Forests2016, 7(2), 40; doi:10.3390/f7020040 - published 9 February 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Roadside processing of wood biomass leaves chip piles of varying size depending upon whether they were created for temporary storage, spillage, or equipment maintenance. Wood chips left in these piles can generate leachate that contaminates streams when processing sites are connected to waterways. Leachate toxicity and chemistry were assessed for pure aspen (Populus tremuloides Michx.), lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta Dougl.), hybrid white spruce (Picea engelmannii x glauca Parry), and black spruce (Picea mariana (Mill.) Britton) as well as from two wood chipping sites using mixes of lodgepole pine and hybrid or black spruce. Leachate was generated using rainfall simulation, a static 28-day laboratory assay, and a field-based exposure. Leachate generated by these exposures was analyzed for organic matter content, phenols, ammonia, pH, and toxicity. Findings indicate that all wood chip types produced a toxic leachate despite differences in their chemistry. The consistent toxicity response highlights the need for runoff management that will disconnect processing sites from aquatic environments.
Forests2016, 7(2), 35; doi:10.3390/f7020035 - published 6 February 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: We present annual estimates of the net ecosystem exchange (NEE) of carbon dioxide (CO2) accumulated over one annual cycle (April 2012 to March 2013) in the world’s largest mangrove ecosystem, Sundarbans (India), using the eddy covariance method. An eddy covariance flux tower was established in April 2012 to study the seasonal variations of carbon dioxide fluxes due to soil and vegetation-atmosphere interactions. The half-hourly maximum of the net ecosystem exchange (NEE) varied from −6 µmol·m−2·s−1 during the summer (April to June 2012) to −10 µmol·m−2·s−1 during the winter (October to December 2012), whereas the half-hourly maximum of H2O flux varied from 5.5 to 2.5 mmol·m−2·s−1 during October 2013 and July 2013, respectively. During the study period, the study area was a carbon dioxide sink with an annual net ecosystem productivity (NEP = −NEE) of 249 ± 20 g·C m−2·year−1. The mean annual evapotranspiration (ET) was estimated to be 1.96 ± 0.33 mm·day−1. The gap-filled NEE was also partitioned into Gross Primary Productivity (GPP) and Ecosystem Respiration (Re). The total GPP and Re over the study area for the annual cycle were estimated to be1271 g C m−2·year−1 and 1022 g C m−2·year−1, respectively. The closure of the surface energy balance accounted for of about 78% of the available energy during the study period. Our findings suggest that the Sundarbans mangroves are currently a substantial carbon sink, indicating that the protection and management of these forests would lead as a strategy towards reduction in carbon dioxide emissions.
Forests2016, 7(2), 39; doi:10.3390/f7020039 - published 6 February 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Rapid and accurate estimations of the heterotrophic and autotrophic components of total soil respiration (Rs) are important for calculating forest carbon budgets and for understanding carbon dynamics associated with natural and management-related disturbances. The objective of this study was to use deep (60 cm) root exclusion tubes and paired control (i.e., no root exclusion) collars to estimate heterotrophic respiration (Rh) and Rs, respectively, in three 26-year-old longleaf pine (Pinus palustris Mill.) stands in western Georgia. Root biomass was measured in root exclusion tubes and control collars after 102–104 days of incubation and fine root biomass loss from root exclusion was used to quantify root decay. Mean Rs from control collars was 3.3 micromol•CO2•m−2•s−1. Root exclusion tubes decreased Rs, providing an estimate of Rh. Mean Rh was 2.7 micromol•CO2•m−2•s−1 when uncorrected by pretreatment variation, root decay, or soil moisture compared to 2.1 micromol•CO2•m−2•s−1 when Rh was corrected for root decay. The corresponding ratio of Rh to Rs ranged from 66% to 82%, depending on the estimation method. This study provides an estimate of Rh in longleaf pine forests, and demonstrates the potential for deep root exclusion tubes to provide relatively rapid assessments (i.e., ~40 days post-treatment) of Rh in similar forests. The range in Rh to Rs is comparable to other reports for similar temperate coniferous ecosystems.
Forests2016, 7(2), 38; doi:10.3390/f7020038 - published 5 February 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: In this study we present general (multiple tree species from several sites) above- and belowground biomass models for trees in the miombo woodlands of Malawi. Such models are currently lacking in the country. The modelling was based on 74 trees comprising 33 different species with diameters at breast height (dbh) and total tree height (ht) ranging from 5.3 to 2 cm and from 3.0 to 25.0 m, respectively. Trees were collected from four silvicultural zones covering a wide range of conditions. We tested different models including dbh, ht and wood specific gravity ( ρ ) as independent variables. We evaluated model performance using pseudo-R2, root mean square error (RMSE), a covariance matrix for the parameter estimates, mean prediction error (MPE) and relative mean prediction error (MPE%). Computation of MPE% was based on leave-one-out cross-validation. Values of pseudo-R2 and MPE% ranged 0.82–0.97 and 0.9%–2.8%, respectively. Model performance indicated that the models can be used over a wide range of geographical and ecological conditions in Malawi.
Forests2016, 7(2), 36; doi:10.3390/f7020036 - published 4 February 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: When teak (Tectona grandis L. f.) is planted on acrisols in Northeast Thailand, its growth is suppressed by low pH, infertility, and low water holding capacity. To examine materials capable of increasing water holding capacity in soil and improving teak growth, we conducted an experiment with teak seedlings. We selected bentonite, charcoal, and corncob and added these materials at a rate of 4% to sandy soil from northeast Thailand. Teak seedlings were potted on these soils and raised from July 2013 to July 2014. We compared growth, photosynthetic rates, leaf water potential, and concentrations of elements in plant organs among bentonite, charcoal, corncob, and no addition (control) treatments. Water content in the soils was increased for the bentonite and charcoal treatments. Teak seedlings potted in these two conditions did not suffer from drought stress. Comparing the growth traits of the teak seedlings, the charcoal treatment produced larger root growth and promoted the uptake of phosphorus and potassium, whereas the bentonite treatment did not show positive effects on growth or nutrient acquisition. In contrast, the corncob treatment decreased water content in the soil, and teak seedling growth was suppressed. We concluded that charcoal was a useful material to improve teak growth in sandy soils.
Forests2016, 7(2), 37; doi:10.3390/f7020037 - published 4 February 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: In temperate agricultural watersheds, the rehabilitation of tree vegetation in degraded riparian zones can provide many ecosystem services. This study evaluated ecosystem service provision potential following the conversion of non-managed herbaceous buffers to hybrid poplar (Populus spp.) buffers in three watersheds (555–771 km2) of southern Québec (Canada), with contrasting agricultural land uses. To extrapolate services at the watershed level, total stream length where hybrid poplars could be established was calculated using GIS data from hydrological and land cover maps. After nine years, a 100% replacement of herbaceous buffers by hybrid poplar buffers along farm streams could lead to the production of 5280–76,151 tons of whole tree (stems + branches) biomass, which could heat 0.5–6.5 ha of greenhouses for nine years, with the potential of displacing 2–29 million litres of fuel oil. Alternatively, the production of 3887–56,135 tons of stem biomass (fuelwood) could heat 55–794 new farmhouses or 40–577 old farmhouses for nine years. Producing fuelwood in buffers rather than in farm woodlots could create forest conservation opportunities on 300–4553 ha. Replacing all herbaceous buffers by poplar buffers could provide potential storage of 2984–42,132 t C, 29–442 t N and 3–56 t P in plant biomass, if woody biomass is not harvested. The greatest potential for services provision was in the Pike River watershed where agriculture is the dominant land use. A review of the potential services of poplar buffers is made, and guidelines for managing services and disservices are provided.