrial Plantations: Opinions of Stakeholders in Spain
Forests 2017, 8(12), 502; https://doi.org/10.3390/f8120502
Received: 17 October 2017 / Revised: 27 November 2017 / Accepted: 7 December 2017 / Published: 13 December 2017
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Abstract
Forest certification is a practice that has been consolidated worldwide in recent years as a result of certification often being associated with sustainability. However, there is not much research available on the perception of stakeholders and experts of that association. This study evaluates
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Forest certification is a practice that has been consolidated worldwide in recent years as a result of certification often being associated with sustainability. However, there is not much research available on the perception of stakeholders and experts of that association. This study evaluates how key stakeholders relate certification to sustainability, and its implications for forest management. A survey was implemented in the eucalyptus plantations of Galicia, northwestern Spain, to assess how forest managers; advisors; environmental organizations; researchers; and members from the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council), PEFC (the Program for Endorsement of Forest Certification), and forest companies and associations, perceive this relationship. The opinions indicate that it should not be assumed that certified plantations are necessarily perceived as the most sustainable ones, that there is always a direct relationship between certification, nor that forest owners and managers certify their woodlands in order to guarantee sustainability. The results also showed that perceptions of certification and sustainability were not influenced by the opinions of different groups of stakeholders. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Forest Management and Forest Certification)
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Open AccessArticle Combined Analysis of mRNAs and miRNAs to Identify Genes Related to Biological Characteristics of Autotetraploid Paulownia
Forests 2017, 8(12), 501; https://doi.org/10.3390/f8120501
Received: 20 September 2017 / Revised: 5 December 2017 / Accepted: 8 December 2017 / Published: 13 December 2017
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Abstract
Autopolyploid plants and their organs are larger than their corresponding diploid ancestors, and they attract considerable attention for plant breeding. Paulownia is a fast-growing tree. To identify genes related to the biological characteristics of tetraploid Paulownia, transcriptome and small RNA sequencing were used
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Autopolyploid plants and their organs are larger than their corresponding diploid ancestors, and they attract considerable attention for plant breeding. Paulownia is a fast-growing tree. To identify genes related to the biological characteristics of tetraploid Paulownia, transcriptome and small RNA sequencing were used to identify the key gene expression regulation in tetraploid Paulownia fortunei and tetraploid P. tomentosa and their corresponding diploids. A total of 1977 common differentially expressed genes (DEGs) and 89 differentially expressed miRNAs (DEMs) (38 conserved and 51 novel) were obtained in tetraploid vs. diploid comparisons of the two Paulownia species, and 18 target genes were identified by target prediction. Finally, by analyzing the expression profiles of the DEGs and DEMs and their target genes, we discovered that Pau-miR169, Pau-miR408 and Pau-miR156 interacted with their target gene nuclear transcription factor Y subunit A-9 (NF-YA9), serine/threonine protein phosphatase (PP1) and s-adenosyl-methionine-sterol-c-methyltransfera—se (SAM:SMT) to regulate the abiotic stress tolerance and the timber quality of the tetraploid Paulownia. This study lays a molecular biology foundation for understanding autotetraploid Paulownia and will benefit future breeding work. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Ecophysiology and Biology)
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Open AccessArticle Effects of Climate Change on the Climatic Niches of Warm-Adapted Evergreen Plants: Expansion or Contraction?
Forests 2017, 8(12), 500; https://doi.org/10.3390/f8120500
Received: 3 September 2017 / Revised: 21 November 2017 / Accepted: 27 November 2017 / Published: 13 December 2017
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Abstract
Climate change has modified the structure and functions of ecosystems, affecting human well-being. Evergreen plants in the warm-temperate ecosystems will lose climatically suitable habitats under climate change but have not drawn much scholarly interest. Therefore, the present research aimed to predict the future
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Climate change has modified the structure and functions of ecosystems, affecting human well-being. Evergreen plants in the warm-temperate ecosystems will lose climatically suitable habitats under climate change but have not drawn much scholarly interest. Therefore, the present research aimed to predict the future climatic niches of eight coastal warm-adapted evergreen trees under climate change to provide information for an effective management practice. For this purpose, we used the ensemble species distribution models (SDMs) weighted by the TSS value in modelling the climatic niches of those evergreen trees and then ensembled their future distributions predicted under 20 future climate scenarios. Except for Neolitsea sericea (True Skill Statistic (TSS) = 0.79), all projections for the current climatic niches of evergreens showed excellent predictive powers (TSS > 0.85). The results showed that the climatic niches of the four evergreens—Castanopsis cuspidata, Pittosporum tobira, Raphiolepis indica var. umbellate, and Eurya emarginata—would expand to the northern part of the Korean Peninsula (KP) under climate change, but the ones of the remaining four—Kadsura japonica, Neolitsea sericea, Ilex integra, and Dendropanax morbiferus—would shrink. While the climatic niches of Pittosporum tobira showed the rapidest and greatest expansion under climate change, Dendropanax morbiferus was predicted to experience the greatest loss of habitat. On the other hand, regardless of whether the future distributions of climatically suitable habitats would expand or contract, the highly suitable habitats of all species were predicted to decline under climate change. This may indicate that further climate change will degrade habitat suitability for all species within the distribution boundary and restrict continuous habitat expansions of expanding species or accelerate habitat loss of shrinking species. In addition, the future distributions of most coastal evergreens were found to be confined to coastal areas; therefore, sea-level rise would accelerate their habitat loss under climate change. The present study provides primary and practical knowledge for understanding climate-related coastal vegetation changes for future conservation planning, particularly on the Korean Peninsula. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Ecology and Management)
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Open AccessArticle Community Earth System Model Simulations Reveal the Relative Importance of Afforestation and Forest Management to Surface Temperature in Eastern North America
Forests 2017, 8(12), 499; https://doi.org/10.3390/f8120499
Received: 1 November 2017 / Revised: 30 November 2017 / Accepted: 2 December 2017 / Published: 13 December 2017
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Abstract
Afforestation changes the land surface energy balance, though the effects on climate in temperate regions is uncertain, particularly the changes associated with forest management. In this study, we used idealized Community Earth System Model simulations to assess the influence of afforestation and afforestation
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Afforestation changes the land surface energy balance, though the effects on climate in temperate regions is uncertain, particularly the changes associated with forest management. In this study, we used idealized Community Earth System Model simulations to assess the influence of afforestation and afforestation management in eastern North America on climate via changes in the biophysics of the land surface. Afforestation using broadleaf deciduous trees maintained at high leaf area index (LAI) in the southern part of the study region provided the greatest climate benefit by cooling summer surface air temperatures (Tsa). In contrast, the greatest warming occurred in the northern extent of the study region when afforesting with needleleaf evergreen trees maintained at high LAI. Forest management had an equal or greater influence on Tsa than the overall decision to afforest land in the southern extent of the region. Afforestation had a greater influence on Tsa than forest management in the northern extent. Integrating our results, focused on biophysical processes, with other research quantifying carbon cycle sensitivity to management can help guide the use of temperate afforestation to optimize climate benefits. Further, our results highlight the potential importance of including forest management in simulations of past and future climate. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Inventory, Quantitative Methods and Remote Sensing)
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Open AccessArticle Modeling and Predicting Carbon and Water Fluxes Using Data-Driven Techniques in a Forest Ecosystem
Forests 2017, 8(12), 498; https://doi.org/10.3390/f8120498
Received: 30 October 2017 / Revised: 4 December 2017 / Accepted: 8 December 2017 / Published: 12 December 2017
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Abstract
Accurate estimation of carbon and water fluxes of forest ecosystems is of particular importance for addressing the problems originating from global environmental change, and providing helpful information about carbon and water content for analyzing and diagnosing past and future climate change. The main
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Accurate estimation of carbon and water fluxes of forest ecosystems is of particular importance for addressing the problems originating from global environmental change, and providing helpful information about carbon and water content for analyzing and diagnosing past and future climate change. The main focus of the current work was to investigate the feasibility of four comparatively new methods, including generalized regression neural network, group method of data handling (GMDH), extreme learning machine and adaptive neuro-fuzzy inference system (ANFIS), for elucidating the carbon and water fluxes in a forest ecosystem. A comparison was made between these models and two widely used data-driven models, artificial neural network (ANN) and support vector machine (SVM). All the models were evaluated based on the following statistical indices: coefficient of determination, Nash-Sutcliffe efficiency, root mean square error and mean absolute error. Results indicated that the data-driven models are capable of accounting for most variance in each flux with the limited meteorological variables. The ANN model provided the best estimates for gross primary productivity (GPP) and net ecosystem exchange (NEE), while the ANFIS model achieved the best for ecosystem respiration (R), indicating that no single model was consistently superior to others for the carbon flux prediction. In addition, the GMDH model consistently produced somewhat worse results for all the carbon flux and evapotranspiration (ET) estimations. On the whole, among the carbon and water fluxes, all the models produced similar highly satisfactory accuracy for GPP, R and ET fluxes, and did a reasonable job of reproducing the eddy covariance NEE. Based on these findings, it was concluded that these advanced models are promising alternatives to ANN and SVM for estimating the terrestrial carbon and water fluxes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water and Gas Exchanges in Forests)
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Open AccessArticle Mortality and Recovery of Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (Adelges tsugae) in Response to Winter Temperatures and Predictions for the Future
Forests 2017, 8(12), 497; https://doi.org/10.3390/f8120497
Received: 1 November 2017 / Revised: 30 November 2017 / Accepted: 5 December 2017 / Published: 12 December 2017
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Abstract
Eastern (Tsuga canadensis) and Carolina hemlocks (T. caroliniana) of eastern North America have been attacked by the non-native hemlock woolly adelgid (Adelges tsugae Annand) (HWA) since the first half of the 20th century. Unlike most insects, HWA develops
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Eastern (Tsuga canadensis) and Carolina hemlocks (T. caroliniana) of eastern North America have been attacked by the non-native hemlock woolly adelgid (Adelges tsugae Annand) (HWA) since the first half of the 20th century. Unlike most insects, HWA develops through one generation from fall to late winter, exposing this insect to the lethal effects of winter temperatures. The mortality inflicted by winter temperatures on HWA determines the surviving population density as well as its ability to spread to uninfested areas. With the ongoing changes in climate, knowledge of this species’ ability to survive and spread in the future can help land managers prepare for its management. This study began during the winter of 2014 and ended in the spring of 2017. During this period, winter mortality of HWA was recorded at 100 sites from Maine to Georgia (n = 209). Changes in population density from the sistens to the succeeding progrediens generation were recorded at 24 sites (n = 35). Models were developed to predict HWA mortality using the lowest minimum temperature prior to the mortality assessment date, the number of days with mean temperature <−1 °C, and the mean daily temperature of the three days preceding that minimum. Models were also developed to predict population density changes from the overwintering sistens generation to the following progrediens generation. Future projections under climate change showed increases in winter survival and population growth rates over time. Especially towards the northeastern edge of T. canadensis’ distribution as minimum temperatures are predicted to increase at a greater rate. This will result in an increase in density throughout its current distribution and expansion northward causing an increase in its impact on eastern Tsuga spp. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Ecophysiology and Biology)
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Open AccessReview The Contribution of Traditional Ecological Knowledge and Practices to Forest Management: The Case of Northeast Asia
Forests 2017, 8(12), 496; https://doi.org/10.3390/f8120496
Received: 9 November 2017 / Revised: 7 December 2017 / Accepted: 8 December 2017 / Published: 12 December 2017
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Abstract
This study aims to introduce the potential applicability of traditional ecological knowledge and community forestry in Northeast Asia, including China, Japan, and South Korea. In ancient Northeast Asia, forest policies and practices were based on Fengshui (an old Chinese concept regarding the flow
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This study aims to introduce the potential applicability of traditional ecological knowledge and community forestry in Northeast Asia, including China, Japan, and South Korea. In ancient Northeast Asia, forest policies and practices were based on Fengshui (an old Chinese concept regarding the flow of vital forces), with which forests were managed under community forestry. However, these traditional systems diminished in the twentieth century owing to the decline of traditional livelihood systems and extreme deforestation. Recently, legacies from traditional ecological knowledge and community forestry have been revisited and incorporated into forest policies, laws, and management practices because of growing needs for sustainable forest use in China, Japan, and Korea. This reevaluation of traditional ecological knowledge and community forestry has provided empirical data to help improve forestry systems. Although traditional ecological knowledge and community forestry in Northeast Asia have been scarcely theorized, they play a significant role in modifying forest management practices in the face of socioeconomic changes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Participatory Forestry: Involvement, Information and Science)
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Open AccessArticle Genetic Diversity and Structure of Natural Quercus variabilis Population in China as Revealed by Microsatellites Markers
Forests 2017, 8(12), 495; https://doi.org/10.3390/f8120495
Received: 3 November 2017 / Revised: 6 December 2017 / Accepted: 7 December 2017 / Published: 11 December 2017
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Abstract
Quercus variabilis is a tree species of ecological and economic value that is widely distributed in China. To effectively evaluate, use, and conserve resources, we applied 25 pairs of simple sequence repeat (SSR) primers to study its genetic diversity and genetic structure in
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Quercus variabilis is a tree species of ecological and economic value that is widely distributed in China. To effectively evaluate, use, and conserve resources, we applied 25 pairs of simple sequence repeat (SSR) primers to study its genetic diversity and genetic structure in 19 natural forest or natural secondary forest populations of Q. variabilis (a total of 879 samples). A total of 277 alleles were detected. Overall, the average expected heterozygosity (He) was 0.707 and average allelic richness (AR) was 7.79. Q. variabilis manifested a loss of heterozygosity, and the mean of inbreeding coefficient (FIS) was 0.044. Less differentiation among populations was observed, and the genetic differentiation coefficient (FST) was 0.063. Bayesian clustering analysis indicated that the 19 studied populations could be divided into three groups based on their genetic makeup, namely, the Southwest group, Central group, and Northeastern group. The Central group, compared to the populations of the Southwest and Northeast group, showed higher genetic diversities and lower genetic differentiations. As a widely distributed species, the historical migration of Q. variabilis contributed to its genetic differentiation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetics and Genomics of Forest Trees)
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Open AccessArticle Characterisation of Beaver Habitat Parameters That Promote the Use of Culverts as Dam Construction Sites: Can We Limit the Damage to Forest Roads?
Forests 2017, 8(12), 494; https://doi.org/10.3390/f8120494
Received: 5 October 2017 / Revised: 24 November 2017 / Accepted: 5 December 2017 / Published: 9 December 2017
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Abstract
The use of forest roads as foundations for dam construction by beavers is a recurrent problem in the management of forest road networks. In order to limit the damage to forest roads, our goal was to calculate the probability of beaver dam installation
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The use of forest roads as foundations for dam construction by beavers is a recurrent problem in the management of forest road networks. In order to limit the damage to forest roads, our goal was to calculate the probability of beaver dam installation on culverts, according to surrounding habitat parameters, which could allow for improvement in the spatial design of new roads that minimise conflicts with beavers. Comparisons of culverts with (n = 77) and without (n = 51) dams in northwestern Quebec showed that catchment surface, cumulate length of all local streams within a 2-km radius, and road embankment height had a negative effect on the probability of dam construction on culverts, while flow level and culvert diameter ratio had a positive effect. Nevertheless, predicted probabilities of dam construction on culverts generally exceeded 50%, even on sites that were less favourable to beavers. We suggest that it would be more reasonable to take their probable subsequent presence into account at the earliest steps of road conception. Installing mitigation measures such as pre-dams during road construction would probably reduce the occurrence of conflicts with beavers and thus reduce the maintenance costs of forest roads. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Ecology and Management)
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