Abstract: Partial harvesting has been proposed as a key aspect to implementing ecosystem management in the Canadian boreal forest. We report on a replicated experiment located in boreal mixedwoods of Northwestern Quebec. In the winter of 2000–2001, two partial harvesting treatments, one using a dispersed pattern, and a second, which created a (400 m2) gap pattern, were applied to a 90-year-old aspen-dominated mixed stand. The design also included a clear cut and a control. Over the course of the following eight years, live tree, coarse woody debris, regeneration and ground beetles were inventoried at variable intervals. Our results indicate that all harvesting treatments created conditions favorable to balsam fir (Abies balsamea) sapling growth and trembling aspen (Populus tremuloides) sapling recruitment. However, balsam fir and trembling aspen regeneration and ground beetles response to gap cuts were closer to patterns observed in clear cuts than in dispersed harvesting. The underlying reasons for these differing patterns can be linked to factors associated with the contrasting light regimes created by the two partial harvesting treatments. The study confirms that partially harvesting is an ecologically sound approach in boreal mixedwoods and could contribute to maintaining the distribution of stand ages at the landscape level.
Abstract: With the current complexity of issues facing forest and land management, the implementation of the REDD+ initiative comes with significant risks, including conflict. While the exact nature and shape of conflict in REDD+ implementation is difficult to pinpoint, this study aims to build a preliminary predictive framework to identify possible sources of impairment that may result in conflict over management of forests and natural resources. The framework was developed from an extensive literature review and was tested in three REDD+ pilot project sites in Nepal. The results indicate that most of the sources of impairment are present in all study sites, particularly issues relating to benefit sharing, which have been main drivers of conflict prior to REDD+. While we found that the application of the framework has been useful in the Nepalese context, there are some limitations in its scope and precision. Nonetheless, this study points to important implications with regards to REDD+ implementation and conflict management that can be useful for policy makers and practitioners involved in REDD+ strategy designs, as well as other areas of forest management involving outsiders and communities.
Abstract: The complex problems associated with global change processes calls for close collaboration between science disciplines to create new, integrated knowledge. In the wake of global change processes, forests and other natural environments have been rapidly changing, highlighting the need for collaboration and integrative research development. Few tools are available to explore the potential for collaborations in research ventures that are just starting up. This study presents a useful approach for exploring and fostering collaborations between academics working in research teams and organizations comprising multiple science disciplines (i.e., multi-disciplinary). The research aim was to reveal potential barriers, common ground, and research strengths between academics working in a new centre focused on forest and climate change research. This aim was based on the premise that raising awareness and working with this acquired knowledge fosters collaborations and integrative research development. An email survey was deployed amongst the academics to obtain: (i) their understanding of common themes (e.g., climate change, scale of investigation, woodland/forest health/decline); (ii) descriptions of the spatial and temporal scales of their research; and (iii) their approach and perceived contributions to climate change research. These data were analysed using a semi-quantitative content analysis approach. We found that the main potential barriers were likely to be related to differences in understanding of the common research themes, whilst similarities and disciplinary strengths provided critical elements to foster collaborations. These findings were presented and discussed amongst the centre academics to raise awareness and create a dialogue around these issues. This process resulted in the development of four additional research projects involving multiple disciplines. The approach used in this study provides a useful methodology of broader benefit to similar multi-disciplinary research teams and organizations elsewhere.
Abstract: Histological examinations of the host reaction types (RTs); short galls, rough galls and smooth galls in slash pine seedlings inoculated with Cronartium quercuum f. sp. fusiforme revealed host reaction zone(s) [RZ(s)]. These RZs differed among the host RTs in location and pattern of occurrence in the stem, staining reaction, periderm formation and amount of fungal colonization. The RZ within short galls were wide, deep in the cortex, continuous around the stem, bordered on both sides by a well-developed periderm encircling the stem with limited fungal colonization. The RZ of the rough galls lacked a periderm, were small, numerous and discontinuous around the stem circumference, being separated by symptomatic tissue typical of a susceptible reaction. Fungal colonization of the rough galls was limited and hyphae and haustoria were encrusted. The RZ of the smooth galls were small and narrow conforming to the stem circumference, shallow in the cortex and interconnected by symptomatic tissues typical of a susceptible reaction. A narrow periderm developed along the innermost portion of the RZ in smooth galls and fungal colonization was abundant in the cortex. We suggest that the RTs large galls (rough and smooth), short galls, and hypersensitive-like stem lesions represent increasing resistance to the fusiform rust pathogen.
Abstract: The advent of initiatives to reduce emissions from deforestation and degradation and enhance forest carbon stocks (REDD+) in developing countries has raised much concern regarding impacts on local communities. To inform this debate, we analyze the initial outcomes of those REDD+ projects that systematically report on their socio-economic dimensions. To categorize and compare projects, we develop a participation and benefits framework that considers REDD+’s effects on local populations’ opportunities (jobs, income), security (of tenure and ecosystem services), and empowerment (participation in land use and development decisions). We find material benefits, in terms of jobs and income, to be, thus far, modest. On the other hand, we find that many projects are helping populations gain tenure rights. A majority of projects are obtaining local populations’ free, prior, and informed consent (FPIC). However, for those projects interacting with multiple populations, extent of participation and effects on forest access are often uneven. Our participation and benefits framework can be a useful tool for identifying the multi-faceted socio-economic impacts of REDD+, which are realized under different timescales. The framework and initial trends reported here can be used to build hypotheses for future REDD+ impact evaluations and contribute to evolving theories of incentive-based environmental policy.
Abstract: The current outbreak of mountain pine beetle, Dendroctonus ponderosae Hopkins, has led to extensive tree mortality in British Columbia and the western United States. While the greatest impacts of the outbreak have been in British Columbia, ongoing impacts are expected as the outbreak continues to spread eastward towards Canada’s boreal and eastern pine forests. Successful mitigation of this outbreak is dependent on understanding how the beetle’s host selection behaviour is influenced by the patchwork of tree mortality across the landscape. While several studies have shown that selective mechanisms operate at the individual tree level, less attention has been given to beetles’ preference for variation in spatial forest patterns, namely forest fragmentation, and if such preference changes with changing population conditions. The objective of this study is to explore the influence of fragmentation on the location of mountain pine beetle caused mortality. Using a negative binomial regression model, we tested the significance of a fragmentation measure called the Aggregation Index for predicting beetle-caused tree mortality in the central interior of British Columbia, Canada in 2000 and 2005. The results explain that mountain pine beetle OPEN ACCESS Forests 2013, 4 280 exhibit a density-dependent dynamic behaviour related to forest patterns, with fragmented forests experiencing greater tree mortality when beetle populations are low (2000). Conversely, more contiguous forests are preferred when populations reach epidemic levels (2005). These results reinforce existing findings that bark beetles exhibit a strong host configuration preference at low population levels and that such pressures are relaxed when beetle densities are high.