Abstract: The objective of this paper is to examine the organization renewal process in forest owners’ associations and the role of members in this process. Based on 15 qualitative interviews with district council members in a forest owners’ association, we describe the characteristics of today’s elected member representatives in terms of their motives for volunteering, their relationship with the organization, and the organizational practices and routines of the renewal process. It is shown that most district council members are traditional forest owners with a family history within the association and that the district councils are therefore not representative of all member groups. We thus argue that it will be important for the renewal process that the associations carefully consider how they want to be perceived by both current and potential members in order to encourage the involvement of different owner groups. The election committees, which prepare the elections to the councils and board, play an important role in the associations’ renewal processes and must become more active in their search for suitable candidates.
Abstract: Forest disturbances caused by pest insects are threatening ecosystem stability, sustainable forest management and economic return in boreal forests. Climate change and increased extreme weather patterns can magnify the intensity of forest disturbances, particularly at higher latitudes. Due to rapid responses to elevating temperatures, forest insect pests can flexibly change their survival, dispersal and geographic distributions. The outbreak pattern of forest pests in Finland has evidently changed during the last decade. Projection of shifts in distributions of insect-caused forest damages has become a critical issue in the field of forest research. The Common pine sawfly (Diprion pini L.) (Hymenoptera, Diprionidae)is regarded as a significant threat to boreal pine forests. Defoliation by D. pini has resulted in severe growth loss and mortality of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) (Pinaceae) in eastern Finland. In this study, tree-wise defoliation was estimated for five different needle loss category classification schemes and for 10 different simulated airborne laser scanning (ALS) pulse densities. The nearest neighbor (NN) approach, a nonparametric estimation method, was used for estimating needle loss of 701 Scots pines, using the means of individual tree features derived from ALS data. The Random Forest (RF) method was applied in NN-search. For the full dense data (~20 pulses/m2), the overall estimation accuracies for tree-wise defoliation level varied between 71.0% and 86.5% (kappa-values of 0.56 and 0.57, respectively), depending on the classification scheme. The overall classification accuracies for two class estimation with different ALS pulse densities varied between 82.8% and 83.7% (kappa-values of 0.62 and 0.67, respectively). We conclude that ALS-based estimation of needle losses may be of acceptable accuracy for individual trees. Our method did not appear sensitive to the applied pulse densities.
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.